009: Why 'Swan Song'?

So we’ve had a few people ask what’s does “Swan Song” mean? Why have you called yourself Swan Song.

Well I thought it was about time to explain the name and the meaning behind it:

1. Poetic License

This term derived from the legend that, Swan’s while they’re mute during their lives, swans sing beautifully and mournfully just before they die. Though this has been known since Roman times to be untrue. The poetic imagery proved to be more attractive than scientific method and many poets and playwrights made use of the fable long after Pliny The Elder wrote of his discovery. 


2. The Final Tour

’Swan-song' is now used figuratively and most commonly to refer to celebrated performers embarking on 'farewell tours' or 'final performances'. 

Those ironic quote marks were never more appropriate than in the case of Nellie Melba, whose swan song consisted of an eight year long string of 'final concerts' between 1920 and 1928. We intend to beat that 8 year long swan song.


3. The Swan’s of Lincoln

My hometown of Lincoln in the East Midlands is a Roman city with a Norman Cathedral started by Bishop Remigius in 1072. In 1186 after a fire and earthquake left the Cathedral in disrepair. Bishop Hugh Avalon was assigned to the post.

Hugh's primary emblem is a white swan, in reference to the story of the swan of Stow which had a deep and lasting friendship with the saint, even guarding him while he slept. The swan would follow him about, and was his constant companion while he was at Lincoln. Hugh loved all the animals in the monastery gardens, especially a wild swan that would eat from his hand and follow him about and yet the swan would attack anyone else who came near Hugh.


The city and the swan has been closely linked ever since. The myth being that if the swans were to ever leave the Brayford pool the cathedral would crumble to the floor.


4. Led Zeppelin, Swan Song.

In 1974, after a 5 year contract with Atlantic Records concluded. Peter Grant, Led Zepellin’s manager setup, ‘Swan Song’ records as a vehicle for the band to promote its own products as well as sign artists who found it difficult to win contracts on major labels. 

‘Swan Song’ was the lost instrumental masterpiece that never made its way onto ‘Physical Graffiti’. One of Jimmy Page’s ideas that he started in Headley Grange, the 18th-century workhouse in Hampshire but never saw in full fruition.

The track was broken up into sections, two of which were recorded in late February 1974. The first part opens with Page’s drifting acoustic guitar, before the John Paul Jones/John Bonham rhythm section kicks in with the sure-footed syncopation that characterised their greatest work. The second segment commences with Page again leading off, his descending riff hinting at the song’s majestic potential. Though the structure and sound continued to reappear in later projects. With this great opus never truly reaching its end.


5. I like to pour the Swan pattern.

Yes, latte art doesn’t make your coffee taste better. But it’s fun to learn all the patterns and we enjoy it. It’s something I’ve always loved about coffee. Anyone who moans about elaborate designs on their

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