Welcome to this Sunday's insurrection. I'll be your substitute pastor until one of the chosen calls the right people to lead me away. I prepared by scanning over back-sermons when I found a 3-year-old one that had been damaged. Some company I never heard of now owns rights to poor Joe Dassin and Laurel and Hardy. I was shocked and confused. Well, maybe I was already confused, but shocked enough to go after the clips they'd excised and reinstate them. Oddly, nobody had, in those 3 years, interfered with "Farewell to Stromness" --probably because it glows in the dark-- but I'm going to add something, not sure what, just to show moneyed interests they have no dominion over human spirituality, or do they? So fold something up between pew and you because we'll be here a while. I'm fond of this cushion from Pep Boys. Let's begin where we started 3 years ago:
This is one of those days we've been doing our shopping and walking among languages. I wish I understood more of them. On my profile page, years ago, I listed Joe Dassin as a favorite
musician. He was an
American, a polyglot, a Frenchman, a doctor of ethnology, a poet and singer. He was a citizen of the world. He was on a tragically tight schedule, had a bad heart, but
left the world with one of the happiest songs I ever heard:
The song is about walking on a street, in this case a very famous street and having life jump out at you, cataloguing its wonders in the form of possibilities. Here: Joe Dassin, Les Champs Elysees;
Tu m'as dit : "J'ai rendez-vous
Dans un sous-sol avec des fous
Qui vivent la guitare à la main
Du soir au matin."
My translation: "You told me: 'I have an appointment in a basement of fools who live guitar-in-hand all night."
I like to think the basement was full of guitars because they couldn't fit a piano in it, and the fools combined themselves into the range of notes required for pieces written for heavier artillery. One of my favorite piano pieces is"Farewell To Stromness", by Peter Maxwell Davies. The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet couldn't do a better job of it even if they were in a basement:
I suppose my western upbringing left me with a fondness for guitars --the preferred instrument of the American cowboy. So I will close with a dance by Oliver Hardy, an American, and Stan Laurel, an Englishman, to a guitar and yodeling version of "Commence To Dancing":
There is a relaxed, happy feel about this dance that finds proof in its imperfections. In fact, none of my three examples of happiness is entirely perfect. They all took some work. Their artists did not accept the archetype of happiness as a force of nature. They approached it with skills and ideas that were artistically limited. Sometimes it is necessary to be masterful and not nervous about details. Go thou and do likewise.
I have spent so much time restoring this old sermon that I felt an update warranted an addition --an example of how a substitute pastor like myself imagines he sounds playing a kazoo in the shower. It is my reward for dogged diligence, so I found one of Johann Hummel's most cheerful tunes and stuck it on. The excellent bassoonist waits about 3 minutes into the clip to get hooting but I'm glad he showed up --it would take me even longer to perform naked with a wet kazoo before a competent orchestra. Go thou and do likewise...er...likewise. And have a happy Sunday full of cheerful music. You'll notice the choir is out today (doing some paid cheering --see end of video), so turn on the shower and do your damnedest.