22 October 2006

Two Muses

I'm clearly a vindictive man because, other than Lurve, my other strongest Muse is Anger or Revenge.

I can go months, years, without picking up the guitar to compose. Meet the right gal and shazam! I'm reeling out the lyrics and melody.

Anger is a little dicier to play but I find myself in a frenzy of creativity no thanks to an incident of such pettiness that I'm ashamed that such a good song is rolling forth.

Scenario: Mama phones me from London with request to set up a luncheon of favourite folks to meet her venerable and very interesting pal with whom she is flying back. I do so.

One of the guests has folks staying, a major major actress from the 1960s on whom the whole world had a crush. He asks if he can bring her and her hubby along and I say yes, vowing to work day and night on the garden for Mum in return for screwing up the placement. As it turns out, Mama is rather happy to meet the mega name of yesteryear.

Come luncheon morning, frenzied activity to prepare the gourmet meal that mama always delivers, purchase of wine of the finest, moi raking and sweeping so that chateau busker is at its tidiest.

Guests arrive and mingle, I dance attendance, my mother at her charming hostessest best.

But tiens! What is this? A pillar of the church has turned up - avec wife - no doubt to welcome the matriarch home and check that all is well.

Nae problem: they will see that we have guests, accept the drink we press upon them (actually, NOT accept, if they have an ounce of sensitivity, and piss off) and make their excuses and leave.

They stay and they stay and they stay.

I have images burned on my memory:

  • My mother sitting at the far end of the patio, back to her guests, in conversation with PoC, as if to say "I know I invited you lot to lunch but you know what? I'm much more interested in my UN-invited guest
  • I'm scrabbling to look after our guests and keep glasses filled and keep the luncheon on track.
  • At my side is wife of PoC wittering away on her usual inconsequentialia.
  • Witterer meets 1960s shy icon: "Oh, I know who you are, you're Garbo" (for want of better name)
  • Meanwhile, our 90-year-old pal is being poured another glass of wine, on a soft head that needs food.

They stay and they stay and our legit guests are looking at me and at each other like wha' the fuck?

I'm ashamed: I failed to defend my guests. I should have marched over to Mama, she with her back to her guests, and said "Mother, we WILL do right by our guests.

When Brad and Angie are on the guest list, we will look after them. Today, they are not, so they will enjoy their drink and I will escort them to the door and see them on their way with a merry wave."

I did not, they overstayed and sent the lunch out of kilter, plus confirming that, come the crunch, Busker and mère lack the backbone to deliver. That rankles and it hurts.

I may be a wimp but I'm a mean and thinking wimp and as I nursed my grievance, the saintèd Bobbie Dylan started growling in my ear in his wailing 'Man with a long black cloak' / Like a roller dirgey mode. I couldn't shake it.

Church Pillar runs musical nights for the devoted and, having spotted my guitar, has been urging me to join the acts. Without hearing me pluck a single chord, Mrs Pillar has nailed me in one: "Let me guess, you do all the lovely singalongs ... you must sign up. It'll be good for you, and you'll meet all sorts of people. Who knows? (Knowing chuckle) You might meet a girlfriend."

Praise Jesus - I'll meet a "girlfriend".

I've made my modest excuses and side-stepped the invite but, you know what? I suddenly feel like taking that troubadour spot.

The band I play with have the Dylan backing down pat - cushiony organ, 4-square bass, punctuating bouzouki - and the lyrics have appeared from nowhere. Well, not nowhere; they've appeared from rage and revenge.

Early days yet, so bear with me. Imagine yourselves on some Ionian dig and you've come across scraps of ancient chansonnier hieroglyphics.

Professor, over here - I think we've got something ... an ancient libretto of sorts .."
"Steady on, Ginger ... close, but it's no libretto. They appear to be fragments of some sort of chorus. Let's leave Hussein to tackle the main verses and see what we've got ...."

"You got yer hymn book and humbug,
You've really got God power
And you always turn up at the lunchtime hour

There's a Calvary cross where my Saviour died
And a Garden in Gethsemane where Judas lahd
No need translation in that Babel Tower
Comes the man, comes the luncheon hour

Moses he said to Pharaoh, let my people go
I've got a Red Sea to part
And 40 years of woe
Gimme my milk and honey and a hidden shady bower
For when the Canaanites come cadging
'N' crashing my luncheon hour

Wail of harp, jangle of Fender

Serpent of the apple, its virtues did extoll,
"Chomp this little baby, Adam gonna rock 'n' roll,
Eat it while the Big Guy's doing good works afar,
Before the holy roller twigs it's luncheon hour"

Cue mess of music and happy jamming, shimmering down to solo acoustic guitar and quavering sensitive vox:

Camel thru eye of needle
Jonah in that whale
Whatever life throws atcha
Ya bring yer own luncheon pail (harp wail)

Feeding of five thousand
Means exactly that
It may sound fun, be five thousand 'n' one
But we're dealing wit that crap

(Swelling organ sound, pray god i can look holy scrounger in the eye as we launch into)

The hart may pant for cooling streams
When heated in the chase
I have a hunch that kerm the crunch he won't crash the lunch at MY place

Clash of Zy' cymbal here, Bob - make it loud)

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
Noah rode out that shower
Pharaoh let those people go
But NOT  at the luncheon hour

Lion lies with lamb but does not devour
That cat got a different menu
Planned for the luncheon hour

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