Category Archives: music

Day 2 – Lyric Challenge

Something – Lyrical Challenge Day 2

Thank you to OJSPRIDE for the challenge, go check out her blog.

So day two and my choice today is George Harrison’s ‘Something’ from the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ album of 1969 (completed in August of that year). I am a fan of the Beatles, George in particular. This was his first A-side single with the band. This was the Beatles last recording as a band, though Let It Be, which was recorded in January 1969 was released in May 1970, so Let It Be was the last album to be released by the band.

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Something

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover,
Something in the way she woos me.
I don’t want to leave her now,
You know I believe and how.

Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don’t need no other lover.
Something in her style that shows me.
I don’t want to leave her now,
You know I believe and how.

You’re asking me will my love grow,
I don’t know, I don’t know.
You stick around now it may show,
I don’t know, I don’t know.

Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her,
Something in the things she shows me.
I don’t want to leave her now,
You know I believe and how.

 

©Harisongs Pty Ltd, George Harrison

My three nominations are for this challenge:

Fabric That Made Me

Crushed Caramel (Leaner At Love)

Words for Life

Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you.

Share one of yo ufavourite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.

Nominate three other bloggers each day.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Day 1 – Lyric challenge

Anthem – Lyrical Challenge Day 1

A big thank you for this challenge nomination to https://ojspride.wordpress.com If you haven’t been to her blog then you really must, it is vibrant and full of all sorts of things to read and enjoy, and OJ is a great host and a generous conversationalist.

 

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Leonard Cohen 1934 – 2017

 

Anthem

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

We ask for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government –
signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells …

You can add up the parts,
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, Every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells …

Ring the bells …

Leonard Cohen ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Released in 1992.

 

I now nominate the following three bloggers:

WoollyMuses

A Voice From Iran

Moira

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

10 Comments

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The Definition of Irony

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Christopher Wallace (1972 – 1997) Known as Notorius B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls. Originally Wallace wanted to be called Biggie Smalls but the name was already copyright to someone else, so his performing name was Notorius B.I.G. (which stands for Business Instead of Game) but he was unofficially known around music circles as Biggie Smalls, which was taken from the 1975 movie “Let’s Do It Again” and a gangster character called Biggie Smalls, yet it was also a reference to his size, he was big even as a young child.

The name he didn’t want originally was Notorius, yet ironically it sums up part of his early life. From the age of twelve he got involved in petty crime and small time drug dealing to help make money. His father had long gone and his mother was working two jobs to keep the family going. He received parole sentences, community work orders and eventually a stint in gaol. He was a good high school student but transfered to a technical school and dropped out, Eventually finding his way into the rap scene. In a very short time he became a respected and popular MC. He was active in performances and recording especially with Junior M.A.F.I.A., and then in 1994 released a solo album – “Ready to Die” which reached 13 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

His career was marred somewhat by the East Coast – West Coast rapper rivalry that had become intense, and resulted in the death of several people involved in the rap music scene. He also fell out with his friend Tupac Shakur, who became vitriolic. Tupak was gunned down in 1996. Notorius, who had had a notorius youth, was blamed for much of the rivalry and with the death of Tupac. But as these things go, it seems that he had little to do with either, so that when he was actually least notorius everyone believed he was just that. Notorius’ life would make a great definition of the word ironic.

Sadly, while trying to promote peace between the warring factions of East and west coast rappers and businesses, Notorious was shot and killed in a drive by on March 9, 1997, he was 25 yrs old.

His style is called loose and fluid, very relaxed and not as energised or intense as other rappers. His content is more journalistic (compared to the direct social justice focus of NWA) and perhaps too easily dismissed by anyone looking for substance. Yet his songs actually record the life he knew growing up in Brooklyn.

There’s a sadness reading the lives of these young, mostly men, who lived these pseudo warrior lives in clan wars and died in the process. Notorius, Tupac, and thirty others, killed. Again, Notorius, ironically sang, “You’re Nobody (Til Somebody Kills you), I say ironically because he was already somebody. He already was himself – Christopher Wallace. But as Notorius he was successful and known. And Ironically – because that’s what happened, as if it was self-fulfilling prophecy.

I take a couple of things away from his story, judgmentalism aside, Notorius grew up in a hostile environ and he survived, we may not approve of his notorius crime life, but he made it through and turned his life around. Notorius journalled his life into his music, and through that we have examples of the misery, crime, fear, racism, violence and struggle that young black people experienced (still experience). He was no angel (but then I remember that I too have had my moments), but he was making a new life, making amends (especially through his suport for his children), striving for peace, seeking community, and seeking justice. Even if I achieve one of those aims I’d be doing well.

The Notorius B.I.G. – “You’re Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)”

darkness covers my past
pain blossoms where I walk
my song brings wholness

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Into The Mystical

Mystical – Word of the Day

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The Blackwood River, Augusta, looking north east, one of my mystical places.

Mysticism comes from thε Greek root of μυω, which means to conceal. Mysticism crosses every religious boundary and belief system. That which is mystical is hidden. In the great debates about God from a Christian point of view there is the mystic view that God is both knowable and unknowable at the same time, that as such, there are elements of God that are visible, definable, but that mostly, God is concealed and unknowable.

Many have pursued mystical experiences. Aliester Crowley (1875 – 1947) was one of the most famous occultists of the twentieth century, trying to make connection with a world beyond. Carlos Castaneda trained as a shaman and explored mescalin using peyote as a mystical experience, inspired by the Toltec. Timothy Leary went with the synthetic drug LSD. There are trance groups, fasting practices, musical experiences, ritual practices and more. True tantra, like Tibetan Tantra, was only ever a form of meditative practice whereby the delay of orgasm and the control of orgasm is said to increase ecstatic experience, but for the purpose of prayer and meditation (and should not be confused with “Californian tantra” as I call it, or with Hindu left hand practices). Kabbalah originated as a Jewish mysticism, but now has non-Jewish paths as well. A number of celebrities have dabbled in Kabbala from Elizabeth Taylor to Madonna.

In the third and fourth centuries Christian men and women from Israel, Jordan, Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa went in droves into the deserts to develop a communal and contemplative life. And from John Cassian to Theresa of Avilla, to Thomas Merton, a few Christians became mystics, seeking the unknowable God.

I think the unknowable attracts, and we pursue it, partly to make it known, to unravel the mystery, to bring the hidden into full view, in the main, to experience what is concealed. Most of the writings of mystics that I have read reaffirm that God, Other, the divine, is unknowable, but that in the journey of mysticism, there is connection, ecstasy, love, wholeness, union and more.

For me any sense of the divine comes more through nature and the contemplative. The photograph shows a familiar walking space I take in, some days it is beautiful, some days it just is, but always it evokes a sense of mystery, of the divine in some way. There is something about certain places that does that for me. Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Elachbutting Rock, Boranup Forest, and more, are places that move me deeply, places where I sense an otherness beyond myself or other people. I have felt ecstasy in these places, I have been overcome with joy, they can be erotic (in the pure, emotive sense) experiences, I have experienced deep inner stillness, and sometimes a confusion of feelings rushing in all at once. Such things tell me I am more open in these spaces, yet I also know that my openness is also because I sense something more. This for me is the mystical.

As Van Morrison wrote in his song “Into the Mystic” – “Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.”

I stand in silence
mystical nature envelops
the heron smiles

©Paul Cannon

Van Morrison “Into The Mystic”

 

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Time Will Tell

Epiphany – Word of the Day

 

Gillian Welch: Time the Revelator

Aha!

That’s my simple explanation to anyone who wants to understand an epiphany, the moment something is revealed, when the penny drops or the dots are connected. The classic reference is, of course to the series of revelations of Jesus as Messiah in the gospel, and hence the liturgical season of Epiphany to celebrate these revelations.

It was taken and used in literature as personal revelation in matters from the mundane to the profound. The mystic Julian of Norwich, who wrote her “Revelations of Divine Love” in 1395 (reputedly the first known published work by a woman) reveals a series of spiritual epiphanies, perhaps the most often quoted being: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” A profound awareness.

James Joyce polularised the term in his autobiographical work Stephen Hero and in Portrait of the Arrtist as a Young Man, in which he would refer to times when he’d had a deep realisation, or when something manifested more clearly to him.

I really like how Gillian Welch plays with the idea of time as a revelator (see video), as the giver of epiphany, how living and engaging, reflecting and looking back, helps make sense of change and life now. Whereas for Dylan God is the revelator and judge, for Welch Time is. For Welch, time will tell!

I think my first epiphany was that I was part of the fabric of the universe. I freaked my parents out when I was four, I was regularly caught sitting on the window ledge of the second story window where my bedroom was. But I couldn’t help it, the moon and the stars captivated me and held me prisoner in wonderment. Going backwards, I later discovered the world when a maternal uncle gave me a large world wall map to gaze on and realised there was so much that constituted life. And incidentally, I think that order of learning has deeply affected me, because I go to the universe first and the world second.

More recently epiphany is related to my meditation and the contemplative. I never cease to be amazed, even by dew drops on grass! And I’m strangely warmed and satisfied by that.

The whole point of epiphany is that it comes to you, you can’t make it, but you can facilitate it – simply by taking time, time to observe, to engage, to listen, to feel, to receive, to attend.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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That Voice

Mellifluous – Word of the Day

Sade, Mazzy Star, Stevie Nicks, Sarah Brightman, Carla Bruni, Hannah Reid, the list goes on, all with unmistakable mellifluous voice. Enya is supreme, that honeyed, mellow, smooth, hypnotic voice captivates, inspires and lifts the soul. She is unmistakable, her Celtic influences in looks, sound and word, are all striking.

Enya, Eithne Padraigin Ni Bhraonain (Enya Patricia Brennan) born of a large and musical family was known for her role in the group Clannad, and then in her solo work from the early 1980s where she burst upon the charts with a string of hits. She is intensely private, and has never done a concert tour as a solo artist and rarely performs on TV. She has a number of music industry awards behind her, and many chart successes. She can play several instruments and her vocal range is mezzo-soprano and instantly recognizable. Enya refers to her voice as an instrument.

The first time I heard Enya was in 1989 with her second album Watermark and the single Orinoco Flow, and I was hooked immediately. If I’m needing something peaceful yet not passive (those two should never be confused) I like to listen to her music, which I find nurtures my soul. So in that sense she is my soul food. I find that her voice transports me beyond the carcophany of the daily and into a melodic and contemplative space.

Some of my favourite Enya quotes:

“There is no formula to it. Writing every song is a little journey. The first note has to lift you.”

“The success of Watermark surprised me. I never thought of music as something commercial; it was something very personal to me.”

Enya never sought commercial success and refuses to live as a star or to court fame. Her commitment is to her passion to write and to create music. I think it’s obvious really that her success has come from focussing on the heart of her passion. And her music has attracted people even before they knew who she was, so that it wasn’t originally personality based, her success was firmly based in the music itself. That itself is a gift. If we take her as an example, then to live out of the heart brings our creativity and passion to life in powerful ways.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Ramble On

Gallivant – Word of the Day

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I’ve travelled and rambled a little, but I would say as Bilbo said to Frodo (and later Frodo recalls it) “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  J.R.R. Tolkien (Fellowship of the Ring)

But unless you go out that door there will be no adventure. One doesn’t need to ramble far for adventure, there’s enough going on in every local community to constitute an adventure of sorts. Adventure isn’t always about excitement or danger, it can be enterprise, chance, venture, to take a risk.

For some the risk is maybe even just going out the door, or, having to talk to people, taking the time, travelling even a short distance, being out of your comfort zone, going into new experiences … but to think, there may be conversations, sights, colours, wildlife, history, events, or the beauty of solitude in nature, whatever the outcome, there’s always an experience to be had. It may not be earth shattering or exciting, but yet it may well be profound. And, does it matter where you’re swept off to? Predictability and over thinking are kindred spirits to ruts. A true adventure has to have surprise and spontaneity somewhere in it, and you can’t plan that.

But isn’t that life? Life is an adventure (that’s my experience), life is an invitation to ramble on, you can’t nail the whole of your life down, you can’t control every day of every year. We need to open the doors of our hearts and minds, even to just leave the window of opportunity open to entice us. Strangely enough, all the ifs and buts become a faint memory once you’re out the door.

The tales of the “Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” are all about rambling, adventuring gallivanting, but also a tale about life itself, as most fiction is. The band Led Zeppelin were steeped in Tolkien. If you peruse their lyrics there are phrases from Tolkien all over their original works. But the emphasis is always metaphysical, always rambling, always love and adventure, hence the song “Ramble On” on their 1969 album Led Zeppelin 2. Below is a sound track of that song where the accoustic guitars have been separated out – so no heavy guitar on this one, and the lyrics come to the fore (simple as they are).

Ramble on!

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Paperbark Writer

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The paperbarks (Melaleuca – one of the 300 Myrtaceae family) are shedding a little later this year. Another theme of winter is shedding. Some animals shed a summer coat in order to prepare for winter, many plants shed their blooms and slow down in some part, some of our birds fly elsewhere for the winter though we get visitors from other shores. We, perhaps, can live unaware of our own needs. What do we need to shed in order to prepare? Mind you, the converse is also something that we need to attend to, what do we need to gather in, soak up, put on in order to prepare? Self care and nurture are fundamental to well being, body mind and soul. For me the continuity of writing and meditation are part of that nurture. How about you?

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

Paul,

pvcann.com

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The Satin Life

Satin

The Moody Blues’ ‘Nights in White Satin’

The only time I spent in satin sheets was murder, I spent the night trying not slide everywhere every time I turned, it was bizarre, and they were hot, but not in the right way, sweaty hot (like wearing silk shirts in the height of summer). Each to their own. We vowed we’d never buy them ourselves.

Satin is quite an interesting weave.

If you know your satin you’ll know that it has a shiny side and a dull side. This is created by the method of weaving – called satin weave (which is one three basic weave types), where there is no strong diagonal line and which therefore renders a smooth, unbroken surface. Silk was the main material for making satin, but other materials are now used as well, though, for example, when using cotton the resulting fabric is usually called sateen.

Satin is a bit like life itself, it has a shiny side and a not so shiny side. The shiny side doesn’t constitute all of life, and can’t, because nothing remains smooth or unbroken. With all due repsect to R.E.M. we can’t be Shiny Happy People all the time. The not so shiny side is somewhat more representative of real life, not dull necessarily, but perhaps our more regular routines and patterns of living that can sometimes drive us mad, or make us yearn for a glimpse of the shiny, glossy, sexy, fun side of life. The two go together, too much of one or the other unbalances us. Without the less shiny side, the shiny wouldn’t stand out, without the shiny side, there wouldn’t be a foundational rhythm in contrast. And, as soon as the shiny side becomes the regular reality, it becomes monotonous anyway, and we begin looking for the new shiny. Perhaps in the shiny life we are slipping and sliding too much and need to be grounded more in the routines of ordinary living.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Broken Mornings Restore

Broken

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Morning had broken. Post sunrise at Augusta. You can see the plume of smoke on the horizon from the controlled burn. This was the day before the storm across the southern half of the state last week, which is traditionaly the break of season. We now move from autumn to winter.

With every sunrise I think of that old hymn ‘Morning Has Broken’ and it has stuck in my mind ever since I heard Cat Stevens popularize it. Stevens included it on his 1971 album ‘Teaser and the Firecat.’ As a single it charted at number 6 in the US according to Billboard, and number 9 in the UK. It was on the radio for weeks. The wonderful piano that makes it so great was devised by Rick Wakeman in conjunction with Stevens.

I like to take time to watch the sunrise, sunset, the stars, the change in the sky, just to soak up the moments. In another sense, the sky and all its gifts are part of the rhythm of life. The sun’s movements are the bookends of each day, but also a reminder that each day is enough in itself, that to live is to live in the moment and not in any other day. The irony is, that if we do live in the moment, we build a capacity, a strength that helps protect us from breaking. Living in the moment is letting go, nurturing grattitude, accepting the elements of the day, reaching out to others, sharing love, touching the joy that is somewhere in us and perhaps needs intentionally drawing out. Besides, worrying never changes the outcome anyway!

I believe that each new day is a new opportunity, a new experience, and a new horizon, by which we have a fresh start and new opportunities to explore. And, as the song says, each new day begins, like the first one. There is a rhythm of life, it is a gift, it is faithful, it is there for us to be in.

Two of my favourite quotes about living in the now:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” Maya Angelou

And of course the song – an earworm for your day 🙂

Paul,

pvcann.com

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