Years ago, if you wanted a copy of the words of a song, if you were lucky you might find them included on the album cover. If not, you could listen to the song over and over again until you managed to write them all down.
In the first case, back in the days before photocopiers became common, unless you actually owned the album yourself, you still had to copy the words out by hand.
Today, Michel Legrand, who wrote the music for Windmills of your mind, died.
He didn’t write the words, of course: those were by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Their stream-of-consciousness lyrics and the marvellous kaleidoscopic music by Legrand are inseparable in my mind.
No doubt my memory is aided by the fact that this is a song I listened to until I could write it out. Somewhere in a lock-up in central Spain, tucked inside a notebook of my own childish poems, there is a scrap of paper with the words of that marvellous song written in very deliberate, round, little-girl’s writing.
A circle in a spiral, a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning, on an ever-spinning reel,
As the images unwind, like the circles that you find,
In the windmills of your mind.