Thursday, July 20, 2006


MOON SONG BY NORAH JONES
A SONG FOR YLA LUNA

There are music lovers and there are song lovers. I think I am one of the latter, a neurotic sub-phylum of the general aficionado. I can play the same song for days, over and over, riding the emotion waves with singular delight or melancholy or distance. On more merciful days, it will be an album repeated again and again. In troubled times, that one song can be both bedding and, I suppose, blessing.

There is a similar compulsion when it comes to the written word, but I think letters draw from a different well of neurosis. What would take Kala a day or a few hours to finish -- the better a book is, the faster she finishes reading it -- I would take days, or weeks. I had passed on to her the haunting celebration of a novel by Nicole Krauss called The History of Love, which had taken me two weeks to finish. For hours, and some times days, I'd munch on its passages, and many pages I'd swirl on my tongue, wanting to prolong the flavors, the textures, the boulder that rolls onto the chest, and never wanting to leave the feast behind by turning the page. Kala brought The History of Love with her on her trip to Hanoi. She opened the book minutes before boarding her Manila plane and managed to finish it, with a healthy amount of sniffles, even before her plane landed. And of course, Kala and I were gushing about the book by the time we found time together at Tung Trang Hotel. I said I couldn't remember any love story so gracefully written and yet with such power and delicacy. Kala, she was just speechless.

A fear I often welcome with such books is that whatever I try to read afterwards may be for some time uniformly bland. Which is often the case. I was reading with the novel of Krauss The Gods of War, the last of Conn Iggulden's gripping Gates of Rome series, and the superb A Feast for Crows, the fourth part of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, and I had to give both books a rest.

It takes a few books and great reluctance to rinse away the sticky clay of a great read, even though the experience of reading through such a book would likely never leave the reader. I think this is where one of the differences lie with songs, or an album or that perfect compilation we always want to put together but which perennially remains incomplete. With a new song, or an old song, sometimes we are hurled right away to different shores or states of mind.

Right now, it is Moon Song for me. It has been for a few days now, but I play it again and again in secret, with those modern listening devices that allow the the day dreaming set, the class leaf-counters, to putter around wherever with the soundtrack of their choosing. The brilliance of Norah Jones -- her phrasing, above all -- radiates throughout this song. Here are the lyrics, for my daughter, Yla Luna.

Thanks again for dropping by.

red



MOON SONG
by Norah Jones

I want to find out where the moon goes
When it leaves the western sky
And night dissolves again 'til morning
Azure turns to gold
I'm gonna sleep with one eye open
I'm gonna keep the shades half drawn
Nearly silent, dressed in shadows
Lines and colors fall
I'm gonna watch her through my window
Just as I watched you before
A smile knows, but just won't tell me
I just watch her go
I just watch her go
Now I learned just where the moon goes
When it leaves the western sky
And night dissolves again 'til morning
The moon is in your eyes
The moon is in your eyes
The moon is in your eyes
The moon is in your eyes


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3 comments:

Dante said...

hello sir red. :)

i love norah jones. i love her first album...

when i'll become a father one day i'd also love for my kids to love reading.

i read about the connection being imputed on your father and the alledged coup in the news, sorry to hear about it. it's really malicious.

The Kamuning Republic said...

Hi Dante. Thanks for dropping by. It's difficult not to be fond of Norah Jones.

Regarding the connection to the coup thing, it's an interesting paradox -- sometimes the more the state attempts to project its power, the weaker it actually is. In the case of RC, it seems that the state is more nervous about what the Blueprint idea represents rather than what they call 'conspirators' which nowadays could be anyone the state wishes to point to. Expect more of the tirades, but mean time -- despite all the viciousness, or maybe as a way of ridiculing the silly attacks, lets have more good music eh?

kalaro said...

hi reddie.

i always thought i was a moozik lover. now i think i am an artist lover. sometimes a song lover when i listen to a single song for days much like you. for me, it has been coldplay's "swallowed in the sea" for several weeks now. byutipul. it's impossible to out-play the song. visit me in greenhills if you've time :)

Swallowed By The Sea
by Coldplay

You cut me down a tree
And brought it back to me
And that's what made me see
Where I was going wrong

You put me on a shelf
And kept me for yourself
I can only blame myself
You can only blame me

And I could write a song
A hundred miles long
Well, that's where I belong
And you belong with me

And I could write it down
or spread it all around
Get lost and then get found
Or swallowed in the sea

You put me on a line
And hung me out to dry
And darling that's when I
Decided to go to sea

You cut me down to size
And opened up my eyes
Made me realize
What I could not see

And I could write a book
The one they'll say that shook
The world, and then it took
It took it back from me

And I could write it down
Or spread it all around
Get lost and then get found
And you'll come back to me
Not swallowed in the sea

Ooh...

And I could write a song
A hundred miles long
Well, that's where I belong
And you belong with me

The streets you're walking on
A thousand houses long
Well, that's where I belong
And you belong with me

Oh what good is it to live
With nothing left to give
Forget but not forgive
Not loving all you see

Are the streets you're walking on
A thousand houses long
Well that's where I belong
And you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea

You belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea
Yeah, you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea