02 September 2005

trembling blue stars - "helen reddy" (from the seven autumn flowers lp, available for purchase here.)

i swear, i had no intention of talking about hurricanes today. i was going to post two songs, two of my favorites of 2005 that have been getting little publicity.

regularly, i make a point of saying that i'm not a lyrics person. for example, from "helen reddy," which i've been listening to since january, i knew one line: "a young girl listens to helen reddy." when i post something, however, i make a point of re-listening to the song, taking notes on its constituent elements. "helen reddy" sounds--that is, its tempo, its instrumentation, its make-up--upbeat, which is unusual for a bobby wratten song; so unusual, in fact, that he has beth arzy of aberdeen perform vocal duties.

"helen reddy" is about, as the song says, the "romance of radio at night"; it's about the connection that one makes w/ a particular song and how, in general, songs help to shape the way we view our world, as anyone who grew up w/ headphones on will tell you.

it's about how one writes themselves into their favorite song, but it's also, i think, about the sustaining power of music and how music can make us all international citizens, lines of latitude replaced by the lines of the musical staff. unforeseen by me, it ends this way:
a young girl listens to helen reddy,
sees herself as "angie baby."
her song her radio never leaves.

the signal sails across the water,
broadcast from louisiana.
jamaica picks up new orleans.
jamaica's listening in.
jamaica's listening in.
the world is listening in; we can all help pick up new orleans and the gulf coast w/ our donations. as far as sustenance, music is low on the list of essentials, but one hopes the charity concerts arranged can lift the spirits of those who are now in a better position. it's only fair to give music, and other things, back to an area that arguably created our national music heritage.


Richard Baez said...

Grand track. I'm amazed this has gone under my radar for much of the year.

Anonymous said...

Funny you picked up on that last bit... It was written before the hurricane in New Orleans, but when we did that song a few months ago on the East Coast I got a chill singing that line every time...

Thanks for thinking of us!

Beth, TBS