Don’t Forget to Write

I met my old lover on the street last night, she seemed so glad to see me I just smiled, and we talked about some old times and we drank ourselves some beer, still crazy after all these years.

Paul Simon

Still Crazy After All These Years

It’s hard to believe that Paul Simon is so old now.  He once sang about being 21 years old, and was still a young man when he wrote the song quoted above.  I have included it because it is a clue to the topic of Monday’s podcast. You’ll just have to listen to find out. Mr. Simon has always been a hero of mine. His songwriting is unsurpassed. I consider him the model for how to make great music. I don’t directly copy his style, but I look at his willingness to expand his musical vision and embrace other ideas to improve his own songwriting.  He is also capable of capturing a feeling, a mood, or a scene in his lyrics in an authentic and dynamic way.  Hearing a Paul Simon penned song means genuinely stepping into the experience of another person to live their life for a few moments.  He maintains a thread of wit and satire in many of his songs, from the social commentary of A Most Peculiar Man and Keep the Customer Satisfied to the pop culture critique of A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert Macnamara’d Into Submission) or the bitter You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies.  Although his career has waned in recent years he is a songwriter and performer who will continue to influence others as long as the radio keeps playing Sound of Silence and Cecilia.

With the snow falling again here in Hamilton, for perhaps the twentieth time this year, I am using this post to remind you of an important event. Namely the first ever The Alder Fork From Worst to First Poetry Contest. All the gory details can be found here. In the spirit of providing you with inspiration I am including the following poem. It is called Letters and tells the tale of two lovers separated by war.  It is from a collection of poems about life in Canada. Enjoy.

Letters

You begged me to stay here
To forget my heroic dreams
Because love was more important
But I didn’t believe you
I was a man
I had a mission
I had honour
I am proud and I believe
That I cannot fail
And now I have
Not only my nation
Not only my comrades
Not only my self
But most painfully you
As we stood alone
Counting the hours
While you cried and insisted
I promised
That I was a man
Who would return to you
Because I was wise
And I was strong
And my faith and my pride
Would carry me far
But it did not
And for that I am sorry

I begged you to stay
To give up on your dreams
For our love was important
Enough to forget pride
I was a girl
I had no secrets
I was innocent but not naïve
I did not suffer
And now I have
Not only for loss
Not only for love
Not only for me
But for you
I can see all your life
No longer before you
I once cried and insisted
I now sit alone
You didn’t come back to me
I was your life
But you followed your dream
You stayed with your faith
But it took all your strength
Stole it away from you
Left you with nothing
I should’ve tried harder
And for that I am sorry

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