It Doesn’t Matter Anymore – Part 1

There is a line in John Prine’s masterful Hello In There that has always haunted me:

We lost Davy in the Korean War
I still don’t know what for
It doesn’t matter anymore

That’s the way it goes in life. At one point there is something that means so much to us that we can barely breathe when thinking about it. At another point that same thing doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe time really does heal all wounds.

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,
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 ’em by and stare
As if you didn’t care,
Say, “Hello in there, hello”

The Difference Between Us (live)

…or maybe we should concentrate on what we have in common…

The difference between a lover and friend
is the difference between the start and the end
the difference between a crack and a bend
that’s the difference between us

The difference between your life’s longest day
and the one when you wake up, you’re running away
people who cry and people who pray
that’s the difference between us

The difference between alone and alive
is the difference between a push and a dive
difference between desire and design
that’s the difference between us

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Halloween Parade

The first time  I went to the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade was in 1984. Or so I assume. That was the year I moved to New York and for the next eight or nine years anything above 14th Street was wilderness to me.

It’s one of those you-had-to-be-there things. Does anyone else remember John Sex? Or the Pope of Pot tossing loose joints to the crowd along the parade route?

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John Sex

Everything changes, and better or worse is just a matter of perspective. Mostly, I think things get better. But it’s natural enough on Halloween to think about those people who have passed over to the other side. An important man in my life died a few weeks ago and I’m missing him on this day of the dead. I also miss Lou Reed.

Happy Halloween.

There’s a down town fairy singing out “Proud Mary”
as she cruises Christopher Street
And some Southern Queen is acting loud and mean
where the docks and the Badlands meet
This Halloween is something to be sure
Especially to be here without you
There’s a Greta Garbo and an Alfred Hitchcock
and some black Jamaican stud
There’s five Cinderellas and some leather drags
I almost fell into my mug
There’s a Crawford, Davis and a tacky Cary Grant
And some Homeboys looking for problems down here from the Bronx
But there ain’t no Hairy and no Virgin Mary
you’ll never see those faces again
And Johnny Rio and Rotten Rita
you’ll never hear their stories again
This celebration somehow gets me down
Especially when I see that you’re not around
There’s the Born Again Losers and the Lavender Boozers
and a crack team from Washington Heights
The boys from Avenue B and the girls from Avenue D
a Tinkerbell in tights
It’s different feeling that I have today
Especially when I see you’ve gone away
There’s no Peter Pedantic saying things romantic
in Latin, Greek or Spic
There’s no Three Bananas or Brandy Alexander
dishing all their tricks
It’s a different feeling that I have today
Especially when I know you’ve gone away
There’s a girl from Soho with a T-shirt saying “I Blow”
she’s with the “jive five 2 plus 3”
And the girls for pay dates are giving cut rates
or else doing it for free
The past keeps knock, knock, knocking on my door
And I don’t want to hear it anymore
No consolations please for feeling funky
I got to get my head above my knees
But it makes me sad and sad makes me mad
and then I start to freeze
In the back of my mind I was afraid it might be true
In the back of my mind I was afraid that they meant you
At the Halloween Parade
At the Halloween parade
At the Halloween parade
See you next year, at the Halloween parade
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The Pope of Pot

Let That Bird Fly Away

Let That Bird Fly Away_Moment3

This is not a song about birds, not even in the Swingin’ Sixties British sense of the word. This is a song about letting go.

Getting old is the process of letting go but some things are harder to let go of than others, and sometimes they follow you into your dreams.

This is one of those songs you’ve heard about where the writer wakes from a dream with the song in his head. I brought the phrase and melody with me from the dreamworld and went right from the bed to the piano to work it out.

The videos within the video are some of my recent observations…

Let that bird fly away
Find a new kind of inspiration
Don’t keep her in that cage
Not in that cage or any other
Let that bird fly away

She’s brushing back her hair
from eyes that hold another world
of possibilities,
realities and mysteries
Let that bird fly away

Let that bird fly
Let that bird fly
Let that bird fly away

There’s more for you to see
Places that you can’t imagine
There’s more for you to be
There’s more pieces to this puzzle
Let that bird fly away
Let That Bird Fly Away_Moment5

I’m Not Afraid (live)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed that these are kind of dark times in some ways. There’s a lot of anger and hate in the air, you can feel it, people are…everybody seems like they’re pissed off. I hear people yelling on the streets, at each other, and it can be discouraging, of course. It just feels like everybody’s got their back up against the wall and nobody feels understood or appreciated. Everyone’s brittle and it feels like it’s just going to take one spark to set off cascading tragedies. But, at the same time, there are advances in medicine, and communications, and energy, and almost every field, that we can’t even keep up with, that I believe is going to usher in a better world, the world that philosophers from Jesus to Ringo have been telling us about – a world of peace and love. Peace and love – it’s coming. I believe it’s coming. But before we get there we’re going to have to tear down some very old, very thick, very stubborn walls of bigotry and hate. And the oldest and thickest and stubbornest is probably the wall of fear so I think one of the best things we can do in times like these is to say – or to sing – I’m Not Afraid. That’s the name of this song…

I’m afraid of losing you
I’m afraid to lose me too
I’m afraid to hurt the people I love
But I’m not afraid of anything else

I’m not afraid of crazy people
Hateful, angry, violent people
Powerful people or the people who crave it
People who want to blow the world up to save it

I’m not afraid

I’m not afraid to hear the truth
Tell me anything you want to
Tell me how I drive you nuts
Tell me why you hate my guts

I’m not afraid to lay with you
To work, or fight, or play with you
I’m not afraid of unhappy endings
Or starting all over again

I’m not afraid

I’m afraid of losing you
I’m afraid to lose me too
I’m afraid to hurt the people I love
But I’m not afraid of anything else

 

 

I Love You So Bad It Hurts (live)

i love you so bad it hurts 2_Moment3

I got two girls
One’s in heaven and one’s below
One I love with all my heart
And one I do not know

Townes Van Sandt

I didn’t know it as I was writing this song but it turns out to be about two women, with the verses alternating between thoughts of each of them. There’s something that fascinates me about the painful parts of love because even when it hurts, it feels so much better than anything else. Although Vinnie’s lead on this song feels pretty good too.

 

I love you so bad it hurts
with a kind of pain that I don’t mind at all
I love you so bad it hurts

I love you so much I don’t
have anything left for anyone else
I love you so much I don’t

I love you so much I can’t
drink enough so I can forget
the way your love burns like a lit cigarette
but I love you so much I’ll never regret
That I love you so much I can’t

I’ve loved you so long I can’t see
all the way back to the morning before
my love came knocking around at your door
and I might as well admit that I’m yours
I’ve loved you so long I can’t see

The Crown of Creation

In loyalty to their kind
they cannot tolerate our minds
In loyalty to our kind
we cannot tolerate their obstruction

While meditating the other day, as I got to the seventh chakra (“the crown”) this song came into my mind. I hadn’t heard it in years but it seemed like it was written for these times: poetic, obscure, angry, and hopeful. In the last few years we’ve lost Paul Kantner and Marty Balin but the ripples from the stones they dropped into the pond are still spreading…

 

 

You are the crown of creation
You are the crown of creation
And you’ve got no place to go

Soon you’ll attain the stability you strive for
In the only way that it’s granted:
In a place among the fossils of our time

In loyalty to their kind
They cannot tolerate our minds
In loyalty to our kind
We cannot tolerate their obstruction!

Life is change
How it differs from the rocks
I’ve seen their ways too often for my liking
New worlds to gain
My life is to survive
And be alive for you