Wonderful World

30 08 2017

Wow!

Have you watched the video? Louis Armstrong! Amazing as the melody is, the lyrics are also an incredible insight. Unlike Hendrix’s Axis Bold As Love, Louis does not provide chakra correlations for each of the colors as they are presented in the song, however, in the second rhyme of the first quatrain, the lyrical statement speaks to true alignment of the chakras: ‘I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do, They’re really saying I love you.’ Which, by most definitions of the sacred and the chakras, is the intention and point.

While he speaks to the logic and order, he is also speaking to the source and balance with the line ‘The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night,’ obviously, the music sets the tone for the song, a relaxing melody inspiring dreams, visions and summer time picnic baskets of happiness. Specially curious is the line ‘And I think to myself what a wonderful world,’ because while he is demonstrating happiness and positive thoughts, he is also illuminating that he is still essentially alone, so in spite of the ‘Wonderful World,’ and the happiness it provides, there seems to be no one to share it with.

While the last quatrain speaks of birth and generational knowledge, ‘I hear babies crying, I watch them grow, They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know,’  is it possible that the last lines of the song, essentially a duplicate suggest that the loneliness implied by ‘I think to myself,’ cannot be balanced by the colors of the rainbow, or the people going by? How much happier can one person be when all the information of the galaxy is at their fingertips, yet they are not allowing themselves the experience of being in the moment? Look at Louis expressions while he is singing ‘Wonderful World.’




Water No Get Enemy

28 08 2017

Regarding the extraordinary music of Fela Kuti, one of his songs stands out to me as both an incredible song, and tribute to the eternal wisdom of creation. Water No Get Enemy, from 1975’s release Expensive Shit has become an anthem in many ways. The poignant melody and driving rhythm, characteristic of Afrobeat, is one of the irresistible currents of the song.

‘T’o ba fe lo we omi l’o ma’lo, If you wan to go wash, na water you go use.’ From the beginning, Fela points out the indisputable importance nature, therefore society, places on water. The next phrase, T’o ba fe se’be omi l’o ma’lo, If you wan cook soup, na water you go use.’ Reminds us that water is not only a natural element, it is a preferred tool in accomplishing tasks.

Since, the lyrics aren’t added until almost halfway through the song, there is no need to create emotional tension with the lyrics, as the music has provided the set up for catharsis. Bringing it home as soon as children are mentioned with the lines ‘T’omo ba n’dagba omi l’o ma’lo, If your child dey grow, na water he go use,’ followed immediately by ‘If water kill your child, na water you go use
T’omi ba p’omo e o omi na lo ma’lo.’ What worse than for a parent to lose a child? Who would think of maintaining a relationship with anything responsible for the death of your progeny? Unless it is water: ‘If water kill your child, na water you go use.’ Because it is a required part of life.

Furthering the natural place of water in elemental/societal/political existence, ‘Ko s’ohun to’le se k’o ma lo’mi o, Nothing without water.’ Since a true government relies upon the people being governed for the authority to rule, any government leaving the will of the people behind, becomes no longer a government, and cannot rightly provide peace for the just. When Fela sings of black man power, he is of course referring to Nigeria, and his people there.

The descriptive manner in which he points out how and why the people of Nigeria should never stand idly while a non representational form of government entrenches itself within law, belongs to all people of the natural world.

 




God’s Away On Business

24 08 2017

‘I’d sell your heart to the junkman baby, For a buck, for a buck.’ The first lines in the song speak to the heart of what people feel in relation to hope and employment. Your heart, the center of the soul and feeling given to the junkman for only a dollar. The next lines drive in futility even more, ‘If you’re looking for someone to pull you out of that ditch, You’re out of luck, you’re out of luck.’ The bridge here is apt, and demonstrates what happens when heart is reduced to value, and charity and compassion have vanished. ‘The ship is sinking.’

‘There’s a leak, there’s a leak, in the boiler room, The poor, the lame, the blind.’  The distress mentioned here is two fold. The boiler room is leaking, and the poor, the lame, the blind are in the boiler room? Or are they the boiler room, implying how society has treated individuals with extraordinary emotional frameworks and perceptions is a significator of what is wrong with society. The next lines of course lead one to the second possibility. ‘Who are the ones that we kept in charge? Killers, thieves, and lawyers.’ A group of people traditionally compared more with sharks and hunters than lambs or compassionate leaders.

‘Digging up the dead with a shovel and a pick, It’s a job, it’s a job.’ Listing here one of the least enticing jobs someone may want, but is essentially forced to do out of societal obligation to the ‘Killers, thieves, and lawyers.’ ‘Bloody moon rising with a plague and a flood, Join the mob, join the mob,’ essentially we have all ‘joined the mob’ already as being a part of the economy today is only furthering the environmental death of the earth, and unless one is careful about choosing what type of job, an endless amount of energy gets funneled into the military industrial complex and away from the people/creatures/plants which in their very nature reduce reuse recycle.

The parting words and perhaps the only warning ones in the song ‘There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby, It’s a deal, it’s a deal.’ Yeah, look out for free cheddar, might have got me at the last here. In the meantime, God’s Away on Business.




Celebrate Me Home

22 08 2017

Met a friend yesterday who reminded me of the Kenny Loggins song, Celebrate Me Home.

Really an amazing study of dramatics and wordplay in how he touches on the themes moat central to life. Love, Sex, Death, Law and Order, all found in the phrases.

‘Come on and play my music, Let’s turn on the love light in the place.’ Both suggestive and playful while referring to discipline and logic.

Please, celebrate me home,
Give me a number,
Please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song,
That I’ll always remember,
And I can recall,
Whenever I find myself too all alone,
I can sing me home.

Interesting in these lines is ‘find myself too all alone,’ implying that being alone is a usual state, yet one can find oneself ‘too alone’ not a good place. Being in the company of others is one of the most important social skills that we can learn, and he draws on that knowledge with the lines, ‘Be what you want from me, I’m this strong, I’ll be weak.’

For my new friend, ‘Thank you for the memory.

‘Please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song,
That I’ll always remember.’

 




Bold As Love

17 08 2017

Though the Hendrix family removes Jimi’s original material from youtube, there are ways of listening to his poetry. One of my favorites has always, will always be Bold As Love from the album Axis: Bold As Love. The Pretenders perform imho, an excellent rendition of the classic song for the Stone Free tribute to Jimi Hendrix album.

One of the great things about the song is as he is describing the colors, it is easy to relate them to the chakras. Comparing the lyrics of the song to the meanings of the colors of the chakras will be somewhat entertaining, as I have primarily used Jimi’s definitions as gospel. (Wouldn’t You?)

Using the definitions found on the site color-meanings.com and the lyrics from the song, will be an interesting study of lyrics and esoteric systems.

Root Chakra: color- Red

The red chakra colors are also indicative of our need for logic and order, physical strength and sexuality as well as the fight or flight response when faced with danger.

Bold As Love

My red is so confident that he flashes Trophies of war and ribbons of euphoria.

Sacral Chakra: color – Orange

The chakra colors associated with sacral chakra is orange. Swadishthana chakra relates to the water element in the human body. The chakra colors orange impact sexuality, reproductive function, joy, desire and even creativity, compassion for others etc.

Bold As Love

Orange is young, full of daring But very unsteady for the first go around.

Solar Plexus: color – Yellow

The chakra colors yellow of this energy vortex are associated with fire, energy, charge etc. This element of fire, when balanced and harmonious allows one to feel more confident, cheerful and energetic along with a right amount of respect for self and others.

Bold As Love

My yellow in this case is not so mellow In fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me.

Heart Chakra: color – Green

The heart chakra is associated with the chakra colors Green. This chakra influences our relationships and has the Air element. A weak heart chakra is responsible for sabotaging the relationships through distrust, anger and envy etc.

Bold As Love

Queen Jealousy, envy waits behind him Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground.

Throat Chakra: color – Blue

The Throat chakra with its chakra colors Blue is associated with the ability to communicate, listen etc. The glands to which the Throat chakra is attached are the esophagus, ears, throat, thyroid, jaws, teeth and neck vertebrae. The ethereal element of the Throat Chakra, when balanced, allows an individual to have pleasant voice, artistic abilities, expressive ways and also ability to be in a higher place spiritually.

Bold As Love

Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted They quietly understand.

Third Eye Chakra: color – Indigio

This chakra is associated with chakra colors Indigo and is connected to the Pineal or pituitary gland. Those with a well balanced brow chakra can have telepathic abilities, charismatic personality and they often do not have any fear of death.

Bold As Love

The once happy turquoise armies lay opposite ready But wonder why the fight is on.

Crown Chakra: color – Purple

The chakra colors of violet or purple. The crown chakra is associated with the pituitary gland, nervous system, and the brain and head region with its element of light. In its balanced state, this chakra can render individuals the ability to perform miracles, transcend the laws of nature, and have a heightened awareness of death and immortality.

Bold As Love

Anger he smiles towering in shiny metallic purple armor.

 

Given that Jimi was describing the colors within the meter of an incredible song, the abrupt lyrical definitions are enhanced through his guitar playing and the music. I’m sure that many of you recognize his incredible riffs, perhaps some of you will recognize his rhymes as well.

 




What Comes Around…

16 08 2017

 

Sixty years isn’t a long time for art to roll around on itself, unless of course you are a Hollywood film mogul. To compare and contrast the songs ‘I Want to be Evil,’ Earth Kitt 1954, and ‘Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue,’ Portugal, the Man 2013 doesn’t even take that much insight. Curious that no one else seems to have compared them though. Though it may be a better exercise to compare and contrast the videos, since technology has changed since Kitt’s video. Truthfully, with the expressive Kitt as the story teller, Portugal the Man’s video might over rely on tech to tell the story.

As a musician myself, I don’t interpret the use of evil here as an implication of hatred and warmongering, nor even as the opposite of live. Evil in the case of both these songs is used as societal critique. This might be a good time to point out another flipped word correspondence, that of Amor, meaning love, and Roma, meaning Rome and the home of the Vatican, perhaps the singular richest and longest standing religious institution which remains today. Not of course that money, power and cultural dominance over nations lead to profiteering, genocide, or establishment of a military industrial complex entrenched in global economics.

BAM! Eartha comes out swinging in this incredibly ‘diabolical’ critique. ‘I’ve posed for pictures with Iv’ry Soap.’ From a mixed race person most likely descended from slaves, using the companies name brings to mind the ’99 44⁄100% Pure’ slogan.  Beauty then, is not limited to purity. Interestingly, according to the lyrics, she has overcome most of the socio-economic struggles one might think she would have experienced in those days. Then again, considering that what is touted as evil in the song may be the types of things that a common well behaved middle class woman may well want to do on occasion (read assert ones self,) it may be that the humor of the time would accept a mulatto woman singing about the evil of stepping on toes and playing pool.

As it so happens, ‘Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue,’ is a true artistic inheritance of the song. ‘But I can’t focus feeling hopeless So I’ll just sit back, try to look mean,’ parallels what feelings artists writing their own songs in the 50’s may have experienced. Being creative in a cash rich nepotistic industry only works if you are already on the inside. Since the entertainment industry ‘then’ contained the ‘seeds’ of today’s entertainment industry, the words in the next verse aren’t mind blowing, but point of fact. ‘When I grow up I wanna be A rich-kid born celebrity It’s not greed, but necessity.’

The stronger similarities of course being the phrases  ‘I wanna be evil,’ and ‘I just wanna be evil,’ emphasizing that instinctual behavior though perhaps not appropriate socially, will in fact assert boundaries that can not be disputed. Remembering that information is power, be careful with your evil love. Don’t go all Roma on people, we already have enough of that running around the universe.

 

 




Eclipse

10 08 2017

Guess What?!?   That’s right! The solar eclipse. Aug 21. Who’s going? Certainly this is a great opportunity to reflect on Pink Floyd’s celebrate song, and discuss the lyrical symbolism of paradox and duality. ‘All that you touch, And all that you see, All that you taste, All you feel’ initially describing the senses which are available through experience.

The next verse then refers specifically to paradox. Love, hate, distrust, save. Light travels as a particle and a wave, though with LASER, we are able to utilize the energy for both productive and destructive purposes. Perhaps if the tools which offer this much power were able to be utilized in the manner of instruments for instance, where the ability to use and direct the energy are gained only through hours of practice, there would not be so much destruction, except of course at the end of the concert as part of the encore.

The next verse seems to specifically mention particle and waves, first with give and deal, referring to the speed/location binary reality, while buy,beg, borrow, or steal refers to modalities of light itself. The create – destroy, do – say reflects the previous, and personalizes the action. It is the through the exchange of opposites that artistic perception is created, as in the ‘facemos image.’

By recognizing that the consistency of amplification and stimulation produced for market removes the status of the jedi, who build their light sabers by hand with the knowledge received from their instructors and their experience. Paradoxically, machines built to provide atmosphere, communication, and rhythm still require experience to wield a living voice. That being said, the pleasure of rhythm, the ebbing wave requires on off, or in manufacturing lingo OI.

Of course, the last verse, containing the lyrical ‘turn around’ has a great paradoxical phrase: ‘And everything under the sun is in tune, But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.’

Really an incredible song, enjoy the melody and the darkness, from a distance.

 

 




Dissin for Dollars

8 08 2017

Anyone who performs with the Washington Symphony Orchestra at ten years old, is embarking on a musical destiny. Bernie Worrell was an accomplished musician, composer and performer. Over the course of his career, he was a foundation for Parliament / Funkadelic, played with the Talking Heads Deee-lite, Keith Richards and many others. Though his music speaks as a language, I greatly appreciate the work he has done as a band leader The Woo Warriors. My current favorite is Blacktronic Science. Not only does the name imply a distinct manner of perception, the music and lyrics live up to the name.

 

Dissinfordollars, an incredible song, and excellent social critique as well. I am not surprised, that the lyrics are not already on the www. I’ve seen a meme that says of course words are powerful, that’s why it’s called s.p.e.l.l.i.n.g. Dissinfordollars is the dissertation of that statement. ‘Sticks and Stones will break your bones, like in the force and the speed of rap.’ Vernacular asskicking’  Though the song is both about language being used to separate and distinguish class in society, the lyrical artistry is straight from the muses mouth.  ‘Nigga gotta habit of bablin’ broken English, so a nigga won’t be distinguished.’ ‘You’re like an inadequate word arsenal.’ The song more than clarifies what dissinfordollars means, and shows how a poet can utilize the skills of the language to create atmosphere, and ideas. As a writer myself, one  of my favorite lines is, ‘Give power to poetry see.’

 




Whats So Funny ‘Bout

2 08 2017

Though it has been a bit of time since I have listened to Elvis Costello, since a friend/employer forbade me from playing his music as a result of their past, he is still an excellent musician. Another friend suggested today that I learn to play What’s so Funny, and since it is a great song, with a poignancy that today is quite relevant, I figured it would be a good song to use for today’s post.

One of the stronger parts of the song is the directness of the questions: ‘So where are the strong? and who are the trusted?’ Which create a space for what could be considered an answer as well. ‘And where is the harmony? Sweet Harmony.’ Especially in terms of poetic phonetics, harmony as an answer to strength is a brilliant, bold, beautiful answer. The implication is knowledge provides the movement, and reverberation, the essence of harmonic structure, creates the foundation of shared existence. Even ‘the bible’ refers to utilizing wave structure in Joshua 6:1-27.

Returning again to the song, a new implication is that the harmonics created by peace, love and understanding are what are required in order to reduce the power of pain and hatred, and misery in the world today. Providing a foundation for further understanding of how harmonics work together could provide answers to many questions about ancient civilizations, cures to diseases, and lead to the next renaissance of knowledge in this age of universal growth.

A ‘secret’ which has been kept far too long, is that harmony provides hope and happiness and all that it takes is a song.