史爺搖滾 (14): 搖滾精靈 Don McLean (上)


聽歌應該是件愉快的事兒,因此我一向不喜歡把它談的太正經,或給予太多的「學術氣味」。但經過了六十多年的沉澱,我覺得有些歌的確有必要特別提出來談談。因為在美國流行歌曲的歷史中,它具有指標性。

1971年,在美國出現了一張專集唱片。名為 American Pie (美國派),創作人是來自紐約的歌手 Don McLean。

唱片推出後,引起了空前的轟動。這張專集以及其中的兩首歌(單曲) 後來都成了經典:

其一是 American Pie
其二是 Vincent

談及美國文化的具像代表,「派」可能是一個常見的印像。不知是否因為它給人一種「母親」的聯想?(母親做的 pie? motherland? ,像是老中的「祖國」?)

American Pie 談的是美國的流行音樂文化,當年引起了廣大的共鳴。作者用八分多鐘的時間闡述自己的「搖滾記憶」與他成長間的關係,以及在他記憶中的1959年,當聞及一 架飛機失事奪走了三位炙手的年輕搖滾樂手(Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big Bopper)後的悲痛。Don 在歌中將飛機失事的那一天訂為 “The Day The Music Died” (「音樂死亡」的那一天),因為他認為搖混樂就在那一天劃上了句號。他的這句話後來也成了名言。

American Pie 是首敘事與抒情的歌,Don McLean 在歌中很巧妙地用了很多隱諱的指名與典故來敘說故事,這些典故當時引起了許多人的揣測和討論。也宜發地助長了人們對其人,其樂,以及這張唱片的興趣。

American Pie (美國派) 專集版長達八分三十三秒;單曲發行時則分正反兩面,正面是四分十一秒;反面是四分三十一秒。從當時唱片的製作及銷售來講,這張專集發行的時間, 剛好也是市場上專集唱片的重要性日見凌架單曲的時候。這項轉型,使得當時發行這首長達八分多鐘的歌成為可能。至於它的單曲版本,各電台都不約而同地放棄正 面,祇播反面(B面),也成為一種奇特的現像。因為一般四十五轉的單曲唱片,正面(A面)才是主打歌。

此曲當年造成的風潮,除了排行榜的佳績之外,一時全美(即使說全球,可能也不為過)在廣播中,電視上,報紙內,雜誌間都在討論它。它有多麼轟動?就 在同一年(1971)另 一首流行歌 Killing Me Softly With His Song (他的歌溫柔地終結了我) 說的就是該曲作者聽了 Don 演唱後的感觸。歌詞是這麼說的:

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song….

他(彈奏的)手指不經意地觸及了我的痛處
他(演唱的)歌詞敘述了我的人生
他的歌曲溫柔地終結了我
他的歌曲溫柔地終結了我….

四十年後的今天,此曲的「經典」地位,在人們的心目中,依舊是十分穩固地歭立著。

聽歌,這是一位泰國女歌手的版本。唱的不錯(非本人製作):

歌詞蠻長,需要點耐心。Here it is…

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues.

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

I started singin’,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while lennon read a book of marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

We were singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Helter skelter in a summer swelter.
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
Eight miles high and falling fast.
It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast.

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And they were singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

They were singing,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.”

這是我在YT上找到的最佳 American Pie 視頻。除了介紹歌之外,也詳細介紹了歌詞的內容。非常好:

史爺搖滾 (13): 呢喃的微風 The Whispering Wind – Mandy Barnett


工作中無意發現了這首歌,實在抑不住要與您分享的衝動…
頭一次聽她的歌。她讓我想起當年的 Patsy Cline:

The Whispering Wind, told a lie
Broke your heart, made you cry
Cause you believed, the Whispering Wind

這呢喃的微風,說了謊
它使你傷了心,落了淚
因為你信了它,
這呢喃的微風

帶歌詞的版本:

史爺搖滾 (12): 辛苦地愛著你


「這不過就是一場愛;但我為什麼愛得這麼苦?」

– John Lennon

John Lennon

John Lennon

John Lennon 自己說,他本人並沒太把這首歌當回事。他還說這是一首平凡的歌,幾段平凡的詞。他甚至說,這是他自己寫得最爛的一首歌。

我不懂。這是一首帶著悲傷的情歌。字行間透著傷感。說的是一個少男與他心愛的女孩間發生爭執時的痛。字行間也顯露了一個少男在處理與他心愛女孩間的矛盾時心中的 vulnerability (照門?)(註:應是「罩門」,感謝刁格主指正)。別的不說,單就這份上,它就是首好歌。至少,不該像 John Lennon 自己說的,這是他作品中最爛的一首曲子。

John and Cynthia Lennon
我的直覺告訴我,他這說法的背後還有文章:

這首歌是1965年寫的,三年之後,他迷上了Yoko Ono,與妻子離婚。

這會不會是當年 John 與心愛的太太 Cynthia 吵架後寫下的歌?日後他貶低這首歌,是否由於他必需「打壓」這首敘述舊情的曲子,以向新太太Yoko 輸誠,而做出不得已的「自我設限」?

John and Yoko Ono

John and Yoko Ono

John and Yoko Ono

雖說清官難斷家務事,但老實講,天下有幾個人能說得出John Lennon 迷上Yoko 的道理?Yoko Avant-Garde 藝術方面的才華?還是她在音樂上的天賦?天!你聽過這位大娘唱歌嗎?前不久在網上看到 John Lennon 的兒子Julian Lennon 的訪問,其中談及父親John Lennon叔叔Paul McCartney及他的後娘Yoko Ono. 尤其有關後娘這部份。會讓你「有所悟」。Paul 有名的歌 Hey Jude 就是得知自己老友將與太太離婚,在驅車看他母子二人的路上寫的:

Hey, Jude.
Don’t make it bad
Take a sad song, and make it better….

哦,Julian
別太難過
快把一首傷心的歌,變得好些….

1965年,Beatles 的聲勢正迅速地向上攀升。在這之前, John Lennon 也沒少寫過一些有關少男少女間的情歌。但不知為何,我感覺It’s Only Love 對他總是那麼的personal (貼心)。之後,他寫歌的重心也有了改變。不再是男女情懷,而是人性與和平。是不是後來的 John 對自己早期感情的剖白有些不願面對的窘態?其實他反倒應珍惜這段年輕時的痛。

「凡是真實的,都應該珍惜。」

走筆至此,穿鑿附會的部份不少。您就姑且聽之吧。附上歌詞:

I get high when I see you go by
My oh my.
When you sigh, my, my insides just fly,
Butterfly.
Why am I so shy when I’m beside you?

It’s only love and that is all,
Why should I feel the way I do?
It’s only love, and that is all,
But it’s so hard loving you.

Is it right that you and I should fight
Every night?
Just the sight of you makes nighttime bright,
Very bright.
Haven’t I the right to make it up girl?

It’s only love and that is all,
Why should I feel the way I do?
It’s only love, and that is all
But it’s so hard loving you
Yes it’s so hard loving you — loving you.

Julian 的電視訪問

(謹將此歌獻給Yoko之前的 John & Cindy)

(Dedicated to John and Cynthia Lennon, the Lennons before Yoko Ono.)


人說「夫妻貌似」,他倆是否「貌似」?

附上:
John Lennon 在雜誌中自選 Beatles 最棒的歌

Hey Jude
Girl
Help
Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road