Category Archives: music

A Rainy Night in Soho: Loneliness & Song

I never made a point to go back and speak about the trauma I suffered at the beginning of this summer. It was a deep betrayal of a bond that kept me propped up emotionally. And I collapsed with it.

As I pointed out in an earlier post (In Which I Sing), I did pick up my Dad’s old guitar and have been practicing.

I suppose I enjoy it because my brain is full of words. Words strung together around an idea. Words to songs. Words to stories. I’ve never been short for words, until I was.

I suppose the answer lay the nature of the betrayal I experienced. That relationship was built on words. My words, mainly. And my words were suddenly turned against me, and worse, didn’t matter. I didn’t matter.

I’ve always been a talker. I have opinions on everything that I’ll back up with reams of words. I don’t even have to understand what I’m saying, or why, so long as the words sound good. That they string along well. They’re unusual or surprising, alliterative and witty.

But I can’t say I’ve ever been the popular type. I am exactly what I seem, the former editor of my high school literary magazine.

But I’ve always had friends. Until I was married, really. By the time I came to leave that relationship, I can’t say I had a friend. No one knew me, and I knew no one. My family and old friends had become strangers to me, and I to them.

One of my joys in piecing my life back together was rediscovering friends. Old friends and new. Renewing bonds and learning to understand what had changed during the gap in my life. Some friends took longer to regain, some I never have. I accept that.

Individual therapy has saved me more than once. In therapy, beyond the formal learning, I am able to practice being me. I was no longer sure who “me” was. I had a memory of me. Me healthy. Me full of confidence. Me the pain in the ass who wants to explain evolution to you. But who is “me” now? I knew I was deeply changed. In some ways irrevocably. But therapy gave me a safe space to explore this new “me.”

I suppose such a bond as that with a therapist becomes like a friendship. Mainly one-sided, but an open, honest, trust-based relationship. I like to wear my nice clothes and put on makeup to see my therapists. Present myself well. I want to impress, to prove I’m learning.

So, it was what I view as a betrayal of that bond by a woman I’d seen for two years as my therapist that sent me quiet.

I live with someone I love very much, who is good and kind to me, and who needs me too. I have family close by. But I don’t drive, and there is no public transportation here. I can’t say that I’d see many more people if my situation were different. But I would get out more. And a betrayal on such a personal level makes me less likely to seek people out.

The most helpful friends I’ve had lately are those like myself. Old and new. Involuntary hermits. Kindreds in mind and spirit.

As I said, I haven’t been writing as much. But music seems to help me channel some of that shattered pain, and the frail shards of happiness I’ve recollected.

Instead of speaking, I’ve become a prodigious doer of stuff. Good stuff. Extreme stuff. Gardening, fixing this old house, etc. I’m actually tough! But it all would be empty without my music. And if I feel nervous or unhappy, there is my music. I need my music. But what I listen to most is the words.

I’ve found a lot of solace in the music of resourcefulness. The kind that people make when times are hard, on what instruments they have. When work, if you can get it, doesn’t necessarily pay, and music is a chance at release. The music of folks who make a great noise at the passing of a loved one because they’ve earned their rest.

I like music about the confusion. About the search. Music to raise the dead. I’ve been working on this song above for some time. There are layers of meaning in it that speak to me of misspent youths, friendships come and gone, and somehow, purges my own demons. This song tells me “It’s OK.” Music to soothe. Music so I don’t feel alone.

I’ll borrow the words of others, until I regain my own.

While you’re here: Please check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap the star LIKE button below, & LIKE and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


In Which I Sing: The Pogues

As you may have noticed, I have not been particularly active on this or other written social media. There are good reasons for that, which are for another post. However, I have been finding an outlet in music.

I refurbished my Dad’s old 1964 Guild guitar, and have been reteaching myself to play. I look for songs that say something to me about my life, and just let me work out difficult feelings.

So, I’m taking a bold step in posting a piece of music I’ve been working on for a bit. The name of the song is The Old Main Drag by, The Pogues. So, check out my cover! I can take the criticism — a positive legacy of art school. Singing and the guitar have saved my life this summer. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take a hint.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Should I post more music? Lemme know!

While you’re here: Please check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap Like and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


My Life Down

 

 

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…I shall lie

I’ve been preoccupied with the loss, care and protection of innocence lately. It’s not time the tale were told here, but I’ve found a lot of comfort in spending time with my cousins, and in music. So I thought I’d dedicate this song to all of us.

Morrissey often mourns the loss of innocence and desires to protect it, and the theme informs much of his work, especially with The Smiths. Below is one of my favorites. A lullaby for the child he once was, the innocence he once possessed and lost, but also a wish — fervently expressed — to save a another from the pain he knew. Sung to the jangling chime of guitar with the sonorous cello of his voice.

Listen here.

“The Hand That Rocks The Cradle”

Please don’t cry
For the ghost and the storm outside
Will not invade this sacred shrine
Nor infiltrate your mind
My life down I shall lie
If the bogey-man should try
To play tricks on your sacred mind
To tease, torment, and tantalise
Wavering shadows loom
A piano plays in an empty room
There’ll be blood on the cleaver tonight
And when darknesss lifts and the room is bright
I’ll still be by your side
For you are all that matters
And I’ll love you to till the day I die
There never need be longing in your eyes
As long as the hand that rocks the cradle is mine
Ceiling shadows shimmy by
And when the wardrobe towers like a beast of prey
There’s sadness in your beautiful eyes
Oh, your untouched, unsoiled, wonderous eyes
My life down I shall lie
Should restless spirits try
To play tricks on your sacred mind
I once had a child, and it saved my life
And I never even asked his name
I just looked into his wondrous eyes
And said: “never never never again”
And all too soon I did return
Just like a moth to a flame
So rattle my bones all over the stones
I’m only a beggar-man whom nobody owns
Oh, see how words as old as sin
Fit me like a glove
I’m here and here I’ll stay
Together we lie, together we pray
There never need be longing in your eyes
As long as the hand that rocks the cradle is mine
As long as the hand that rocks the cradle is mine
Mine
Climb up on my knee, sonny boy
Although you’re only three, sonny boy
You’re – you’re mine
And your mother she just never knew
Oh, your mother…
As long… as long… as long
I did my best for her
I did my best for her
As long… as long… as long as… as long
I did my best for her
I did my best for her
Oh…
From The Smiths, The Smiths, 1984
Photo credit: Nelleke Stallings, 2016

Miserable Lie

 

 

The Smits, Louder Than Bombs

 …love is just a…

Came across this: Morrisey’s 10 Best Lyrics on Twitter for #worldpoetryday. Just ten? Really. So I’m just going to type out the lyrics to Miserable Lie from the album sleeve here. Of course, I suggest listening to it as well, if you want to see why this song is great. Remember taking walks in your crappy town, dragging your feet, remember when people’s “rooms” were somewhere safe? All that’s gone but this still happens.

Miserable Lie, The Smiths, 1984

So, goodbye
Please stay with your own kind
and I'll stay with mine

There's something against us
it's not time
So, goodbye

I know I need hardly say
how much I love your casual way
but please put your tongue away
a little higher and we're well away
the dark nights are drawing in
and your humour is as black as them
I look at yours, you laugh at mine
and "love" is just a miserable lie
you have destroyed my flower-like life
not once -- but twice
you have corrupt my innocent mind
not once -- but twice
I know the wind-swept mystical air
it means: I'd like to see your underwear
I recognize that mystical air
it means: I'd like to seize your underwear
what do we get for our trouble and pain?
just a rented room in the Whalley Range
into the depth of the criminal world
I followed her. . .

I need advice, I need advice
because nobody ever looks at me twice

I'm just a country-mile behind 
the world

so take me when you go.

 


Trouble Loves Robocop: Bullets, Breaking Glass & Falling

 

Because the internet would not be complete without a video containing all of the breaking glass, extended death scenes, explosions and epic falls in the original Paul Verhoeven masterpiece Robocop, starring the inimitable Peter Weller.

There’s some story in there, too.

And I set it to Morrissey. Don’t like Moz? Make your own Robocop tribute.

 

Having trouble with the video? Click here. 


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