Madison King (BA English ’09) does not wear her heart on her sleeve, but she does wear a sleeve tattoo graphic representation of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, her favorite poem, the one she volunteers to teach each year to English students at First Baptist Academy in downtown Dallas, her high school alma mater.
King is a poet and a jazz, country, blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, a former Baptist praise song leader, and aspiring English Ph.D. student. Needless to say, she is a study in contrasts. King readily admits she was, perhaps, not the most motivated undergraduate student, despite being articulate, confident, and brilliant. In fact, she remembers a time that Prof. Greenspan called her into his office and said something along the lines of, “Your paper is written so well I want to give you an “A,” but it’s so obvious you didn’t read the work that I can’t.”
“I took that as a compliment,” King laughs. Greenspan told her to keep writing, as did then-visiting professor of poetry Jennifer Key, who went out of her way to help. The advice and help is paying off. King is still writing. Not poetry, but songs. And she is recording them. She released her first cd , Darlin, Here’s To You, in July 2011.
“Writing a song is nothing like writing poetry,” King says. “But knowing how to write well makes me able to produce more interesting songs.” King describes her songs as “uncomplicated.” She says that she’s not trying to be groundbreaking, but simply wants to make the kind of songs that she likes to listen to, songs with good melodies and beautiful stories, like those of Lauryn Hill, Elton John, and Billy Joel, whom she says she could listen to all day. And, while King can’t listen to anything that doesn’t have a hook, she can’t write one either.
“I’m a Nazarene, but I ain’t Jesus.”
“I don’t need you coming here to kiss me when I got a bottle I can put my lips around.”
“I’m hungover cause I’m so hung up on you.”
“Don’t ever sell a .44 to a girl with tears in her eyes.”
And this writer’s personal favorite: “There’s a chain of effect your affection of affection took on me, I’m stuck between two worlds I’m straddling.” Madison King straddles words and worlds and, quite simply, writes great songs. Madison is the proud daughter of Judy King, Administrative Support, Office of Academic Affairs, Peter K. Moore. Darlin, Here’s to You is available on iTunes, at Amazon.com, and at King’s website: madisonking music.com.