…there was a little, little old woman who lived in a little, little old cottage with a mischievous little cat...
My mother used to read to me old Swedish storybooks and funnily enough Elsa Beskow’s “The Tale of the Little, Little Old Woman” was the lyrical inspiration my song “Maggie” (For Blood and Wine, 2010):
I had a little secret I kept to myself. In a little black room, in a little black house.
But inspiration had also come from somewhere else. Namely, the cat that belonged to my nephews named Maggie. Like the cat in Beskow’s book, Maggie got out one day and had become lost. My sister and I told the little boys that Maggie had gone to live with another family and I suppose I wrote the song to soften the blow of the beloved missing cat. My boyfriend at the time helped me record the children’s version – sadly, several years later he fell victim to heroin. I think the song portrays the unbearable seclusion and darkness that it brought. Like Maggie, my boyfriend was also… lost. I found it difficult to cope.
It’s not a sweet or funny tale by any means. It’s one that still haunts me. I tell it because people often think inspiration comes directly from other music. No. It comes from those who are in our hearts and minds. The romantic loves, the little kids you play Lego with… and of course, your pets.
And Maggie climbs trees and hunts for little mice, but I like Maggie best when she cuddles at night.
I’m sorry if this somehow changes your view on such a dark song. I never was easy with how the rock audience seemed to desire so much doom and gloom when all I was ever really interested in was connecting and staying connected to those whom I loved.