Sunday, March 22, 2015

Songwriterobit: Jackie Trent

Jackie Trent, singer, songwriter, and actress, has died.

It's perhaps a shame that the obituaries are hanging her on the peg as 'the woman who wrote the lyrics for the Neighbours theme song'; it's a fact, sure, but the real-life soap opera played out in her earlier lyrics which reflected her first-affair-with, then-marriage-to, eventually-divorce-from Tony Hatch is far more interesting and artistically accomplished than the plodding, sodding Erinsborough jingle.

As a taste, her website tells the deeper story behind Couldn't Live Without Your Love, a hit for Petula Clark:

I wrote the lyrics in 1966: simply expressing my love and commitment to Tony Hatch – the man I would marry the following year. The lyrics speak for themselves.

Angela Kon’s (unauthorised) biography of Petula Clark: ‘Colour My World,’ page 178, allegedly records conversation of the 1980’s between the author and Tony Hatch: where he speaks of my loving words defining our relationship ‘from my point of view.’ If true, how deceitful and cold-blooded; with 25 years of marriage then ahead of us?

Eve Taylor, my manager did warn me: ‘Don’t marry him. He’ll just use you!’

Mind you, I still love those lyrics...
(Trent's website is well worth a visit; she's generous and open with anecdote, although writes in the overblown showbiz style parodied by Alan Partridge.)

Jackie Trent was 74; she died March 21st in Menorca.