What a bad timing. At the precise moment when a good part of the world population must remain locked up in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, no one sits down to write a letter to put a stamp on it and send it to the mailbox. The mail missed a historic opportunity, but some remained great songs of epistolary inspiration. From the first single of Beatles until a recent musicalization by Manuel Puig, passing through the veiled complaint of Chico Buarque, a gloomy love triangle and that perfect line that David Bowie He wrote to his beloved Hermione Farthingale: "The hand that wrote this letter / clears the pillow / so put your head down and read a treasured dream."
"Paperback writer" (The Beatles)
Already from Side B of the first single, Paul MCCARTNEY tested the scope of the format. "P.S. I Love you" was a teenage love letter to the Stone Age of the Mersey Beat. Four years later, he took the artifice much further. Powered by advice from his aunt and popular readings by Ringo, McCartney wrote this rock & roll about a novelist determined to win the favor of a publisher. "Dear Sir or Madam, could you read my book? / It took me years to write it, could you take a look at it? / It is based on the novel by a man named Lear / and I need the job." Unfortunately, we don't know if he succeeded.
"Letter from one lion to another" (Chico Novarro)
Between his jazz training and his flirtations with the pop world of the sixties, Bernardo Mitnik Lerman (more and better known as Boy novarro) wrote a song that seemed to dialogue so much with "The Bear" by Moris as with the work of María Elena Walsh. There, taking advantage of the postal exchange between the two creatures in captivity (one in the zoo, the other in the circus), the composer slipped his ethical sanction: "Many humans are important / chair through, whip in hand." Edited during the last year of the dictatorship, Juan Carlos Baglietto's version underlined its political thickness.
"Boots of Spanish Leather" (Bob Dylan)
According to the detailed notes of his Full Letters (Malpaso Ediciones), everything seems to indicate that Bob Dylan wrote this song in Rome in early 1963. It belongs to the cycle dedicated to Suze Rotolo and is indeed a series of transatlantic love letters that seems to hide a farewell. From overseas, the traveler can only send their words by mail and promise a European gift. Always insufficient. About to release her hand forever, the girl only abides by the request. "Take care of the bad weather / and yes, there is something you can send me: / some Spanish leather boots."
"Letter to the remaining post" (Jaime Roos)
"Franca, Franca, where are you at Christmas?" He asks Jaime Roos. Originally recorded in Candombe 31 (1976), his debut album, the song is an invocation for Franca Aerts: The Dutch lawyer, feminist activist and environmentalist who became her first great love. An intense and somewhat stormy romance that Roos portrayed, in this case, with a kind of blend Latin American (joropo? chamamé? guarania?) perfect for that matter. Jaime and Franca, in effect, had crossed the continent aboard their respective backpacks.
"Famous blue raincoat" (Leonard Cohen)
This song should be taught in universities. At four in a freezing New York morning, Leonard Cohenhe sits down to write to his intimate enemy. His wife sleeps next to him and sends greetings, but the oven is not for buns: "Jane came with a lock of your hair / said that you had given it to her / the night you planned to clear things up. / Have you ever were you clear? " Emotions are contained beneath that somber waltz air: disappointment, anger, acceptance, conciliation. The final line is a classic of epistolary songwriting: "Sincerely, L. Cohen".
"Meu caro amigo" (Chico Buarque)
Among the numerous waist bumps to avoid censorship, Chico Buarque found that the fraternal magazine letter could work like Trojan Horse. Posted on disk My dear friends (1976), this samba is the bottle to the sea that Buarque and the composer Francis Hime sent to Augusto Boal: the Rio de Janeiro playwright who was then exiled in Lisbon. "Here they are playing soccer / there is a lot of samba, a lot of wind and rock 'n' roll / some days it rains, some days the sun hits / but what I want to tell you is that here the thing is black".
"E-bow the letter" (R.E.M. feat Patti Smith)
Go a section for gender "letters never sent". At some point in the early nineties, Michael Stipe wrote these words to the troubled River Phoenix and decided to keep them among his own things. As in Leonard Cohen's song, here it is also four in the morning and the sender, in a kind of trance (guided by the e-bow, that electromagnetic device that vibrates the strings without touching them), asks: "Are you going to live to 83?". Stipe knew not. Three years after the actor's overdose, R.E.M. recorded the song alongside Patti smith and released it as the first single from New Adventures in Hi-Fi.
The rescue (Bunbury)
The ransom letter is another of the subgenres. At the beginning of this ballad, the beatle horn officiates as a target: the call of a lover at dawn of any parade ground. Although he does not specify a sum or currency, the sender is expressly concerned with making his despair clear: "That you pay the ransom that I indicate below / I do not explain myself, why I did not come to you before / But nobody can save me, nobody knows what that you know / And they wouldn't deliver what my ransom is worth either. " Posted in The trip to nowhere (2003), the theme remains one of the must-haves of the repertoire of Bunbury live.
The procedure is extraordinary: a silversmith with an almost Chicoquarque narrative. Supported by producer The 45 King (aka Mark Howard James), Eminem put himself in the shoes of Stanley "Stan" Mitchell:a fan who sends him a series of increasingly fervent letters which begin with mere admiration and culminate in murderous psychosis. Punctuated by Dido's circular melody and the sound of a pencil on paper, the dramatic arc includes a pregnant girlfriend, resentment, some self-quotes, and the plain and simple femicidal kidnapping.
. (tagsToTranslate) 9 letters that became unforgettable song lyrics – LA NACION