By The Landlord
"You gotta move," said Mississippi Fred McDowell, and he wasn't really talking about stamp duty or conveyancing. Elvis was always hoping to be Movin' On, until he got stuck in all those terrible movies. And here's Johnny - Cash of course - making his move: "Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." So sometimes we've all got to move on, whether that's movin' on like Bad Company, or getting out of this place, like the Animals, moving on up like Curtis Mayfield, or even busting a move like Young MC.
And sometimes it's necessary to move to new place, either physically or psychologically. Why? Perhaps because you've been done wrong or you can't function properly, to escape those who try to control you, or you just need some renewal. As Seneca put (yes even he has dropped by the Song Bar tonight for a flagon of wine): "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Or was that Sinitta?
So in this inaugural week, there is, I hope an air of refreshment, or cobwebs swept. Are we in a caravan, a raft, or a Noah's ark? Well, whatever - it certainly has a bar, that's the main thing. I hope many of you are making yourself comfortable in its surroundings. Some chintz has been chucked, and new ground broken. We're in many ways still bringing the house along with us, but it is going to have a whole new view. Please enjoy it, even if we still have to make a few repairs. So, dear readers, please suggest songs about actually moving home, but also all other kinds of movement to a new place.
Decisions to move on, in the genre of song, are naturally steeped in emotion, and that can be difficult. Who can advise on this? Robert Wyatt, a man not short of talent, nor tragedy in his life, has now wheeled in to the bar too. Tell us you wisdom, Mr W: "I know people who grow old and bitter. I want to keep making a fresh start. I don't want them to defeat me. That would be suicidal." He's right. And to give this some perspective, we, dear readers, could be in the position of needing to move on like the population of Syria. This crisis of migration is happening on a biblical scale. That makes me feel lucky to have something as trivial as a blog to lose, or gain.
Many musicians keep moving because they want to innovate. Mick Jagger even turned it into an excuse for a bad memory: "I must be careful not to get trapped in the past. That's why I tend to forget my songs." Above you see him performing something he might want to forget too. At Glastonbury three years ago I literally bumped into a short, wrinkly old man behind the Park Stage. It was really him, visiting Jade in a teepee. But I forgot the rest. You've got to move on...
True innovators need to be able to forget, as long as they don't repeat themselves in the process. Now things are getting sophisticated chez Bar du Chanson, because Brian Eno has just dropped by for a cocktail: "I'm always wanting to do something new. I make a point of constantly trying to forget and get things out of my mind."
Well, I'm looking to get a little out of my mind once this is launched. Please join me. I'll check for stocks . Should we drink to Absinthe friends? And that is the trick that many of your suggestions by pertain to in their lyrics - the art of moving on - the art of forgetting. This is not easy, as memories abide in all of us, and in every place. As Tom Waits put it in perhaps my favourite of his more gravelly, evocative songs, Ninth & Hennepin: "The rooms all smell of diesel, and you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here."
This week's guest guru and moving expert is the tremedous treefrogdemon. Put forward you nominations in comments for tfd's playlist. Your deadline is lunchtime (1pm UK time - early than before), after which pun time can move into the after hours lock-in. I'm thinking of the results blog to appear on Wednesday to allow more reading time. Let's see ...
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