Thursday, June 01, 2006

Part 2 Stuff

May 19, 2006

It's Friday and I haven't finished my long tale from Tuesday night. Since I mentioned I'd be back with the ending, I'll continue:

I walked to the front of the room, smiled at M.L. and started singing. Had to stop and start again since I was singing (well to be kind you might call it that) over the intro. Way to go Jali.

I won't print all the lyrics, but I've gotta share just a portion.

"It was the third of June, another sleepy dusty Delta day. I was out chopping cotton and my brother was bailing hay."

As I sang this first line for the second time, I glanced up to see a thirty-something professional give me the gas face. Was the chopping cotton line a little to hard to take? "Damn," I thought, don't misinterpret and judge me that way.

I looked around the room to gauge my reception - one or two people were singing along with me - The "Buppies" in their 30's seemed to take offense. How dare I sing a country song that mentions cotton?

My history with this song was of a 45 RPM record being played repeatedly on a Saturday morning. My father, a fan of Jazz, the blues and Ole' Blue Eyes was the house DJ. He heard this song on the radio while changing stations and had to have it. Once he had it, he had to play it.

I was a kid and didn't realize how sad the song is. The music is moving - the lyrics and rhymes are simple but enhance the mood of the song. Bobbie Gentry's ( the singer) voice was strong, clear and compelling. The song has stayed with me for 40 years and I'm glad to have sung it one more time.

I had the opportunity to speak to the thirty-something professional, my gas face giver and I asked if the lyrics of my song offended her.

"No. You just can't sing for shit!"


info for Ode to Billy Joe can be found:
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1623

2 comments:

Lynnie said...

What a bunch of goofy losers. Don't they know that the song is about a lost soul in the south and suicide? And I bet lots of them were wearing -- COTTON!! Do they think it comes out of the ground in bolts, ready to be sewn into nifty little Ralph Lauren and FUBU shirts?

Perhaps they would approve of you singing Lady Marmalade - so you could remind them of the hookers in their old neighborhood!

One of my big memory songs is "Brandy" You remember, don't you? "Brandy, your a fine girl, what a good wife you would be. But my life, my lover, my lady, is the sea". And "This Will Be" by Natalie Cole. I can see him dancing to that one: Finger Poppin' -- red poly-blend golf-style shirt, blue Father's Club double-knit sportscoat and white high-water flared pants with the multi-colored pinstripes, so he thought they went with everything (and went with NOTHING), and black wool sock with wingtip shoes - eek! God I miss HIM.

But, on another note - I have heard you sing, so perhaps it was not the song....:0)

jali said...

Smart ass! Read part deux.

Hey Mrs. Scott( hah), director of all singers and dancers for our living room rendition of Alice in Wonderland, (the soundtrack) - you should be able to recognize talent.