This is not a Moby-Dick post. I’m getting married today and with all the last-minute detail work, I decided to take a break from writing any sort of extended post. I’m sorry. My mind is elsewhere. I’ll be back next Sunday with a new chapter to discuss.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a recording from about four years ago. I originally made this recording as a demo for a band I play in called The New Fantastics. We were working on our first EP and I brought “Annabelle” in as an option to record. In the end we decided against “Annabelle,” as well as all of our piano songs, because we were getting tired of transporting and setting up double equipment for me (piano and guitar) at our shows. It was a silly reason, perhaps, to lose some good songs from our oeuvre, but we did it. Also notice the song’s diminutive length. We had a period as a band where we loved being able to play eighteen songs in a twenty-five minute set and then saying goodnight. We felt that’s how things should be. We still do, for that matter, just not in such an extreme way.
I thought “Annabelle” would be appropriate for the blog because it was marginally inspired by a Yeat’s poem. I had just gotten The Complete Works and was chugging through it, endnotes and all. One poem made reference to an Irish myth about not crying at funerals, the worry being that crying would wake these phantom dogs who would then attack and steal the deceased’s soul as it tried to get to the afterlife. In addition to being strikingly morbid on so many levels, I loved the myth as an intriguing example of masochistic restraint in the service of love — very Catholic. Of course, for the song I turned it into a masochistic restraint in the service of spite. I had a lot of difficulties with women back then.
Thankfully, those days are over. As I am hours away from marrying a woman who has given me nothing but pure happiness for the last three years, I look back at those prior years, thankful that I got myself together enough to leave them behind. You will see no restraint from me today, masochistic or otherwise, as I declare my lifelong love for Amy.
See you next week.
Annabelle, how I love you, girl,
But you done made me blue,
Oh, I know it’s in your name, girl,
But you’re a real beaut’.
And oh!, if I stomp my fears
The dogs will wake and steal your tears
And rescue you.
Annabelle, could you trust, girl,
A man in quiet shoes?
(c) and (p) 2004 Patrick Shea
Words and music written by Patrick Shea July 2004
All parts performed, arranged, and recorded by Patrick Shea August 2004