Words & Music

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Kind of Cloud

I've always felt a kind of cloud
Surrounded me on all sides but one
I could always escape by going down
I could shrink and hide inside myself
Behind closed lips and eyelids
I could concentrate on denial
Hide shock with laughter and disgust with a smile
I never knew where to put my fingers or my gaze
I elevated ignorance to sanctity
And piled blankets on top of my shivering shame
I saw it all and pretended I was blind
Like everyone else

They had to see it too
It was all over the TV and then the internet
It was written in the malleable stone of every stranger's face
It was hidden in the plain sight of every speech
Every lesson
Every advertising slogan
It was here
It was us
It was not getting better
Or, if it was, it was not getting better soon enough that I would hear in my life
The simple truth
We need to forgive and to be forgiven

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Comes Love

Comes Love is a jazz standard composed for the Broadway musical Yokel Boy, by Sam Stept, with lyrics by Lew Brown and Charles Tobias. The play debuted on July 6, 1939 at the Majestic Theatre on 44th Street and ran for 208 performances. The Phantom of the Opera is playing there now, and has been since 1988, with over 12,000 performances and counting.

I first heard Comes Love in New Orleans and its theme of love's inescapability ("nothing can be done") resonated with me. It must have had a similar effect on Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell because they all recorded versions of it.

Come a rainstorm, put some your rubber on your feet
Come a snowstorm, you can get a little heat
Come that love, nothing can be done

Come a fire, you know just what to do
Blow a tire, you can buy another shoe
Come that love, nothing can be done

Don't try hiding, there isn't any use
You'll start sliding when you're heart turns on the juice

Come a headache, you can lose it in a day
Come a toothache, see your dentist right away
Come that love, nothing can be done

Come a heatwave, you can head down to the shore
Come a summons, you can hide behind the door
Come that love, nothing can be done

Come the measles, quarantine the room
Come a mousy, you can get him with a broom
Come that love, nothing can be done
That's all sisters, if you've ever been in love
That's all brothers, you know what I'm speaking of

Come a nightmare, you've got to stay awake
Comes depression, you can get another break
Come that love, nothing can be done