December 31, 2006

Obituary to James Brown

I loved James Brown. Not in a homo-erotic sense. But loved his music, his style, his personality, the man just made me feel good.

He just had so much energy and it was infectious. Hell, my middle name is Indolence, but when James Brown comes on the radio even I start shuffling my feet and writhing my body with a manic intensityand work myself up a cold sweat.

Of course he was a bad man and did quite a lot of time in jail, did drugs, was abusive, drove too fast, apparentently beat his wife and lots of other stuff I probably do not know about. But some of the most talented people are often hopelessly flawed but regardless of what you want to say about them as people you just have to admire their talent and all the pleasure it has brought people.

Obviously his music was amazing but I also LOVE his lyrics. Stuff like:

“Ow! You’re too much.
You’re the end.
You’re so hip, baby.
You know just where it’s at.
You’re beautiful, mama.
Most of all, you’re honest.
There’s no doubt you’re out of sight.”

In these lines Brown communicates the “wow” feeling you get when you meet a girl that is all that. To this day “out of sight” is the highest compliment I can give a girl.

“I’m ready to get up and do my thing
I wanta get into it, man, you know….
Like a, like a sex machine, man, “

These immortal lines need no explanation. Enlightened doctors prescribe James Brown’s “Get Up I Feel like Being a Sex Machine” as an inexpensive and altogether more potent alternative to Viagra. After all James Brown continued to exude raw sexuality well into his 70s.

“Wo! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you

When I hold you in my arms
I know that I can do no wrong
and when I hold you in my arms
My love won’t do you no harm”

And finally these lyrics from “I Feel Good”

The best thing about Brown is his songs are uplifting and to Brown love and infatuation and lust were little more than really really good feelings and people often lose sight of that and intellectualise them too much getting too soppy and romantic. You get caught up in wondering where things are going, what it means, whether love will last, and all that crap. But you just gotta enjoy the moment and that good feeling and Brown gets that.

But even Brown could tug at the heartstrings with the pleading Please Please Please

“Please, please, please, please me (You don’t have to go)
Baby please, baby please, please me (You don’t have to go)
Baby please, baby please don’t go (You don’t have to go)
Don’t go, I said baby, don’t baby
I love you so (You don’t have to go) “

Im not very good at begging but that is ok because with girls I let Brown do my begging for me. Of course if I could sing with the same feverish intensity as Brown (not to mention in tune) then id have more success. But im working on it!

A less well known example is found in Try Me>

Oh I need you (I need you)
Oh i need you (I need you)
Oh oh walk with me (walk with me)
Talk with me (talk with me)
I want you to stop my heart from crying
Walk with me (walk with me)
Talk with me (talk with me)
And your love stops my heart from dying
Oh I need you (I need you hoo hoo)

Once again Brown is on top form. Notice how powerful the use of repetition is, as is the powerful images of Brown’s heart crying and dying. The girl’s love is sustenance to Brown’s heart and this is why he needs her. While a beautiful thought it is also terrifying how dependent Brown is on this girl. And I guess this is the dark side of love.

And finally a personal favourite:

“Bewildered, lost in a dream
In the love I need why did we part
Bewildered, has love, has love died dear
Wishing your heart could feel
What’s in my heart
Must I have sleepless night
And endless days
Oh love why did you keep my soul
Without a spark I’m in the dark
Bewilderdd, I need your, I need your I need your guiding hand
I’ll never, no I’ll never understand
How you can love me, how you can love me
How you can love me, how you can love me
How you can love me and leave me Bewildered, bewidered “

This is just so bloody poetic I cannot get over how good it is. The song is even better.

Finally on a lighter note

“I don’t care ha about your past
I just want ho our love to last dee
I don’t care darlin’ about your faults huh
I just want to satisfy your pulse


When you kiss me
When you mess me
Hold my hand
Make me understand

I break out – in a cold sweat”

Just wow!

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