Whence listening passively to Christmas music and suddenly hearing lyrics about sentient falcons, mysterious lovers, purple gowns, strange abandoned hallways and wounded knights abandoned on tabletops…what kind of Christmas Carol is THIS?
It is technically only a “Carol” in the sense that it is a sacred hymn. The text itself has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with the Fisher King legend. Beautiful, Apocryphal and a gorgeous relic of mythical mystery.
An ancient medieval hymn/carol. Passed down through the ages as “Down In Yon Forest,” an English (and Appalachian?) folk ballad which grew heavier on the “Jesus love” and lighter on the weird death and rebirth and mystical wound elements across the centuries but pretty much held on to its essential weirdness.
Popularized in the pre and post World War II era, as a young, ambitious 19 year old composer named Benjamin Britten penned a work called “A Boy Is Born” and included a version of the Carol.
Popularized AGAIN when Jeff Buckley recorded a haunting and archaic sounding version on his album, Grace.
Here is some more in depth examination, for your perusual:
New friends and old ones newly met are mirrors as much as input mechanisms. They serve to remind us who we are and where wish we were headed.
A sort of course correction in the journey. And of course we do the same for them. And somewhere in the exchange, we each add a little bit more to our collective portfolio of experience from each side of the equation. Gender rules and social norms be damned, by the way. I need no one’s permission to associate.
For those who might express concern or dismay at my Magdalen ways.
I am raising my children to be worthwhile human beings, but also worthwhile companions. Or so I hope to achieve. Rich input.
Interesting people and places and things. Sights and sounds. Shared jokes and observations. I think I am likely raising the ultimate well rounded hipster nerd queens in waiting.
Such a fucking hipster am I, myself, with my burgundy plaid and velvet slippers, leather jacket and Dr. Who scarf and shredded skinny jeans.
I am writing this on a typewriter app on my iPad right now is how hipster I am.
…And listening to vintage punk and New Wave tracks on Spotify. Mission of Burma and Johnny Thunders and The Nerves, The Waterboys, The Buzzcokcs, etc.
Rich input on a lazy Sunday, good food and old bookstores, family, friends, and songs to be sung until we are breathless and dizzy and full of hope.
Ironically was reading a Townes Van Zandt bio when Amy Winehouse died. Some people wear their temporal lobes on their sleeves so the rest of us can have art. Who are we to say they can’t kill the pain for the sake of the song…
2)Breakfast is hostess cupcakes and mexican dark coffee with cream on the porch with candles and incense and the Sunday paper. Dishes can wait…
3)We won, we won, we fucking won…I volunteered my time and $5 I couldn’t afford to a candidate that actually won! I kind of feel like a Timequake has occurred (apologies to K. Vonnegut) and the spiritual resurgence of Clinton era ideals actually makes me 19 again somehow. I feel like it’s finally safe to start my life over again and do things right this time.
4)Time is tight and money’s even tighter, but I am getting more resourceful by the minute. This morning, for instance, I have thrown a pot of beef stew in the oven for lunch,simultaneously lowering our heating bill and preventing wasteful takeout food spending. If it ever came down to it, I know how to make vinegar out of raw apple cider, for fuck’s sake, I got pioneer survival skills, I can certainly live without ordering pizza on a Friday night or two…
5)Spent this Friday night watching Jimmy Stewart movies with my 6 year old and eating white cheddar popcorn and leftover Halloween candy while my 11 year old wrote “littlest pet shop” screenplays in MS Notepad to be acted out with her sister later.
6)Got enough sleep for a change. I could have slept for years. I love it when the seasons change because in summer the daylight and the heat start seeping in early in the morning on weekends and you can never get back to sleep. The downside of our Arizona existence.
7)The depression I didn’t know I was in is slowly lifting. My mind is not blocked and I can write again. I feel like I can stand the company of other people again. My thoughts have time to drift again and it feels like the world will not suffer and drown for their drifting.
About time I wrote something, I guess…
Friday limbo, was playing Nick Cave and Leadbelly and songs from an old lover. Day After Blues, wandering, newspaper brooding in the Dinosaur MacDonalds, bookstore lingering over hot chocoolate and idiot shoppers with my sweet little girls whov’e learned a Tom Waits song. Sarah sings it “remember the girl with the sun in her eyes and I’ll kiss you” then she blows a little kiss “and then I’ll be gone…” My punk rock little Maggie sings “and I’ll kiss you and then I’ll be sick!” and laughs riotously. Watched the movie “Seven” which I’d never managed to sit all the way through before and TOTALLY called the ending. Good movie, though. And then…
…Twas the Day After Thanksgiving and the liqour was flowing, the bonfires raging, the music pouring out of the living room and it was to be expected and it was good. The stragglers left long after the first morning’s light and Jesse referred to the sunrise as “God’s morning boner.”Sang “In the Pines” and “Willing” and “Oldest Story In The World” and “I Don’t Want To Me A Soldier” and “Designs On You” and several Forkan originals of old and new and much Stones and Zeppelin and who and the strangest guitar blues rock Iggy Pop style multiphasic eighties pop song medly. Made some promises to learn and sing and practice songs for future reference and so I will. And the the lord hath spake and apparently was happy to see us that morning. Happy birthday Mike, another year you’re still alive which is more than some of us can say…
“Good manners and bad breath will bet you nowhere…”