this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr

for the main blog of poetry, whimsy and maybe beauty, now

Monday, 2 February 2009

the boxer

I always thought it said I've squandered my existence for a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises. Closer listening tells me it is "resistance". I should have known, too. My parents had the album and I would play it and pore over the lyrics and sing very badly. The melancholy of the whole album still eats me up, especially The Only Living Boy in New York, this one, and So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright. I couldn't understand in those days of Ballroom Blitz and Fox on the Run, when the sexuality of adolescence was somehow spilling over and impinging onto my own eight or nine year old life, why somebody was singing about architects. Songs were always about sex and love, weren't they? Only dags (nerds) would sing about architects and ragged people.

But really, as Bridge Over Troubled Water, and Sounds of Silence were my parents' albums, and it seemed they had bought none since, the songs seemed to be of an era before me, finished a long, long, time ago, even though its release was 1970, only five or six years previous. But time when you are a child is eternal, and if you are eight, well, six years is more than half your lifetime.

I enjoyed Cecilia, too and Baby Driver, and felt slightly scandalised in my Catholic-schoolgirl-on-Saturdays (the day when I went to learn how to be a Catholic) way, that they sang about things I wasn't meant to know, that is, sex. I wonder how my folks felt to have me bellowing around the house, I wonder how your engines feel, bah-bah-bum. I guess it was euphemistic enough for them to just shrug. I guess I knew in our quietly restricted home that I probably couldn't get away with singing:

My daddy got a big promotion
My mamma got a raise in pay
There's no-one home, we're all alone
Oh come into my room and play
Yes we can play.

I'm not talking about your pigtails
But I'm talking 'bout your sex appeal
Hit the road and I'm gone ah
What's my number
I wonder how your engine feels.
Ba ba ba ba
Scoot down the road
What's my number
I wonder how your engine feels.

The sex appeal bit, you know, and I don't know if I ever clomped around the lino-clad kitchen shouting out:

Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia
Up in my bedroom (making love)
I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed
Someone's taken my place

And what was with his ... mamma [being] an engineer... (Baby Driver)? Where I grew up everyone knew that mammas stayed at home or worked in shops. They must do it differently in America, I thought. Though it probably also was a reflection on my folks that they probably were the only people in the neighbourhood who had Simon and Garfunkel albums, and who thought that women could be engineers. Just don't talk about it at school.

Ahh, I guess I should bellow a bit more. Am feeling kind of Adrienne Rich, though not quite so severe. Is squandering an existence the same as squandering a resistance? I guess it depends upon whether you have to fight to survive. Therefore, in my case, I think it is the former.

Responding in a severe and disproportionate fashion *sigh*


anglophile said...

Bridge Over Troubled Water remains one of my favorite albums. There is a timeless quality to it, I think. Both nostalgic and relevant to my life still today.

lizardrinking said...

Me too. Still makes me depressed, though, as does Sounds of Silence, but there is an exquisite beauty in that sadness.

this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr