Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wonderful World

What A Wonderful World
I see trees of green, 
red roses too. 
I see them bloom, 
for me and you. 
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world. 

I see skies of blue, 
And clouds of white. 
The bright blessed day, 
The dark sacred night. 
And I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

The colors of the rainbow, 
So pretty in the sky. 
Are also on the faces, 
Of people going by, 
I see friends shaking hands. 
Saying, "How do you do?" 
They're really saying, 
"I love you". 

I hear babies cry, 
I watch them grow, 
They'll learn much more, 
Than I'll ever know. 
And I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Yes, I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Oh yeah.

Sometimes I get songs stuck in my head, and then I look up the lyrics and listen to it a lot. I think I heard this son in that movie about a Vietnam DJ, with Robin Williams in it, Good Morning, Vietnam.

My years later, I was looking for something positive, and I thought of it, so I digested the lyrics and listened to a number of times.

My first thought is that the focus on color, in the context of America, makes it a song about race and racism. Seeing the rainbow in faces makes it explicit.

I love "how do you do?" being turned into "I love you." Now when people ask me that I feel like it's really sweet. Positive attribution might be a distortion, but it's a useful distortion. 

Then in the end he talks about children, and implicitly the hope of the future. They will learn things that he never knows. It's implied that through the improvements and evolution of humans, we shall learn to appreciate all the different colors, a Star Trek kind of world where race no longer something that exists.

I love the gravelly voice. Armstrong was a big cannabis smoker. I read a biography of him, because it's the first great titan of jazz. Ken Burn's documentary on jazz seemed to almost focus too much on him. And yet his is perhaps the greatest figure in jazz because he is among the first. Parker, Coltrane, Davis, Mingus, Monk don't exist without Armstrong. I haven't been to his museum in Queens. I think I need to try that museum out.

In other spiritual jazz greats, A Love Supreme, by John Coltrane is also song that oozes with spirituality. I got a stereo for my birthday and I got out my CD collection and have been listening to a lot of music, and the radio. I was listening to some Bach the other day in the car, and it was very powerful, felt spiritual. 

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