The Everlasting Muse

Album: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (2015)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Stuart Murdoch appealling for inspiration and receiving the reply: "Be popular, play pop, and you will win my love." It was the first song he wrote for The Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance and it came to the Belle & Sebastian frontman in 2014 during a day off in Switzerland at the end of the band's summer shows. He explained to Uncut: "I was in Switzerland at the end of the tour with the band thinking, 'Gosh... I have to write! I have no idea where these songs are gonna come from.' And I felt like a pleading to 'the muse.' It's not far away from the sentiment of an Abba song, you know, 'Thank You For The Music'. I'm flirting with the spirit of music."
  • Murdoch told the story of the song to Drowned in Sound: "I had borrowed a bike and was exploring the numerous paths that weaved around Zurich. I fund a nice warm leafy spot and began thinking about the upcoming album. I had a couple of songs lying around, but I knew I would have to get a pile more from somewhere."

    "I know that I'm always saying that songs come from somewhere else, but I really believe it. Songs usually come to me just as I wake up, melody and rhythm at least, sometimes the whole thing."

    "So while I sat there beside the allotments of Zurich, eating plums from the overhanging branches, I thought about trying to summon the Muse."

    "I thought I could use flattery: I would write a song about waiting for the Muse to arrive. I would beseech her to show herself, knowing that the music wouldn't be any good unless she brought her magic."

    "So I wrote the words down, and the song became 'The Everlasting Muse.' And it might seem like an outlandish conceit, but really, I would be nowhere without music."
  • Here are some more songs inspired by or written in Switzerland:

    "The Swiss Maid" by Del Shannon (This Roger Miller-penned song is about a Swiss maiden, who is unable to find true love).

    "For No One" by The Beatles (Written by Paul McCartney sitting in a chalet while on holiday with his girlfriend Jane Asher in Klosters, Switzerland).

    "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple (Inspired by a fire in the Casino at Montreux, Switzerland which left a layer of smoke that covered Lake Geneva).

    "A Winter's Tale" by Queen (Freddie Mercury's lyrics were inspired by the view through the window at Queen's recording studio on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He composed the song just two weeks before his death).

    "William Tell" by Gioachino Rossini (An opera in four acts, the four hour work tells the story of the legendary Swiss 14th century bowman. The opera is best known for the high-energy galloping finale of its overture, which was famously used in the The Lone Ranger TV and radio shows).

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