HELLO IN THERE : JOHN PRINE

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John Prine’s ‘Hello In There’ is een van de allermooiste songs die ik ken, het is zonder twijfel het beste nummer van John Prine, en ik ken geen enkel lied dat op zulke indringende wijze de eenzaamheid van oudere mensen bezingt. De originele versie vind je op John Prine’s titelloze eerste elpee uit 1971 op het Atlantic label. Ik gebruik niet graag dat woord, maar het is zonder twijfel een meesterwerk. Velen denken dat ‘Hello In There’ van Bette Midler is. Nee, beste lezers, het is van the one and only John Prine.

We had an apartment in the city,
Me and Loretta liked living there.
Well, it’d been years since the kids had grown,
A life of their own left us alone.

John and Linda live in Omaha,
And Joe is somewhere on the road.
We lost Davy in the Korean war,
And I still don’t know what for, it don’t matter anymore.

You know that old trees just grow stronger,
And old rivers grow wilder every day.
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello.”

Me and Loretta, we don’t talk much more,

She sits and stares through the back door screen.
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream that we’ve both seen.

Someday I’ll go and call up Rudy,
We worked together at the factory.
But what could I say if asks “What’s new?”
“Nothing, what’s with you? Nothing much to do.”

So if you’re walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
Please don’t just pass them by and stare
As if you didn’t care, say, “Hello in there, hello.”

 

TIM BUCKLEY’S HAPPY TIME

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Happy Time

Ah, it’s a happy time inside my mind
When a melody does find a rhyme
Says to me I’m comin’ home to stay
Oh, Lord, home to stay
I’m comin’ home to stay
Home to stay
Ah, lord, it’s just the same old story
Something about love for glory
A nickel and a dime a dozen
Fame
Ah, it’s such a shame
Ah, the way they use your name
Ah, you know it’s such a shame
When it’s only mine to sing a song
Hoping that you’d cross along my way
Before I have to move along
Ah, now move along
Ah, but I’ll be back again
Ooh back again
Ah, it’s a happy time inside my mind
When a melody does find a rhyme
Says to me I’m comin’ home to stay
Oh, Lord, home to stay
I’m comin’ home to stay
Home to stay
Sleep late now mama
Let the mornin’ sun warm your bed
While I’m away
While I’m away

SOMEONE WHO CLOSES HIS HEART: BOB DYLAN

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Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I’m not the one you want, babe
I will only let you down
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who will promise never to part
Someone to close his eyes for you
Someone to close his heart
Someone who will die for you an’ more
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

 

EELS / BUS STOP BOXER

 

In deze barre tijden, de zwarte nacht van mijn ziel, bieden eels ‘onder leiding’ van Mark Oliver Everett en Bach mij nog enige troost. Maar zelfs om die schoonheid tot me door te laten dringen moet ik mij zeer inspannen. Ook om deze clip van Eels te bekijken. Het is een opname van de band met strijkers, live opgenomen in Town Hall in New York City. I’m the bus stop boxer! Eels heeft wel meer prachtige melancholische songs, zoals ‘Suicide Life’, waarvan ik de tekst hieronder plaats:

You think you’ll get under ol’ monsieur’s lid
And try to imagine all the things that he did
You don’t know where i’m gonna go
You don’t know where i’ll go

I’ll go none too bravely
Into the night
I’m so tired of living
The suicide life
That ain’t no reason to live

Wake up in the night and think of all the years
Falling from the ceiling and covering your ears
You don’t know how you’re gonna get out
You don’t know how you’ll get out

I’ll go none too bravely
Into the night
I’m so tired of living
The suicide life
That ain’t no reason to live

Call up your best friend
And tell him a lie
You’ve got to be kidding
I’m not really high
I dont know where i’m gonna go
I don’t know where i’ll go

I’ll go none too bravely
Into the night
I’m so tired of living
The suicide life
That ain’t no reason to live

RANDALL KNIFE – GUY CLARK

My father had a Randall knife
My mother gave it to him
When he went off to WWII
To save us all from ruin
If you’ve ever held a Randall knife
Then you know my father well
If a better blade was ever made
It was probably forged in hell

My father was a good man
A lawyer by his trade
And only once did I ever see
Him misuse the blade
It almost cut his thumb off
When he took it for a tool
The knife was made for darker things
And you could not bend the rules

He let me take it camping once
On a Boy Scout jamboree
And I broke a half an inch off
Trying to stick it in a tree
I hid it from him for a while
But the knife and he were one
He put it in his bottom drawer
Without a hard word one

There it slept and there it stayed
For twenty some odd years
Sort of like Excalibur
Except waiting for a tear

My father died when I was forty
And I couldn’t find a way to cry
Not because I didn’t love him
Not because he didn’t try
I’d cried for every lesser thing
Whiskey, pain and beauty
But he deserved a better tear
And I was not quite ready

So we took his ashed out to sea
And poured `em off the stern
And threw the roses in the wake
Of everything we’d learned
When we got back to the house
They asked me what I wanted
Not the lawbooks not the watch
I need the things he’s haunted

My hand burned for the Randall knife
There in the bottom drawer
And I found a tear for my father’s life
And all that it stood for

 
Guy Clark

MOMENTEN VAN GELUK: TIM BUCKLEY

Ik heb op YouTube een opname gevonden van Tim Buckleys Happy Time, een van mijn favoriete songs. Ik heb zelden een sterkere uitdrukking van het geluksgevoel gehoord, ook al heeft het geheel een melancholische ondertoon, waardoor het eigenlijk nog sterker wordt. Hier heet het lied echter nog I’m Coming Home Again. De clip dateert uit 1968, een periode waarin Buckley afscheid nam van de poëtische folk en steeds meer free jazz en avant-garde in zijn composities integreerde. De elpee Blue Afternoon uit 1969, waar de originele versie van Happy Time op terug te vinden is, is naar mijn weten nooit op cd verschenen. Al het andere werk van Tim Buckley wel, ook zijn twee laatste elpees, Look At The Fool en Sefronia, die – waarschijnlijk ten gevolge van zwaar druggebruik – grotendeels mislukkingen moeten worden genoemd, maar nog altijd beter klinken dan 99 procent van de ‘popmuziek’ die de radiostations nu op ons uitspuwen.

Tim Buckley stierf op 28-jarige leeftijd. De klank van onderstaande clip is niet schitterend, maar het blijft me verrassen dat zulke documenten al die tijd al hebben bestaan en dat we ze nooit eerder konden zien.

Happy Time

Ah, it’s a happy time inside my mind
When a melody does find a rhyme
Says to me I’m comin’ home to stay
Oh, Lord, home to stay
I’m comin’ home to stay
Home to stay

Ah, lord, it’s just the same old story
Something about love for glory
A nickel and a dime a dozen
Fame
Ah, it’s such a shame
Ah, the way they use your name
Ah, you know it’s such a shame
When it’s only mine to sing a song
Hoping that you’d cross along my way
Before I have to move along
Ah, now move along
Ah, but I’ll be back again
Ooh back again

Ah, it’s a happy time inside my mind
When a melody does find a rhyme
Says to me I’m comin’ home to stay
Oh, Lord, home to stay
I’m comin’ home to stay
Home to stay

Sleep late now mama
Let the mornin’ sun warm your bed
While I’m away
While I’m away

Tim Buckley / Blue Afternoon, 1969

LIEDEREN VAN EENZAAMHEID EN VERDRIET

Hieronder de teksten van twee liederen die in mijn aantekening van gisteren werden vermeld in verband met eenzaamheid en mislukking. Nu heb je al wel de woorden, maar je zou de songs van Billie Holiday en Elvis Presley moeten horen: die verscheurdheid, dat verdriet, die wanhoop vanwege een mislukt leven. Hoewel Elvis Presley Long Black Limousine niet zelf heeft geschreven, klinkt het autobiografisch. In My Solitude in de versie van Billie Holiday niet minder.

IN MY SOLITUDE

In my solitude
You haunt me
With dreadful ease
Of days gone by

In my solitude
You taunt me
With memories
That never die

I sit in my chair
And filled with despair
Theres no one could be so sad
With gloom everywhere
I sit and I stare
I know that Ill soon go mad

In my solitude
Im afraid
Dear lord above
Send back my love

Duke Ellington / Eddie Delange / Irving Mills

LONG BLACK LIMOUSINE

There’s a long line of mourners, driving down our street
Their fancy cars are such a sight to see
They’re all your rich friends who knew you in the city
And now they’ve finally brought you home to me

When you left you know you told me that some day you’d be returning
In a fancy car, all the town to see
Well now everyone is watching you, you’ve finally had your dream
And you’re riding in a long black limousine

You know the papers told of how you lost your life
The party and the fatal crash that night
The race up on the highway, the curve you didn’t see
Now you’re riding in that long black limousine

Through tear-filled eyes I’ll watch as you ride by
A chauffeur at the wheel dressed up so fine
Well I’ll never love another – all my heart, all my dreams
They’re with you in that long black limousine
They’re with you in that long black limousine

Vern Stovall / Bobby George

De eerste versie van dit lied is van Wynn Stewart en verscheen in 1958. Glenn Campbell nam het op in 1962. De sterkste versie is evenwel die van Elvis Presley uit 1969, terug te vinden op “From Elvis In Memphis”. The Grateful Dead speelde het nummer af en toe live.