Thursday, April 13, 2006

Paul Kelly, Musician

I was working on the post about 'neighbours' when Paul Kelly's song 'Midnight Rain' started playing.

I love Paul Kelly's music, most particularly 'Midnight Rain'.

The song opens with the sound of rain falling in that heavy-wet-rain kind of way that it did back home in New Zealand sometimes ... I can't resist it.

Then Paul comes in singing
Something woke me up
It must have been the rain ...

I went searching and found his website , it's better than I could have imagined.

Kelly has released nine more albums and channelled his talents towards theatre, film soundtracks, acting, record production and songwriting with and for other artists. American critics have been as effusive as their Australian counterparts. David Fricke, music editor of Rolling Stone magazine in the US, called Kelly 'one of the finest songwriters I have ever heard, Australian or otherwise'. In a review of 'Lyrics', the 1993 collection of Kelly's song lyrics, Dr Imre Salusinszky of the Newcastle University English Department described Kelly as 'our best songwriter and one of our finest poets'.

'Lyrics' opens with a quote from Anton Chekhov: 'I don't have what you would call a philosophy or coherent world view so I shall have to limit myself to describing how my heroes love, marry, give birth, die and speak.' It's a viewpoint Kelly has stressed over the years. 'I'd like to make clear that my records aren't autobiography,' he once said. 'I'm not trying to tell my life and my experiences. The first thing I'm trying to do is write songs, rather than make confessions or bare my soul.'

Midnight Rain ... will the lyrics translate as a song you want to hunt down?
I wonder.

Something woke me up
Must have been the rain
And for no good reason here you are
Inside my head again
I know I won't go back to sleep now
I'm in a mood
Must be the midnight rain, the midnight rain

So I get up and wander around
In my dressing gown
Put the kettle on, some music too
But not too loud 'cause the neighbours complain
So I keep it soft and low just about the sound
Of the midnight rain, midnight rain

Yeah, you told me so
I didn't want to know
You sure told me so
Don't you let a good thing go

What coast are you on? What country?
Is it raining there? Is it morning or midnight?
Are you walking barefoot or have you got your shoes on?
Is there somebody there with you?
Are you talking soft and low underneath the sound
Of the midnight rain, midnight rain?

I just want you to know where ever you are
Where ever you go
I hope you're under a lucky star
Where ever you are.


jarvenpa said...

Well--the lyrics are evocative enough to make me want to seek out the song. Thanks. (and given the amount of rain falling in my region these days--northern California, far northern--it would have to be a good rain song to catch me).
You have an intriguing blog.

Anonymous said...

The mans a lyrical genius, can create poetry out of making gravey. The bizare thing was the long awaited and much needed rain just started to fall when I opened your blog.

woman wandering said...

Thanks jarvenpa, 'intriguing' seems good :)

And I'm glad you got your rain anon.