That's Why they call them the Blues
Songs, like paintings have the capacity to capture moments in time and eternally freeze them for posterity. You get a deeper understanding of this insinuation if you make time to listen to good music from the likes of John Lennon whose Imagine song even earned being engraved at a plague outside Heathrow Airport. While such a move had the opposition of many apostates posing as Christian fundamentalist for their failure to comprehend that 'above us only sky'.
Aren't we all saying the Creator is omnipresent? If you still grumbling go listen to Woman - at least Yoko Ono is still alive.
Okay, church politics aside. One needs to close their eyes and indulge Louis Armstrong. It's not easy to make good music during a war when young men and women are brought home in body bags everyday. Recently to sum up the difficulty Immortal Technique rapped, "i'm coming back like a fresh body bag from Iraq". Armstrong recorded What a wonderful world at a time that there was nothing wonderful about the world he was living on. The Vietnam War was at a peak, soldiers were dying everyday. And the video just ripped that surreality with a perfection only Francios Ford Coppola could manage.
Songs, like pictures tell stories of what happened, where and why it happened. When you thinking a classical hit such as Hotel California you can't help but wonder if such a hotel really exists. What comes to mind is that it could be a sleazy joint adjoining a filling station. Actually I'm thinking a motel [or otel] because the 'm' is missing since the new owner didn't replace the faulty bulb. The same can't be said about Smokie's Living Next Door to Alice which is actually melancholy masquerading as a song. How for the life of me a man fails to master a few good words 24 years of living next door to a senhorita defies my logic. And he dares tell us about how he felt when the limousine disappeared. These are songs that tell stories that either happened or will someday happen. What used to happen at Hotel California and what Smokie felt living next door to Alice can cut across.
Songs, like community elders, tell stories of battles fought, won and lost. The say the hallmark of a great man is to see when he can not win a fight and to turn his back and leave. Bruce Springsteen's Streets of Philadelphia, which was a theme song for a film of the same title [minus the streets of] touched a lot of souls. It near-graphic cinematography - a walk through run-down streets of Philly was an awakening moment to many people who always thought of the United States in the context of Manhattan. The streets of Philly were full of shared drug needles which infected poor people with HIV.
On the same tip would be Kanye West's Coming Home which is actually a song dedicated to his hometown of Chicago. There's no way you can tell a good story without touching on the bad. The good alone is a fallacy - fiction. The bad alone is a tragedy - horror. So, when Kanye touches on the small-time and the big time hustlers of Chi you are confirmed a good story about a place you have never visited but might like to someday. I reckon Chi Tourism must have seen it important to subsidise the poor lad.
Some songs soothe the heart the same way they pierce the soul. How can we forget Richard Marx's Right Here Waiting. Believably written for his wife who was in Europe working and him back in the US waking up in the morning to be confronted by a grand piano. It's a kind of music that people make love to - over and over again. They even flirt with the possibility of doing it on Jon Bon Jovi's Bed of Roses, where he promises a senhorita that he wanna lay her down there. Often one wonders if some roses don't have thorns - unless the man is retributional.
Good songs make people fall in love. Tony Rich's Nobody Knows is a classical example of such muse. Some babies were made to that song and no wonder their parents are still nostalgic about the man with a funny hat who assured them that 'nobody knows it but you'. Rich might have been the Pied Piper of a certain generation but the ultimate love song writer has to be psychedelic artist Prince - or whoever he's called this morning. His Purple Rain classic is what other artists of his genre still swears by. But the most outstanding has to be The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. Fuck, "can't you see/ you're the reason that god made a girl", that must have gotten a few chicks pregnant then.
Finally is my man; Uncle Elton John. He wraps it up by tackling everything said and concludes with saying 'that's why they call them the blues'
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