It’s Monday (you may already be in need of a feel-good pick-me-up), the sun is shining (well, it is where I am, anyway), I’ve spent the morning at the beach thinking the world is of incomparable beauty with its light blue sky and golden sand adorned with seashells of so many shapes and tones, and to top it all off, it’s Suzanne Vega’s birthday. So smile.
After enjoying ‘Small Blue Thing’, hit me with the most beautiful songs you can think of. It doesn’t matter where you find their beauty; in sadness or in joy, whether it pours from the music, is enshrined in effective wordplay, or it’s simply the image that either conjures up in your mind which is most beautiful of all (thinking of Leonard Cohen’s “the sun pours down like honey” line, from ‘Suzanne’, funnily enough; you’d be hard-pressed, though, to find better than the “million bright ambassadors of morning” who “come streaming in on sunlight wings”, I’m sure you know where that comes from… and yes, now I think this post should have been about imagery, pure and simple, instead).
Anyway, reach for your pocket lighter or box of tissues, if you must, because as Louis Armstrong noticed and quite rightly honoured in captivating song, and managed to sing with a broad smile on his face, ‘What a Wonderful World’.
One of the most beautiful which I can recall is James Dean Bradfield’s version of Jacques Brel’s ‘Voir un Ami Pleurer’ – ‘To See a Friend in Tears’. The music is poignant, yet I find something quite awe-inspiring in the following lines:
“It’s true our mirrors don’t show heroes
We lack the courage to be Jews
Without the elegance of Africa
With our youthful fireworks all defused”
I’m also reminded of the short, unforgettable and Grammy Award-winning Eagles instrumental, ‘I Dreamed There Was No War’. Its title says all that needs to be said and the music makes you tingle. Absolutely, stunningly beautiful, Glenn Frey.
Instead of blathering on about my other thoughts, I’ve included some lyrics so that maybe you can recognise the song. You should identify the first, but then the man who sang it best could make even a tax demand sound like a thing of beauty.
01. “Like painted kites those days and nights went flying by
The world was new beneath a blue umbrella sky
Then softer than a piper man, one day it called to you
And I lost you to the summer wind”
02. “I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy
To be calm when you’ve found something going on
But take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not”
03.“If I could reach the stars, I’d pull one down for you
Shine it on my heart so you could see the truth
That this love I have inside is everything, it seems
But for now I find it’s only in my dreams”
04. “Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy, dancing way you feel
As every fairytale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way”
05. “I close my eyes, then I drift away
Into the magic night, I softly say
A silent prayer, like dreamers do
Then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you”