In an age of acute anger, acrimony, antagonism, severe struggle and strife - when a stranger than fiction, cartoon villain’s possible ascendancy to the presidency threatens not only the future of the United States, but the very existence of the entire planet - can the gentle, the tender and the pacific permeate the madness and insanity and rise above it all to succor and “soothe a savage breast?”
A Savage Breast
On a recent sleepless, late evening when pondering what next to pen, my head spun in slumber-less perplexion over the vast varieties of viable new negative Donald Trump essays. Just that very morn, a radio interview had been uncovered from the afternoon of September 11th 2001, in which Trump happily bragged and preened about owning the tallest tower in lower Manhattan as a result of the terrorist’s destruction of the World Trade center, earlier that day. Such is the sickness and maliciousness in the mind of this Mephistopheles that as thousands perished, he found cause for celebration and self-serving swagger.
Donald Trump is a man of profound evil and severe mental infirmity who proudly and publicly proves it on a daily basis – every sentence spoken a revelation of revulsion, every word an expression of ignominy, every syllable a poisonous perversion - but it doesn’t matter. Hour by hour, his actions and statements are an open exhibition of bigotry, hatred and a deceased mind, and his poll numbers do nothing but improve.
Music Hath Charms
Against this background of biliousness and repetitive repugnance, can anything calm a fevered, furious and frustrated soul – a songbird from salad days, perhaps? As the wee small hours grew even, well, "wee-er," as I tossed and turned between the 650 thread count percales, aggravated, agitated and anxious, worried about rousing for the work day, now not all that many more clock ticks away - suddenly into my embittered brain, shockingly out of the blue, sans external source of music or melody, sent from a non-existent Nirvana to sooth and mollify, came vivid memories of Linda Ronstadt crooning “When I Grow too Old to Dream." Upon this unexpected arrival of a beautiful woman, with a beautiful voice and a beautiful interpretation, Trump momentarily disappeared somewhere into a recess of the cerebrum or cerebellum. I sought out the song on the Spotify apped Samsung by my side, which, once heard. fostered a temporary tranquility, a peaceful retirement, and for this night at least, a suspension of any further windmill tilting.
When I Grow too Old to Dream
Composed by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1935 film, "The Night Is Young" (a favorite of “… and several butcher’s aprons” devotees across the globe) this stalwart of the Great American Songbook has a rich recording history, having been sung by, among many others, Nelson Eddy, Nat King Cole, Della Reese, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Dennis Day, Dakota Staton, The Everly Brothers, Julie London, Louis Armstrong, Cliff Richard, Jimmy Dean, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and the legend that is, Slim Whitman.
Linda Ronstadt forever put her indelible and unforgettable stamp on this classic when she recorded it for her 1978 album, “Living in the U.S.A.” For those who prefer felt and plastic to flesh and bones, shortly after its release, Ms. Ronstadt also performed the song on an episode of “The Muppet Show.”
Lovely Linda has made a pair of previous appearances on the Saturday Song Selection feature, having been a favorite of nycityman, lo these many decades since she pa rum pum pum pummed a “Different Drum” and loved us for a “Long Long Time.” If so inclined, please follow these links for more on the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
“So, kiss me my sweet
And so let us part
And when I grow too old to dream
That kiss will live in my heart
And when I grow too old to dream
That kiss will live in my heart”
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