Song to the Siren

Song to The Siren, written by Tim Buckley, is one of my favourite pieces of music. And as regular readers of this blog know, I regularly get the urge to write out words that have got under my skin… hence the above artwork which features the lyrics of the song (see larger version on Flickr).

Yet, I’m not totally convinced that what I’ve created works… I’m not an artist, so unfortunately I couldn’t complement the words with a sketch of tall-masted ships and wailing women luring unwary sailors onto rocks (as portrayed by Greek Mythology). So I opted instead to suggest the colours of the sea… dark blues and greens, with a few suggested air bubbles for texture. It ended up a bit too dark for my taste, but I put a lot of work into it, so I decided to put it “out there,” on my blog anyway, despite my reservations.

There is a single aspect of the design, however, that I am really pleased about, and that is the shared stroke of the “g” in Song and the “S” in Siren. I suppose it’s an optical illusion of sorts, since that single pen stroke performs two entirely separate functions in a (hopefully) unobtrusive manner. Before I posted the artwork, I asked my wife and son to read the title. Without hesitation they both said, “Song to the Siren,” which I was relieved and pleased about. I had wondered if they would get it right first time, but my doubts were unfounded. Hopefully you, the reader, have made sense of the shared stroke in similar fashion (if you read it as Sono to the Siren, then my attempt at calligraphic cleverness has failed).

The song itself has been covered by many well-known singers and bands, and is one of those few songs where the original version isn’t the best (in my humble opinion, that is). So, for all the music-lovers reading this post, here is my list of the best versions of “Song to the Siren,” in no particular order. Hopefully, on listening to the haunting melody and lyrics, you will appreciate why I was compelled to interact with the song calligraphically.

This Mortal Coil
George Michael
Paul Charlier & Paula Arundell
David Gray
Brian Ferry
Sheila Chandra
Sinead O’Connor
Robert Palmer
Brendan Perry
and the song’s creator, Tim Buckley

I hope you like the song as much as I do. As ever, I’m interested to hear readers’ thoughts on the artwork (or the song), so please take time to comment.


One Response to Song to the Siren

  1. Correen says:

    You MUST listen to John Frusciante’s version, on The Empyrean, track # 2. beautiful rendition. 🙂

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