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an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"The streets are paved with pudding-pies/Nay, powdered-beef and bacon/They say they scorn to tell you lies/Who thinks it is mistaken?"

"The lofty buildings of this place/For many years have lasted/With nutmegs, pepper, cloves, and mace/The walls are there rough casted/In curious hasty-pudding boiled/And most injenious carving/Likewise they are with pancakes tied/Sure, here’s no fear of starving/The captain says: 'In ev’ry town/Hot roasted pigs will meet ye/They in the streets run up and down/Still crying out: "Come eat me"'/... The fountains flow with brandy/The rocks are like refinèd gold/The hills are sugar-candy...."

So goes "An Invitation to Lubberland," a 17th-century ballad, discovered this morning after observing that the sunrise looked like a strip of bacon:


That got us talking about the vision of a world made of food in the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain." What a delight it is to the hobo who tells the story. He's hungry now, but if everything were made of food, it would soon become a horror show. There'd be nothing but food. 
There's a lake of stew
And of whiskey too

I like the sunrise reflected on water. On stew? Not so much.

According to Wikipedia:

The song was first recorded [in 1928] by [Harry] McClintock, also known by his "hobo" name of Haywire Mac. McClintock said that he wrote the song, though it was likely partially based on other ballads, including "An Invitation to Lubberland"....

Unlike "Big Rock Candy Mountain," Lubberland has bacon.

Easter sunrise with voices.


Christians — heard but not seen — are gathered around a fire and begin their ritual with a familiar hymn, one I've played many times for myself, through headphones, right at this spot, at other sunrises. Birds accompany.

ADDED: From the Wikipedia article "Bunessan":
Bunessan is a hymn tune based on a Scottish folk melody, first associated with the Christmas carol "Child in the Manger" and later and more commonly with "Morning Has Broken". It is named for the village of Bunessan in the Ross of Mull.

Mary M. Macdonald (Màiri Dhòmhnallach in Scottish Gaelic) (1789–1872), who lived in the crofting community of Ardtunnear Bunessan and spoke only Gaelic, wrote her hymn "Leanabh an àigh" to a traditional melody. As Bunessan is located beside the Isle of Iona founded by Irish monks, the melody probably came from Ireland originally....

Sometime before 1927 Alexander Fraser heard the melody in the Scottish Highlands and wrote it down so that it came to the attention of Percy Dearmer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Martin Shaw. In turn, these editors of the hymn book Songs of Praise requested Eleanor Farjeon to write a further hymn text to the tune. This was "Morning Has Broken", and since 1931 the tune has become most familiarly identified with this hymn. In 1971, a version of "Morning Has Broken" was recorded by British singer Cat Stevens, helping popularize the tune.

"You’re trying to attract and make certain people feel comfortable based on the associations with classical music."

"And you see that in fancy cheese shops that play classical music because they hope people will feel like they’re a part of some elite upscale world and then they’ll spend more money....  It’s like a bird marking its territory where you hear the signal and you go, 'OK, this is not for me. This is for the older money crowd.... And that technique seems to work. There are examples of teenagers leaving an area that’s playing classical music, not because they don’t like the music but because of the associations.... [Y]ou’re creating hierarchies of sound... And you’re not solving the problem... You’re just pushing the problem to another spot."
Said musicologist Lily E. Hirsch, author of "Music in American Crime Prevention and Punishment," quoted in "L.A. blasting classical music to drive unhoused people from subway station. It’s louder than officials claim" (L.A. Times).

"I was trying to conjure a mood as much as tell a straightforward, girl-leaves-boy story,” he continued. With the ceiling flying away and room humming harder, I wanted to paint an image of a scene."

Said Keith Reid, quoted in "Keith Reid, Who Brought Poetry to Procol Harum, Dies at 76/His impressionistic lyrics, as in the hit song 'A Whiter Shade of Pale,' helped make the band one of the leading acts of the progressive-rock era" (NYT).

"The whole night, down to Rihanna’s eloquent performance of 'Lift Me Up' from 'Wakanda Forever,' felt well oiled but entirely preprogrammed because, of course, it was."

 What?! Everyone seemed drunk? I might have watched if I'd known that.

Hey, WaPo, "well oiled" means drunk. If you don't mean literally that oil, the lubricant, was used, you have to get "machine" in there — something like The show worked like a well-oiled machine — if you want to say it functioned effectively. 

I'm reading "It was a lovely, back-to-basics Oscar night. Sorry about that. At Sunday’s 95th Academy Awards, a focus on the winners, not the drama" (WaPo).

Yes, the Oscars took place last night. The thing that we'd be hearing criticism of if it didn't happen happened, so there's no way to know what motivated the Academy, and I just don't care anymore.

I don't know if Rihanna somehow injected "eloquence" into "Lift Me Up," but I read the lyrics, and they're the opposite of eloquent:
Burning in a hopeless dream
Hold me when you go to sleep
Keep me in the warmth of your love
When you depart, keep me safe
Safe and sound

But that nonsense did not win. This won: 

Translated lyrics hereLike the shrill voice of a bird that can ring your ears... Like singing a song that can make your fingers snap to the beat....

"Mr. DeRuvo initially decided to forgo shoes because of agonizing bunions, but he has stayed barefoot for reasons that transcend physical comfort."

"In that time, he has become a litmus test of people’s forbearance and their willingness to tolerate a stranger’s unconventional lifestyle and perhaps even try to understand it. There are questions he is asked frequently that he is always happy to answer. How does he manage snow and ice? Doesn’t he get sharp objects stuck in his thick calluses? But that’s the simple stuff. 'Navigating the terrain is easy,' Mr. DeRuvo said. 'Navigating people is tricky.; When asked to leave a shop or a restaurant, he normally does so without protest, said Mr. DeRuvo’s wife, Lini Ecker, a shoe-wearer who serves as a bridge between her husband and a world that generally asks for conformity. 'When someone has put on their "I’m in charge personae,"' she said, 'once they start, they can never change their minds.' On occasion, Mr. DeRuvo pushes back. 'If I’m feeling feisty,' he said...."

He has a job that works with barefootedness: Pilates instructor.

We're told he has other quirks: He prefers to use chopsticks and "He needs reggae music to play in the background at almost all times."

His wife must love him. I mean: reggae music playing in the background at all times! Well: "almost." Who knows what percentage of her time is free of reggae and whether her preferred music genre is ever the score to their time together?

By the way, I think bare feet track less filth indoors than shod feet. You're far more likely to know you've got something on your feet and to quickly get it off than you are to know there's something on your shoes. Ideally, we'd all take our shoes off when we go indoors, but that's not happening in shops and restaurants and other places of business. 

I remember when I was a teenager and sought the freedom to go barefoot at school. I still remember the name of the teacher — was he a science teacher? — who exclaimed "You'll get ringworm!"

ADDED: Wikipedia has an article, "Barefoot." One subheading is "Inquisition and witch trials":

During the era of the Catholic Inquisition it was a conviction that women allegedly practicing witchcraft had their ability to use their "sinister powers" largely impaired if they were barefoot. Arrested women first had their footwear taken away and it was ensured that they remained barefoot at all times. Due to interpretations of the Malleus Maleficarum it was believed that in case an accused witch was not strictly kept with bare feet she could cast a spell on people by only looking at them. As the prosecutors wanted to avoid any risks, it was ensured that the bare feet of the women remained visible throughout. During questioning or in court, the accused women often had to stand within the boundaries of a consecrated spot with the soles of their bare feet constantly being in contact with the sanctified section of the ground.... To further ensure safety they were often led in walking backwards for their court sessions. They were not allowed to turn around until their bare feet were visibly placed within the bounded spot....

"It’s a real pain to carry a pad around, and I have found that once I have jotted something down I tend to relax and forget it."

"If I toss the bits into my mind, on the other hand, what needs to be remembered stays while the rest fades into oblivion. I like to leave things to this process of natural selection. This reminds me of an anecdote I’m fond of. When Paul Valéry was interviewing Albert Einstein, he asked the great scientist, 'Do you carry a notebook around to record your ideas?' Einstein was an unflappable man, but this question clearly unnerved him. 'No,' he answered. 'There’s no need for that. You see I rarely have new ideas.' Come to think of it, there have been very few situations when I wished I had a notepad on me. Something truly important is not that easy to forget once you’ve entrusted it to your memory.'"

Writes Haruki Murakami in "Novelist as a Vocation" (Amazon link).

Speaking of notebooks... my other favorite writer, David Sedaris, carries a small notebook everywhere and writes something in it about 10 times a day. In "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls," we see him explaining his practice to a 7-year-old boy. When he encounters a headline, "Dangerous Olives Could Be on Sale," and writes it down in his "a small Europa-brand reporter’s notebook," the boy asks why, and he says, "It’s for your diary.... You jot things down during the day, then tomorrow morning you flesh them out." Of course, the 7-year-old boy still asks "why?" The reader knows why!

Speaking of memory... I've been working on a Spotify playlist I named "Memory"):

The songs need to have something to do with memory and to be things I'd enjoy listening to in sequence... in case you're thinking of making suggestions for my list, which you can see is very small.

Alternatively, tell me what you think Einstein would have on his Spotify playlist.

As for Murakami, I'm picturing this.

ALSO: Here's the Einstein playlist I made (based on "The story of Albert Einstein and the music he loved"):
Einstein quote about music: "If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music... I get most joy in life out of music."

The great songwriter Burt Bacharach has died. Let's talk about our favorite Burt Bacharach songs.

The man lived to be 94, so there's nothing to cry about. Let's talk about the beauty of the songs. 

WAIT: That Spotify list I embedded can't be right! Be Bop a Lula?! Here's Wikipedia's list of his songs. I'll try to find a better playlist to embed.

ADDED: This looks good:

AND: To make it all Dionne Warwick:

ALSO: Looking at the Wikipedia list, which is in chronological order, I think the first Burt Bacharach song that got into my head was "Magic Moment," sung by Perry Como and a hit in 1958 (when I was 7).  Also big for me: "Baby It's You" (The Shirelles, 1961). And in 1962, 2 Gene Pitney songs: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Make It Easy on Yourself." 

There are some on that list I've never heard of, like "Me Japanese Boy I Love You" (a 1964 Bobby Goldsboro hit with a hilariously politically incorrect headline).

My favorite on that list is the 1965 Jackie DeShannon recording, "What the World Needs Now Is Love," so memorably played in one of my favorite movies, "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice." Didn't we all leave the theater rededicated to love?

And there's "The Look of Love," the 1967 Dusty Springfield hit.

PLUS: Here's my son John's Facebook post with a long excerpt from the NYT obituary and some personal comments, including something about "What the World Needs Now": "used in an unusual, almost surreal scene in the movie 'Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,' in a way I find very moving."

AND: I love the original The Shirelles version of "Baby It's You." It embedded itself into my 10-year-old mind. You can hear Burt himself singing in the "sha la la la la" part. But this song has the great distinction of also having been recorded by The Beatles and The Carpenters. And there's a beautiful version by Bette Midler.

ADDED: An hour ago, I wrote "there's nothing to cry about. Let's talk about the beauty of the songs," but I've been playing the music all this time, and I have cried over the beauty of the songs.

"He awoke to the sound of water dripping into a rusted sink. The streets below were bathed in medieval moonlight, reverberating silence."

"He lay there grappling with the terror of beauty, as the night unfolded like a Chinese screen. He lay shuddering, riveted by flickering movements of aliens and angels as the words and melodies of 'Marquee Moon' were formed, drop by drop, note by note, from a state of calm yet sinister excitement. He was Tom Verlaine, and that was his process: exquisite torment. Born Thomas Joseph Miller, raised in Wilmington, Delaware, he left his parental home and shed his name, a discarded skin curled in the corner of a modest garage among stacks of used air-conditioners that required his father’s constant professional attention...."
Writes Patti Smith in "He Was Tom Verlaine/Patti Smith remembers her friend, who possessed the child’s gift of transforming a drop of water into a poem that somehow begat music" (The New Yorker).

"He lived twenty-eight minutes from where I was raised. We could easily have sauntered into the same Wawa on the Wilmington-South Jersey border in search of Yoo-hoo or Tastykakes. We might have met, two black sheep, on some rural stretch, each carrying books of the poetry of French Symbolists—but we didn’t. Not until 1973, on East Tenth Street, across from St. Mark’s Church, where he stopped me and said, 'You’re Smith.'... Examining each other’s bookcases, we were amazed to find that our books were nearly identical, even those by authors difficult to find. Cossery, Hedayat, Tutuola, Mrabet...."

Goodbye to Tom Verlaine, my fellow Wilmingtonian. I too lived among the Butterscotch Krimpets, long ago. Never have heard of Cossery, Hedayat, Tutuola, and Mrabet though. Imagine being into Cossery, Hedayat, Tutuola, Mrabet, then meeting somebody who had books by all 4.
Easter sunrise with voices."I was trying to conjure a mood as much as tell a straightforward, girl-leaves-boy story,” he continued. With the ceiling flying away and room humming harder, I wanted to paint an image of a scene.""The whole night, down to Rihanna’s eloquent performance of 'Lift Me Up' from 'Wakanda Forever,' felt well oiled but entirely preprogrammed because, of course, it was."

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