Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ol' Man River andThings

We sweat and straing...body all achin' and racked with pain ...

This painting is not of workers on the Mississipi. It is of workers on the Volga, but one of my favorite paintings and it gets the point across.

I play the piano most nights in the lobby of a building here in D.C. Chevy Chase, to be exact. I have many books, one of which is called, THE BEST SONGS EVER. I love to play from it,and the people love to hear all their old favorites. For instance, I played Mona Lisa tonight and a woman clapped and said it was one of her favorites. I've been surprised and delighted to find out who wrote the lyrics and music to the old favorites ...more on that later.

Tonight I came across OL' MAN RIVER (Kern and Hammerstein). I hadn't heard it in years. I don't always read the lyrics as I play, but in this case I did,and I was so touched. Maybe because it's Friday night -- end of a work week -- and I heard a lot of stories this week of pain, suffering, and questioning.

What I hear a lot in my business is "Why." Why me? Why did it have to happen? Why doesn't God stop them? That sort of thing. It may be attached to God, or Allah, or Buddha ... but it is often there when times get tough.

Frank sings it for us -- "He don't say nothin' ... but he must know something." The expressions on Frank's face are incredible. Nothing shows emotion like blue eyes and he was, after all ... Watching this made me wonder what Frank Sinatra might have been through that we know nothing about. He don't say nothin', but he must know something -- Frank -- to put that much emotion into this song. Watch himstarting at 1.25. And at the end.

Here's Ole Blue Eyes ...

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