What can I say? — 2017 has been, thus far, an incredibly fertile year for songwriting!
Perhaps it was the unusually warm winter and corresponding ubiquity of massive outdoor social gatherings in public spaces. Or maybe it’s been due to the unusually boisterous online social activity, as it daily demonstrates a growth of interest in the grand traditions and so-artfully-constructed mechanisms of our aspirationally-representative democracy.
I really can’t say. But I can say that I’ve been writing a lot.
So I’m very happy to share with you the first fruits of that fertility, beginning with my own humble contribution to a hoary niche of the faux 18th-century library-of-ideas that is Americana:
the ode to a woman with two first names.
The canon of such songs is not insubstantial.
For instance, there is Bobbie Sue, from that Tennessee-bred gospel-to-the-mainstream close-harmony four piece, the Oak Ridge Boys.
Five other (beach) boys give us Barbara Ann, making similar use of a musical stutter.
In 1957, Buddy Holly loves Peggy Sue. In 1959, Buster Brown loves Fannie Mae. In 1982, toying with convention, Michael Jackson claims not have loved Billie Jean, and protests paternity.
Rod Stewart, from London, adopts the trope in Maggie Mae, among many questionably successful state-side borrowings.
Another Brit, reverses the gender roles: Recall Dusty Springfield singing to us of Billy Ray, who’d grown up in the church.
In all these classic songs the woman proudly standing in for American feminitity is designated in duple, with a compound name: two, separately commonplace, female first names beside each other.
Now I’ve written one of those songs: it’s called Kelly Anne.
Feel free to share it with whomever.
I’ll have four more tracks completed, family to this one, in a week or so, at which point I will post all of them together as an ‘EP’ on bandcamp, I think. I’ve heard that’s the least socially-irresponsible digital platform for the sale of recorded music, at the moment.