The Perfect Book

This morning I found a You Tube Clip which features a song. It’s an interesting song. It was written by Lord Lloyd Webber and Leslie Bricuss and it is called The Perfect Song. It was recorded by Michael Ball, who has a long history of performing in Lloyd Webber musicals, and features on his most recent CD “Both Sides Now.” I love Michael Ball’s melted chocolate voice and his interpretative abilities and his brilliant diction and his way of telling a story with lyrics. And I really love this CD. It is almost unplugged, there are songs recorded with just voice and piano. Many of the songs I didn’t know before, but they have now become firm favourites.

Still, I digress. The reason this songs fascinates me is because it is simple and clever. It is a song about writing a song, a perfect song. “If I could have just one wish of mine become reality, I would write the perfect song.” In his introduction to the song on the concert DVD, Ball asks if Andrew has ever written the perfect song. A subjective question. I guess an initial reaction can be, “of course not, there is no such thing.” For one person it might be an operatic aria (La Boheme comes close for me) and for others it might be heavy metal, rap or hip hop.

As an author I take the concept and apply it to myself. Do I wish I could write the perfect book? Is there such a thing? Of course not. And no, I don’t wish that, because if you did, where would you go from there? Not only do you want to improve with each book, but you re-read a book you wrote and wish you could have just one more try to improve it. I have a novel with an editor currently and in about three weeks it will come back to me with pages of ‘suggested changes.’ I’m thrilled by it, I love it the way it is, but I am not dumb enough, or precious enough, to believe that it can’t be improved. The editing process for The Keeper of Secrets was a real eye-opener for me. My editor was a very experienced and wise woman and she told me before we started that I had done an ‘astonishing job.’ Yet, every single suggestion she made strengthened the book.

If you think you’ve ever read The Perfect Book, or heard The Perfect Song, I would love to hear about it. In the meantime, we keep striving…..have a listen to the song. This video is an official one from the record label, so the visuals are a bit ‘PR like’, if you know what I mean, but ignore that and listen to the lyrics and let me know what you think. (And in the right hand column you will find a video for “Walk Away” one of my very favourites!!)


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tui Allen
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:10:20

    I think there are many perfect books and songs. Perfect books for me are “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel and for the children “Finn Family Moomintroll” by Tove Jansson and “Enemy at Green Knowe” by Lucy Boston. Perfect picture books are The Lorax and The Polar Express. A perfect adult picture book is the brand new Bittersweet Philosophies by Nick Fedaeff and KK Jart, which you wold love Julie – because Fedaeff is a Russian artist. This book also makes the perfect Christmas present for just about anyone.
    Perfect songs? Hmmm.
    “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
    Innagaddadavida by Iron Butterfly
    Sounds of Silence by S&G
    Your Wildest Dreams – The Moody Blues
    There are some perfect hymns and carols too. My list of perfect songs is very long but these are just the first few that sprung to mind. One day I would like to hear the music for “The First Song” too.


  2. jmt4159
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:27:06

    Thanks Tui. Interesting comment. I would add the rider “perfect for you” and I think that is the key. It is a subjective judgement and I guess it is judged on an individual basis. “Pillars of the Earth” is pretty near perfect for me and Michael sings a song called “My Arms are Strong” that rocks my world like no other


  3. Tui Allen
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:52:13

    I agree with you on “perfect for me” That Ironbutterfly song is just dreadful noise to my Jeff, but he loves some songs that drive me crazy. “One man’s meat etc”


  4. Tui Allen
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:54:47

    This perfect song you have posted here is certainly divine. I love your description of being “melted chocolate”


  5. Tui Allen
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:00:15

    It’s like a prayer. I just listened again. When he sang “YOU will be my perfect song,” I had a vision of a starlit ocean covered with leaping dolphins. They were the “You” I would sing this song to, (for me)


  6. jmt4159
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:48:12

    Have a look at some of his other stuff on You Tube, I think some of it you would really like. Both Sides Now has a song called “Baby of Mine” which is just voice and piano and it makes me cry. And another called “When she Loved Me” which was a song written by Randy Newman for Toy Story, it is just gorgeous. He chooses songs with lyrics that tell a story and he has written some pretty amazing ones himself.


  7. Tui Allen
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:22:29

    Will do.


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