SONG OF THE WEEK – “WRITER IN THE SUN”

In the years since Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, millions of songs have been recorded by tens of hundreds of thousands of commercial recording artists, and more are being recorded every day.  With all of that music to choose from, what are the chances that two weeks in a row a song by Donovan from 1967 would be picked as the Song of the Week?

If you don’t want to do the math, or can’t remember the precise formulas (formulae?) for permutations and calculations, or feel that  I have provided insufficient data, I can just give you the answer.  The chances are not very good – but still, it has happened.  It makes you wonder how random the selection process is.

Let me ignore that issue, however, and briefly describe my employment history over the course of the 21st Century.  As the new Millennium dawned, I had started a new business – a title company.  A few years later, I sold that business to a larger corporation and began to work for that company.  A few years after that, my employer was purchased by a multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 company.  I continued working, but learned reasonably soon that I don’t like working for huge mega-corporations, so I retired in January of 2012 and began doing some independent consulting.

About six weeks later, I was asked if I could come back to work for my former employer to do “special” projects on a part-time basis, and for a smaller hourly wage (and without benefits).  That sounded good (?), so I have been doing that, plus some “consulting” ever since.

I became a grandfather in January of 2014.  When my daughter returned to work, I agreed that I would care for my grandson, Ryder, while she and her husband were working.  That way, he would not have to go to daycare.  Hanging out with a grandchild is more fun than title work, but it is time consuming.  Recently, I decided that I really don’t have time to work anymore, and I am now re-retiring.

That brings us to Donovan’s song.  By 1966, Donovan had experienced commercial success with songs like “Catch the Wind” and “Josie.”  However, like other contemporary “folk singers” of the time (most notably, Bob Dylan), he wanted to incorporate more electrical instruments and rock rhythms into his music.  His next album, Sunshine Superman, moved in that direction; though it was more “jazzy” than “rocking.”  It was also not released for many months after it was recorded due to to litigation between Pye Records, for which he had been recording, and Epic Records, with which he had agreed to record in the future.

Also in 1966, Donovan was arrested for possession of marijuana, and the United States refused to let him enter the country.  Thus, he was unable to tour and promote his songs.

Facing those various problems, Donovan wondered if he would ever be able to record and perform commercially again, so he did what most of us would probably do under the circumstances:  He took up residence on a Greek island for a few months.  It was there he wrote “Writer in the Sun.”  He was an aging 20-year-old looking back and moving away from the hectic city life of his youth.  The song was included on his 1967 album, Mellow Yellow, and here it is:

Writer In The Sun
By Donovan

The days of wine and roses are distant days for me.
I dream of the last and the next affair and of girls I’ll never see.
And here I sit, the retired writer in the sun,
The retired writer in the sun and I’m blue,
The retired writer in the sun.
Tonight I trod in the starlight, I excused myself with a grin.
I ponder the moon in a silver spoon and the little one ‘live within.
And here I sit, the retired writer in the sun,
The retired writer in the sun.
The magazine girl poses on my glossy paper aeroplane
Too many years I spent in the City playing with Mr. Loss and Gain.
And here I sit, the retired writer in the sun,
The retired writer in the sun and I’m blue,
The retired writer in the sun.
I bathe in the sun of the morning, lemon circles swim in the tea
Fishing for time with a wishing line and throwing it back in the sea.
And here I sit, the retired writer in the sun,
The retired writer in the sun and I’m blue,
The retired writer in the sun.
(copyright information is not available)

 

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