top of page

Live Coal - Melanie

From her 1993 album "Freedom Knows My Name" "Live Coal" we have Melanie already "raging against the dying of the light", at the tender age of only 46. But the advice is sound and the song has a retrospective feel, emphasised by the presence of Melanie's three adult children and produced, as was usual, by her husband, and their father, Peter Schekeryk.

The chorus has a Southern African rhythm and harmony, giving the tune an appropriately universal feel, reverberating beyond Melanie's personal ageing to a broader appeal to the world at large not to stifle the live coal of creativity:

"Hey now, seems like everywhere I go

Some joker is trying to kill the live coal.

Oh, don't be one of those

I have some wild oats to sow

I am alive alive oh.....

....I said don't kill it, don't kill it -

don't kill the live coal"

but to keep encouraging and respecting it:

"New ones, old ones, I've seen 'em blow,

fan the embers, watch the lives ones glow.

We've such a long way to go

so from the heart of my soul

don't kill the live coal.

Oh, don't, don't kill the live coal."

After all, creativity is life.

Now that Melanie has sadly passed away, her "alive alive oh" refrain reminds us of its original: Molly Malone's street fishmonger call. Molly, after dying of a fever, could still be heard "driving her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow, singing "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh". "

Just as we can still listen to Melanie's music. And hear her singing

"Alive alive oh!"


bottom of page