Friday, September 21, 2007

Look at the Man

He's sitting on the steps of St. Dominics church in San Franciso. I love the way he filters Cali and the west coast and SF through his Irish sensibility. It helps me to see the place in a different way. I used to go to SF about once a month for work and hang about in the Irish bar that he would drop in to when he was back in town, so one of the places I really miss in Cali.

It’s funny how things are-you listen to an album for 30 years, over and over, and then, finally one day, you hear what the man is saying.

Everything on this outstanding album is worth listening to, but the best tracks are ‘Listen to the Lion’, ‘Almost Independence Day’, and the title track-‘Saint Dominic's Preview’. To me he’s saying something about the time when the bank account goes up and the sense of self begins to flounder, perhaps, as a result. The time when you’ve acquired the things you thought you wanted and it’s still not good enough…all you see before you is the abyss. His solution seems to be: go back to what really makes you fulfilled, everything else is vanity and crap--not bad advice eh?

Saint Dominic's Preview

Chamois cleaning all the windows,
Singing songs about Edith Piaf's soul.
And I hear blue strings of "no regredior"
Across the street from Cathedral Notre Dame.

Meanwhile back in San Francisco
I try hard to make this whole thing blend,
As we sit upon this jagged story block
With you my friend.

And it's a long way to Buffalo.
It's a long way to Belfast city too.
And I'm hoping that Joyce won't blow the hoist
'Cause this time, they bit off more than they can chew.

As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview

All the orange boxes are scattered
Against the Safeway Supermarket in the rain.
And everybody feels so determined
Not to feel anyone else's pain.

No one's making no commitments
To anybody but themselves,
Talkin' behind closed doorways,
Tryin' to get outside, get outside empty shells.

And for every cross-cuttin' country corner,
For every Hank Williams railroad train that cries,
And all the chains, badges, flags and emblems
And every strain on brain and every eye (?)

As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview.

And the restaurant tables are completely covered.
The record company has paid out for the wine.
You got everything in the world you ever wanted
Right about now your face should wear a smile.

That's the way it all should happen
When you're in, when you're in the state you're in;
Have you got your pen and notebook ready?
I think it's about time, time for us to begin.

And we're over in a 52nd Street apartment,
Socializing with the winos too,
Just to be hip and get wet with the jet set.
But they're flying too high to see my point of view.

As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
As we gaze out on, as we gaze out on
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview
Saint Dominic's Preview.

See them freedom marching,
Out on the street, freedom marching.
Saint Dominic's Preview.

2 comments:

Mark said...

Beautiful lyrics, thanks for sharing.

kevin said...

some things just continue to grow on you