Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Music and Lyrics

My wife's turn to pick a chic flic, but I must admit, "Music and Lyrics" was alot of fun. Drew Barymore and Hugh Grant looked cute together as their characters and they had chemistry, as they say. You can't not think of Drew without remembering her first character in E.T. with that sweet little-girl smile. Hugh, of course, is such a veteran of this type of movie. i.e. Notting Hill, Runaway Bride(?) no, 3 Weddings and a Funeral. He's so self-depricating. His extreme example of self-loathing was brought up on Jay Leno when Jay asked,"What were you thinking?" and he retorted, "Not with my head."(no pun intended)
They just "work" as a duo... a song-writing duo. He seems to be able to play the piano etc., maybe he really does, and she was so quick on the rhyming couplets. Quick reparte and witty comments made this movie, chic flic more than just tolerable. The usual "formula" for sit-coms follows a pretty predictable course but with some surprises and a old fashioned sweetness that has been missing lately at the movies. Too much salty "popcorn" and sacarin "soda". They are also poking fun at the "music business" as just a business with no sentiment in it anymore...maybe there never was. They succeed in co-writing a new love song for the current hotty (young pop-rock starlet) that is really more of a sexy dancer who tries to sing than a singer who tries to dance.

It reminded us of us...in many ways. Betty, of course, is more about the lyrics; I like to think I'm music, harmony or at least the tune. This is one of our long-standing, long-running jokes. We like to challenge each other to rhyme with a line or a phrase we have just said or sung to each other...the more obtuse or remote the better. Lately, in the past 20 years we do the same with crossword puzzles. We always take one along, and if we are bored with the scene, say shopping or a restaurant, or our own lack of conversation topics, we just pass a crossword back and forth, preferrably the Sunday Edition doing only one down and one accross. There has always been this give and take in our relationship (almost 45 yrs. now) We have striven for brevity as the soul of wit in our life together...not shortness of life but quickness and humor in comments and observations.

The cogent content for me came when Hugh wrote and sang a song for Drew after years of blockage from his "hits" in the 80's. His theme? "Don't write me off yet". This struck a chord, pun intended, with me. Although I do notice a decrease or lessening in my verbal abilities i.e. this very writing, posting blogs, I still feel I have something to say and feel about any number of topics. I've always had this but it was probably sublimated when I taught and worked extra jobs. I was just too darn tired most of the time. Now, I do have the time...and I am trying to write. I have a children's book churning around on the back burner...to mix metaphors. I like to play with poems and lyrics; especially rewriting existing ones. I don't share those publically unless truly inspired. The last one...is posted in the comments of the previous blog.

In music, I still sing the "lead" part in a barbershop quartet group. Our quartet is temporarily named "The Shakers"* because we come just before "The After-Shocks", another group in our up-coming program/contest. I miss singing with a chorale now but it is just too hard physically. Listening to good choral music is a distant second to actual singing and blending in with a large group as a tenor. I'd sing with the local Sun Lakes Chorale, they meet in the morning, but I'm currently going to college at that time and the group is too large and unchallenging musicallly. i.e. some of the men don't sing tenor or bass but just the melody or some form of it an octave lower. I still enjoy CD's of tenors like Josh Groban, or Il Devo or The Ten Tenors. I know, my taste in music is not "current" or "pop". Josh makes an attempt at it with his latest album "Awake". "So She Dances" is my favorite on it.*(not the Shakers of "Simple Gifts")

Music and Lyrics are often combined in the dance. Our favorite show on TV right now is "Dancing With the Stars" It adds that kinetic dimension to the beat, the lyric and the melody that, when interpreted with grace (yes, there's that word again, grace) is very entertaining and thrilling. Yes, we did vote last night and this A.M on line...about 22 times for our favorite couples. This is one of our new pleasures together...we don't dance much anymore...my hip, her knees. Ah, life is so short, so sweet, but still lots of fun with my resident lyricist. Bob!


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