Even Television Occasionally Inspires

May 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Television has at various times been referred to as “the boob tube” and as a “vast wasteland.” Occasionally, however, television can be enlightning, educational, even inspiring.

Recently, I have been watching Ken Burns’ ten-part documentary for PBS on jazz. Although some critics called the miniseries oversimplified, for someone like me who enjoys jazz but doesn’t necessarily know that much about it, it has been both educational and entertaining. Even inspiring.

As I watch the series, I am reminded of how much I enjoy the music of both Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. With regard to the latter, I especially enjoy his efforts to marry the blues and jazz into something almost classical in nature. In particular, I am thinking of Rhapsody in Blue and Porgy and Bess. The latter, of course, features the famous tune “Summertime.”

While watching one of the episodes of Burns’ miniseries, I was reminded of “Summertime” and decided to see if I could come up with something possessing a similar flavor. Hopefully I succeeded. The tempo, at least, is similar.

Late At Night

Late at night
When the dreamers are sleeping
Only the hollow men
Have their eyes open wide
Certain truths
Can be seen in the shadows
That in the light of day
We try to hide

Late at night
When the city is naked
And its inner soul
Is laid open to see
All its faults
Like the cracks in the concrete
Are put on display
Without sympathy

The sirens and ambulance lights
Proclaim the show’s about to begin
The action is starting to build
Even as the crowd is starting to thin
Someone in the wrong spot
Will get their 15-minutes of fame
And 15-minutes after that
We won’t recall their name

Late at night
Single mothers are weeping
Because they know
They’ll sleep alone again tonight
Lonely men
Walk the streets seeking comfort
To give them strength
To face the morning light

Late at night in the shadows
The colors fade
To black and white

© 2015 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.


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