FLIGHTS FROM THE
2 June 2001
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Christmas Eve 2001: Photo by Edward McKuen.
©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group
A Thought for Today
Love works best when we don’t work at it.
On June 2nd I prefaced the
first in a series of ‘Love Letters Unsent' with the following
comments. “Last Saturday when I published a new poem entitled “To One
Absent” I had no way of knowing the kind of mail it would generate. It was
taken very personally by many and they read into it different things.
That’s, of course, the way it should be. A poem is only what each reader
believes it is, nothing more.
It did start me to thinking, however. Lately the same situation that
inspired ‘To One Absent” has caused me to begin writing love letters that
may never be seen by the one for whom they are intended. It’s all too
complicated to get into but I thought if the poem could touch people in
ways that are meaningful to them perhaps I might let go of a few of the
not too personal to be printed letters I’m writing. Here is one such
A LOVE LETTER UNSENT
Dear You, I hope this reaches
you safe and smiling. Hard to believe that June is here. Is it age,
circumstance or imagination that makes it seem as if time departs at
faster speeds each day?
Since our condition is now dictated by other peoples clocks I no longer
tick off days and months as I once did, matter of factly and with
resignation. I let them go by without a count or feeling of remorse and
yet weeks-end finds me wondering when when will come. The time that sees
us seeing one the other face to face. The spoon-sleep of after love is
missed as much as love itself if not more, because it is of longer
There are times when holding that great pillow is not enough.
Impatient? Of course. And while I know that I can wait because our love is
sure it does not ease some aches that only your arm ‘round my shoulder, my
hand on your chest, sliding to your belly can alleviate.
I awaken sometimes because you touch me in an odd way or because I feel
the warmth of you too much to manage without a loosening of my grip around
you or a position change. Of course you are not there, but then I hurry
back to sleep to make it so again. Once, last night I think it was, I had
my hand halfway inside of you and I could feel your steady pulse as if it
were a beating heart that I was reaching out to grasp. (I pray no doctor
discovers my new accessing rhythm method or dares to take such liberties.)
Did I imagine that you called me ‘darling’ on the telephone? I warn you I
am unaccustomed to pet names but, oh they come from off your tongue so
naturally that I could grow to love and miss them as much as you are
missed if those new to me endearments stopped dripping from your mouth in
our too short conversations.
It is mid-afternoon here, outside birds are silent because they drowse in
shade. Yes, the sun has finally deigned to shine a bit and so the garden
is getting attention from one other than me. It could use your hoe and
weeding hand. I do not, dare not, wish that we will be two-gether soon
enough to harvest what is growing now. I am waiting out the lives we
started alone that we will reap in concert.
However longer, I maintain the stay. I love you, Me.
5/30/01 3:30 PM
First publication 6/2/01
DOWNLOADS OF CHRISTMAS #6
THE LOVERS OF DECEMBER
THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG
“The Lovers of December” will
be obscure to many of you because as far as I can remember this is the
only recording I’ve ever made of it. It was written in 1959 and it’s among
the first songs Skip Redwine and I ever did as a team. It’s one of the
most musically interesting and complex melodies Skip ever wrote. It wants
to be a waltz but vacillates between a bolero and rumba beat. There’s
plenty of room for the singer to wander in with my words and I wonder that
I never showed it to any other artists.
Johnny Mercer played the song through and commented, “If you keep writing
all these nostalgic songs at your age what are you going to write about
when you’re older?” Nostalgia, Johnny, nostalgia.
Considering how much I like “The Lovers of December” I’m amazed that it
took me so long to get around to recording it and that I’ve yet to perform
it in concert. This recording was made on June 2, 1972 at Western Studios,
Hollywood. The arrangement is by Dick Walter and the orchestra was
conducted by Eddie Karam. Pete Jolly is featured on piano. Wade Alexander
and I co-produced the session and the track was issued on the Stanyan LP
“Rod” (SR 5025). It has never been released on CD.
The Lovers of December
White winter knows no age
It’s like the printed word that dances on the page
And so they go still smiling though their heads bend low
A smile as gentle as September, The Lovers of December.
Grey morning knows no day
You have to catch it or it’s quick to run away
And so they turn to watch the fire of springtime burn
Until that fire is but an ember, The Lovers of December
There’s a time to love and a time to cry
Time to catch the bird, time to let it fly
Time to see the chariot coming and step aside
For the road is as narrow as the heart is wide.
Black midnight knows no year
It’s hard to see just like the color of a tear
And so they pause, just now and then they stop because
They have so much they can remember,
The Lovers of December.
Words: Rod McKuen. Music: Skip Redwine
© 1959 by Rod McKuen; 1965 by Rod McKuen & Stanyan Music
CLICK HERE TO
DOWNLOAD THE LOVERS OF DECEMBER
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If you’re starting your New
Year celebrations early play happily and safely. If you drink, please
don’t drive. See you tomorrow with another download. Sleep warm.