Sunday, 2 September 2012

Nanci Griffith and Deacon Blue - Love and Regret

 Hello everyone!

 In my last blog entry, the fiftieth post on this blog, I revisited my very first post which was about my favourite songs when it came to lyrics.

 I listened again to the songs I liked so much a year ago, to decide how I feel about them now - and I found  that I still really like them all, and that in some cases a song has taken on a new significance for me since I wrote that list back in March 2011.

 After listing specific songs by a range of bands and artists, I ended the list with, "Pretty much anything written by Nanci Griffith, or by Ricky Ross of Deacon Blue (two very different people but both extremely gifted songwriters in my opinion. You'll be hearing a lot about them in this blog!)"

 And the sad thing is, although I adore both of these songwriters, and have listened to their music so much before and since starting this blog, I have not blogged about them nearly as much as I had expected I would.

 I have written one blog post that shares a few Deacon Blue songs among other music, and I have two entries where I discuss Nanci Griffith, but which also deal with other subjects, and I have a post about the Kennedys in which she is mentioned.

However, what I haven't done yet is a full post completely focussed on Nanci and just what her music has meant to me over the years, and I really want to do that. I also want to do a post all about Ricky Ross and Deacon Blue.

 I listened to music from both Nanci and Deacon Blue throughout my childhood, introduced to their music by my parents. Among my favourite Nanci songs were Gulf Coast Highway, Goin' Gone and Tumble and Fall.

 My favourite songs by Deacon Blue were Queen of the New Year, Your Swaying Arms - at one point one of my favourite songs by any artist or band - and When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring).

 As I got older, I discovered more and more amazing songs by both Nanci Griffith and Deacon Blue. A few months ago I had Nanci's 1988 album Storms bought for me, and have come to love the songs Storms(written by Eric Taylor), Radio Fragile and Brave Companion of the Road.

 The latter I had heard before on what I'm guessing must have been a compilation tape that my family used to listen to in the car. I'd been searching a long time for that song when I found it on Storms and was very happy.

 The reason I had had such trouble finding it was because I had thought the title was something to do with roses, probably because of the first line of the beautiful second verse:

"Some days come up roses,
Some days just come and go.
Some nights are so ruthless that you can't recall the day before.
This love has seen better days, 
Come home for these holidays,
Cause this love has miles for sense of place,
Oh, my brave companion of the road."

 Normally I wouldn't quote an entire verse, but Nanci Griffith is a genius. Her lyrics are among the most moving and memorable I know. I love the whole song; it is easy to overlook a track like this on an album like Storms which has louder, catchier songs, but I feel that Brave Companion of the Road is quietly beautiful, and is quite possibly my favourite song on the album.

 As for Deacon Blue, I got a new mp3 player recently, and onto it I put Our Town, their Greatest Hits CD. This meant I could listen to Deacon Blue on the bus on the way to and from college, and this way I came to really love some of their songs.

 Love and Regret will now always remind me of college bus journeys and, to a degree, so will Dignity. 

However, Dignity also brings back memories of writing for my college's magazine - I did a lyrics quiz for them, and one of the lyrics they had to guess was;

"And I'm telling this story in a faraway scene, 
Sipping down raki, and reading Maynard Keynes."

 Certainly unique lyrics! I love Dignity. I never used to because I found it too slow - I think the version I had heard was acoustic - yet recently I've begun to appreciate the beauty of the melody and the lyrics. Isn't that what everybody wants; dignity? To be respected? 

 I think that it is a very wise song. I'm glad that I learnt to like it and grew to love it.

 I must write proper blog posts about both Nanci Griffith and about Ricky Ross and Deacon Blue as soon as I can. Both Nanci and Ricky are wonderfully gifted songwriters, and I want them to know how much I admire them and how much I love their music and always have done. Hopefully one day they may read this blog and know.

 I hope you enjoyed this post,

 Thanks for reading, 

 Liz x

Songs: Brave Companion of the Road - Nanci Griffith - 1988
Dignity - Deacon Blue - 1987

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