Friday, May 28, 2010

The Moon a Phantom Rose

It was one of those nights. It's been one of those mornings. The world could be full of people, but I'll always feel alone. As ephemeral as my own shadow, though I stand in the light, I'm always in darkness. I once heard it said that there's a time in every man's life when he finds he's too old to fall in love again. Is there a time when no one can fall in love with him?

I've been listening to the Judy Collins rendition of Jimmy Webb's song The Moon's a Harsh Mistress (1974). It's been recorded by most major vocal artists over the past several decades but never more beautifully; more hauntingly, than by the amazing Judy Collins. The recording is best known from her 1975 album Judith.

It's a song that, once heard, particularly as rendered by Collins, you don't soon forget. If you have a soul filled with demons of emptyness, loneliness, or a love that's been lost, the song will speak to you in whispers in the darkness. Though Collins is better known for such signature pieces as Send in the Clowns and Amazing Grace, The Moon's a Harsh Mistress remains closest to my heart, especially today.

See her as she flies
Golden sails across the sky
Close enough to touch
But careful if you try
Though she looks as warm as gold
The moon's a harsh mistress
The moon can be so cold

Once the sun did shine
And lord it felt so fine
The moon a phantom rose
Through the mountains and the pine
And then the darkness fell
The moon's a harsh mistress
It's hard to love her well

I fell out of her eyes
I fell out of her heart
I fell down on my face, yes I did
And I tripped and I missed my star
And I fell and fell alone
The moon's a harsh mistress
The sky is made of stone

The moon's a harsh mistress
She's hard to call your own

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