We will meet someday, in a city in Spain. We’ll spend a week in an apartment with tall, old-fashioned windows, with a balcony and a view of the sea. We will make love with abandon, day after day, in the sea breeze that rustles the curtains.
I will tell you how much I love you. I will say it many times, over and over again until you’re drowning in the most comfortable coma. I don’t intend to possess you, to be forever mine. You’re free. Fly to other loves, if they deserve your beautiful gem-cut soul.
We will part ways, maybe, after that week.
There will be other lovers. They will deserve me, too. One more leap off the cliff into the Great Blue.
This is my cover of Mad World. I’m fairly satisfied with how it turned out. Hopefully you will like it, too.
Free MP3 download: Djurdjica - Mad World (cover).mp3 You can get it from Tindeck here.
You need that whirlwind of inspiration to get you into the groove of fluent word, but you can’t just let it carry you downstream. You have to push it higher, and higher with every stroke of a swimming arm. Intensify the feeling, punch it full of strength and vigor until it soars further up, wings spanning the airstreams.
It’s a way of sinking below the conscious pilot, forgetting the man behind the wheel, cutting control off until you’re skidding freely upon the rain slick asphalt going over the speed limit. It’s a dangerous sidestep, relinquishing control over to impulse and intuition, and whatever dark side that might rear its head. It won’t work unless you’ve honed those senses until they’ve become a second nature, a perfect-fitting skin, a fluid sway of a breathless dancer.
The reader should be pulled under with you, taken along for the ride in the passenger seat, just as wide-eyed in wonder as the writer might be when he lets the story unfold from his fingers and without his brain.
Once control has been relinquished, precision and perfection can be aimed at.
It’s an oddly feverish kind of peace.
This is my cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop. This is such a difficult song to sing. I’ve been practicing it for a very long while. No wonder, as it was originally sung by Liz Fraser of Cocteau Twins. Her voice is ethereal and so eerie. When I sing this song, when I sink into the feeling, it feels like pearls on my breath.
I was amused to read in the wikipedia article that the song was first offered to Madonna, and though she was interested, Massive Attack decided to go with Liz. I’m not at all surprised.
I was disappointed when not many of my friends seemed to notice or recognize my cover of this song. While I was talking to a friend, I tried to explain the meaning that the song held for me, and realized that maybe I should write it down. Perhaps that way it will be more obvious why it’s such a powerful song.
Here’s my cover:
And a rooster crowed, Sea Lion
And began to lie, Sea Lion
Sea Lion Woman, Sea Lion
She drank coffee, Sea Lion
She drank tea, Sea Lion
And began to lie, Sea Lion
This is how I sing it. This song has a haunting, almost mythical sound. Its meaning formed somewhere in the back of my brain, turning it into something deeper than just words to sing.
That’s how the lyrics got changed, in an organic process of infusing the song with meaning. It sprung about from the melody, which reminds me of the lulling motion of great waves. It has that push and pull of a deep, sonorous trance. The meaning had to meet the depth. It might be safer when there’s no meaning, because there’s no fear of it being something shallow and incongruous with the melody. Maybe if the lyrics are something that isn’t understood, the mystery of the song will remain. Same as a religious ceremony that holds ritual power when sung in an unknown high language.
But we’re too late for that. There’s a moss-covered part of my mind that resides at the dank bottom of an ancient well, and it came up with the story.
Sea Lion Woman, Sea Lion. A woman washed ashore on the beach, her body swept by waves and tangled in seaweed. No mere woman, Sea Lion. A creature of myth, sister to the Selkie and the Melusine. Sea Lion Woman, Sea Lion.
Lost in the ways of the land, she stumbled about. Sea Lion Woman, Sea Lion. Struggled with the ways of the people. She drank their drinks, and ate their food, and bit by bit she became one of them. She was an empty kind of being, a clean slate, the Sea Lion Woman. With wide eyes that held the endless vertigo of black space. Her hair went wild about her. She would never speak. Not utter a word.
She drank coffee, Sea Lion, she drank tea, Sea Lion. (She tries to recall her name, she struggles. Sea Lion Woman, Sea Lion.) Little by little, her mystical essence was muted, faded, dissipated. Growing closer to the world of men, her essence was run aground, rooted in the land. Farther away from the lull of mighty sea. It was only a whisper remaining, the whisper of waves, on a rainy day. As she stared out a stone window, through a fog of melancholy. Only woman, woman.
She began to lie, Sea Lion. When she uttered her first word, she began to lie, Sea Lion. Lie was the way of the people, the way of the land.
And the rooster crowed, Sea Lion. The rooster crows three times for Peter, the Biblical sign of betrayal. The shrill crack of a sudden dawn that sheds a pale light upon unpleasant knowledge. Such as waking up in a strange bed, tangled with a lover one knows nothing about.
That is the sorrow of this song. It is a lament for a being that’s lost its way. It is a dirge. Sea Lion Woman, Sea Lion. Just a woman, woman.
But maybe she lies. Maybe she just lies. For a while.
For all of you who’ve felt even for a second that it’s ever too late:
1. Charles Bukowski had his first book published when he was 49
2. Leonard Cohen was 33 when his first album was released
3. Marina Abramovic’s career as an independent artist wasn’t solidified until she was 42
4. Julia Child’s career started when she was 36
5. Van Gogh started drawing when he was 27
6. Monet painted Sunrise when he was 33, but wasn’t producing his best work until his early 40s
7. Kazuo Ohno started dancing when he was 27
8. William S. Burroughs had his first novel published when he was 39