Stars Behind Stars Behind Stars
I love this song we made, but it definitely has a different feel to the rest of the new record. Pete Bryden (bass, piano) wrote the song on the guitar, and well done him. The first lyric is a quote from Iris Murdoch's Man Booker prize winning novel 'The Sea The Sea'. "Stars behind stars behind stars. Gold behind gold behind gold" is the way the protagonist Charles Arrowby describes a very trippy episode he has whilst lying out on the rocks by the sea, staring at the night sky. When i read it, I knew i wanted to use it in a song one day. Funnily enough, it turns out that Murdoch took the title 'The Sea The Sea' from an account by the French poet Paul Valery of when 10,000 roaming Greeks (yes, Greeks! How apt!) in 401 BC caught sight of the Black Sea and were thus saved from near-certain death. "The Sea! The Sea!" is what they shouted. You heard it here first! (Or maybe not, as my husband Matt has just come into the room and told me he knew that already. Doh.)
But back to the song, actually someone emailed me the other day asking what the blazes was going on in it. Moons and ladders and climbing down to the sea floor. All I can say is, I really don't know, but if ever a wonderful animator wants to work on a stop animation video with us, please do get in touch. It could be really beautiful, I think.
When you move down to the countryside from a big smoke city like London, your perspective, as you may know yourself, get distinctly oblique. I wrote this song four years after finding myself living in a tiny sleepy village. Don't get me wrong, It was a great shift right from the get-go, and with little kids, any easing of pressure and hassle helps you get through the day. But after a few years, it began to occur to me that there were other lives I could have been living, other trajectories I could have followed that had more in common with my old life. I would, from time to time, hear that life calling to me. As everybody knows, you cant be in two places at once, and i do really love my life and, you know, feel like I'm really living it. I was just wondering if i'm like a little boat, untied, floating quietly away down the River Avon which runs a mile from where i live.
I have a little boy called John. Of course i completely love him, and of course i not only know, but am filled with happiness that one day he will venture forth. This little song about him was composed with him at the kitchen table last year. (Actually he is often a real help when i just cant get a lyric.) Anyway, like the boy himself, this song can always make me smile.
Living out here in the countryside, butterflies are a part everyday life. We grew some Peacock Butterflies last year, feeding them nettles in their netting enclosure each morning and, of course,letting them go at the crucial moment. This song is named after another butterfly, the Camberwell Beauty, which is a rare visitor to the UK from Scandinavia and mainland Europe. Though in this case, the Camberwell Beauty in question is a beautiful girl in Camberwell. Some people just seem to have magical powers wrapped up in beauty and poise and confidence. We've all seen them in a crowd at some point, and thought WOW. I was pleased to get the lyric "vintage fur" into this song. I'm mad into vintage clothes and am always on the hunt for the crazy, beautiful and rare.