Quotations About / On:
It is mediocrity which makes laws and sets mantraps and spring-guns in the realm of free song, saying thus far shalt thou go and no further.
(James Russell Lowell (1819-91), U.S. poet, editor. "Elizabethan Dramatists, Omitting Shakespear: John Webster," Lowell's Early Prose Writings (1902).)
The compelled mother loves her child as the caged bird sings. The song does not justify the cage nor the love the enforcement.
(Germaine Greer (b. 1939), Australian feminist writer. repr. In The Madwoman's Underclothes (1986). "Abortion," Sunday Times (London, May 21, 1972).)
Where does a man get inspiration to write a song like that? Well, he gets it from the landlady once a month.
(John Michael Hayes (b. 1919), U.S. screenwriter, and Alfred Hitchcock. Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly) to L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart), Rear Window (1954).
Based on the short story by Cornell Woolrich.)
The Teutons have been singing the swan song ever since they entered the ranks of history. They have always confounded truth with death.
(Henry Miller (1891-1980), U.S. author. Plexus, ch. 17 (1963).
Miller was discussing Nietzsche and Spengler.)
I suppose any note, no matter how sour, sounds like a song if you hold onto it long enough.
(Dewitt Bodeen (1908-1988), U.S. screenwriter, Gunther V. Fritsch, and Robert Wise. Mrs. Reed (Jane Randolph), The Curse of the Cat People (1944).
Talking to her daughter.)
None but a maid is roused by a love song. And this was a maid, an old maid.
(Honoré De Balzac (1799-1850), French novelist. In The Works of Honoré de Balzac, vol. IV, trans. by George Saintsbury (1971). Narrator, in Pierrette, originally named Pierrette Lorrain, in Le Siècle (1840); included in the Comédie humaine as a Scène de la Vie de Province (1843).)
Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.
(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar," ch. 51, Following the Equator (1897).)
There's nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.
(Carson McCullers (1917-1967), U.S. author. Ferris, in "The Sojourner," The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1951).)
She also knew old slave songs and I wondered why, when she hummed them, grandmother braided my hair even more softly, as if her fingers became liquid with pity.
(Simone Schwarz-Bart (b. 1938), Gaudeloupean author. The Bridge of Beyond, p. 52, Éditions du Seuil (1972).)
There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few.
(Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845), U.S. poet, critic, short-story writer. repr. In Essays and Reviews (1984). "Marginalia," Southern Literary Messenger (Richmond, Va., April 1849).)