Thursday, September 06, 2012

Two Donut Shops

The young man started playing with a pop jazz song called “Sweetheart,” by Ken Burgan. He’d heard it on a Maria Muldaur album and liked it so much that the next day he worked out the melody and a harmonization.

As I type this it’s Thursday evening and I’m about to have dinner. After dinner I’m going to take two Benadryl so you can probably imagine I’m not feeling all that well. Today will be a short post and I’m not sure what I’ll have for tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll be doing a stop-motion film this week, but I do have one in mind that I hope to get to soon.

I’ve got a couple of images for today.

Today for me was, so to speak, bookended by two images that are very different and unrelated, although they do have something in common.

When I took the photograph of the donut shop sign for my post “Merica Uns On Unkin” it was a bit of an accident. I was concentrating on all the various bright street lights in the background and somehow I missed seeing the little post sticking up and blocking the first letters of the writing on the sign. But I really liked that image and I think of it all the time. In fact, I’ve come to think of that image as very representational of the modern world. All manner of businesses are failing. But the donut shop, electric sugar, is expanding and thriving all around the globe.

This evening I went out and took a similar photo, but this time I used a post on purpose to block off the first letters of the sign.

The donut shop sign
like a flower is colorful
and it’s vertical

but it doesn’t sway
or turn to follow the Sun
or die in winter

and it’s much larger
than that other kind of flower
the garden shop sells.


Today started with me feeling kind of sad this morning and before I was even completely awake I booted up my computer and opened up my iTunes library. I don’t have as big a music library as many people. I think I have just about a hundred songs. I divide them up into a few different playlists and this morning I opened a playlist I simply call “favorite songs.” It only has five songs on it and I went right to Maria Muldaur singing an old pop jazz song called “Sweetheart.”

But it doesn’t beat for me
It beats softly in love
But not for me

That is one of my favorite songs of all time. I can play a simple variation of it on guitar or keyboard.

Anyway, when I was listening to Maria Muldaur sing I looked up at the cover-flow image iTunes generated and it made me smile.

There to the left is the word “Utopia.” In the middle is the beautiful Maria Muldaur. And off to the right is the phrase “Love Songs.”

That pretty much is my idea of Utopia: Some techno-pop. A beautiful woman. And love songs.

I like that image almost as much as I like the songs.

And all three of the songs linked to those cover-flow album covers have appeared here at the blog.

The Utopia album is Todd Rundgren’s “Adventures In Utopia” and the song I have from that album is “Road To Utopia” which I regard as a kind of theme song for this blog and I posted the lyrics a long time ago in A Typical Day On The Road To Utopia.

The Maria Muldaur album is called “Waitress In A Donut Shop” [!] and, of course, the song I have from it is “Sweetheart” and I posted briefly about that way back in Get Well Soon, Marianne Faithfull! #4: The Twenty-Six Muscles Of The Human Face.

The “Love Songs” album is a compilation album of Jefferson Airplane songs—even though nobody I know thinks of Jefferson Airplane as a love song kind of group. I have just one song from that album, “Have You Seen The Stars Tonight?” and not only have I posted the lyrics from that song more than once, but I’ve even recorded myself playing and singing a cover of it in Blows Against The (Expensive) Empire.

So that was sort of my day. It started with me listening to Maria Muldaur singing about being a waitress in a donut shop and loving a customer who comes in and tells her stories about his rocky love life and she knows he’ll never love her:

Sweet lips
Lips I know I’ll never kiss
They’re what I’m afraid I
Must miss

And I ended my day taking a photo of a real donut shop sign and writing about how flowers in the modern world aren’t what they used to be.

When I play and sing the song “Sweetheart” I gender-swap the lyrics, and make it about being a worker in a donut shop:

I’m a worker in a donut shop
I see her on her morning stop
She talks about love
But she’s talking about her
He gives her a rough time
She gives me her dime
And then parts
Soft sighs
Soft and dreamy moans
In my dreams
I can make her my own

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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