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Did you know that the Germans call songs that go round and round your head which you can’t shake (and are not too sure how you got them in there in the first place …) Earworms or Ohrwurm? And just so you know, my title for this entry says “A small earworm just for you”. D’awww.

My earworm, or ohrwurm, was “Soul Cake” by Sting from his 2009 “If on a Winter’s Night” album. It’s brilliant. Makes you want to dance and get in the Christmas spirit (Ok … maybe I have a teensy tiny problem …). I think it’s an old or new version of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” or from a similar basis as Kate Rusby’s “Here we come a-wassailing” as it has the pattern of these songs: blessings, begging for food, the purse for the coin and the part about the family. But not in that order …

Why am I talking about music on my writing blog?

Because, my earworms have developed a particular craving. They’re feeding off wintry sounding songs as I work on my plotline and have, in the process, given me a new song need.

Chris de Burgh (‘ze genius he is to be quite sure, sir) wrote three songs that go back to back in his 2004 “The Road to Freedom” album. This was the first in his return to the story telling style repeated again in his 2006 “The Storyman” collection.  These songs are designed to run seamlessly together and the music speaks of the sadness within. (When Winter Comes, The Road to Freedom, Snow is Falling). The second song has now developed a special attachment for me to my character Ifan. When I hear it, I hear Ifan. All three make me think of Ifan, of his own sorrow and his wandering nature, of leaving home and travelling far afield. It makes me want to draw pictures of him, to write his words and his love. To write of Nyssa.

Isn’t it strange how music makes you want to do something that you know you can’t or shouldn’t do?

So here is my current “Wintry” playlist that is becoming Ifan’s themes:

When Winter Comes
The Road to Freedom
Snow is Falling

Chris de Burgh

Probably Ifan’s Theme(s) – strong and dutiful but underlying it all is sadness. Ifan is Ifan. Sorrowful. Lonely. Searching for something he cannot have or find (?)
There is No Rose of Such Virtue Sting It’s just a nice tune. Sounds old in its simplicity. Makes me think of riding long distances and sweeping shots of open land and a lone rider.
The Snow it Melts the Soonest Sting A sadder song, but feels older. Darkness around a fire. Eyes meeting across a story circle. Longing but restraint. Hunger.
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming Sting I’ve sung this in German and the sadness soothes and the bit in the middle seems like something I’d put in a film like the Narrator talking over the action.
Cold Song Sting An odd little song. Slow. Melancholy
Soul Cake Sting For some reason I hear this and I think of festivities and dancing and Ifan have a great deal of fun
Planets Kate Rusby Journeys and companionship. I’d like to think of this as Ifan and Nyssa – naive and sometimes childish, but steadfast and true

At least it’s replaced the crazy collection of ‘80’s music I had going for a while. I don’t think upstairs appreciated it towards the evening.

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