Sunday, May 22, 2011

golden hair

in the colourful histories of musicians, there is as much information and discussion about those who have fallen by the wayside as there is about those who have reason to stardom. somehow falling makes them more human or in some way their vulnerability makes them less worthy of veneration. some dismiss those
who don’t achieve and maintain fame as weak or selfish or thoughtless.

its's intriguing to me that little consideration is given to the terrible torments so many of them experienced after having been offered the key to the door of success, or talents beyond those of the ordinary only to find that the extraordinary cost of acquiring that key is beyond the abilities of most human beings to bear.

one such musician was syd barrett. before i started researching this entry, syd was a name i knew only through association with the beginnings of a band who made three albums that i admire. the band - pink floyd. the albums - meddle, the dark side of the moon, and wish you were here.

here’s syd barrett . . .


and here’s pink floyd in 1968 with syd (second from left) . . .


syd released two solo albums, one of which is entitled "the madcap laughs"


which contains a beautiful version of a james joyce poem entitled “lean out of the window”
which syd reworked as “golden hair”.

here’s james joyce’s original poem . . .

lean out of the window

lean out of the window,
goldenhair,
i hear you singing
a merry air.

my book was closed,
i read no more,
watching the fire dance
on the floor.

i have left my book,
i have left my room,
for i heard you singing
through the gloom.

singing and singing
a merry air,
lean out of the window,
goldenhair.


and here is syd barretts reworking of “lean out of the window” - “golden hair”.

10 comments:

Jo said...

With Floyd as my birth name, it's a prerequisite to be at least somewhat familiar with Pink Floyd. I never knew until this moment that Barrett had released two solo albums. Thank you.

His story is so sad.

"Goldenhair" is hauntingly beautiful. I think James Joyce would be pleased with it.

acornmoon said...

I have been a Pink Floyd fan for many years and have been to their concerts here in the UK which have been spectacular with flying pigs and beds.

Know I understand what you have done with your profile picture. It did make me wonder!

steven said...

jo we grew up in a time when great musicians regularly flew away from their overuse of alcohol and drugs. both have been used since the beginning of time as tools to open up some of the features of creative work so i'm drawn to wonder how many of the great artists, poets, writers, musicians and dancers died through time. it seems to me that you don't hear about 1920's poets dying of overdoses. they were huffing coke and drinking their faces off. they partied hard. they needed the escape, the letting down of their guard. why didn't they die? hmmmm. steven

steven said...

hi valerie, i've never been to a pink floyd concert. my introduction to them was during grade eight art class when the teacher brought in a couple of their albums as background music while we worked.
the profile picture has caused a couple of people some concern! what was i thinking?!! the face seen through the very thin veined framework of an old leaf. steven

Linda Sue said...

Recently aired on biography channel - Pink Floyd and the story of Syd, his sad return one day , no one recognized him, very fat, bald,sad, lost, insane.He did have his moment of genius. I appreciate this work, it's lovely. ...and your face still appears to have been splattered- rifle shot effect, even though I know it is a desiccated leaf in the foreground.

Tess Kincaid said...

Wonderful lyrics. Fascinating they originated with Joyce.

Friko said...

I've known the Joyce poem for ever, but never knew that Syd Barrett had used it for his song.

A truly sad tale.

steven said...

linda sue there's so many blind alleys and sorry canyons in life and it's so hard to connect to the ones who go down them and never come back. my unspattered face will return when i get a picture of it that says something to me. steven

steven said...

tess it's a strange loop with pretty results. steven

steven said...

friko i went in the opposite direction from sid to joyce. i was amazed it was a joyce poem!! steven