It’s true that in today’s world, words are often thrown around like so much garbage headed for the dump. Just the same, I have always found that even cheap words, given by someone of poor repute, tell us a worthwhile story if we listen carefully.
There have never been so many words to mull over, than in this world of hundreds of TV (cable etc.) networks, news stations and this thing we call the internet, as well as the internet’s baby, which goes by the name of “social media”. Then of course, there are blogs. I often wonder just how many words I have used while writing this blog, with it’s over 900 posts.
Words can make a book, or a short story, or a news report, or a blog post, either interesting or mundane. I have accomplished both the former and the latter over the past 20 years. Sometimes I am “full of it”, words that is, and other times I simply “have none“, words that is.
I love quenching my thirst for knowledge, wisdom and emotion, by reading or hearing the written words of others. Many of the most revealing words I have discovered, have come to me through the lyrics contained in songs. I first accept or deny a song on its musical merits, but eventually the words that separate the notes, become the center of my attention. There have been many great songs, and some of those songs gain a more glorified existence, through their lyrics.
I was watching the final half hour or so of American Idol the other evening, and one participant performed Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence. He did a nice job bringing life to those words and I remembered what I had once forgotten ( that sounds like the lyrics to a song), that music and words can combine to set us thinking…..deeply.
Sometimes it seem like the greatest lyrics are perpetually sad or disturbing. On the surface anyway. Sadness is a state of mind. Can words that lead you to the act of revelation, truly be sad? These words were Paul Simon’s thoughts on one single day of his life. Has not everyone felt alone at some time or another? Haven’t we all at one point, looked at the world as being armies of robots just going through the motions? At times doesn’t it seem like those who run the world, are the least profound among us, and the smallest and simplest among us, the most? And are there not moments, when it seems like we all have chosen flashy colors and smiles, as our god? Another great set of words states that “all that glitters is not gold”.
It is true, that song lyrics cannot divulge their full meaning without the music that was written to accompany them. A great painting has both music and words, so to speak, and a great song usually needs both as well. Just the same, read the words below and take from them what you may, and appreciate the feelings that Paul Simon had inside, when he penned them for future generations to savor.
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence.
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you.
Take my arms that I might reach you.”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence.”
SIMON & GARFUNKEL
When I watch a TV show or a movie, I generally read the credits. Among those credits that I read, are almost always those that belong to the writer(s). The original story may have come from a published short story or novel, or maybe it was penned by a playwright, or maybe even a screen writer. Ultimately, they all need to be adopted for the screen, whether that is done by the original writer, or someone adding physical direction to a novel. The dialog in a movie or TV show, is as important to me as is the physical spectacle of it all, or the acting ability of the performers. For instance, I love the dialog (words) of many old movies, even if they sound corny by today’s standards. In fact, that is one of the many things I love about them.
I always enjoyed the way Humphrey Bogart delivered his lines. He was often over the top in his style, but I ate the words up like candy. The movies Casablanca (one of my all time favorites), The Maltese Falcon, and The Big Sleep (my favorite detective movie ever), are great examples of the mating of great dialog ( sometimes corny), and great acting (sometimes corny).
The lines from the two movies below, were somewhat corny even back in 1942 and 1946 when they were made. That was intentional and that corniness fit’s the atmosphere of Casablanca beautifully, and is perfect for the murder mystery with hard-boiled detective Phillip Marlowe, in The Big Sleep. Unlike Casablanca, The Big Sleep as a humorous undercurrent.
Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart as Rick, Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa, and Claude Rains as Captain Renault
After Ilsa walks back into Rick’s life.
Rick: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.
Alas, they must say goodbye forever.
Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I’ve done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you’re getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I… I…
Rick: Now, you’ve got to listen to me! You have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we’d both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn’t that true, Louie?
Captain Renault: I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist.
Ilsa: You’re saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I’m saying it because it’s true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.
[Ilsa lowers her head and begins to cry]
Rick: Now, now…
[Rick gently places his hand under her chin and raises it so their eyes meet]
Rick: Here’s looking at you kid.
The Big Sleep. Lauren Bacall as Vivian and Humphrey Bogart as Marlowe.
This is the first two meetings Marlowe had with Vivian. They were contentious, but there was always an undertone of flirtation.
Vivian: So you’re a private detective. I didn’t know they existed, except in books, or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotel corridors. My, you’re a mess, aren’t you?
Marlowe: I’m not very tall either. Next time I’ll come on stilts wear a white tie and carry a tennis racket.
Vivian: I doubt if even that will help.
Vivian: I don’t like your manners.
Marlowe: And I’m not crazy about yours. I didn’t ask to see you. I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners, I don’t like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings. I don’t mind your ritzing me while drinking your lunch out of a bottle. But don’t waste your time trying to cross-examine me.
Words can create moods, and that’s just what happens because of the dialog in the movies above.
There have never been Words written, that are more important than those you find in The Holy Bible. While the Words may have been chose by men, the meaning and placement of those Words was selected by The Spirit of God.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Have a great day, choose your words wisely, and may God Bless, Wayne