Month: May 2010

My Valentine’s Day Vow to the Muse

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Valentine Renewal Vow

Before the Muse and all who love her, I hereby solemnly declare that I will never compromise my art in any way:

* I will never write according to someone else’s “formula” or another’s “recipe” for what constitutes “a great song”

* I will never write solely in order to gain popularity

* I will only sing from my heart what my heart cannot keep to itself

* I will never set out to write a “hit”, knowing well that mostpeople apparently cannot distinguish a song from the heart from a turd in the street

* I will never shorten my songs so they conform to a “soundbite” mentality and become less than what I have to say. I will trust in the Muse and her lovers to show me how not to be unnecessarily verbose and how to avoid gratuitousness in song

* I will never follow the direction of the prevailing wind but will go where the Muse directs me

* I will forever believe in the unshaken, unquenchable, unmitigated, unadulterated, bubbled-up, volcanic cry from the individual heart as the essence of the song

* I will willingly learn from others but I will never be a clone or a protégé

* I will only listen to the advice of those who themselves have vowed before the Muse never to compromise their art and never to be blown by the winds of popularity

I swear all this before the Muse on Saint Valentine’s Day today. May she desert me forever if I compromise one iota.

Bert Jansch

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Anyone here old enough to remember the folk revolutionist, Bert Jansch? (He went on to start Pentangle with John Renbourn & others). I just read some extraordinary news. The 66 year old is still going strong and is about to go on a US national music tour with Neil Young (who is 64 himself)! “It’s better to burn out than fade away, hey-hey, my-my”!

The Power in a Song Title

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There is so much power in a song title. Easy to overlook that. Many of my songs began simply with a title which hit me like a sledgehammer; then the song sprang easily from it. It’s like the title has babies, which are the verses/bridge/refrain. I had one hit me last night: “It Simply Is”. Now my little house in Skåne is full of crying babies!