Sunday, 11 November 2007

Starry, Starry Night...







Today I thought I'd share one song I've always loved...


It is a beautiful piece, written by Don McLean as a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. Many people also know this song as 'Starry Starry Night', a reference to Van Gogh's painting Starry Night.

The song describes a different painting by Van Gogh in each of its stanzas.


Starry, starry night
Paint your pallet blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

And now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free

They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flow'rs that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds of violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue

And now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant
For one as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget

Like the stranger that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

And now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free

They would not listen
They're not listening still
Perhaps they never will



I love this piece for a myriad of reasons...



One reason is that it shows that everyone is different, but because society is so conforming, we fail to recognise the beauty in each of us...Because we always strive to be like everyone else...

Here was a man who was different, but instead of embracing him (and helping him), society drove him to suicide...


Sometimes, all we have to do is listen, sincerely...And that can make all the difference...


Suhaini Aznam (of The Star) once said: "When someone falls to his death, it is not the person's failure in life. It is society’s failure to listen to him"...

How true...



Another reason is that really, all it takes is one person to make a change, if what you do comes from the heart...Look at how Van Gogh forever changed the world of art with his lovely paintings; Look at how Don McLean changed the way the world saw Vincent Van Gogh...



Van Gogh was one person who saw the beauty in the simplest of things...Like the yellow of the daffodils, the blue of the sky, the chill of a winter morning, the every day people we meet and forget...He saw the inherent beauty in each of God's creations, and he immortalised them in his art...


And until today, we can relate to his work: The daffodils are still yellow, and the sky is still blue...

How beautiful and gifted is that?



I'm listening, Vincent...


Are you?

25 comments:

Nightwing said...

Hi Daphne,

Good posting. Never realise the song was a dedication to Van Gogh.

Thank you for the info. I like the song too.

ruby ahmad said...

What a beautiful song.

It takes a very strong person to be able to be different and stand one's ground and they could suffer. Look around us many would take the supposed easy path and conformed, yet... they suffer too, deep inside.

Better to be true to form and suffer..ha ha...at least we get to live our life!

IBU said...

Lovely & meaningful song indeed.

First heard & learn the song when in school.... so many-many moons ago ...

Thanks for refreshing my memory!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

very soothing to hear this song, especially when you're all alone in the middle of the night, like while i'm writing this right now. cant say i'm a fan of L&E stuff but once in a while, need to get myself re-tuned for that little relaxing mood.

winniethepooh said...

its a lovely song n with all those slides of beautiful painting, they just makes the song all the more beautiful...thanks for the sharing n enlightening...

adam and eve said...

lovely song indeed

i posted it way back in my other lazy cut and paste blog

darthvadai said...

Nice blog I did one also on the same not long ago.

Song such as this are wonderful and awesome to listen to, the word, the music, its inspiring....

Always listen and help not move away fomr help[ing others

adam and eve said...

u said the truth with regards to societal pressure on conformity.it takes a conviction to change as in the 'bersih' peace rally recently.

but vincent was psychotic/manic depressive which i think was the reason that drove him to initially cut off a piece of his ear and subsequently to his death bed.

lotta people just wanna be a part of the hyena pack.it gives them false sense of security and subjecting 'individuals' to a comedy court

Daphne Ling said...

Hi NightWing,
It was my mother who told me about the reference to Van Gogh, maybe 6 years? back...Glad you like the song too! =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Ruby,

That's a way of looking at it! Kinda like what the protagonist in Robert Frost's poem 'The Road Not Taken'...=)

Either way suffer...Better be happy! I'll drink to that!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Ibu,

Haih...Who would have thought some songs can last a lifetime, and more? It's beautiful...I guess that's why they call some songs 'Classics'...Thanks for sharing!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

Haha...I am a L&E listener...=) I find most of the new-day songs akin to head-bashing...Keke...

But this is a song that really can make you drift off to sleep, happy...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Winnie,

You know, when I watched the slides, I think my jaw was 'down'...I wish I could draw like that...

It's so...real...

Gifted indeed.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Adam and Eve,

Yeap, was aware of Van Gogh's bipolar/schizophrenia/manic-depressive etc etc etc (no one really know what he has huh?) which led to him cutting of his left ear and suicide...

That's why I said: instead of embracing him (and helping him) part...=)

I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, if somebody had helped him (but then again, guess medical science wasn't so advanced yet lor), then he might not have 'suffered' so much...Maybe if people around him (besides his darling brother Theo) had been sympathetic...

I guess he (personal opinion ar) had bipolar, at least...Maybe his inspirations were during his manic stage! But it was amazing talent nonetheless...=)

Nowadays, people still view bipolar as a disease to be stayed away from...Which is sad...I hope we don't contribute to other people commiting suicide...

Thanks for addressing his psychosis though =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Darthvadai,

Thanks for coming by...=)

"Always listen and help not move away fomr helping others"

I'm with you on this one!

I didn't realise other people had posted on this before (this part goes out to Adam and Eve, too)...=)

adam and eve said...

i was here a couple of weeks back under a different handle[i like a change occasionaly].

one thing is for sure there is a remarkable consistency in the action and thoughts of the occupant of this blog- a healthy dose of compassion.

that is what the government needs,compassionate leaders who will listen and address issues to make it easier for fellow malaysians to survive

adam and eve said...

heard of' annie's song ' by the great John Denver.

Jaded said...

I love this song... It's been a favourite since I was a kid... It's beautiful, isnt it? =)

nstman said...

The song was a monster hit in the early Seventies. You dont hear this type of songs these days. Instead we have crap like hip hop. Very surprised your generation still tune in to these classic hits of a bygone era.

Jaded said...

Is it really fair to label music that you don't like 'crap', nstman?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Adam and Eve,

Hmmm...I believe I have said this before (you have commented on my blog some long time ago, right?), but I went to your blog and I see it's empty...=)

Thank you for your kind words though...

As for Annie's Song, I don't really know...I'm bad with titles and singer's names...I might have been singing along to it without realising!

But for this one, it does look very unfamiliar, so I think no...

I'll go look it up though!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jaded,

How you girl? I've been meaning to ask you...Can I have an invite into your blog? It's private...=)

But yeah, love this song!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi NSTman,

"Very surprised your generation still tune in to these classic hits of a bygone era."

Haha...

We do...At least, my brother (who is 16), and Jaded do...

I have been certified to have been born in the wrong generation by some friends...I listen to P. Ramlee, The Beatles, Connie Francis, Elvis, Cliff Richard, The BeeGees, The Platters, ABBA, The Everly Bro's, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Olivia Newton John and a whole lot more...

I also listen to 'modern' music, but I prefer the soothing type =) And not all modern music is crap lar...Some are pretty cool!

My brother and I have pretty much the same taste in music, so yeah, the young do listen to oldies oldies...

Jaded said...

My blog's not private anymore sweetie... it was for a short period but now it's open again... I'm not a regular blogger though... only write when the feeling hits me. And mostly about random stuff.

It's the Sylphine Dreams one... the other was just for testing purposes =)

And girl we should find some time to meet up... I'll catch u on msn soon aight then we'll plan. Luvya~

Mat Salo said...

Daphne, back in the 70s when I was in sec. school, "Vincent" was the song to play on the guitar. He was a genius but he was also, like Nazri, "putus wayar". But the latter is NOT a genius. Putus wayar, maybe. He...