Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Like a rollin' stone

Bought this 2-CD compilation of the Rolling Stones’ hits. Been my only companion these past nights. Thinking of a way to describe Mick Jagger’s unique voice, came up with the image of a madman being strangled to death. It’s simply hypnotic. Coupled with the raw, bestial rhythms of the band, there’s simply nothing else like it to accompany you on those long, solitary journeys to work. The eerie psychedelic track 2000 Light Years From Home could actually provides an excellent background music to this existential experience: Freezing red deserts turn to dark/ Energy here in every part/ ... It’s so very lonely, you’re two thousand light years from home. And the search for reasons goes on.

Finally had the chance to listen to the clean, high fidelity version of Sympathy For The Devil which served as the closing track to that Denzel Washington-starrer film about a murderous demonic spirit. Still a totally different experience from listening to the live, scratchy recordings of this song from my mp3 collection. The song is said to echo the plot of a Mikhail Bulgakov novel, The Master and Margarita, about a visit of the Devil to the former Soviet Union. Recalled sending the song's lyrics one afternoon to an irritating anonymous texter. Probably didn’t understand my intentions: she texted back to say it was “cute” and to ask if I was interested to be her textmate.

And there’s that operatic opening to You Can’t Always Get What You Want featuring the London Bach Choir. The song is supposed to be the Stones’ Hey Jude. The first time I heard the Stones' version, I had visions of dying prematurely and of angels humming the tune. Then I’m suddenly reincarnated as a blues-rock star in another dimension. My daughters in the audience, I get to perform covers of Honky Tonk Women, Let It Bleed, Paint It Black and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. And, as an encore, Wild Horses – a recent discovery from the Stones’ discography, and now one of my favorites. Said to have been started by Stones' guitarist Keith Richards who regretted leaving his newborn son, Marlon, to join the band's tour.

Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I can't let you slide through my hands

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I don't have much time
Faith has been broken, tears must be cried
Let's do some living after we die

Wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild horses we'll ride them some day

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