Celebrate the creator of “Ugly Duckling” Fairy Tale!

April 2nd marks the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish prolific writer. He wrote fairy tales (his most common and memorable works), plays, poems, novels, and travelogues.

Many of his fictional works reflect that kind of environment Andersen experienced as a child and later as an adult. He was caught in between two wolds: Odense and Copenhagen in Denmark. Odense, where he lived poorly, maintained many of the old customs and superstitions, while Copenhagen opened the writer to a more cultured and bourgeoisie world. Andersen left at 14 to try his fortune in the theatre as an actor, singer, and playwright. Unfortunately, he didn’t find much success until he found a patron who sent him to school to get an education. He was supported by two well-off families. Throughout his career he enjoyed social mobility, getting acquainted with various wealthy families and princes. Throughout his work you will find he had progressive ideas, as someone who climb from the very bottom to a high “respectable” place in Danish and European society. To learn more about Hans Christian Andersen, more than just his fairy tales, click here for the Andersen Centre.

Our Brief Origin Story 

I think it’s about time we explain, don’t you?

Although our publication did not receive its name directly from considering Andersen’s fairy tale, we are proud to have chosen this name in the spirit of this story. Calish (the editor), came upon a song written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant, sang by the Everly Brothers on their 1960 LP A Date with the Everly Brothers. The song was then covered by The Beatles, which you can find in their Live at the BBC album. The song has a country rhythm to it, bouncing in vocals and guitar. The lyrics depicts a lonely turmoil within the singer, self-doubting himself as he questions love. It was a sympathizing kind of loneliness – who among us hasn’t doubt themselves when it comes to relationships?  According to Calish, she found a certain assertiveness in the Lennon’s voice, which detracted anything “sad” about it, but pushed the song with a defiant tone. (I mean how great is Lennon?!) Add Paul & George’s harmonies and you got a great and simple country record.Go ahead, give it a listen.

It was then that we all agreed we should capture the spirit of the “Ugly Duckling,” a lonely misfit simply looking for a place of his/her own. So why songbook? Because sometimes words and reasoning are just the beginning. Sometimes, you just need to feel them to truly come to an understanding; as in the words of Andersen:

Where words fail, music speaks.”

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