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Is it okay to be proud?

PRIDE is a deadly sin. Time to confess:

Yes, I am proud of my lyrics writing because, over the years, I have developed my own style. It didn't come out of the blue. In another post I told the story of "Joy". In a manner of speaking its history reaches back more than 49 years to John Lennon's song "Dear Prudence". Actually to my getting the song all wrong, thinking it must have been meant to be allegoric, or at least ambiguous. It wasn't. But I started writing allegoric and partly allegoric songs myself from 2001, considering myself to write in his tradition. In the long run "Joy" (written 2013) became what I though "Dear Prudence" was. My most advanced song text in that manner is "by the seven Seas" that combines metaphor and allegory: the seasons standing for the stages of life, and the first person standing for the seasons. Mind you, the lyrics use quite simple language. That's what I'm very proud of, too. My hero in that regard is Keith Reid for most of what he has written EXCEPT "A whiter Shade of pale" ;-)

The other day I decided to open my combined reading and concert show with "One of seven Billion" (written and published 2011) that I consider my essential song. It is all me with regard to style, language, structure, and message. As it is a rock song that's partly based on a rock riff I will read most of it and just sing the lift and chorus to the acoustic guitar I'll be playing. When I now read its lyrics again after a long time I realized how very close they are to "Sympathy for the Devil". I had been aware that I'm often influenced by the stones, not just the music, but also Mick Jagger's lyrical style. What I call "episodic lyrics" is clearly inspired by "Brown Sugar", yet also "Satisfaction" and probably many other songs. As are the rudeness of many lyrics and their weird sexuality, take "chew me up" as an example. I don't think the lyrics of "Sympathy for the Devil" are that typical for Sir Mick, but they obviously had been in my subconscious mind when I wrote "One of seven Billion". You could see my lyrics as a blend of Jagger's text with Cecilia Ahern's book "The time of my Life"(!) that was published in the same year (2011) although I actually read it two years AFTER writing my song.

Maybe there are two lines of development that in the end define my own style. One goes from "Vanity" (my first allegoric song) over "Violet" (ambiguously metaphoric) to "legalize me" and "Mary Jane" (metaphors) and now "Joy". It might be seen as rooted on the Beatles' songs. I also often use similar chord changes in my folk and pop songs. The other line of rude rock lyrics and songs would go from lyrics like "holy Hooker" (about 2001) over "that Girl got Balls" (2012) to "Miss Worry" (2017). This line of songwriting is clearly influenced by the Rolling Stones and sometimes AC/DC. In "Giants fall" (2010) and "One of seven Billion" both lines meet. In addition the latter also tries to convey my philosophical message: "make the most of your life". That is why I consider it my most characteristic song.

I was there when you shit your pants
I fell in love with your first romance
I was the man in your wet dreams
I'm famous for my cunning schemes

I'll be with you when you despair
when you need help I will be there
one day I'm there to show the way
next day I'm leading you astray

live your dream before you wake up
live your life before you die

I kill people
I give birth
I make fortunes
I eat dirt but you see
I just want to be
one of seven billion

I'm your story as yet untold
I'll stay young while you grow old
eventually I'll see you die
but you will never make me cry

live your dream before you wake up
live your life before you die

I kill people
I give birth
I make fortunes
I eat dirt but you see
I just want to be
one of seven billion

let me seduce you
give us a try
let me tease you
give me your smile

live your dream before you wake up
live your life before you die

I kill people
I give birth
I make fortunes
I eat dirt but you see
I just want to be
one of seven billion