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Songwriting – a question of balance…


… between the melancholy and joyful. What the heck? What is it about melancholy songs that they just seem to drip from the fingerboard seemingly without call or effort. Whereas, in contrast, happy songs require the skills of a musical sorcerer. I can sometimes approach a pastiche with burlesque outbursts or strains of manic hysteria, but straight songs of joy or celebration, or – perish the thought – peaceful contentment seem to be beyond me.

So it is hard, when thinking of a CD compilation to avoid populating it with a mixture of hand-wringing, angst-ridden confessions interspersed with laments of unrequited lust and with only with the odd aforementioned hysterical jabbering thrown in for light relief. A genuine moment or two of repose would be welcomed by most, I think. But how the heck do I write a song so contoured? Indeed, without contour? A song so lacking in spirit, momentum and even point that it has all the life of a bank holiday coach trip? I suppose a pleasant song – which such a song must be – is condemned to be just that: pleasant. Not beautiful, poignant, ugly, urgent, resigned, bitter, ironic, exuberent, or even bad. Just pleasant. And unnecessary!

Or maybe these peaceful songs are valued as balm for the enervated souls (one of whom I am on occasion, I daresay). This music of repose is a narcotic which you’d be well advised to avoid. Children: just say “No”!

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