The Storytelling of Amy Winehouse

Okay so if I haven’t made it clear yet, I really love Amy Winehouse. The woman was brilliant. She was so excellent at taking her musical influences and making them her own. I wrote a post about that a few weeks ago, so click here if you want to read that. But today, I want to highlight her incredible songwriting ability. I got to thinking about about this because of one song in particular.

The fourth cut on her debut album, Frank, Cherry is a short song— only 1:31— and if one were to listen to the album, it may get overlooked for other songs. However, I think it’s one of her hidden gems. Why? Because in just a few verses she creates a story about one of her best friends and shares about their times together — only to reveal that her best friend, was in fact her guitar.

Up until the very last line and even the last word, she did not mention that she was singing about her guitar. I loved that she used words to weave a great story while still challenging the person that is claiming to know her like Cherry. She uses some unique rhythms and melodic choices that are still true to Amy’s writing style yet she keeps it short and simple. It’s just excellent.

I think I love this so much because it is so simple and it’s excellent storytelling. I had the album playing on Spotify and I just let it play in the background as I was cleaning my room not making too much of it. It was when I heard the last like when she revealed it was her guitar that caught my attention. As I went back and looked at it, I read the lyrics and was captured by the story she was telling. As an guitarist myself, I knew exactly how it felt to consider your instrument to be a friend because of the stories you’ve told and the life you have shared, many times in the face of not having people friends. To hear her talk about that so elegantly about that ever-so-wonderful relationship between songwriter and instrument made me so excited. It also made me think of what more this lovely young woman could have contributed to this world had she not died so tragically. Yet alas, it excites me to know that talent is still available if I choose to access it. I’m not saying that anyone can replace Amy because no one can; but what I am saying is that the ability to tell stories so effectively in songs is still able to be done if we choose to.

I’ve put the song down below if you’d like to take a listen.

Let me know what you think down in the comments below!

Peace & Harmonies

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