Monday, 11 January 2016

On Musicians

If you're thinking of acquiring a musician
With whom to kiss, or even settle down
Please peruse this handy information
To save yourself a future sorry frown

Though musos share the guilty look of sound
And may not from afar be told apart
Each instrument attracts a special nature
And you must know which suits your special heart

Music is a window into heaven
Musicians are the ones who clean the glass
Before you let one up inside your jumper
Let me introduce the species brass

The trumpet is the warrior king of gesture
His call to you so loud and strong and bright
A golden coil attached to an intestine
Twisted in the stress of being right

The trombone is an unknown civil servant
Dedicated to an unknown art
No-one ever sees or knows or hears him
Unless he rip his virtuoso fart

The sad ungainly beauty of the tuba
Should you admit and let to chime
Ponderoso, growing old together
You will know the tragedy of time

Tenor horn, euphonium, cornet
These and other brass I've sorely missed
Will be with the others in the boozer
Brutal brusque and blue, and surely pissed

Pianists are busy bods, and brainy
They claim to read your mind with magic braille
Remember, as their fingers play your body
You, for them, are just another funny scale

Organists are truly jugglemeisters
Multitaskers, yes, par excellence
They can take a complex set of actions
And fuck them up completely, all at once

Have you met the grumpy jazz violinist?
He won't play that new electric thing
Believes he's failed because of natural quietness
Instead of lack of natural swing

Guitars are frozen adolescents
Afterimages of mirrors lost
Seek ye bendy wraith seduction
In such burning stringy frost?

Double basses, just like eager housewives
Starting with a keen and willing smile
Change in time as they are held for granted
Now their sweetness turns to raging bile
Now they pull and pluck in mute defiance
Reach for highs when all cry out for lows
Fury at their past submission
Drives the basses ever to oppose

Would you touch the seismic flow of drummers
Would you lead a whole life on the tiles
Know they'll need a practice room and lodging
Know they come in two contrasting styles

One a sister, therapist, inclined by fate
To amplify your every feeling shade
In wispy dreamy brushy sweeps
And clatter shreds, a rhythmic marmalade
In which the soul exposure never ceases
That must be you, those bits and pieces.

Not all drummers are as nice as this
Beware the stern reproachful patriarch
Using all his paradiddle-daddles
Just to show you up, below the mark

The banjo is the sacred instrument
Held aloft by the Lady of the Lake
It was brought from Africa many moons ago
And this was mankind's first mistake

The second was a hybrid made
Of clarinet and ophicleide
This hideous girl, the saxophone
Grew up to live as Satan's bride
If you like to date those 'on the spectrum'
Then saxists must be your first choice
With their weird jazzperger patterns
And their strangled monotone voice
This mutant breed is expressive -
The bark and the howl and the squawk
Are the the closest we'll get, as humans
To hearing the animals talk

We live in a soundtrack of cosmic noise
Of fluttering garbage adrift
The flute has the musak of the spheres
And we are all stuck in the lift

The outlook may seem to be gloomy
But here is a glimmer of light
A singer has recently entered the place
With trousers refreshingly tight
Whose song without complication
Yet explains the meaning of all
And your mind grows dim and your body soft
And you leave your senses and fall
Inside the velvet truthful sound
Where symbols s-shaped shimmer shake and roll
Reveal the the inner science of the soul
And recreate you, brain and face unlined
No singer question in your mind
No thought of choices right and wrong
Your one remaining need to be the song

To be the song


Peter Houtman said...

Go on, speed date a lonely vibraphone, wrapped in velveteen,
He'll have extra vinegar in his Windowlene,
But a note of caution, as you both resonate to his slow ballad feel
His polished rosewood has been replaced by hard cold steel.

Anonymous said...

And if in cowboy boots you wander,
hark ye to the rattlesnake necktie yonder,
His strutting gait for you awaits as he tunes his 11 strings of wire,
pay close attention to his attire.
He will bend and twist the notes
with slide and gliss he will not miss
Your heartstrings to inspire, but...
careful be you here, he needs replenshiment of his icecold beer
and copious "3 in 1" to oil the pedals
as he sweeps the metal bar he holds
and treats the eyelids to unfold
their tears
He is but a Steely twanger
een though the band think he's just a wanger.

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