“Emphasis on the Right Syllable”

Neil Tennant

‘I wouldn’t write a song called Second Referendum Now, even though I think there should be one’ … Neil Tennant. Photograph: Wolfgang Tillmans.

[Neil Tennant is one half of The Pet Shop Boys, a long-running pop music duo (unknown to me) whose other half is Chris Lowe. At age 64, Tennant comes across In The Guardian interview as articulate, witty, and thoughtful in his comments on writing lyrics, the music scene, and the AIDS epidemic.]

“I remember as a boy hearing Strawberry Fields Forever and also reading John Lennon’s explanation that he wanted it to be like a conversation, and that had a very powerful impact on me,” he says. “And I remember reading an interview with Frank Sinatra where he said you should phrase lyrics like a conversation. I’ve always tried to do that. Someone who you might not think of as the world’s best lyricist is Madonna, but she always gets the emphasis on the right syllable.”

(Alex Needham, “Sometimes I think: ‘Where’s the art, the poetry in all of this?’,” The Guardian, 10-21-18)

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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