Tuesday, May 07, 2013

with every breath i take

I spent last week with the Borgias.

Not the Renaissance Spanish family.  But the recent book about by the fifteenth century Kardashians.

G.J. Meyer, the author of  The Tudors: The Complete History of England's Most Notorious Dynasty, has written a revisionist history of Pope Alexander VI and his clan in The Borgias: The Hidden History.

I will undoubtedly write more about the book later.  But, for all of Meyer's attempts to clean up the Borgia image, it is impossible to walk away from the book without concluding that Renaissance Europe was a series of families murdering, torturing, raping, and kidnapping other families.  Or even their own families.  None of that is news to anyone with a nodding familiarity of the era.

And what did I pick up this morning as my next book?  The Plantagenets:  The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England.  More family skullduggery in the 1100s.

After three chapters, I decided I had read enough about the baser aspects of human nature.  I needed to hear something from the more creative bits of humanity.

I put down my Kindle and did something I have not done in almost a year.  I pulled out my CD library and started thumbing through my old music favorites.  And cranked up my Sony speakers to full volume.

About an hour into my songfest, I ran across a torch song.  One of those songs that brings memories flooding back.

When I moved down here, I had plans that I would not be living on my own.  That I would rekindle an old romance and find a modicum of happiness in tropical Mexico.

It didn't happen.  And I do not really regret that it did not.  Because regret is an occupation that has no profit.

But with the first string riff,  memories danced in my mind.  The song is "With Every Breath I take" from the Coleman-Zippel-Gelbart production of City of Angels.  Its lyrics and music fall into the same classic torch category as Sondheim's "Not a Day Goes By."

Bobbie is the love interest in the story.  And she is given the best lyrics to tell her tale.

But I suspect we have all had a Bobbie or two in our lives.  Someone who became the prism of our existence.  And when they were physically gone remained with us as a part of who we are.

Here are Zippel's masterful lyrics.

There's not a morning that I open up my eyes
And find I didn't dream of you
Without a warning, though it's never a surprise
Soon as I wake thoughts of you arise

With every breath I take

At any time or place

I close my eyes and see your face
And I'm embracing you
If only I believed that dreams come true

You were the one who said forever from the start

And I've been drifting since you've gone
Out on a lonely sea that only you can chart
I've been going on knowing that my heart can break

With every breath I take.
And, if you can stand the terrible audio quality of Youtube, here is the song as it was originally performed on Broadway.

Here is to all of our Bobbies.

No comments: