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Writers’ Dash: October 2016


Morning Dash

1. Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas’ poem, allegedly written for his dying father, although his father did not die until several years later. Quoted by the president in Independence Day.
2. O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done
Walt Whitman poem honouring the death of Abraham Lincoln. Famously much used in Dead Poets Society.
3. Let us go then you and I
The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by TS Eliot – said to represent the frustration and impotence of the modern individual.
4. Because I could not stop for Death
Emily Dickinson poem in which Death, personified as a gentleman caller who accompanies the speaker to her grave.
5. Once upon a midnight dreary
Perhaps Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous poem – The Raven.
6. The apparition of these faces in the crowd
Ezra Pound – describing a moment on the Paris Metro in 1912. The whole poem is only 14 words long. The rest are “Petals on a wet, black bough”.
7. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
Elizabeth Barrett Browning – she thought the poems too personal, so published them as though they had been translated – Sonnets from the Portugese.
8. I must down to the seas again
John Masefield, after giving up his dreams of being a sailor due to sea-sickness. Often quoted as “I must *go* down to the seas again”.
9. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
William Shakespeare – possibly one of his most famous.
10. Drink to me only with thine eyes
Song to Celia II, Ben Jonson.
11. I’m sittin’ in the railway station
Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel. Written by Paul Simon while homesick on Widnes railway station.
12. I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail
El Cóndor Pasa – Simon & Garfunkel from a Peruvian composition by Daniel Alomía Robles based on Peruvian traditional songs.
13. Hello darkness my old friend
Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel. The song’s success prompted the duo to reunite after breaking up when their previous album was not a success.
14. A winter’s day, in a deep and dark December
I am a Rock – Simon & Garfunkel. Originally recorded solo by Paul Simon in England.
15.  I am just a poor boy
The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel. The lie lie lie chorus was once alleged to be an attack on Bob Dylan. Paul Simon denies this and Dylan has himself covered the song.
16. Slow down, you move too fast
The 59th Street Bridge Song aka Feelin’ Groovy – Simon & Garfunkel. The bridge is more officially known as the Queensboro Bridge.
17. Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together
America – Simon & Garfunkel. Apparently written after a 5-day road-trip Simon took with his girlfriend, Cathy, in 1964.
18. Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel. The tune opens and closes the album of the same name.
19. When you’re weary, feeling small
Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Simon & Garfunkel, from the album of the same name. Sail on silver girl refers to Paul Simon’s wife, Peggy Harper having just noticed her first grey hairs.
20. This is the early evening edition of the news
7 O’Clock News – Simon & Garfunkel. A simulated news broadcast (but based on real events of 1966) over S&G singing the hymn, Silent Night.
21.  Is this the real life
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody, aka, Fred’s Thing. Best song ever, don’t even think of arguing.
22. It started out so well.
Queen – Save Me. Written by Brian May about a friend whose relationship had just ended. Verses are in G Maj and the chorus in D maj.
23. Open up your mind and let me step inside
Queen – Play the Game. Written by Freddy. One of the first songs to break their “Nobody played Synth” rule.
24. Another party’s over, And I’m left cold sober
Queen – My Melancholy Blues – just Freddy on piano and a bit of fretless bass from John.
25. I’ve paid my dues, time after time
Queen – We Are the Champions. In 2011, scientists concluded this was the catchiest song in the history of pop music.
26. Oh, oh, people of the earth
Queen – Prophet’s Song – Written by Brian May after a dream about a great flood.
27. Empty spaces – what are we living for
Queen – The Show Must Go On. Recorded by Freddy when he knew he was dying of AIDS but had not yet made this public.
28. I’m just the pieces of the man I used to be.
Brian May/Queen – Too Much Love Will Kill You. Originally recorded by May as a solo project before the Queen version.
29. Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry
Freddy Mercury – Living on my Own. From Mr Bad Guy.
30. When the outside temperature rises
Queen – I’m Going Slightly Mad. With the wonderful line “I think I’m a banana tree”.
 31. I was working in the lab, late one night
For today’s date? There can be no other song… The Monster Mash, of course.

Evening Dash

1. A single gunshot 2. A flooded cave 3. A brand new car 4. A friend’s unusual pet 5. A murderous plan
6. A waste of time 7. A tiny spot 8. A singing telemarketer 9. A rainy day 10. A fork in the road
11. An insomniac violinist 12. A chance meeting 13. A nosebleed 14. A strange custom 15. A lethal habit
16. A box full of keys 17. An abandoned convent 18. A loud thump 19. A famous dancer 20. A bingo book
21. A candy cane 22. A love letter 23. A scary clown 24. A tragic downfall 25. A different person
26. An immature vendetta 27. A dandelion seed 28. A flooded cave 29. A book missing a page 30. A secret code
 31.  An awkward situation

October’s prompts are provided by Nate and Lizzie.

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