Friday, June 11, 2010

Leonard Cohen, Children's entertainer

This last week, Amynah’s been working like a maniac on a grant, and so I’ve had more Sana duty than usual. Sana seems to require a lot of stimulation to keep her not-bored and therefore not-cranky, and I’ve run out of ideas to keep her distracted: she figured out “peek-a-boo” for the scam it is a while ago, and is no longer inclined to humour us on the issue.

This morning, in desperation, I took out my guitar, and sang her some songs. Sadly, I don’t know very many songs all the way through, and those that I do are not exactly baby friendly. Here is my version of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire,” performed reggae-style, with improvised melodic commentary to make it child friendly in parentheses.

Like a bird, on a wire (birdy!)
Like a drunk, in a midnight choir (he’s drunk on life!)
I have tried, in my way, to be free (yay!)

Like a worm, on a hook (he’s hanging around!)
Like a knight, in an old fashioned book (horsey!)
I have saved all my ribbons for thee (that means you!)

If I, if I have been unkind (I haven’t! Don’t cry!)
I hope that you will just let it go by (Really, don’t cry!)
If I, if I have been untrue (he means lying. Really!)
I hope you know that it wasn’t to you (Lying's bad!)

Like a babe, (new) born (not disturbing at all!)
Like a beast, with his horn (like a rhino!)
I have torn everyone that reached out for me (by accident, and he’s sorry!)

But I swear, by this song (singing! Yay!)
And all the things I’ve done wrong (like choosing this song to sing!)
I will make it, all up to thee (ice cream!)

Saw a beggar, leaning on his wooden crutch (he’ll get better!)
He said to me, you must not ask for so much (Listen to the beggar man!)
I saw a lady, leaning, in her darkened door (she's not a hooker!)
She said to me, why not ask for more (don’t listen to the hooker!)

At that point, I figured that I’d better quit before launching into “House of the Rising Sun.”