4 August, 1999














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Rod in action at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001. 
Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.

A Thought for Today

Summer is the punctuation mark for all seasons.


Rod is on the road for a couple of weeks and will be back with you at the beginning of September.

We all have those special songs that do it for us - that gem of a song that brings back a particular moment, person, feeling or time in our lives. Brings it back with such clarity that you can almost taste and smell the moment.

I have a number - Jimmy Webb's "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", Gayle Caldwell's "Cycles", Leo Sayer's "When I Need You" among them but the all time classic that really does it for me is Rod's "Love Let Me Not Hunger".

In the late sixties I lived with my mother in a small apartment on Durban's Esplanade. We had a terrific view across the harbor and just a hop across the railway line and a skip over a fence brought you to the Natal University Rowing Club where I had the use of a dilapidated old canoe. I spent hours paddling from one side of the bay to the other, dodging harbor tugs and hoping like hell that the sharks were heading back out to sea and not hanging around the jetty when I pulled in to shore.

Sunburned and exhausted I'd go back home and gaze through the window at the sun setting across the bay. The music in the background was my latest "find" - "Baby The Rain Must Fall" by Glenn Yarbrough, containing five of Rod's songs, "Love Let Me Not Hunger" among them. This was my introduction to Rod's work and the beginning of a lifelong love affair with his words and music.

As I write I'm listening to that track and can smell the sea though I haven't lived at the coast in more than twenty years. I stretch and, though it's mid-winter, I can feel the sunburn across my shoulders and the dried salt from the sea spray crack on my skin.
That's the power of music!

So, which song of Rod's does it for you? Drop me a line at telling me which song it is and the kind of memories it invokes. If there's enough of a response we can always turn Wednesday into a "This One Does It For Me" day.

- Ken, Johannesburg, August 4, 1999

Details of Rod's next appearance can be obtained by following the link below.

"Tap Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman

notable birthdays Tori Amos o Nicola Ball o Honor Blackman o Ray Bradbury o Clayton Carlson o Douglas S. Cramer o Morton Dean o Claude Debussy o Sharon Dolbare o Howie Dorough o Barbara Eden o Steve Edwards o Valerie Harper o John Lee Hooker o Cecil Kellaway o Sylvia Koscina o Dorothy Parker o Leni Riefenstahl o Diana Sands o Norman Schwarzkopf o Layne Staley o Karlheinz Stockhausen o Cindy Williams o Deng Xiaoping o Carl Yastrzemski
Rod's random thoughts Birds don't sing because they have the answers, they sing because they know the songs.

We each should have an island we can row to when the ship we're sailing loses course.

The quality of life improves with interdependence.


The bumblebee goes
from the rose
to the marigold,
then goes back to the rose.
The caterpillar climbs
each ribbon of vine
even the caterpillar knows,
the day's so warm
you wouldn't dare touch it
if it lay down by your side.
So come to me, come to me,
my arms are open wide.

Love let me not hunger -
I've been alone so long.
How can a little taste
of wine be wrong?
We'll not get any younger.
Come listen to my song
and if you've had a hunger
perhaps you'll sing along.

The day's so warm
you can feel the sun.
What does it matter
what's done in the day
after the day is done?

Love let me not hunger.
Come and take my hand,
and if you've ever hungered
I know you'll understand.

- Written and composed in Malibu and Los Angeles, 1964

1964, 1988, 1999, 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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