Sunday, 26 April 2009

Homage to the Everyday

In this spring song cycle I find myself double-tagged from Martin and Roland, which makes it an offer I can’t refuse.

Their game is this:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.
Bearing in mind that my right now is a long now, and I plan that my spring should continue for decades to come, here are seven songs:

New England by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers. I’ve never been to New England, nor any other part of the Americas, but this makes me homesick for there, plus it makes me think of Ted.

I Chase The Devil aka Ironshirt as performed by Madness on The Dangermen Sessions. Original by Max Romeo. I could have picked Shame & Scandal from the same album. The other day I heard Peggy singing an approximation of that one while she was playing.

I’m Happy by the Ivor Cutler Trio, from Ludo. I also love Mary’s Drawer on the same album. We recently came across a children’s book by Ivor Cutler, Meal One, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury many years ago. I highly recommend it if you can find a copy.

The Train From Kansas City by The Shangri-Las. I first heard this song in a terrific noisy guitar version by The Shop Assistants.

Title Music from Merchant-Ivory’s film Bombay Talkie, included on the soundtrack to The Darjeeling Limited. I’ve long intended to write something about Wes Anderson’s film as a third installment in the stalled Narcissus at the Movies series of posts. One day, perhaps.

Rock ’n’ Roll Won’t Save You Now by my friend John Dog, to be found here, and in a different version on a rare CD he gave me.

Hyldest til Hverdagen by Dan Turèll, from Pas På Pengene. Spoken rather than sung, but I’ll hear no argument. My father has promised me a copy of the new documentary about Denmark’s late lamented Beat poet, crime novelist, and snappy dresser. Here’s my translation:

Homage to the Everyday (Hyldest til Hverdagen)
by Dan Turèll

I’m fond of the everyday
most of all I’m fond of the everyday
The slow awakening to the familiar view
that all the same is never quite so familiar
the family’s at once both intimate and after sleep’s distance unfamiliar faces

morning kisses
the smack of the post landing in the hall
the smell of coffee
the ritual wandering to the shop around the corner
after milk, cigarettes, newspapers -
I’m fond of the everyday even through all its irritations
the bus that clatters outside in the street
the telephone that incessantly disturbs the loveliest blankest standing-still nothing in my aquarium
the birds that chirp from their cage
the old neighbour who looks in
the kid who has to be fetched from nursery just as one is getting going
the constant shopping list in the jacket pocket
with its steady demand for meat, potatoes, coffee and crackers
the quick little one at the local
when we all meet with the shopping bags and wipe the sweat from our brows -
I’m fond of the everyday
the daily agenda
also the biological
the unavoidable procedures of bath and toilet
the obligatory shaver
the letters that must be written
the rent demand
balancing the chequebook
the washing up
the recognition of having run out of nappies or tape -
I’m fond of the everyday
not in contrast to festivity and colour, high times and hullaballoo
have that as well
with all of its leftover cinders
so much unsaid and approximated
floating and hanging in the air afterwards
like some species of psychic hangover
only everyday’s morning coffee can cure -
fine enough with parties! There’s all the room for euphoria! Let the thousand pearls bubble!
but what happiness it is afterwards to lay yourself down
in rest’s and everyday’s bed
with the familiar
all the same not quite so familiar
same view.

I’m fond of the everyday
I’m wild about it
stop the clock I’m so fond of the everyday
I’m so stinking fond of the everyday . . .

The above is based on the Danish CD booklet. Other published versions are less sparing with the punctuation.

Seven songs is not enough of course. Nothing there from The Temptations, nothing from Arthur Brown, or from The Jack Nitzsche Story, or from the London Is The Place For Me series, or from Raymond Scott, or Pop Duo Bauer, nor their friend Bud Benderbe, none of which stay quiet for long in this house.

Next time . . .

And then I’m supposed to tag seven other saps, I mean worthy and enthusiastic bloggers. How about Oscar Grillo, Unemployed Dad, Sietske in Beirut, Uncle Eddie, Paul Duane (is that blog dead and do you have another?), Steve Simpson, but only of course if the mood apprehends them, if they crave excitement, if they lack sense, if they actually want to.

(Update: Paul has posted a great list here.)

Wait, that was only six. Well if you’re not in the list consider yourself number seven. And if you have no blog feel free to use the comments facility here.

A last link, I particularly appreciated Poumista’s contribution to this game, which included interesting information and links on Leonard Cohen’s version of The Partisan amongst other songs.

At top, acrylic sketch, Hampstead Heath yesterday around noon.

Homage to the Everyday copyright © The Estate of Dan Turèll.


Paul said...

The blog is in suspended animation, Kellie, until such time as it seems right to resuscitate it. (But maybe a tag from you is the signal to reach for the defibrillators!).

bob said...

Great list Kellie. I don't think I knew anything about your musical tastes before. The first five are all things I love. It's only the last two I hadn't heard, so I'm off to your mate's myspace page now!

Poumista said...

Thanks for the link. Really appreciated.

kellie said...

Poumista, you're very welcome.

Bob, glad you liked it.

Paul thanks for yours. The Electrician is wonderful. Nite Flights has been on my list for a while, time to buy it now. The Free Design and Gnonnas Pedro I didn't know before, I loved them too. Promised Land, great also.

Roland Dodds said...

Good list Kellie. I was not familiar with most of it, and it’s always good to get exposed to some new tunes.