Hi there, how are ya?
It’s been a long time.
How does your garden grow?
Things to remember, and places to go,
And pretty maids all in a row.
cockle(n): scallop, scallop shell; mother of pearl; a kind of hat
memory(n): device which stores information (ding, dong, ding, dong, …)
Too often, I realise, I look to the literature that’s gone before me to explain what things mean, and build upon that. Silver bells and cockle shells, for instance, appear to refer to instruments of torture. Pretty maids all in a row is said to lead in a roundabout way to The Execution of Lady Jane Grey.
Ugh. Well, what if I see it differently?
The cockle was in Mary’s heart. It was warm once but now it’s not. Hence the shell. The silver bells are weeds growing over the shell, and they’re confusing to think about because they are flowers at the same time. I think the Eagles got it right about the pretty maids all in row. They’re among the heroes who leave us behind as if we’re supposed to know, and every time I hear that song I hear them crying ‘ Why?’. It’s only now that I think I’m beginning to understand the question.
I’m searching my memory for the name of an accordion player whose music was a popular repeat on smooth jazz radio in the mid to late Nineties. I’m going:
1. first name starts with A, B, C, D, E, … thru to Z and back again
2. surname starts with A, B, C, D, E, … thru to Z and back again
but still I’m coming up with nothing; well, not the solution I’m looking for. Instead I’m finding other cool things I’d forgotten, like Atlanta Rhythm Section, Babyface, and The Section. Then I’m thinking, oh! this one reminds me of Alan Parsons reading my mind and that one reminds me I have to be at court for jury duty tomorrow and I haven’t shaved for two days and I’m not allowed to wear sandals because it would be disrespectful to the judge and one of my clients who needs me to be at work tomorrow suggested I act like a lunatic racist so I can get off and I went hmmmm… and I’m thinking I think instead I’ll dress nicely and present a sincerely and well written letter requesting respectfully to be excused for what are perfectly good reasons.
Where was I? I think it was 1997. I can remember the car I was driving, the street I was in, and where I was going when I first heard it; I was going home and my neighbour had been weaning me off bourbon and coke onto heavily chillied meats and rice for a couple of months and we had made an appointment to see an abortionist against my will. I can’t tell you how that day made me feel. It’s not exactly relevant to where my thoughts were meant to be going.
The colour of the album cover – it was mostly brown and yellow, and the title was both the name of one of the tracks on the album and was written in French, so it’s probably a French accordion; a French accordion smooth jazz artist whose name is still escaping me. Damnit!