The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Present-Day Composer #14

Stephen Sondheim
(He turned 75 this week...celebrate by sticking a candle in a meat pie.)

Ev'ry now and then
A madman's
Bound to come along.
Doesn't stop the story--
Story's pretty strong.
Doesn't change the song...


Tom Sutpen said...


This series is supposed to be about dead composers, not dead careers.

(Personally, I would have quoted "Gee, Officer Krupke". Sondheim didn't do a bad Comden & Green imitation there.)

Rob said...

Alice Cooper's fave, what hear. Go Figure.


swac said...

Oops, didn't know they had to be de-composing...I just went with the present-day part. Oh well, it's not like he's done anything good since Assassins...