April 3, 1949 in Notting Hill
Notting Hill, United Kingdom
UK folk rock singer/songwriter
Richard John Thompson, OBE (born 3 April 1949) is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He made his début as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. He continues to write and record new material regularly and frequently performs live at venues throughout the world. Thompson was awarded the Orville H. Gibson Award for best acoustic guitar player in 1991. Similarly, his songwriting has earned him an Ivor Novello Award and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio. Artists who have recorded Thompson's compositions include such diverse talents as Del McCoury, R.E.M.
Thoughts on Songs with Richard Thompson
Part 4: The final verse suggests that the writer is gaining consciousness, at the least, and resolves to “change this heart of mine”, but this time it won’t be with a fantasy lover. He berates himself for playing sick, acting cool, and declares that he’s been a “fool with a one size head”, which sounds like a reference to a very small head size, and thus, brain size. He resolves to change. It sounds like he wants to change, but the refrain “I’ll change this heart of “mine “ is exactly the same as the previous three and so we are left to wonder whether he will ever really be able to make the change, or is he doomed to repeat this falling in fantasy love over and over again. Great song.
Part 3: All these “crosses”. What could they be about? Well, “star crossed lovers” for one thing. “Star crossed lovers” is an idiom for lovers who suffer from a curse. “Crossed lines” on a telephone refers to telephones which switch from one conversation to another in mid conversation due to technological screw ups. “Crossed eyes and a canny moan” might refer to a facial expression made by one lover in frustration over poor communication. And the “crossed fingers” represents the turning to superstition in the hope that things will turn out for the better. All these “crosses” are images of the frustrations of real love, not to be confused with the fantasy love which seems to plague this singer.
Part 2: At the end of each verse, after listing all the ways that he might fantasize, he intones “I’ll change this heart of mine, this time this time.” The fact that he adds “this time” suggests that he has done this before. Then, “Here comes the real thing I’ve been waiting for so long.” The third verse introduces a new theme . . . “crossed lines on a telephone”, “crossed eyes and a canny moan”, and “crossed fingers and head for home”.