Apologies for the blank screen on this now-lost video: a soundtrack I did for a ’70s PBS documentary about inner-city kids putting their lives back together.
Yes, there were lots of children: muscled shades of beige, brown and black on playground swings, riding the damn things higher and higher until they realize that the only limits to their dreams and success in life are…
Um, …the length of the support chains and the height of the playground infra-structure (!). Sorry, broke the wonderfully-supportive PBS mood!
I include it here for posterity. The rights to the original version, recorded laboriously on now-dinosaur TEAC 4-tracks, were long-since sold to Turner, Sony, or whoever. Doubt they’ll lose sleep over seeing this remake on my lonely WP site.
Unless you’re one of the stone faces on Rushmore, dear Reader, you must certainly be familiar with the ‘un-announced onset of moments of passion and memories’
But as someone once advised about deciding to suddenly go jogging, the best wisdom is to ‘find something else to do until the feeling subsides.’
Memory is well-known as a selective, tunnel-vision experience.
Here, in this song, the conclusion is that ‘we only remember the good times… times two.’ (Or “too”- also.)
The human brain does that; otherwise you’d lie awake at night thinking about what an asshole you are.
Of course some folks (women, ok?) are frustratingly incapable of even putting the ‘times’ on the table for perusal and/or reflection. Need to Google what the professional call ’em.
My advice, though: Don’t call ’em. No matter how teared-up you you feel drunk-dialing, take it from me: Go jogging instead, brother.
Lyrics: Verse One
I was blind But now I see I thought I was missing you But now I know that we Only remember the Good, times 2
Verse Two: I bought you flowers: You said I paid too much! You think I never cry? That I don’t need your touch, girl, Only remember the good times 2
-Break- It’s just like you left it, Baby Nothing is changed Once in a while I just let myself cry Guess you know how much I
Tried to belong to you Tried to be strong for you Write every song for you Oh baby.. right or wrong
I read your letter: Sounds so tough I thought I was good enough Seems like you can’t find the time to remember the good, times 2
We watched the sun rise For all it’s worth No spooks, no evil eyes The lowest place on earth Girl, just remember the good times two
-break and finish-
You got what you wanted, Baby Nothing at all… Once in a while you can let yourself try I don’t know, let’s call it… -undecipherable-end-call…
Nothing consoles a dear soul fearing having been jilted like imagining the entire Bright-Side Baptist Church choir agreeing to ‘be there for ya’ on the chorus back-up.
I’m hoping that any reader, no matter how un-eventful his/her love-history, can identify with sitting, wasting one’s precious life-moments waiting for a lover who was supposed to be ‘home’ already.
The maroon-gowned singers, who needeth not my musical notes, would’ve sung from the heart….for ‘Jesus’s Second Coming’ or whatever apocalyptic re-appearance I dreamed of.
In the end, the prodigal-daughter here did ‘come home’… and with an excuse that I accepted in a ‘willing suspension of disbelief’. What else could I do?
However.. ‘suspension’reminds one of ‘A bridge too far’, or else W.C. Fields famously grousing about a fellow wearing suspenders: ‘How can ya trust a Man who can’t trust his own belt?!’
It took the singer/ writer/victim here another year, thereabouts, to consider re-recording the tune with altered lyrics: “Won’t you go home!” Please!
At any rate, enjoy the moment:
Oh, and for the former Colonists: enjoy your fireworks today. King George is Dead. I appreciate the feeling “Hey, you want tea, buddy..It’s right here on the sea-bottom.”
Strikes me that Independence is definitively not sitting, as in this tune, by the phone waiting for someone to whom you’d stupidly given administrative rights to set/re-set your ‘Happiness’level.
Happy Independence Day!
If You come home I’m gonna be so good to you
When you come home Baby… I’ll be so good to you When you come home
You know I tried, I tried, I tried, I can’t try no more.. Y’ know I just sit right here, and I watch the door
You know there’s changes, changes, changes for you, changes for me, girl An’ I know we live and learn But what are we living for? I’ll be there to open that door
Come back, Baby What are you waiting for?
Girl, I’ll be there to open that door I’ll be so good to you You know I’m gonna be so good to you, Baby When you come home…
Oh, Sugar… -Instr-
‘We’ll start all over?’ When you come home . (Lather, rinse, and and repeat to well past midnight……. OK, 6AM)
Note: I wrote this almost immediately on hearing the report of the space shuttle Challenger’s demise on Israel morning radio.
Should have, perhaps, waited for the various commissions to determine what went tragically wrong.
Thus, my ‘targets’ in the lyrics are not all equally guilty of any albeit-rhyming deficit.
I do remember, days later, charting out the horn parts and thinking that ‘attention to detail’ was the key to human progress.
But, truly, writing a tune is not rocket-science. And this song, from how many years ago now? might itself have ‘anomalied’ on the pad.
Anyway, a sad incident in the dangerous bizness of getting ‘up there’. May their memories be blessed.
Heard the news; ‘good numbers, this mission can’t miss’ But Dan Rather from the Tower of Babel; now this: Another oddity, falling into the sea Was never meant to be
Just a billion-dollar funhouse in outer space It’s a great leap forward for the human race Above the burning sand, another master-plan Turning at our command
I know you people want rock-n-roll jingles Correct me if I’m wrong? But somebody’s got to ‘pologize; get you back where you belong instru break-
What kind of joker put my money in an orbit like that? Why don’t you send ’em Chuck Berry and a picture of the Man in the Moon? I’m almost out of time; Now I’ll never cross that line Untill the End of Time
Sell the rights to the runway, baby it’s a wrap. They say that kids can’t find Alalbama on a map Maybe some other day We’ll find an easy way Till then, we’re here to stay
Heard the news; good numbers, this mission can’t miss But Dan Rather from the Tower of Babel; now this: Another oddity, falling into the sea Of Blessed Memory
Yes, in truth, “bliss is a pithy myth”, but if I ever meet her there will be a seminal event of explosive off-the-chart-ness.
Q: So, what’s the song, like, about?
A: Well, for starts, a dearth of vowels in stupid goddamn Hebrew.
Q: For that you need an Angel?
A: I didn’t claim to be normative; and yeah, at least someone to understand the utter depth of the hole I live in.
Q: And ‘John Deere’?
A: Ok, That verse is simple word-play. Amy will likely at least chuckle. I die to see her smile…
Q: And the ‘A mighty Fortress’ steal?
A: General malaise; what does religion even mean anymore in a country like the USA where folks have got vowels piled in the aisles?
Q: Think you’ll ever meet her?
A: Not too probable. I’ve waited 39 years and 119 days now for a Second Coming. All I can do is hope and pine for her.
Anyway, we all likely seek a special Understanding Angel. In the person of a winged creature…. or even from discovering that the the supermarket now carries our favorite Philly cream cheese or ‘Goldfish’.
Like with ‘Rosebud, I’ll probably learn someday that the buyer for the chain was named ‘Amy'(!) So much for pathos.
-Phone robot message-
Amy, oh Amy, Oh my Amy: Just aim me homeward Where the vowels lay in piles in the aisles And a rose is a rose, not a ‘ruse’ and there’re rows of ’em Raising their spirits, a reason to rise
Every morning I feel more like mourning here Mortgage is bondage I bagged up my baggage My luggage was lost by El Al So I make-do with roughage Women only want sufferage Men just want coverage…
John Deers are green Though the hue’s got detractors Farmall’s too formal for a number of factors
Dearborn’s been been born again Skokie’s got Voltaire in a manger scene posing with reindeer(?) Been wondering: ‘Why are we here? I’ll ask Amy; an’then I’ll get back to you Bliss is a pithy myth That much I know No, no body was home when I called so I left her this message; we’re back to the top Oh my Amy!
Can’t remember why I didn’t finish this tune. Must have lost the spark, that essential joy of living without which one lies in bed, unable to even recall what good times might have felt like.
Friends console you with ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ and equivalent cliches. You appreciate the effort, but are now even more depressed; can’t even trust a pop aphorism these days!
Of course the feeling is transitory. A second verse will splash into your newly-optimistic skull in a blinding reverie some day. Not to worry. Oh, and so ‘be happy!’, meanwhile. Maybe try forced smiling? As if gawking at yourself in the mirror as a ‘What, me worry?‘ gargoyle is the path to recovery(!)
Anyway this tune is a hypothetical case of the singer having opted to exit, to give up on ‘fixing’ his once-huggable dear one. Sadness.
But playing the violin parts is its own reward. Safely in Seattle
Second verse gladly accepted.
Bye polar bear, I’m headed for the Orient. I know it’s not fair But that’s the way the story went I ride on your see-saw Saw it wasn’t funny Don’t like it like that; You can keep the money
By the time you read this message in a bottle I’ll be sleeping in Seatle, dicking with the throttle Break it up, break it down, ahh shake it all around ‘Bye, Polar bear’
‘Clifford‘ returns from El Paso un-sure of the authenticity of his souvenir purchase.
A quick back-yard test confirms, at least, its efficacy
He convinces his BFF, Gifford, to accompany him on a road-trip to Fame
Disputes over background music may or may not have contributed to an unfortunate early demise of the pair. A musical interlude respects their memory.. until
They emerge, somehow un-scathed and un-deterred, and fulfill their dream in Norman, Oklahoma.
Add: I’ll simply encourage anyone visiting that town to endeavor to support their act. Tell ’em ‘Johnny sent us!‘ and get a dime off on admission.
(Oh, and Haile Selassie was the President of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974; he was never known to have roped a calf) Enjoy:
I’m back from El Paso: Is this a real lasso? It looks Ethiopian (What do I know?) It’s ropy and classy An’ highly silas-y To the lawn, I’ll give it a throw To the lawn now we’ll give it a throw
I can snag my old bicycle three out of four We’re off to the rodeo, what do you know? With the radio playing my favorite tune We’ll be stereophonic rangoons We’ll be stereophonic baboons
Cho:’ We’ll go Um-pah-pah’ We’re gpnna be in rodeo Um-pah-pah (Sounds Ethiopian
Clifford and Gifford, two peas in a pod But on one point they differed: Scheherazade (!) Gifford’s fer salsa but a mile out of Tulsa They ran off the road and got daid(!) No, they ran off the road and got daid… (The End?)
-Paste-in Solberg Requiem-
Verse Four Happy ending
No, a clown trying to peddle electrolye beer Gave the wanna-be showmen a ride into Norman Where the pair now appear in a poor-man’s wild-west show with slick pyrotechnic appeal They got slick pyrotechnic appeal