MUSIC / Making a song and dance about it: It was all go for Charles and Eddie at this year's Ivors. Mick and Peter didn't do badly, either

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The Independent Culture
YESTERDAY at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, they gave out the Ivors. And they gave most of them to Charles and Eddie's 'Would I Lie to You' - Best Contemporary Song, Best Selling Song and International Hit of the Year, 1992.

For 'Charles and Eddie', though, read 'Mick and Peter', or rather 'Leeson and Vale', the team who wrote the song. The Ivor Novello Awards - run by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors - are dedicated to honouring songwriters, a breed that (to judge by this year's nominations) is becoming as rare as . . . well, a decent tune. These days, artists tend to do their own hit-writing. 'Would I Lie to You' was the only nomination not written by the person who recorded it.

The Leeson and Vale partnership has come up with songs for Sheena Easton and Mica Paris. According to Music Week, the pair spent a long time trying to sell 'Would I Lie to You' to British publishers, who turned the song down; an American producer eventually placed it with Charles and Eddie, prompting the question, do British publishers know a hit when they hear one?

The only nomination that 'Would I Lie to You' failed to come good on was the PRS award for the Most Performed Work, which went to Right Said Fred for 'Deeply Dippy'. Annie Lennox's 'Why' was Best Song Musically and Lyrically, holding off a strong challenge from 'The Disappointed', written by Andy Partridge for XTC, and from Eric Clapton's 'Tears in Heaven', which promptly won Best Film Theme or Song.

Songwriters of the year were The Shamen, whose contributions to the lyricist's art include the immortal lines, 'Ezergood, ezergood / 'e's Ebenezer Goode'. For this, and other similar works, they receive a slim statuette depicting Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyric poetry.

George Shearing was given a Lifetime Achievement award, the Hollies were honoured for an Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and Rod Temperton (you'll find his name all over Michael Jackson albums) received an award for International Achievement. Meanwhile, Shakespears Sister were given a statuette for what the academy refers to as an 'Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection', but what everybody else calls 'an album'.