Linda Hoyle
Acknowledgements

Because I've loved you everyone 
A thousand thousand heard with joy 
I raise my voice for praises sung 
My soul in your employ 
I  cannot hope to turn again 
The sun is far off in the west 
A music footnote I'll remain 
Your names by me twice blest 

Bessy, Mugsy, Fletcher, Earl 
Django, Stephane, Louis, Pearl 
Memphis Minnie, Art, Bing C 
Always be a part of me 
Always be a part of me. 
Big Maybelle and Tampa Red 
Shared my twin size narrow bed 
Mildred, Fats and Betty C 
Always be a part of me 
Always be a part of me 
Billie, Lester, Ella, Joe 
Taught me more that I can know 
Sarah, Connie, Blossom D 
Always be a part of me 
Always be a part of me 
Miles and Oscar, Nina, Ray 
Coleman Hawkins, Carla Bley 
Clifford, Dizzy, Charlie P 
Always be a part of me 
Always be a part of me 

Jimmy Hendrix, Marvin Gaye 
Stevie Wonder, Stevie Ray 
Janis, Julie, Jerry Lee 
Always be a part of me 
Always be a part of me 

Bootsy Collins, Sly, James Brown 
Never let my spirits down 
Tina Turner, Ricki Lee 
Always be a part of me 
Always be a part of me 
'Retha, Dusty, Bonnie R 
Seem so near, and yet so far 
Freddie, Joni, Karen D 
Always be a part of me 
Always be a part of me 
Many in this milky way 
Stars beyond my voice today 
May this song swell to your praise 
Be with me for all my days 
Be with me for all my days 

notes

Originally this track was called ‘Song of Praise’, but in keeping with the album-as-a-book it made sense to call the last piece ‘Acknowledgements’. At the beginning of this project, when I was wrestling with what I wanted to do, I thought that I might pay vocal tribute to some of the musicians who had influenced me. However, I realized that I could never aspire to such performance heights, so I wrote lyrics about them instead. So god-like to me was the list that only a hymn to their splendour was suitable. I wanted an echo of the tunes from the book of Hymns Ancient and Modern that was the cornerstone of all school singing in England during the 20th Century. Bring on those great whomping chords heard in ‘For Those in Peril on The Sea’, the great rise in ‘Praise My Soul the King of Heaven’, the major to minor in ‘Lift Up Your Hearts’.

Oliver Whitehead, my co-composer on ‘Acknowledgements’, is well versed in British boarding school Assembly Songs and wrote something that felt immediately familiar. The tune was easily learned by whoever we found and pulled into the studio, which is just how I wanted it to be. If we perform this live I shall expect audience participation. At one point I wanted the sound of scraping chairs, coughing, and perhaps a baby crying to be put in the space between the verse and the chorus. However, getting exactly the right ambient church sounds turned out to be very difficult.

So this song is essentially a hymn with a long list. List songs are a recognized category for lyric writers, and can be a real pleasure to construct. Gilbert and Sullivan might have been the first to compose one, generally known as ‘I’ve Got A Little List’, which enumerated those who should be cast from genteel company for irritating habits. ‘My Favourite Things’ is a saccharine example, and ‘These Foolish Things’ a sophisticated one. One of the difficulties of list songs is that you can rarely cover everything; selections have to be made. That was certainly the case for ‘Acknowledgements’.

What I hope to do is pick one musician off the list every once in a while and write about them. I am going to start with Karen Dalton (1937-1993)