Eyes of a Child

Sena wonders if I’m ever going to use Patsy Cline’s tune “If I Could See the World (Through the Eyes of a Child) in a blog post. She also brought home a potted plant she bought, an Easter Lily, ahead of Easter Sunday on April 9th next week. I thought of a couple of things, and of course one is a quote from Men in Black 3:

Agent O: “Agent K is dead!”

Agent J: “Well, I just talked to him last night!”

Agent O: “You are imagining things.”

Agent J: “I’m not imagining anything. Aqua Velva after shave! I didn’t imagine that. Where every stakeout, endless hours of cowboy music.

Agent J and I have a few things in common. One of them is a mild dislike for country western (cowboy by extension) music. I can’t help it OK; the Patsy Cline tune is one of those.

I’m the first to admit I’m not a Bible scholar, but I’m going to talk a little bit about the apparent contradictions between being childish and childlike in the Bible. The reason is that the lyrics in “If I Could See the World” is either an obvious or accidental reference to the seeming contradiction between being like a child in one sense and in another sense, growing up and putting away childish things.

There’s no contradiction if you remember the scripture quotes are in different contexts. In childhood, we’re innocent, trusting, and open. Being open to the kingdom of heaven is the context for that. On the other hand, another context is when we grow up and recognize the duplicity in other people and the inevitable push to learn how to lie. If you don’t tell Aunt Clara that you love her gift of fruitcake at Christmas, you will be grounded for a week.

OK, so that’s the extent of my Bible scholarship.

I’m not a credible music critic either. But it’s easy to see the connection of the Patsy Cline song “If I Could See the World (Through the Eyes of a Child) to the book of Matthew. At the same time, the lyrics ignore the book of Corinthians, which tells how important it is to give up being childish. You need to lie to get by sometimes, although Agent J has trouble telling just where and when to stop lying. Much of MIB 3 is about the conflict over telling the truth and lying.

Come to think of it, that conflict could be much of what life is about.

Agent J after finally telling young Agent K that Boris the Animal will kill him when he goes to Florida to stop Boris, and that’s what Agent J wants to prevent: “I know I told you everything but…”

Young Agent K punches him in the nose: “That’s for lying to me! He punches Agent J again and says, “And that’s for telling me the truth!”

The Patsy Cline song is about seeing all of the good and none of the bad, all of the right and none of the wrong—and how wonderful that would be. Could it be ironic? On the other hand, in the real world of grownups, maybe Griffin has the idea:

Griffin: “The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie.” Well, sometimes.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

This is St. Patrick’s Day and, although I didn’t wear green today, Sena got me some Irish beer. It’s Guinness Extra Stout. The back label extols the virtues:

“Intense characterful and bold, Guinness Extra Stout is the pure expression of our brewing legacy. Bittersweet, with subtle hints of hops, dark fruits and caramel, this stout is a testament to great brewing.”

That dark fruit better not be dates or prunes. It’s brewed in Ireland.

This being Friday night, I wonder if John Heim (aka Big Mo) will mention anything about St. Patrick’s Day tonight on the KCCK Big Mo Blues Show, radio station 88.3 in Cedar Rapids or 106.9 in Iowa City.

Maybe he’ll mention May Ree and her hand-battered catfish. It’s better because it’s battered. Maybe the recipe includes a couple of bottles of Guinness Extra Stout, with notes of dark fruits and caramel. Dark fruits which are not dates, I hope. Allowable notes can be sharp or flat, blue, high, or low—but not dates.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Big Mo Blues Show KCCK and MayRee’s Hand Battered Catfish

I heard John Heim (aka Big Mo) on KCCK talk at length about MayRee’s hand battered catfish tonight. There was much more detail than usual. I can’t remember all of them. One I do remember is that her joint is on the corner of Highway 6H and Snowflake Road-sort of.

MayRee will give you a choice of 3 beverages that sound like a crazy cross between a soft drink and white lightning moonshine or something. One flavor is “clear” and another could be something like pumpkin spice, but I probably misheard that.

I got a comment from a blogger, Everyday Lillie. She has not heard of nitrates in catfish but appreciated the information.

MayRee cooks them with “manic delight.” They are really something, I guess.

I heard this Sonny Landreth piece tonight on the show.

KCCK Big Mo Blues Show Brings Back Memories

Last night on the KCCK Big Mo Blues Show I listened to something I haven’t heard since the mid-1970s. It was a radio commercial for the Green Beetle and Frank’s Liquor Store. It ran right after the song, “Memphis Women and Fried Chicken.”

I think I first heard this radio ad while I was a student at Huston-Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University) in Austin, Texas in the mid-1970s.

I heard it early on in the evening in my sweltering college dorm room. Later on, I heard a stirring rendition of the opening song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” for another radio program, the name of which I can’t recall. I don’t know who sang it, but her voice was breathtaking. I have not heard a better version of it since.

The contrast between the “Old Crow Boogie” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was striking. No matter what race, culture, gender we are, we struggle to reconcile these opposites.

Rag Time and Classical Music Fusion

The other night I heard something pretty interesting on the Music Choice channel. I was listening to the Light Classical stuff because, let’s face it, I’m a real lightweight when it comes to knowing anything about music, much less the classical genre.

It reminded me of a time long ago when my mother tried to teach me how to play our old upright piano. She always complained that it was out of tune, always promised that she would get it tuned and never did. It didn’t matter. I never learned a thing but the middle C note, which I poked with my right thumb.

And then I heard a selection that sounded like the composer was poking fun at classical music. The piece was titled “A Symphonic Nightmare: Desecration Rag No. 2.” Somebody said it was actually “An Operatic Nightmare: Desecration Rag No. 2.” I don’t know that it makes a difference what you call it. I thought it was comical and I had fun listening to it.

In order to confuse me further, I found listed on the Library of Congress a recording entitled, “An operatic nightmare.” And, I found a piece called Desecration (Rag-Humoreske). They all sound different, but all of the pieces are by a composer named Felix Arndt.

Further, Wikipedia says Arndt is best known for his composition “Nola,” which he wrote for his fiancée Nola Locke (later his wife.” It’s sometimes thought to be the first example of the novelty ragtime genre. Classical music does have a funny bone.

Jazzed Up Mr. Grinch for the Big Arctic Blast

I heard this last Friday KCCK on ‘da Friday Blues with John Heim aka Big Mo, believe it or not. So it’s a little late, but I had trouble finding it. Stay warm!

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