Song of the Day, January 29: Fallen Leaves by Norma Waterson

NormaFallenToday’s song is Fallen Leaves by Norma Waterson. Nearly 40 years into her amazing career, she assembled her second solo album. The Very Thought of You is a careful song cycle, consisting mostly of song pairs that tell stories together. One of the exceptions to this structure is the powerful closing track written by her daughter, Eliza Carthy. As with most of the sonic diptychs, it is a meditation on fame and life. As Waterson writes in the liner notes

It’s a song triggered by many events, not least the life of Marilyn Monroe , the death of Princess Diana, and society’s (men’s?) notions of what constitutes beauty in women.

Carthy has explored similar themes throughout her career. This tune is particularly moving and is ideally suited for her mother’s incomparable voice.

You are only pretty when you disappear
And you must be beautiful for them my dear
Whatever before you wanted to achieve
Is lost to this to turn to fallen leaves

Enjoy this beautifully written song and reflection on social norms today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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