-- King Kong Goes To Tallahassee --

Found on:

Speechless (2005)


Known comments by Bruce Cockburn about this song, by date:

  • circa June 2005

    Commenting on the origins of King Kong Goes to Tallahassee:
    [Bruce] remembered a piece that had its origins in a performance in New York's Central Park, where he'd played guitar with a reading that Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert Olen Butler gave called "Three Ways to Die in the '50s." That evolved into the bluesy King Kong Goes to Tallahassee. The title is partly a reference to Butler, who lives not far from Tallahassee in the Florida Panhandle, and to Ottawa poet Bill Hawkins, who was a mentor to Cockburn in the 1960s when he first started writing songs. Says Cockburn: "Bill wrote a series of poems that featured King Kong going to various places and always getting into trouble, so the title is also something of a tribute to him."

    from - True North Records.

  • 7 September 2005

    ....a bluesy number that Cockburn says was inspired by Pulitzer-winning American author Robert Olen Butler and Ottawa poet Bill Hawkins. The music was written to accompany a spoken-word performance by Butler, who lives near Tallahassee, but the title was inspired by Dancing Alone, this year's retrospective volume of Hawkins' poetry. In the 1960s, Hawkins was Cockburn's bandmate in the legendary 1960s Ottawa group the Children.

    "Reading the poems in the new book, there are several references to Tallahassee," Cockburn explains, "and then he had a whole series of poems that involved King Kong as the perpetual frustrated outsider. So it seemed like if I was going to put in Tallahassee, it would be nice to have King Kong."

    from - an interview by Lynn Saxberg in The Ottawa Citizen, 7 September 2005.

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