Moody Blues/Song lyrics.


QUESTION: Hi. Tracy.
   I have another tuff question for you . Maybe. lol.
    Justin always seem to use the lyrics in his songs
   he writes. Including his new album. Spirits of The
    Western Sky. Come What May. Any clue to this .

     Thanks Keith Gibson. Good last name right . lol

ANSWER: Hi Keith,

It's so funny that you mention that, because I've noticed it, myself!  But he doesn't just do it with commonly used words and phrases, he does it with themes, as well.  Water and flying themes repeat time and time again in Mr. Hayward's songs, as does the concept of fate; which I think is where the "come what may" thing comes in.

That's actually not so uncommon among songwriters, though.  Gordon Lightfoot's songs are often filled with nature themes, Al Stewart is (of course) crazy about historical topics, and Chris Isaak's songs often deal with heartache and loss as a common theme.

As for Justin's use of the same phrases over and over?  I think a lot of it has to do with how those words flow, how they might rhyme with other parts of the song, and where they're placed in the music.  Something like "come what may" ends in an open vowel sound, and that's usually the kind of sound that works best when holding a note in a song.

Listen to Johnny Mathis for a bit, and you'll see what I mean.  Johnny tends to hold the consonant in songs...  the "m" sound, as in "mmmmmmmmmay", or the "v" sound in "lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvve" are good examples.  Most singers, like Justin, hold the vowel; "maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay" or "loooooooooooooooove", and phrases that allow for that; like "come what may" (I'm sure) tend to be used again and again.

And yes... you're absolutely right...  "Gibson"... ROCKS!  :-)

I hope I managed to find a good clue, and as always, thanks for using!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

   Okay on a roll now . lol Some yrs ago when the band travelled
     from the east to the west. For Bill Graham doing The Fillamore
    east to west thing. They were invited to Thanksgiving dinner by
     a family in the midwest I think. How did that come about. And
      did the family ever go to a concert to visit them.? Or any
     contact yrs later.? Wouldn"t that be an interesting conversation
      topic.?Pics would have been good of that. lol You keep answering
     I will keep asking . lol

        Keith Gibson.

Hi Keith,

Okay...  :-)

On November 17, 2003, in the Grand Rapids Press , an article written by John Sinkevics mostly focused on a review of the band's recent performance at the DeVos Performance Hall.  However, Sinkevics did discuss an earlier show in Grand Rapids on November 27, 1969 where the band had apparently mentioned (to whom, it's not known...) that they had never experienced a real, honest-to-goodness, American Thanksgiving.  So, as the story goes, the Fountain Youth Club (the group that sponsored the show which was held at the Fountain Street Church), arranged for pre-show dinners with some families in the area.

As for those host families ever visiting the Moodies or staying in touch with them over the years?  No, the article doesn't specify anything about that, but Sinkevics did talk to Liz Bartz, who was apparently at her cousin's house for Thanksgiving that year when three (unnamed) members of the band joined the family for the traditional holiday meal.

Sinkevics also indicated that, due to time constraints, Liz wasn't able to meet the band back stage, but that's as far as he goes with the "what happened next" part of the story.

It is an awfully cool story, though, and I'm sure (as most families do - and did in 1969...) photos and "home movies" were likely taken at some point so I have no doubt that there is documentation somewhere.  None was included with the article, unfortunately.

Okay Keith, that was a fun one!

Take care, and thanks again for using!


Moody Blues

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Tracy Zimmermann


I’m pretty confident that I can answer just about any question about the band or their music you may have. I’ve been a fan since 1972 and have followed their careers (collectively and as solo artists,) closely ever since. In addition, I've amassed a vast database on all things Moody - from "completest" discographies for the band and all of their solo projects, to extensive bibliographies, videographies, posterfiles, etc. I have an extensive collection of memorabilia; both group and related solo projects. My collection includes vinyl, CDs, tapes (cassette, 8-track, and reel,) posters, shirts, sheet music and songbooks, back stage passes, magazines, books and other publications, equipment, and video. If I don’t know it, I know where to find it. All you have to do is ask!


I’ve been a fan of the band since 1972. I was a contributing editor to "Higher and Higher", the Moody Blues Magazine 1994, to the magazine’s untimely demise in 2007, writing the Videography Department.

As noted previously, much of my writing has appeared in “Higher and Higher” since 1994, but I also wrote a piece that appeared in issue #1 of Mike Pinder’s newsletter “Have You Heard”.

Though I haven’t yet finished, my educational focus is on a Journalism degree.

Awards and Honors
I've also had the good fortune to have traveled to England to catch the end of the Band's Spring 2000 concert tour; a trip I've always wanted to take. I’ve supplied research information on the band to a number of sources, including the July 5, 2004 English Quiz Show “Mastermind” which featured a contestant whose expertise was also the Moody Blues. I also participated in the UK Channel 4 presentation of the “Top Ten” program's episode on Progressive Rock, that featured the Moody Blues at #3 on their list. That program aired on March 3, 2001.

©2016 All rights reserved.