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OF FEATHERS AND MICE...


On one of the Facebook pages devoted to the history of Wakefield, (my birthplace,) today was a post about three headstones that can be found in a corner of Wakefield's Thornes Park. The headstones mark the graves of three pets that, a hundred years or so ago, belonged to the Gaskell family that owned the land that is now the park. They had a magnificent mansion in that acerage. Their children actually owned the pets and one of the headstones is simply inscribed with the words 'My Mouse.' Such a large headstone for such a small creature.

Anyway, this reminded me that one of the first songs I'd ever written, back in the 1960s, was a song titled 'Keep Your Feathers Fine.' It was a gentle, hippyish song about strolling through Thornes park, seeing the ducks on the lake and so on, but one line was directly inspired by me seeing the mouse's gravestone. In fact, I'd been aware of the mouse grave since being a little kid when my parents would take me to the park. The line in the song says: 'taking my mouse for a walk 'round the block'...A naive sentiment but I was full of wonder at such things in those days and times were innocent and much less cynical.

I was also reminded of a notebook I kept in those long ago 1960s, which I've included a photo' of here. It shows two pages from the notebook. One shows part of a list of records I owned at that time, the other page contains a doodle I did with a Robert Crumb style cartoon character walking past the headstone with 'MY MOUSE' written on it.

The partial list of albums I owned then is interesting. Especially that I thought it important to jot them down in the notebook. I guess that's the enthusiasm, or innocence, of youth. At that time, I wasn't a professional musician, nor did I harbour any hopes of becoming one. I was basically a fan of various artists and bought imported albums whenever I could afford to do so. The wheels of time turn at extraordinairy speed sometimes, and my life changed in unexpected, though welcome, directions. Where I am now seems almost like a miracle of destiny. Or maybe just one of those happy accidents of circumstance.

Today, I've made available a new video in the Essoldo Cinema section of my Dreamsville website. The video accompanies a preview of the title track of an album I'm currently working on titled 'Drive This Comet Across The Sky.' This is the final mix of the song but the version with the video is in its unmastered state and won't be mastered until the album is completed.

So, having said that, it's time for me to get back to working on what I hope will be the final track for the album. And here's a photo' of my studio.


Busy as usual...



© Bill Nelson 2020

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