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 Art of Songwriting #10

What'll I Do?
(Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin)
(Irving Berlin, Inc.; 1923)


swac said...

My friend Jon Epworth did a killer version of this at an "oldies night" cabaret recently. I probably first heard it in the '70s Great Gatsby...I've loved it ever since.

Simon Thibault said...

this song kills me.
the mcgarrigles did it with their whole family and it wrenches me. so beautiful.