Friday, September 09, 2005

new orleans is sinking

photo courtesy of CBC News Photo Gallery

In an attempt to exorcise the song that has been haunting me for the past couple of weeks I have decided to post its lyrics. The band is Canada's The Tragically Hip, and it's from their 1989 album Up To Here.

New Orleans Is Sinking
Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete
Under skies all smokey blue-green
I can foresake a Dixie dead-shake
So we danced the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy
What's this river that I'm in?
New Orleans is sinking and I don't want to swim
Colonel Tom, what's wrong? What's going on?
You can't tie yourself up for a deal
He said, "Hey North you're south, shut you big mouth
You gotta do what you feel is real."
Ain't got no picture postcards, ain't go no souvenirs
My baby she don't know me when I'm thinking 'bout those years
Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me
I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the lord above
And said, "Hey man, thanks."
Sometimes I feel so good I gotta scream
She says Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said I swear to God she said...
My memory is muddy
What's this river that I'm in?
New Orleans is sinking
And I don't want to swim

3 Comments:

Blogger The Whippy Curly Tails said...

Still the whole thing is shocking to me...like a very bad dream. Nice tribute to New Orleans.

9/9/05 6:52 PM  
Blogger carla said...

I remember a while back you were pondering about whether you should continue to blog, etc. I'm glad you're still doing it...you share such fascinating things with us! I enjoyed (if that's the right word) reading these lyrics as a commentary with the photo...so absurd in a way to see the fellow carrying his tuba through the waterlogged streets.

One of the many things I love about literature and poetry and lyrics is that their meanings can change depending on the context of the times. This is, of course, a perfect example of that. I remember shortly after the 9/11 attacks I was listening to an interview with singer/songwriter Dan Bern in which he was discussing "God Said No" and how it resonated with him and of course with listeners in such a different way after the attacks. Although he had one thing in mind when he wrote it, it took on another dimension in relation to what was going on in the world. The same thing happened with Steven Stills' "For What it's Worth" and lots of other songs I can't recall at the moment. What I especially enjoy is hearing what the writer intended and then comparing it with my own take on it...I guess I'd say the same thing about the visual arts as well.

Do you do much sketching? I'd love to see some more of your artwork. I'm laboring over my IF submission for this week. I'm trying to get better with Illustrator and it's very time consuming. I know I need to finish it sometime this morning or it will never get done...my son's coming for a weekend visit in a while and then of course I'm too busy during the week. Thanks for stopping in and commenting on my latest illustration. It's an old pen drawing that I colored and manipulated in photoshop. My BF says it looks like me as a saint...I assured him that I probably will never be a saint!

Take care :>

10/9/05 7:28 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Lyn: I have no words for what I've been witnessing, but I loved this photo -- the combination of New Orleans' musical heritage, the exodus and the water -- and have always liked this song. The Hip also did another song about New Orleans called "If New Orleans Is Beat".

Carla: You always give such thoughtful responses, which goes some distance to make me want to keep blogging! As for 9/11, the song I kept listening to after that was Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." Good music lyrics often seem to have a general application that can be tailored to the specific, don't they?

I've been promising to draw more, but all my creative time seems to be channelled through paint these days. Part of it is to meet deadlines, one of which is looming now. After that I have promised myself to do more sketches, especially to experiment more with white-on-black. I have always drawn better than I paint, which is part of the reason I paint more!

Enjoy your weekend with your son.

10/9/05 7:51 AM  

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