Monday, September 13, 2004

I'll Go to Hell to Be With You

In my constant search for strange music, I ordered a CD called “Incredibly Strange Music.” (Sometimes, things have a way of working out perfectly for me.) It’s pretty good, I guess. Some of the tracks are genuinely bizarre, like this one by a woman named Lucia Pamela about talking with cows and chickens during a walk on the moon. One of the tracks stuck with me: “Lover’s Prayer,” by Myrtle Hilo. I don’t know anything about Myrtle, except what I can gather from the photo on the cover of her album. She calls herself “The Singing Cab Driver.” She looks about fifty in the photograph and she’s holding a ukulele. Beneath the shadow of her straw hat, she’s plainly grinning. She’s leaning out the passenger window of the car, and behind the car there’s a palm tree. I also know that Myrtle’s song struck me on some level. The first half is in Hawaiian. It's beautiful, even though I don't understand it. The second, English half is as follows:
I do believe the lord above Created you for me to love He picked me out from all the rest Because he knew I'd love you best I once had a heart that was true But now it's gone from me to you Take care of it as I have done For you have two and I have none [something indecipherable about heaven] I'll put your name on a golden spell If you're not there by judgment day I'll kow you went the other way I'll give the angels back their wings Their golden harps and all those things And just to prove my love is true I'll go hell to be with you
Maybe it’s sick or sappy, but there’s something beautiful about willing to go to hell for love. She repeats the last two lines, which I didn’t feel like actually typing twice, but I feel like the repetition only hammers in the meaning of the song. I like it. I think there’s something touching about it. But its inclusion on this album almost pisses me off. It’s not strange at all, at least not on the level of cows on the moon. It’s honest. It speaks of a level of emotion I'm not sure most people are capable of. I know I'm not. I'm envious. I guess I have to be glad it's there on the album; otherwise, I never would have heard it. But still, there's nothing strange about a fifty-year-old Hawaiian taxi driver singing about true love.

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