Janis Ian: “At Seventeen” (1975)

En el capítulo de Los Simpsons titulado El misterioso viaje de Homer,  el protagonista, tras ingerir varios chiles alucinógenos (concretamente de Quetzalzatenango en las oscuras selvas de Guatemala) que le da el jefe de policía en el janis_ianConcurso Anual de Chile con Carne de Springfield, tiene un viaje donde, tras ver varios prodigios y a la propia Marge deshacerse como polvo sobre la cúspide de una pirámide maya, un coyote le dice que tiene que buscar su alma gemela. Tras una bronca (otra) con Marge, Homer sale a cumplir el encargo del coyote y cuando, rechazado por todos, se acerca al mar presa de la desesperación, se oye At Seventeen, de Janis Ian.

La inclusión de la canción es evidentemente un chiste, porque Homer puede ser muchas cosas, pero nunca una adolescente más bien feúcha; y funciona en esa escena de manera dual y formidable, si se conoce el tema: nos hace reír enseguida, por la ocurrencia de los guionistas, pero, dos segundos después, descubrimos que la enorme tristeza que transmite At Seventeen sigue funcionando como el reloj de una bomba.

Esta es la canción que nunca debería escuchar una adolescente más bien feúcha, pero que supongo que ha sido especial y morbosamente escuchada por ellas. Su letra tiene, no obstante, una cierta dosis de alivio, que no de esperanza, aunque no está éste precisamente dirigido a chicas de 17, sino a mujeres adultas, experimentadas y tristemente resabiadas. Una penita, vamos, pero qué pedazo de canción.

Vídeo con la letra (use carefully):

M. Ward: “Rave On” (Hold Time, 2009)

M. Ward es el cantautor norteamericano del que todo el mundo habla.

M. Ward

M. Ward

Con una música que bebe en las esencias de la tradición norteamericana y deconstruida al estilo de Tom Waits, lleva publicados  en los últimos años varios discos de esos que se dicen esenciales: Duet For Guitars # 2 (2004) fue la llamada de atención, luego vinieron Transistor Radio (2005) y el impresionante Post-War (2006). Dentro de unos días publica Hold Time (2009), que puede entenderse como una amplificación musical del anterior. En 2008, junto a la cantante y actriz Zooey Deschanel, firmó el encantador She & Him: Volume One, que ha sido considerado por (casi) todo el mundo como uno de los mejores discos del año.

Os ofrecemos uno de los temas de Hold Time, Rave On, y, abajo, su letra.

You rave on, it’s a crazy feelin’
I know, she’s got me reelin’
When you say I love you, rave on

The way you dance and hold me tight
The way you kiss when we say goodnight
Rave on, it’s a crazy feeling
And I, I know it’s got me reelin’
When you say I love you, rave on

Rave on, it’s a crazy feeling
And I, I know its got me reelin’
I’m so glad that you’re revealing your love for me
Rave on, rave on, tell me, tell me not to be lonely
Tell me, you love me only, rave on to me

Oh, oh, rave on, it’s a crazy feeling
And I, I know its got me reelin’
I’m so glad that you’re revealin’ your love for me
Oh, rave on, rave on, tell me, tell me not to be lonely
Tell me, you love me only, rave on to me

The little things that you say and do
Make me want to be with you
Rave on, it’s a crazy feeling
And I know, she’s got me reelin’
When you say I love you, rave on

Oh, rave on, it’s a crazy feeling
And I, I know its got me reelin’
I’m so glad that you’re revealin’ your love for me
Rave on, rave on, tell me, tell me not to be lonely
Tell me, you love me only, rave on to me
Rave on to me, rave on to me

Más allá de “American Pie”

Microsiervos enlaza un vídeo (Youtube, 9 min) que “alguien” ha tenido la paciencia de editar con todas las referencias (muy discutidas y nunca aclaradas por Don McLean) incluidas en la mítica canción “American Pie” (1971). Merece la pena verlo teniendo a la vista la letra, que incluimos abajo.

American Pie Lyrics

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues.

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

I started singin’,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while lenin read a book of marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

We were singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Helter skelter in a summer swelter.
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
Eight miles high and falling fast.
It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast.

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And they were singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

They were singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.”