Words & Music

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Alabama




Alabama
The devil fools with the best laid plan
Swing low Alabama
You got the spare change
You got to feel strange
And now the moment
is all that it meant

Alabama, you got the weight on your shoulders that's breaking your back
Your Cadillac has got a wheel in the ditch and a wheel on the track

Alabama
Banjos playing through the broken glass
Windows down in Alabama
See the old folks
tied in white ropes
Hear the banjo
Don't it take you down home?

Alabama, you got the weight on your shoulders that's breaking your back.
Your Cadillac has got a wheel in the ditch and a wheel on the track

Alabama
Can I see you and shake your hand?
Make friends down in Alabama
I'm from a new land
I come to you and
See all this ruin
What are you doing 
Alabama?
You got the rest of the union to help you along
What's going wrong?
Friday, December 8, 2017

Baby

I've been thinking a lot about babies lately. Next month a dear friend is going to become a mommy and last month my baby, who hasn't been a baby for long years, packed up his boyhood room and moved out into the wider world. Baby New Year is right around the corner, and the birth of baby Jesus is about to be celebrated again in many parts of the world. Same as it always was, and different every time.


It is staggering to think of how helpless we are when we come into this world, relying completely on the love and support of others to survive. As we grow up and become stronger and more independent we convince ourselves that we're not as helpless as babies but it's not always true.

The bond of intimacy between parent and child is surpassed only by those between lovers or the closest of friends. Becoming a parent is one of the most challenging and joyful experiences life has to offer.



I wouldn't go back to my childhood, or my son's, even if I could (as sweet as they both were), because of all the hard-earned knowledge I'd have to re-learn, but I feel the tug of vicarious pleasure when I see a dad pushing a stroller or a mom tying her toddler's shoe. In a complicated, stressful world like ours it is easy to forget everything we learned as children. The innocence, the purity, and the unspoiled wonder of a baby's heart are constant reminders of life's most important lessons. 




In 1968, Brazilian artist Caetano Veloso wrote a song called "Baby" and recorded it with Gal Costa. Three years later, Os Mutantes recorded this version of it in English. It's not about the whole baby thing but it's called "Baby" and is worth a listen.




You know, you must take a look at the new land
The swimming pool and 

The teeth of your friend
The dirt in my hand
You know, you must take a look at me

Baby, baby, I know that's the way
Baby, baby, I know that's the way

You know, you must try the new ice cream flavor
Do me a favor, 

Look at me closer
Join us and go far
And hear the new sound of my Bossa Nova

Baby, baby, it's been a long time
Baby, baby, it's been a long time

You know, it's time now to learn Portuguese
It's time now to learn what I know
And what I don't know
And what I don't know
And what I don't know

I know, with me everything is fine
It's time now to make up your mind
We live in the biggest city of South America
Of South America, of South America
Look here, read what I wrote on my shirt

Baby, baby, I love you
Baby, baby, I love you
Baby, baby, I love you
Baby, baby, I love you
Baby, baby, I love you
You do