Saturday, October 27, 2012
The two-way man
Literature and music seem in the same family.
I had decided last week to go the musical route.
Tom Pearson The MC at the Anti-poverty rally I'd sung at, insisted that I was a writer first, and a musician second. Actually, he had been quite complimentary, announcing to all and sundry that I was an "iconic writer." Heh I kind of twigged onto the word iconic.
"Who me? Iconic writer? I'm just trying to be as interesting-- and even biblical!-- about characters in John Prine. songs. In "cowboy" music, John Prine is my hero. His writing seems more like Ecclesiastes than the late and nasal drones of ole Ernest Tubb.
It is amazine when a cowboy song reaches damn near symphonic proportions.
Yet, I didn't write that song, though I love to perform it.
It takes me at least 70,OOO words to even approach the greatness of John Prine.
There is an apparent similarity between writing and music, though sometime I fear I do both badly.
The nice thing about actually perfoming live-- and not in cold print-- is that the applause is often immediate, if not surprising.
You're not going quite the way of the writer, who might have the attitude, "I'll read my stuff and bring the house down."
Well, not always.
Better to go with the almost psalm-like music of John Prine, especially his "Angel for Montgomery."
An old woman in his song is asking for a message, any message that will ease here old age and loneliness:
"Make me an angel
that flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing I can hold onto
To believe in this living
is a hard way to go.
For that woman in Prine's song it is endeed a hard way to go.
(Thank God I live in an apartment that contains seventy women and three batchelors, one of them apparently gay.)
Wonder if the gay guy is singing "Make me an angel."...To wrestle with?
There are different kinds of loneliness, I suppose.
But I'm partial to the loneliness of the old woman in the song,
How come John Prine can write a masterpiec in a few stanzas while I go on and on the keyboard
in hopes of creating a masterpiece in 700 words.
Ah, words and music.
I'm starting to like both.