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George Harrison (1970)

Nina Simone (1972)

Isn’t it a pity
Now, isn’t it a shame
How we break each other’s hearts
And cause each other pain

How we take each other’s love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn’t it a pity

Song lyrics are often dismissed as just doggerel, meaningless piffle, dumb, gibberish, vacuous, sounds stitched together to fit a meter, suit a rhyme, fill out a melody and that is not entirely the case and in fact, lyrics can be used in different ways in music of all genres, I don’t want to pigeonhole most of pop or rock music. That’s for cultural elitist snobs and critics to do. Do they still exist? In fact, they might. The written word when wielded by a folk rock poet statesman/woman brings ’em out but when a New pop sensation says something amidst the glittering artificial sounds then the same heads will dismiss outright.

This second paragraph is less wordy and pompous I promise, more in keeping with the simplicity of the late Mr Harrison’s words in his majestic lament from his 1970 double album, All Things Must Pass, which could be its other title so sharply does it reflect on the futlity of our actions and how some of us can foolishly see love, respect, time as an infinite resource that is our birthright to abuse, waste, cherish, even embrace. The truth is another thing. Without the mess, the desperate actions, the sadness where in the world would we be? Sans music like this, that’s where. There’s a song in that notion unless some broadway/west end hack hasn’t got to it first. ah, they probably have.

* a comment on nina simone’s version? fucking intense, more than a performance, a spiritual inhabitation that is heartwrenching, a first person witnessing of mans criminality to man.

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