Wednesday 24th March, 2004
Cast your vote
for your all-time favorite McKuen song & poem.
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A Thought for Today
Cease to struggle and you cease to live.
One Does It For Me!
I always thought I was pretty well versed in all things McKuen until a
friend mentioned to me recently that they had an album of his called
"Written in the Stars".
I've never heard of this one - what can you tell me about it?
I'd never heard of this
album either, Jeremy, so I dived straight in to Jay Hagan's database and
there it was!
I can't give you too much
detail other than the following which Rod penned for the liner notes.
Notes - "Written in the Stars"
Man has always believed that the stars have much to do with controlling
his life, his love, his destiny. Out of this belief has come the
universal language of Astrology.
The interest in Astrology has grown to such a point that hundreds of men
and women make their living as Astrologers, thousands of books and
magazine articles have been written on the constellations. Astrology
guides are sold on every newsstand and no newspaper is complete without
its daily horoscope column.
I have had more than a passing interest in Astrology for a long time -
but then, who can resist scanning the newspaper every day to find out
what the stars have planned for him ? My interest was further kindled on
meeting Carroll Righter, the dean of present day astrologers, who has a
world syndicated column with an unbelievable audience of one hundred
million every day. Righter is a most remarkable man; one look and he can
tell if you’re an angry Leo or a sad eyed Aquarius, and he knows
thousands of people by their sign-names alone. It is to followers of the
subject with interest of that intensity that this album is dedicated.
In writing this suite, I have tried to keep the music ‘romantic’ in
nature, yet descriptive of the zodiac sign the melodies represent. Each
selection has a subtitle and is meant to further romanticize the suite.
Several of these themes have already become “pop” songs, since I have a
passion for setting words to music. “Scorpio” has a lyric called “Come
Back Home to Roma” and “Leo” has become “Wait Till the Music is Done”.
My personal favorite in the album is the “Aquarius” theme.
Once the suite was completed, there was the business of finding the
right interpreter... and found him in the person of Dick Jacobs. I have
worked with Dick off and on for some time, and my appreciation of his
talent goes far beyond the usual compatibility of an Aries and a Taurus
( he’s Aries, I’m a Taurus - very compatible, you know ). I regard him
as one of the most versatile arranger - conductors in the field of
popular music, especially when it comes to scoring for strings. I am
constantly amazed at the many colors he can get out of a single
Whatever your concern for the zodiac - personal, academic, romantic or
sceptic - I hope the music here has something special to say to you.
- Rod McKuen
Thanks for an interesting
question, Jeremy. With the album being an instrumental one there are
naturally no lyrics to accompany it so I hope you like the poem I've
Don't forget to cast your
vote for your all time favorite McKuen song and poem. You'll find a link
elsewhere on this page which will enable you to do just that. Voting
closes at the end of March so let's hear from you soon.
Meantime, if you have a
favorite McKuen song, poem or story you'd like to share with us, or if
you just have a question about Rod's work, drop me a line at
firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure
your letter appears right here one Wednesday soon.
- Ken, Johannesburg,
South Africa, March 24
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