In a feature shamelessly “inspired” by The Times‘s Culture Vulture, British Expat brings you the above titled (subtitled “Things you should own, if they’re the sort of thing you might like…”).
Hello boys and girls. Did you miss me? Since I last posted I’ve been to Canada (for slightly longer than anticipated. Bloody WWIII) and come back to Uni. Life is similar to last (academic) year, but slightly poorer and with an ass of a landlord. Drink has been taken, not least at the House Party of the Year at our place last week.
Now we’re up to ‘Y’, and nearing the end of our joint odyssey through ‘culture’. This 26-week slot has now taken somewhere around four years to complete, and I apologise for those of you left hanging on my every word. Does anyone still read this?? Oooh ooh, before I forget – watch the Forum somewhere around this page (why don’t I get a link from every other bleedin’ page like the Forum does eh? What’s so special about that, eh?) for exciting job opportunities. Actually ‘job’ might not be the right word – it’s unpaid. And ‘opportunities’ is dodgy too.
Anyway, enough waffle.
I was going to critique “(You Can’t Always Get) What You Want” by the Rolling Stones. It is, after all, fine 20th century poetry in the Bob Dylan stylee we all love so. I also remember from my youth (last week or so) a funky little comedy film called Young Einstein. I remember it being painfully funny. But I was about six.
Whilst sitting in my Film Noir seminar (ooh, a rhyme) this morning it occurred to me, as often does, that Elton John really is rather talented, and has released some ‘good tunes’ – though one suspects Bernie Taupin has been done out of a lot of credit over time. One song, in particular, touches the heart. “Your Song”.
I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one’s for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world
Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen.
Just a selection of the words (the rest are actually pretty arsey methinks) that make this one of my favourite pieces of ‘art’ ever laid down. The gorgeously full piano score and simplicity of this song (younger people may like to think of the Ben Folds Five’s “Brick”, older people may like to think of, errr, Elton John’s “Your Song”) make it just so. I can’t do it justice – I can’t describe (as with Astral Weeks, qv) exactly what it is, it’s just one of those things – some people cry at Gone With the Wind, others at weddings. In the words of Cast (remember them?) – “So don’t you think it’s good, that it takes all sorts/Don’t you think our lives would be a little bit drab, if we had the same thoughts?”
I’m off to Safeway. I’ve been back in Southampton a month, and have spent £6 on grocery shopping (and around £800 in the pub).
[Watch out Atoz, your Mum might read your column again and send me another letter! The Ed]
(aka Dave Stock:) the first person in the world to write to britishexpat.com, and probably the last to send in his biog. After a few useful one-off contributions, Atoz started his irregular A to Z of cultural icons. At the time of writing this, he's up to "O" - but there's still no sign of the biog. (Update - he still hadn't sent it in by the time he'd reached "Z"!)