SOME OF THE BEST
3 June, 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

Life remains unfinished without love.

 

“Dear Rod, Spring will be over soon, how about reprinting “Spring Song” from one of your “Book of Days” and the June 3, 1999 Flight Plan. Or your introduction to ‘A Month of Sundays from the 1981 Book of Days?” Love you and the new book, Gillian Anderson.”

Dear Agent Scully, for you anything. Here are both. Have a great summer off. You’ve earned it. Love, Rod

SPRING SONG

Long before the trees begin to bud, before the new grass starts to roll with the curvature of the hill and spread out evenly on the common, a certain uneasiness, a kind of insecurity arrives one morning or maybe just at dusk. It presents itself, moves in and settles in. Not unkind, not troublesome, this uncertainly is more an itch - a harbinger that finally scratched enough boils into the apple blossom.

The thrower of the seeds lets go his kernels in mid-March. The early April rain cooperates. Later on the lilac trees are all so heavy that their boughs bend low and nearly break. The prairie dog sits up and calls from mound to mound... a high pitched squeak that all his brothers answer. New pinafores for Sunday School. New patent leather shoes for Easter.

The May pole dance. Lost balloons begin to decorate the inside branches of trees. The song of the Wandering Angus is lived out and sung. The plainest of us begin to feel beautiful again... and the fever deepens.

- from Rod McKuen's "Book of Days", 1981

ADDED ATTRACTION

Sundays. Here are a month of them to play with.

On Sunday I stay in bed. Open all the windows. Work in the garden. Tear up all the junk mail. Stretch. Clean the house or rearrange the stacks of things I plan to go through one day. Take a bicycle ride. Drive to the beach. Send postcards. Run up the phone bill. Listen to Mozart, Morricone, Paul Simon, The Police, Bob Marley, Bach - if I'm up, Brahms; if I'm down, Borodin, Sinatra, Ella, and Sylvia Syms. Groom the cats and dogs. Stay in bed. Edit tapes.. Write. Ignore deadlines - mine and everybody else's. Read Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Bly, Nikki Giovanni, Charlie Plymell, Bukowski, Aram Saroyan, Elaine Goodman, and new books friends have written. Make yet another list of things to do (that won't be done). Go ballooning. Paint. Draw Nikki or Bingo if they're sleeping. (Cats are hard to draw.) Wash the car. Rewrite my will. Stay in bed. Call up the White House, just for fun. (The number is 202-456-1414). Daydream. Make popcorn or Bloody Mary's. Cancel charge accounts. Read old magazines and last week's newspapers. Stay in bed. Over-dub bad or incomplete vocals. Watch reruns of Carol Burnett. Swim. Catch up on Bills (Safire and Buckley). Give liberal writers equal time. Pray. Make love, if I'm lucky.

On Sunday I don't usually go out to dinner. Sing in the shower. Answer the telephone. Answer the door. Read my own books. Exercise. Make my bed. Think about income tax. Go dancing. Weigh myself. Do crossword puzzles. Play bridge, Scrabble, darts, backgammon. Listen to new wave music. Argue. Comb my hair. Write my congressional representatives.

-from Rod McKuen's "Book of Days", 1981

Two new appearance dates just announced!

Booking for "An Evening with Rod McKuen" at the Riverton Rendezvous is open! Click below for more details:

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Edwin Arnold o F. Lee Bailey o Clyde Beatty o Saul Bellow o Michael Burger o Judy Garland o Neal Hafenstein o June Haver o Sessue Hayakawa o Nat Hentoff o Hoku Ho o Howlin Wolf o Elizabeth Hurley o Ralph Kirkpatrick o Tara Lipinski o Frederick Loewe o Shona Mackenzie o Hattie McDaniel o Gardner McKay o Barry Morse o Prince Philip of Great Britain o Terence Rattigan o Maurice Sendak o Leelee Sobieski o Andrew Stevens
Rod's random thoughts If the sea did not make me, at the very least it rubbed me, rolled me out of darkness into light. For I have seen my past and future on the whitecaps dancing out beyond a thousand shorelines.

Love words roll from the tongue like ill advice. Be careful.

The rhyme is in the rowing of the boat - straight-ahead, not veering except to take on passengers. Steady hands circle sturdy paddles propelling us forever forward.

TWO SONGS FROM ODYSSEY

Note: I seldom choose song lyrics to print in this space; because they are just that, songs. As such they are as dependant on the music as the lyric, I hope many of you will be familiar enough the melodies of these songs to hear them in your head as you read the lyrics.

The Far Side of the Hill

Beyond the far side of the hill
there's a mighty mountain waiting
and if you look beyond that mountain
there's a higher mountain still.

So come along and take my hand
and follow me, see what I see
my eyes are set upon the green
of the far side of the hill.

Beyond the far side of the hill
there's a greener valley waiting
and if you look beyond that valley
there's a greener valley still.

As sure as any eye can see there has to be
some place where all men are free
and if you're looking for it still
it's on the far side of the hill.

Beyond the mountains of the moon
there's a place where men are brothers
I see that time a comin' soon
when all men love one another.

So come along and take my hand
follow me, see what I see
my eyes are set upon the green
of the far side of the hill.

Maybe the far side of the hill
is just beyond tomorrow
maybe that greener valley still
is just another day away.

As sure as any man can see there has to be
some place where all men are free
and if you're looking for it still
it's on the far side of the hill.

-A song from the album "Odyssey," 1968, 1970, 1972. English Lyric: Rod McKuen o French Lyric: Frank Thomas Music by Christian Chevalier

Moment to Moment

Moment to moment each of us try
catching the cloud that holds back the sky.
So many Sunday's spent all alone
each day the heart keeps looking for home.

Days turn to decades so little time
so we must cherish the moments we find.
I know only all men now are lonely.
I know only all men now are lonely.

Moment to moment midnight to dawn
moonrise and sunset carry us on.
Sometimes a moment is all that we need
someone to follow someone to lead.

I know only all men now are lonely.
I know only all men now are lonely.
Days turn to decades so little time
so we must cherish the moments we find.

One or two moments should they arrive
are often enough to keep love alive.

-words & music by Rod McKuen from the album "Odyssey." 1972

 
© 1984, 1988, 1999 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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