Dolly Parton and Leonard Cohen are two of my favorite songwriters. The blond bombshell and the dark poet’s best known songs are both about unreachable women whose first names we know so well: Jolene and Suzanne. Recently I stumbled upon another similarity between the two artists: Seclusion and fasting; Both like to go alone to an isolated cabin in the woods, stop eating and start writing songs. Dolly: “I go back to my old mountain home and just spend a few days fasting, trying to get myself spiritually anchored for God to give me good ideas. After a few days, I’ll start writing, and I’ll continue to do that until I’m finished. I usually take my false fingernails off because I want to be able to play the real good licks. Then, when I’m done writing, I come back to town and get a new set of nails and go on about my business”. Leonard would just take loads of amphetamines which made the fasting part a whole lot easier, but not necessarily the songwriting. It took him years to finish Hallelujah (writing eighty verses before settling on the four right ones) and he came to this conclusion: “If I knew where good songs come from, I would go there more often.”
Now the fasting thing will probably never work for me, but cabins in woods definitely do. A month ago I spent some days alone in a little house in a little village (with food). I finished a few songs and when I was already packing up, caught this almost-lullaby dropping out of nowhere. It feels like an old song, like it has always been around. I recorded it then and there with my phone - and hope to find it’s full form in the near future.