Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: The Weight

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Song is The Band’s “The Weight”:

There is no other song that I know of that conjures up America the way that The Band’s “The Weight” does. And it’s funny. Four of the five members of the Band were Canadians.

It’s like they went down to that Mother of All Rivers, the Mississippi, dipped their hands into the water, and drank. ‘Cause the imagery that mixes place and spirituality is so American. If I were to encounter a fellow from Mars, if he asked me, “What is this place called America,” I would play him this song.

The opening chords Robbie Robertson makes, then Levon Helm all-American sings, “I pulled into Nazareth,” and later Rick Danko’s voice joins in, and then those Staples give it their stamp. I know I am in a special place. It’s timeless and grounded in the soil.

And it is easy to imagine folks like Fanny and Miss Moses, Luke and Crazy Chester. It is easy to imagine that Carmen and the Devil would be walking side by side. After all, this is the kind of place where Robert Johnson went down to the Crossroads and drank from a jug of blues.

This is just about a perfect song. I can’t think of a thing that would improve it. Like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, this one here sure brings tears to Uncle Bardie’s eyes. Like so many of the good things in this here life, it’s something special to share.

It sure is nice to know that there was all those other performers like  Aretha with Duane Allman got the faith and baptized it with their own sound.



micropoem for the day: taking a look

Here it is a beautiful morning. I am sitting here typing away at the word processor. I can’t think of a thing I would rather be doing. Making up stories and poems and having a ball doing it. But there is another side of things. Maybe I should get up just for a minute and take a looksee at the world around me. Unfortunately that means I might not come back to the word processor and finish my five hundred words or so. Maybe that would be a good thing. I’m not sure.

look out the window
see a tree, watch a bird
maybe a squirrel

Near 500 words: Picnic

I’ve heard that, when all is said and done, the insects win. For anyone who has done a picnic, we know how true that can be.

Our best girl packs up a basketful of the best goodies. You know the goodies I am talking about. Those sandwiches she makes that are out of this world. That chocolate cake that melts in the mouth. That bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion. It’s like Omar Khayyam said, “Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough, A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou Beside me…” Smart fellow, that Omar.

You spread the red and white checkered picnic cloth. She pulls out the paper plates and napkins, then sets out the sandwiches all cut into squares. Yummy. You uncork the wine. Give it a good sniff. Pour out an itsy bitsy amount into a plastic cup just for a taste. You take a drink and run the wine around in your mouth. Then you nod your head that the wine is perfect. You pour her a cup, then yourself. Then the two of you lift your cups for a toast to a perfect day and a perfect picnic.

You are out in nature and it is an absolutely gorgeous day. Not too warm and not too cool. The weather is cooperating like the meteorologist promised.

You fold your legs under your bottom, zen Buddhist style. As you sit beside the picnic spread, the two of you are enjoying the food, the company, the setting. From time to time, one of you tells a joke. You talk about the good times and the bad times and the times you’re not sure you want to share. But you do. Soon you’ve finished off the sandwiches. And a good bit of the wine. There’s only the chocolate cake left. That delicious, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake.

Both of you are a little giggly from the wine. You decide, maybe before the cake some, exercise would be a good thing. You brought a ball, so the two of you play catch for a half hour or so. Now you’re ready for that cake.

You look at the picnic spread. The cake is not there.

“Who stole the cake?” you yell.

You’re both frantic. That cake is the piece de resistance for a perfect day and now it’s gone. Then, in the distance, you see it. The cake. A bandit gang of ants are marching the cake away. And they are singing The Ants’ Battle Hymn, “When the ants go marching in.”

ants, ants, ants
they march, they eat,
they do their ant thing

which is
to march, to eat,
to do their ant thing

micropoem for the day: the hat

I have several caps. One is a Grumpy cap. It matches my Grumpy t-shirt and my Grumpy mug. Guess you could say that Grumpy is my favorite dwarf. Of all the dwarfs, he was the one who always asked why. “Why we taking that girl in? She’s trouble.” Once she had stayed awhile with the dwarfs, he asked, “Why we letting that girl go? It’s dangerous out there.” If you were a dwarf, which one would you be? Dopey, Sneezy, Bashful, Sleepy, Doc, Happy, or Grumpy?

cap on the wall
seven seasons a friend
ready for another

President’s Day Special: Why does anybody want to be President?

Here’s twenty-five reasons why it’s the best job ever:

1.You get your own song.
2.Everybody has to stand when you enter the room.
3.Even if you have never been to a library, you get your very own library. And it will be filled with your stuff.
4.There will be big fat books about you. Just look how many have been written about Washington’s cherry tree or Lincoln’s big shoes or Coolidge’s rocking chairs.
5.You get stuff named after you, especially streets, airports and bathrooms.
6.You get your own band. It’s great for parties. You can say to your friends, “You bring the food and the booze. I’ll bring the band.”
7.You’re so important people talk about you all the time.
8.You have your own house. Of course, it’s a loaner. But four years without paying for room and board. Pretty darn good, I’d say.
9.Your dog gets the run of the house. But don’t pull on his ears the way LBJ did. It’s a big no-no.
10.Anything you want to eat you pick up the phone. It’s yours in fifteen minutes.
11.Congress has to listen to you. Not. We know Congress never listens to anybody.
12.Think of the selfies. Everybody wants to take a selfie with you.
13.Any place you go it’s a parade.
14.You get free pens to sign stuff with.
15.You get a loaner cabin in the woods to have Summit Meetings at.
16.You get your own day in February. Of course, you have to share with all those other Presidents.
17.When you want to go to a show or a movie, you get front row seats.
18.You get your own airplane. And it’s a gem. It’s supplied with really good stuff. Like your favorite teddy bear.
19.Another benny is that helicopter. So you’ll never be stuck in traffic.
20.Movies will be made about you. How you killed all those vampires.
21.It will be a boon to the tourist trade for your home town. So you’ll be a hero to the folks back home. A bonus: your hometown will get a spruce up from the National Parks Service.
22.You might even get your face on money. Maybe the three dollar bill.
23.Your portrait will be everywhere. You’ll be up on the wall at the Post Office with the FBI’s ten most wanted. Quite an honor, I’d say.
24.People in uniforms salute when you show up.
25.You have a bowling alley in your basement.

There are some downers. You have to play golf. It’s required. Even Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln played golf. There’s a rumor that it was invented by Benjamin Franklin on his lunch break during the writing of the Declaration of Independence. So you can see why golf is required. It’s on the application. It’s the patriotic thing.