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News ian 8/3/2013

It is the Bendigo Writers Festival next week and part of it should produce an interesting and probably contentious outcome – a panel of songwriters and broadcasters will convene to decide on what is the best song ever written.

Chances are it won’t be One Direction’s recent hit, Best Song Ever but who knows - One Direction isn’t talkin’ about my generation (baby).  Yes, your humble blogger’s favourite lyrics come from the generation of The Who, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and Bob Dylan.  For any Gen Y readers, those people produced some pretty good music back in the 60’s and 70’s. These writers were the poets for their generation.

Deciding on a ‘best song’ is so personal – it comes from how it affected the persona judging – Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay would strike a chord for someone in a first relationship – Positively 4th Street would hit home when that relationship ended… but, objectively, Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone would beat both as poetry while The Times They Are A-Changing would have had more political and social impact.

I guess that could be the yardstick – choose the BEST song written by an artist or group and then look at how they rate when compared to another group or artist. As musically clever as Bohemian Rhapsody is, Queen is not going to topple The Beatles… but what Beatles track is the best… Hey Jude, Nowhere Man, A Day in the Life? What about The Stones – surely it must be (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction?

Coming in this time line direction I guess people like Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and Kurt Cobain could be contenders and my thoughts also went the other way – what if the poets of the past were born in rock era – what sort of songwriters would they have been – would William Wordsworth have been knocking out The Pushbike Song while Samuel Taylor Coleridge was penning I Am the Walrus or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds… would Henry Lawson have given Paul Kelly a run for his money… and what poet from the past would have been worthy of Gangnam Style or Barbie Girl?

It will be interesting to see what the Bendigo folk come up with but if there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now, it’s just a spring clean for the May queen.


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