September 23: Songs

September 23

Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen;
pour myself a cup of ambition,
and yawn, and stretch, and try to come to life.
Jump in the shower, and the blood starts pumping;
out on the street, the traffic starts jumping,
with folks like me on the job from nine to five.
~Dolly Parton, “9 to 5“ (1980)

You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you out, shook you up, turned you around
Turned you into someone new
Now five years later on,
you’ve got the world at your feet
Success has been so easy for you
But don’t forget it’s me who put you where you are now
And I can put you back there too
~Human League, “Don’t You Want Me, Baby?“

Well everyone’s gonna be a big star
Everyone’s gonna drive a fast car
Everyone’s gonna be in charge
Cause everybody’s business is everybody’s business.
~Smashing Pumpkins, “Cash Car Star”

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September 23: Songs and Poems


September 23
Songs and Poems

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
~William Butler Yeats (1865−1939), “The Second Coming“ (1919). William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honored for what the Nobel Committee described as “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.”

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said−”Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert….Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
5 And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
10 My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias.” Shelley (1792 – 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Considered too radical in his poetry and his political and social views to achieve fame during his lifetime, recognition of his significance grew steadily following his death. Percy Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron; Leigh Hunt; Thomas Love Peacock; and his second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground control to Major Tom, your circuits dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you . . .
Here am I sitting in my tin can far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do
~David Bowie, “Space Oddity”


September 23: “300 Goats,” poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

In icy fields.

Is water flowing in the tank?

Will they huddle together, warm bodies pressing?

(Is it the year of the goat or the sheep?

Scholars debating Chinese zodiac,

follower or leader.)

O lead them to a warm corner,

little ones toward bulkier bodies.

Lead them to the brush, which cuts the icy wind.

Another frigid night swooping down —

Aren’t you worried about them? I ask my friend,

who lives by herself on the ranch of goats,

far from here near the town of Ozona.

She shrugs, “Not really,

they know what to do. They’re goats.”