Sunday, March 19, 2017

Arlene Corwin writes

Showing And Sharing #1 

Why do I perform, I ask you? 
Kent and I, we talked it through. 
“Why do we do what we do?” 
Musicians both, asking about sloth and troth. 
“Why not stay at home, just play at home?” 
The need to play for them, where does it come from? 
Why not warble in a corner, 
Trade Jack Warner for Jack Horner? 
The path, pith, seed of non-paralysis: analysis 
Lies in the need to share each bar, 
Ensnare them in the repertoire: 
Inspired and fired solo. 
Played for those who know; where share becomes the show. 
One likes to give and get the love. 
Sharing the stuff you’re made of.  
The gig just one night long, 
Player’s voice imbibing song. 
To show and share’s a form of care,  
A wearing off of vanity and learning of humility:  
The real way to get somewhere. 
Why seek the gigs, and time on time risk disapproval? 
Bumpy lyrics, chords that stump, 
Mental blocks that shock a heart that gasps to pump; 
Sometimes on your frumpy rump 
When you’re a grumpy, dumpy lump; 
Handling cash, the boss 
Without the foolishness of loss; 
Collecting strength  
To stand with dignity against the length 
Of lustful arms and eyes, 
Seductive men and women: lies. 
In enigmatic mirrored way,
           You need to hear the stuff you play
Through others’ ears and others’ eyes. 
It’s the response that makes you wise,  
The music genie rise. 
I’m giving up the claim to fame, 
(Which only means you know my name) 
The thing I can’t give up’s the call, 
Which means, of course, the playing hall. 
Knowing, daring, going, baring, 
Learning, doing, wooing, paring: 
That’s the showing and the sharing.

"Waltz for Debby" (Bill Evans/Gene Lees) Concert in Partille Kulturum 26 May 2010 "Puzzle of life"

Showing And Sharing #2

Why do I perform, I ask you. Kent and I, we talked it through.
“Why do we do what we do?”
We asked ourselves, musicians both, questions about sloth and troth;
“Why not stay, just play at home?” The need to play, where does it come from?
Why not warble in a corner, trade Jack Warner for Jack Horner?
The path, pith and analysis, the seed of non-paralysis lies in the need to share each bar,
Ensnare them in the repertoire,
Acquired, inspired and fired solo. One would play for those that ‘know’.
That’s where the share gets mixed with show.
The very stuff you’re made of craves a giving, getting love.
The gig may be just one night long; player’s voice imbibes the song.
It’s the reason birds have beaks, reason actors paint their cheeks,
Reason nuns are not called freaks and climbers climb outrageous peaks:
To show and share’s a form of care; discovery of who you are;
A wearing off of vanity, a learning of humility;
The royal way to get somewhere.
Why beg for gigs, risk disapproval?
Bumpy lyrics, chords that stump, blocks that shock the heart that pumps;
Times when your old frumpy rump is more a grumpy, dumpy lump.
Then there’s cash, the boss without indignities and loss;
The gathering of strength to stand with dignity against the length
Of lustful arms and eyes, seductive men and women; lies.
In some obscured and mirrored way, you need to hear the stuff you play
Through others’ ears and others’ eyes.
It is response that makes you wise, the genie of the music rise.
I’m giving up the claim to fame, (which only means you know my name)
The thing I can’t give up’s the call, which means, of course, the playing hall.
Knowing, daring, going, baring, learning, doing, wooing, paring:
That’s the showing and the sharing.



  1. "Waltz for Debby" was written by Bill Evans and Gene Lees and was first recorded on Evans's 1956 album "New Jazz Conceptions." Beppe Wolgers wrote the Swedish lyrics, but the song title is "Monicas Vals;" as a long-time resident of Sweden, Arlene is probably familiar with it.

    Jack Warner (born Jacob Warner in London, Ontario) was the longest-serving of the seminal Hollywood studio moguls. With his older brothers Sam, Harry, and Albert, he formed Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. He began his career in show business singing in vaudeville, but Sam advised, "Get out front where they pay the actors. That's where the money is." Meanwhile, Sam became a projectionist and then operated his own small movie theaters before moving into film distribution in 1907 and, in 1910, film production. In 1918 the brothers hit it big with "My Four Years in Germany" and were able to form their own studio, which struggled until 1923, when "Where the North Begins" featured a German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin, the firm's most important commercial asset until the introduction of sound. In 1925 the brothers reached an agreement with Western Electric to develop a series of talking "shorts" using the newly developed Vitaphone technology; Warner Bros. premiered "The Jazz Singer," the first feature-length talking picture, in 1927; the studio's $500,000 investment reaped $3 million in profits and established the company as a major studio. The other big studios controlled most of the nation's movie theaters and tried to block the growth of "talkies," but Warner responded by producing a dozen of them in 1928. Sam died just before "The Jazz Singer" was released, and Jack took complete control of operations. As television began to gain ground after World War II, Warner tried to compete with 3-D films, but entered the new medium in 1954 with a weekly "Warner Bros. Presents" on ABC and then provided a number of popular Westerns. In 1956 he sold the studio's pre-1950 films to Associated Artists Productions, provoking the remaining brothers to sell the company. but Jack secretly organized a syndicate that purchased control of the company. As the largest stockholder, he named himself president. In 1965, with Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," he challenged the authority of the film industry's "Production Code" to pre-censor films. He finally retired as president in 1969 but remained active as an independent producer until the early 1970s and ran some of the company's distributions and exhibition division. He finally died at 96, in 1978.

  2. "Little Jack Horner" is a popular English language nursery rhyme. Its most common modern version is:
    Little Jack Horner
    Sat in the corner,
    Eating a Christmas pie;
    He put in his thumb,
    And pulled out a plum,
    And said "What a good boy am I!"
    It may have originally targeted Thomas Horner, abbot Richard Whiting of Glastonbury's stewart, who was sent to Henry VIII with the deeds to a dozen manors hidden in a huge Christmas pie to influence king Henry VIII not to nationalize Catholic properties in the 1530s; before he reached London, Horner allegedly pilfered the deeds to the manor of Mells in Somerset, which included lead mines in the Mendip Hills. ("Plum" may be a pun on the Latin word for lead, "plumbum.") The oldest literary reference to the nursery rhyme, however, was Henry Carey's satirical ballad "Namby Pamby,"directed against Ambrose Philips' infantle poetry, referred to it in 1725:
    Now he sings of Jackey Horner
    Sitting in the Chimney-Corner
    Eating of a Christmas pye,
    Putting in his thumb, Oh fie!
    Putting in, Oh fie! his Thumb
    Pulling out, Oh strange! a Plum.
    Six years later Henry Fielding lampooned prime minister Robert Walpole in "The Grub Street Opera," which closed with all the characters processing off the stage "to the music of Little Jack Horner." (The melody commonly associated with it did not appear until James William Elliott's 1870 collection "National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs.")

  3. In 1817 Thomas Love Peacock's satirical novel "Melincourt" featured five corrupt figures who used their trades to fleece the public; their song began with a recitative:
    Jack Horner's CHRISTMAS PIE my learned nurse
    Interpreted to mean the public purse.
    From thence a plum he drew. O happy Horner!
    Who would not be ensconced in thy snug corner?
    Then each character contributed a stanza describing the nature of his sharp practice, followd by a chorus:
    And we'll all have a finger, a finger, a finger,
    We'll all have a finger in the CHRISTMAS PIE.
    Jack's reputation for opportunism was finally contested by the British anarcho-punk band Chumbawamba in 1985:
    You see who's over there in the corner?
    Little Jack Horner, sat in a corner...
    I say, I say, I say
    Why'd Jack Horner sit in the corner?
    The story goes it's cos he had a square bum.
    Well I'm telling you, that's not absolutely true
    He was told to sit there by his teacher.
    Jack's crime was this, he said, 'teacher you are wrong, the British army killed a lot of people too. The empire's built on the broken backs and the stolen land of all them blacks, all paid for out of your income tax.'
    She said, 'I won't stand for that. Don't give me your back chat, the headmaster will surely hear of this.'
    She said, 'Don't speak until you're spoken to. I'll tell you what you can and can't do. Now go and sit in that corner 'till I get back.'
    Jack was all alone
    Struggling on his own
    But when the head walked in the children made such a din
    They said, 'Jack get up, you got to get out. Don't let them push you about, you know they'll keep you in that corner 'till you're dead. Jack get out, don't sell out, don't compromise with Christmas pies, you know they'll keep you in that corner 'till you're dead. Keep shouting back, you tell 'em Jack, don't swallow none of their crap, you know they'll keep you in that corner 'till you're dead. Calling Jack Horners everywhere, don't bend to authority which doesn't care, you know they'll keep you in that corner 'till you're dead.'
    Jane got up, she helped jack out, she said, 'Teachers don't mess us about, we won't listen to your dirty lies. It's you who've got your fingers in the pie. People die, you don't question why, we won't study your lies, we won't eat your Christmas pie, we won't eat dead animal pie, we won't eat nukiller pie, we won't eat your pie R squared, and if you really cared, neither would you.'


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