No-one Owns The Colour Blue.

Yesterday a New York jury ruled that Ed Sheeran, in his song ‘Thinking Out Loud’, did not copy Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’. Following the verdict, our local boy, who lives 30 miles away, said:

‘…We’ve spent the last eight years talking about two songs with dramatically different lyrics, melodies and four chords, which are also different and are used by songwriters every day, all over the world. These chords are common building blocks, which were used to create music long before ‘Let’s Get It On’ was written and will be used to make music long after we are all gone. They are in a songwriter’s alphabet, our toolkit, and should be there for all of us to use. No-one owns them or the way they’re played in the same way no-one owns the colour blue.’

Sheeran says that the songwriter’s building blocks… melody, rhythm, harmonic progression… are owned by no-one. These musical elements are available for all to use to create, explore, enjoy…

Sheeran’s lyrics tell stories, evoke feelings… Writers use words for a story, poem, diary entry… to record facts, express ideas, create fiction… Words are building blocks – available  to all, owned by nobody.

Artists use their toolkit of colours, brushes, paper, canvas… creating a picture of a landscape, fruit bowl, horse, family member… with extensive or limited skill… ‘No-one owns the colour blue’ – or any other colour…

Choreographers create dances. Moves and steps are arranged in sequence, with different purpose and meaning. The dance toolkit is individualised through knowledge, skill, physical ability, creativity…  

Men work with wood on a lathe, potters sit with clay at their wheel, sculptors weld intricate metal strips. They use their toolkit; skills can be taught and developed; the final result is unique. No-one owns creativity; it’s there for all to enjoy.

St Paul’s lists ‘spiritual fruit’… ‘Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…’ Perhaps that’s another toolkit… owned by nobody, to be used individually, creatively… for all to enjoy.

6 thoughts on “No-one Owns The Colour Blue.

  1. Hm, I know it’s not a coincidence that I am visiting your blog today. Before I did so, I was preparing some podcast notes and included in there is the Scripture about the fruit of the Spirit. I am grateful for the way God leads our lives. Enjoyed this post very much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer. Interesting ‘coincidence’. I’m always humbled by words that I think I know, can come to me in a fresh way, reminding me that I need to continue to learn old truths in new ways and live them in new contexts.

      Liked by 1 person

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