Saturday, May 12, 2012

Song for Saturday 5/12/12 (& for a Friend)

Albert Camus says, “il faut croire Sisyphe heureux” (“We must consider Sisyphus happy”)—it’s an existentialist dictum, right? & lyricist Dorothy Fields said, “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.” As much as I liked Camus in my unfiltered cigarette smoking philosophical youth, I can say one thing in favor of Fields—with music by Jerome Kern, you can dance to what she says—Fred & Ginger proved that!

Indeed, the great American songbook tune “Pick Yourself Up” was composed by Kern & Fields for the equally great 1936 film Swing Time, starring the aforementioned Astarie & Rogers in all their splendor. The link above takes you to
the great tap dance sequence to an instrumental version, while this link takes you to a clip of Ginger Rogers singing the song (its introduction to the public), complete with Fred Astaire adding in a bridge or interlude section that I’ve never heard performed in any other version or seen in any sheet music. 

Now this is a catchy & fun song, & the version of it below by Diana Krall is pretty darned fine & fun. But the real point of this post is that sometimes people we care about have things go against them—sometimes things even go against them in a way that we may indeed consider unjust; & thinking of how the Good Book says the rain falls on the just & the unjust alike, we wonder why it is that the just often seem to find themselves in the metaphorical midst of a Pacific Northwest cold December downpour without an umbrella, while the unjust find themselves on the figurative equivalent of Malibu under a tangerine & sincere blue sky, with the air kissed by the most gentle sea breeze.

Turns out that someone I consider a really good friend, this blog’s own Rockstar-Poet-in-Residence, Barbie Dockstader Angell, suffered a setback this week. The specifics aren’t mine to tell, but I think I can say it involved a situation in which Barbie was treated unjustly, & that in a significant way.

Despite being “only” a virtual friend, Barbie has been one of a handful of people, “virtual” & “3-D” alike, who’ve most stood by me & seen me thru a difficult time in my life. You know Barbie from her delightful & imaginative poems & illustrations. I also know her—some at least—as a kind & thoughtful person, a great mom, & a good & loyal friend
—& not just to her “virtual” friends, but also to a host of wonderful people in her own corner of the world.

So, Barbie, “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.” I know you will, because you’re that kind of person, & from what I know of your life story, you always have been. & I also know that—while I don’t believe in any sort of external karma—there is more than a little karmic good to the soul in remaining true to yourself & your ethics, in taking the high road, in continuing to be yourself no matter what setbacks you’re handed.

That’s it for me. Barbie, you keep on keeping on, ok? & you, friends, have a great day. If life throws you a curveball—or even a dustback pitch!—you know what to do.

13 comments:

  1. It's a great song (and a great version by DK). Sorry to hear of the setbacks suffered by Barbie who is a friend-of-a-friend, because virtual or not, that is what I have always thought of you as being.

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    1. Alan: Likewise on the friendship part! Yes, Diana Krall does the tune justice indeed!

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  2. aw, thank you. : ) that's terribly sweet of you. as it happens, i'm a big fan of Fred & Ginger & of this song.

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    1. Barbie: I'm so happy you liked it :)

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  3. Too cool. Best wishes to your pal, Barbie.

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  4. alan, thank you. : ) i appreciate that. i've spent the last 8 months dealing with a cyberstalker who also lives in my town, john has been so helpful and supportive.

    jacqueline, thank you. you're sweet. : )

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  5. The Camus quote reminded me of the Tom Gauld cartoon I saw today. You probably don't know his cartoons. Some are here:

    http://www.tomgauld.com/index.php?/portfolio/guardian-letters/

    THE cartoon isn't there- but you get the gist.

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    1. Those are wonderful cartoons! I Like the geometric figures & the street Tom Waits grew up on especially! Thanks.

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  6. As thoughtful as ever, John. Best wishes to Barbie, and a fine weekend to both of you.

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