Friday, November 29, 2013

November, 2013

Apparently, November sucks. It's true.  From what I can see in the lyrics of any songs about this transitional month, there is a lot of talk of crappy precipitation and about crazy people--generally speaking.  Musicians, and maybe all artistic people in the world, think November sucks.  That statement is truer than true.


"We only dream to float downstream, reminded by the rain,
Tied to a tree, cannot break free, reminded by the rain..."


I know, right?  That there is a sad statement for humanity, from a song you've never listened to...  Seriously, that pessimistic stanza is not even from the Guns N' Roses' classic, November Rain, it's from a song called November by J Church. I am not particularly familiar with J Church, but I do know he's an artist who doesn't enjoy November.


Strangely, I am right brained, yet November and I don't have any problems with each other.  My childhood memories of November are happy ones, filled with family, and anticipation for the very next month: Jesus' birthday. November smells like candied sweets and pumpkin pie.  It sounds like my grandparents' and great-grandparents voices, and children laughing.  It feels like smooth, like Cushman rock maple tables.   

November is when I always seemed to be teaching the book To Kill a Mockingbird to my Sophomore English classes.  It was a great and humbling honor to put the hardbound copies of Harper Lee's novel into each student’s hands.  I knew their world was going to change a little bit when they met Atticus, and Jem, and Scout Finch.  


Literally, can't wait...
Although none of those things, the things that symbolize the month, were visceral and tangible this year, November still holds promise and beauty for me.  Michael happens to love turkey, and his enthusiasm for consuming it, is unmatched.  November also sounds like Michael saying, "I can't wait for the turkey to be done, I just want to eat it and eat it.  Thanksgiving is my favorite food holiday," with a voice full of awe and admiration; his Michael eyes--which are so much like Grampy John's--twinkling with his winsome grin.  


Why, Bob Dylan, why?!


I could say that this November was challenging for me, or rather, I was challenged greatly by setbacks this past month.  But I won't talk about those things: Musicians and artists already have a corner on that market-- rain and crazy people and death...  and drug dealing (in the south, specifically), crazy people and crappy weather and dying in the south...  That covers it fairly well.


Late November
by Sandy Denny  
The wine it was drunk, the ship it was sunk,
The shot it was dead, all the sorrows were drowned.
The birds they were clouds, the brides and the shrouds
And as we drew south the mist it came down.


The wooded ravine to the wandering stream,
The serpent he moved, but no-one would say.
The depths of the waters, the bridge which distraught us
And brought to me thoughts of the ill-fated day.


The temples were filled with the strangest of creatures
One played it by ear on the banks of the sea.
That one was found but the others they went under.
Oh the tears which are shed, they won't come from me.


The methods of madness, the pathos and the sadness,
God help you all, the insane and wise.
The black and the white, the darkness of the night,
I see only smoke from the chimneys arise.


The pilot he flew all across the sky and woke me.
He flew solo on the mercury sea.
The dream it came back, all about the tall brown people,
The sacred young herd on the phosphorus sand.


November
by J Church
As the rain falls hard it fills the cracks on Mission Street,
There's a hole in my shoe and it’s letting water soak my feet,
I don't know why I curse the sky because it won't stop the rain,
I don't know who I'm yelling to because it won't stop the rain


As the rain fall hard it falls on the people waiting for the bus home,
(for the bus home),
No matter who you are, you feel the same when you're wet, cold and alone,
Soaked hair and dress and all the rest divided by the rain,
When you get home you're still alone reminded by the rain, rain


So I went home like I normally do and I put on something dry,
I went out to get a coffee, read a book about anarchy,
And watched the commuters walk by,
Tears from the sky, I'm satisfied that I can't stop the rain,
Can't justify, and I can't define, and I can't stop the rain, rain


We only dream to float downstream, reminded by the rain,
Tied to a tree, cannot break free, reminded by the rain  


November Rain
by Guns N' Roses


When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain
We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
in the cold November rain
Do you need some time.. on your own
Do you need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone
I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you
Sometimes I need some time.. on my own
Sometimes I need some time.. all alone
Everybody needs some time.. on their own
Don't you know you need some time.. all alone
And when your fears subside
and shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
when there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
we still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
even cold November rain
Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one


Gone 'Til November
by Wyclef
I wanna dedicate this song, Gone 'Til November...
To all you ladies out there, crying all alone in your room
And all you fellas, going down south...Not making it back...
May the lord bless your soul, I love you girl
Every time I make a run
Girl you turn around and cry
I ask myself, why oh why?
See you must understand
I can't work a nine to five
so I'll be Gone...'Til November
Said I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November
Yo, tell my girl yo I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November
Yo, tell my girl yo I'll be Gone 'Til November
January, February, March, April, May...
I see you crying, but girl I can't stay
I'll be Gone 'Til November
I'll be Gone 'Til November...
And give a kiss to my mother...
Girl I gotta leave, please don't cry
When I come back, you know the limit's the sky
I'll take you out to dinner, to your favorite spot
Feed you an aphrodisiac just to get you hot
Drive-by movies, by a cemetery
If my corpse could talk then I would tell you I was sorry
Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous,
Some die with a name, some die nameless
We had nothin'
I had to do something
So I'm Knocking On Heaven's Door, like I'm Bob Dylan
Ever contemplating, the charges I'm facing
My new-born son, I hope I see his graduation
Take him to the movies, by the cemetery
If my corpse could talk then I would tell him, I was sorry
Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous
Some die with a name, some die nameless!


And, there you have it--Rock solid, lyrical evidence, folks.  November…  It’s… something.



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