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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Couple Copyright Violations

Remarkable the range of concepts, emotions, philosophies and whatnot music can handle, from the refined and crystalline-angelsbreath-delicate to the piledriver-driven ideologies of the underclasses and the compulsively mindlessly rebellious anti-culturalists.

Let's listen to an example of the first, comprising exquisite word play, non-irritating rhymes, emotions of dear nostalgia and innocence lost, from The Fantasticks, © Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt, 1960[?]:


Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain so yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a young and a callow fellow
Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow--follow, oh-oh
Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow
Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow-follow, oh-oh
Deep in December it's nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December it's nice to remember
Without a hurt, the heart is hollow
Deep in December it's nice to remember
The fire of September that made you mellow
Deep in December our hearts should remember
Then follow . . . .

For a wonderful article about the magnificent musical for which this song was written, see https://shar.es/14RSoW.

Then there's Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name":

F.ck you, I won't do what you tell me.
F.ck you, I wont do what you tell me.
F.ck you, I wont do what you tell me.
F.ck you, I wont do what you tell me.
F.ck you, I won't do what you tell me.
F.ck you, I won't do what you tell me.
F.ck you, I won't do what you tell me.
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !!
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !!!
F.CK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME !!!!
FUCK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME,
MOTHERF.CKER !!!! ... UNH ... UNH ... UH!! ....

(Yes, I counted, with a tally sheet.)


Now would this be what's known among insufferable snobs as a "binary opposition"? (Cf. Marcel: "The one sin for which there is no forgiveness--snobbery.")  I think it would be. Is music elastic? I believe it is. Is this a good or a bad thing?


Is there a point in asking? Why? If something exists, it's incomprehensible, sat verbum.



Yeats

Never much cared for this legendary poet's poet. When I think of his work I think of a cold wind blowing. He's written some incontestably great lines ("Into the valley of death rode the five hundred ... If music be the food of love, play on ... Come to the window, cool is the night air ... I am tired of tears and laughter / And men that laugh and weep ... April is the cruelest month ... etc., etc.) but I can't recall a single occasion when he made me laugh. Now perhaps laughter is not the sort of thing one should ask for from poetry, but there are any number of poets in Exquisite Corpse that have cracked me up over the years, in particular the immortal and late lamented Jim Gustafson, RIP. Even Andrei (who has regrettably lost his taste for my work, sigh) is funny at times. I liked very much Yeats' final poem, in which an aging speaker views a young woman and pines for being young (and presumably potent) again, and I liked Ferlinghetti's take on "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" ("I will arise and go now, / And go where Beer-is-Free ...."), even bought a paperback of his collected (black cover with that photo of his oh-so-serious face), and his command of meter and language is princely, but at the end of the day he's just not my guy, I feel no affection for him, no brotherhood, as one does with Salinger or Proust or Bukowski, despite his legions of worshippers.

Yet the world keeps turning.