This is the tenth in a series of blog entries about the songs on the upcoming album “Hello Cruel World”, to be released January 2012.

I threw a rose to the matador

Not sure who I was cheering for

My aim was true, my heart was full

I loved the fighter and the bull


Federico García Lorca describes the Spanish concept of duende as a kind of dark spirit, a creative power which seizes an artist and brings forth the deepest, most elemental creation. The artist does not surrender to the duende, but battles it, “on the rim of the well”. The power of the duende is such that it takes control not only of the performer but also the audience. We’ve all felt it when the hairs on our neck are raised by a singer in thrall to a song, when we inexplicably cry at the turn of a phrase. Duende brings the artist “face to face with death.” But what about his audience, and the woman who loves him?

To fall in love is to lose oneself temporarily. To be pulled into another’s world. To love an artist like this is to be pulled into the furnace of his creative fire, to be swallowed whole by his world. And to resign oneself to being a spectator, at times. But oh, the view.

I loved like only a woman can

a very complicated man

I bound his wounds I heard his cries

I gave him truth, I told him lies


“The Matador” by Gretchen Peters
©2011  Circus Girl Music, administered by Carnival Music (ASCAP)
from the upcoming album Hello Cruel World

Click here to watch the music video of “The Matador”

This is the sixth in a series of blog entries about the songs on the upcoming album “Hello Cruel World”, to be released January 2012.

Las Vegas, 2007

There’s a man out here puts his head in the mouth of a crocodile

Puts the whole thing in, takes it out and gives the crowd a great big smile

And they walk away with their illusions of safety safely intact

And they tell their little wide-eyed kids it’s only an act


Picasso said that Art is a lie which makes us realize truth. It’s an act of death-defying. It’s a Hail Mary pass at eternity. The artist creates an illusion. The illusion is made of pieces of herself. Her blood, her tears, her sweat. Broken bones, broken hearts, broken lives. All of these glittering things are held together with hope and baling wire, to create something true.

The artist’s job is to “comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable”. She’s embracing failure, uncertainty, fear, death. Holding up a mirror.

Making you look.

They say I got a death wish, yeah, but I don’t think that’s true

As far as I can see it’s less about me and more about you

You see it ain’t your fears so much as what your fears reveal

I’m just the woman on the wheel


“Woman On The Wheel” by Gretchen Peters
©2008 Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing & Gretchen Peters Music (ASCAP)
from the upcoming album Hello Cruel World

photo by Gretchen Peters (all rights reserved)