lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: leeds

1997-05-31: hey kind friend, creative loafing:

the title shaming of the sun comes from a tunica indian legend, one of many native american - and south american - creation myths that focus on the sun, its powers and its life-giving properties. on the record, the indigo girls have used the symbol over and over: it's the light that shines on the windows in "shame on you," it's the drink of life in "get out the map," its absence defines "leeds," it dies in olympia in "hey kind friend."

in most legends, the power of the sun always wins the day - or at least part of it. the sun is the bully and the lover at the same time. you could say the same of music, the "languageless connection" emily urges us to hold fast to in "everything in its own time." it may be one of the few mythological elements we have left today, that larger-than-life force that has the power to push back the darkness. and the indigo girls, like a couple of coyotes, have tricked it into doing exactly that.


2000-05-05: transcription, artist direct chat:

"i wrote those words on a page in my franklin planner and i lost that franklin planner in australia, or some other country and somebody found it and returned it to me, and there were all these lyrics in the book, including the words to 'leeds.' so, if i had never gotten that back, i never would have written that song."


2014-12-02: es.1996, official indigo girls "a year a month blog" on tumblr:

there were other new musical avenues for me that came to life on shaming. i wrote my first song on banjo, "get out the map." i wrote it in the same living room as i had previously written "galileo." i was learning that picking up a different instrument brought a completely different song. i never would have written "get out the map" on guitar, and i never would have written "cara mia" on acoustic guitar. i found the chords to "leeds" on a piano. the experience from that dark trip to england had been literally brooding in me for a couple of years, but when i stumbled on those chords, they found their way out. and that was the first song i wrote on piano. i don't even remember the chords now. i'm not a piano player. but it was a huge step in expanding musically to pick up a new instrument and write with it, even if i didn't play it well and certainly not properly. around this time, amy and i were broadening our sound palette with harmonica, mandolin, banjo, piano, dulcimer, and more than ever, electric guitar. i also remember when amy chose a hip-hop loop to run through "shed your skin," an absolutely new twist and turn for amy's music. "leeds" is and may always be the only song we ever played a hurdy gurdy on.

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