Sunday, March 3, 2024

Telling it like it is

If there were a movement advocating truth in song lyrics, "Home On The Range" might go like this:

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
'Cause how much can an antelope say?


Truer words were never spoken. I mean, think about it. Skies that are not cloudy all day are rarer than hen's teeth talking antelopes. I wish I could say I wrote that new last line of "Home On The Range" but alas, I cannot. Actually, I could but it would not be true.

In my last post, I shared with you the moment of silence that I found most surprising during several recent Jeopardy! episodes. You may remember that it involved the four words "it might have been" that appear in the last line of a poem by John Grenleaf Whittier, "Maud Muller" to be exact, which I mentioned in the comments section but not in the post itself. Little did I know there would be an even greater shocker of a stumper on Friday evening's program. Read on.

In a category called Novel Endings the clue was "This 1922 work ended with the words 'yes I said yes I will Yes'." and there was a deafening silence onstage during which I yelled 'Ulysses' at the screen at least three times.

According to an article entitled "The 10 best closing lines in books" by Robert McKrum in The Guardian in July 2012, James Joyce's Ulysses is number two on the list, right behind The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It seems to be a losing battle and the dumbing down of America side seems to be winning. What can we do? I will tell you what we can do, the only thing we can do. We can beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

I didn't write that line either.

4 comments:

  1. Literary and historical references are largely lost on many people today. I suppose there has to be room for newer references.

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    1. I would fail miserably at current-day cultural references (film stars, musical artists, sports figures) but I still mourn the passing of the old order. It's a case of 'sic transit gloria mundi' I suppose. We're all becoming increasingly irrelevant. Thank you, Janice..

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  2. You had me on that one. Never was a huge fan of Joyce.

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    1. Literature was one of my favorite subjects in school, but somewhere around 30 years ago I pretty much stopped reading new stuff. Can't tell you anything at all about modern literature or authors. James Joyce may be famous but he is hard to read. Thank you for commenting, Emma.

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