Wednesday, August 02, 2006


It's like a variation on Stuck Track Syndrome. My mind is automatically and constantly taking events I see and words I hear, sifting my memory for lyrics that fit, and the tune goes round my head for the next however long.

A couple of weeks ago I was passing a waterfall in Garbh Allt on the isle of Arran and it set off Paul McCartney's Waterfalls. Never owned the thing, just know it from the radio when it was a single twenty something years ago.

Now, everyone likes the Beatles and it's not difficult to garner people's acceptance of the early McCartney solo stuff. Another Day is brilliant, Band on The Run a bloody good album, but if you try to defend anything after Live And Let Die people look at you as if you've said Frog Chorus is the equal of Helter Skelter.

And as my mind forced me to listen to Waterfalls, I did indeed find some of the lyrics were sappy disposable tosh. But there was a bit that really hit me.

And I need love, yeah I need love
Like a second needs an hour
Like a raindrop needs a shower

This is pure poetry. It's not that Twelfth of Never stance of needing love like roses need rain.

A raindrop is part of the shower, the second is part of the hour, but they are only part of it if surrounded by so much more than themselves.

It says that love cannot work in isolation, that it is a force that bends us, and that we're part of a network or cloud of it.

Both the shower and the hour are ephemeral, and yet they are also eternal; there will always be more rain and another hour. So love passes and love renews, an endless shifting cycle.

If this were by Philip Jeays it'd rank alongside his great romantic poetic best, such as When The Sun Goes In, or the superb lines from The Eyes of The Thief:

but love is a dream that frays at the edge
And the harder you pull the more it unwinds
And the more it unwinds the harder you pull
Just to try to make up for lost time

If McCartney had put his beautful lines from Waterfalls in Here There & Everywhere or Blackbird they'd be widely quoted. But consigned to the 'it's not the Beatles' stuff they're unfairly overlooked, and it took two decades and a morning's walk on a mountain for me to really see them for what they are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

have you heard the poem I rely on you by hovis presley?
claire x