I've accepted the fact that I missed the now legendary gig of Gil Scott-Heron in Brussels a month ago because of a rather mundane traffic jam. Just don't mention it when you see me, OK? Be kind.
Opinions differ on the new Scott-Heron album "I'm New Here". I was talking to Theophilus London about it the day before his gig and he thought it was a hipster make-over of someone who didn't need a make-over. I agree. But I also think we should be thankful for him being able to release new material at all, for kids discovering his music in 2010 and you cannot deny there are some standout tracks to be cherished by fans and newbies alike. The title track is special to me because we've just moved house and I'm a sucker for 'this-track-was-made-for-my-life-right-now-I-swear!' moments.
The video is simple: live narrating and singing and a guitar in the background. No make-over here, just pure, heartfelt emotion and wisdom.
I did not become someone different That I did not want to be But I'm new here Will you show me around
No matter how far wrong you've gone You can always turn around Met a woman in a bar Told her I was hard to get to know And near impossible to forget She said i had an ego on me The size of Texas
Well I'm new here and I forget Does that mean big or small
No matter how far wrong you've gone
You can always tournaround
And I'm shedding plates like a snake And it may be crazy but I'm the closest thing I have To a voice of reason
Turnaround turnaround turnaround And you may come full circle and be new here again
The singing on "I'm New Here" reminds me of early Leonard Cohen, by the way.
Here's another life anthem of mine:
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Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free. Like a worm on a hook, like a knight from some old fashioned book I have saved all my ribbons for thee. If I, if I have been unkind, I hope that you can just let it go by. If I, if I have been untrue I hope you know it was never to you.
Like a baby, stillborn, like a beast with his horn I have torn everyone who reached out for me. But I swear by this song and by all that I have done wrong I will make it all up to thee. I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me, "You must not ask for so much." And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"
And here's the orginal, by Smog
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