Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Music From My Favorite Poet, Russell Crowe

My favorite poet (and the inspiration for this blog's name),  Russell Crowe, is at long last releasing new music. 

"Wait a minute," you say. "You just said he was releasing new music, but he's your favorite poet?  And isn't Russell Crowe an actor anyway?"

Yes.  And yes.  He's an actor, a musician, a poet, a National Rugby League team owner (South Sydney Rabbitohs); the list goes on and on.  I'll try to keep this on the subject of poetry and music, though, since poetry is (supposedly) the focus of this blog.

Several years ago I discovered Russell Crowe's music, totally by accident, on Youtube.  He'd been my favorite actor for several years before that and, at the time, I was just looking up clips of his movies when I came across a video of a song called Testify.  (See the video here.)  I was mesmerised.  He could sing too? 

Intrigued, I looked up more videos of his music.  After watching several and being engrossed in the sincerity and emotion I could hear, I did a bit of further research.  Turned out he'd written most of the songs himself , either alone or in collaboration with a few others, most often his friend Alan Doyle, lead singer of the Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea. (more great music and lyrics you should check out)

As I read the lyrics of those songs, I was touched by the imagery in them as well as the pure emotion, the depth that I could feel from them.  You know that feeling when something quite apart from yourself--something you're seeing, touching, hearing for the very first time--literally speaks to you?  It can happen with almost anything--a book, a song, a movie.  A scent in the air, the touch of a breeze, the sound of a child breathing.

This was the sensation I felt as I read those words.  The same sort of feelings I'd had hearing the songs, but...more somehow.  As though the person who'd written them had somehow pulled the thoughts from my mind and the emotions from my heart and had put them into words.  I first discovered poetry at the age of 12 and, from the beginning, I loved it.  I've read Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Shakespeare.  Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, James Kavanaugh, Charles Bukowski--the list goes on and on--and I've always had favorite poets and particular poems that stirred feelings in me.

It was in reading the lyrics of songs like Other Ways of Speaking, Never Be Alone Again, Land of the Second Chance, Raewyn--again, the list goes on and on--that I felt as though someone I'd never met was speaking his own mind and heart to me more clearly and distinctly than anyone I'd ever met face to face.  Those words and the way they were written have moved me and inspired me time and time again since then. 

That's how a true poet makes you feel and that's when I began to respond to the question of   'Who is your favorite poet?' with the name Russell Crowe.  The responses to it are varied.  I get questioning looks, blank looks, smirks, hidden grins and, my favorite, the 'She's lost it' look.  None of it matters.  It doesn't change what the words say and how they speak to me.

So...  That was a long and roundabout way of getting to the matter of Russell Crowe's new songs.  Since I first discovered his music and poetry, Russell Crowe the actor has kept me and many others entertained with fairly regular movies, but Russell Crowe the musician and poet has been a bit on the silent side.  That will come to an end on August 2nd with the release of  The Crowe/Doyle Songbook Vol. III on iTunes.  On August 9th, it will be available on Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody, Spotify and other music sites.  Wherever you get your music, give it a try.  You won't be sorry and you'll probably end up as a fan.

You can hear samples of the tracks right now at Amazon: The Crowe/Doyle Songbook Vol. III  and you can hear the full song Too Far Gone at SoundCloud: Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle-Too Far Gone.  It's a beautiful collaboration between Russell and his wife, singer Danielle Spencer.

Here are some of those touching lyrics that I always love so much, borrowed from Mary Murphy at her Russell Crowe News site on Murphs Place.  I hope the poetry touches you even half as much as it does me.  Thank you once again, Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle for the music and inspiration.

Too Far Gone (To Be Saved)

I am drowning
 not waving
here in the darkness
I'll find my peace

You'll try to save me
but you are suspended
Beneath the surface
In way too deep


And your fingers tear at my skin
Release the blood let the feeding begin
Your intentions will never be blamed
We're both too far gone, to be saved

When times were simple
And the journey clearer
Before the circles
And deja vu

Before all the bombs fell
And we lived in craters
Before all the sharks came
And had their fill



I should have spared you
And you might have warned me
The glory is fleeting for birds in flight

Now I'm sinking
 weighed down by regrets
I see clearly in this dying light

I am drowning
 not waving
Will you just love me
It's not too late

Here in the darkness
No-one can judge us
Kiss me completely
And seal our fate


No comments: