Run For Cover: All of Me

This love song, written in 2013, was one of the biggest hits of the decade and cemented John Legend as one of the most admired singer-songwriters of his generation. He co-wrote the song with Toby Gad.

‘All of Me’ was inspired by John Legend’s then-fiancée, now wife, model Chrissy Teigen. The couple met in 2007 on the set of his video for ‘Stereo’. They married on September 14, 2013.

When asked what the song was about, he said: “The song is saying things that balance each other out: even when I lose, I’m winning; my head’s under water, but I’m breathing fine; I give you all of me, you give me all of you. At the same time as you’re giving everything up, you’re gaining everything, and that’s what the whole song is about. If you’re in love and you connect, then even when you’re giving things up, you’re gaining so much from it.”

I was playing it one day on my old piano when my grandaughter came in. She and Carol started singing as I played. Such a lovely melody and such a lovely memory to take into lockdown.

I decided at that moment to record it as one of the tracks on my “Run for Cover” series. The cover track for piano solo can be found on Spotify, YouTube, ITunes, Apple Music, Tidal and other platforms. I hope you enjoy it and feel you can share it with your friends and family.

Happy Burns’ Night 2020

Robert (Rabbie) Burns, the Scottish poet and lyricist, was born on 25 January. 1759. Generally regarded as one of the most influential Scots of all time, his literary work is celebrated throughout the world.

Portrait of Robert Burns, 1787

Burns is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic Movement and, after his death in 1796, he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both Liberalism and Socialism. Indeed, it would be true to say that, throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, his work and life have achieved charismatic proportions. Translations of his work are particularly held in high regard in France and Russia.

When I was at school, we studied Burns’ poetry as part of the national school curriculum and, to me, he was as famous as Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth.

In 2009, he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish Television (STV)

As well as writing original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) “Auld Lang Syne” is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and “Scots wha hae” served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country.

Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include “A Red, Red Rose”, “ A Man’s a Man for a’ That”, “To a Louse”, “To a Mouse”, “Tam O’Shanter” and the very sad but beautiful “Ae Fond Kiss”

I have chosen my piano solo version of “A Red, Red Rose” to celebrate the life of one of the finest British poets ever to have lived. It is regarded by many to be one of the most charming love songs ever written, full of glorious hyperbole.

A Red Red Rose🌹, Piano Solo by John McGuinness

A Red, Red Rose.

“ O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in june;
O my Luve is like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune:

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.”

Robert Burns

A Red Red Rose

My Love is Like A Red Red Rose; Trad. Scottish; Piano Solo arrangement by John McGuinness

We are approaching St. Andrews Day so I thought it timely to share my piano solo arrangement of one of the most beautiful Scottish love songs ever written – Robert Burns’ “A Red Red Rose”.

I have tried to bring out the romanticism in the music by giving the melody a “nocturne” style. I hope you enjoy it and sing along with it. In a future ‘blog’, I intend to write a little on the subject of the “Nocturne” or “Notturno”.

A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
   And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
   Though it were ten thousand mile.

From Wedding Album