musicology #107


sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #30

(Paul Weller – Above the Clouds)

this final cut from the Paul Weller selection is taken from a concert recorded at Sheperd’s Bush Empire, June 2nd 2002, at which I had the greatest musical experience of my life.

the memory is so fresh I can touch it….my eldest child, (and she was only six), had been in hospital with a life threatening condition since late December and it was killing me.

By chance a friend I hold very dear had been providing Paul Weller, (and Steve White), with some of the best threads around at that time and asked us, (me and the suc mo massive), if we fancied going to see them in concert at the Empire..as distressed as I was, and not having played much Weller over the preceeding couple of years, we had it and words can’t do it justice.

as the evening unfolded grown men were standing, as if at a cup final, belting out the words to all of the songs, tears in eyes..it was very moving and it was during this performance that the metaphorical sun began to break through the dark clouds of my despair.

music does that..no question and the lyrics to this one burnt into my soul, I’m not ashamed to say that it rocked me and I wouldn’t trade it, even for a seat at the Harlem Square when Mr Soul threw down in 1963, (and that’s saying something),

the verse that did it for me

as my anger shouts, at my own self doubt, so a sadness creeps into my dreams

when you’re scared of living, but afraid to die,

I get scared of giving, and I must find the faith to beat it..yeah

of course I have to lay the full lyrics on you and tell you that 3 days after this concert at the age of 33, I ‘found the faith’ and my daughter had the all clear..at the third ‘attempt’.

just leaves me to say thank you to Paul Weller for ‘delivering’ for 30 years

“Autumn blew its leaves at me,
Threatening winter as I walked,
Summer always goes so quick, Barely stopping like my thoughts,
Which dip and spin and change so fast,
I have to wonder, Will I last.

Through the windows of the train,
I caught reflections of a paper cup,
Hanging small in a pale blue sky,
Never knowing which way’s up.

Above the clouds, what’s to be found,
I have to wonder, Will I be around.
As my anger shouts, At my own self doubt,
So a sadness creeps, Into my dreams
When you’re scared of living, But afraid to die
I get scared of giving, And I must find the faith to beat it

I must be me that’s rushing by,
Time just lingers on the wind,
Bristlin’ through my open fears,
I wonder what it’s going to bring.

Above the clouds, what’s to be found,
I have to wonder, Will I be around.

Run and hide, run and hide
I catch the sail at evening’s tide”

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4 thoughts on “musicology #107

  1. Yes, music that has that strange mystical-like power to penetrate into the deepest recesses of the soul… especially in those god-forsaken moments of abject despair…. I wonder why.

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  2. his voice is magnificent live, it must have
    been awesome to be in the same space with
    all that energy from him and the audience lifting you up, swelling your heart with positive vibes!
    so I add my heartfelt thanks for songs with such integrity …

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  3. Words failed. Comments unnecessary. Paul Weller. England’s greatest “popular” wordsmith. Best “1 artist” review (and, believe me, mentioning him in the same breath as Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield, is really saying something).

    That being said, and even though I know there’s little cause to be, I wish he’d be a bit more up-beat. I mean….. “you can’t be sad when you’re jiving”

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  4. Just experienced the man live this week …magical…..his spirit flies right at you…….and to see the next generations feeling it was something else. With my own son off to Serbia to see him live too..does bring a smile to my face .. kind of following your old footsteps !

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