Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sing: Lyrics and Two Performances

Sing
My Chemical Romance (watch official video here
(Listen to Glee performance here)

Sing it out — 
Boy, you’ve got to see what tomorrow brings.
Sing it out — 
Girl, you’ve got to be what tomorrow needs.
For every time that they want to count you out,
And use your voice every single time you open up your mouth.

Sing it for the boys, sing it for the girls —
Every time you that you lose it, sing it for the world
Sing it from the heart
Sing it 'til you’re nuts
Sing it out for the ones that’ll hate your guts
Sing it for the deaf
Sing it for the blind
Sing about everyone that you left behind
Sing it for the world
Sing it for the world

Sing it out — 
Boy, they’re gonna sell what tomorrow means
Sing it out — 
Girl, before they kill what tomorrow brings
You’ve got to make a choice if the music drowns you out.
And raise your voice every single time they try and shut your mouth.

Sing it for the boys, sing it for the girls —
Every time you that you lose it, sing it for the world
Sing it from the heart
Sing it 'til you’re nuts
Sing it out for the ones that’ll hate your guts
Sing it for the deaf
Sing it for the blind
Sing about everyone that you left behind
Sing it for the world
Sing it for the world

Cleaned-up corporation,
Progress dying in the process
Children that can talk about it
Living on the railways
People moving sideways
Sell it 'til your last days
Buy yourself the motivation,
Generation nothing, 
nothing but a dead scene
Product of a white dream
I am not the singer that you wanted,
But a dancer,
I refuse to answer
Talk about the past, sir,
Rooting for the ones who want to get away

Keep running!

Sing it for the boys, sing it for the girls
Every time you that you lose it, sing it for the world
Sing it from the heart
Sing it 'til you’re nuts
Sing it out for the ones that’ll hate your guts
Sing it for the deaf
Sing it for the blind
Sing about everyone that you left behind
Sing it for the world
Sing it for the world
You’ve got to see what tomorrow brings
Sing it for the world,
Sing it for the world
Yeah, you’ve got to be what tomorrow needs
Sing it for the world
Sing it for the world

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Farewell, Brian Jacques, Master Storyteller

I was introduced to Redwall by a fellow reader who became one of my best friends.  She and I shared a love of many things, including books — and especially Brian Jacques, whose death on February 5 has lost this world a fabulous storyteller.

I remember traveling to the Bailey's Crossroad, Va., Borders to listen to him read.  Carole and her husband Steve came with their two children.  The children were young, in elementary school, and the place was packed.  The kids sat as close as they could and the adults peered from the edges, mesmerized as he recited the description of Cluny the Scourge in Redwall.

When I say "recited," what I mean is "performed."  I never heard such a sonorous voice, rich and interesting.  He whispered, he shouted, he drew us in close to share asides, he used his entire body to tell the tale.  I don't think I took a single breath for fear of missing a syllable.  I went to my reading eye and watched Cluny appear before me, just as Jacques described.  It was incredible, and I silently thanked the blind children who inspired him to write such rich, detailed stories.

i also wasn't surprised to learn that his descriptions of food were influenced by his experiences living through food rationing during and following World War II.  Only one who knew want could create feasts so abundant and varied.

Afterward, he signed his books.  Now, he was recuperating from carpal tunnel syndrome from signing so many books, and the event organizers asked that each person bring only three books to the table.  He apologized, and we know he would have signed every book we carried had he been able.

When my young friends met him, they were wearing the masks and waving the scabbards they had made in the workshop the bookstore had provided.  Jacques was delighted, and he gladly posed for a few photos with the children after he finished autographing their books. 

He listened to the questions and comments by the children and their parents, really listened, and thought carefully before he answered.  Some authors have canned answers, or questions they won't consider — but not Jacques.  I could see the wheels turning as he thought, and responded.

He promised to keep writing books for as long as we kept reading them.  We did, no matter how we grew (up or out).  My young friends went on to college, and yet they would read those books with their parents, with Carole twisting her tongue around Basil's Scottish brogues and Foremole's near-mumbling.  I watched in fascination, wondering how Jacques heard them in his head, knowing he would be thrilled with Carole's performance.

I am going to miss this wonderful author and the excitement of finding another of his books on the shelf.  I will miss the dormice, the hares, hedgehogs and badgers — even the stoats and weasels, without whom there could be no story.  Jacques' writing made the world a better, and more colorful, place, and his talent will be truly missed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fill in the Gaps, the 2011 Edition

In February 2010, I finalized my Fill in the Gaps Book list.  I made a few adjustments when I realized I had read a few on my original list, and I removed a few when I discovered I was heavy with books by a single author (see strikethroughs below).  I also made a tiny dent in the list (see checks below) and added a few new titles (see green entries below marked with an "N").

I'm still determining the status of All That Dickens and Should I Dumas to That Extent, but I think I'm good with the balance of books on the list.  As you can see from the strikethroughs, I have a few more books to choose, so I'll take suggestions.

In the meanwhile, this is the status of this daunting task.


Chris' Fill in the Gaps Book List




1001 Nights / Arabian Nights




Things Fall Apart
Chinua
Achebe


Highsmoor
Peter
Ackroyd


Foundation
Isaac
Asimov


Pride and Prejudice
Jane
Austen


Sense and Sensibility
Jane
Austen

Sundays With Vlad
Paul
Bibeau
The
Lost Symbol
Dan
Brown

The
Early Fears
Robert
Bloch

The
Good Earth
Pearl S.
Buck

A
Little Princess
Frances Hodgson
Burnett

The
Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson
Burnett


Cold Sassy Tree
Olive Ann
Burns

The
Land that Time Forgot
Edgar Rice
Burroughs


Tobacco Road
Erskine
Caldwell

The
Plague
Albert
Camus


Ender's Game
Orson Scott
Card


Death Comes for the Archbishop
Willa
Cather


O Pioneers
Willa
Cather


Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael
Chabon

The
Big Sleep
Raymond
Chandler

The
Stories of John Cheever
John
Cheever


Girl with the Pearl Earring
Tracy
Chevalier

The
Woman in White
Wilkie
Collins


Moll Flanders
Daniel
DeFoe

The
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Junot
Diaz

A
Tale of Two Cities
Charles
Dickens


David Copperfield
Charles
Dickens


Little Dorrit
Charles
Dickens


Oliver Twist
Charles
Dickens


Great Expectations
Charles
Dickens

The
Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre
Dumas

The
Man in the Iron Mask
Alexandre
Dumas

The
Last Cavalier
Alexandre
Dumas

A
Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Dave
Eggers


Middlemarch
George
Eliot


Madame Bovary
Gustave
Flaubert


Where Angels Fear to Tread
E.M.
Forster

The
Corrections
Jonathan
Franzen

The
Quiet American
Graham
Greene
N
The
Talented Mr. Ripley
Patricia
Highsmith


Goodbye, Mr. Chips
James
Hilton


Lost Horizon
James
Hilton

Les
Miserables
Victor
Hugo


Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale
Hurston

The
Lost Weekend
Charles R.
Jackson
The
Haunting of Hill House
Shirley
Jackson

The
Portrait of a Lady
Henry
James


Three Men in a Boat
Jerome K
Jerome


Up the Down Staircase
Bel
Kaufman


On the Road
Jack
Kerouac


Please Don’t Eat the Daisies
Jean
Kerr


Under the Dome
Stephen
King

The
Poisonwood Bible
Barbara
Kingsolver

The
Jungle Books
Rudyard
Kipling

The
Man Who Would Be King
Rudyard
Kipling

A
Separate Peace
John
Knowles


Little Drummer Girl
John
LeCarre

The
Golden Notebook
Doris
Lessing


Sliver
Ira
Levin


Elmer Gantry
Sinclair
Lewis

The
Monk
Matthew Gregory
Lewis


What the Dead Know
Laura
Lippman

        
The
Call of the Wild
Jack
London
The
Best of H.P. Lovecraft
H.P.
Lovecraft


One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia
Marquez


Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel Garcia
Marquez

The
Road
Cormac
McCarthy

The
Member of the Wedding
Carson
McCullers

Atonement
Ian
McEwan


Lonesome Dove
Larry
McMurty


Moby-Dick
Herman
Melville


Peyton Place
Grace
Metalious

The
Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Nicholas
Meyer


Beloved
Toni
Morrison


Lolita
Vladimir
Nabokov


Suite Fran├žaise
Irene
Nemirovsky

A
Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy
O'Toole


Doctor Zhivago
Boris
Pasternak


Bel Canto
Ann
Patchett


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert M.
Pirsig


Gravity’s Rainbow
Thomas
Pynchon


Atlas Shrugged
Ayn
Rand

The
Fountainhead
Ayn
Rand


All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria
Remarque


Home
Marylynne
Robinson

The
Human Stain
Philip
Roth

The
God of Small Things
Arundathi
Roy


Midnight’s Children
Salman
Rushdie


Sarum
Edward
Rutherford


Frankenstein
Mary
Shelley
A

Town like Alice
Nevil
Shute


Prayers to  Broken Stones
Dan
Simmons


Enemies, A Love Story
Isaac Bashevis
Singer


Angle of Repose
Wallace
Steigner

Dracula
Bram
Stoker

The
Valley of the Dolls
Jacqueline
Suzanne

The
Magnificent Ambersons
Booth
Tarkington

The
Man Who Fell to Earth
Walter
Tevis


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S.
Thompson


Anna Karenina
Leo
Tolstoy


War and Peace
Leo
Tolstoy


All the King's Men
Robert Penn
Warren


Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn
Waugh


Night
Elie
Weisel


Journey to the Center of the Earth
H.G.
Wells


Trainspotting
Irvine
Welsh

The
Age of Innocence
Edith
Wharton

The
Inimitable Jeeves
P.G.
Wodehouse