Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Here a lyric, there a lyric, everywhere a lyric-lyric...

Submerged In Life's Little Soundtrack from The Happy Planet

Lest anyone think I'm out here simply sitting on my happy butt in front of the TV eating bon bons and going quietly quietly bonkers, think again. I'm going quietly quietly bonkers while thinking of things to blog about that interest me (no bon bons), and that might make you smile or giggle. So what do you think happened? "Ask and ye shall receive that your joy... my joy... may be full". The Cousin's screen on the wall was telling me all sorts of interesting Rotting Pope Corpse trivia, and opportunity banged loudly with a battering ram on the portcullis of my mind. Noisy, but fortuitous, I'd say. "The stones speak, and I am silent..." but not now. ( a quote from one of my favorite movies, "Mindwalk")

So I says sorta gibberingly-like to myself as I began preparing this, "another wonderment has happened" ... not only could I blog with reference to ONE song lyric, but lo (and behold) there are at least TWO if not many song lyrics that apply. ;-) I have to tell you, this has restored some of my flagging hope in the luscious ironic goodness of the Uni-Verse, and I'm considering it a sign that the Mother Ship has possibly finally entered a cloaked orbit around our Moon and will be coming for me and my kind soon.

For your absurd pleasure, some lyrics and some religious ritual trivia:

Maxwell's Silver Hammer
The Beatles, "Abbey Road"
Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
came down upon her head
Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
made sure that she was dead

P.C. thirty one said "we've caught a dirty one"
Maxwell stands alone
Painting testimonial pictures, oh, oh, oh, oh
Rose and Valerie screaming from the gallery
Say he must go free ("Maxwell must go free!")
The judge does not agree, and he tells them so-o-o-o
But, as the words are leaving his lips
A noise comes from behind

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
came down upon his head
Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
made sure that he was dead

Silver hammer yeah

Knock Three Times "0n the ceiling [of the Sistene Chapel] if you want me. Twice on the pipe, if the answer is no..." ( for the uninitiated, the song is from the 70s... Tony Orlando and Dawn ... you don't wanna go there)

"When the Pope dies, the officials that were part of the papal administration no longer rule. The governing of the Vatican is taken over by the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, or Chamberlain of the church. The camerlengo supervises all aspects of what goes on from the the death of the pope to the election of the next pope. His responsibilities include the papal funeral and preparations for the conclave.

The camerlengo's first duty is to perform a medieval ritual. At the deathbed of the pope the camerlengo takes a silver hammer and lightly taps on the pope's forehead three times, calling him by his Christian name. When there is no reply, he announces to those present that the pope is dead."

(From here...) What? No mirror in front of his nose? No stethoscope?

I had always wondered what Sir Paul's (McCartney) inspiration was for the song. It's obviously his... it's vaudeville to the max... not Lennon's style at all. But then... I think Paul's mom was an Irish Catholic. He would have known about the little silver hammer, making sure things were dead.

Bang, bang, Lovelies. Now, mind you, I hear they "forwent" the silver hammer thingy for John Paul II, or so the cousin on the screen gushed. As a life-long Lutheran until my mid-30s, and a student of comparative religions in college, much of this medieval fol de rol amuses me greatly. But I haven't been fooled about the potency of bliss in religious rite and ritual. I was the main church musician in four churches... a player of Shakespearean caliber. Our next seminar will address the great schism affectionately called "The Reformation", with film at eleven.

That's my story today. The bolt from the sky was something to wake me up from gibbering resignation. Just a little silver hammer. I'm not sure you can relate to it, but it's what I'm offering you from inside me. Except of course these other lyrics, which you should at least read, if not listen to with focus.

Heaven on Their Minds... (Jesus Christ Superstar, the musical)

Judas sings the intro from the grave in prelude to the flashback:
My mind is clearer now.
At last all too well
I can see where we all soon will be.
If you strip away The myth from the man,
You will see where we all soon will be. Jesus!
You've started to believe
The things they say of you.
You really do believe
This talk of God is true.
And all the good you've done
Will soon get swept away.
You've begun to matter more
Than the things you say.

Listen Jesus I don't like what I see.
All I ask is that you listen to me.
And remember, I've been your right hand man all along.
You have set them all on fire.
They think they've found the new Messiah.
And they'll hurt you when they find they're wrong.

I remember when this whole thing began.
No talk of God then, we called you a man.
And believe me, my admiration for you hasn't died.
But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way.
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied.
Nazareth, your famous son should have stayed a great unknown
Like his father carving wood He'd have made good.
Tables, chairs, and oaken chests would have suited Jesus best.
He'd have caused nobody harm; no one alarm.

Listen, Jesus, do you care for your race?
Don't you see we must keep in our place?
We are occupied; have you forgotten how put down we are?

I am frightened by the crowd.
For we are getting much too loud.
And they'll crush us if we go too far.
If they go too far....

Listen, Jesus, to the warning I give.
Please remember that I want us to live.
But it's sad to see our chances weakening with every hour.
All your followers are blind.
Too much heaven on their minds.
It was beautiful, but now it's sour.
Yes it's all gone sour.

Listen, Jesus, to the warning I give.
Please remember that I want us to live.
C'mon, c'mon
He won't listen to me ...
C'mon, c'mon
He won't listen to me ...

God Must Be a Boogie Man
Words and music by Joni Mitchell (Mingus 1979)

He is three
One's in the middle unmoved
To show what he sees
To the other two
To the one attacking--so afraid
And the one that keeps trying to love and trust
And getting himself betrayed
In the plan--oh
The divine plan
God must be a boogie man!

Hi! I'm Kate. I'll be your camerlengo. What religious ritual would you have me perform for you tonight? Bang, bang.