72

Songs of Longing for New Year’s Day

Edward Curtin

Like many people, when the New Year rolls around, I think of turning over a new leaf. The problem with doing that, especially in New England, is that it’s hard to find one. Nothing grows in this cold climate at this time of year, except old habits. You can turn them over but they’re still aged without a bit of green newness anywhere.

Do people fly south in the winter time to find new leaves, only to find their old selves when they get there? Is that what leaving gets you? Is that why winter in Florida resembles a geriatric ward, a place for reminiscing and Auld Lang Syne?

Stuck in old habits and wanting to throw off the old for the new, we tend to do strange things like buy new clothes, get a haircut, or resolve to form new habits that we think are good for us. But these resolutions, as the word implies, are a re-solving of what we resolved to make new last New Year’s.

So many solutions to so many old habits over so many years are still habits. And we end up being stuck in a double-bind of our own making, anchored in the past.

Habits, by definition, are what hold us back in our conditions.

Yet little else is so settled, least of all our lives, and this we sense. We may be stuck, but time passes and we will die chained to our routines unless we change. So we reach for new beginnings every chance we can get: New Year’s and birthdays being the most popular – arbitrary constructs used to propel us into what we think will be new lives.

New is easier said than done, of course. How to change? Change to what? Do we really want to change, or are all these habitual resolutions our solutions to the threat that real change entails? If we truly changed, could we change the world? And if we don’t, will we have a world to change?

New Year’s brings to mind what everyone knows: that the years come and go, they turn, we get older; we seek at every age to be transformed into new people – somehow freed from something, some inexpressible lonely burden, some guilty sense that time will devour us before we make amends.

The desire for transformation is universal. So too is the often unacknowledged awareness, that like the years that pass, we too shall “pass” – to use that evasive euphemism.

Doesn’t anyone fail or die anymore? Or is that for the poor and out-of-sight, the disappeared victims of oppressive injustice and violence? Is it that the conquerors pass and others fail?

“Don’t wait too long,” sang Frank Sinatra fifty years ago when he was struggling with aging and the thought of being over the hill, his end coming. “Why must the moments go by with such haste? Don’t wait too long.”

Much has been written about Frank, and rightly so. These commentaries have been elicited by the universally acknowledged genius of his singing, especially for his gift of soulfully expressing the deepest human emotions of love and loss and longing.

I would suggest that Frank Sinatra, and in particular his great album, September of My Years, be requisite listening for anyone interested in real change for the New Year.

In the midst of the revelry and fireworks, the old year and the new, the resolutions and irresolutions, looking back and looking forward – here is Sinatra singing of the deepest core of the year’s turning – human loneliness. And how, despite it, to love and connect. How to embrace seeming contradiction. How to change.

I never met Sinatra, but he was my mentor in this process, one that has no ending. It’s transformative work. Ephemeral, yet realer than real.

When I was young, he taught me to be old. Now that I’m old, he’s taught me to be young. How? By listening to the singing, the words that fly from his mouth come from the heart’s desires, the hunger of the soul. They pierce to the core of all our longings for change within permanence. He didn’t write the words, but he had a genius for articulating them.

As Bob Dylan said of Sinatra, “Right from the beginning, he was there with the truth of things in his voice.”

In his voice, yes. I am not speaking of the man about whom so much has been written, good and bad. I am not speaking of his politics or his personal life. I never knew the man, just the voice. That’s enough. From his voice comes truth of a very deep nature.

Listen, you older folks.

“When the wind was green at the start of the spring….”

“When I was seventeen….”

“I know how it feels to have wings on your heels ….”

Youngsters, listen.

“When you’re all alone, all the children grown, and like starlings flown away, it gets lonely early, doesn’t it, every single endless day.”

“Once upon a time….”

Everyone, listen. Connect.

Perhaps only songs can change us. Arguments so often seem to fall on deaf ears. Could it be that songs are the expression in sound of the dual nature of our New Year’s longings for newness amidst the old?

John Berger, a master political writer no matter what his ostensible subject matter – a portrait, a landscape, a singing performance – put it perfectly shortly before he died in an article in Harper’s magazine.

A song, as distinct from the bodies it takes over, is unfixed in time and place. A song narrates a past experience. While it is being sung it fills the present. Stories do the same. But songs have another dimension, which is uniquely theirs. A song fills the present while it hopes to reach a listening ear in some future somewhere. It leans forward, farther and farther. Without the persistence of this hope, songs would not exist. Songs lean forward.”

So lean forward and listen. It’s a new year. There is hope. If we change.

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

Unlike the Guardian we are NOT funded by Bill & Melinda Gates, or any other NGO or government. So a few coins in our jar to help us keep going are always appreciated.

Our Bitcoin JTR code is: 1JR1whUa3G24wXpDyqMKpieckMGGW2u2VX

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
72 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 2, 2020 12:32 PM

What I felt but didn’t write in my first comment but see in other comments since is the recognition of music as the provider of a conditioned identity reinforcement.

I accept consciousness as expansion to an ever widening embrace from an initial self-limiting differentiation. But that is because perhaps my bubble identity-worlview was broken and unable to reform in the old-wine bottle paradigm. So in many ways I have embraced music as a direct language of the Soul of a stillness in motional expression – even through the lenses and filters of cultural differentiations that had a specific meaning at their time of birthing that is then lost to or mainstreamed as a new ‘establishment’ of culturally be-lived identity. And thus becomes the new fake of artifice that is ‘followed in’ as an identity provider rather than expanded and opened in as a new expression.

Seeking expression of who we truly are is witnessing to ‘Art’ as moved, lived and embodied – and yet invested identity in the form of such a gift of life is the structure in which we may then effectively seek re-enactment of a past glory in repetition or emulation of the forms such as to generate rules that mine the seam or hollow out the genre such as to become the dead or fake prison from which seeking escape only evolves and develops the forms – as a kind of rebranding or shifting of rules that has a new feel to it – and so seems like more life coming in. While the young do not feel life in such and so set antipathy and rejection as the emotional assertion of anti rules.

At the same time the recorded and mechanically supplied nature of most musical participation means that a back catalogue – as well as a world catalogue of cultural expressions and influences are available to an increasingly fragmented collective attention or cultural currency.

I have a sense of progressive and regressive movements in consciousness in which the former serves the expansion and refinement of felt qualities of being humanly alive and existing – while the latter seeks to literally contract or deny the unfolding of consciousness to a capacity of self-possession, limitation and control. As similar to a reductionism that seeks energy as sustainability of a way to keep out the hated or feared – as a personal expression of rebellion against a personal sense of extinction.

The feeling of freedom can thus be bought and sold and turned on – or off – by the musical profile or targeted identity of a cultural identification.

Music is thus marketised and weaponised as part of a collective value of possession and control.

As my other comment indicated, the nature of a felt musical expression is in and of a presence or wholeness of being that is blocked or distorted and filtered by ‘possession and control’ as that arises from fear of dispossession or of loss of control.

A true self-possession and balance in aligned purpose of relational expression, delivery, performance is unconscious or un-selfconscious yet fully aware – and so is in a sense more of yielding to an innate superconsciousness – than the attempt to gain control and become a superconsciousness – ie in pride or self-inflation or self- aggrandisement. For every time we let the flow of fulfilment go to our heads we take a shared gift as a personal power and possession – and set up an ego-centric node or lens of distorting expression of the energy of life – that works destructively or as a limiting and undermining template under which life’s expression must then be conformed – for the sustainability of the ‘controlling class’ or movement of elitism in self-specialness as taking the right to possession and control and being then run (controlled) as the compulsion and necessity of possession and control – IN PLACE OF – the natural art of being as the truly aligned expression and embodiment of who we are revealed and revealing ourselves to be – rather than asserting and defending a bubble reality against the Music of Life – unheard – yet we dance.

If a computer program gets stuck and runs against functional wholeness, it can be force-quit – and on rebooting, NOT be called up or applied or executed – and either abandoned or modified.

In our own self-programming, the dysfunction runs as IF it is a functional wholeness – and protect against real questioning or exposure. In musical terms this has no music – but only a ghastly parody of hollowed out forms set in glamour of presentation – repeated and repeated to be learned as the cultural normal – to invest in as identification of cultural belonging or ‘world’ -even if by emotionally reactive judgement against it – in an alloy of selective ‘loves and hates’ assigned to different facets of its expression.

The replacement of a form-based reality for an unfolding recognition of Life in the living – is where structure denies and demands sacrifice of, inspiration and true participation. This is ‘alienation’.

The ‘Matrix’ of a deceit-mind is only a modern rendering of the collective investment in possession and control – set against Life – rather than in willingness for aligning in Life.
But it is not LESS than that – and as an expression of fear, set in hate, runs invisibly as our own ‘world’, ‘identifications’ or ‘thought bubble’.

Thoughts do not really leave the mind of the thinker nor break into our mind from the intent of another – but the transference of resonances are one mind in many and the many in one. Aligning in the true of who you are is in some ways like retuning channels so as to focus in the signal instead of hiding in the noise – as a result of mistaken opposition to the signal – rising from a false sense of (the need to) control it.
The wind is given tonal quality through the resonance of the form of its receptivity – and our capacity to shape our life is a creative gift to share in – but we do not create the creative, no matter how much we are able to deny, limit, block, substitute, and divide it as an expression of possession and control.

To gain such a ‘world’ is to lose awareness and participance as Soul. And suffer AS IF at the hand of another, by flagging Reality to forms and images, concepts and models.

The world of form offers vehicular access. Cultural expression of creative aliveness are ‘balanced ecosystems’ of free association. The Way Cup Call is the recognition that your receptivity is your active, ongoing and Always, responsibility. When you cup runneth over – you have aligned in a true Economy.

These qualitative participations are wordless – and perhaps rest in the wordless until the heart no longer gives allegiance to the mind of such a love’s denial – for marketing or weaponised leverage of a fear of losing it. Nothing else can lose it, because we receive it as our being – regardless how we choose to shape it.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 2, 2020 12:53 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

…in many ways I have embraced music as a direct language of the Soul of a stillness in motional expression…

https://youtu.be/SSq5XvVTRWI

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 2, 2020 3:51 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

In the freedom to accept and align with that which truly moves me and put what does not resonate true, behind me.

Perhaps that is our deepest freedom and one that is always active.

It remains up to you where you go to get your sense of self and world or meaning from.
But you can choose to play it as if someone else made you or defined you in absurdity and grievance, both.

However, the ability to divide and define stillness as interval, period. or ‘space between’ is the basis of the rhythmic interchange of energy in motion or e-motion.

The cultural over-layering of ritually assigned and accepted meanings masks the shamanic gesture of invoking and embodying the ‘spirits’ that underlie appearances so as to restore balance or harmony to the troubled, the alienated, or the dispossessed.

But where once the forms were one with the calling, they became ritually systemised as replacement for the calling – and this, being blind, became an idol or hollow demand for sacrifice rather than an active participance in your own being.

The ‘Satanic’ aspect is where a love of form for its own sake delivers us to hollow facades that invite parody – excepting as the wind changes and we become set in cynical oppositional reactions that we took to be freedom – and which then seek validation by denial of others rather than as exemplary in themselves. This insidious cynicism is more of the ‘Luciferian’ agenda that loves to hate because its hatred of all that is lovely drives it to seek power OVER that which would move it to FEEL.

Feeling what we truly feel is also knowing who we are.
The ability to hide in, and to mask or hide from is the basis for a mind that knows not what it does – and sees the cause of its misery anywhere else.

The original theme of the article was in willingness to being truly changed.
The attempt to change ourself all by ourself is the attempt to repackage or rebrand the same lack of substance in a new set of clothes. But ‘who told you you were naked?’ – reaches to the underlying context for which the current symptoms are a mask that has perhaps frozen to death mask. Music can serve to thaw the frozen such that life of itself moves within us and through us. But if we use it as a way to make and sustain the mask we may find the masking denies us movement of life and capacity to recognise the movement of life in others – excepting it conforms to a dated and stamped ‘identity’ that for most is formed when our world was young and full of promise…

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 3, 2020 9:21 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

If I poke it, will more come out? It’s making me into a bad, bad boy.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 3, 2020 12:03 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Not at all. You are making up a story and acting it out as if it is real.
You give me all the meaning I have for you – and you act out as if it is true – and you have your reward.
I don’t accept it, but I accept your behaviour in a public forum as an example to illuminate for the recognising of more clarity as to HOW human beings give their power away for self-gratifying scripts that put down in order to seem powerful, wise or witty.
You may not be interested – but this is a public forum. I don’t write private letters here – but to a wider interest – in the full understanding that no one HAS to read or respond to anything I write.

If you choose to respond – under the assertion that “I make you do it” – then you are making up reality and asserting it as your belief – just like the ‘powers’ you are critical of in their ignorant and arrogant blindness to other human beings.

Unless you address the problem where it is – you will continue to false-flag it to a convenient untruth – and perhaps ‘get off on it’.

The more you poke it, the more you give yourself narrative justification to poke it some more. I am talking through ‘Robbobobbin’ to us all – me included. Becoming conscious of what we give attention to, why or for what purpose – is reclaiming free will from the narrative deceit of “You made me do it!”

The ‘song’ you choose to sing is all the meaning you hold dear in your heart and so, live from and seek to share in. But you are Given or in receipt of a true life – and what you make of it is your freedom to have the experience of – but it remains a true life regardless of errors, omissions and cover-ups, because you cannot make yourself what you are not – excepting by the intensity of the wish to NOT be yourself persisted in – against all odds – as a sort of rebellion against threat of extinction of the right to judge others from a possessive control taken to be freedom.

Which illusions are the more powerful when it comes to killing and corrupting a true love? None. But anything can have all the power you give it – because you are love’s capacity to recognise love. Self-Awareness is not conflicted. Those two statements are the same – expressed as different facets.

I translate conflict to its root in me – so as to own and release it in myself – as I am willing to accept freedom to be one with what is – as being truly moved. So of course I meet my own scripted reactions – or temptations to identify in the image of pet hates or fears out a past the SEEMS to ‘make me do that’.

That is where I seek to invite or allow awareness in my life and relationships- and that is where the thinking of the world is set in patterns of denying awareness.

To me the understandings in this post-thread are fundamental to all else – but then I told you, I am seeking to address the error, omissions and cover stories in the foundations that ‘the thinking in the world’ flags out or casts out as a world under private judgement to a self-specialness – or ‘elitism’.

Hating it in the other is the way to keep it in your mind while claiming that ‘they make you do it!’

How is the ‘judge’ released from its narrative dictate – over the freedom of association that is your heart’s desire to alight in and be-live?

By seeing it exactly as it is. When the true nature of the choice is revealed – there is no choice! or rather the nature of the ‘choice’ is so starkly contrasted that no one in their right mind could possibly choose amiss.

Therefore the sustainability of the false ‘choice’ that has become taken as a private ‘freedom’ set over and against other and world – DEPENDS on NOT being in your right mind. Sanity HAS to be redefined to operate a blocking, filtering distorting, obfuscating, displacement of limited denial or limited sacrifice – that once you poke it into the role of ‘saving you’ – will demand always more because the lie given protection can never have enough ‘cover’ of defended ‘control’.

I appreciate the opportunity that you give me to tune in and find expression of such fundamentals. But I don’t share in or support your sense of your own worth – from which you act out old patterns as if to renew your ‘self’. Though I don’t pretend to be free of this in my own way.

You must believe you can ‘afford’ to indulge in what I know I cant – if in truth I include myself in Life n Earth – rather than persist as if set over and apart.
We cant be totally committed sometimes.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 8, 2020 4:08 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

I’ll take that as a “yes”.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 8, 2020 4:46 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

“Ask and you shall receive”.

But also – only a real question will receive in the measure in its kind.
Anything else is only pretending to relate as a form of false wit-ness and false with-ness. Such is the weaponisation of the word for private agenda.

If you (effectively) ask to be deceived – then I cant convince you of any other outcome. You’ve already set your reward – even Jesus has to knock. Because your true will is Wholy – no matter how you hide it.

When you desire the true of relationship – it will no longer be false-flagged by the identifications of your own thinking.

All that is hidden shall be revealed – unto your willingness to receive.
In the mean while – your giving sets your measure.

As far as I can see, Jesus sent you.
Why else would you be knocking on my door?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 9, 2020 4:51 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

As far as I can see, Jesus sent you.
Why else would you be knocking on my door?

I have read one of your screeds and skimmed another. That’s it. Sum total. They made me think I’d been condemned to heaven, sitting next to the harp & syrup section for all eternity. Every now and then I nearly repetitive strain my finger while fast scrolling through yet another forthpouring to get to the fresh air below it. Like our cat, right now keeping an endless vigil by the skirting board where it believes a mouse–that occasionally makes a fleeting appearance to taunt it–to be, I sometimes make a reflex pounce to relieve the boredom. That’s it, too. Cats will play pounce on anything that moves fast, just to enliven their day. Moi aussi. When one of your missives takes over 40 minutes to scroll flat out (45.7 km/h) up the screen, I sometimes fall victim to my inner cat. Ignore me, it is not my intention to actually eat you. God forbid. The indigestion I get from spring onions is bad enough without my adding gratuitous masochism into the mix. But back to your question, to answer it with another: because I’m closet Amish? When you can take your phoney-sounding “true” “relationship” and similar mumbo jumbo, with its ambient condescension and hints of patronization, and shove it, I’ll stop express scrolling and languid pouncing. When my mouse briefly stuck one day, I think I saw words to the effect that you wrote here for the edification of all. My motive is similar. I do it for my own amusement. And to affirm solidarity with the cat.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 9, 2020 7:10 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

You are welcome to your sarcasm. It entertains you. I understand. If your reality doesn’t entertain you – well – you just cant help it. And your devil gets the better of you.

However, a fake world of fake communication and fake relationships is the willingness to agree to be separate – except in shifting alliance of polarised identity.

If you choose to engage with me – I take there to be a real relationship behind the sarcastic masking wit – and give my response to the true of you – not the twit.

You said you asked me a question – but if you look again – you see the same tactics the MSM use – smear packaged as IF a question.

Can you engage in conversation without your devil getting the better of you? Is a world in which the devil doesn’t get the better of you too horrible to contemplate?

You have not, because you ask not.
I ask you for civility – but what you choose to do is up to you.

I write to what lies beneath as the framing of the perceptions and responses that are ‘made real’ by emotional investment. That means I am not writing as ya, know – some geezer, having a laugh – right! But I hold a lifetime of rich experiences both beatific and terrible – both of which ‘break my worldview’.

If you are in your identity bubble judging your world with your cynical overlay of self-serving sarcasm – then who am I to interfere?
But you are opening a relationship with something outside your bubble that is nonetheless with you.

Perhaps you judge yourself in me? Self-judgement has a way of coming back with interest – and so does self appreciation. Heaven doesn’t forbid that you hurt yourself as part of your freedom to learn. That would be worse than boring.

As my Mum would say – “you made your bed and now you’re gonna have to lie in it!”. However, regardless your past decision, you can always make a different choice instead of suffering the devil you know. Of this I am perfectly certain. When you will is up to you. The same for a world given to superficiality instead of ‘real relationship’. With music, with life with others.
‘Some dance to remember. Some dance to forget’.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 9, 2020 11:37 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

I write to what lies beneath as the framing of the perceptions and responses that are ‘made real’ by emotional investment… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

OK. Condescension is your “mask” (or whatever word you choose to pompous it up). I told you the trivial truth about the effect of your meaningless (Freddie Ayer, q.v.) verbal blancmange on me and I suggested you ignore me if I occasionally throw up on even just seeing one of your Greggs-sized vat full of it. Do what you like, I do. Shlomo ahlaykhu.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 10, 2020 12:52 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

I regard you as equally worthy of living and loving life – and no less free to make your own choices regarding the merits or otherwise of ideas than myself. I write to the theme in ideas – not to the person in attempt to get liked. That doesn’t mean I disregard or demean the personal – but I see the persona as a masking displacement or distortion – as in ‘through a glass darkly’. As in invested ‘identity’ with the mask.

I sense that you are ‘seeing’ personal intentions or motivation in me that are not there and reach for the first stone.

If I was to couch and qualify the ideas that I use so as to fit in with your idea of personal correctness – then there would be more words – But more to the point they would become mainstream mind.

I don’t write to what is already believed and repeated over an over – but to what is rising beneath such futility, in any who have recognised its deceit and are actively deepening their perspective – rather than cynically revelling in futility as sarky cynical know-alls.

I know what it is to sing or indeed bring a song to life. Just as we cant dance freely in armour, we cant sing out of an inhibited masking persona – except perhaps in pale parody or mimicry of life.
This is no less true of any creative art. There is a movement of inspiration and in some sense getting out of the way, while holding a clear focus so as to become an ‘instrument of Thy peace’

I hardly have any time to think when I write because all my attention is in the listening and the writing. This also makes it timeless, intimate but not about my person.

Insofar as you aspire to be a stand up – you have yet to find your freedom. Humour without freedom is snarky meanness that must tear down to seem to be able to stand up.
There’s a big market for that. Where you choose to stand is up to you.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 12, 2020 12:37 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

If I was

“If I were…” Subjunctive mood when the ‘if’ precedes an untrue statement or wishful thinking.

…to couch and qualify the ideas that I use so as to fit in with your idea of personal correctness –

Like that.

then there would be more words

Crikey.

Gall
Gall
Jan 1, 2020 8:18 PM

Frankie was not only a great singer but an excellent actor as well. His most memorable performance was as Major Bennett Marco in the Manchurian Candidate where he brought Condon’s character to life.

Anyway Happy New Year Ed.

BigB
BigB
Jan 2, 2020 12:01 PM
Reply to  Gall

And best mates with Johnny Rosseli and Sam Giancana: pillars of the American community. And there was *that* Lady …as in the President, the Lady, the Mob, and the Godfather. Which along with the Hollywood Icon is an archetypal iconography of the past or the future? Looking forward, or looking back?

Great voice though.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 2, 2020 1:09 PM
Reply to  BigB

Great voice though.

My problem listening to him.

Jesus said, “Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.”

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 2, 2020 2:50 PM
Reply to  BigB

Voice and acting ability apart, he was admittedly a bit of a shit. It was a part in “From Here To Eternity” that rescued his career. From one story I read, the director said he cast Sinatra because he didn’t want to wake up with a horse’s head beside him! Sinatra was helped immensely in that movie by Montgomery Clift’s advice – only later to throw Clift out of a party when Clift, who was gay, made a pass at another guy.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Jan 1, 2020 5:29 PM

The Song that is in your heart is who you are.
If you find and are found in a resonance that reflects the true of you, it is not IN the form – but written in your heart.

The heart that can be substituted for by emotional reactivity is who you are not. In covering over who we are is the fear and pain of loss and longing that seeks outside itself from a sense of lack, deprivation and denial.

The song in our heart can be lost to grievance and affected hates of dissociation and judgemental rejections. As if joy lies in getting rid of the hated. As if joy lies in victory rather than wholeness and self-separation rather than communioned expression.

Music and song offer transmutation of negative or conflicted self. Pain of madness into the yearning of love’s Call and Answer.

Unless the bids are singing now – there is no other guarantee – that singing will, ever be
(to paraphrase a Wendell Berry poem).

Transformation of division and conflict to prior perspective and acceptance is not something we can DO FROM within the conflicted identity. The need then is to relinquish or desist from the dictate or directive to DO something in the frame of the problem – so as to truly BE someone from a prior quality of being than the ‘mind of the problem’.

The problem conflicts and divides to isolate in struggle.
The movement of the expression of being is ALWAYS relational.
The underlying breakdown of communication in our being is reflected in the ‘problem.
If we restore alignment and communication within our being – we release from struggle within our own mind to a fresh or renewed perspective of our being, our living – AS all of this – and yet feeling and finding our way of being with all of this.

Frank’s style or manner of singing doesn’t speak to my life. But I can be glad for that anyone finds inspiration, encouragement, or true comfort in their own ways – as I do in mine.

As someone who sings – I am aware that we are socially conditioned to switch on recordings rather than bring a song to life. While we can and do give life to our world by all the meaning we give and receive – there is something more in the invitation and embodiment of singing that is the art of being. Singing is one facet of musical expression – but the conscious embodiment of truly felt (consciously accepted) qualities – is the alignment within the Creative. This is a qualitative shift that is priceless – as the revealing or uncovering of what identifies you truly – and thus opens the way for truly knowing and being known by others.

That we are habituated to artifice of a masking persona – is the covering over of who we fear to be or are afraid to be exposed or revealed as. This network of inhibition and control may seem to protect us – but at great cost. Regardless the ingenuity of the mind of repackaging of debts and denials.

To truly let the music through us is not a matter of possession and control – so much as a releasing of inhibition to a greater love that naturally focuses or aligns us in the flow of the living moment of relational being.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 1, 2020 9:07 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

Sinatra and the crooners don’t really sing, but if people enjoy it, well and good.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 2, 2020 12:36 PM

Ooo, get Pavarotti.

P.S. Ed Bernays was Caruso’s press agent and wet nurse.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 2, 2020 2:52 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

That did make me laugh Robbo. I wonder what RLS makes of Bobby Zimmerman?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 2, 2020 10:43 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Another non-singer. I think Tom Waits ‘sings’ Dylan the best.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 3, 2020 7:55 AM

By your scare quotes around ‘Tom Waits’, I assume you are saying that Waits is also a non-singer. So who do you class as an actual singer?

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 3, 2020 7:56 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Sorry – I meant the scare quotes around ‘sings’ after Tom Waits.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 4, 2020 5:46 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Tom is a groaner, with magnificent delivery of a growling type of part song part recitation. I loves him. A ‘real’ singer”? Bjorling, Pavarotti, Ferrier, Paul Rogers, Joan Sutherland, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Callas before she neglected her art, and numerous others. One who pours their soul out in their performances.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 11, 2020 8:17 AM

Tom [Waits] is a groaner, with magnificent delivery of a growling type of part song part recitation. [Emphases added]

Do you mean, like https://youtu.be/Doz5w2W-jAY ?

Tom’s insights and reflections cannot be limited by nouns or inflections.

https://youtu.be/rLtZKkCIVmI

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 11, 2020 9:05 AM

Different genres require different standards. I once heard a street singer who actually had an operatic voice. She was trying to sing the blues. It was as excrutiating as listening to Dylan try to sing Don Giovanni.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 11, 2020 9:06 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Not that he ever did – I hasten to add. I daresay that is a horror that still awaits us!

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 12, 2020 5:44 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Different genres require different standards.

Different techniques. “There’s good music and there’s the other sort” — Duke Ellington, approximately.

I once heard a street singer who actually had an operatic voice. She was trying to sing the blues. It was as excrutiating as…

https://youtu.be/Ird4qnCdGFU
https://youtu.be/-mpsIQNFByw

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 12, 2020 6:35 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 11, 2020 8:31 AM
Reply to  George Mc

So who do you class as an actual singer?

A ‘real’ singer”? Bjorling, Pavarotti, Ferrier, Paul Rogers, Joan Sutherland, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Callas before she neglected her art, and numerous others. One who pours their soul out in their performances.

In https://youtu.be/5a0juQ0aeGI at exactly 59 seconds, a continuation on camera of a relationship that began offstage, M. le sarc might care to notice the little didactic gesture that Pavarotti makes with his right hand, his absolutely joyful, unselfish attentiveness for the next 45 seconds and the following gracious acknowledgement of a receptive pupil by a craft-commanding maestro. “Real” singing is technique but “great” singing lies in generosity of spirit. That’s where Pavarotti outshines Sinatra and Adams finds his voice.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 11, 2020 8:25 AM
Reply to  George Mc

I wonder what RLS makes of Bobby Zimmerman?

Another non-singer. I think Tom Waits ‘sings’ Dylan the best.

It’s a great day for Literature and for Bob when a Master of its original form is celebrated [with a Nobel prize]. Before epic tales and poems were ever written down, they migrated on the winds of the human voice and no voice is greater than Dylan’s. — Tom Waits

With Dylan, so much has been said about him, it’s difficult so say anything about him that hasn’t already been said, and say it better. Suffice it to say Dylan is a planet to be explored. For a songwriter, Dylan is as essential as a hammer and nails and a saw are to a carpenter. I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in – so the bootlegs I obtained in the Sixties and Seventies, where the noise and grit of the tapes became inseparable from the music, are essential to me. His journey as a songwriter is the stuff of myth, because he lives within the ether of the songs. Hail, hail The Basement Tapes. I heard most of these songs on bootlegs first. There is a joy and an abandon to this record; it’s also a history lesson. — Tom Waits

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 12:33 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

Rolling Stones _Heartbreaker_

MOU

norman widom
norman widom
Jan 1, 2020 4:34 PM

zimmerman would know all about the talmoodick tool that was sin atra
no doubt old red eyes had a great pair of lungs but was he a product humane
absolutely not he was a savage
then again the movie music industries are and where prime nesting places of satan zion

like tavistock beatles
zimmerman was a project a bad actor his character called dylan had silly voice and songs written by a cohen. ms put up a parking lot mitchell knew what a con man dylan was.

the worship of souless actors who’s work is scripted protocol project

the first thing you should know is we and are people are everywhere nothing is left too chance

communism is zionism
no
zion scripted communism
and all the other ism’s

actors casting
spells
musical hero always has a day of rekoyning for his dealings and trades with the devil

did you ever see nina simone smile
ohh sinnerman
zimmerman
straight 2 hell
with you
already

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 5:36 PM
Reply to  norman widom

As a Punk Rock drummer I, for one, would rather have Satan directing the music scene as opposed to Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was not a Punk Rocker, and Christian music is pure unadulterated swill that pours out of speakers to make one vomit in disgust musically.

Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits was the first double album I purchased in youth. Saw him in concert once at the National Arts Center in Ottawa. All the old hippies smiled at me when I joined the lineup to get in.

Have fun in Christian servitude to the God on your fiat currency, Anti-SemiticBOY.

MOU

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 1, 2020 9:08 PM

Do you count Bach as ‘Christian music’? Papa Bach.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 10:02 PM

I would not know Bach if the SOB hit me in the face with a Grand or Steinway. Classical Music was never my listening choice except when I had this really old Experimental Psychology professor as an advisor for the thesis. He convinced me to listen to about four hours of Classical on the CBC one afternoon.

It was an assignment of sorts to see if I would like Classical Music. I absorbed the Classical Music lesson whilst I vacuumed & cleaned my entire basement so that I had something to do whilst I was being Classically Conditioned by my advisor.

Classical was never mentioned after that. He knew I was a Punk Rock drummer and more Ramones than Bach.

MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 12:26 AM

ELO-Rollover Beethoven 1973 live

MOU

norman widom
norman widom
Jan 1, 2020 11:27 PM

your comments are straight outta babylonian talmud hell
init

you worship within the synagogue of satan
you are sayanim
so your reply is normalcy
obvious is it not
already.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 12:22 AM
Reply to  norman widom

Johnny Winter _Highway 61 Revisited_ 1976

MOU

nondimenticare
nondimenticare
Jan 1, 2020 6:46 PM
Reply to  norman widom

As a lifelong musician, one of the first ways that the scales fell from my eyes was to realize that the song is not the singer. Imperfect human beings can produce ineffable beauty. Then one comes to the ultimate realization that that is okay.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 2, 2020 2:57 PM
Reply to  norman widom

You know, every time I read one of your posts, Norm, I feel I’m on an LSD trip. Cohen wrote Dylan’s songs? Well – why not? Joni’s animosity against our Bobby was partly due to a late duet on stage where she couldn’t stand his foul breath, he knew it – and he deliberately blasted more of it at her!

Willem
Willem
Jan 1, 2020 4:18 PM

Turning back pages can at least be as important as turning pages over. Contemplate whether you made any mistakes in the past, and how you can prevent yourself from making similar mistakes in the future. Or remembering that what worked well in the past and what you therefore should try again. One can do this as a person, but also as society.

Actually the nice thing of getting older (as a person and as a society) is that your repertoire of pages can be increased, and in that way you find more opportunities to work out things for the better. Alanis Morissette sang about this (while she was still quite young, and I was too, or perhaps it was Glen Ballard, who was a bit older at the time), and of course plenty of others…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GFW-WfuX2Dk

Anyway, what I wanted to say is this:

Happy New Year!

Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe
Jan 1, 2020 2:44 PM

Anomie, is a term some will say is being too ubiquitously used to describe a society left in spiritual despair. But it’s the best way of saying a culture lacking values, purpose, or ideals will eventually “emotionally breakdown.” We’re witnessing that now– psychologically we’re being manipulated to believe we can sustain an unsustainable way of life.

A “speck” of the population thrives while most are borderline destitute. This provides the backdrop for decades of US imperialist wars giving rise to social upheaval on every continent. The world’s population is screaming out, they’ve had enough! The neoliberal experiment has been tested and has failed. In its wake it has left a colonized world of alienated souls skirmishing desperately to barely earn ends meet. No greater purpose is expected of these forlorn individuals other than physical survival. This is the end result of neoliberalism–a social Darwinist society where humans physically operate like “lifeless lonely cogs” in a vast capitalist contraption perpetually capturing, extracting, and pulverizing souls ensuring human solidarity, empathy, and social consciousness can no longer exist. All humanity is being transformed into an inanimate mechanism functioning for the sole purpose of providing pleasure for 0.000002 percent of the world’s population.

anonymous bosch
anonymous bosch
Jan 1, 2020 5:08 PM

“All humanity is being transformed into an inanimate mechanism functioning for the sole purpose of providing pleasure for 0.000002 percent of the world’s population.” Fair enough, Charlotte, if you wish to believe that then who am I to say otherwise – other than, it is my belief that whilst this may be the agenda of “exceptionalist” corporate neo-liberalism, the heresy of our age, there are increasing numbers rising up against this amongst many nations of this world – it’s just that we are kept from hearing about this by the corporate-controlled media. This is why the internet is so crucial for those who refuse to subscribe to all this falsehood and deceit. Furthermore there is a differentiation to be made between “pleasure” and “happiness” for so many of the “pleasures” we chase after are often the direct route to human misery, that which we are presented with evidence of increasingly on a daily basis. Affording the desperate and dispossessed with the hope that through solidarity and courageous perseverance we can empower ourselves to bring about the changes we wish to see, in ourselves and in all that surrounds us, is the driving force for inner transformation, which is available to all – and it is this alone that the 0.000002 per cent fear the most. They may be so extravagantly wealthy and influential and they may think themselves as being so powerful as to be at liberty to engage in the mischief of their choosing with impunity, but they are in no way immune from the inevitable consequences of their actions. As I said, what they fear the most is the rude awakening that awaits them. Extraordinary events will occur this year – there are good reasons to be optimistic, just as there are the very worst intentions of those who harbour the desire to see their dystopian prophecies fulfilled. Happy New Year or Miserable New Year ? Pick your team, take your choice. . . . .

Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe
Jan 3, 2020 4:17 PM

I’ll agree with you on three points–it’s important to NOT believe the security state propaganda littering the mainstream media news, and yes of course there’s worker uprisings on every continent demonstrating how fed-up the world is with neoliberalism. And obviously, there’s a huge difference between pleasure and happiness. Capitalism is capable of providing the wealthy with great pleasure and comfort, but happiness is quite another story……

However, your statement which says: “Affording the desperate and dispossessed with the hope that through solidarity and courageous perseverance we can empower ourselves to bring about the changes we wish to see, in ourselves and in all that surrounds us, is the driving force for inner transformation, which is available to all – and it is this alone that the 0.000002 per cent fear the most.”

The 0.000002 are not worried about the “transformational spirit” of the individual worker, they’re only frightened by solidarity which comes from growing class consciousness.

BigB
BigB
Jan 1, 2020 1:36 PM

Happy New Decade, everyone!

2020: the “decade of hope and glory”? If we change?

Ed Curtin and I seem to be on the same wavelength, with exactly the same resolution. To change or not to change: the dialectic of the old and the new? Like Ed: I question the lifelong commitment which is reduced to the “arbitrary constructs” of birthdays and New Year. Ed muses and poses the right questions, with the right sentiment, only to gloss over attending to his own rhetorical constructs without any answers. What do we have to change? Everything. Our whole relationship with everything.

The whole genealogy, etiology, and exegesis of which is already extant. But, paradoxically, it is not yet current. That is: it remains a largely scholarly and academic exegesis confined to the fields such as Sociology (Ed’s own field), Social Anthropology, Political Economy …and the more recent nascent fields of Biophysical Economics, Sustainability Science, and Political Ecology. Much of which is academically paywalled. Where it is no fucking use to anyone.

So that is part of the old: sequestering vital sociological information and knowledge; patenting it; and renting it out. Keeping vital sociological transformational knowledge from performing any useful function of actualising sociological transformation: for profit? Yet, if it were released – and there exists enough in the margins of the public domain (and decontextualised: in the mainstream) – would there be the social impetus to act?

To understand the magnitude of the problem of a “universal desire” for transformation is to encounter the unconscious. Bordieu’s *habitus* – the social setting of the dialogue of the self and the other (the state being the institutionalised ‘Capital Other’ according to Lacan) – is the concretisation of not just current habit …but the sedimentation of millennia of habitude. Which has barely changed from pagan animism (formalised by Plato and neo-Platonism) to the present.

If you feel the urge to recoil at the thought of a collectivised social unconscious that contains and reflects the outer structures of society as inner structures: that is most likely the counter-revolutionary force of the status quo in effect. The countervailing Fetish is that we are all single independent agents of free will: exercising the freedom we are compelled and “condemned” by (the Sartrean existentialist *ens causa sui*) …in an idealised Hegelian (un)Civil Society. Largely free of the state and market-forms. Crass and unjust representations of a reality shorn of any real social relations. Representations no one really believes in any more: but we have no idea how to change. That is what we are up against.

We will not understand the revolutionary force needed to break free of the old post-Enlightenment representations and appearances of reality …until we drop the ‘r’ from revolution. Evolution means the emancipation from the old inherited patrimonial institutions of market state monopoly. Which replaces genuine social relations with inauthentic social relations based on the universal equivalence of pseudo-values of the money-form. Which is the Fetish of commodity exchange. Which was pointed out 150 years ago in the first chapter of volume one of *Das Kapital* – in Section 4. Which has had a 150 year supplementary exegesis – scholastic and otherwise – only to be largely ignored.

We know the problems. If we want to. We have a 150 years of genuine anti-capitalist socialist literature: and no socialism to speak of. We know all these things intersect in a web of falsifified social relations that produce the bourgeois society. We know how to reproduce the bourgeois society as a culturally conditioned preconscious second nature. We know the market exchange of the “phantasm” of the mystical commodity-form underpins the intersectionality of all that is corrupt in this fucking cruel world. But the finest minds that ever lived – including Marx – can’t tell us where that intersectionality of the inner and outer forms occur …at the interface of the preconscious and conscious mind.

Critical Theorists and the Continental School followed the seeds of the Fetish to fruition – but offered no solution. We have no praxis or path to liberation: not in the West. But the Path – *Magga* – has also existed for millennia. When *Magga* met modernity – in the form of bourgeois market society – it spawned ‘McMindfulness’ …the latest neoliberal neuro-candy.

My point is: all the knowledge we need is there. No one is scared of cultural appropriation anymore. In the best of the West and the best of the East we have the Way; *magga* the Path; and the Zen of a liberational praxis that post-Marxian analysis lacked. The imagined geography of East and West is another somewhat arbitrary construction anyway – in a globalised neoliberal market economy that is suppurating into every socio-ecological pore in the biosphere. We have the tools to overcome our ‘social avidya’: but do we have the will? If we don’t: will we have a world to change?

Well, we do not have another ‘lost decade’ to lose if we want to find out. The exegesis of the ‘ecodharma’ means telling it like it is. We are all our own ecosophical transformation psychologists now: because we all need to carry the truth forward uncharted. If we change?

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 1:22 PM

Abject poverty encumbers life to the extent of stagnation, limbo, atrophy, and normlessness. Turning over a new leaf whilst immersed in poverty is counterproductive in that nothing ever changes qualitatively or quantitatively when discretionary income is the key determinant of change.

New England wealth is likely excessive given the state & housing costs that would require one to be either independently wealthy or employed by the corporate sector as a technocrat. The materialist in New England likely hires refugees & illegal immigrants to clean their homes & mow their lawns whilst they enjoy freedom to be & learn to expand their goal seeking for more of what they already have.

It is evident that we should all look at New England wealth as anti-social antagonism & posturing for status. Class consciousness is not on the list for the wealth extracting class that reside in New England and listen to Frank Sinatra spew for inspiration to be creatively entertained as though somehow you did it your way like the Mafia linked ‘goodfella’ placed upon a pedestal for purposes of adulation.

Turning over leaves in New England may yield the disappeared corpses that the brat pack facilitated through the likes of immoral leadership in the entertainment industry.

Frank Sinatra did it the Mafia way via threats & intimidation.

Be careful when turning over leaves anywhere near New York shitty.

Call before you dig!

MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 1, 2020 4:26 PM

My way!

MOU

BigB
BigB
Jan 2, 2020 12:27 PM

MOU: you forgot the President. That President – JFK. Who along with the Hollywood Icon (Sinatra); the Mob; the Moll (Judith Cambell Exner); the Godfather(s) (Roselli and Giancana); the FBI (Hoover – “There is no Mafia!”) …all intersect nicely. And form an unconscious iconography of archetypes of an American Dream (that you have to be asleep to believe in – Carlin) that Jung would have a field day with!

Looking forward, or looking back?

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 4:08 PM
Reply to  BigB

I’m one that is always crunching historicity in my quantum computing central nervous system. Freud likened dreams to ‘the royal road of consciousness’. The American dream is actually a nightmare of apocalyptic proportions set to become reality as soon as the NYSE crashes outright in Q1.

Looking forward is super easy if you are always fixated on the past like moi. It can be quite a drag crunching the past to get suitable calculus for the future.

I fully agree that Jung would have had a field day with contemporary thinking & prevailing attitudes towards consciousness in the west. He would pick no bone of contention with Eastern philosophy IMHO. His bias was always obvious from the get go when he was a protégé of Freud.

Vision quests are standard fare for metaphysicians like moi, eh.

Very best for new year, BigB.

Cheers, MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 2, 2020 8:41 PM

Technically, Freud said ‘dreams are the royal road to the unconscious mind’ as opposed to pre-conscious, or conscious tripartite structure of mind.

MOU

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 1, 2020 11:24 AM

I choose to make only one New Years resolution…
Too become more actively involved in fighting against the dire and cruel consequences of Neoliberalism as well as supporting Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and other whistle-blowers who shines a spotlight on the war crimes of our Govts.
Regards this article, music is vitality and beauty and warmth and has kept me sane on many occasions Edward.
Many times, it has touched my soul.
And it helps to heal from painful experiences.
On that note, my heart goes out to many Australians who have lost everything in the horrific bushfires, including family members.
Entire towns literally wiped off the map, so many homes destroyed.
There’s 3 songs I’d like to share that for me are pretty special and give me goosebumps:
Engineers – ‘How do you say goodbye’?
Hammock – ‘Now and not yet’
Whale Fall – ‘Rumi’ s nation’

No predictions from me. I think most of us here see in which direction things are heading.

Loverat
Loverat
Jan 1, 2020 3:01 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Gezzah

Nice sentiments.

My advice is do what you can. But take the time out to laugh about things. The things making me laugh this period are the send ups of Harry Potter films. Someone kindly posted here Stewart Lee , a stand-up comedian talking about the books. And the French and Saunders send up is good, without the swearing.

So many amusing things out there which recharge the batteries when you despair of the state of journalism and life today.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 1, 2020 9:50 PM
Reply to  Loverat

Agree Loverat. We can choose to wallow in gloom and despair at the state of the World, or we can take in All aspects of life, including the beauty of nature – even that of a single flower.
Laughter is vital for our mental wellbeing also.
Right now have the urge to watch some George Carlin clips, Cheers

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 1, 2020 9:16 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Just remember, Gezzah, that as others burn, and the bush explodess, Smoko our Pentecostal Friendly Fuhrer, is secretly ecstatic. The End Times that his hideous cult promises will propel him to Eternal Bliss, and we Ungodly to Eternal Damnation, have arrived. All his work and that of his ilk, over decades, to ensure that the climate apocalypse would not be averted, has not been in vain.

BigB
BigB
Jan 2, 2020 1:32 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

The SEP is holding a series of meetings to decide on post-Corbyn action and resistance to Johnson (details on WWSW). Julian is in court in February. And XR are planning their next move. They may have neoliberal roots: but the existing political parties are neoliberal root, branch, and trunk.

If anyone thinks a Sir Kier Sturmer led Labour party is the workers hope: God bless the Imbecile. And if I ever live to hear the chant “Oh, Sir Ki-er Starmer” …I swear I shall kill!

As for a song: how about a bit of Paulo …Rise …over love and over hate …through this Iron Sky that is fast becoming our minds …

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 2, 2020 10:02 PM
Reply to  BigB

I fully agree with your assessment on existing political parties being fully embedded in, and zombified by Neoliberalism B. Root and branch indeed.
And we’re pretty much on the same page on this, and yes, understand that’s not a very popular sentiment here. Sobeit.
It’s the truth.
The Socialist Equality Party are having meetings here in Australia leading up to, and around the time of his extradition hearing.
Regards what is happening in the World; imperialism, the economic crisis, Julian Assange, parliamentarism, the rape and pillage of this planet, the SEP get it right, and I’ve strongly agreed with their analysis for years, another reason I decided to join – so
we do what we can do.
As we both know, the shitstorm is coming.
I’m wary of XR given their connections, but with the horrific bushfires here this week, and so much devastation, there’s protests next week here on the Govts inactions.
We do what we can do.
Thanks for the video clip, will listen now (had big sleep in – taking 2 weeks off from selling mag)

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 1, 2020 10:42 AM

As a hopeless nostalgist, I recommend all of Sinatra’s Gordon Jenkins arranged albums: “Where Are You?”, “No-one Cares” (yes the titles sum them up), the above “September” album and “Ol’ Blue Eyed Is Back” (with the best ever version of “Send in the Clowns” as far as I’m concerned).

It’s a pity he never recorded “Try To Remember”. But on the “September” album there is a little gem called “I See It Now” with its eerie opening:

That year in Oakland High
When I was seventeen
The grass from there to San Jose
Was high and cool and green
I see it now

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 1, 2020 10:56 AM
Reply to  George Mc

You only have to hear the opening of the Jenkins arrangement of “Send in the Clowns” to realise how much we’ve lost in terms of inspirational craft: two ethereal sighs on high strings followed by a falling forlorn descent on a bassoon, then a hair raising blooming on high sustained strings and a tolling harp. When I first heard this at the age of about 11, I thought my head was going to explode with the beauty if it.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 1, 2020 10:58 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Sorry – I should have pointed out the contrast between this Jenkins arrangement and the usual perfunctory arpeggio accompaniment that introduces most versions.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 1, 2020 8:30 AM

In the midst of the revelry and fireworks, the old year and the new, the resolutions and irresolutions, looking back and looking forward – here is Sinatra singing of the deepest core of the year’s turning – human loneliness. And how, despite it, to love and connect. How to embrace seeming contradiction. How to change.

And how he rendered those apprehensible. Firstly, two remarkable natural gifts: an almost complete absence of “off the breath”. When he sings it is almost pure vocal tone with hardly a hint of “breathiness”. Secondly, an extraordinary degree of nasal resonance that emphasizes the purity of that tone. But mostly an amazingly disciplined, learned technique, the result of hard thought and hard practice, partly to maximize those attributes, but mostly to deliver an unparalled command of phrasing, progression and cadence that enable the underlying meanings of the words and a carefully considered understanding of them to make the difference between a singer and master communicator.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 1, 2020 8:43 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 1, 2020 8:54 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin
Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jan 1, 2020 9:21 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

And of course there’s Tony Bennett, who Frank called ‘The singer’s singer’

Hugh O’Neill
Hugh O’Neill
Jan 1, 2020 7:40 AM

As I write, James Taylor is setting the timeless scene. I thought you might like that Jack Kennedy, when prevailed upon to sing at a family gathering, sang “September Song”. It was only 2 months before he died lending too much poignancy to those who remembered his choice of song. The Human soul is indeed expressed best in music. Music has powers beyond our ability to describe with mere words, and America has gifted us with some of the best. I raise a glass to the music that has been part of my life and for which I am eternally grateful.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jan 1, 2020 5:46 AM

Thanks Edward.
Here’s a beautiful song, melodically and lyrically >
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e5xkTyCPvks

SharonMarlowe
SharonMarlowe
Jan 1, 2020 5:42 AM

Happy New Year Off Guardian:) Excellent website! If you read Moon Of Alabama, MintPress News, Information Clearing House, and Off Guardian, then you actually read the truthful part of the Internet:)

kevin morris
kevin morris
Jan 1, 2020 1:15 PM
Reply to  SharonMarlowe

I used to enjoy information clearing house but became frustrated by the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘fifty cent army’ continually voting down comments that were even remotely critical of a party that is corrupt and which murders its own people for their organs.

Sadly, much of the ‘truthful part of the internet’ is as corrupt as the mainstream media- the only difference being that they end up in the pay of different masters.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 2, 2020 10:48 PM
Reply to  kevin morris

Falun Gong tripe.

kevin morris
kevin morris
Jan 4, 2020 2:38 PM

You clearly know very little, preferring to get your information from the CCP. The account of the brutal treatment meted out to Falun Gong by the CCP is actually very well documented. Prior to its condemnation by former leader Jiang Zemin, Falung Gong had been praised by the CCP as wholly positive in its effects. Indeed, many practitioners were party members and functionaries.

If you really wished to enlighten yourself about the nature of Falun Gong and other qigong organisations, you would learn that their growth was actually praised and encouraged by the party from Mao onwards because of its positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Chinese society.

Clearly, you have no desire to investigate the proceedings of the London China Tribunal, which heard evidence, much of it from Chinese doctors forced to do the killing, and which led directly to condemnation from the BMA, amongst others.

The Falun Gong has every right to protest their treatment by the CCP, as do Muslims from Eastern Turkestan, incarcerated in prison camps, their children forced into orphanages, and the Buddhist Tibetans denied an education in their native tongue. President for life Xi has instigated a massive crackdown on Chinese minoritiesm although Tibet has been on lockdown since 2008 when persecuted Tibetans sought to use the Peking Olympics in order to publicise their plight.

China is a colonalist state on a par with the US. I know that most of the left has its head in the sand about that, but you really owe it to yourself to get better educated!

paul
paul
Jan 5, 2020 10:59 PM
Reply to  kevin morris

The Gongers are a weird anti social fringe cult, a cross between the Moonies and the Scientologists and Jim Jones, that alienates children from their families to carry out their brainwashing.

The Chinese are suspicious of these weirdos with good reason. Millions died in episodes like the Taiping Rebellion. They are seen as easily manipulated cannon fodder for the latest CIA/ NED intrigues.

kevin morris
kevin morris
Jan 6, 2020 9:09 AM
Reply to  paul

Predictable fifty cent army response!