Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Knocked Out

"Knock On Wood" by Eddie Floyd

If you're like me when you're making dinner for one, you do more than a little scrolling through your playlist to find a tune that will help you through the tedium of mincing garlic, or chopping or cutting or slicing some other dead thing, vegetal or carnal, or waiting for heat to do its physics. If you're even more like me, you will always stop at this great song because you can't not stop at it -- sorry, the rhythm guitar's slinky stroking of the groove makes that impossible. Add to that wonderfulness the lyrics' explication of the standard swoon of extremely experienced romantic love -- Mr. Floyd really doesn't want to lose what's good (thunder, lightning, the frightening way he's loved), he really knows he's a very lucky guy -- and you also, inevitably, start knocking on wood yourself. You don't even have to leave your post at the cutting board. If you're really like me, you remind yourself of how lucky you are just to get to listen to this song, even when you're making dinner for one.

Wood? Consider yourself knocked on. Person like me? Consider yourself knocked out.

Friday, 11 November 2016

He Was Our Man

"Tower of Song" by Leonard Cohen

This song contains one of my favorite couplets of all time -- Well, my friends are gone and my hair is grey/I ache in the places where I used to play -- but there are so many brilliant, funny, arresting, heartbreaking lines from so many of his songs that I'm going to indulge myself:

From "I'm Your Man": If you want a lover/I'll do anything you ask me to/And if you want another kind of love/I'll wear a mask for you  . . . From "Chelsea Hotel": You told me again you preferred handsome men/but for me you would make an exception . . . From "Dance Me To The End Of Love": Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on/Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long . . . From "Famous Blue Raincoat": Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes/I thought it was there for good so I never tried . . . From "Hallelujah": Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you . . . From "The Faith": The sea so deep and blind/The sun, the deep regret/The club, the wheel, the mind/O love, aren't you tired yet? . . .

I could go on, but I have to go out into the crisp clarity and brightness of the November autumn day outside my four walls -- to the bank, to the grocery store, to whatever other sacred trivial stuff I get to do while I'm still alive. The newspapers tell us that he died peacefully in the company of his family. Good for him.