Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, June 13, 2004


Heard two great tunes in the car yesterday. On the local NPR station, their local Saturday night show, “The Swing Years and Beyond,” there was a rich-voiced tragic alto singing a lovely melody with an elegantly forceful big band playing a passionate bolero beat, “The Breeze and I.” I’d heard the tune -- I think the excellent Portland band Pink Martini plays an instrumental version of it -- and I’ve probably heard the words, but they struck me this time. I don’t remember any particular phrases other than title, but the gist is, “the breeze and I were discussing how sad it is that you’ve left me.” A conversational relationship with nature often touches me, and the breeze is such a marvelous, awesome, unpredictable, here-and-gone force. Wind = pneuma = spirit. When, in Genesis, the spirit of God moves on the face of the deep, the metaphor suggests wind over water. D. H. Lawrence wrote, “Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!” Yes.

Later I heard Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.” Great melodic heavy distorted guitar riff, nice melody, and then a lovely melodic bridge with Neil’s gift for beautiful thick vocal harmonies, and then the tour-de-force climactic guitar solo, one note repeated with unremarkable rhythm but just beautiful, beautiful thick heavy distorted electric guitar tone, and somehow inexplicably perfect ending for the song. Hadn’t heard the song in many years; I’d forgotten the pop handclaps. Terrific.

Today, this music in my head, I put on my best baritone and sang the melody of “The Breeze and I.” The toddling dude made a sneering face, as if something smelled bad. Cracked me up.

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