like a circle in a spiral

Edinburgh ferris wheel

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.

Birmingham Library façade

Today, Michel Legrand, who wrote the music for Windmills of your mind, died.

Kaleidoscope light show

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.

Rubber band on the street

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.

Staircase in Birmingham Library

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.


Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

4 thoughts on “like a circle in a spiral”

  1. That’s if the songwriter doesn’t change the words –
    Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” is either a drifter or a hobo that walks alone, depending on the version.

    Worse if it’s parodied, Don McLean has said he often has to concentrate that American Pie doesn’t come out “This here Anakin guy” – as his kids sing the Weird Al Yankovich version.


      1. Heh.
        I’m confused… I’m pretty sure Don McLean wrote “American Pie” and “Vincent”; both of which would have been committed to memory at much the same time, though probably through hearing them repeatedly on the radio. Not at all sure where John Denver comes into it? I don’t think I’ve ever memorised any of his songs.
        Oddly, I’ve never memorised anything by Whitesnake, – but would no doubt sing along enthusiastically anyway!!


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