Monday, June 29, 2009

Revolver - Balulalow

The drumbeats start my week with a vision of strength. This is our final week of summer school, and the kids are ready to dance. I’m ready to dance. The beautiful harmonies of these guys take the dance to a whole new level of dancing within my head as my body moves around. It’s a fantastic experience - the physical and the mental dancing going on in two dimensions – one body. That’s what happens when you teach high school biology to one group of children for many hours every day for a month. The mind can travel and perform many marvelous acts while the body stays imprisoned in a classroom. The students feel the same way, so we can laugh together about the absurdity of the situation. So, what’s that got to do with Revolver?

I see Balulalow on an album and my mind floats to Christmas. There’s bunches of famous renditions of a Christmas carol named Balulalow. Well, this dance ain’t no Christmas dance except in the fact it fills the mind with joy. So, I looked the word up. Apparently it simply means ‘lullaby’. Huh? This is one dang modern lullaby. The drums alone will get the 2 month old up out of the crib boogieing all day long. Sure, I admit the harmonies are angelic. So what’s up? Well, it’s not easy to decipher all the lyrics, but I have the feeling the narrator is giving advice to a youngster, or a body who is still dressed in a young mind. “You go out to the river at dawn. You walk around trying to keep yourself warm until the day comes up. Go where you want to, and don’t look back.”

Birds In D Minor has a true lullaby feel, a lone guitar and voice for a verse. The band enters with a ballerina dance. “All that you say will be said back to you.” Complete with string quartet. Luke, Mike & John is a joyful tune with a friendly title (“soon you’ll forget everything you’re supposed to need”). Get Around Town brings a rock and roll guitar waking up the neighborhood, and I swear they’re singing about the “buzz countdown”. Or perhaps the “bud counts down”. Whichever, it makes me giggle in a good way – the video is funny too. Stranger has a tune and lyric that fits the title (“don’t have many friends in this town”), and is a very strong performance. “Things get always better in the past, but today tomorrow cannot pass. Anyone can see I’m a stranger here.” You Drove Me Home is a porch-strumming guitar ditty with the sons of the pioneers swaying in the non-existence 105 degree breeze swooning “you know how it feels to talk to yourself every night. And it’s alright.” Gets even deeper. “You don’t know your ma, you don’t know your pa. You don’t know your friends or yourself, and it’s alright.” Despite what sounds like sorrowed lyrics, this cd brightens my day every time I hear it. This would make a wonderful Christmas in July gift for someone you love, even yourself. Revolver

Balulalow portions:

Get Around Town:

Leave Me Alone:

A ‘wish I had been there’ lullaby party: