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Boomer Showtunes: Memory

What can I say? We not only went to Woodstock we also went to Broadway. Yes, it’s part of our “No Apollogies” Tour so sit down.

Yes, we also worked our way to the great white way, and we put on a few shows once there. (But only in our spare time when we weren’t busy inventing rock and roll and revolutionizing American food.) And yeah we knew how to ham it up. No? Elton John, case closed. Or his alter-ego, the girl he always wished he was, Elaine Paige OBE:

Midnight, not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight, the withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan

Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
[Bridge 1: Elaine Paige]
Every streetlamp seems to beat
A fatalistic warning
Someone mutters and the streetlamp gutters
And soon
It will be morning

I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Burnt-out ends of smokey days
The stale cold smell of morning
The street lamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning

Sunlight through the trees in summer
Endless masquerading
Like a flower, as the day is breaking
The memory is fading

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with my memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

All of which, the song that is, evolved from this stanza by T.S. Eliot in Rhapsody on a Windy Night

The lamp said,
“Four o’clock,
Here is the number on the door.
You have the key,
The little lamp spreads a ring on the stair,
The bed is open; the tooth-brush hangs on the wall,
Put your shoes at the door, sleep, prepare for life.”

The last twist of the knife.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Philadelphia Freedom July 27, 2022, 9:15 PM

    It’s Showtime!
    On Broadway by George Benson plays.

  • Jack July 28, 2022, 7:26 AM

    Beautiful and unforgettable. Now does everyone understand why I say that Joan Baez cannot sing?

    • Vanderleun July 28, 2022, 7:41 AM

      I get it and you’re right.

  • Univ of Saigon 68 July 28, 2022, 7:42 AM

    Elaine Paige – I knew I’d heard that name somewhere before.