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

B is for Beaton #20


George Gershwin

3 comments :

estiv said...

I knew who Beaton was but never thought of myself as a fan until seeing this series on this blog. And it's not because he's flawless--the ripe aroma of cheese is strong in much of his work, but somehow it's part of the appeal. The second piano with the keyboard visible, just in case we missed the point. The overall impression of glamour (lots of money with a modicum of taste--this shot looks like it was taken in a very expensive hotel or private home, not in a performance or rehearsal space). And Gershwin looks too pleased with himself to be particularly dignified, in spite of his clothing and the surroundings. Overall the picture reflects that era in the first half of the twentieth century that featured a transatlantic nexus of old world sophistication with new world energy. With neither, truth be told, coming off that well in terms of emotional depth.

Tommy O'C said...

I wish my brother Ira was here.

Flynn D said...

I always thought George Gershwin's An American In Paris and the other one, er, uh... Rhapsody in Blue were beyond-his-reach stabs at immortality - collages of interesting but amateurish noises and flourishes but... ah, BUT... the love songs. But Not for Me, Our Love is Here to Stay, Someone to Watch Over Me and countless others have more than endured the passage of cruel time.