A Street In a Strange World

You Can Call Me Al

A man walks down the street
He says, “Why am I soft in the middle now?
Why am I soft in the middle?
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard”
Bonedigger, bonedigger
Dogs in the moonlight
Far away my well-lit door
Mr. Beerbelly, Beerbelly
Get these mutts away from me
You know I don’t find this stuff
Amusing anymore

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long-lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty, when you call me
You can call me Al

A man walks down the street
He says, “Why am I short of attention?
Got a short little span of attention
And, woe my nights are so long
Where’s my wife and family?
What if I die here?
Who’ll be my role model
Now that my role model is
Gone gone?”
He ducked back down the alley
With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl
All along along
There were incidents and accidents
There were hints and allegations

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long-lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty, when you call me
You can call me Al
Call me Al

A man walks down the street
It’s a street in a strange world
Maybe it’s the third world
Maybe it’s his first time around
He doesn’t speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound, the sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages

He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says, “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!”

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long-lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty, when you call me
You can call me Al
Call me

Na na na na …

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty

© 1986 Words and Music by Paul SimonRead More »

Like Holy Wine

A Case of You

Just before our love got lost you said
“I am as constant as a northern star”
And I said “Constantly in the darkness
Where’s that at?
If you want me I’ll be in the bar”

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada
Oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice
Oh you’re in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet

Oh I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
oh I would still be on my feet

Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I’m frightened by the devil
And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid

I remember that time you told me you said
“Love is touching souls”
Surely you touched mine
‘Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh, you’re in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet

Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said
“Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed”

Oh but you are in my blood
You’re my holy wine
You’re so bitter, bitter and so sweet

Oh, I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

© 1970; Joni Mitchell

From BlueRead More »

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over …

… as the mediocre lyricist Lenny Kravitz once said.

I will be fifty tomorrow. My mother died when she was fifty six. If I were to follow suit, I have six years to make my mark or erase it. I have done both, simultaneously, for as long as I can remember.

I dreamt of a fresh start this year. It should have begun by now. But here I go again, feeling sorry for myself, wringing my hands and imagining the worst.

Has the worst already happen? Is it to come? Is it happening right now? Who can tell? In twenty years, if someone chooses to remember this time, if someone tells this story, they will be in a better position to judge. Perhaps the phone will ring tonight, and there will be good news. Perhaps we will overcome. Perhaps we will choose to have an adventure instead of believe we are doomed. People face and survive worse. Evey day.

So stop. Just stop.

 

In Which I Come to a Screeching Halt

Debbie George. Lion Jug and Dandelions
‘Lion Jug and Dandelions’ by Debbie George

I am posting this picture because it’s a happy picture: look at the lion’s smiling face; look at the determinedly bright yellow of the dandelions.

I am not happy. Things are not going well. Nothing is certain, although you could argue that nothing ever is. Still, it’s one thing to not know where one is going, but be, nevertheless, on one’s way. and quite another to feel that one has come to a sudden halt, with no prospect of starting moving again. For the first time in a long while, I am not on my way and I am wondering if I ever was. Have I been fooling myself?

I don’t want to speculate on what has been and what might be. Stress does dreadful things to people. It makes them say the silliest, most irrational and rather unkind things. Don’t think about it. Don’t analyse. I will distract myself with happy pictures and the Moomins.

Tove Jansson’s series of books is being discussed by a Facebook group I belong to and I am supposed to lead the discussion on two of them: The Exploits of Moominpappa and Moominpappa at Sea. I thought I liked them the least of the books, but I’m enjoying my current re-read of Exploits. I shall post a review when I’m done. In the meantime, isn’t Edward the Booble the most fabulous name for a ferocious sea serpent?

edward1
Edward the Booble from ‘The Exploits of Moominpappa’, story and illustrations by Tove Jansson.

 

 

 

Wolves by Louis Macneice

Wolves

I do not want to be reflective any more
Envying and despising unreflective things
Finding pathos in dogs and undeveloped handwriting
And young girls doing their hair and all the castles of sand
Flushed by the childrenæs bedtime, level with the shore.

The tide comes in and goes out again, I do not want
To be always stressing either its flux or its permanence,
I do not want to be a tragic or philosophic chorus
But to keep my eye only on the nearer future
And after that let the sea flow over us.

Come then all of you, come closer, form a circle,
Join hands and make believe that joined
Hands will keep away the wolves of water
Who howl along our coast. And be it assumed
That no one hears them among the talk and laughter.

~ Louis Macneice (1907-1963)