Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Starry Starry Night

"Vincent"
by Don McLean
from American Pie (1971)

Starry
starry night
paint your palette blue and gray
look out on a summer's day
with eyes that know the
darkness in my soul.

Shadows on the hills
sketch the trees and the daffodils
catch the breeze and the winter chills
in colors on the snowy linen land.



Now I understand what you tried to say to me
and how you suffered for your sanity
and how you tried to set them free
they would not listen
they did not know how
perhaps they'll listen now.


Starry
starry night
flaming flowers that brightly blaze
swirling clouds in violet haze
reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue.

Colors changing hue
morning fields of amber grain
weathered faces lined in pain
are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.


Now I understand what you tried to say to me
and how you suffered for your sanity
and how you tried to set them free
they would not listen
they did not know how
perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you
but still your love was true
and when no hope was left inside
on that starry starry night
you took your life
as lovers often do.

But I could have told you
Vincent
this world was never
meant for one
as beautiful as you.

Starry
starry night
portraits hung in empty halls
frameless heads on nameless walls
with eyes that watch the world
and can't forget.

Like the strangers that you've met
the ragged men in ragged clothes
the silver thorn of bloody rose
lie crushed and broken
on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
and how you suffered for your sanity
and how you tried to set them free
they would not listen
they're not listening still
perhaps they never will ...

Arguably one of the most beautiful songs ever written, this portrait of and homage to Vincent van Gogh is my favorite track from the FIRST vinyl LP I ever owned (at the blissfully young age of 10!), Don McLean's American Pie.  I LOVED this album and I always will.  My brother will deny it, but one of my most vivid memories from childhood was when he SAT on this LP and broke it ... sorry, Chris, the jig's up, time to come clean.  I'm over it now and I've forgiven my little brother, but what an album it was (that's back when we actually CALLED them albums, remember that?).  "American Pie," "The Grave," the haunting "Babylon," "Winterwood," "Empty Chairs," and the delightful "Everybody Loves Me, Baby (... what's the matter with you?)"

Those were the days ... and thanks for indulging me in this bit of nostalgia.

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