Thursday, February 01, 2007


Although this is a blog chiefly about poetry (in the strict words-on-the-page sense of poetry), I also do -- mostly have done, but, oh yes, still do on a more-or-less weekly basis -- things musical. Yesterday I found something rather unusual in my website's e-mailbox: a music fan letter from a young man in Africa. Here it is, copied, pasted. I replaced his name with an initial (not his) to maintain at least some semblance of confidentiality.

Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 11:35 AM
Subject: greetings from your fan in uganda africa,

Hullo Brian Compbell , Iam A. age 18 years old your fan from uganda africa, I like your music so much and listen your music on the radio here called radio sanyu f.m which plays all the song in the world but i appreciated your voice and your songs and i try maiming your song so that i can sing it in the school,i listen to your songs every weekend those are one of your songs which i listen
Far AWay'
'I will Tell You Why Tomorrow'

Am sorry of telling this we don't want to beg but the bad codition we have here makes us to beg therefore i beg you to send me some clothers, i know this is gone make you hard to reply but i beg you to reply because am your fan here who like your music so much,ples am sorry of telling this i know this is not your job of
helping people but the stiuation here makes us to beg thanks, have got to go hope hear from you. bye


Of course, with that final paragraph, I began to wonder if it's spam. (Even my Spam Bully filters weren't sure.) But unlike, say, that other notorious spam-scam asking for your bank account number in exchange for a generous cut from hidden gold reserves in Nigeria, this one seems to know too much in particular about what I do, and his request, if it is indeed clothes, rather too modest. I mean, touchingly so.

I began to think, jeez, here's this guy who trudges through the dust in worn out shoes and the only clothes he owns (if they aren't rags, very likely holes in them) to the local internet cafe in say, Kampala, to frantically type out his appreciation for my music -- no time for spelling or grammar checker, they charge by the hour at those cafes -- and then press "SEND" to this guy in Canada, maybe he can help. How poignant. But odd.

How he -- or that radio station -- got a hold of my music is a mystery to me. My promotion has hardly been extensive. (By the way, if you want to hear streaming files of the songs in question, click here. "Far Away" is the second one down. "I'll Tell You Why...", further down. You've got to click on the songs to hear 'em. Did they get them from here? Rather doubt it... these files are not exactly top quality, nor are they downloadable.)

Anyway, after a few moments of hesitation, I wrote back.

Hello A,

Thank you very much for your praise for my music. I am left a little curious, however.

Is it clothes? Or is it a CD you want?

I am also curious how Radio Sanyu got my music, since I never sent them the album and I have only parts of those songs on my web site.

I am sorry to hear of your need.



Maybe I should have been more forthcoming. Maybe I should have expressed a deeper appreciation for his appreciation of my music. If the tone seems guarded, well, I felt guarded. Had he asked me for my CD + a few clothes in the package, that would have made more sense. But just clothes? (Rather, clothers?) No mention of size, let alone an address. Maybe that will be forthcoming in a further missive. Hmmm. I await his reply.

1 comment:

Andrew Shields said...

If this goes on, please do share it. A fascinating situation. (And your guardedness is justified.)