Thursday, October 10, 2013

Love's Lost Labours

Ya know, sometimes it just don't work out.

The Bard - who wrote plays and poems prayers and promises,  as well as an episode of Moonlighting - recognized this in the 1950s, er, I mean the 1590s (I must have sexdaily dyslexia).

Then, in the 1960s Jimmy Webb wrote (and Richard Harris popularized), the following elegant elegy (and maybe a bit trippy) to lost romance:

Spring was never waiting for us, girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
Between the parted pages and were pressed
In love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants

MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

I recall the yellow cotton dress
Foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees
The birds, like tender babies in your hands
And the old men playing checkers by the trees.
There will be another song for me
For I will sing it
There will be another dream for me
Someone will bring it
I will drink the wine while it is warm
And never let you catch me looking at the sun
And after all the loves of my life
After all the loves of my life
You'll still be the one.

Well, what's old is new, and vice-versa.  In 2007, a Texas-born songwriter who has possibly been mentioned on these pages from time to time, with collaborator Steuart Smith, wrote these lyrics in a similar vein using many of the same images and metaphors, but recognizing the endurance of weathering life's seasons; acceptance, healing, and steadfastnest - and the hope of renewal:

I've been biding time with the crows and sparrows
While peacocks prance and strut upon the stage
If finding love is just a dance
Proximity and chance
You will excuse me if I skip the masquerade.

And I've been waiting in the weeds
Waiting for the dust to settle down along the
Back roads running through the fields
Lying on the outskirts of this lonesome town
And I imagine sunlight in your hair
You're at the county fair
You're holding hands and laughing

And now the Ferris wheel has stopped
You're swinging on the top
Suspended there with him.

And he's the darling of the chic
The flavor of the week is melting
Down your pretty summer dress
Baby, what a mess you're making.

I've been stumbling through some dark places
Now I'm following the plow
I know I've fallen out of your good graces
It's all right now.

And I've been waiting in the weeds
Waiting for the summer rain to fall upon the
Wild birds scattering the seeds
Answering the calling of the tide's eternal tune
The phases of the moon
The chambers of the heart
The egg and dart
A small gray spider spinning in the dark
In spite of all the times the web is torn apart.

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