John Prine, Paul Simon and John Lennon are Libras, while Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Prince are Geminis. Coincidence?
Today is the first of August, which means it’s Leo time, that intense part of summer where the sun, especially here in the southwest, becomes blazingly intense, and it’s way too hot for humans.
Years ago I was in a short-lived band called The Lions, so named because the lead singer and I were both Leos. She was also an astrologer, and was forever schooling me on the sun signs of different artists, authors and musicians I loved. And invariably, the signs did match their characters. Of course, being a Leo she was persuasive – also an excellent dancer – and certain she was right, whether or not she was. Ever since then I have been interested in the signs of songwriters especially.
A Leo is, of course, the lion, ruled by the sun, and loves to shine. Performers who are more at home onstage than off, and live to perform, are often Leos. Mick Jagger is a double Leo, with both sun and moon in Leo. Other Leos include Whitney Houston, David Crosby, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Louie Armstrong. In all you can see that shining performer.
Naturally, I quickly rounded up the names of my favorite songwriters of all, the ones that made the biggest impact in my life, to see if there is any consensus in signs. And there does seem to be a definite pattern here. Which is that a preponderance of the most significant, and especially brilliant songwriters, fall under two signs more than the others: Libra and Gemini.
It is not absolute by any means. Joni Mitchell is a Scorpio, Stevie Wonder a Taurus, and David Bowie, Patti Smith and John Denver are all Capricorns. (And would have made a great supergroup.)
But Libra and Gemini – each have quite an impressive roster.
As you might know, Lennon and McCartney are Libra and Gemini, respectively.
Bob Dylan is a Gemini. Paul Simon a Libra.
That’s just the start.
Libra does makes sense for songwriters, as it is the sign that balances the scales. Songwriters merge two elements, words and music, to combine. It’s the “crucial balance,” as Libra Paul Simon said. Even songwriters who do only music or lyrics still are working with the balance, writing one to match the other.
Gemini represents the twins, the two sides of one person, naturally suited to merging two things into one. Geminis embrace dualities often, which colors their songs. Prince was forever merging the sacred and profane, the spiritual and the physical. He is, in the words of a fan, ” ” the protypical Gemini. His duality, quickness, intelligence, childlike nature.”
McCartney, from the start, brought both extremes too, from the pure rock and roll fire of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to the tenderness of “Yesterday.” He could play the angel and devil both, easily.
And Dylan? As he wrote recently, he contains multitudes.
Is there a real pattern here, do you think? We will provide, you can decide.
Jerry Lee Lewis