“Paperback Writer” by the Beatles seems obvious but 4 Non Blonde’s “What’s Up” has always struck me as the most powerful song about creativity desperately trying to express itself:
And so I cry sometimes
When I’m lying in bed just to get it all out
What’s in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar
Writing is so limited. It can’t offer what music can: writing and instruments and vocals. And then add film. This video of the Rolling Stones gives me fits of elation and depression. Through words, music, and images they convey more fully through film and sound than any writing alone can. When Jagger sings “The sunshine bores the daylights out of me”, along with his band’s accompaniment, I want to give up writing. What’s the point?
Someone asked George Thorogood why he covered so many Bo Diddley songs instead of writing his own rock and roll numbers. “Why?” he said. “Bo Diddley has written them all.”
“I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire, I got a cobra snake for a necktie
A brand new house on the road side, and it’s a-made out of rattlesnake hide
Got a brand new chimney put on top, and it’s a-made out of human skull
Come on take a little walk with me baby, and tell me who do you love?
Who do you love?”
“Who do you love?”