At the Drop of a Hat
At the Drop of Another Hat
Tried by the Centre Court
And Then We Wrote...
Swann's Way Out
ISBN 0 297 76891 3
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
First Published 1975
Inside front cover blurb:
"Once I saw myself dead, a torrent of ideas came into my mind exactly as when I start a new musical composition, and those ideas carried me through all sorts of afterdeath states and locations where I meet after-death people. Is the subject morbid? Rubbish. It's like falling out of a window and finding that you've landed on a vast spider's web which is holding you and on which you are floating. What a relief! I knew I was unmortal, we all are, so the moment I felt dead, I began to laugh (No, not the moment, several moments later it's difficult to explain, it becomes clear when you read it'. Death is the gate to a world of wonders. In this book I've described them. I meet some nightmares too ...
Jacket illustration by Kira Josey
Photograph of Donald Swann by Godfrey Argent
Inside back cover blurb:
Donald Swann is alive and composing in Battersea, where he has lived for twenty years. He is married and has two daughters. His fantasy that he has "emerged" from this world has not stopped him from multifarious worldly activities which have recently included broadcasting pre-Drop of a Hat songs with Michael Flanders, writing a second book of new carols for children, founding his own Albert House Press for "occasional songs", composing a musical extravaganza about the Crystal Palace for BBCTV Omnibus, and a tnp to Russia in search of long-lost uncles. He found an aunt.)
On stage he is most likely to be with his songwriting friends Sydney Carter and Jeremy Taylor, or with his loyal team of singers, who have learned his songs in all styles. His life with the Quakers during the war has led him in these times to present concerts in search of peace as far afield as Belfast and the Middle East. He says: "When I find life too frenetic, the outlines are beginning to blur and I can't tell if I'm on the telephone or at the keyboard, I grab a typewriter."
That's how Swann's Way Out happened.