Welcome to my retirement project, one intended to keep the brain cells working and stir memories and talking points. The idea is an homage to songwriting and songwriters, a doffed cap to the songs we love and why they’re so important to us. A paean, in other words.
Here Comes The Song, of course, hints at one of the great tracks by a guitar master for whom we still gently weep.
As a lapsed singer-songwriter who wisely decided journalism might be a better way to ensure food reached the table, I will try to blend both worlds by writing about songs which have meant a great deal to me and talk about their structure, lyrics and history, with YouTube links to performances, other relevant sites and exceptional cover versions. It will be principally about songs performed by the writer him or herself although great covers will be acknowledged. That rules out instrumentals.
I’ve asked a number of friends and former colleagues – music lovers all – to contribute their thoughts, and they have been generous with their time and eloquent with their words. There will be top 10 playlists too – and recommendations for good reading by or about songwriters.
My son Josh has helped to design and curate the site, and he and others will write about some of the more contemporary artists who may have escaped my radar.
This is a labour of love but it’s not just about me. The more voices the better, and the more catholic or eclectic the tastes the better too. We will try to counter the threat of an old codgers’ love-in, but nostalgia is as good as it used to be. Talking of nostalgia, that's me above with Breakdown a lifetime ago.
Eventually I may put up my own songs from the 70s and 80s along with lyrics which have still not found a melody – if I can summon the courage – and also write about the admirable work of my old bandmates from Breakdown and About Time, John Pearson and Raphael Callaghan, who are still writing and performing in their sixties. Ah, now there’s a decade.
Neil Morton is a former sports editor of the Independent on Sunday and senior subeditor of the Guardian and Observer
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The Here Comes The Song family circa 2003 (from left to right)... Joshua Morton, Pat Morton, Neil Morton, Ian Tasker.