Friday, June 13, 2014

Ringo and the other guys and their songs...

"Every time I see your face,
It reminds of me of the places we used to go,
But all I've got is photograph,
and I realize you're not coming back anymore..."

                          Photograph, Writer(s):  Richard Starkey, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison
Copyright: Startling Music Ltd., Sony/ATV Tunes LLC, Startling Music Ltd. c/o Bruce V. Grakal.

We were at the Ringo Starr concert Tuesday, and so I get to say that we saw a Beatle, and its getting harder to be in that club nowadays.  We've only two left, and Paul isn't feeling well as it is.

So Ringo comes out and does a few songs, and then each member of the band who had hit songs in other bands would do their songs, with Ringo on drums.  More Ringo songs, and more hit songs. The sold out theater crowd is up and dancing, and we wrap up with "Give Peace a Chance".  Wonderful!

Part of the enjoyment of the whole night for me was the range of songs from the sixties through the 1980's that I still have on my iPod, and that have a personal meaning for me.  You've no doubt got some of your own.  Here are a few I heard Tuesday night...

Ringo - It Don't Come Easy

"Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues,
And you know it don't come easy.
You don't have to shout or leap about,
You can even play them easy.

Forget about the past and all your sorrows,
The future won't last,
It will soon be over tomorrow.

I don't ask for much, i only want your trust,
And you know it don't come easy.
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
And you know it just ain't easy.

Open up your heart, let's come together,
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better."

Writer(s): Richard Starkey
Copyright: Startling Music Ltd., Startling Music Ltd. c/o Bruce V. Grakal

First, this was a favorite of mine when it originally was released.  Now, for anyone having to deal with tough times, and I assume anyone reading this has them, you can always leave that slab of lumber in your eye while you complain about the mote in your neighbor's.  Recently we had dinner with another couple, and the other gentleman told us about his cancer bouts, and him and I compared notes on pain, what is working and was doesn't.  It don't come easy, and we all struggle with the day to day, and we need compassion for others and ourselves.  And yeah, I'm talking to you, Mr. You-look-fine-why-are-you-parking-in-a-handicap-spot, huh, bud? We all suffer something.

While the other guys Tuesday night did neat stuff, all music we baby boomers know, there were two other songs that always affected me, and the next one takes a bit of explanation.

Toto "Africa"

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had


Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

In 2000 and 2001 I spent a lot of time and miles in my car going from home to work to the nursing home where my mother was living out her last few months and then back home.  My Saturn had a cassette player and one of the tapes I'd toss in was some 1980s' music.  On there was Toto. Africa "Gonna take the time to do the things we never have.."

As I listened, and drove, I would think about the guy in the song who, in my version, was really caught up in his work and would stop and do more work while he should be meeting his love flying in to be with him.  The old man the narrator meets reminds him that some things are more important and then our hero runs to the airport and meets his love.  "Gonna take the time to do the things we never have."  At the time my mother was fading, and at my job I had been reminded that as much as I likes what I was doing, it was not my job title sand I would have to do something else.  While I missed my staff (even though they were two floors away) I had to go into this new world, and I was a little resentful about it, and made sure everyone knew it.  Not how you make friends.  But with my mother's passing and the lack of connection with the rest of my family after that, The Toto song still reminded what was important, my life with Jackie and her family and friends.  For my old staff, "gonna take a lot to drag me away from you" but as the people I was closest with there moved on, and my new job started to go where I saw it could do the most good.  And Jackie and I planned out "the time to do the things we never have."  And then both the bipolar and MS diagnoses came in.

Which brings me to the surprise song of the night.  I never really remembered the names of the band members, except for Springsteen's E Street Band, so when Richard Page was introduced as the bass player from Mister Mister, I gave an internal shrug as I had no idea what Mister Mister had done, aside from great hair.  When Mr. Page began his turn and the intro to his song began.. I got it.  Go back to the previous paragraph when the diagnoses were made, and then having to retire early (fortunately an offer was on the table) and now what I do, and how long do I have for it?

The wind blows hard against this mountain side
Across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide
Setting my feet upon the road

My heart is old it holds my memories
My body burns a gem-like flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine
Is where I find myself again

Kyrie Eleison
Down the road that I must travel
Kyrie Eleison
Through the darkness of the night
Kyrie Eleison
Where I'm going will you follow
Kyrie Eleison
On a highway in the night

When I was young I thought of growing old
Of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road
Or only wished what I could be

"Kyrie" was written by Lang, John Ross / George, Steven Park / Page, Richard James.

Kyrie Eleison is Latin for Lord, have mercy.  It's all new now...brain lesions, the routine changed and changed again.  The question for my wife...Where I'm going will you follow... I've read a number of stories in MS support groups on line that partners of MS affected folks up and go, not wanting to deal with a chronic illness.  I don't blame them, but we're still here.  In  the last stanza, the writer wonders if he made the right choices in his life to end up where he is.  Here I am, and here I go.  Kyrie Eleison down the road I must travel.

And yours as well.  Thanks for reading.

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