Tail of the Weak 4.21
Updated: Jan 26
Tail of the Weak is a series of insights and musical memories from the mind of Uncle Dave Griffin, singer/songwriter and founder of the Annual Gram Parsons Guitar Pull and Tribute Festival, from Waycross, Georgia.
I advise you to turn back. You can catch him later. No, wait—that's what Mister Fletcher said to Captain Red Legs in The Outlaw Josie Wales; and, we all know how that turned out. Why anyone would ask me—a two-time divorcee—for answers about love is beyond me.
I'm just like old Captain Red Legs Terrell myself—a victim of my own stubborn ego and dogged short-comings—left to die with blood dripping from his mouth.
Of course, I can tell you what not to do; and, that counts for something.
Or I could quote from the experts that I listened to and revered. Percy Sledge's mama advised him to “take time to know her—please, don't rush into this thing”. The Supremes and Phil Collins both said, “You can't hurry love—no, you just have to wait”. Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Simple Man” is full of good guidance—beginning to end—from mother to son.
What the three of these songs have in common is that the writers all hark back to lessons provided by Mama. It also seems to me that some good four-letter words find their way into all discussions on L-O-V-E. M-A-M-A is the epitome of love; and, I thank God that I had one of the best.
L-U-C-K or F-A-T-E could play a role in romance; but, they're based more on chance and don't quite have the strength of H-O-P-E or P-R-A-Y. In any event, you can wish and pray for love or hope that luck and fate intercedes; but, good things...especially L-O-V-E...take T-I-M-E.
In “You Better Shop Around”, Smokey Robinson sings, “My mama told me—you better shop around”. Smokey's mama surely must have subscribed to the old British expression of “playing the field”, as she suggested, “Before you ask some girl for her hand now—keep your freedom for as long as you can now”.
While playing the field is an option most-associated with commitment-avoiding singles, it is interesting to note that I may have inadvertently engaged in the process over my three marriages. My first wife was a brunette with brown eyes—my second, a redhead with blue eyes—and since 1993, I've been married to a beautiful, blue-eyed blonde. May 29th will mark our 26-year anniversary.
Ok, Lovelorn—before you think blondes have more fun, realize this—she's had to put up with A-L-O-T of my C-R-A-P. Which brings me to more four-letter words that are pivotal to marital longevity. G-I-V-E more than you T-A-K-E. T-A-L-K about your feelings. And, the most important of all...M-A-M-A is always right.
Yep, my wife is reading this and rolling her eyes in disbelief now. As I said, she's had to put up with me. I'm terrible about all the things I just suggested; but, I try. And, we're still married—which means that L-U-C-K surely must play a role.
Most men aren't blessed with the sensitivities that women are born with; but, there are songs and poems at your disposal to sway the emotions and slay the heart of the one you love. Here's my list of some of the best:
“God Only Knows”, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys
“Maybe I'm Amazed”, Paul McCartney
“Annabel Lee”, Edgar Allan Poe
“All I Know”, Jimmy Webb performed by Art Garfunkel
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, Ewan MacColl performed by Roberta Flack
Being a songwriter myself, I have turned to the pencil and paper several times during our marriage in an attempt to say what is otherwise not as easy. The one my wife seems to love the most is “Song For Lynne”, in which I write about her passion for painting, hula hooping, and dumpster diving for castaway boards to paint upon—which she says is proof that she shops at the absolute cheapest place and that I do sometimes listen.
Now, Lovelorn—if you're still reading—you may have come to the conclusion that I know little to nothing concerning the tenderest of subjects. Don't get so upset—I'm only a lonely blogger. Thus, in closing, I'll defer to Sir Paul McCartney, who—in the last lines from the next-to-last song on Abbey Road, The Beatles' last studio album—wrote the words which I consider to be the essence of all relationships.
And in the end—the L-O-V-E you T-A-K-E
Is equal to the L-O-V-E—you M-A-K-E
22nd Annual Gram Parsons Guitar Pull and Tribute Festival
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Memories straight from the mind of Uncle Dave Griffin
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