Friday, April 28, 2017

you say, but yet I wonder

In the wee, wee hours
That's when I think of you
In the wee, wee hours
That's when I think of you
You say, but yet I wonder
If your love was ever true

In a wee little room
I sit alone and think of you
In a wee little room
I sit alone and think of you
I wonder if you still remember
All the things we used to do

One little song
For a fading memory
One little song
For a fading memory
Of the one I really love
The only one for me

{"Wee Wee Hours."  Written and recorded by Chuck Berry -- 1955.  Label:  Chess.  Producers:  Leonard Chess, Phil Chess.}

(Eric Clapton; Chuck Berry)

----------------------- Thoughts and theories about various topics were "running around my brain" after recent posts here.

Thinking about the passenger-thumping O'Hare Airport security officers, brought memories back of "Pistol-Whipping Ike Turner."  Weird nickname.  (Why would you hit someone with a gun?  Why wouldn't you just shoot them? -- wait, no... 

I guess by hitting the person with the gun, you would be -- a) making them stop whatever they're trying to do; b) intimidating them by battering them, and c) by battering them with a gun, you would give the message, "and I could have shot you, think about that" ... or something.

--------------------------- [excerpt from Tina Turner's life story] ---------------- Ma hit the roof....She said, "So you been singin' with Ike Turner" -- and the way she said it sounded like a banner headline:  PISTOL-WHIPPING IKE TURNER. 

Because that was the reputation he had -- if there was a fight, Ike would pistol-whip you, right?  Here some guy would come, looking for his wife, maybe, and ready for a decent fight, and Ike would go whunk-whunk-whunk -- get him with the butt of his gun.  The whole band had guns.  So nobody wanted their daughters involved with these guys, you know? ----------------------------------- [end, excerpt]

(Hold on, I'm still back a couple of lines, floundering for the meaning of "a decent fight" ...)

Something else Tina Turner said, not in her autobiography, but in an interview I listened to, was that the main impact of a song is not necessarily its lyrics, taken in a literal interpretation, but it's more "the feeling that a song gives."

And that's true of the Johnny Paycheck 1970s hit, "Take This Job And Shove It."  (They have not yet written "Take This Plane To Cuba," so we make do. ...)  A lot of people love the Paycheck single -- they laugh and jump up and cheer, and yet 99% of those people are not interested in quitting their jobs, and would be considerably disconcerted if any of their employees quit on them, with a phrase so rude as that one.

People don't really want to do that, say that, or have it said to them, but there's a heady sense of freedom in the imagining of it:  the feeling that the song gives. ...

("The foreman he's a regular dog; the line boss, he's a fool.")

It's the freedom people want, not the joblessness, and not the stress of looking for someone new to hire and then THEY don't work out... (problems now multiplying instead of getting solved...) ...

("Got a brand-new flat-top haircut; Lord, he thinks he's cool...")

Plus, that record just sounded great.  No matter what the lyrics were -- if you rewrote it so that it WAS "Take This Plane To Cuba" instead, the lyrics would not be taken as literal directions -- people would not run out and start hijacking planes -- but the sound of the song -- the spirited feeling that it gives -- would still be its main power.

And when you listen to that song, it's weird, because it really isn't about someone quitting his job.  It's more about desperation, grief, and pain that he doesn't know how to solve, so he feels like "acting out."

I used to play that song, and in the second line, you go into totally different territory from the first line.

The first line is the exhilarating "Take this job and shove it!"

But then right away -- after it says, "I ain't workin' here no more!" -- it twists over onto essentially a whole different problem:  "My woman done left, and took all the reasons -- I was working for..."

So it's like, wait a minute, the problem this guy is having isn't with his job, it's with his wife or girlfriend ("mah - wo-man") ... "Now I've been working in this factory, For nigh on fifteen years -- All this time I watched my woman -- Drownin' in a pool of tears" ... (Why is she crying?  He has a job!  What is the problem?)

And if his actual problem is that he has lost his relationship with the woman he loves, quitting his job and joining the ranks of unemployment is not going to make anything better... 

But it's a truth of human nature, or human experience, that sometimes people respond to grief that way -- go out and blow one's top -- make something else worse....  It might not be the most logical or constructive response, but it is part of the truth of the human experience -- what some philosophers call "the human condition."

Consideration of these thoughts and ideas ties in, too, with the Cuba-hijacking phenomenon.  Look back on that article by Denis Cummings, reprinted here Fri., April 21:

------------------------ "Originally, it was anti-Castro Cubans hijacking planes from Cuba and escaping to the U.S.,

but that changed in 1961, after the U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Cuba." -----------------

---------------------- "During the late 1960s, it was fairly common for commercial planes to be hijacked and diverted to Cuba; according to The Times of London, there were more than 30 attempts in 1968 alone.  Most of these hijackings were made as a political statement or as a way around the travel ban to Cuba." -------------------------


So it's like, wait a minute, people desperate to get out of Cuba hijacked planes to the United States, and then people desperate to get to Cuba hijack planes to GO there????  Come on, which one is it?  It can't be both! - but it was.  Human condition.