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October 23, 2012 By Andy Ross

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Lyrics and poetry

In a sublime moment, while walking to work yesterday, I heard the words "I'm hearing images. I'm seeing songs no poet has ever painted." Sung by Abba, the song conjures up memories of childhood for me; Abba was the soundtrack to growing up, even in Africa.

Lyrics and poetry have always been important for me. I love the way the sounds of words reflect meaning, and the expressiveness of poetry gives songs an added dimension. This weekend, at Singing Saturdays sleepover, we wrote some lyrics for our own Christmas song the most enduring line of which is "Santa is listening to blues on a luxury cruise"! Who else would put those images together?

Earlier on this month, I finished our brochure for the Textile Journeys, four day explorations of the textiles, places and scenery of Shetland, and we have been given permission to use the poem "Makkin Sooth Aeshaness" by Christine De Luca. The poem relates knitting specifically to the landscape; hear Christine retelling it here in dialect, (I had to download the files to open in iTunes, but you may have better luck).

Poetry, lyrics and l have had a long love affair. I bless the hours spent reading when others were playing outside, retreating into books and music, listening to songs with friends and family, and the constant playing of the radio through the long hot days of African sunshine.