I'm a bit apprehensive in suggesting this one. Musically I think it's quite lovely, but lyrically it's not a comfortable listen IMO.
I don't think it's a song that would easily be released today. Does that mean we are more or less enlightened than 30+ years ago?
an everlasting mutiny of flowers
This came up on the email list in Jan 2006 actually, before this site was made. It caused a lot of debate, and even got a response from Roy himself (below).
You lit the blue touch-paper. Perhaps it was overdue..
2001 Diary Entry.
I have thought long and hard about 'Forbidden Fruit' over the years
since it was written. It's a piece of defiance. It's defiant and
confrontational, and I realised at the time that it might come back to
haunt me; and I thought about that; but the song was already written...
and it confronted me.. and it dared me.. and I put myself on the spot.
Was I going to back down? Was I going to keep this part of my sexuality
under wraps? Was I going to run away from it? Would it come back to
haunt me in another way? And I was always a sucker for a dare. It's
still in my blood... as we speak.. I knew that there was going to be a
fuss at some point, but I just stuck my tongue out. I never thought that
times would be freer, otherwise I would never have written things like
'How does It Feel' 'The Game' and 'The Unknown Soldier' when I did.
And I did foresee the scale of the backlash that there was going to be
against the free attitudes of the 60s. That was easy stuff. We were in
the 70s and it was already happening. It was like waiting for the
executioner every morning. Not only in the more prim of the Oxbridge
ruling classes, but particularly from the younger element of my own
class. The big problem is that people betray and lose their own freedoms
by pushing frontiers until those stood on the front line at the time are
all completely washed up, and sometimes locked up, as soon as political
fashion changes. Common sense tells most people how far they can stretch
the status quo, but common sense isn't a universally held phenomenon and
cannot be an exact science. Indeed, must always be open to social
interpretation. I have fought a personal campaign for freedom of
expression all my life. For whatever reason this is my major motivation.
This will continue in spite of the fact that I now think that my
interpretation of that will be quite different than the average tax man.
When I was nine, I was desperate. I couldn't wait for it to happen. I
didn't know what the full blown IT was, but I could guess, and I wanted
it very badly indeed. They discovered 'Diana Dors Naked In 3D' under the
mattress. With genitalia airbrushed out of course. The discovery was
headline news in the house for a week or two, and remained indelibly
etched into family consciousness ever after.
I remember being 18. My girlfriend was 15. We made athletic love for
hours on end. I loved every inch of her. I'd never seen anything as
beautiful as that. I was deeply in love... and then some. She became
pregnant. We were torn from each other. She was operated upon. Cut open.
The child killed. The child of my love was killed against my wishes by a
surgeon's knife. I was accused of not knowing what love was.
....Is....The girl who I had known since she was 2, and I was 5, was
ripped away from me, and I didn't really speak to her again for 25
years. The gap was too long. The damage was long done. More damage than
even I thought was possible at the time. I was out of my mind.
Completely. And I suppose that, looking back, that's exactly what I
think that her mother thought about me. What else was there to think
about a rebel, except that as a potential son in law, he wasn't a good
bet. My dad fought for me... but I was finally outlawed at that very
point. Right then. And right there. If any one event could have been
said to have well and truly put me off the rails, then this was that
event. It is still as vivid in my mind as it ever was. I was forever
stuck. Unable to successfully move on. Wanting that same girl back in my
life; in that same condition.......... Forever. I thrashed around in a
hopeless confusion. I was trouble; and I became more trouble until,
quite quickly, I was stuck away, and made to pay a different price.
Which was something like, 'You run your head up against us son, and
we'll bust it for you.. ..every time'.
However, in order to throw some more light, there's an earlier story I
should relate. When I was 15, I was invited to go along with a party of
people who were going to the Lake District for the day to climb
Hellvelin. I had been to the lakes before in childhood with parents for
days out etc... but this was different. I was unaccompanied by any
family, or for that matter anyone I knew. It was an exiting day. One of
the first days I can remember beginning to be treated as a person in my
own right. An important memory.
The day was full of wonder and intrigue for me. I was with a strange
group of people who interacted with each other and with me on a
perceptibly equal basis. They were all at least ten years older than me.
It was novel.. it was inspiring... it was more attractive than the
paucity of genuine communication on offer at home. It was open. There
was good natured banter all day, points of view, silent moments and
vocal appreciation of all aspects of the walk.
From a distance, I had been attracted to one of the women all day. She
was twice my age, so there was no way to communicate my increasing crush
on her. I was fairly quiet... And very happy. It was enough just to be
in her company, just to sneak a look in moments when her attention was
elsewhere. Just to be in the next stride to her, alongside her, or a
step ahead. My receptors must have been fried in a million tons of
mystery that day. I loved it. It was as if I had entered a gigantic
secret life and no one knew that I was there, least of all the focus of
this silent passion. She wore glasses; there were no contact lenses in
those days. We spoke a couple of times. She was being polite. Perhaps
I've been attracted to women in glasses ever since... We got back to St.
Annes at about 8.30pm, in two cars, and gathered in someone's flat.
After about half an hour and a bottle of beer, people began to drift
away. There were about seven people in all and I hung on for as long as
I could. As soon as it was possible I managed to get myself sat next to
her. I'd made up my mind that I was going to leave when she left, and I
started to talk to her... to... try to get her to stay for as long as
possible.... Suddenly, for a minute or two, we were left alone in the
room. I turned to her and I kissed her on the lips... And thanked her, I
think I was thanking her for the day, but the kiss was now worth much
more. People came back in. I was oblivious. I felt a slight shift in her
attitude to me. She was probably aware of me as a member of the opposite
sex for the first time that day. She kind of blushed and there was an
amused mild embarrassment. I moved closer to her and our legs touched.
We were clothed of course, but we'd got to smiling. It was fun. We got
another minute where we were alone. I put my arm round her and kissed
her properly. It lasted for a few seconds. I was smiling and she said,
"Blimey, you want it really badly don't you?" "Yes" I said. And it was
her turn to smile...
Nothing else was said. Soon enough it was time for her to leave and she
stood up and started making goodbye sounds to the others. She looked at
me and I said something like, "I think I'm leaving too". We left
together and walked for a while. I can't remember the chat, but my
memory is telling me that modern art was visited in some kind of way.
We'd gone a few streets when she stopped at a house and told me to wait
outside for a minute. She disappeared inside and came out five minutes
later holding a baby of about 11 months old. I was surprised and further
intrigued. Actually I was in awe. Her flat was a couple of streets away.
She put the baby in his cot while she made a bottle for him and a cup of
tea for us. He stood up holding the rails and gurgling. Leastways, I
think that it was a boy, but I can't really remember that now. I can
remember clearly that I felt ecstatic. I was alone with a grown woman
who was beautiful. I was at complete liberty to watch her and watch
everything that she did. I could see the shape of her body moving around
performing wondrous chores. I had never been in this position before. It
was a first. To desire someone openly, and to be in the same room in the
certain knowledge that the book has a very good chance of being opened
was not something that I'd ever experienced before. After a while of
playing with the baby and feeding him she put him down and he went to
sleep. Her bed was in the same room. There were only two rooms. I
undressed her and myself we played. I wanted to, I'd never done it
before. I'd had fumbling.... In the dark.. Once or twice.. Nervous with
nervy girls who didn't know what anyone wanted or what there was to
have, or moreover, to be. But this was different altogether. This was
how it would be, and it was everything I'd ever dreamt it would be.
We quickly got to it, and in hindsight we were both desperate, probably
for very different reasons. I was determined to make it last as long as
possible, and succeeded. This was the long promised golden elixir and I
wasn't going to pass on it. I lived every moment a thousand times. And
she was really lovely. A beautiful woman in the traditional sense of
beautiful. A little big in the breast for my ideal, but a live lithe
At one point the baby woke up and stood up, which gave us a natural
break. I watched her as she cradled it in her arms and walked around the
room naked. It was a great joy, a great relief. We chatted..
sparingly... and I discovered myself in my element.
Soon enough she got back onto the bed and we regained total composure.
We did other things born out of pure need and instinct, and feasted
until eventual satiation. More detail is irrelevant. My purpose here is
illustration. We said good bye at the end of the night. I guessed that
we would both have enjoyed a revisit but I knew that we had separate
lives and I left with a little sadness but an incredible bounding joy.
I was under age, but I was willing. I was more than willing. I had been
instigator, and I'd had a very willing conspirator... twice my own age..
"She should have known better", I hear you mutter. Those among you who
would cast the stone. But what about me? It wasn't possible for me to
have known any better. In fact, it was one of the best moments of my
life. I look back on it with devotion, with absolute affection. We learn
every day how narrow the terms of lawful reference are becoming compared
to what they were just three or four hundred years ago. OK, so Leonardo
Da Vinci suffered from an accusation of sodomy in the newly activated
renaissance christianity where immaculate conception had not long been
dreamed up for the first time. But it was a rap on the knuckles in an
age when he adopted more than two willing very young men to study under
him. Metaphor and all. Well sod you, I say, and verily, who hold up
rules which can only pertain to your own sensibilities. There are others
among us. And some of them go through a stage when they are young. It is
utterly useless to stand at the border now with a gun in your hand. Why?
Because the border no longer exists. There are those among you who will
try to keep the border in place for a few centuries yet, and admittedly
in some circumstances a border needs to be kept, but the great weight of
people crossing it unchallenged means that it is largely defunct. "We
have to hold the tide", I hear you shout. You, Canute, Martian
Immigration. Adolph was going to hold it for a thousand years. ......
But the weather is likely to give before the next millennium.
If you are to commit violence or inflict pain then a border will be
created for you and you will be made to respect it, and if you kill you
can only expect incarceration And sometimes the key will have to be
thrown away. But there can be little point in blind authority trying to
respond to the mini mood shifts and Nuremberg reactions of the eternal
parent class. This is the roaring ocean. It cannot be tamed. There is no
need to become a complete pirate in the vain attempt.
I have heard it said that all women marry beneath themselves, but I know
from first hand experience that some women are gorgeously wanton, and
most are affectionate. But before I wander off into amateur genetics,
I'd just like to touch on history.
There will be a lot of huffing and puffing about what can and can't be
done at the age of fifteen years, by or with the female of the species.
In the USA they will continue to huff and puff about the age of
seventeen. In women. It must be remembered in this context that
Cleopatra was about a year off total control of a nation at that age.
And truly capable.
There is some mileage in the proposition which argues that to delay
pregnancy until at least the late teens gives both the child and the
mother a better chance in life. But in some places life expectancy will
not give people that luxury. Even in a world where international health
awareness has been saying 'cod liver oil and orange juice' for longer
than I have been alive? Even in the 'informed west' the anti-oxidant
revolution and over the counter pregnancy testing are ignored in equal
measure; and always will be. It'll be microscopes at dawn for the tech
sector for some time to come... Don't tell me that we're still in a
state of unpreparedness! For real life, that is. And this after the big
bold brand spanking new millennium. Or is it unwillingness?
The poorest people still eat the worst food. The latest consequence is
not generally starvation, but obesity. Education is still a fine thing,
but you cannot stop the children, they will go out and do. You can only
hope to be a distant guide. We shall overcome........ someday .....
.....maybe. With god on our side... ...... What day? Which god? ..Song?
No one is going to advocate getting pregnant in early teenage by the
first boy who comes sniffing, whatever his age, but it is far from
acceptable to have ideas about personal ideals and goals turned into
written-in-stone rules from the mountain of those who are no longer
alive from the neck down, or from the cesspit of those who only pretend
to be alive from the neck up.
At this point it is perhaps better to look at culture closer to home
than ancient Carthage. Skip the shotgun and pre-emptive nuptials of the
19th century prairie cultures of all nations, and even the teenage
marriages in my own family. Let's go back to common knowledge history
book stuff. The kind of thing that you can now research anywhere. In
front of your own qwerty board and screen. Less than 2 instructions and
you'll be there. Margaret Beaufort was a woman of high birth. She was
loosely a member of the Plantaganet family just after the Plantaganets
ruled this half of western europe. She was betrothed at a young age to a
man at least four times her age. When he died she was married to another
at the age of twelve (http://tudorhistory.org/people/beaufort/). What
she thought about all this isn't recorded, but what is on record is that
the child she gave birth to at the age of thirteen became King of
England. He overcame great odds to do this. He is known to history as
King Henry the Seventh, and the treasury of the country of England was
never as replete, before or since, as it became under Henry. He would
never have been able to do that without his mother. She fought his
corner through thick and thin, and there would have been plenty of thin,
especially while he was in exile just prior to beating Richard the 3rd
at Bosworth Field. She outlived him. Not that she lived to a very great
age, but 67 was old enough for those days.... As an afterthought.. she
would eventually happen to be the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth the
1st. The point I am making is that she is not an exception, that in fact
she is closer to the rule. That humans have bred from time immemorial
and from the age of twelve upwards. That beauty exists at all ages is
indisputable. That an appreciation of this has to be subject to an age
limitation depending upon where you live is laughable. If it wasn't so
sad it would be funny. You can make rules, if you like, but when they
run against nature itself, there'll be some difficulty in keeping to them.
A couple of points are worth making here. A man in his late fifties,
such as I am, does not have teenage women available to him. It's not
that he wouldn't know what to do with them so much as how to do with
them. The distance in knowledge, culture and experience is so huge that
there is hardly any common ground. Perhaps in most cases the only common
ground would be genetic. They might as well be separate species. In
other words, before you start to think about it, it's a no go area.
Secondly, but conversely, although the practical implications of such a
relationship might seem to render it improbable, it cannot be written
off on moral grounds alone. Tut-tutting when there is no wrong involved
has never appealed to me. You can tell me that it is wrong for a human
female to breed at the age of fourteen, but until it is proven to be
clinically impossible for such a being to breed, then it will be
incredibly hard for me to believe you. In fact, I would go as far as to
say that your credibility is in shreds. To be absolutely fair to myself,
if I was loose and looking for a woman, which I'm not, then I wouldn't
consider anyone under the age of about thirty. Bridging all the gaps
wouldn't be worth it unless, well, stranger things have happened than
unconditional love being reciprocal. There's a lot of rubbish being
circulated by the tabloid newsroom club about the world being half full
of paedophiles. I've seen lots of holier than thou crusades being
conducted by Mary Whitehouse, Douglas Macarther, Margaret Thatcher and
the like, and perhaps things do have to go too far before an acceptable
balance is reached....... But at the moment it seems to me that it is
very difficult to watch tv, listen to the radio or read a newspaper for
a few days without being told that we are being overun by child
molesters. While looking at yourself in your mind's eye as you catch
sight of Eros, or stand in front of a nubile pre-Raphaelite painting
again. The shrieking has got to Inquisition proportions. I fully realise
that this isn't a very fashionable thing to say. Something which has
never deterred me. I also realise that it is something that I couldn't
say without my own house being in order. It being 'in the news' so much
is like constantly being made aware of the current moral fashion
indicator. In a lot of cases younger people may want to communicate with
older people. Some of those reasons will sometimes involve sexual
contact, but that will be in the minority. Meanwhile, bridges continue
to burn. Isolation is real. Not particularly for the aged, or the young,
or the lonely, or the disenfranchised, or the middle aged, or the poor,
but for everyone. And the screaming continues.
I am not going to condone child slavery or sex slavery in any shape, or
a man raping his own daughter; and those who commit such unspeakable
crimes deserve all they get. But to take the chance out of life, along
with freedom of expression, so long as that freedom of expression does
not involve inflicting pain or taking unequal advantage, is to confine
the whole of life to the kind of extremes of social state mollycoddling
and interference that the Swedes were accused of only a short time ago.
Of course, if you're a man in your fifties it is undignified to be
curb-crawling the streets at 1am looking for sexual action. I've never
done it myself. I've never needed to; but need comes in all shapes and
sizes and sometimes demands the kind of adrenalin that can only be got
in danger of discovery. Some travel to the antarctic to climb mountains
in blizzards. Others paint what they can't have. There are myriad
manifestations of the social and anti-social engines.
I must have been nine years older than her. At that stage I was quite
maddened. I used to try to fire rockets into the church across the road
in late October. I succeeded one year. My bed was by the window. The
church bell would wake me on Sunday morning... And I'd up the sash
window and bellow "Shut uuuup", with half of Saturday night still on my
breath. She'd walk past the same windows on her way to wherever. I used
to say hello to her. She got to dawdling.... And then she'd hang
about... And wave. I'd be leaning out the window. Eventually she got
upstairs.... And soon enough we were on the floor. There were about five
or six occasions over two or three months. I can still remember a few
things. She was a virgin and I didn't want to take that away from her. I
used to think that that was a dangerous thing to do, to tie someone to
you like that unless you knew that it was going to last. To my knowledge
I only disturbed that cherry three times in my younger life...... We
played for what seemed like hours. From the second time on she used to
specialize in winding me up, purposely leaning over out of the window in
her mini skirt. It's all in the song. Fairly innocent but exiting times.
We both really enjoyed it. I saw her some years later in a club in soho.
She was in business and she was doing well. She was always going to.
These days I have my dreams and my fantasies, and my current love life.
And there continues to be life after life.
Just recently I visited one of the local towns over here and went into a
shop to buy an item. I was struck by the serious beauty of the woman
behind the counter. I found it difficult to take my eyes off her. It
became a source of excitement to delay the purchase for a while. To have
a longer look around the shop. To exchange just half a dozen words with
her became a wonderful moment for me. I could and have fallen in love
with her in a strange and detached way. She will never know. Now and
then I pass by the shop, just to see if she's there. Once or twice I go
in.. If the shop is full and I can get in and out without really being
noticed. She's 65 if she's a day. I'd love to know her, but I'll never
make any move towards that. I wouldn't want to burst any more bubbles,
and brief encounters are now much more romantic than the great bludgeon
of further education
In Ireland ten years ago all you had to have was a broken toe in a car
accident caused by yourself and the insurance award could be £100,000. A
lot of people claimed. The premiums are now twice what they are in
England. Everyone suffers. The last teenage woman I spoke to is a
friend's daughter, in the middle of last year; and the one before that
was the same girl the previous year. How's that for socially
disconnected? But that's the way of the world in the brilliant new
modern age. I wasn't going to be told what I could and couldn't do with
my sexuality. I was making the same point as has recently been made for
homosexual age delimitation. The song was written in a different age,
and when I was very much younger than I am now. It was written about an
event that occurred when I was in my twenties.. and I was being defiant.
ALL OF THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN 5 YEARS AGO, WHEN THIS TOPIC WAS FIRST
RAISED. I WROTE QUITE A LOT MORE, BUT THE COMPUTER CRASHED AND IT WAS
LOST IN THE ETHER. EVEN MY SON BEN, WHO IS AN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
GEEK, COULDN'T RESCUE IT. I GOT DEPRESSED ABOUT THAT, AND IT GOT LEFT
UNTIL NOW. THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN JANUARY 2006.
Time has passed, and we've all moved on. What I still know to be true is
that this song was written to challenge. To challenge accepted mores. It
was also written as an honest piece, by a man who knew that he'd
committed no wrong at the time and would do the same again if he was in
the middle of his twenties.
The girl who was the subject of the song recently got in touch with me
and we met up. She's still as lovely as she was then. We had dinner in a
little restaurant down Dean St. in Soho. I wanted to hug her. I did. I
told her that I'd written the song. She was surprised. I loved her not
only for getting in touch, but for being who she is. An honest and good
woman who could never betray either of us for our moment in the sun.
It's now a very long time indeed since I was hostage to my dick, if ever
I was. I pity poor buggers like Paul Gadd. People who have lost control
of their own selves. People who continue to fail to acknowledge the
truth in the mirror. You can desire into your 90s, but there are certain
things that you can no longer achieve. It wouldn't even be risible to
try. It would just be pathetic. There is no real ethical, or even moral
question to be addressed by a complete alien. As a middle-aged or older
person you can want the impossible if you like, but it's unrealistic,
unattainable, demeaning, irresponsible, embarrassing, unfitting,
careless, unsympathetic, irrational and just darnright stupid. So even
attempting to go there is an act of extreme folly. There are other
things to do which are much more rewarding, like tending plants,
welcoming swallows, and planting trees.
If we were all members of a properly joined up society based on real
equality, these things wouldn't occur without rapid social adjustment
taking place. One way or the other, for the benefit of social unity. You
would automatically be a lot more in tune with your society than is
possible with 60 million poor apes whose philosophy of life is based on
the tabloid press. And the tabloid tv news is even worse. There is one
poor paranoid woman news presenter who almost daily conducts a personal
paedophile witch-hunt. She would open every closet in the world if she
could. Poor ape. No one escapes her tabloid morality. Manifestly she has
more power than any government minister. If we were still burning people
at the stake, she'd be Mary Tudor. (Another of Margaret Beaufort's
I have some sympathy for people who cannot help themselves after they've
been seriously asked to do so by society on more than two occasions. I'm
obviously not talking about parking fines, or possession of illegal
substances. I'm talking about violent crimes against others.
Perpetrators of this kind of crime are going to have to be treated to
quite a lot of one on one, because they are obviously, to some extent,
mentally ill. If they continue to offend in the same way after a serious
period of sympathy has been extended, and after they have been properly
advised and appear to have understood the nature of the damage they are
causing, then the key has to be thrown away. And that's it. Many more of
us will have to voluntarily work in social services for this to happen.
The real questions are.. how many of us would be really interested in
doing that? And what criteria would enable us to standardise method, so
that it wasn't open to manipulative and devious 'professionals'? (Or
inquisitive, prurient and demanding 'children'). You could devise rules,
but they'd never be foolproof. There are 9 year old manipulators, and 60
year old innocents, and I'd have to think that they exist in about equal
90%+ of people have a period of mental instability. My own 'mental
illness' reached it's peak when I was about 19 years old. There were one
or two peaks after that, but it's now been in serious decline for at
least the last 25 years. I wouldn't say that I was totally stable, I'd
smell that rat myself. You could probably lay a bet that those who say
that they're stable are not, and those who say that they're not are
being more honest. It's not unstable to wonder at the beauty of a 13
year old. Of whatever gender. Instability arrives the moment you decide
that, as an older person, you have to taste it there and then. At that
point you are doomed to ridicule and sickness, and to a life of despair.
I just read through it all again. What a great writer Roy is.
I bet that was a bit more than you bargained for eh, Oreb?
Paul - thanks for posting this again. As you say, what a great writer Roy is. He makes so many telling points. I think the one thing he only touched on that perhaps deserved more attention was the nature of power in the relationship. While he asserts that there are probably as many 9 year old manipulators as there are innocent 60 year olds, that does not address the issue that an older person is naturally perceived by society, and by many younger people, as having more power and authority than younger people, so is in a position to exploit younger people. It is the abuse of such power in a sexual relationship between an older and a younger person that law and society try to prevent and/or punish. I think Roy's examples of relationships in his old blog are ones where there was no such apparent power relationship, so, in a natural state of morality, nothing wrong was done, regardless of the legal rights and wrongs. Roy is brave to put forward his views so coherently in a public forum and I applaud him for doing so.
Wow - you're right Paul: an amazingly complete response. Nothing in it really surprised me, however. I don't know Roy at all outside of his songs, but I have a good enough sense of him through them to realise that he isn't the pathetic abusive figure many of us associate with paedophilia.
I guess I was also interested in how we listen to the song these days. Our understanding of the effects of adult-child sexual interaction is much more developed in Anglophonia than it was when the song was written - do people listen to it as a vaguley embarrasing hippie relic (as per, say, Caravan's "Winter Wine" with it's topless young girls making a guest appearance, or Spectrum's "Launching Place" with it's post-apocalyptic vision of "children making love to children")
or as a contemporary, challenging song about transgression...
or just as a good piece of music
For me, I tend to hear it as a bit of harmless hippie whimsy - but my beloved better half finds it impossible to listen to at all, admire much of Roy's stuff as she may.
Edit: Oh, and yes, Roy is a fine writer (if maybe not always quiiiiite as concise as he could be? )
an everlasting mutiny of flowers
Last edited by Oreb; 02-11-2007 at 08:53 AM.
I was finally able to find the "Valentine" CD on e-bay, after searching. It's one of his best , I believe. I also found "Flat Baroque & Berserk", which is really good. I first heard "Forbidden Fruit" on a cut-out vinyl "Best Of 1970-76" or something like that. I am a rare bird, I'm pretty sure, being an American Roy Harper fan. His stuff is not easy to find over here.
Join the club
I discovered Roy in 1979 when I was actually living in Canada, when I was in a record store looking for Van Der Graaf Generator records (they happened to be a fave of mine at the time). The proprietor there suggested that I check Roy out as well.
I have around 5-6 of Roy's albums on vinyl, including "Valentine". This, "Stormcock" and "Flat Baroque and Berserk" are my favourite Roy Harper albums. I thought "Forbidden Fruit" was quite beautiful, and that Roy handled the very delicate subject matter in the song quite eloquently.
[QUOTE=pd;386]This came up on the email list in Jan 2006 actually, before this site was made. It caused a lot of debate, and even got a response from Roy himself (below).
You lit the blue touch-paper. Perhaps it was overdue..
2001 Diary Entry.
I missed this when it was first posted and just caught up with it in the middle (rather than early) hours of this morning. I, in fact, lit a cigarette and left the thing to burn down without smoking it, so engrossed was I.
I wonder what the female perspective is on some of the issues that Roy raises here are (I am not commenting!). There are some things I certainly would differ on.
What I can give him credit for is his being so in touch with his feelings and emotions and being able to express these to the world. I also like how he is not afraid to identify people and situations that he has written about and explain their meaning. I personally do not hold with artists who say they cannot discuss a certain song/book/poem/ whatever it may be because it is intensely personal/private, and that the reader/listener should draw their own conclusion and make their own interpretation of it.
No, no, no! If someone has written something that is then their expression and one naturally wants to know the circumstances surrounding the inspiration for that work and what emotions were governing them at that time to put those down into words. If they want to put work out in the public domain, then I feel they should be open to sharing and discussing the meaning, whatever it may concern.