10 January 2011

Take This Tune - Big City Blues

This week's Take this tune is from the 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe album and is sung by Mel Torme and Barry Manilow.  It is the classic expression of the jaded urbanite down in the depths over lost, missing or never arrived love.  It is one of those jazzy blues tunes that actually makes you happy rather than depressed.  From that standpoint, I can never hear it without thinking of the self deluding gentleman in the poem below from The Last Unicorn and Tommy Steel's cheerful if promiscuous leprechaun of Finnian's Rainbow singing When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love (Unfortunately no embedding, but watch it anyway).

Many people need the thrill of falling love and when the endorphins start to die down they think they need to go find someone new to get a new thrill rather than allowing time for it to grow into something deeper.  It may be the stuff of good music, good paintings, or good novels.  It is rarely the stuff of a truly happy life.

Way I Behaved
Peter Beagle

When I was a young man, and very well thought of
There was nought I could ask that the ladies denied.
I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins,
And I never spoke love, but I knew that I lied.
     But I said to myself, "Ah, there's none of them knows
     The secret I shelter, and savor, and save.
     I wait for the one who can see through my seeming
     And I'll know when I love by the way I behave".

The years they passed over like clouds in the heavens,
The ladies went by me like snow on the wind.
I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled
And I sinned, and I sinned and I sinned and I sinned.
     But I said to myself,"Ah, there's none of them knows
     There's a part of me pure as the whisk of a wave.
     My love may be late, but she'll find I have been faithful
     And I'll know when I love by the way I behave".

At last came a lady, both knowing and tender
Who said "You are not at all what they take you to be".
I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking,
And she swallowed cold poison, and jumped in the sea.
     And I say to myself, when there's time for a word,
     As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved.
     "Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger
     And I know how I loved by the way I behaved"


Travis Cody said...

My mom used to warn me about the thrill of the chase. I've fallen prey to that once or twice in my romantic career.

Jamie said...

Wise mother you had there.