God damn right its a beautiful day...

Sometimes the only thing you can say about a day as totally lovely as this one in the Berkshires is what Mr. E sang in the first single from Daisies of the Galaxy: God damn right it's a beautiful day!
The smokestack spitting black soot into the sooty sky, the load on the road brings a tear to the Indian's eye
The elephant won't forget what it's like inside his cage, the ringmaster's telecaster sings on an empty stage
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day

The girl with the curls and the sweet pink ribbon in her hair, she's crawling out her window 'cause her daddy He just don't care Come on
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
The clown with the frown driving down to the sidewalk fair
Finger on the trigger let me tell you gave us quite a scare
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
The kids flip their lids when their ids hear that crazy sound
My neighbor digs the flavor still he's moving to another town
And I don't believe he'll come back
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
Well i don't know how you take in all the shit you see
No don't believe anyone and most of all don't believe me - believe you
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day
Goddamn right it's a beautiful day

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP6ueUFOXTc

My wife turned me on to the Eels a few years ago - they are hip, vulnerable, fun, creative and a combination of Leonard Cohen meets Frank Zappa and the Beatles for a 21st century audience - and I find myself singing this crazy ass song whenever days like this come my way. Now I know some people of faith are uncomfortable with hard language - Clarence Jordan used to call them "Kleenex Christians with tissue paper feelings" - good souls who are so rattled by the hard realities of real life (to say nothing of the earthy language of Jesus in the scriptures) - that they can't relate to regular slobs like you and me. So while I think there is a season for all things - including rough words and beautiful poetry - this song not only has a fun groove but you can't help but laugh at the irony of life's pain surrounded by so much beauty. Old U2 put it a little more gently in their song with a similar title, but take note: they reference the flood of Noah, the pollution of God's sweet planet, traffic jams, boredom and the crazy mix of isolation and technology that has become the post-modern reality of 21st century living.

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town
You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck and you're not moving anywhere
You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand In return for grace
It's a beautiful day sky falls,
You feel like It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud in the maze of her imagination
You love this town even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over and it's been all over you
It's a beautiful day Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day
Touch me - Take me to that other place
Teach me I know I'm not a hopeless case
See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out
It was a beautiful day don't let it get away
Beautiful day
Touch me Take me to that other place
Reach me I know I'm not a hopeless case
What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now
Was a beautiful day

Check it out live from the Brooklyn Bridge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18L4id_ZoPU

I love the paradox of these songs - a spirituality that owns how messy life is and how mixed up this whole blessings and curse thing is, too - I bump into it all the time: a family hates divorce but knows it is the best course for their beloved child, an adult son loves his alcoholic father in spite of all the wounds, a saint of the church finds herself with cancer at the prime of her life but keeps on loving. Makes me think of how Lou Reed put it in that song cylce he wrote about friends taken by cancer and suicide that I listened to prayerfully over and over 15 years ago while my sister, Linda, died a miserable death of cancer of the cervix.

Life's like forever becoming but life's forever dealing in hurt
Now life's like death without living
That's what life's like without you
Life's like Sanskrit read to a pony
I see you in my mind's eye strangling on your tongue
What's good is knowing such devotion
I've been around - I know what makes things run
What good is seeing eye chocolate
What good's a computerized nose
And what good was cancer in April
Why no good - no good at all
What good's a war without killing
What good is rain that falls up
What good's a disease that won't hurt you
Why no good, I guess, no good at all
What good are these thoughts that I'm thinking
It must be better not to be thinking at all
A styrofoam lover with emotions of concrete
No not much, not much at all
What's good is life without living
What good's this lion that barks
You loved a life others throw away nightly
It's not fair, not fair at all
What's good?oh, baby, what's good?
What's good?what's good? not much at all
Hey, baby, what's good? (what's good?)
What's good? (what's good?)what's good? (what's good?)
Not much at all
What's good? (what's good?)what's good? (life's good)
Life's good (life's good)what's good? (life's good) but not fair at all

Life is good - not fair at all - you got that right, Lou. And still however you slice it - with sweet words or coarse - this was a beautiful day. And I have to say thanks be to God.


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