Wednesday, 19 October 2011
a nip to the air..
There was, I reflected as I made my way to the train station this morning, a nip to the air. The brief Indian summer is firmly over and the weather is distinctly autumnal. The phrase 'a nip to the air' comes from the Grateful Dead's Scarlet Begonias from Grateful Dead From The Mars Hotel - one of the best album covers ever (see below). This posting became inevitable in a matter of several seconds. Here - thanks to David Dodd's good works - are the annotated lyrics with theories - they are theories rather than explanations - of 'too pat to open and too cool to bluff' and the rabbit favourite 'the sky was yellow and the sun was blue'. The song is Robert Hunter's hommage to England. He's hugely under-recognised as a rock lyricist and up there with the best in the rabbit's opinion. By all accounts, he's a top bloke as well. A story to illustrate...
One problem writers have when they want to quote lyrics is copyright. I wanted to use a fragment of lyric from The Wailers' Duppy Conqueror in twentytwelve (yes that's a blatant plug - go buy!). I eventually tracked down whoever it was who dealt with copyright issues for the estate of Bob Marley. It would take some months to get a permission and there would be a fee I was told. I believe there is some scope for using fragmentary quotes (what's the answer Peter?) but decided life was too short to work out exactly what I might get away with so did a quick rewrite to have the relevant character humming the song instead.
Anyway, someone wanted to use a Robert Hunter lyric in his literary endeavour some time ago. Anxious not to blot his copybook and - well - anxious generally he tracked down Hunter and asked permission to use his lyric. Hunter's response was immediate and to the point - 'use what you like'.
Top man or what?
And with Hat Tip to JoJo, so that's what it's about! I went to an all male English equivalent of High School and I am so not interested...