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A Thought for Today

Go forward, straight ahead. There are no limits on your life but those barricades you build yourself.


Dear Ken,

I was making a mixed tape for a woman my husband works with whose name happens to be EDWARD HABIB. My husband had told her about Rod McKuen and him having a brother by the same name....and the subsequent "My Brother Edward" song. Esther asked if she could hear it; so...I made her a mixed tape of favourites from my many CD's.

He gave it to the lady yesterday and she is at least 80. He said "this is Rod McKuen music; my wife and I enjoy it and I hope you do too...it's 1960's music!!!" She was delighted and couldn't thank him enough.

While making it, I decided to copy one for me to listen in the car on the long drive to his concert from Ontario Canada to Chicago U.S.A. My two daughters, Elizabeth (16) and Maggie (13) heard it. The eldest one is coming with me and can't wait. They are stuck on one song, singing it over and over; especially the 13 year old who usually likes "N'Sync" and "Backstreet Boys".

I fondly remember Petula Clark in the movie "Goodbye Mr. Chips" and many of her songs in the 60's; but I get a particular kick out of listening to my teenager sing "Baby It's Cold Outside".. including Rod's cute "thanks" whispered at the end when she finally agrees to stay.

It just goes to show that even in 2001 Rod appeals to a vast age difference .. from 13 to 80!!! I love that!

Warm wishes from blustery Canada,

Taney Mahmoudi

Hey, Taney, what a great choice and you're SO right about Rod's music appealing to a number of generations. It takes real talent to achieve this, something our man has in buckets. Do you think our grandchildren or great-grandchildren will be listening to Eminem? I don't think so!

Until I heard the McKuen/Clark version of this song, my favorite was by Nina & Frederick. Very funny it was too, as they reversed the roles and it was a rather prim and proper Englishman trying to leave.

And doesn't Petula have just the most wonderful voice? I saw her live at the Durban City Hall when she toured here in the '70's and it was an unforgettable experience. She was surprisingly funny; I remember her telling a story involving Mr. Chips, butter and "The Last Tango in Paris" (the controversial movie which was grabbing world headlines at the time) which had me rolling on the floor. Don't think I'll repeat it here, though!

Enjoy listening to the tape on your trip, Taney, but most of all enjoy Rod's concert! I bet Coral's a lighter shade of green right now.

If you have a favorite McKuen song or poem you'd like to share with the rest of us, drop me a line at ken@mckuen.com and I'll make sure it gets an airing right here one Wednesday.

                                       - Ken, Johannesburg, March 7

Details of Rod's upcoming concerts and appearances can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Kobo Ab o Anthony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowden) o Tammy Faye Bakker o Luther Burbank o Paul Cattermole o Taylor Dane o Michael Eisner o Ivan Lendl o Anna Magnani o Alessandro Manzoni o Rick Mayall o Barry McGuire o Piet Mondriaan o Donna Murphy o Maurice Ravel o Daniel J. Travanti o Willard Scott o Lynn Swann
Rod's random thoughts Fluorescent lights in public places were designed to challenge our good conception of ourselves.

The victory party isnít worth the having if the celebrationís done in solitary.

Everybody has the answers or they’ll make them up for you. Just once I’d like to hear a brand new question.

Duet with Petula Clark

yes... yes...
Rod... I really can't stay
but baby, it's cold outside
yeah but... I've got to go away
but baby, it's cold outside
I know... this evening has been
I've been hoping you'd drop in
so very nice
I'll hold your hands they're just like ice
my mother will start to worry
beautiful... what's your hurry
and father will be pacing the floor
listen to the fireplace roar
so really I'd better scurry
Petula... please don't hurry
well... maybe just a half a drink more
put some records on while I pour.

The neighbors might think
but baby it's bad out there
Hey... what's in this drink
no cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how...
your eyes are like starlight now
to break the spell...
I'll take your hat... your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no sir
mind if I move in closer
at least I'm gonna say that I tried
what's the sense of hurting my pride
I really can't stay
baby... don't hold out
ah but it's cold outside.

I simply must go
but baby it's cold outside
but the answer is no
but baby it's cold outside
the welcome has been...
how lucky that you dropped in
so nice and warm
look out the window at that storm
my sister will be suspicious
gosh your lips look delicious
my brother will be there at the door
waves upon a tropical shore
my maiden aunts mind is vicious
gosh your lips are delicious
well maybe just another one of those funny cigarettes
you're getting the right idea

I've got to go home
baby it's bad out there
will you lend me a comb
no cabs to be had out there
you've really been grand
I feel when you touch my hand
but don't you see...
how can you do this thing to me
there's bound to be talk tomorrow
think of my life long sorrow
at least there will be plenty implied
if you caught pneumonia and died

I really can't stay
don't hold out
ah, but it's cold...

You know it's freezing outside
and I wouldn't like to see a girl like you out there.

Well... alright... well... you kinda talked me into it. Okay. 


      - © Frank Loesser - from the album "Rod McKuen Greatest Hits Vol. 3"

© 1970, 1986, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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