Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something/Someone Old 222old.jpg

My Something Old this week is P.G. Wodehouse, the celebrated creator of Jeeves and Wooster.

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Pelham Grenville (you can see why he abbreviated his Christian names!) was one of the funniest men of the early twentieth century. He was the son of a British magistrate stationed in Hong Kong, who returned (as English children of the colonies often did) to Britain for his education. He attended Dulwich College, a boarding school in London. Generally speaking, boarding school is either a blast or a torture limited only by school holidays; P.G. was lucky, and had a blast.

A little like Rex Stout, (who was his almost exact contemporary, born five years after Wodehouse and dying, like him, in 1975) P.G. worked in finance and wrote on the side. In P.G.’s case, he was able to leave banking, which he disliked, when his fiction started selling well (Stout went the other way, achieving enough success in finance to allow him to write for the rest of his life, which he subsequently did). His greatest success was in comic fiction, with the creation of his most famous characters, Bertie Wooster and his imperturbable valet, Jeeves:

He also wrote musicals for Broadway in the 1910s and 20s, which gave him much fuel for truly beautiful parody, including a parody of his own “Ask Dad,” a musical so engaging that I wish they still wrote musicals like it. Wodehouse collaborated with Guy Bolton and Louis Hirsch on the 1918 musical, which ended up being re-titled (just as in the story). It cheers me up just to watch this clip. The producer of “Ask Dad” judges everything by what his nine-year-old son likes, because he estimates the average Broadway audience to have the intellectual capacity of a nine-year-old:

Not sure it’s possible to watch this performance without smiling. For one thing, it’s hilarious to watch Hugh Laurie portray a guy with paralyzing stage fright.

Something New
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My Something New is a wonderful new series on Netflix called Shadow and Bone. For those of you who like fantasy, so far it’s top notch (I’ve watched the first three episodes). And it doesn’t have Game of Thrones level violence—so far it’s just standard Hollywood beatings and shootings, with a few deaths-by-monster which the viewer doesn’t have to see or hear in detail. The show is based on a series of fantasy novels by Leigh Bardugo.

shadow and bone.jpg

The premise of the story is that, some time ago, a mage (called grisha in the world of the novels) did Something Really Bad and created a disaster area called The Fold which cut the nation of Ravka in half. Much of the magic we see in this story is based primarily around elements: Squallers have power over air, Inferni over fire, Tidemakers over water. Much rarer are the Darklings and Sun Summoners, who summon and manipulate shadow and light. The grisha who created the Fold was a Darkling, and basically summoned an entire region of shadow populated by monsters that divided his country with the capitol on one side and the most important trade route encompassed in the monstrous dark. At the time of the story, the country is on the verge of dividing in two, while its two nearest neighbors are at war with it.

So far, a pretty good story! I’m looking forward to reading the books after I finish the TV series.

Something Borrowed
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My Something Borrowed today is the song "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.

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When I was a teenager, I had this album by Leonard Cohen. Knew most of the words, too! I loved to sing along to "So Long, Marianne" and "Sisters of Mercy," and "Suzanne" was simply one of the most beautiful ballads I'd ever heard.

SongsOfLeonardCohen.jpeg

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But I never encountered "Hallelujah" until I saw the movie Shrek. It contained John Cale's cover, which is possibly the best cover ever done of the song. I've loved John Cale since his and Lou Reed's album Songs for Drella, and it was lovely to discover his rendition of the song:

Here's Cohen's original, which, to my sorrow, I must admit is not as good as many of its covers. I intend no disrespect to the man in saying so, as I think he's one of the best songwriters I ever heard of:

Jeff Buckley's version is widely thought to be the best, possibly only outdone by John Cale's:

k.d. lang's is a rare entry from a woman:

Regina Spektor never recorded her version, but it's one of the best ever done, performed here at the 2005 Jewish Heritage Festival in New York City:

I'm not sure I should include the recent cover by two Ontario sisters, since it's been re-tailored as a simple Christian message, which I don't think was the intent of the songwriter; still, it's moving that the sisters made the recording for their ill grandmother, from whom they've been separated by the COVID epidemic. So here is their radically re-imagined version of the song, which, for what it's worth, is beautifully done:

I'm curious: which do you all think is best? How would you rank them?
Inquiring minds want to know. Smile

Something Blue
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I thought I'd been through all the famous Blue paintings in this thread, but I found one by Georgia O'Keefe. I usually don't like abstract art, but O'Keefe is one I make room for in my inner gallery.I like the way O'Keefe's abstracts have a relationship to representative art without being confined by its standards. I love the fetal imagery here:

OKeeffe_BlueI_2daaf13d-41e8-4abb-9fd8-8149a17ba668.jpg

How are you all today?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

this didn't publish when I first published it at 6:54, but better late than never!

Good morning!

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

QMS's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

In other words, if you post for 0700 eastern time, it goes up at 0700 central time. Kinda figured this out over time. Thanks for the OT!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Cohen's song for some time:

Oh dear.

Do they know he was Jewish?

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8 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

"Spirit in the Sky," which apparently some people haven't recognized for the gentle ribbing it is.
Also written by a Jewish man, BTW. Norman Greenbaum, I love you.

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10 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal identified himself as Buddish. He spent much of his later years living in a Zen monastery in Northern California.

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NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

But I still doubt that he would get behind the idea of making "Hallelujah" into a Christian hymn.

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5 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal and thank you for the dive into Leonard Cohen's remarkable song. Forgive my peremptory tone. rude, I am sorry.

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NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

you must never have been on social media! Smile

Seriously, I'm not offended. This was a correction, and the proper response is "Thank you." I wouldn't want to get something like that wrong.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal very kind.

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NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Sorry about that.

Maybe this qualifies under "blue", though.

It seems there are Israeli's who are not exactly handing out hosannas to their government's
'vax 'em all and let Yahweh sort it out' approach to Covid-policy.

More specifically, the Israeli People's Committee have released a preliminary report alleging serious problems including a large number of excess deaths associated with the Pfizer vaccine in Israel.

They are promising a more comprehensive report soon - the current one is available in English or Hebrew at Great Game India

from there:

“According to Central Bureau of Statistics data during January-February 2021, at the peak of the Israeli mass vaccination campaign, there was a 22% increase in overall mortality in Israel compared with the previous year.”

“In fact, January-February 2021 have been the deadliest months in the last decade, with the highest overall mortality rates compared to corresponding months in the last 10 years.”

The IPC finds that “amongst the 20-29 age group the increase in overall mortality has been most dramatic. In this age group, we detect an increase of 32% in overall mortality in comparison with previous year.”

“Statistical analysis of information from the Central Bureau of Statistics, combined with information from the Ministry of Health, leads to the conclusion that the mortality rate amongst the vaccinated is estimated at about 1: 5000 (1: 13000 at ages 20-49, 1: 6000 at ages 50-69, 1: 1600 at ages 70+).”

“According to this estimate, it is possible to estimate the number of deaths in Israel in proximity of the vaccine, as of today, at about 1000-1100 people.”

If this is a genuine statistical analysis, then numbers reported by health authorities of Israel are misleading to a very great extent.

“There is a high correlation between the number of people vaccinated per day and the number of deaths per day, in the range of up to 10 days, in all age groups.”

“Ages 20-49 – a range of 9 days from the date of vaccination to mortality, ages 50-69 – 5 days from the date of vaccination to mortality, ages 70 and up – 3 days from the date of vaccination to mortality.”

FWIW - fatality reports to the US VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) for the first four months of 2021 (2204) exceeds the total (2079) for *all* the years from 2000-2020.

Down Under, it seems more than a few nurses do not feel inclined to submit themselves for experimentation and want to decline the mRNA vaccines being rolled out in Australia:

Nursing Professional Association of Queensland survey (as reported in Epoch Times May 4)

"The NPAQ survey found that 81 percent of its nurse members in the Sunshine State do not think it should be mandatory for nurses to receive future COVID-19 vaccinations. While 75 percent said, it would not be fair for an employer to refuse employment to a nurse that refuses to get a COVID-19 jab.

Some of the most common written responses to the survey cited individual choice, health concerns, and lack of data about available vaccines as reasons for the nurses’ stances, the NPAQ noted.

Further, some nurses noted that requirements to get experimental vaccines were not part of the original contractual agreements the nurses signed with their employer as opposed to the standard vaccines.

The NPAQ noted that the most common concerns were the length of clinical trials, potential side effects, freedom of choice, rushed production, and there was particular concern surrounding the long term data over the short term data."

"Something borrowed"?

Umm... time, perhaps?

Offered without comment:

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Granma's picture

@Blue Republic since they have not happened in other places. That many deaths would not go un-noticed.

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CS in AZ's picture

@Blue Republic

FWIW - fatality reports to the US VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) for the first four months of 2021 (2204) exceeds the total (2079) for *all* the years from 2000-2020.

What this is worth, turns out to be nothing useful.

Well, let me rephrase, as it might be quite "useful" if one's purpose is to spread FUD about the vaccine killing people.

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database contains information on unverified reports of adverse events (illnesses, health problems and/or symptoms) following immunization with US-licensed vaccines. Reports are accepted from anyone and can be submitted electronically at www.vaers.hhs.gov.
...
While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. Most reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.

That's right, anyone can click that link right now and go file a report that their brother or whoever died, from anything, at some point in time, after getting the vaccine. That's how much this data is 'worth' right now.

It is important to understand that VAERS is a public reporting system, it does not provide verified data. The CDC investigates these reports, to determine if and how many ultimately have any actual connection to the vaccine.

Obviously, sometimes things happen after getting a vaccine that actually had nothing to do with the vaccine, but gets reported anyway.

It is not surprising to me that with the rollout of the vaccine and millions getting it over the past weeks and months, combined with the off-the-chart scaremongering and FUD, that such reports would be increased greatly. People die of random causes every day, of course. So if they happened to get a vaccine two weeks before they have a heart attack, for example, that death may well get reported to VAERS even though there is no evidence of any connection to the vaccine.

This is obvious, so the point really is to keep in mind why someone would be posting misleading statistics like that. I don't know, actually. It is a mystery to me, why some people really seem to have a vested interest in other people not getting vaccinated. I get some people not feeling comfortable themselves, for whatever reasons. I have friends like that. But no one I know in real life is running around trying to scare others into not getting it. What is the motivation for that? I dunno.

Anyway, I got my second shot this past Sunday. No side effects whatsoever. And amazingly, I am even still alive! I woke up yesterday feeling really good and energized actually, to my surprise. I am personally delighted to feel ready and completely safe to ditch the mask and go out and do what I want again. Looking forward to a dinner out in a nice restaurant and listening to some live music again sometime very soon.

I actually feel incredibly lucky to have been able to get this vaccine and be set free from the threat of COVID landing me in the ICU on a vent. Or dead. Maybe that is why I woke up feeling so energized yesterday.

I admit I was hesitant at first! So much scaremongering! But I did my due diligence and spent a month reading and learning before I decided to do it. Now I have zero doubts or second thoughts. I feel sad that so many are fearful of this simple way to protect your own health, but as I said, I have friends still in that place and I have nothing but compassion for them. I do not, however, have much patience for generalized scaremongering that is intended to make people afraid of it based on misleading statistics and whatnot.

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@CS in AZ

Good to hear that you have - for the moment , anyway - not had a problem with your vaccinations.

Others have not been so fortunate. You are correct that a report to VAERS is not definitive as to whether the adverse event was a direct result of vaccination. Still, when you see an entry like this one: VAERS ID 1242573 - which indicates that a fifteen year old boy with no current illness, allergies or pre-existing conditions dies of cardiac arrest one day after receiving the Pfizer vax... you might think its just possible something is wrong here. (Actually, giving an experimental vaccine to someone who has zero chance of of dying or suffering serious illness from the disease is itself very wrong, but anyway...).

A 15 year old here, a 12 year old there...

Especially, when you find multiple studies indicating actual adverse events are rarely reported to VAERS - as few as 1% of them. source

But hey, maybe those are off by a factor of 10 and underreporting is only 90%. Looking at the first 600 or so reports for 2021 it's true a lot of the reports describe not especially serious problems, most of which seemed to resolve within hours or days. Most, though, did not sound like fun at all, and there were about 108,000 altogether.

And if only a tiny percent of actual events are getting reported there, how many real ones are occurring out there?

Not many like this:

VAERS ID: 916809

AGE: 40| SEX: F|State: WA
Description

caregiver received first vaccine dose and soon after began to feel dizzy and her eyes began to twitch, followed by uncontrolled shaking, with high fever followed by severe shortness of breath and gasping, with tightness around the chest. transported to emergency department. had multiple episodes of items listed above while in ed, including heaviness in her legs and tingling in arms. she was discharged from ed at 10:30pm but was readmitted on 12/24 to ed following similar issues. to date she has had 5 rapid responses in hospital due to repeat of signs/symptoms. ct and pulmonology consult scheduled for 12/28/2020.

but for those it happens to it may be an ongoing and debilitating condition resulting in loss of job with no worker's comp, no UI, insurers declining to cover treatment, inability to drive - basically, to be left completely to your own devices and to be censored by social media if you attempt even to tell your own story.

Don't believe it? Listen to the accounts of these three woman veteran health care workers - all of whom got vaccinations in January and have suffered terribly ever since. As have hundreds of others experiencing the same problems post-vax.

Vaccine-Injured Health-Care Workers Speak Out

https://www.brighteon.com/86e0a12f-635e-4127-83ec-3406425341b2

Can't embed Brighteon.com videos, it seems (JtC?)

Oh, yes, Israel.

Plenty of charts about them here:

https://ourworldindata.org/vaccination-israel-impact

That *clearly* show escalating deaths and hospitalizations coinciding with their big vaccine push.

I hope the above clarifies why some of us may want to encourage people to do their homework and consider the risks and benefits before making a choice that could result in a permanently negative outcome.

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enhydra lutris's picture

that many vesions of a song all the way through, or at least not that one. All in all, I never fail to be surprised at how much I like k.d. lang, and I'll go with her version of this.

Gonna have to keep the typing down today, left hand is shot once again. Luckily, I have minimal "must do" stuff today, so I can get through it fairly well I think.

I try not to think about the time. I think that there was a point when I internalized a specific targeted east coast time (6am iirc) for a morning OT, computed the corresponding Pacific time to be 0300 and that's when I schedule everything to post. I have no idea when they really post in any zone, just "before I'm up out here".

Interesting O'Keefe, as so many of hers are.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

Or is it an ongoing condition?

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

many, many years exacerbated by white-knuckle disease (mostly left hand and wrist). Flares up periodically, sometimes requiring a brace. Basically restricts movement for a few hours to a few days and goes away again.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

wins for best cover.

Worst was the Saturday Live Version played in November,2016 right after Leonard's death. And Hillary's failed election.
The clip has a woman dressed as Hillary stressing the words, "I never came to fool ya." Imho, a desecration of this beautiful song.

I am going to find the Youtube of that event and post it here as best I can.
https://youtu.be/BG-_ZDrypec

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NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

from the years 1936-1994 that they won't take possession of and distort.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@NYCVG honestly, as much as I love Leonard Cohen, the song was getting played out anyway. But that SNL bit, no jokes, no humor at all, just twisting the song to assuage liberal angst and have a sad, is the image I have now. I guess it’s ok because it means I don’t have to get upset when the next game show singer wants to make it a tour de force for their lung capacity.

Let’s talk about Concrete Blonde’s version of Everybody Knows. There’s another version I think was better than the original.

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Just another Bozo on the bus.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

I *loved* Concrete Blonde in the 90s.

I gotta drop this one here, even though it has nothing to do with Leonard Cohen; it used to be a candidate for my personal version of the national anthem. The old one has a lot of problems and has dropped beneath its minimum required truth value due to its inability to keep up with recent history.

Still in Hollywood...

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5 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Dawn's Meta's picture

I will always love k.d. lang. But it is hard to pick a best for me. Rufus Wainwright did some marvelous versions too. There is an outlier from Sweden that Mr. Meta and I really like:

Ebba Forsberg, here are the lyrics:

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Halleluja
Ebba Forsberg
Det sägs, det fanns en hemlig sång
Som David sjöng för Gud en gång
Men sånger får väl sällan dig att jubla
Den går så här: från kvart till kvint
Upp i dur och ner igen
Och plötsligt kan man höra halleluja
Halleluja...
Din tro var stark men krävde svar
Hon stod där naken som hon var
Du såg henne, sen föll du som en fura
Hon band dig vid din egen stol
Hon slet ditt hår, hon rev din tron
Hon fick dig att kvida Halleluja
Halleluja...
Du vet jag har varit här förut
I samma rum, i samma hus
Ensam, utan en aning om vem du var
Nu ser jag dig marschera fram
Men kärlek är inte nån revansch
Den är ett kallt, det är ett sprucket Halleluja
Halleluja...
Det fanns en tid, jag minns den väl
Du ville visa mig din själ
De'e inget du har nån större lust med nu va'
Och när jag rörde mig i dig
Så rörde jord och himmel sig
Och varje flämtning var ett Halleluja
Halleluja...
(Du säger att jag stal hans namn
Förgäves, om det nu är sant
Än sen, det kan väl knappast du förbjuda
I varje ord finns ljuset gömt
Som längtan, eller hopplös dröm
Ett heligt eller brustet Halleluja
Halleluja...)
Jag ville väl men det gjorde ont
Min mun var full men mitt hjärta tomt
Men jag svär, dig har jag aldrig velat lura
Fast allt blev fel och falskt och fult
Så jag nu står inför min Gud
Och kan jag bara ropa Halleluja
Halleluja...
Source: Musixmatch

And if you can stand it, another Halleluja from one of our top picks of singer/songwriters, Martin Sexton. His ease of sliding into falsetto is remarkable. This version is lovely for the interaction with the audience.

Does Satan wear a suit and tie
Or does he work at the Dairy Queen
Does he listen to rock and roll
Does he feed the mean
Singing Hallelujah

What about Jesus
Didn't he do it too?
Hang out with prostitutes
And have a drink or two
Power of example
My mama said it and I heard
She says one ounce of action
Beats a ton of words

Singing Hallelujah
Mama said there would be angels
Mama said there would be sun

Is the devil in Elvis to go where no white man went
Or hiding in Hugh Hefner's body or maybe even Larry Flynt
Say, hows about the President shielding all them stones
Man if I could find a shield like that I'd run around naked
In my glass home

Sippin Hallelujah
I think my angel's gone to Vegas
Sippin Hallelujah
Holding aces in her hand. Hallelujah
As she's singing rock of ages. Hallelujah
On the table at the Sands. Hallelujah

Does Satan wear a suit and tie or
Does he work at the Dairy Queen
Does he listen to rock and roll
Does he feed the mean
Streak in all of us
All us saints here on earth
Hypnotized and over-advertised
Til we're numb at birth

Singing Hallelujah
And my angel's turning pages
Singing Hallelujah
And she just don't understand. Hallelujah
That the devil's hot on her trail. Hallelujah
On the road to broken promised land. Hallelujah
On the TV and the radio. Hallelujah
Good and evil look the same to you

Thank you so much.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dawn's Meta

song needs!

Really good singer too. The thing about this song is that most of it should be quiet. The intensity of the emotion is supposed to contrast with the quiet gentleness of the music, not all the time, obviously, but most of the time. Even the crescendos should be taken with restraint most of the time.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dawn's Meta

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Dawn's Meta's picture

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0 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.