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  #21  
Unread 02-22-2019, 11:22 AM
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin's Avatar
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin Duncan Gillies MacLaurin is offline
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No argument, Mark. I appreciate your candour. And hope you appreciate mine.

Duncan

PS The tone in V2 is deliberately flippant, even more so now. But "the art of love" is also a serious Classical reference, to Ovid's Amores.

Last edited by Duncan Gillies MacLaurin; 02-22-2019 at 11:35 AM. Reason: PS
  #22  
Unread 02-22-2019, 01:26 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Cheers Duncan,

Hope you get more crits and good luck with the song.
  #23  
Unread 02-22-2019, 05:25 PM
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Jacqueline Casey Jacqueline Casey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan Gillies MacLaurin View Post
for Ben Okri’s 60th

I’m broke ‘n’ I’m stuck in London. I’ve gone busking every day
at a pitch outside Embankment where I book a spot. I play
a rash of tunes for a fiver on my cheap Chinese trombone
and my silver harp in search of grace, an angel all alone.

Perhaps I’ll visit Papsie. “Dad, could I ask you for a grand?
I fancy a couple of months abroad. It’s okay that I expand:
busk in Venice and Perugia, trace the art of love in Rome.
I could stumble on the perfect place to turn into a home.”

I’ve got to do something amazing or die.
I will defy death with my secret eye.
Hung up on this branch of my family tree,
it’s easy to see I need to break free.

Though the enemy are many and work hand in glove,
they’ll never be as clever ’cause thin rags seek love.

Those days were 30 years ago. It may be that Papsie’s dead,
but I must confess he’s still alive as part of me instead.
Who better to sing my songs with me on my Chinese guitar
and my silver harp in search of grace, an angel from afar.

I’ve got to do something amazing or die.
I will defy death with my secret eye.
Hung up on this branch of my family tree,
it’s easy to see I need to break free.

Though the enemy are many and work hand in glove,
they’ll never be as clever ’cause thin rags seek love.

The final line of the second chorus was: they’ll never be as clever ’cause they can't risk love.

V2 L1-3 were:
Perhaps I’ll visit Papsie. “Dad, could I ask you for a grant?
I fancy spending a month abroad. Don’t tell me that I can’t
take in Venice and Perugia, trace the art of love in Rome!

V3 L1-2 were:
That’s more than 30 years ago. I can say that Papsie’s dead,
but in one respect he’s still alive as part of me instead.

Then V3 L1 was: ...I can say that Papsie’s dead,
then: ...I may say... (Thanks, Mark!)


Ben Okri’s piece, “Obsession”, begins: “I’ve got to do something amazing or die.” And ends: “I will defy death with my secret eyes.” It is the third part of the five-part “Dramatic Moments in the Encounter between Picasso and African Art” in his collection of poetic essays, A Time for New Dreams (2011).

While performing the song in its early stages, I sang “silver” instead of “secret”. This inspired me to use “silver” elsewhere. I then noted that Ben Okri’s parents’ names were Silver and Grace, which prompted me to include his mother’s name as well. I later found an interview with him by Kate Kellaway where she writes: “What Okri loves is his parents’ names together. … They came from different tribes (Grace from a royal Igbo line, Silver, a democrat, from the Urhobo people). … He asks: ‘What is it with all these boundaries? That got cracked before my birth by Mum and Dad.’” In another interview, by John Hind, he says: “I talk about my parents in the present tense, because that’s what your parents remain.” The “something amazing” can be taken as a reference to “grace”.

Ben Okri was down and out in London around 1980, five years before I was. He describes this period as “very, very important” to his work. It was for me too. It was here I began to write poems and songs.

I did go to Italy the following spring, and I met my wife, a Danish writer, in Perugia in May 1986. I didn’t go to Rome after all. Instead I settled in Denmark. My father did fund my trip, not because he approved of my venture, but because he had already set up a trust fund for me. He has a big hand in my love of words and music. He was a great speaker, had a good singing voice, and sang hymns at the piano. Quite a humorist, a party trick of his was playing the recorder with his nose. He also enjoyed solving cryptic crossword puzzles.

Ben Okri will be 60 on 15th March 2019, the day my mother, a painter and opera fan, will be 85. Both live in London. The names of both my mother (Anne) and my wife (Ann) mean ‘grace’.

I was in the audience when Ben Okri read his “Obsession” at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2012. Later he signed my copy of A Time for New Dreams for me with the following dedication:

To Duncan,
xx to music
xx to leap
xx to dance
xx to joy –
x stay amazing

(Signed) Ben Okri
xxx21 – 8 – 12
xxxxEdin

Serendipitously, the letters and digits add up to 60.


Final lines of the notes deleted. They were: And the date is a palindrome, so there is a second instance of the number 12. The sum of the numbers in 2019 is 12, while the sum of the numbers in 1959 is 24. The number 21 is the sum of 9 and 12, and 9 is the sum of the numbers in 15/3 as well as the sum of the numbers in 12 and 24.

Final sentence of §4 deleted (after hearing from Michael and Walter that nobody cared about the cryptic features). It was: Perhaps he’s to blame for this one too.

I've added info about not making it to Rome, my wife being Danish and me going to live in Denmark as well as the fact that my dad, rather inadvertently, funded my trip to Italy.
All your numbers are making me dizzy! why not work on the meter FIRST, then look at your numbers, later, huh? (my son guitar player supreme; his birthday,'59. Your mom and I both 85! yahoo!)

I’m broke ‘n stuck in London; gone busking every day;
A rash of tunes for a fiver; my cheap trombone I play.
A silver harp in search of grace, my angel’s all alone
A rash of tunes for a fiver upon my cheap trombone.
  #24  
Unread 03-01-2019, 12:11 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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C’mon. Give him a break. It’s not my best cup of Oolong, but apart from the “secret eye” bit, it’s worth a read, once, as my cousins say. Maybe even two or more times at intervals. Let’s not always be lana retentive about things when they’re not socially disruptive.
  #25  
Unread 03-01-2019, 02:20 PM
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin's Avatar
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin Duncan Gillies MacLaurin is offline
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Thanks, Allen!

This is now up at Snakeskin. So I'm happy with the lyrics as they stand. Still labouring on the music, but I had a breakthrough today.

Duncan
  #26  
Unread 03-01-2019, 04:44 PM
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Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Congratulations!
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