“Mandalay” by Rudyard Kipling

 

 

Had a request for Kipling on my YouTube channel.  This has now become one of my favorites.

 

 

 

“Mandalay” by Rudyard Kipling

 

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ eastward to the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”

 

Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay;
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay,
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

 

‘Er petticoat was yaller an’ ‘er little cap was green,
An’ ‘er name was Supi-yaw-lat—jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot:

 

Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud—
What they called the Great Gawd Budd—
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ‘er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

 

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git her little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!”
With ‘er arm upon my shoulder an’ ‘er cheek agin my cheek
We uster watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.

 

Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ‘ung that ‘eavy you was ‘arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

 

But that’s all shove be’ind me—long ago an’ fur away,
An’ there ain’t no ‘busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ‘ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
“If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ‘eed naught else.”

 

No! you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

 

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’ stones,
An’ the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty ‘ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?

 

Beefy face an’ grubby ‘and—
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

 

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, and it’s there that I would be—
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea.

 

On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
Oh the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

 

Heroes : Schroeder from the Peanuts

This is an article about Schroeder.
Shroeder is a musical genius and man of quiet temperance.  He has moments when his patience is tried, but he usually gives a heavy sigh (let the negative feelings out) and then drops his hands onto the piano.
I have to admit, with absolute sincerity, Schroeder has been one of my heroes since I was little.  It was his music with which I originally identified: the romantic composers: Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, etc.  Of all the characters in The Peanuts, Schroeder is the one who is a part of the action, but then steps back, and sees life as a whole in this beautiful abstract profusion of sound and color.  I suppose it’s those same reasons that I enjoyed the character of Simon in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.  Simon could step back, see the world for what it was, and understand.
One of my favorite moments in animation comes from A Boy Named Charlie Brown.  If you have 5 minutes, watch it.
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Heroes : Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper is an American realist of the first half of the 20th Century.  You can read up on him here via Wikipedia.

I’m not sure when I got into him, but I’m glad I did.  I identify with his work in a very similar way to that of Gregory Crewdson.  There’s the evocation of loneliness, introspection, voyeurism, mystery, and character depth by depicting (in many cases) these isolated people painted in harsh contrasts framed, or often contained, by some larger construct.

To the left, I chose to paste in “Nighthawks” because it’s one of the iconic images by Hopper, and from it, one can also see similarities to the works of Lynch, Scorsese, and Crewdson reminiscent ofTaxi Driver, or below, “Summer Evening”, which feels of Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet. 

I have a fascination with night and the way light can create these pools of contrast and drama.  In nighttime, we choose what to light and therefore what to see.  We also choose what to keep concealed, what to leave for the imagination to consider and maybe even obsess over.  I think that mystery of the dark areas is a beautiful thing and that depiction of the light areas, the way we choose to throw the light, really paints the story being told.

A friend of mine gave me the quote once by Leonard Misonne “The object is nothing; the light is everything.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was trying to find some interesting Hopper video on YouTube.  Maybe some footage of him working, but didn’t have any luck.  This is kind of an interesting clip someone put together of his work against “Town Without Pity” by Gene Pitney.  I don’t necessarily like the idea of listening to music when looking at paintings because I think it messes with your own interpretation, however, in this case, I do think this is an interesting work worth the few minutes.  (and if you want to just watch the slide show, hit mute).

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Heroes : Thelonious Monk

Thought I might start slowly assembling some content based around “heroes” of mine.  I’ll start off with Thelonious Monk.  It’s easy to argue this man’s place in music history.  If you get a chance, and want to see an amazing documentary, Clint Eastwood was executive producer on a film called Straight, No Chaser, which collects a treasure trove of 16mm black and white footage of Monk against interviews with his friends, family, and bandmates.

This first tune, “‘Round About Midnight”, is one of my favorites.  I also have the famous Miles Davis version on my YouTube “Music” playlist which you can find here.

 

 

 

BMW Films – Star

Got some downtime and was looking for something on YouTube and randomly decided to look for this short film I saw a few years ago.  BMW used to have a site called bmwfilms.  BMWFilms was a project / website / DVD that was used for ads and also as eyecandy for proud BMW owners.  Anyway, the basic premise was Ridley Scott (BladeRunner) produced a series of shorts directed by various names.  Each director received funds and I think five cars to do with with they pleased.  There’s a whole series which you can find on YouTube, but far and away, my favorite in the set was “Star” by Guy Ritchie. 

Here’s the embedded film from YouTube.

 

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