Monday, November 1, 2010

When October goes...

Barry Manilow has never been my favorite singer, and I have heard him when he was in better voice, but there’s something about this particular clip that reaches way down inside me and turns me inside out.

When October Goes (4:50)

I get the almost-a-cliché metaphor about a person’s lifespan (“Oh, it’s a long, long time from May to December, and the days grow short when you reach September” and so forth), and the leaves have turned red and gold and many of them have already fallen, and flocks of geese are in the air making their way south, and my mother died in the month of October in 1957, so this time of year always makes me a bit melancholy, but still...Barry Manilow?

There’s a little quiver in his voice -- and, yes, it may even be fabricated for effect -- but when he sings this song he somehow seems on the verge of losing his composure altogether. Maybe that’s what I’m responding to viscerally, I don’t know, the fact that we’re all in this thing together and we’re all putting on some sort of act and we’re all always dangerously close to losing control and letting everybody see how we really feel, and we certainly wouldn’t want to let that happen. Would we?

But still...

Barry Manilow?

Or it could be that it’s the day before the American elections.

4 comments:

Masia Mum said...

Ok not the greatest singer but not a bad songwriter. It is strange how some songs just get to you. I remember my late Mother-in-law was visibly moved by Luther Vandross singing "Dance with my Father again" - she was widowed for many years and missed ballroom dancing with her husband so much and the lyrics seemed to have been written for her. Hell! now I'm getting maudlin. Cheer up my friend, maybe go out dancing like me and The Man did last night. We went to a Sixties Hop and jived the night away to The Beatles, Elvis, The Drifters et al - superb! The years just fall away.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Dear old Barry. Mind you, he was 54? in the clip and he's 67 now. Male jealousy coming out?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"..we’re all in this thing together and we’re all putting on some sort of act and we’re all always dangerously close to losing control and letting everybody see how we really feel..."

- Not an easy notion to express but I for one can certainly relate to what you're saying here Robert.

Snowbrush said...

He was born in '43, so he would have been 53 the year this was recorded. I like him well enough, but Peggy can't stand him, and she's the music lover at our house, although I very much enjoy Bach. Sometimes, she will put Bach on just for me. She tends to listen to a lot of women singers--both from decades ago and recent--many of them foreign singers if not actually singers who sign in foreign languages.

It's a little funny, Rhymes, I'm the one with the murderous fantasies, yet I never seriously worry about losing control.