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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Nicholas Waller Singer/songwriters(again) (121* d) RE: Singer/songwriters(again) 25 Oct 08

Al Stewart is a singer-songwriter whose oeuvre covers a pretty broad field and he (and people like him) can't be pigeon-holed as purely navel-gazing in his subject matter

Yes, he did a lot of the regular s-s personal relationship stuff (particularly Love Chronicles, an 18-minute examination of his love-life from the age of 6 and famous for being a first deployment of the popular sex term "fucking" in the album sleeve printed lyrics).

But he's also done a bunch of historical songs on subjects like the Versailles Treaty, the German-Russian front in WW2, the 500 BC Carthaginian navigator Hanno and, relevantly enough for today, the optimistic world just before the 1929 crash in Lindy Comes to Town:

Every day is better than the one before it
If I see a raincloud then I'll just ignore it
Everybody says it'll get much better yet
It's 1927 and my whole life lies ahead.

As well as other material - a whole album with wine as a theme (Down in the Cellar) - he's done songs that mix the personal and the historical, as in Fying Sorcery referencing Amy Johnson images:

With your photographs of Kitty Hawk
And the bi-planes on your wall
You were always Amy Johnson
From the time that you were small.
No schoolroom kept you grounded
While your thoughts could get away
You were taking off in Tiger Moths,
Your wings against the brush-strokes of day.

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