Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tupelo Honey


I've been listening to more Van Morrison than is good for me lately and while the album Astral Weeks was reportedly sung entirely by Van Morrison and an acoustic guitar and then everything else was added later by stoned genius jazz musicians, it doesn't really work as a solo acoustic set. Sure, Van Morrison could make it work but Oggy has his limitations.

Tupelo Honey is one of those songs that I've heard quite a bit and never really paid attention to it. But now that I read the words it makes no sense.

The chorus is a love poem to an angel. The first verse is kind of a vague reference to tea, which needs honey, and the narrator wants no part of it. The third verse is a liberty march anthem from Dylan's journal which is unrelated to the song but had meaning for the time it was recorded in 1971. And that's the whole song. It escalates and builds in interest but that's all Van Morrison's doing. The lyrics don't go any further. It's like he wrote a verse and a chorus that sort of made sense, then he took another verse from another song and figured it would do more harm than good to rewrite so he recorded what he had and no one really noticed. But the song itself, analyzed, sucks balls. Even the chord progression....[ Bb, dmi...Eb...Bb.  // Bb....dmi....Eb....F] is monotonous. So it's perfect for Oggy's master play list. Someone asks for something by Van Morrison, "Maybe Brown Eyed Girl"....Oggy winces...."How about Tupelo Honey?" and everyone is happy.

This is dedicated to Cow Milk Blues who texted me from an ambulance on his way to the ICU as he'd had a heart attack today. I really meant to record more songs with him, including this one, but it never came together. I feel that Cow Milk might be better off checking out entirely, making room, as Updike would say, for the fresh meat. He's worn out and maybe the next dimension will be better. He's done with this life. From now on he'll only be repeating his songs.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.