Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Mischievous Muse, A Fish+a Light Bulb=Creativity, The Gift Horse
My muse is churning out the hits but they are on a different station than which I am accustomed.
I find my ideas in the shower... recently I had several new song ideas/lyrics/stories whilst cleansing the thinness that is the Dust.
Currently, I am trying to write my fantasy novel, "Jarryd and Noki" and it tickles me that the muse delivers song concepts. Well, I am never one to look a gift horse in the mouth (what a fun saying that is) so I recorded the ideas on the video portion of my cell phone. These are videos that are for MY EYES ONLY. I am in the bathroom drenched and the camera is fogged up and I am creating the new tunes of my heart.
Ah, the mischievous muse.... you just never know when or where he will strike with his mighty creativity.
"Hours of pruny musings helped me write my tuneys...
A drip-'til-dry melody and now I don't smelody..."
("Sanctuary in the Bathtub" Beam/Trotter forthcoming tune on my CD, "Learning to Land")
Footnote about the "gift horse" etymology:
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
Don't be ungrateful when you receive a gift.
This comes into the category of phrases called proverbs, that is, 'short and expressive sayings, in common use, which are recognized as conveying some accepted truth or useful advice'.
As horses age their teeth begin to project further forward each year and so their age can be estimated by checking how prominent the teeth are. This incidentally is also the source of another teeth/age related phrase - long in the tooth.
The advice given in the 'don't look...' proverb is: when given a present, be grateful for your good fortune and don't look for more by examining it to assess its value.
As with most proverbs the origin is ancient and unknown. We have some clues with this one however. The phrase was originally "don't look a given horse in the mouth" and first appears in print in 1546 in John Heywood's "A DIALOGUE" containing the number in effect of all the proverbs in the English tongue, where he gives it as:
"No man ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth."
Heywood is an interesting character in the development of English. He was employed at the courts of Henry VIII and Mary I as a singer, musician, and playwright. His Proverbs is a comprehensive collection of those known at the time and includes many that are still with us:
- Many hands make light work.
- Rome wasn't built in a day.
- A good beginning makes a good ending.
and so on. These were expressed in the literary language of the day, as in "would yee both eat your cake, and have your cake?", but the modern versions are their obvious descendents.
It would be nice to be able to attribute these to Heywood himself, but it's more likely that he collected them from common parlance. He can certainly be given the credit for introducing many proverbs to a wide and continuing audience and that includes one that Shakespeare later borrowed - All's well that ends well.
(I just love the internet and the pilfering of new information...)