Category Archives: “Cecilia”

100 Pieces of Paul Simon’s Life

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Celebrating 50 years of performing, writing and contributing to our

mental psyche, Paul Simon recently spent three hours, 180 minutes,

to help elaborate for a new exhibit at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall

of Fame. There will be a small piece of this exhibit shown at the

Cuyahoga Community College (CCC), sponsored by the R and R Hall.

Paul Simon was inaugurated into the R & R Hall of Fame when he

was part of the duo of Simon and Garfunkel, then later he was doubly

awarded, as a solo artist of majestic proportions.

The curator/archivist, Karen Herman said Paul Simon was very

generous with his time, completely answering the interview questions

expanding on them and allowing the entire tape to be included in the

new exhibit.

What will you see there?

Here are several of the 100 new items that interested me and captured

my imagination:

1. A 1957 hand written letter from Art Garfunkel to Paul Simon, while

he was away at summer camp. Who out there knew they were friends

from such a young age? There is a postmarked envelope and personal

letter with messages in Art’s young handwriting to his friend. This life-

long friendship was ‘news’ to me. I knew they collaborated and sang

together as Simon and Garfunkel, but did not know they both attended

prep school and were close through all these years.

2. The first guitar that Paul ever owned. This is an acoustical guitar

made by “Stadium.”

3. The lyrics written in his own hand of his best-selling song, “The Boxer.”

The CCC has many other parts of the special exhibit about the writing of

this famous song. There was an interesting ‘tid bit’ that when Paul was

writing the song, he inserted the vocal bridge of, “Lie-la-lie” originally

and fully intending to substitute using words, adding them later. Once

he completed the passage, it ‘stuck,’ remaining in the song.  Paul left

the song as is, after practicing with Art and going ahead with recording

the bridge within the song. (I am wondering, is this how we got that

‘riff’ or ‘bridge’ in the song, Mrs. Robinson, that goes “Coo, coo, ka chu?”)

4. Photographs abound in the exhibit. Personal ones, like his sweet but

serious face as a toddler in 1943.

5. Did you know Paul had enrolled as a DRAMA student (not Music!)

at the Queen’s College in New York City, NY? I studied this photograph

of Paul’s college sophomore year, picturing him as a dramatic actor,

seeing him as one who may have made Robert DeNiro or Dustin Hoffman

envious.

6. I have more than 3 two-sided 45 records, including Sound of Silence,

Only Living Boy in New York, Cecilia, Bridge over Troubled Water, The

Boxer and Mrs. Robinson. The only one on exhibit at the R & R Hall of

Fame is, “Me and Julio Down by the School Yard.”

I ponder donating my 45’s… naw!

7. Paul’s Grammy Records, all are on display. Donated to the R & R

instead of having them collect dust on shelves or be displayed in his

home set of cases.

7. The notes, handwritten on a notepad with the lyrics and sound

development for his album, “Graceland.” In this interview, Paul gave

us insight into his own personal writing style. He always writes his

songs music first. This surprised me, when Paul shared this processing

information of songwriting. I pictured his writing his lyrics first. They

are so poetic and meaningful, one could then imagine trying to place

the piano or instrumentals into the pieces. He also shared that he does

not always put his ‘best material’ into the first line of his songs. He feels

it is important to ‘build the drama and meaning’ as the song progresses.

By the way, Paul Simon’s unique musical combination of South African

and Zulu-Western, along with including Zydeco and Tex-Mex sound

influences, made his album an international success. The voices of many

friends appear on tracks in this album, including the Everly Brothers

on the title track, “Graceland.”

Female singing artist, Linda Ronstadt, performed with Paul Simon in

the lovely song, “Under African Skies.” The controversy behind this

album brought attention to our united stand against apartheid with him.

 

 

The part of the installation of Paul Simon’s body of musical artistry

which will travel, is going from major city to city. This will come to

museums and other public viewing areas, which will include an

admission charge, going back towards the Cleveland’s upkeep of their

entire building that embodies almost all genres of music, which have

had influences on each level, including rock and roll. There are so

many international exhibits, which I would recommend taking more

than one day to view. Paul Simon’s exhibit alone is considered to

need half an hour to 45 minutes to listen and absorb the information

given. As far as the CCC exhibit, Songwriters and musicians may be

happy to study the details of one song, “The Boxer.” There are images

of New York, the tickets for performances, the notes and personal

memorabilia attached to this iconic legend of a man, Paul Simon.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit will cover 1500 square feet.

 

 

The Opposite of Fix is to Break

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As a counterpoint essay on a subject opposite of the “fix” post, I thought that it

would be fun to use the word, “broke” and all of its variations. This will follow the

pattern that I used last time, analysis, wordplay and include a popular song, which

has an unusual use of ‘broke’ within its lyrics. Like last time, I would like you to

help me to determine if this detracts from the friendly, caring tone it is trying to

set. I feel the One Direction’s song, “The Story of My Life,” is quite lively and goes

at such a quick pace, that you may not have noticed the words I heard the other

day.

If you watched, “American Idol,” 2014, you may have caught Alex Preston

singing this song. I am not sure, since they edit the song to fit a timed format,

if it included the phrase that concerns me. I will show the passages before this

and let you know by using *s to indicate the phrase which include the word,

“broke inside.”

“The Story of My Life”

The story of my life,

I take her home

I drive all night to keep her warm

And time is frozen

(the story, the story)

The story of my life,

I give her hope

*I spend her love

until she’s broke inside.”*

I found myself pondering this long and hard. It seems that the author loves

and cares for the woman, but then that just feels like hurtful words to say

in amongst the love messages. It seems rather ‘cold’ instead of depicting

‘warm’ feelings.

What do you think? Let me know…

The words, “break, broke, break-up and broken” all have a variety of

definitions. Most have emotions and feelings attached. I allowed myself

to add “Heartbreak” to this post, while listing positive and negative

meanings.  I had several positive reactions to the “fix” post, so hope

you will like some of the brain-storming that my coworkers did between

the first post and this one.

POSITIVE uses of the variations of “Break, etc.”

We all enjoy ‘breaks!’

From school- Summer Vacation!

From work- Vacation!

During school-

Recess,

Gym,

Music,

Art

and

Lunch.

At work in an office- The Water Cooler.

Almost all jobs have Vending Machines for snacks.

Lunch,

Break-time

and

Daily stretches.

Some of us wished we lived where “Siestas” were a daily afternoon event!

Breaking bad habits (always a positive)

Break from Ordinary Routines = Extraordinary Experiences.

Making a “clean break” is good from a bad relationship.

When two people are having some rough patches, they may wish to “take a break.”

When two people are in a committed relationship and are raising children, they

may wish to have a “break” which is otherwise known as, “Date Night!”

A “break” during a long movie or play is called “Intermission.”

When you are putting all your money into the Pot, in a game, you may say these

words, “I’m going for Broke!”

“Breaking barriers” is a good way to allow communication and relationships

between cultures, countries or other situations to grow and develop.

“Breaking Bad” was a good and entertaining television show.

“Breaking the Ice” is also good, to allow people to have more fun. One game

that was an “ice breaker,” in the old days, while a teenager, was “Spin the

Bottle.” One my parents ‘approved of,’ was “Twister!”

NEGATIVE uses of the word, “Break, etc.”

Being “broke” (when not playing a game of Monopoly) is a bad thing.

Being ’emotionally broke’ may mean you are empty inside or possibly

unemotional.

“The Break Up” was the title of a not so funny movie with Jennifer Anniston

and Vince Vaughn. (Maybe it was just me!)

Melvin mentioned that one of his favorite Clint Eastwood ‘war themed movies,’

was “Heartbreak Ridge.”

Broken hearts are so sad.

Broken engagements may leave one of the two parties involved, happier. One

much sadder.

Broken objects.

Cars broke down or breaking down.

Broken bones do hurt.

(Sticks and stones may break your bones,

And words DO hurt you, too!)

Marriage Break Up’s:

1. Accidental-

Unplanned, fall out of love, curiosity or boredom

may lead to an affair. Lack of interest with partner.

Situational and sometimes out of anger or a rash

reaction.

2. Intentional-

Separation. One or both parties chooses to leave.

Counseling ‘didn’t work.’ Too many problems, wide

disparity in personalities.

3. Emotional-

Grow apart. Reaching a breaking point. Some habits

that are not mutual, possibly addictions. The statistics

for two people, raising a child with disabilities, chances

of divorce goes from the “norm” of 50% up to 75%.

Stress and depression can be part of this ‘break up.’

When you ‘tame a horse,’ you have to ‘break’ them of

their freedom. I put this under negatives, but can see

it going either way. Depends on the perspective, the

horse or the owner.

I loved the way my coworkers helped me to compile a

list of songs with ‘heart break’ as its core. If you wish to

add some more, please do so in the comments section.

1.  “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?”

This song was released in 1971, by the Bee Gees. Robin

and Barry Gibb mainly are the ones who wrote the lyrics.

2.  “Heartbreak Hotel”

This song was released on January 27, 1956 by Elvis Presley.

3.  “Heartbreak Hotel”

This song, totally different from Elvis’ in its lyrics and melody,

was released in 1998 by Whitney Houston.

4.  “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

Sung by Bonnie Raitt, more recently by Adele. Written in 1991.

4.  “Heartbreaker”

This was an exciting title for many famous songs!

a. Led Zeppelin, in 1969, English rock band.

b. Pat Benatar in 1979, totally different song.

c. Dionne Warwick in 1982, another song.

d. Mariah Carey in 1999, another song.

e. Justin Bieber in 2013, his own song.

Lastly, when googling this subject, I had no idea it would include

such a diverse group of performers singing the one I knew best,

Pat Benatar’s, which also was sung by Jena Irene, on “American

Idol,” 2014. We cannot go too far on this, it would generate a

whole other post!

5.  “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

a. First title song, one I did not remember was Dionne Warwick’s

singing this in 1976. This was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The one that I saw performed in Cincinnati at what was then called,

Riverside Stadium was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It

was with two ‘youngsters’ born in the same year of 1947:

Elton John and Kiki Dee.

6.  “Cecilia”

Sung by Simon and Garfunkel. This song was on their album in 1970.

An ‘oldie but goodie!’

The first line in the song goes like this, “Cecilia, you’re breaking

my heart. You’re breaking my confidence daily….”

(Notice two uses of the word, ‘breaking.’)

The part where the man gets up to use the bathroom and comes

back to bed, to find someone else taking his place; made us all laugh

hysterically, thinking that we had gotten away with listening to this

rather wild, risqué song! (And our parents had all liked S & G!)

7. “Achy Breaky Heart”

First sung in 1991, by the Marcy Brothers. Don Von Tress wrote this

song, that was later made famous by Billy Ray Cyrus, of course!

What song would you include from the band,

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words Can Be Hurtful Weapons!

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My friend, Cecilia, I have written is a very lovely, busy woman

who divides her time between during the day shift, cleaning

the bathrooms at work and nursing at night, in a Worthington,

Ohio nursing home facility. She came from Cameroon, married

an American man who loves her, has children and grandchildren.

We had a wonderful time one day exchanging pictures and stories

of grandchildren. I have written a story about her, she is my “sister

from a different mother.” She calls me “Sis” and “Miss Robin” due

to my old preschool days. I call her, “Sis,” and Nurse Cecilia. On

very funny days, when I need to just switch gears, I try to sing Simon

and Garfunkle’s song, “Cecilia, ” to her!

We were in a morose mood, sad to say today. I could not believe her

face as I entered the bathroom, my usual “pit stop” before I clock in.

Cecilia came to me, and immediately asked, “How is your family?”

she answered, “Okay.” I asked because she was so quiet, “And your

Mama in Cameroon?” She nodded her head, “Fine.”

I asked her, “What on Earth happened?!”

She said, “Last night, before your shift left a woman, her name is Kim,

do you know her?”

I answered, “Kim is in heavy bulk, a rather “rough around the edges”

woman, is she okay?”

Then, Cecilia proceeded to shock me. I mean I just posted a story about

racial slurs and she said, “Kim asked me why the bathroom still smelled

bad after I cleaned. I said, ‘Well, I pour bleach down on the floor and in

the toilets, I spray aerosol scents and I use good cleaning products. I

don’t know, maybe someone just used the bathroom?’ I did not use a

‘tone’ with her, or anything, Robin! You would not believe what she said!

She called me a ‘nigger’: ‘Nigger, why don’t you use some elbow grease?

I mean you don’t scrub or anything?”

Cecilia then cried a few tears, I patted her on the back, told her to “Ignore

hateful people” and “Please report this!”

She looked down at the floor, “I answered back, quick as a wink, I told her

you are just a ‘Miller Time woman!'”

I had to smile at that! I responded, “Cecilia, that is very mild compared to

her spiteful words! The pipes in this old building stink! The bathroom can

not be cleaned any better than the people who use it and leave it! That is

so wrong and you must tell Mark Jones!”

She continued, she was on a rant but also subdued, “She thinks she is so

much better than I am! She is just a factory woman and I have nursing

degree. Does she bother to get to know me? Does she see I am a hard

worker?”

I asked her, “Did you write this out or did you tell Mark yet?”

She finally answered this, gasping it out, breathless so agitated, “Yes, I

told him, very humiliated by my words. He is going above today to tell

Ted. (our CEO’s assistant).”

She started to wipe the mirrors, saying, “Go to work, you will be late

clocking in, Robin! You have stuck up for me, I remember that nice

way you went to the CEO (at the time, Scott) and asked if I could eat

a plate from your Thanksgiving dinner. He said, “No, she is just a

subcontracted employee. Like I am nothing!”

I told her, “Don’t worry, this is a legal issue! Calling someone that

name is very extreme!i It will be considered so offensive, she will

get fired!”

This direct attack of my good friend, Cecilia, was addressed before

lunch today. There was no one on the breakroom computer playing

Solitaire. Here is the ‘news for the day’:

Kim was fired!

Vindication!