Linda Hoyle
Fortuna

Fortuna
With a smile as wide as fate
Importune her
She will take you apart and
Terminate you
With your sly and crooked deals
Leave you standing
On a cold dark path to nowhere
Have you spinning on the wheel
Rack and ruin
Lady Luck strokes the face of
demon lovers
It's too bad it isn't you
Who can blame her
Who fortune smiles on


You try to fuck with our Lady Luck
She'll offer you sand with a mocking hand
Spin on your heel and she'll spin
With lips older than death
And a drug dream breath
You can kiss her sweet feet and then lose your teeth
Fortuna has grace and a hard double face
Her smile light and bright is the smile that bites

Snake oil
In a rolled Financial Times
Wall Street turmoil
You all think you'll be fine and do without her
There's a formula for fate
She'll just check out
With the key to your last chance

You try to fuck with our Lady Luck
She'll offer you sand with a
mocking hand
Spin on your heel and she'll spin
With lips older than death and a
drug dream breath
You can kiss her sweet feet and then lose your teeth
Fortuna has grace and a hard double face
Her smile light and bright is the smile that bites

Everyman will pay her fine,
For their snake oil
Fortunes fool plays it cool and hopes for kisses
She will take you for a dance
Then just check out
With the key to your last chance.

notes

Of all the lyrics that I wrote for this album, Fortuna took me the longest. Once I heard Mo's music, I knew quite quickly what I wanted it to be about, but also knew that in order for them to contain meaning in a forceful way they would have to have classical reference.
At one level the idea that it's not what choices we make, but what luck we have, is as old as time. I try not to believe in luck, but the fact that I was born in a wealthy country to middle class parents seems lucky to me. Apart from the fact that all my education was paid for by the State, and I have never had to pay extra for health care. All of this came to me not because I was worthy, not because I earned it, but because I was lucky. That the world is unfair seems almost to trite to point out. So this unfairness has centered over time in a woman, Lady Luck. The Fates are also female.It's nice to think that Justice is female too, so perhaps there is some balance here. When I started, the idea I had was quite vicious, centering on pimp vocabulary and wanting fortune to exact revenge. I moved to a more conventional business type whose mixed luck seemed more in keeping with what I consider to be everyday life. I found Alexander Pope had a nice take on the unethical nature of success, which still holds today:

For when success and lovers toil attends
Few ask, if Fraud or Force attain'd his ends.

I recently thought of this in relation to Jimmy Saville.
When I write lyrics I am forever discarding lovely phrases and ideas that I harvest from my reading. One very pleasing short hit was 'Anglo Klaxon' for loud English. Another was from P.G. Wodehouse, describing one of Bertie Wooster's aunts..."her eye could open an oyster at a thousand paces". I wanted my Fortuna to have an eye like that, but couldn't fit it in.
The middle section of the song is difficult to sing because I opted to retain words that needed annunciation in a hard, quick way. I wanted to show the tough nature of luck. "You can kiss her sweet feet and then loose you teeth" renders the singing mouth a bit numb. And "Her smile light and bright is the smile that bites",is a particular face twister. In fact, I believe the second time I sing it on the track, I say "...smile light and bite". Now you'll never hear it any other way. "The smile that bites" is a wonderful example of a creatively made phrase heard on the wing. A therapist friend of mine used it to describe angry people who always say they aren't angry. That tight smile, pulled straight across. Beware.
I have included some images of my notebook and working notes. They went on for pages.