Welcome

 

LR's EMAIL LIST

Delighted to have you sign up

FACEBOOK

presents

the new Louis Rosen album

I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING

an album in three acts

Music, Lyrics and Arrangements by Louis Rosen

Produced by Louis Rosen & Scott Lehrer

Premiere: Birdland, NYC, January 26, 2020

 

Now available on for purchase and downloading at CD Baby, Amazon.com, iTunes and all digital outlets.

"I've been listening to Louis Rosen's new album, I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING (Di-tone Records), and it's nearly impossible for me to express how moved I am by it. The songs are knowing and powerful and the composing and orchestrations are some of his best yet. And as always, the production is pristine, intimate and seamless. Bravo!" Jeremy Gerard, Broadway News and Theater News Online

"A philosopher-poet, [a] highly literate singer-songwriter whose lyrics address past and present with one foot in each...a meticulous orchestrator." Alix Cohen, Cabaret Scenes

"I recommend this album to every music lover out there. You will feel as if you have been on a journey of the soul and are renewed and ready for more." Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles

 

Click here to read the reviews.

Click on LR's Juke box at the bottom right of the site to hear four songs from the new album: "Before the Window Closes", "Limitless World", "Morning Soul" and "I Sing This Song For You."

 

MUSICIANS

Louis Rosen · Lead and Harmony Vocals, Acoustic Guitar; Nylon String Guitar (Tracks 12 & 14)

David Mansfield · Electric Guitar (Trks. 1 & 4); Acoustic Lead Guitar (Trks. 7 & 9); Nylon String Guitar (Trks. 8 & 13)

        · from yMusic Ensemble:

        Rob Moose · Violin (Trks. 3, 5, 6, 11, 15); Viola (Trks. 2 & 6); Electric Guitars (Trks. 3 & 16)

        CJ Camerieri · Trumpet (Trks. 1, 8, 10, 12, 13); French Horn (Trks. 2, 10, 14)

        Hideaki Aomori · Flute (Trks. 8, 10, 12); Clarinet (Trks. 2, 12, 14); Bass Clarinet (Trks. 1, 2, 10); Alto  Saxophone (Trk. 1 & 8); Tenor Saxophone (Trk. 13)         

        Nadia Sirota · Viola (Trks. 5, 11 & 15)

        Gabriel Cabezas · Cello (Trks. 2, 3, 5, 11, 15)

Max Moston · Violin (Trks. 10, 11, 12, 15); Viola (Trk. 12)

Sarah Roth-Hewitt · Cello (Trks. 10, 12, 14)

Clarice Jensen · Cello (Trk. 6)

Andrew Sterman · Clarinet (Trk. 6)

Erik Charlston · Vibraphone (Trks. 3, 5, 10)

Dave Phillips · Acoustic Bass (Trks. 4, 5, 7); Electric Bass (Trks. 1, 8, 10, 13, 16)

Gary Seligson · Drums & Percussion (Trks. 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16)

Marialena Difabbio · Harmony Vocals (Trks. 2 & 13)

 

Recording and Mixing Engineer: Scott Lehrer

Recorded and Mixed at 2ND STORY SOUND, NYC

Mastering Engineer: Oscar Zambrano

Art Direction & Design by Derek Bishop

 

All Songs — Music and Lyrics by Louis Rosen, © 2019 by Louis Rosen/Lullwater Music, ASCAP, except “Kathleen O’Toole” and “What Are the Odds?” – Music by Louis Rosen, Lyrics by Louis Rosen and Arthur Perlman, © 2019 by Louis Rosen/Lullwater Music, ASCAP and Arthur Perlman/Forest Knolls Music, ASCAP.

Louis dedicates this album in three acts with tremendous gratitude and affection to a remarkable friend and angel, Joan McKay, without whom neither these songs nor this recording would exist. 

Louis thanks all of the extraordinary musicians who appear on this album and inspired him to make these instrumental and vocal arrangements. A heartfelt thanks, too, to the indispensable man, producer/engineer Scott Lehrer, for 30 years and counting of an always invigorating collaboration; Ben Miller for his last minute mixing assist; the following Patrons for their deeply appreciated ongoing support: Jason Brett, Lauren Streicher, George Petty, the late Marilyn Katz, Susan Friedlander, Elizabeth and Walt Bachman, Mary Ellen Geiser, Doug Hughes and Margaret Moore; Derek Bishop for once again surprising and delighting me with his imaginative art design; Oscar Zambrano for again sharing his superb mastering gifts; to Charlotte Maier, Teddy Rosen, Jason Brett and Thom Bishop for generously listening along the way; and to Maria Difabbio for helping me solve the structural puzzle of this album in three acts. Much love to all.

 

I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING – Liner Note

(Lyrics for the songs are printed in the CD Booklet and included after the Liner Note.)

I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING is my ninth album. It includes fourteen songs and two instrumental interludes played by a terrific roster of musicians, most of whom are long-standing collaborators. The songs were written over an intense and exhilarating period from February to April, 2016. Recording began in January 2018 immediately upon the completion of the recording of PHENOMENAL WOMAN: The Maya Angelou Songs, and was finished this past summer.

When 16 songs come in a burst over a compressed period of time – in this case, about 10 weeks – with no literal story being told, they create a collage of that particular moment. The songs fit together. The album’s title, I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING, along with its sub-title, “An Album in Three Acts” (as well as the title of each “act”), offer initial clues to the arc of the whole work.

Act I: “I Don’t Know Anything”

Act II: “My Third Act”

Act III: “A First Farewell”

The art design also hints at the album’s themes. The cover photo was taken when I was 17, the year I began writing songs. That photo reappears on the back tray opposite one taken when I was 61, the age when these songs were composed. There’s a suggestion here of the two fellows looking in each other’s direction – at least the older fellow seems to be looking at his younger self – which suggests the possibility of a circle closing, some integration of then and now. Then there’s the background texture in the art design, the infinite repetitions of 2016-61 – code for being 61 years old in 2016, the year these songs were written. It’s a numbers quirk of being born in a year that ends with a 5, which means that if I’m still around I’ll be 72 in 2027, 83 in 2038 and… well, no need to tempt fate.

Now, about the songs…

The opening track, Before the Window Closes, beginsAct One” and serves as a type of prologue. It’s about the creative act itself, that moment when the window is open, and as with many first songs in a cycle, was the last song written. Musically it nods to a type of music that I loved when I began songwriting.

Kathleen O’Toole tells the story of a 17 year old’s affair with an “older” woman of twenty-two, and was written under the age-old theory that one never lets the literal truth get in the way of telling a good story. Shortly after finishing the song, I received a Facebook message from the woman who inspired it. After 40 years, she was just saying hello. Even stranger, the message had originally been sent in 2012, but was only delivered by Facebook after the song was written in the Spring of 2016. The Universe is a trickster. (Too bad that Facebook wasn’t this slow delivering Russian propaganda during the 2016 election.) The orchestration for this one sets the tone for most of the album. You could describe it as folk-chamber music.

The title of the title song, I Don’t Know Anything, sums up the essential fact of my current perspective. The meaning of the song radiates out from the bridge. The arrangement is rich in atmosphere, a conversation between guitar, violin, cello, electric guitar, vibraphone and drums.

Guru, Please Tell Me is the only song I’ve ever written that I wish Elvis were still alive to sing. Some of you might recognize the music as a variant of the song Preacher Don’t from the 2018 release, Phenomenal Woman: The Maya Angelou Songs. I was still assuming in the spring of 2016 when I wrote Guru that I would never get the rights to record the Angelou songs, and saw no point in letting a piece of music that I liked go to waste. It’s also an example of how the voice I’m writing for – in this case mine – strongly affects the way the musical idea gets expressed. Preacher Don’t is jazz, which is right for Capathia; Guru, Please Tell Me is rockabilly, more up my alley. No chamber component on this one – just the fundamentals: guitar, electric guitar (David Mansfield), bass (Dave Phillips) and featured drums played with panache by Gary Seligson.

Limitless World was written the day after the 45th President of the United States secured his party’s nomination. Hard-driving and groove based, it seemed both a good and unusual opportunity to combine a trio of vibraphone, acoustic bass and drums with a classical string trio of violin, viola and cello (performed by the string players of the splendid new music ensemble, yMusic.)

“Act One” ends with the instrumental interlude, Acquainted With Night, a song without words for clarinet solo (stunningly played by Andrew Sterman), accompanied by guitar and string trio. Acquainted With Night offers a moment of reflection before we move on to “Act Two.”

“Act Two” begins with its title song, My Third Act, another song that doesn’t let truth get in the way of telling an entertaining story, especially when there’s a punch line to land. No chamber component on this one either. Same instrumental quartet as Guru….

Lonnie, one of the main characters from my first album, South Side Stories, reappears in The History of Friendship. This was the second song written for the album/cycle, and once it was completed, I knew that the window was open.

Unknown Name, Unknown Number began this 16-song run. Here reality meets a bit of contemporary commentary with a touch of fantasy and a cosmic twist – in other words, a tongue-in-cheek blues befitting one’s third act. This is the third and last of the songs with no chamber-style arrangement – just two acoustic guitars: David Mansfield’s terrific lead guitar, and me in support.

New York City doesn’t make too many appearances in my songs, but it’s a key character in You Came, Too, the first of two loves songs on the album. The arrangement for a ten piece chamber group – flute, bass clarinet, French horn, trumpet, vibraphone, guitar, violin, cello, electric bass and drums – is one of my favorites on the album.  (Note Max Moston’s expressive playing of the written violin solo during the instrumental, and Hideaki Aomori’s flute and bass clarinet playing throughout.)

With Slow Goes the Night, a character named Jill makes her first named appearance in a song of mine since being introduced as one of the main characters in a musical theater piece that I co-wrote thirty years ago titled Book of the Night. Slow Goes the Night picks up Jill’s story these thirty years later. (Jill also makes a series of unnamed appearances in the song cycle/albums, South Side Stories and Dust to Dust Blues.) The arrangement is the second one joining a classical string ensemble – in this case a string quartet (two violins, viola and cello) – with drums.

Later Than Never, the second instrumental interlude, concludes “Act Two.” Another moment of reflection, Later Than Never is a folk-chamber response to Charles Ives’ remarkable piece, The Unanswered Question. Ives’ trumpet seems to repeatedly ask a question. The trumpet here (played with a perfect, understated beauty by C. J. Camerieri) periodically intones the instrumental’s title.

“Act Three”: A First Farewell” begins with I Song This Song for You, the first among these “first farewells”.  I wish that I had time in the Coda to name-check all of the songwriters who’ve written songs that I love and inspired me to write. Hopefully, you get the idea. My Dad would have liked this song. He danced a smooth cha-cha.

What Are the Odds?, the second of these “first farewells”, is also a first farewell of sorts to the character, Jill. This one is co-written with my friend and periodic collaborator, Art Perlman.  (Art also wrote the lyric with me for the first half of the refrain of Kathleen O’Toole.)

In the Hour of His Leaving offers the third and last of these “first farewells.” To me, it’s a first farewell because it opens the door to new possibilities. In the Hour of His Leaving is arranged for guitar and string quartet.

Morning Soul, the second love song on the album, was written about a year after the album’s cover photo was snapped at some long ago forgotten party. The song was forgotten to me as well until something brought it to mind during this 2016 songwriting roll – perhaps the trigger was stumbling across that photo (which I didn’t know existed) on the internet one evening, or the writing of Kathleen O’Toole…. I can’t say. But once Morning Soul came to mind I couldn’t get it out of my head. I proceeded to rewrite a handful of lines and decided that the song made a fitting Coda to the album, an appropriate closing of this particular circle. As the only pure love song on the album, it also suggests a new beginning. Glen Campbell died shortly before I made the arrangement – thus the written guitar solo’s tip of the hat, (played here by the gifted multi-string player, Rob Moose.)

And finally, thanks to all of the remarkable musicians who played on the album – each credited in detail in the album booklet – and to my favorite co-producer/engineer, Scott Lehrer. 

LYRICS

Act One: I Don’t Know Anything

1. BEFORE THE WINDOW CLOSES

When the window is open, you won’t understand. Suddenly skies look like oceans, weeds smell like roses.  Anything can happen and nothing is planned. Better grab your paintbrush — Before the window closes.

There won’t be a guidebook, you won’t see a sign. Put aside all expectations, pretense and poses. When the window is open, the planets align. Point your telescope skyward — Before the window closes.

You may not know what you’re looking for. You leave the everyday behind. Lost in the moment, time is redefined. Then out of the blue, you’ve made something new.

When the window is open, the bandwidth is wide. You tune in that wave-length, hear all it proposes. When the window is open, you’re one with the tide. Gotta let the fresh air in — Before the window closes.

Sometimes you won’t be sure what road to take — then you know it when it comes. You feel the rhythm when the engine hums. You leap and you grow. You hate to let go — Don’t let go.

When the window is open, the temperature’s high. You ride in that heat wave, feel all it exposes. When the window is open, you never ask why. You just feel the wind blow — Before the window closes. Before the window closes.

2. KATHLEEN O'TOOLE

The car horns and wind sang a street song last night as I rested my head. My mind wandered back to a sweet song — autumn nights and a warm lover’s bed.

'Twas love at first note when I met her. Each song cast a spell in my ear.  When she asked me to sing a duet, her eyes gleamed, so electric, so clear.

Kathy — Kathleen O’Toole, with your voice so fair and your coal-black hair… Kiss me, Kathleen O’Toole…

Come, away we go— on the fly, we will flow. Though I know I’m a fool to give my heart to Kathleen O’Toole.

I was just seventeen, on my own then — Kathy, a worldly twenty-two. We were mythically happy alone then, like a tale both fantastic and true.

Many days spent in bed, nights spent singing — our two voices blending so fine. Our music was reckless and swinging. She was sly — she was free — she was mine.

Kathy — Kathleen O’Toole, with your voice so fair and your coal-black hair… Kiss me, Kathleen O’Toole…

Come, away we go— on the fly, we will flow. Don’t I know I’m a fool to give my heart to Kathleen O’Toole.

And now comes the point in our story when all things begun have to end. The road called, and seeking her glory, she was gone — my young heart had to mend.

Tonight, with a click, I could find her — maybe learn if life’s treated her well. But I know that it’s bolder and kinder to be still — let the memory dwell in that space even time can’t dispel.

Kathy — Kathleen O’Toole, with your voice so fair and your coal-black hair… Kiss me, Kathleen O’Toole…

Come, away we go— on the fly, in the flow. Though I know I’m a fool to give my heart to Kathleen O’Toole.

3. I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING

All I was taught, the school books I read – just figures and facts that filled up my head. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything.

The longer I live, the less that I know. You can run from the world, you can fight it or flow. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything.

Trapped on this earth in body and mind – we serve ourselves, or we serve mankind. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything.

We all have a story of how we came to be who we are — a mythical story that helps us to heal every scar. But what if our story is only a story, to make sense of pain, of distant glory? A sister was cruel; teachers darkened the light; Mama treated you wrong. But who are we if Mama was right?

The less that I look, the more that I see the wonder of life in the mystery. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything.

The softer I speak, the louder I hear. The static dissolves — the channel is clear.  I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything.

I no longer claim my story is true. In tenuous times, it carried me through. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything.

The canvas is white – that’s where I start. I look at the sky, I open my heart. I don’t know anything.

I don’t know anything, I don’t know anything, anything… anything …

4. GURU, PLEASE TELL ME

Guru, please tell me what you know. Are there heavens above us? Is there fire below? Are time and space like Einstein said? I got all these questions in my head…

I’ve read some books and I’ve read them well and I’ve read that Earth is really Hell and sometimes I think so — it kills my mood, how the rich get richer and the poor get screwed.

Guru, please tell me, do we return? Is it life we long for? Is it rest we yearn? See, I’m kind of old and the end’s in sight, but I got this date on Friday night…

Now if we return we should all take heed, ‘cause we know where our misdeeds will lead – right back where we started. No passing Go – just another opening of another show.

If the past and the now and the future are one, my granddad’s father could shake hands with my son. But if the lives that I’ve led are all happening now, I’ll never clean up this mess, no how.

Yes, if the past and the now and the future are one, my granddad’s father could shake hands with my son. But if the lives that I’ve led are all happening now, I must confess –  it’s an S.O.S. –  Cause I’ll never clean up this mess  –  No how!

5. LIMITLESS WORLD

It’s a limitless world, filled with limitless choice for the fortunate few with a privileged voice: while the rest of us toil, and our spirit succumbs to a soul-killing hunger, as we pick up the crumbs in this limitless world, this limitless world.

It’s a limitless world, filled with limitless dreams, where the promise of hope inspires limitless schemes; where anger and fear may trump all belief, and a well-heeled huckster can be Commander-in-Chief in this limitless world, this limitless world.

In this limitless world, our holy men say that our limitless gods send blessings our way; but our feelings of want get confused with need, and our earthly desires sow a spoiled seed in this limitless world, this limitless world.

There’s limitless longing, limitless thirst, limitless pain when bubbles burst; but limited trust in ties that bind; and limited faith that your own child won’t be left behind.

It’s a limitless world in the U. S. A – that’s the story we tell, that’s the prayer we pray. But societies change, and societies crack. When the chaos is over it’s a long road back in this limitless world, this limitless world. This limitless world – this limitless world.

6. ACQUAINTED WITH NIGHT (Interlude I: Song Without Words)

Act Two: My Third Act

7. MY THIRD ACT

There are no second acts in American lives. (Spoken: F. Scott Fitzgerald told me that.)Well, tell that to second husbands and second wives.  My first wife she was crazy, kind of paranoid and such.  My second wife – that’s hazy – heaven knows we drank too much. We laughed and loved and fought ‘till we were done.  So, whaddya know, my third act has begun.

My joints are creaky, my back won’t haul the hay. There’s no one playin’ down where I used to play. Met a young waitress at a diner, and it seemed to be like fate; felt this mutual attraction – finally asked her on a date. She said, “You remind me of my Dad – this might be fun.” I said, “Call me Pops,” my third act has begun.

Sometimes grief and failure can fill your cup. I was down so long that it felt like up. But I’ll be happy-and-go-lucky for a while in my irrepressibly middle-class Bohemian style.

I’m waitin’ for my pension to begin. I’ll jump for joy when Medicare kicks in. With the dough I save on health care, I will be a wealthy man. I’ll be workin’ on my memoir while I’m workin’ on my tan on a beach beneath the hot Miami sun. Gonna pack my pills, my back brace and my gun. Gonna shed responsibility, ‘cause that stuff weighs a ton. My gift for being lazy’s next to none. Gonna live life as a writer on the run. Oh, it’s a fact, my third act has begun.

8. THE HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP

The history of friendship — always a transaction. Sometimes you give, sometimes you take — some take a little more. The mystery of friendship — repulsion and attraction. What you feel or what you fake can open any door — in the history of friendship.

Stephen you rely on, constant as the seasons; there for celebrations, there when life has come undone. David, he’s a phantom; and though he has his reasons, the smallest complications, you just know he’ll cut and run — in the history of friendship.

Mary, she’s a huntress —success is long behind her.  No happily ever after here — she feeds on younger prey. Bernie stays in motion — a consummate reminder that a life well-lived will face its fears, and then embrace the day — in the history of friendship.

Prices paid and lessons learned — the only way we grow. Allies made and bridges burned — we harvest all we sow.

Bobbi keeps her distance — has only work to ground her; feels a longing to connect, but stumbles as she tries. Jenny’s door is open — she welcomes friends around her; plays the host to great effect, affection in her eyes — in the history of friendship.

Once my father told me, “A true friend is a wonder.  Don’t ask much, but when you bleed he’s there to see you through. But friends will disappoint you. They’ll cast your trust asunder.  And have no doubt, it’s guaranteed, you’ll disappoint them, too” — in the history of friendship.

Friendships come and friendships fade — we simply carry on. Life’s the sum of choices made — we’re here and Boom -- we’re gone.

Lonnie’s faith in people, some might find surprising; but acts of kindness, acts of grace amaze him every day. Through years and years of questions, he’s finally realizing, an act of love will leave a trace that time won’t waste away — it’s the mystery of friendship. An act of love will leave a trace that time won’t waste away —it’s the mystery of friendship; the mythology of friendship; the ecology of friendship. It’s the history of friendship.

9. UNKNOWN NAME, UNKNOWN NUMBER

Wrapped in the peace of a sweet, deep dream — a peace only sleep can bring. A church bell rang a familiar song, and I woke to my ring-tone’s ring.Unknown name, unknown number — such a sweet dream to lose. Got the “Unknown Name, Unknown Number Blues”.

I met my dream girl on Friday night — a bar in some swank hotel. The bets were off and the game was on; but you know what broke the spell? Unknown name, unknown number — such a sweet spell to lose. Got the “Unknown Name, Unknown Number Blues”.

When the world’s gone cold and you feel the sting, and you need a friend, and what a friend can bring, much to your surprise, your phone may ring, but it’ll be someone tryin’ to sell you some damn thing…

Tonight I dreamt that life’s a dream — searched heaven for some sign. Got so confused that I called myself, and my voice came on the line. Unknown name, unknown number — Man, that really lights my fuse. Got the “Unknown Name, Unknown Number Blues”.The “Unknown Name, Unknown Number Blues.”

10. THEN CAME YOU

I came to New York on my own. I came to New York on a dare. I came to New York, came to find my future… Then came you, then came you. Then came you…

I looked for myself in the crowd. I looked for my voice in the din. I looked for my path with no map to guide me…  Then came you, then came you. Then came you…

You came like a light through the fog. You came like a strong wind at sea. You came here for me. You came here for you, and your story — our story…

The city was rust on the street. Ambition would claw through the dust. Illusion and lust in the bars and doorways… Then came you, then came you.  Then came you…

If you fall eight times, rise up nine. Fall down nine times, rise up ten — then rise again. It’s no failure to fall. If a fall comes it deepens the story — your story — our story…

I came to New York on my own. I came to New York on a quest. I came to New York, came to find my future… Then came you, then came you. Then came you…you…then came you.

11. SLOW GOES THE NIGHT

The rain pours, the lights flick — slow goes the night. The wind roars, the clocks tick — slow goes the night.

The soup cools, the tea steeps — slow goes the night. A cat mewls, a soul weeps — slow goes the night.

Jill is angry —life is empty. Since he’s gone she’s on her own. “How could he do that?  How could he go first?” — Leave her here to face these endless nights alone?

His last week, his mood swings — long, sleepless nights. He hurt her, he said things — long, sleepless nights.

“Don’t you love me?” “I used to.” — slow, sleepless nights. “After all I…”  “How could you? — slow, sleepless nights.

Jill is fading — body broken. What remains is grit and pride. “It won’t be long now. Will he be waiting? What if there’s no there there on the other side?  Is there another side?”

The soup’s cold, her hands shake — slow goes the night. Her thoughts race, her bones ache — slow goes the night.

The rain pours, the lights flick — slow goes the night. The wind roars, the clocks tick — slow goes the night.

12. LATER THAN NEVER (Interlude II: Song Without Words)

Act Three: A First Farewell

13. I SING THIS SONG FOR YOU

Lyrics are thoughts, music emotion, the world of song — rich as the ocean. Songs align your brain and your soul, making them one to make you whole. It’s time I told those writers of song who’ve thrilled me and filled me my whole life long…

Today my debt comes due. I sing this song for you. I sing this song for you. Hey Bop, Doo-Wop, Ob-La-Di-Bla-Da, Doo-Wah, Doo-Wah, Surry.

Songs are built on songs, it’s true — a pinch of the old mixed with something new. A feeling here, a memory there… Presto!  A new song is in the air. Then you work, and work is play. You’re one with the songsters who paved your way.

Today my debt comes due. I sing this song for you. I sing this song for you. Hey Bop, Doo-Wop, Ob-La-Di-Bla-Da, Doo-Wah, Doo-Wah, Surry. Can you Surry? Bop!

Music explains my life, you see. Take away song – it’s a mystery. Folk song, jazz, early rock and roll, Bossa Nova, Blues, Blue-eyed soul… From Mozart to Wonder, I’ve understood, life can be grand when the music’s good.

Today my debt comes due.  I sing this song for you. I sing this song…for you. You…

Dylan, Gershwin, Lennon and McCartney; Laura’s confessing and Joni’s Blue. Lennie, Carole, Junior Burke and Stevie — I sing this song for you — this song for you…

Jobim, Armstrong, Ellington and Arlen; Simon, Sondheim and Taylor, too; Newman, Holland Dozier and Holland — I sing this song for you. Puente, Copland… this song’s for you. Mingus, Miles… this song’s for you.  

Hey Bop, Doo-Wop, Ob-La-Di-Bla-Da, Doo-Wah, Doo-Wah, Surry, Hey Bop, Doo-Wop, Ob-La-Di-Bla-Da,  Doo-Wah, Doo-Wah , Surry.

14. WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

Doctors are quite fond of numbers, everything measured just so. They give a percent to the decimal point — but the point is, they don’t really know.

Jill had been sick for a long time. Her future looked lousy and worse. She planned for the end down to every detail — her plans were her comfort and curse.

"What are the odds?” she would ask me. “Is there a life after life on Earth? “What is the point?” she would grumble. Then we’d play a hand of gin – which she always would win — and we both let her questions go by. I did not know how to reply…

All of the Holy Books teach us, God has some infinite plan. His way is revealed if you follow his path — I’ve tried, but I don’t think I can.

Doctors are quite fond of numbers, but they know there’s much more that goes on. On Thursday they thought Jill had weeks left to live — by Saturday night she was gone.

"What are the odds?” she would ask me. “Is there a life after life on Earth? “I’d like to know!” she would grumble. Then another hand of gin — and of course, she would win — as we both let her questions go by. I did not know how to reply…

Play another hand of gin — and once more she would win — as we both let her questions go by.  I never knew how to reply…

15. IN THE HOUR OF HIS LEAVING

In the hour of his leaving, he’ll shake his head and wonder why he stayed in this forsaken place for oh, so many years. There won’t be any fanfare, there won’t be any thunder — just lines well etched upon a face, without a trace of tears — In the hour of his leaving.

In the hour of his leaving, no time for self-reflection, no denying luck that came his way, or where his failures live. Some people and some places, he’ll think of with affection. He said the things he had to say, and gave what he could give — In the hour of his leaving.

Years conflate. Past and present are felt as one. Man’s estate — four score years, yet we feel not nearly done.

In the hour of his leaving, he’ll give his full attention to his love, who travels with him, and like him, travels blind. There’s hope in new perspective; joy in reinvention; and he who’s busy living can embrace what he may find — In the hour of his leaving… In the hour of his leaving 

Coda

16. MORNING SOUL

I’ve got the time, if you’ve got the morning soul to welcome in our day. You’ve got a grace about you keeping me sane and whole, and a kindness that sweeps me away.

I built a wall, and you had the will to climb. It took a lot to break through. I played it hard to get — you could have left anytime. It’s patience that gave me to you.

Oh, my resistance is undone, leaving me no place to hide. My love, now that victory is won, we’ll let our winning streak ride.

I’ve got the time, if you’ve got the morning soul to welcome in our day. You’ve got a grace about you keeping me sane and whole, and a kindness that sweeps me away.

Oh, my resistance is undone, leaving me no place to hide. My love, now that victory is won, we’ll let our winning streak ride.

I’ve got the time, if you’ve got the morning soul to welcome in our day. You’ve got a grace about you keeping me sane and whole, and a kindness that sweeps me away. A kindness that sweeps — like a promise that keeps — a kindness that sweeps me away.

 

All Songs © 2019 by Louis Rosen/Lullwater Music, ASCAP, except “Kathleen O’Toole” and “What Are the Odds?" © 2019 by Louis Rosen/Lullwater Music, ASCAP and Arthur Perlman/Forest Knolls Music, ASCAP.