Monday, April 17, 2006

Poetic Rockin’

Rogers and Hammerstein gave us unforgettable musicals and along the way also wrote some powerful poetry. The connection between poetry and music is very strong. After all both are inherently metrical, speaking directly to the heart and soul.

Here’s a sample of one very well known, and one less remembered song from "Carousel".

If I Loved You

If I loved you,
Time and again I would try to say
All I'd want you to know.
If I loved you,
Words wouldn't come in an easy way
Round in circles I'd go!
Longin' to tell you,
But afraid and shy,

I'd let my golden chances pass me by!
Soon you'd leave me,Off you would go in the mist of day,
Never, never to know how I loved you...If I loved you.

You’ll Never Walk Alone

When you walk through a storm
Keep your chin up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone.

The Beatles were great and the Lennon/McCartney team shouldered most of the burden of composing.
They too wrote some powerful poetry.

From Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she’s gone.Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies,
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.

Lennon and McCartney were always inspired but occasionally Harrison contributed a little gem.

Here comes the sun,
Here comes the sun
And I say
It’s alright…

Those of us that are old enough, will recall that there was a close friendship between George Harrison and Eric Clapton; “While My Guitar gently Weeps” was a direct collaboration but otherwise too their lives and music intertwined and produced a lot of sometimes painful yet always magical music.

Do you remember Cream, Led Zeppeliin, The Who and Woodstock in those crazy days when rock was it? Probably, for many, today what still resonates even more than the nostalgia are the sad tales of those that crashed and burned along the way, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Pete Ham, John Bonham... Many of the leading artists of that age who did survive will fall into the “near miss” category since they seem to have just barely outlived their superstardom. Some (a very few) even managed to retain their superstar status like Clapton, McCartney, Paul Anderson and Roger Waters. And yet, what really remains (and it always will) are the lyrics.

Like “Layla” and “Bell Bottom Blues”, one of the great songs that sprang from the Clapton – Harrison friendship was:

It’s late in the evening. She’s wondering what clothes to wear.
She puts on her makeup and brushes her long blond hair
And then she asks me
“Do I look alright?”
And I say
“Yes, you look wonderful tonight.”

We go to a party
And everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady
That’s walking around with me
And then she asks me
“Do you feel alright?”
And I say
“Yes I feel wonderful tonight.”

I feel wonderful
Because I see
The love lighting in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize,
How much I love you
It’s time to go home now and
I‘ve got an aching head.
So I give her the car keys
And she helps me to bed
And then I tell her
As I turn out the light
“You are wonderful tonight
Oh my darling,
You were wonderful tonight.”

And just a reminder of one of the many who burned a bit too bright:

"Purple haze all in my eyes,

uhh Don’t know if it’s day or night

You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind

Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time? "

Can't fit much in on Dylan or Simon & Garfunkel here, not to mention CSNY -all good poets in their own right. Instead we can talk about poetic folk rockin somewhere down the road...

Here's a typical "hard" playlist from my heyday!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Might is RIGHT

Realpolitik argues that there can be no ethics in international affairs (nor in politics of any ilk). Politicians believe that they can always make a majority of the people believe that whatever they say is the truth. But, I don't believe that humankind is so predictable.

Just "another brick in the wall" is how Pink Floyd put it, as easy as leading a flock of sheep...For example, our journalists and social commentators are all very certain that GWB's new "lowest rating ever" is largely due to the continuing flow of negative news from Iraq. By implication, if Iraq were calm, GWB could have been considered a successful president!

Is that really all that there is? "The winner is always right", may be a classic neocon thought but have the public believed this? I really don't think that "the public" is as dumb as the media that serves them, believes.

Democracy in Iraq means the Shia domination of an important and strategic oil source. Furthermore, one could reasonably expect an axis of power to develop with the philosophical linking of two powerful neighbors, Iraq-Iran. Which truly is the stuff of the neocon-jewish lobby's worst nightmares. Knowing this President's penchant for using leaks to accelerate his spin, one could see the timely "leak" of plans to bomb Iran as a nice way to divert attention from the Iraq imbroglio. One might also suspect that our public may even begin to question why Iran having enrichment is any different from Pakistan, India and Israel who have been clandestinely developing these capabilities from the 1950s on and all of whom have both the bombs and the "delivery systems" well in place.

In the final analysis, the Katrina debacle probably did GWB more damage politically than the "far away" war in Iraq.

Pragmatism aside, doesn't one central question get consistently missed? Have the words "right" and "truth" lost their meaning for society? Thank God that however twisted or spun, the truth remains, and might can never mean the same as right.


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