THE CLARITY OF CONFUSION

I’ll be darned. I just learned that a 20th- century song writer, Jack Lawrence, wrote a song that I loved, called Linda. He wrote it for five-year old Linda Eastman (daughter of Lawrence’s attorney), who was Paul McCartney’s first wife.

When I go to sleep
I never count sheep,
I count all the charms about Linda.
And lately it seems
in all of my dreams,
I walk with my arms about Linda.
But what good does it do me for Linda
doesn’t know that I exist?
Can’t help feeling gloomy,
think of all the lovin’ I’ve missed.
We pass on the street,
my heart skips a beat,
I say to myself, “Hello, Linda.”
If only she’d smile,
I’d stop for a while
and then I would get to know Linda.
But miracles still happen
and when my lucky star begins to shine,
with one lucky break,
I’ll make Linda mine.

So sweet. So clear. That Jack Lawrence, he knew exactly what he was singing about. Jack Lawrence also collaborated with Mozart on a musical enterprise called In An Eighteenth-Century Drawing Room. The female melody was by Mozart, the male lyrics by Jack Lawrence. It is a beautiful tinkly interplay of oldness and newness, and of the divine distance of love as it comes into the nearness.

I found an old musty book
Long lost
In some far forgotten nook.
In the book a faded picture,
And the scent of faint perfume,
Two old-fashioned lovers
In an eighteenth century drawing room
Nothing is ever new,
Ever since love began,
See her two eyes of blue,
Flirting behind her fan.
Look at his silk and lace,
Isn’t he debonair?
And the smile on his face
Tells of the love they share
Hear their two hearts softly beat,
One moment more
And their lips will meet.
What a sweet and charming picture,
Love in glory, love in bloom
Don’t you wish that we were
In an eighteenth century drawing room

Darn, that’s nice and clear too.
On the morning after I wrote this, I decided to write about a song, Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech, that wasn’t clear to me at all. Whoever wrote it didn’t at all know what he was writing and singing about. I learned it when I was three and I sung it for my parents’ company before they put me to bed. When I was three.

Oh if I had a daughter sir,
I’d dress her in blue and gold, and take her on the campus sir
To cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir,
I’ll tell you what he’d do.
He would yell to hell for Georgia
Like his daddy used to do.
I’m a ramblin’ wreck from Georgia Tech
And a helluva engineer.
Like all good jolly fellows
I drink my whiskey clear.
I’m a ramblin’ wreck from Georgia Tech
And a helluva engineer.

This song confused the hell out of me. It starts off about a father and his potential son or  daughter. At first, the father seems to be setting up a dilemma about whether he wants to have a boy or a girl for a child. If he had a daughter, this is what he’d do. If he had a son, this is what he’d do. I thought, based on what he’d  do with a son and what with a daughter, he was figuring out which he preferred.
But then, without the singer ever making up his mind about whether he wanted a boy or a girl, the song veered into an entirely new area, with the lines, “I’m a rambling wreck from Georgia Tech and a helluva engineer.” Why didn’t the father make his mind up whether he wanted a boy or girl before he sang that? What did he think was better – having a son or a daughter? Maybe he didn’t care and was just saying what he would do if he had a son and what he would do if he had a daughter. If he had a daughter, he would dress her in blue and gold. If he had a son, he would take him to football games. But he must think that one is better than  the other.  If he had a girl, he would just walk around with her on the campus. But if he had a boy, the boy would play football. Heroes play football. So he must think it would be better to have a boy. But the singer doesn’t say so.

Why is he a rambling wreck? What is clear whiskey? Why would he be a rambling wreck if he had children – boy or girl?
I was very confused, but very clear in my confusion.

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About judyjablow123

In my youth I was a world class tournament golfer. I earned an MA in history at NYU, after which I knew I had had enough of academia. I have remained a student of history. I have a strongly personal - almost entirely negative- take on the contemporary pharmaceutical and mental health industries. That was the impetus for my Bluepolar blog, which will also include stuff on sports, history and anything else that strikes my interest.
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