In the mood for some Oysters. . .

I am pleased as punch today to be able to write about one of my favorite songwriting bands anywhere, Oysterband. This English folk rock band — I use the term “folk rock” here fairly loosely because these guys smoke! — released their first album STEP OUTSIDE in 1986, and haven’t looked back since. Their newest album, MEET YOU THERE, was just released this year, and has five tracks you can hear at their MySpace website.

Why do I love these guys so much? Because they have that perfect synthesis between the words and music. When you hear their songs, you can’t imagine any other lyrics being paired with the melody and arrangement.  And talk about shouting from the rooftops — this band has the absolute patent on crafting songs that compel you not only to sing along, but to shout the chorus at the top of your lungs. Definitely NOT the band to be listening to at the library.

So let me address the lyrics. Take a gander at this verse from “Milford Haven,” a track on their DEEP DARK OCEAN cd.

And when she felt her wings unfold
All the tales that she’d been told
And the heavy shoes and the band of gold
Fell away like melting snow

Lyrics and music by John Jones/Alan Prosser/Ian Telfer; used by permission.

Goosebumps. I dare say many of you can tell me the central theme of the song just from that single verse. That’s some darn fine writing.

Need more proof? Try this, from “Where the World Divides” in their current CD, MEET YOU THERE (2007 Westpark Music):

I went down to find you
I went down alone
The sky was a net of diamonds
And the moon a washed-out bone

Word and music by Chopper/John Jones/Lee Partis/Alan Prosser/Ian Telfer; used by permission.

So that’s my pick on songwriters of the week. You can hear “Where the World Divides” on the band’s My Space website, so do go take a listen. If I turn one reader onto this band, my work here will be done. As if that will shut me up.

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4 Responses to “In the mood for some Oysters. . .”

  1. Sarah Schubert Says:

    First of all, I love blogs! Its so cool to read these- I can tell its my Aunt Toddie writing them=] Secondly, I’ve recently developed a love for songs whose lyrics put into words what I’m feeling in a much more… creative way. I love it when I hear a song and think, “Wow, its like they took the words that I couldn’t come up with out of my head!” Last but not least, even being “folk rock”, I actually kind of enjoyed Oysterband!

  2. toddiedowns Says:

    Hi Sarah! I’m very happy you’re enjoying the blog AND that you tried out the Oysterband. You go, girl! I’m very flattered by all my family reading it. This is more contact than I’m used to:). But make sure you tell all your friends to check this blog out, so that I get lots of hits. Because, now I’m addicted to blog stats. Eek.

    Also, if you find singers or bands that you think are great songwriters, please give them a plug here! That’s what we’re here for.

  3. ohdave Says:

    Toddie, I’m here at Jill’s recommdation. If you went to Kenyon in the late 80’s I’d like to ask you a question. Can you email me at

    Good luck with your blog!

  4. toddiedowns Says:

    Hi Dave – I will answer anything about Kenyon and email you forthwith.

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