Uncle Bardie’s Music Spot: Gerry Rafferty’s Masterpiece

I’ve heard this song by Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty enough times I probably know it by heart, this Baker Street from the City to City album. And yet I never tire of it. In my mind, this is a perfect song. Even the title puts you in the mood for a story.

Baker Street? Isn’t that where Sherlock Holmes lived? That’s 221B. This is not 221B and there’s no Sherlock Holmes here.

This one starts the sax takes it into that space loneliness occupies.  The vocalist begins. Walking the street after a heavy day of work. The city has turned out to be one hell of a disappointment. It might just be time to move on in another year, then he’ll be happy.

At the end of the street, the door opens. Another lost soul wants to get out of town. His dream is to buy some land and then he’ll be happy.

That’s the genius of this song. It’s nailed the dreams we’ve given up on. But then the sun comes up and maybe, just maybe we’ll get a new day. And maybe the secret is to keep moving. Then we’ll be happy. Or will we?

And here’s a second song, Right Down the Line, from his City to City.


Near 500 words: The Writer wakes up

Episode 12 of The Writer.

TW (aka The Writer) woke up to Cat licking his face and meowing.

“No, Cat, I’m not in the mood for playing.”

Cat wasn’t one to give up when she wanted what she wanted, and right then, she wanted food. She meowed an insistent meow.

TW said, “Okay, okay.” Then forced the covers off his body and crawled out of bed. By this time, Cat was in the kitchen, meowing her loudest.

Naked, TW headed to the kitchen, flipped on the light switch, and filled Cat’s food dish.  As Cat went after the kibbles, TW stuck her water dish under the faucet and filled it. After setting it down on the kitchen floor beside the tabby’s food bowl, he returned to the bedroom, half awake.

He dropped back onto the bed and pulled the covers over him. Then he snapped awake, sitting up straight in the bed.

“What,” he screamed. How did I get inside and in bed? The last I remember I passed out on the back porch. He searched his mind and couldn’t figure out how he had gotten into his bedroom, taken off his clothes and gone to bed.

He looked over at his digital clock. It read 7:00 a.m. TW slipped on his pajama bottoms and went into the kitchen. Cat rubbed against his foot.

He quickly made himself a cup of coffee, then sat down in his comfy chair in the living room.

A what happened went through his mind. Was I abducted by aliens and taken aboard a space craft and undergone the poking of an examination by extraterrestrials? He felt sore all over as if that was the solution to the missing hours. But TW was a logical man. He wasn’t ready to give into what he believed was some fairy tale.

After three cups of coffee, he decided he had somehow managed to get back into the house, take off his clothes and go to bed. Yes, that’s what I did.

He went to the kitchen door. It was locked. Good. At least, no one got into the house while I was out. But what had caused him to pass out in the first place? And why couldn’t he remember coming back into the house?

He opened the back door and walked out onto the porch. But Cat did not follow him out the way she normally did. That’s unusual.

TW returned to the kitchen and went into the living room. Cat was not there. For the next five minutes, TW searched the house for his cat. Then finally he found her under his bed, hiding.

“Cat, what’s going on?” he said, lying on the floor, looking at her.

He stretched and reached under the bed until he touched her paw. She jumped and scooted away.

“Cat, it’s Daddy. C’mon out.”

Her green eyes stared back at TW, and Cat did not move.

Aw Shucks

Went to a party,
My baby and me.
Half the night later
We left with a plea

Of “Aw shucks.
My baby’s got the hiccups.”

Took my car into
Mr. Fix-em-up.
“Is it bad?” I asked.
“She’s just a pup.”

His retort: “Aw shucks.
Your baby’s got the hiccups.”

My dog got sick.
I wasn’t sure why.
Rushed her to the vet.
He looked me in the eye

and said, “Aw shucks.
This baby’s got the hiccups.”

Bought myself a house.
It was big and green.
Soon there was a leak.
It was unforeseen.

Just another “Aw shucks.
My baby’s got the hiccups.”

My boss called me in
And he let me know
Things were going bad
And I had to go.

He said, “Aw shucks.
The company’s got the hiccups.”

At the Pearly Gates
I stood in line.
Was no place for me.
Just a maybe next time.

‘Cause “Aw shucks.
Heaven’s got the hiccups.

Uncle Bardie’s Movie Spotlight: After the Sixty Minutes War

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Movie is “Mortal Engines” (2018):

“Mortal Engines” is not the greatest movie that ever was. That’s the movie whose name we will not speak. But I’m sure that you know the one I’m talking about. The one that makes grown men cry.

I’ll get around to it eventually but not in the movie theaters. I’m waiting for the DVD to show up on Netflix.

If you’re like me and looking for a good two hours of entertainment, “Mortal Engines” might just be your thang. Sure, the title ain’t sexy, but don’t let that hold you back. And the trailer didn’t do much for me either. So my expectations were low to begin with.

Now there isn’t a lot of backstory. But I didn’t need a lot of backstory. I’m given just enough to throw me into the middle of the action and meet the heroine. And I got to tell you this heroine has guts.

“Mortal Engines” plunges the viewer into a steampunk world. It begins many years after the “Sixty Minute War”. Cities are on wheels, rolling around the countryside, chumping up smaller cities and towns. And the biggest, baddest chomper of them all is London. Guess that the Brits will never give up on the Empire on which the sun never set.

Hugo Weaving of Lord of the Rings fame may be the deputy mayor of London but he’s the villain. And Hester the heroine has good reason to stick a knife in his gut. In the opening scene, her town gets the old chomperoo. And before you can say “stempunk” backwards she’s doing her thang. The villain survives. Only because a historian stops her.

Hugo goes after her and throws her down a large dumpster, then he tosses the historian after her. And it is a fun ride after that.

One of the complaints in many of the reviews has been: we’ve seen this story before. Sure. We all recognize the story. But we recognized the Star Wars story. It was the Hero’s Journey. It’s like I’ve been told. There are only two original stories. Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella.

Will I see this one again? Sure will. I wouldn’t recommend it if I wouldn’t see it again.

Thursday’s Music Spot: How Sweet the Moonlight Sleeps

Mostly Shakespeare doesn’t work on film for me. I only have a short list of Shakespeare plays on film I have thoroughly enjoyed. There’s two Hamlets, Lawrence Olivier’s and Franco Zeffirelli’s, as well as Zeffierelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The comedies, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Kevin Kline, and Trevor Nunn’s “Twelfth Night”. And the BBC productions of the seven plays of the War of the Roses: Richard II; Henry IV, V, and VI; and Richard III.

I think part of the problem most directors have when approaching Shakespeare is they simply don’t understand the medium of film. They want to give us the play, and nothing but the play.

But I have to say that director Michael Radford got his film of “The Merchant of Venice” right and gave me my all-time favorite Shakespeare. From the set designs to the actors to the music by Jocelyn Pook, he takes me to a time and place that Shakespeare would absolutely have loved.

In Act 5 Scene 1, Jocelyn Pook gives us this lovely piece of music, How sweet the moonlight sleeps.The voice is that of Andreas Scholl, a German countertenor, specializing in Baroque music. Enjoy.