Thursday, April 19, 2007


One of the better known songs based on Kurt Vonnegut's work is "Sirens of Titan." "I was drawn by the sirens of Titan," Al Stewart lisps, "and so I came in the end..." Riding side-saddle through outer space imagery, the almost masculine Mr. Stewart may unintentionally suggest the Sirens of Titan were she-males. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
It's a pretty song, and a good pretense for sneaking Mr. Vonnegut into a music blog. Kurt Vonnegut, who found his way through black humor and despair with increasingly large doses of curmudgeonly wit, did not turn a blind eye to human nature, but he also knew slapstick when he saw it, and declared the world was just a place to "fart around," but hey, as long as you didn't do it in anybody else's face.
Seven years ago, I photoshopped a KV photo with one of my favorite quotes from him, and left a lot of room on the bottom for him to add his unique and whimsical "signature." He tagged along the date, January 21, 2000. And if you can't make out the quote, here it is:
"I got a letter a while back from a sappy woman. She wrote me because she knew I was sappy too. She wanted help - if it was a terrible mistake bringing a baby into a world as awful as this one. I told her what made being alive almost worthwhile for me was meeting saints who were everywhere. By saints I mean ordinary people behaving decently in an indecent society. I hope all of you are or will become saints."
Thank you Kurt. And Al, if you're reading, don't mind the little jokes about your unique bolero-calypso progrock sci-fi tune. Kurt's own calypso singing can be found as a bonus to the narration on his Caedmon single disc recording of "Cat's Cradle.").
Al Stewart sings Vonnegut: THE SIRENS OF TITAN. Instant download or listen on line.

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