Friday, August 05, 2005

midnight rambling

I have a jukebox inside me. Sometimes it lets me play what I want, but most of the time it determines the selection.

The music is mainly from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies, for me 15 to 35. A bit of bebop & blues & Bach from before that time, a few ballads from after. Things I grew up with, or found by going back to the roots of what I'd heard. Things that later fitted in with what I'd heard before.

Some of it I have chosen. Some of it has chosen me. I tend to have an emotional attachment to my choices. Songs that make me weep or feel joy, that I probably early heard at some particular time & gathered up & kept the environment as well. I get the same sensation in my gut from particular Bach & Aretha Franklin & Miles Davis pieces. Much of Motown fits in there. Plus a whole lot of single songs – Winter in America, Time after Time, Darling be home soon, 7 Seconds.

The ones that have chosen me are varied. The jukebox's favourite is Milestones. I'll be somewhere, anywhere, & suddenly that staccato Da da da da, da da da da, da da da da Daaaaaa will come blasting out, causing me to veer off the road or slop my drink or drop whatever it is I'm holding.

There are a few that are shared between active & passive – transitive & intransitive? – choice. The jukebox has a soft spot for Dylan which I don't always have. Occasionally we separate the song as if it were a disputed territory. Sometimes we both agree.

Round Midnight was playing inside my head in the early hours of yesterday. I went to bed, & when I woke up was confronted with the snowplough of Milestones clearing all before it. Then the jukebox paused, said "You want midnight songs? Let me give you one."

I felt a slight frisson, thought Wilson Pickett & thought it inappropriate. But was pleasantly surprised when the jukebox started into
The bridge at midnight trembles,
the country doctor rambles,
bankers' nieces seek perfection,
expecting all the gifts that wise men bring.
It is one of the songs we share with no dispute. So, in a duet, we wandered off into the afternoon singing
The wind howls like a hammer,
the night blows cold & rainy,
my love she's like some raven
at my window with a broken wing.


Jill said...

Mark, I think your jukebox is talkin' to mine. Couple of variations on a theme - mine's playing 'The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face/ Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place' and then gets into Miles - but it's in the same area, I'm thinking. Jill.

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

linked juke joints
soundtrack ePods

I could hang in your kitchen

I've been playing
Round Midnight
under the head jute
these past days
nights planning to blog
question from the movie:

"If you could save
any living person
from the gutter
who would it be?"

Thanks for rambling
the wheel of the pod,

as always
admiring your poetry