Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 259
Wed. Nov 20, 2013

“Capital Letter”
Patti Smith


“♫ Rebellion
is an
arrow/ wired
to the

Did you know Patti Smith has a brand new song on the soundtrack to the sequel to the first Hunter Games film: Catching Fire? Don’t be surprised that Smith penned a song for The Hunter Games series, one of Patti’s favorite books while growing up was Louise May Alcott’s classic book Little Women. Alcott’s tome is one that Patti still rereads every year to this very day, Smith was so taken by Alcott’s book that this Punk Rock Poet once said “Then I read Little Women, and of course, like a lot of really young girls, I was very taken with Jo – Jo being the writer and the misfit.” Smith saw parallels between Jo and Hunter Games main protagonist Katniss when Patti told The Wall Street Journal, “I can’t resist a girl with a bow and arrow. [Even in this dark fantasy universe, She] has her own moral code, and that’s what you want in a heroine.”

Patti reached back to her days as a youth that sparked her need to become a writer with her own fiery voice as Smith explained to Penthouse, “Yeah, I decided I wanted to be a writer when I read Little Women. Jo was so great. I really related to her. She was a tomboy, yet guys liked her and she had a lot of boyfriends. She was a real big influence on me, as much an influence as Bob Dylan was later. She was so strong and yet she was feminine. She loved guys; she wasn’t a bull or nothing. So I wanted to write. I had always been a daydreamer. I mean, I had a gang and stuff, I’d beat up Irish kids and things like that, but basically I was a daydreamer.”
That same daydreamer spirit thrives inside the warrior reader poet that is Patti Smith today. When Patti was asked by Pitchfork if Smith still read books has ferociously as the Punk Rock Poet did as a youngster, she replied, “Are you kidding? I still read Pinocchio. I read Pinocchio, or Uncle Wiggly, or Lewis Carroll. I re-read Herman Hesse. I love my books. I re-read books the way I play albums over and over. I’ve listened to the same Maria Callas record a thousand times, just like Blonde on Blonde. I’m always moved by people’s work, and its part of the beautiful things in life, you know? Looking at the work, and seeing inside the mind of other people. Then, you know, contributing your own thing.”
While pondering her on lyrical contribution for the sequel to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunter Games series, Patti knew she wanted enthuse the youthful spirit of Catching Fire’s main protagonist Katniss Everdeen, so according to The Wall Street Journal, Smith recorded “Capital Letter” with her son Jackson on guitar and her daughter Jesse on bass. Fans of Patti Smith will remember that Jesse joined her mother, playing piano, on the title track for 2004’s Trampin. Thanks to Jackson and Jesse’s contribution her kids help her reconnect with a younger generation that the devoted older audience Patti is used to performing to.
Patti Smith sees herself as an artist giving back to the great art that has inspired her throughout her celebrated life as a poet and rock star when she told Filter Magazine in 2008, “I just love the work that people do. I always have. Nothing is more exciting than a new book, or to uncover a new writer or see a great painting or a piece of architecture you haven’t seen. It excites me; the work that people do. It’s one of the great things about being alive—what our fellow man produces. It’s not always that I want to possess the work myself, or cover the work myself—I bathe in it. I learn from it. I’m inspired by it. I might extend it or improvise on it. I think that all artists do this. And to be a part of this chain of being is beautiful.”

Patti Smith fans unite and experience this Punk Poetess theme song for Suzanne Collins’ Hunter Games anti-heroine protagonist Katniss Everdeen. “Capital Letter” is more than just a song on the soundtrack to Catching Fire, this new cut is another lyrical log on her rhythmic song fire canon that glows the inspirational spark only Patti Smith can conceive.