Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blue Sunday Night

It's Sunday night. Chepa and the kids, including Madeleina, just left. Italo and Sarah are here, as is Marco, but they're involved with school and video games in their rooms so I'm alone. Which makes this something of a Blue Sunday.
I'd go to bed but the dogs aren't ready to sleep;
I'd lay with the chickens, but they don't need me....
So I'm thinking Tom Waits. What a hero he's been to me. My age, so not the right age for hero worship, but boy, not only can that man sing, he can write up a storm.
Tonight I'm thinking about his duet with Bette Midler: Perfect Strangers.
Midler: "It always takes one, to know one, stranger,
Who asked you to annoy me with your sad, sad repartie...
Waits: "You must be reading my mail, you're bitter since he left you
That's why you're sitting in this bar....
Midler and Waits: "But only suckers fall in love...
with perfect strangers...."

Or the song made famous by Bruce Springsteen:
"Got no time for the corner boys,
Out in the street making all that noise,
Don't want no whores on 8th Avenue,
Tonight I just want to be with you....
Tonight I want to take that ride,
Across the river to the other side,
Take my baby to the carnival,
And I'll put her on all the rides...
Sha-na-na-na, na na na,
Sha-na-na-na, na na na,
Sha na na, na na na, na-na
Sha na na I'm in Love with a Jersey Girl,
Sha na na na na, na na...

Or: "I woke up, in a Mexican whore house,
Across the street from a catholic church,
Well I wiped off my bandana
And tucked in my over-sized shirt...
The refrain of which goes something like:
You got to tell me, Mr. Seigel,
Why the devil is so strong,
Why the angels go to sleep
While the devil leaves his porch light on...."

Or, perhaps the most famous, best line ever written for a song:
"The piano has been drinking,
Not me....."
So I've been singing these and three dozen other Wait's bits and my kids are thinking dad's gone nuts again...and while I haven't they know the blues are on me when I start singing Waits' material:
"She took all my money
And she didn't leave me any....
Life was never this goooooouuuuddddddd
Life was never this bad..."
So here I am, making a racket and thank god the neighbors are not in earshot.
And I'm not even sure why I'm blue. Maybe I just wanted to salute Tom Waits. But I doubt it. My guests in the Amazon quickly learn that when I'm melancholy I tend to revert to song. And I sing loug and clear, even if slightly off-tune. And that's what I'm doing tonight. Singing Waits', loud and clear, and making up the lyrics when I forget the real ones.
And I hope you're all either enjoying this melancholy evening or helping someone through it. It might be the moon, it might be a long February winter night, but whatever it is, sing long and loud and deep and clean those cobwebs out. Because, if we're lucky enough to wake tomorrow morning, it will be time for a new set of songs, a set of work songs, a set of Thank's that I'm alive! songs....
So enjoy Waits while you can. He's brilliant.
And tomorrow will have more light than you can deal with.

No comments: