Categories
Music Politics

Paul Simon & Politics

2017-03-14 17.55.22I am a Paul Simon fan. Big-time. I’m not sure it’s reciprocated.

It went like this.

It was the late 80s. It was New York. And I had just moved into a beautiful building on Central Park West.

I was heading up the elevator with my brilliant five-year-old daughter. (If I were allowed to write about her, I would tell you just how brilliant she is.) The doors opened, and he got on.

Said 5yo started to stare – in that way you know is trouble. He was wearing a baseball cap. She peered under it and asked in all sincerity: “Are you a man?” He responded with both a glare and a “Why?” She answered openly, as only smart five-year-olds do: “Well you’re very short, so I’m not sure.”

You don’t need to worry. I, the mother of the brilliant 5yo, pulled it out: “We’re your new neighbors, and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ was my high school graduation class song, and I think you are most talented songwriter of my generation alongside Barry Manilow of course.”

Needless to say, there was no reply and I never ran into him again, although I’m told he still lives there.

Paul is one serious guy, and, as a result, he doesn’t always interview well. But his interview with David Axelrod, who speaks way too slowly and thinks too methodically to be a great interviewer, is worth the listen. They had me at hello.

At 54:35, David asks him about politics, and Paul discusses a television special he did back in the day, which was being sponsored by AT&T. It was the only one he ever did. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was played behind footage from the funerals of Martin Luther King, Jr., President Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy.

“They told us we had to change that. We said, ‘Why’? And they said, ‘It’s not fair’. And, we said, ‘What’s not fair?’ And they said, ‘Well, they’re all Democrats.’ And we said, ‘Really? We think of them as all assassinated people.’”

I can’t get it out of my head. I really can’t, because it is such a brilliant example of how we have lost sight of everything that is important in our country today. Instead of asking ourselves if what is in front of us is right for the country, ourselves, and our children’s future, we just see who is placing it in front of us, and that’s the end of that.

In the interview, Paul goes on to talk about his classmate Andrew Goodman, who was killed in Mississippi working for Civil Rights. He talks about its effect on him.

Listen to his interview. You can’t spend a stronger hour.

God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson…

Going to the candidates’ debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at it you lose

He was a prophet projecting then what is still true today. Thanks, Paul. Sorry about the elevator.

Postscript: I received this in an email after this posted, and I wanted to share it.  Good Sunday morning. After reading the latest Freesia Lane, I have to share a story with you. I had a very dear friend at a boys’ school. He got in a fight with his father so went and joined the army at 17. His name was PD. His older brother and I were in the guitar group at our church. P got sent to Vietnam. I received regular letters from him – we were quite close. One Saturday morning, sun shining, beautiful summer Michigan day I received a letter. Pat was going out on a mission so couldn’t write for a while. In that letter, he asked us to learn the song Bridge Over Troubled Water and dedicate it in our hearts for the troops when we played it at mass. An hour later, his brother David came to the door to tell me Pat was MIA. I said impossible because I had just received a letter. It was the last one he wrote. Six weeks later, his body was recovered. We sang Bridge Over Troubled Water at his funeral. Of note, in all my tender 17 years, I had never seen my father take Holy Communion, he did at P’s funeral. I go to the Vietnam Memorial each time I am in DC for P. He died on July 20, 1970. My father died July 20, 2009.

Categories
Government Music Politics

My Back Pages, Politics, & Bob Dylan

imagesMy country is falling apart. Hatred seeps in from all corners. And, today Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature. And hope springs eternal again. Or at least that is my hope.

Watch these greats; George Harrison, Dylan, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton and more, celebrate the music of one of Dylan’s best. Who knew the words from that tumultuous time would resonate so loudly now?  And let’s hope, no even I can pray, that we can get through this moment in our country’s time with scars that will heal over time.

Congratulations Bob Dylan. Americans don’t often win the Nobel Prize for Literature. You make us proud.

My Back Pages
by Bob Dylan
Crimson flames tied through my ears, rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads using ideas as my maps.
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I, “proud ‘neath heated brow.”
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth, “rip down all hate, ” I screamed.
Lies that life is black and white spoke from my skull, I dreamed.
Romantic facts of musketeers foundationed deep, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

Girls’ faces formed the forward path from phony jealousy,
To memorizing politics of ancient history.
Flung down by corpse evangelists, unthought of, though somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.

A self-ordained professor’s tongue too serious to fool.
Spouted out that liberty is just equality in school.
“Equality, ” I spoke the word as if a wedding vow.
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach.
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy in the instant that I preach.
My existence led by confusion boats, mutiny from stern to bow.
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect.
Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect.
Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now.

 

Categories
Music

Jimmy Fallon & Billy Joel

imgresWhen we look at what my generation (I’m 61 and proud of it) and what we are passing on to the next generation, I think we can all agree we haven’t exactly excelled at improving the landscape of American lives. We brought you fast food. Ridiculous politicians. Global warming. Oh my, need I go on? I do often wake up in the night and wonder why I didn’t protest more. March on Washington against fast food instead of support for Anita Hill. Not that she didn’t deserve my attention, but the damage done by fast food far outweighs the damage done by a Supreme Court Justice who hasn’t spoken in the Supreme Court procedings in ten years. You remember Clarence Thomas. He had issues with coke cans. Enough.

I’ve been watching Jimmy Fallon of late. I think he’s good. Some great work, but I think he water skis with guests, never going deep enough to get the deep sea diving remarks that change the way I think, or become life-time memorable. He also wakes me up rather than puts me to sleep. ADD boy for sure. Very likable. More likable than any other late night host. Speaks like this paragraph. In phrases. He’s not going to make any guest uncomfortable, and he’s one of the most half full kind of people in show business. I can’t help but wonder if it will last the test of time. Will his schtick be as compelling five years from now, or to follow Johnny Carson, twenty-five years from now?

Last night Jimmy did something with my generation’s Billy Joel that made me realize what my generation can  take pride in leaving behind. Our music. So much of it that I can’t name them all. Billy Joel. James Taylor. Carly Simon. The Stones. The Beatles. Seriously, I could take up another thousand words.

Watch Billy through this performance. His hands. His shoulders. His smile. His love of the music. His sheer coolness. Watch his head as he listens to Jimmy. Mistake Christy. Big mistake. Then watch them do their thing together. Here is it again.  And, if you are from my age group, dance a little to the tune, take pride in him and if you are not over fifty, take a moment to thank your parents for making you listen to our music. It’s the best of us.

Categories
History Movies & TV Music News Politics

Remembering…Those Who Left in 2012

There were a lot of people who made up the wallpaper of my life who died in 2012. I took some time over the past few days celebrating their lives (a year-end tradition of mine) and reliving some of what they brought to me. Thought I’d share.

Farewell Andy Williams. I listened to your Moon River yesterday and was brought back to Susan Sparrow’s family, and our trek north to their house on the lake, where we begged her fabulous parents to play it over and over again on the 8 track tape player they had in their car. You ‘ole dream maker, you, it was a great time, and I thank you.

Nora Ephron, you told the stories of my girlfriends and my life in ways that meant we could laugh about our quirks, cry about our sorrows, and know that the best of us is always underneath the worst of us. I watched When Harry Met Sally and my favorite scene is still the scene when she orders – her way, which of course, is my way.

Favorite line in the movie?

“Harry: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You’re the worst kind. You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.” 

Andy Griffith. Kind, kind Andy, who calmed the waters for sleep when I was a kid, who made you think that Mayberry was a real place where everyone took care of each other, a place far from where I lived, but still a place for some great kid like Opie. I was glad Andy was always Andy and didn’t go on to play other roles that would diminish his presence as one of those men you could hope to find for your life sometime.

Whitney Houston. The Bodyguard. One of my very favorite movies seen during a blizzard with the fabulous Meg Donnelly. The movie is filled with songs that defined the best and worst love affair of my life. Whitney’s I Will Always Love You brings back slamming doors and softly understood truths that made divorce recoverable, and a great love something to leave behind with grace. Ok, truth is, I wasn’t always graceful while doing it, but in the end, I am happy with who I became.

Neil Armstrong. You will never die. You will always be on the moon that night, and I am so proud to have been there when you did it. I blogged about the experience, and stand by it being one of the great American moments of my life. Rest in peace, and thanks again.

Dick Clark. Saturday mornings. I remember one Saturday my father had my sisters and I dancing along with them and I twisted with a fierceness that would have made The Gladiator proud. Never saw Dick dance?

Maurice Sendak, the writer of Where the Wild Things Are. Where are those wild things anyway? One of the great books of all time, and I will have to send it to a few of my nieces/nephews this year in his honor.

Mrs. Landingham died this year. She also died on my favorite T.V. series of all time, The West WingShe has a real name, Kathryn Joosten. There is a great scene in The West Wing, when she is describing her sons who died in Vietnam. Take a look if you have never seen it.

Can’t forget Davy Jones from The Monkeys. Daydream Believer? Wore the needle down on my record player. Cheer up sleepy Jean. Oh what can it mean to a daydreamer and a homecoming queen? What the hell does that mean? No matter.

Sally Ride was the first women who flew is space. She was great. She wasn’t scared heading up there, or didn’t seem to be, and she made many, many young girls reach for the stars in every way possible. I can’t help but wonder if I had been a young girl when she went up, if it would have made me believe in things possible that didn’t seem to be when I was a girl. Fly Sally Fly!

Then there were twenty-six souls who perished in Connecticut at the hand of a madman, whose name doesn’t deserve to be printed here. I took a moment to think of them all, and I said each name out loud. Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski,  Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison N. Wyatt. Rest in peace, each of you.

So ends my trip down Memory Lane this year, and my homage to some pretty fabulous people, who brought great joy and richness to our lives.

Categories
Music

Turning Sixty. Marking My Generation with Our Greatest Hits.

Ten years ago, when I was turning fifty, I sent out an e-mail to friends and family that took on a life of its own. I asked them to submit their fifty greatest song hits choices from the last fifty years, and I made a three-disc CD set for all of them of the Last Fifty Years Greatest Hits. Okay, I got to choose who was in it in the end, and the process wasn’t democratic at all, but it was fun for everyone. And what happened next was my first viral experience. People talked about it at work and with their friends, and the next thing I knew, I was getting e-mails from strangers with their choices. More than 300 people weighed in. “Stairway To Heaven” was far and away the favorite for the greatest song, and while I felt disloyal to my love, Barry Manilow, I chose “A Whiter Shade of Pale” as the number one song from the half a century. (It was after all my birthday, my CDs, and my choice in the end.)

Well, friends and larger cyber family, sixty is six short months away. Yep, short months. And it’s time again to regroup and come up with the sixty greatest hits. There will be sixty greatest hits chosen, and yes, you can participate. I will not be spending hundreds of dollars sending it out on a CD snail mail, but I will post it for the world to see.

Get your thinking caps on. Best Songs. Every choice must be from my generational timeline. (By the way, I still hate the Facebook Timeline). Any song sung since 1953 is fair game. Dock of the Bay. Oh yea. Whiter Shade of Pale? I’ve grown a lot in the last ten years. I swear I have. For example, I heard an interview with Jimmy Webb where he discussed MacArthur Park and Wichita Lineman, and I realize leaving him off the roster was a mistake. So, be sure and put the reasons why you think the song deserves the kudos. Another rule. One song per writer. While you may think the Beatles deserves to be in there six times, I do not. One song per writer.

You can list your ideas and choices here, or go to the Fan Page I have set up to have a dialogue about it. And while I encourage the male perspective, please know (yes, this means you Larry Kirven), that I will not be bullied into submission. Get it? Submission? Tee hee.

Deadline is February 2, 2013. Let the Sixty Years of Celebrating the Best Of Us begin.

Categories
Music Theater

Phantom of the Opera: A Love Story

Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation.
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination.
Silently the senses abandon their defences…

Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendour.
Grasp it, sense it tremulous and tender.
Turn your face away from the garish light of day,
Turn your face away from cold, unfeeling light –
and listen to the music of the night…

And I was hooked. It was 1986, twenty-five years ago, and I was in London, right after having given birth to the fabulous Sarah, and from the moment the chandelier dropped right over my head, I started watching my inner demons meeting my loving self. The Phantom of the Opera was not just the greatest musical I’d ever seen live, but the story—that tormented but loving man struggling with his best and worst selves—was about the best and worst parts of us all. I loved him.

25th Anniversary of Phantom of the Opera

I bought the music. I sang the words. I sang them in the dead of night when I was feeling dark, while the rest of the world slumbered. I saw the play again on Broadway. And then I introduced Sarah to it when she was six, and then I saw it again with one of my best friend’s children, Sabrina, and … and … and…

Anyone who came to visit went to Phantom, and I usually went with them. In other words, I have no idea how many times I’ve seen it.

There are a few things, however, that I must confess. I find Andrew Lloyd Weber to be very strange. He’s a cross between Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory and some kind of weirdo who has wet lips and darting eyes because he is hiding something. But as with all amazing storytellers, you sense that he has good and bad inside him, and he lets it out through his music… in the dark of night. Sharing it with you personally would be too dangerous, so he shares it with millions in the dark so he doesn’t have to look you in the eye. I think some other people are like that too. Martha Stewart, for example, whom I have met. I find her socially awkward, and I think she fed culinary masterpieces to her guests in stunning settings as a way of saying, “Please like me because I don’t know how to talk to you.”

Then there is my interpretation of the love story. When this perfect play came out, the talk among the dinner party circuit in New York and London always seemed to center around the love between Christine and the Phantom, or Christine and Raoul. And I certainly knew that Christine’s love for the Phantom was the love gift Weber gave us. But I took it a step further in my own mind. It seemed to me that the story was also about learning to love yourself, even when your thoughts or deeds might not be so very loveable. Christine loved him; she saw that his cruelty was the result of wrongs done to him, and I hope that when he disappeared into that chair at the end, he had learned to love himself. She had shown him that he was loveable and I hope his self-loathing, which was as painful for me to watch as his demise, disappeared with him.

But back to the love.

We never said
our love
was evergreen,
or as unchanging
as the sea –

but if
you can still
remember
stop and think
of me . . .

Think of all the things
we’ve shared and seen –
don’t think about the things
which might have been . . .

Think of me,
think of me waking,
silent and
resigned.

Imagine me,
trying too hard
to put you
from my mind.

Recall those days
look back
on all those times,
think of the things
we’ll never do –

There will
never be
a day, when
I won’t think
of you . .

So, thus ends the twenty-five year reign of Phantom of the Opera, and all it’s meant to the more than 200,000,000 people who saw it. Think about the billions of times someone has played Think of Me or The Music of the Night and felt just a little bit better. I know that hundreds of years from now, they will still play the music of the night, or watch the PBS production I watched last night, and they will know that a great man understood love, the dark side, trust, and melody. Great, great melody.

Categories
Movies & TV Music

Grammys, Academy Awards, and Musings

I have not been a modern music aficionado since Barry Manilow’s day, when I could have told you all the top ten songs in a given year. I didn’t watch the Grammys until a few years ago, when I started tuning in to watch the oldies-but-goldies they brought on to teach the one-hit wonders what longevity is all about. Now I’m hooked. At the same time, I am now a movie aficionado in a big way. I see a number of movies a week and review them on my other blog, Movie and Popcorn No Butter (which, thanks to you all, is doing very well).

As I watched the Grammy performances this past weekend, I had a few epiphanies. First, it takes a lot to perform at the Grammys. Beyoncé and Tina Turner worked on their performances before they went on stage. They honed their dance moves. They synchronized their harmonies and they practiced with the other people on stage who backed them up. Second, they spent a lot less time with their thank-yous (and their self accolades disguised as thank-yous) than actors do at the Academy Awards, and the show was all the better for it.

Then I thought about the Academy Awards, and how women prepare for them by deciding what to wear and whom to accept freebies from in exchange for hawking their wares. Buccellati Jewelers was once a marketing client of mine, and I can tell you that getting an Oscar nominee to wear a piece of jewellery is the Holy Grail. And I mean holy. So then they get up there and do their rehearsed and practiced thank-you speeches—some of which are ostensibly off the cuff, but really aren’t.

“Oh,” I said to myself, “no wonder you like the Grammys better these days.” And I thought of a fabulous idea: instead of ninety seconds of thank-yous during the Academy Awards, how about we ask the actors to get up and do a monologue chosen through a Facebook Contest? Seriously, let them perform the way the musicians do. Let them practice for their moment in front of a few hundred million fans, and let them perform the ‘craft’ they constantly refer to with such reverence in their thank-yous.

In other words, how about they sing for the Oscar Statue’s supper? Get up there and wow me with something from a past Academy-Award winning movie. Give me thirty seconds of a rendition of Liza Minnelli’s phone booth monologue, which was the finest moment in her career. Or how about Gregory Peck’s plea to all of humanity in To Kill a Mockingbird? Give me something that entertains me during the awards, instead of something that entertains you. Strut your stuff with the same pride and earnest effort that your musician counterparts do. Sir Paul McCartney and Bruce and the rest of the gang who sweated up there Sunday night worked hard for their money.

So increase your ratings—and my admiration—and show me; show all the world why you deserve the golden statue that seems to mean so very much to you.

Categories
Music Women

Whitney

Just three hours after Whitney Houston was pronounced dead, her ex-husband, Bobby Brown, took the stage in Tennessee, or somewhere south of reason. Thousands of fans, mostly women, stood and gave a thunderous reception to the man who had opened the door to the self-destruction that marked the last fifteen years of Whitney’s life and turned her voice, a gift from God, into the ravaged voice of a drug addict.

Bobby took the stage and said, “I would like to say, I love you Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage.” Not so hard that he didn’t do it. And, don’t get me going on the fact that he didn’t even fly out to LA until more than 24 hours after the news, leaving their only child at the hospital from stress by herself.

I don’t wish to be one of those bitter bra-burners who blame it all on the guy. I need my bra, and my fifty-nine years of life have taught me that we are each responsible for our own life. Whitney Houston doesn’t get a pass because she could sing better than any other woman from the last forty years. That doesn’t excuse the fact that there are already signs her daughter may have suffered deeply from the sins of the mother … and the father. She doesn’t get a pass because her music from The Bodyguard got me through the great sadness of realizing the love of my life was not that at all. Nor does she get a pass just because she died so young.

But here is what she does get. She gets my respect for her ownership of both sides of herself. “I am my own best friend, and I am my own worst enemy,” she said in an interview a while ago. I have that quotation on my vision board. I believe that she never hid her failings or her genius from herself. She owned her talent. She owned her failures. Over and over again, she asked the public to look away and leave her to her own devices … or should I say, vices? Most of us have that privacy. We don’t have to read in the newspapers about how badly we messed up, and I’d venture to guess that makes it just a little easier for us to leave our messes behind. So I respect her; not just her music, but her. Owning your own results is the name of the living game, and she did it very well.

So let the bells of sadness toll for those of us who used her voice to fill the voids in our souls. Let her family learn from her mistakes over the coming weeks, and celebrate her successes and her immense talent. Let her music soar loud enough to be heard by everyone, and let’s all forgive her trespasses. Oh, and for God’s sake, can women stop standing and applauding for men who don’t treat us well?

Categories
Books History Movies & TV Music Politics

Best of 2011

It’s Best of time again, and here are my best of choices from this past year.

Best Song

No question on this one. Someone Like You by Adele.

With lyrics like regrets and mistakes, they are memories made, there is nothing more to be said. The only issue with this song is that they are playing it too much. They did that to Celine Dion’s song for Titanic and I wanted to shoot myself every time it came on the radio.

Chris Martin (the fabulous Gwenyth’s husband), said in a 60 Minutes interview that he is very competitive and strives to do new things always. He said he wished he’d written Someone Like You, and when he heard it for the first time, he stayed up all night trying to write something amazing.

Best Movie

I think I’m going with Win Win this year. Maybe I’m choosing it because no one else has picked it, and I think it’s being overlooked when it should be celebrated.

Opening dialog between mother and child.

“Mommy, where is Daddy?”

“He’s running.”

“From what?”

And, I love the vulnerability of the good and bad in our main character. I have been cheated by someone close, and I think this movie helped me to see that desperate people do desperate things that are not within the realm of who they are inside themselves. Great flick.

Best Quote

I am going to give you a few. The first is not substantial enough to carry the category, but I loved it.

“Rick Perry is a candidate for Republicans who thought that George W. Bush was too cerebral.”

Paul Begala, Democratic strategist, on Rick Perry’s potential entry into the 2012 presidential field.

“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” 

The last words of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs were reported by his sister Mona Simpson in her eulogy.

And, last but not least,

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.”

2012 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren

Best TV Show

I know, I know. I can hear you now. “Christine, you are showing your shallow side,” but I loved Pan Am. I fear they aren’t renewing it, but I loved it. I loved the strong women bucking systems that we girls (I was under ten years old back then) didn’t even know existed. I love the way they didn’t let the chauvinists enter their own psyche. I loved the glamour. Cuba. Italy. Come on. It was fabulous, and if you didn’t watch it, find it and watch it now.

Best Tweet

I’m so tired of Oprah already. The woman truly thinks she’s God! Today she’s at Barnes & Noble signing copies of the Bible.

Joan Rivers

Best Book

Catherine the Great, by Robert Massie. It’s a tantalizing portrait and I read it well into the night a number of nights in a row to not miss a word. Read it. I wish they would use books like this in history classes instead of teaching history in a war to war series. Note to history teachers.

That’s it for this year’s best of.

Happy New Year Freesia Lane readers. I hope all good things come your way this year.

 

Categories
Art Music

Lady Gaga

It’s hard for a fifty-eight year old woman (that would be me) to sing the praises of a woman who renamed herself Lady Gaga and wraps herself in raw meat to go onstage and talk about being authentic. Before I got to know her music, I had a hard time considering the wearing of red meat on your body to be authentic. But I thought it might be a generational thing. I, like so many of my peers, thought of the Gaga as a 2011 remake of Madonna, who was more show than talent. I was wrong.

Lady Gaga was Stephanie someone-or-other, and she grew up in New York City at the same time as my fabulous daughter, Sarah. She went to the Convent of the Sacred Heart, the very name of which tells you that they didn’t celebrate her desire to wear only a few token pieces of clothing on any given day and otherwise go around pretty much naked. But her parents always told her she was fab just the way she was. And good for them, because she is. I can’t help wondering: if I had told Sarah it was ok to go to school in her underpants, would she have forgone law school in order to get onstage at Madison Square Garden and sing about following your dreams? Sorry Sarah, if I inhibited your sense of self. You do the best you can, and when you know better, you do better (thank you Maya Angelou).

My first inkling of Ga Ga’s brilliance and talent came via 60 Minutes. She was smart, articulate, and sincere (although who really knows; one of my colleagues once worked with Jeffrey Dahmer and he thought he was a nice guy). Most of all, her music was amazing. I didn’t realize she could sing. Her music is her own, and her lyrics actually speak to me.

 

My mama told me when I was young

We are all born superstars

She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir

There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are
She said, ’cause He made you perfect, babe
So hold your head up, girl and you’ll go far
Listen to me when I say

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way, born this way.

She puts it to fabulous music, and while her performance attire is outrageous, I now find myself looking forward to seeing what she is going to wear next. It is a total package.

I see kids crying during her performances, not because they are worshiping her, but because she is telling them they are ok the way they are in that moment. I wish that Paul Simon had told me I was ok the way I was instead of telling me that he would be my Bridge Over Troubled Water, or to go look for America. I don’t really mean that, Simon was my Bridge Over Troubled Water when I cried my seventeen-year-old self to sleep to that song over and over again over Bob Reid, whom I had rejected for some silly reason that made no sense to me immediately after I did it. But I never felt like he knew me, or was supposed to know me personally.

I don’t know if Lady Ga Ga is an anomoly, or if today’s social media platforms allow performers (she says she is a performance artist) to speak more personally to their fans. But whatever it is, take a look at her, peers of mine. It is well worth the trip.