I've had time on my hands recently- often very dangerous for me. It made me realise that my own favourite songs have been written when I have been both on my own, and, most importantly, in the depths of despair.
I haven't plumbed those depths of late, but I have been writing some songs, as well as publishing my first book "I Am Emily Hedge", which I am extremely proud of- and grateful that people seem to like it so far.
I have also been really busy with writing a number of songs that will feature on my next release, provisionally entitled "The Echo Chamber". I am really excited about these songs, and its wonderful to be working with Martin Stephenson again.
We took the plunge to move back to Spain, mainly because its the only place we have anywhere to live- and we could'nt afford to buy in the UK. so, here we are, in a little Andalusian mountain village, noted for its Jamón ibérico, as well as wonderful chorizo, olive oil and honey. Oh, and cheese. "Idyllic" you might say. In many ways, yes, but there are always things that make it somewhat less idyllic, especially when your budget is one that wouldn't buy you a garage in an English city.
I'm in the Pueblo; even some locals expressed surprise that "las Inglesas" took such a step. You see, you take it as it comes, warts and all-and the warts are quite annoyingly persistent.
One of the positives is that the Spanish don't really do "quiet".
"How is that a positive Emma?"
Glad you asked. One of the reasons is that they are naturally warm-hearted, gregarious, vital, and interested in you-boy are they interested in us. I will save that for another time.
Those are all lovely qualities, but this is not a place where you relax in glorious, middle-class solitude, taking in the view and sipping your "tinto de verano". Oh no.
It got me thinking, that music creating is environmental; and unsurprisingly so. Therefore, among the recent offerings have been rewriting the lyrics to my song "La luz" in Spanish, and a joint English/Spanish blues song called "The Devil Wants his Soul/El Diablo Ha Vuelto".
Also, a daydream saw me pondering how Mac Davis, when he wrote Elvis's great comeback hit "In The Ghetto" might have adapted his lyrics.
And, here they are (or as they might have been). Sorry Mac.
In the Pueblo (with apologies to Elvis) And a dog it howled.... And the chain reaction down the valley Set off all the dogs in the narrow alleys Of the Pueblo Of the Pueblo And a woman spoke... Not in a conversational voice But in a shrill, piercing cry Of deafening noise In the pueblo In the pueblo Refrain Brother if it's peace you seek You gotta turn the other cheek There ain't a moment where the quiet breaks through And you can appreciate the view.... And an engine revs And even in these narrow streets A cocky little git on a moped shrieks In the Pueblo In the Pueblo In the Pueblo......
I also learned that the B side of that single, was "Any Day Now" co-written by Burt Bacharach.
I have always had a real interest in B sides, stemming from the days when you couldn't waste your entire pocket money on just one song; so you played the B side too.
The first record I ever bought had "Strawberry Fields Forever-as a B aide.
Technically, it was a double A, with "Penny Lane" but I suspect that was more of a nod to Lennon & McCartney's rivalry.
Penny Lane was the song I bought, but the song I loved was the other one. [My next blog will chart the local link to that song].