Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 39
Wed, March 6, 2013

“Central Reservation”
Beth Orton


“♫ And
I can still
smell you
on my fingers
and taste
you on my

Beth Orton once said, “Writing a song is like having a really difficult conversation with yourself.” It must be difficult having to conjure up memories, night in and out that you crafted for you songs, but some of the best do it effortlessly. Beth honored the evocative memory of a once intimate encounter as Orton once attempted to discuss writing songs about a former lover, with The Guardian UK when she explained, “I honestly have no idea how I used to do it,” she says. “Apart from specific songs.” Central Reservation, she recalls with a smile, the title track of her breakthrough 1999 album, “was written in Cartagena in Colombia after a different kind of night with no sleep. I had been doing what you do in Cartagena with some beautiful boy and snorting a stupid amount of coke and the song came from the joy of sitting in the sunshine the next day with a glorious hangover. I do remember that…

The problem with intimate memories like the one that Beth immortalized on “Central Reservations” is that sometimes those events might not inspire the brightest love songs, Orton doesn’t care, for she is a fan of sad songs when she explained in an interview with Love Letters From Verona, when she said, “I don’t see how people can be so fuckin’ happy when they’re not like in touch with their honest selves. What is this kind of obsession with being jolly and upbeat, you know? It’s just like it doesn’t exist really. It’s just what we’re told we should be. When actually what we are is complex, multi-dimensional beings who are full of emotion and need and want and desire a peace and all the emotions. I mean otherwise they wouldn’t exist, would they? I like being emotional. I like being alive.”
Beth sipping

Still I don’t hear “Central Reservation” as a sad love song, in fact, I feel like the title cut from Orton’s 1999 critically acclaimed album, is Beth celebrated a very private moment in a very beautifully poignant way. Orton talked about what specifically influences songs like “Central Reservation” when she said, “I think I’m very inspired by people and relationships… and scenery. I really love films. I love seeing. I see music a lot… and reading. Although I’m not a great reader. I go in phases of reading but when I do, I’m very taken or not at all. So I think that… and by scenery, by traveling. Traveling inspires me. This is what Paris Train is like… lots of journeys rolled into one.
Beth-Orton kitchen
“Central Reservation” becomes a journey musically that once was intimate and now becomes a very personal moment for us the listener. Beth Orton has this effortless gift of crafting love songs with universal vibe that listening to the song you can say, I’ve been there, I’ve experienced those heightened emotions.
Photo of Beth ORTON

Have you ever dreamed of experiencing a night like Beth reflected in “Central Reservation”— when time, song and emotions all connect to capture an almost unforgettable soundtrack moment? Throughout her career, Beth Orton has sculpted ideal lyrical snapshots using the post modern electronic canvases that melt beautifully with her timeless folk song masterpieces… I urge you to embark on your own personal trip inside Beth’s glorious love reflection called “Central Reservation”
beth orton green