Saturday, July 30, 2005

Music on the 7

Friday rush hour, at the bottom of the escalator to the 7 train platform, at 42nd St and Third, a man on a stool plays electric jazz guitar, accompanied by a recorded drum and organ. He's playing "Can't Buy Me Love" and I am still singing the song today. Last week, he played something by Stevie Wonder, perhaps it was "Ordinary Love"?

The man can play -- I wanted to stop and listen but had to keep moving -- places to be, etc.
Funny how music stays in our minds and rolls over and over. Have you ever heard a familiar song, performed in a fresh and original way, and been astounded?

I am listening to Cassandra Wilson singing the U2 song, "Love is Blindness". Nice arrangement, but the thing that grabs you is Wilson's vocal interpretation -- so unlike Bono that it seems like a new and different song. It's on her recording "New Moon Daughter", if you're curious.

It's a quiet Saturday afternoon. Listening to music, relaxing. Thinking about other U2 songs.

Here's one I like, from "All You Can't Leave Behind". I don't believe in a life hereafter, except in the sense that life and the world will get on without me long after I am gone. But it would be nice to think our love lives on -- that somehow it is not lost or left behind.

It is futile to cling to the things of this world, yet there is no other world; useless to cling to life even though there is no other life to come. Even the people we love are here only for a short time as are we all.

Who can afford to waste time on foolishness and heartache, on pettiness and misunderstanding, on fear and resentment?

Thoughts on a languid summer afternoon.


And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring...
And love is not the easy thing...
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can't steal it
No they can't even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight...

You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
Youcould have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can't deny it
Can't sell it or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on
Home...hard to know what it is if you never had one
Home...I can't say where it is but I know I'm going home
That's where the heart is

I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on
Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind

All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme...

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