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Oct 09

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The Band

October is the end of the baseball season and with this being the second post in the same day we can call it a double-header.

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Another musical group from my generation was simply named, The Band. They were very influential on the pop music scene from 1964 – 1978. I even remember they made it to the cover of TIME Magazine. They ended their touring performance with a final grand ballroom performance that was documented in the Martin Scorcese film titled, The Last Waltz.

Some of my favorites, Twilight, The Weight, Stage Fright, It Makes No Difference, and Life is a Carnival.

Their sound embodied a lonesome-bluesy-country, honky-tonky-rowdy, rock & roll-boogie quality that made for a jumping Saturday night! With respect to their musicianship, Every member contributed his heart and soul into the sound they put out and that is what real rock & roll is all about. The R & R lifestyle does have a tendency to take its toll and like many talented musical bands they went into self destruct mode. The music is the memory and that’s worth keeping. The tragic legacy of individuals lost in a self destructive lifestyle is too painful to relive.

Robbie Robertson is the only member of The Band who is still alive. He has made some interesting music on solo and some of it reaches back to First Nation roots. I especially like some of his stuff on the Ghost Dancers album. Songs like, Broken Arrow, Sonny Got Caught in the Moonlight and Somewhere Down the Crazy River have an ethereal quality that is somewhat haunting. Broken Arrow has been covered by the Grateful Dead and warmly received by Deadheads. I loved it the first time I heard Phil belt it out in Eugene, OR. In fact I think that is worth a music link to the official GD archives!

I suspect that many people at that show had never heard it before. An old friend in attendance with me for the weekend at Eugene had no idea where that tune came from, but he liked it.

Here are the lyrics;

 

BROKEN ARROW
by Robbie Robertson

Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow?
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain?
There he goes, moving across the water, that’s right
There he goes turning my whole world around

Do you feel what I feel?
Can we make it so that’s the part of the deal?
I gotta hold you in these arms of steel
Lay your heart on the line this time

I wanna breathe when you breathe
When you whisper like that hot summer breeze
Count the beads of sweat that cover me
Didn’t you show me a sign this time?

Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow?
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain?
There he goes moving across the water
There he goes turning my whole world around.

Can you see what I see?
Can you cut behind the mystery?
I will meet you by the witness tree
Leave the whole world behind

I want to come when you call
I’ll get to you if I have to crawl
They can’t hold me with these iron walls
We got mountains to climb.

Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow?
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain?
There he goes moving across the water
There he goes turning my whole world around

Turning my whole world around
Turning my whole world around

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The poetic imagery conjured by lyrics like ‘who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow? who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain….”

a “broken arrow” is seen as an offering of a truce, a commitment to peace. The “bottle of rain” speaks to memories of affection, good spirits carried through the water.

The song is romantic and speaks to bonding, friendship and commitment.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/band/

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