I want to use songs that everybody knows or thinks they know. I want to show them a different side of it and open up that world in a more unique way. You have to believe what the words are saying and the words are as important as the melody. Unless you believe the song and have lived it, there's little sense in performing it. I never wanted to be a singer that
A lot of people say there is no happiness in this life, and certainly there's no permanent happiness. But self-sufficiency creates happiness. Happiness is a state of bliss. Just because you're satisfied one moment - saying yes, it's a good meal, makes me happy - well, that's not going to necessarily be true the next hour. Life has its ups and downs, and time has to be your partner. Time is your soul mate. Children are happy. But they haven't really experienced ups and downs yet. I'm not exactly sure what happiness even means. I don't know if I personally could define it.
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The atom bomb fueled the entire world that came after it. It showed that indiscriminate killing and indiscriminate homicide on a mass level was possible ... whereas if you look at warfare up until that point, you had to see somebody to shoot them or maim them, you had to look at them. You don't have to do that anymore.
People talk about Frank [Sinatra] all the time - and they should talk about Frank - but he had the greatest arrangers. They worked for him in a different kind of way than they worked for other people. They gave him arrangements that are just sublime on every level. And he, of course, could match that because he had this ability to get inside of the song in a sort of a conversational way. Frank sang to you, not at you, like so many pop singers today. Even singers of standards.
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Folk songs are evasive-the truth about life, and life is more or less a lie, but then again that's exactly the way we want it to be. We wouldn't be comfortable with it any other way. A folk song has over a thousand faces and you must meet them all if you want to play this stuff. A folk song might vary in meaning and it might not appear the same from one moment to the next. It depends on who's playing and who's listening.
Being singer is different than being an actor, where you call up sources from your own experience that you can apply to whatever Shakespeare drama you're in. But an actor is pretending to be somebody, a singer isn't. And that's the difference. Singers today have to sing songs where there's very little emotion involved. That and the fact that they have to sing hit records from years gone by doesn't leave a lot of room for any kind of intelligent creativity.
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Technology is mechanical and contrary to the emotions that inform a person's life. The country music field has especially been hit hard by this. All my songs have been written by people who went out of fashion years ago. Just like da Vinci and Renoir and van Gogh. Nobody paints like that anymore. But it can't be wrong to try.
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Opportunities may come along for you to convert something -something that exists into something that didn't yet. That might be the beginning of it. Sometimes you just want to do things your way, want to see for yourself what lies behind the misty curtain. It's not like you see songs approaching and invite them in. It's not that easy. You want to write songs that are bigger than life. You want to say something about strange things that have happened to you, strange things you have seen. You have to know and understand something and then go past the vernacular.
In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile and the rest of us are f--ed until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep.
Crimson flames tied through my ears Rollin' high and mighty traps Pounced with fire on flaming roads Using ideas as my maps "We'll meet on edges, soon," said I Proud 'neath heated brow. Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth "Rip down all hate," I screamed Lies that life is black and white Spoke from my skull. I dreamed Romantic facts of musketeers Foundationed deep, somehow. Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
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