PJ Harvey

English singer-songwriter

Polly Jean Harvey MBE (born 9 October 1969) is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet and composer. Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also proficient with a wide range of instruments.

PJ Harvey in 2011


PJ Harvey
  • I literally left school and went straight into music via art college for a year, and I've been so involved in my job of writing songs that the more actively involved part became channelled into standing on the stage and saying things that way. It's only now that it's come full circle and I'm using my voice again in a way that's tying everything together.
  • I'm probably much more influenced by film-makers and painters than I am by other songwriters or poets…With songs I almost see the images, see the action, and then all I have to do is describe it. It's almost like watching a scene from a film, and that's what I go about trying to catch in a song.
  • Even when I feel really happy, it's never enough. The only way it seems that I can reach 'enough' is through music. I've never found a relationship that is 'enough'. Sometimes when I do feel really happy, I write some of the most horrible songs! It doesn't stop my songwriting at all, I don't need to be tortured and angst-ridden to write.
The West's asleep. Let England shake,
weighted down with silent dead.
I fear our blood won't rise again.
England's dancing days are done.
Another day, Bobby, for you to come home
& tell me indifference won.
Smile, smile Bobby, with your lovely mouth.
Pack up your troubles, let's head out
to the fountain of death
& splash about, swim back & forth
& laugh out loud,
until the day is ending,
& the birds are silent in the branches,
& the insects are courting in the bushes,
& by the shores of lovely lakes
heavy stones are falling.
  • PJ Harvey, from the CD Let England Shake, Universal Island Records Ltd., 2010, LC 00407
Goddam' Europeansǃ
Take me back to beautiful England
& the grey, damp filthiness of ages,
& battered books &
fog rolling down behind the mountains,
& on the graveyards, and dead sea-captains.
Let me walk through the stinking alleys
to the music of drunken beatings,
past the Thames River, glistening like gold
hastily sold for nothing.
Let me watch night fall on the river,
the moon rise up and turn to silver,
the sky move,
the ocean shimmer,
the hedge shake,
the last living rose quiver.
  • PJ Harvey, from the CD Let England Shake, Universal Island Records Ltd., 2010, LC 00407
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