05 October, 2009

NEW DIETS OF SONG




Joy, you've got a lot to do
You'll see.. where I stand.
If you need some time to leave
We'll see what'd I say?

Won't die ........ 
 Oh no,  no, take the blues
If you can.........
Better time to sell the store
Better time wait my fate,
Oh... In your hand

Baby, time to take the street
Middle night
What love, what love.
Naked by the table, strike me.....
One more time.. shared.... of gold

But the snowflakes are almost gone
Spring, look,  should come....
Oh....
Bad times ---black with dark----- and cold.......
That's where I'll be done.
Mabye plans are cold though
At night....... black flames
But Joy you know,..... I know
We... laughed and played......
We laughed and played.


For anyone interested, yes, this song is about a narrator who wishes desperately for a friend or loved one to continue living.  I suppose some friends of mine who are gone now and some literary figures like Virginia Wolfe come to mind as influences.  But really, if this song hits you, you know who you are.  


First song I ever wrote in Bloomington, I wrote for a friend, who will go unnamed, who wished for a few more words to describe the permanent loss of a very young college aged girlfriend.  I, of course, will never sing the song.  I have seen apparitions in the dark, who's faces stared at me for an hour or more as I explained to them, basically intrigued, that ghosts don't bother me, a reason for believing in one is what I fear.


When I started writing songs years ago, I noticed, as with other forms of writing that I do, with songs I did better where I guessed a title first.  "But, that's random, " you might argue. You are right.  Just like the time you're spending looking at my blog.  So....
My point is that sometimes I came up with some real whopper titles.  "New Diets of Song" sounds like a really bad band name.  I am something of a poet after all, so perhaps I have a greater tolerance for mixed metaphors and nonsense.  Reading me is certainly a great way of developing a tolerance for such things.  You are doing great.  Now give me three more reps...


13 comments:

Jenny said...

Andy,

The narrator’s torments in this song are reflected in a piercingly genuine way. The small pauses … and Oh’s… create a feeling of vulnerability. I can imagine that these qualities would be even more manifested if performed as music. Something similar to how the already strong “Strange Fruit” lyrics comes alive even more when Billie sings it, although that piece is about something completely different from your song.

Oh, I believe that the use of “mixed metaphors and nonsense” can help brush away the dust from some really enthralling aspects of life. But, of course, there is also the sheer joy of playing with words.

Thanks,

Jenny

Anders Enochsson said...

Andy,

It was absorbing to finally see your lines from the bottom of your e –mails in its context. I thought about them for quite some time, even after your explanation of them earlier. I can understand them even better after reading this. It’s truly enjoyable learning to know such a complex and many-sided person as you. You bring about a deep sense of darkness and suffering which stays. I also get a sort of connection in my mind between your “New Diets of Song” and “Strange Fruit”, especially after a while.
Thank you

Ande

Andy Coffey said...

Jenny,

Jesus, Billie Holiday means so much to me. Such a powerful, sexy and sexual (the two sometimes aren't in accord here in Puritan America), bizarrely original, and just fucking gorgeous... what else can you want in a voice or a woman? Her alcoholism, and her insane life are nothing next to her work. And Jesus, will anyone ever stop listening? Kids LOVE her. And old men cry.

Never thought to connect this song to Strange Fruit, but what a lovely thought. I can't remember the exact words, so I'm going to look the lyrics up.

Lynching (as you probably know, the execution by hanging of a person by a lawless mob: most often racially motivated) has an unbelievably sordid history in Indiana. So, "Strange Fruit" is a song as much about my peoples history, and my states history, as it is about African Americans. This is somewhat similar to a German making sense of the Holocaust. Tough job. But their are books, wonderful books with pictures of lynchings, and a story on every face of the white people who pose with the lifeless body. Some of them smiling as if it was Christmas. My people, "at the tip of the moraine." Jesus...
This song is one of my most aching, and painful. The darkness of my life being something of a constant in my creative life, it's hard to say. But for sure, loving someone who wants to die brings the ghosts to the party. And you sure as hell better ply them with booze.
Few years ago a friend of mine hung himself. He was mentally ill, and had seemed to be doing well. But one day, due to some problems that would merely be annoying to you and I, he stepped off a chair, and out of my life.
"Better time to sell the store..." but for him, there would be no better time then that moment.
Vulnerability was the intention, and love is all about that, don't you think?
Thank you.

Andy

Andy Coffey said...

Ande,

It just means the world to me that you have been thinking about that quote at the bottom of my Email. I do not believe in any Ghost, Holy, or otherwise. However I see things that make no sense, and have lived a somewhat dangerous life, here in crazy America where guns are more or less no different than a salt shaker. I see guns all the time at my clients houses. Nobody ever "notices" them, they're just part of the American reality.
So, sometimes, my stress level causes me to see things, "apparitions in the dark." And whereas, I probably looked away in the past, for some reason in the last few years I have attempted to "dream" with them. Where I treat such a hallucination as more a waking dream, than a real object.
Mostly I just see faces of people I don't recognize, but to be sure, I fear the day when I need to believe in them.
That you think about me, and tell me your thoughts about me is such a gift.

My comments to Jenny about "Strange Fruit" and Billie would be the same here. I can't imagine a more accomplished interpreter of the American psychic nightmare than Billie Holliday.

If Death even took a "Billie Holliday" he'd be lucky to keep his sickle... and his robe.

For Christ's sake, thanks for your friendship.

Andy

aditya said...

Heyy Andy

Glad I dropped onto your blog.

I have to agree with Jenny.

I could feel the pangs of pain and torment.

I didnot find the title awkward.
:)

ps :

"I don't ... like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve. If someone's chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don't turn around and shout, 'Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.'"

Frank O Hara.

Andy Coffey said...

Aditya,

I've enjoyed your comments and participation in this community elsewhere, and you better believe I love seeing your name on this Blog.

I loved your quote by O'Hara, on another blog. I read it, I think, yesterday. It hardly matters which, it is an amazing insight about creativity.

Can you believe the number of people who think of themselves, human beings (!), as "non creative." Such a self concept seems verging on mental illness to me.

The beauty for me is the contrast between the personalities of different "voices." Jenny crafts her poems with such deliberate, and considered care, if I were in the mood, I could consider my poems next to hers as a species of vulgarity.

As it stands my songs come from my unconscious, and stand in for crying and despair (or at least have, from time to time.) I'm one of those fools who can't cry unless my Dad yells at me or a woman wins a romantic game of chicken. Even at funerals my eyes are dry. But I frequently have tears running down my face as I sing. It's not very good for a guitar, and can short out the pickup. But it's very "creative" don't you think?
Thanks so much for being here.

Jasmine said...

Thanks for stopping by. I love your lyrics. What kind of music do you accompany it with?

Andy Coffey said...

Goodness me, Jasmine,

Your certainly quick to notice. I accompany a mixture of country, folk, and hard edged blues with my music. It's me, a guitar, a tiny bit of saxophone sometimes, and whatever joke I can make on a piano.
I sometimes steal themes from my Mac's Garageband, which I was gratified to hear is becoming more and more common, even in Hollywood productions. Of course, this doesn't help music professionals much, but it's odd how good and jazzy a bunch of samples can sound.
Thanks for the visit, your Blog rocks. And so does your interest in your loved ones.

Jasmine said...

Thank you Andy :)

I think we share a love of various genres of music and gathering of friends. I'll be back :)

aditya said...

Heyy Andy

I haven't learned/read/watched/listened much so far. But somehow your comment reminds me of another quote. Strange.

I think that is madness. That you need a Doctorate to appreciate a painting. I mean you don't need a Diploma to appreciate music.

Art that divides us ... is not art.


----- Nicoli Seriff in
Local Color(2006)
while getting drunk,
says this to his
uber creative
friend.

I had to download the movie to get the exact dialogue. It was worth it.

Andy Coffey said...

Adtiya,

Whatever madness appreciation of Art might set one thinking upon, it is none the less the case that many of us accord more energy to the preservation of the natural world then the one that should be the natural habitat of Art. Whatever Art is, it is most definitely endangered by the way we live.

It has been my position for some time that our world is a place hostile to human beings. And as such, whatever your cause or advocacy, our world must come to intentionally create a space, in fact, integrate art, literature, poetry, and freedom for the human being. Most PHD's, as critical thinkers, first and foremost, are trained to allow for such consideration of the crucial basis for any language of the human, be it Science or Art.

Aesthetics are not ultimately the same as understanding, but, yes, Art must be unchained from learning, in its absolutes. All the same, I benefit every day from both the expert (and the trappings of their tastes) as well as us amateurs, and the wild meanderings of our freedoms; only small steps from the political, the private, and the ecstatic, regardless or their origins.
Thank you for the effort you took to share with me your memory.

aditya said...

Heyy Andy

I like what you saw.

See, learning is no longer in it's purest form. No freedom.

What we're taught, we could learn with a 200$ late library charge receipt.

Art must be unchained from learning, in its absolutes.

A bloody good thought.

Andy Coffey said...

yehh, Aditya (sorry I misspelled your name before!)

I had missed your final post here, so... thanks.

You have quite a following, and really some pretty nifty attitudes about self respect.

Thanks.