April 06, 2008

Sunday Music ; A Whiter Shade of Pale

This song has been in the news recently, for all the wrong reasons.

It's one of my top songs of all time. Never sure what the lyrics were supposed to mean, but oh my God the organ music is the best. Hear it one time, and you remember it for the rest of your life. By Procul Harum, 1967.

This song will live forever. Here is a live performance by Belgian singer Helmut Lotti, in Brussels Square, in 2003.

Now, a pint of Brooklyn Lager to anyone who can tell me what these lyrics mean:
We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
but the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, 'There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see.'
But I wandered through my playing cards
and would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open
they might have just as well've been closed

She said, 'I'm home on shore leave,'
though in truth we were at sea
so I took her by the looking glass
and forced her to agree
saying, 'You must be the mermaid
who took Neptune for a ride.'
But she smiled at me so sadly
that my anger straightway died

If music be the food of love [see note, left, about this verse + its opening]
then laughter is its queen
and likewise if behind is in front
then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard
seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly
and attacked the ocean bed


Anonymous said...

You owe me a pint, but I searched it just for fun!


The Green Hornet said...

I was going to post the same site, you owe me a pint too, when they see the hornet coming, they scather.

JG said...

I'll let you away with the pint!

It really is some song, the organ is sublime.

By the way, nice comment in response to Patty over yonder. I agree completely.

I've often wondered why activists are always mocked. I think it may be a sense of guilt on the part of those who sit idly by that makes them feel the need to diminish the actions of those trying - in however small a way - to effect change.

The Phantom said...

Should we meet someday, and I hope we do, I shall be happy to buy a pint.

I'm at a loss on some of what I hear from Patty and Alison--especially as this is a pure moral issue, without the usual baggage of left vs right.

If this isn't black and white, nothing is!

The Phantom said...

Funny. I just happened to read
this article by Paul McCartney. He writes of when he and Linda were first dating:

"...we went on together to another club, the Speakeasy. It was our first date and I remember I heard Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale for the first time. It became our song."

Good taste, Paul.

Anonymous said...

Ya gotta be able to take it in the nose!!!!!

The Green Hornet said...

Hey Phantom, I'll meet with you for my pint lol. I'll meet you at Carrol's on 5th Ave

JG said...

this is a pure moral issue, without the usual baggage of left vs right

Exactly. In fact, I'm annoyed with many on the left who ignore this issue as it doesn't sit well with their hyper-secularism. They think Tibetans want to have a theocracy with the Dalai Lama as some kind of dictator!

Bottom line is, this is for Tibetans to decide. It should be remembered, though, that when the Dalai Lama set up his Government in Exile he stripped himself of almost all his powers. MPs to the parliament are elected by Tibetan exiles, not appointed by the Dalai Lama. The man is a proven democrat.

Btw, I hope we do meet. I'd like to have a pint with you.