Thursday, December 28, 2006

'O How We Danced On The Night We Were...'

... begins "The Anniversary Song", Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin's morose, faux Ruritanian. 3-hankie chicken souper, one of Don Van Vliet's favorites in fact, which he liked to unleash live, a capella, at the drop of a, uh, a Hat (right up there with "Murderer", his readymade r&b hit for the putative pop project he dubbed the Van Damn Pyre group)...

And as last night Dec. 28th marked the twenty-second anniversary of LucasSinclair Inc., I thought I'd crank up "The Anniversary Song" on the old Itunes to get those lachrymal ducts deluxe a flowin' ...and lo and behold discovered a very Russian Tea Rheumy kind of live version (probably an early radio or tv aircheck) with purple passionate vintage violins weeping down the drain at the Itunes Store, a version sung by Jolson...Der Bingle...and Judy (Garland--well, said grande dame is listed in the registry :-)... but by the evidence here emits nary a sigh on this particular download...maybe the two veteran crooners were merely serenading her, or she was off-mic)...anyway, good stuff! Arthur Murray's got a version available there too I notice...shall I visit the "99 Cents Store" again to partake of this particular audio gem?...I shall...oh, yeahhh...

Now why Jolson should have colored his musical commemoration of his own sacred vows-taking with the minor-key, almost dirge-like melody of " The Anniversary Song" on what should on the face of it be a hap-hap-happy knees-up kind of occasion (celebrating a longterm successsful partnership, come on!) begs the question of whether Al was actually mourning his loss of innocence, "as the years go passing by" stylee (tune's got a "September Song"-ish kind of vibe)...or whether he was mourning the longterm loss of his bachelorhood status...libido...or (most probably) his Mammy (remember "Expresso Bongo", and its incredible "Shrine On the Second Floor" number? Cliff Richard's paean to his "grey-haired Madonna ", song courtesy--well 1/3 of it-- of Monty Norman, of James Bond Theme fame)...dunno, really... but the weltschmaltz of "The Anniversary Song" does indeed smack of a kind of underlying sacrificial, world weary resignation bemoaning the present-day marital status quo...on the order of the ur-blues lyric "she gotta ring round her finger/and a ring through his nose"...

Now, no relationship--obviously-- is all Love and Rockets, all of the time!

But-- "Here Today", in this parrish, I haveta tell ya, me and she (who must be obeah'ed!) are getting along better than ever... you might say: (in)famously...

Dancing the night away, still (I'll take Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" over "The Anniversary Song" anytime)...

Sustained in the long run/for the long haul/ for so many years probably because besides obviously the not inconsiderable "love factor", NEITHER of us has the upper hand, all of the time (c'est boring!).

Relationships being what they are in this bittersweet human amalgam, it seems obvious that couples who find themselves trapped in fixed roles/dominant-sub-dominant chordal patterns tend to split up sooner than later.

With us, the question of "who's on top? who's on first?" is moot(able)/to laugh.

(me, I'd rather switch than fight...) :-)




Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link