27 July 2016

Wonderful World

Don't know much....

Don't know much about history

Don't know much biology

Don't know much about a science book

Don't know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

I doubt whether the thirty-three year old Sam Cooke’s final thoughts, in December 1964, were that it was a wonderful world – being shot in the chest can’t be a pleasant experience, whatever the circumstances.  But then Bertha Franklin didn’t love him, so things plainly weren’t wonderful…..

Anyway that’s beside the point.  Which is, somewhat tangentially, that I was minding my own business the other day, sipping hand-crafted West Country apple juice in Euston’s Cider Tap, trying to convince myself that, despite an avalanche of unhappy news recently, there is a wonderful world out there.  And then through the apple fumes I heard a voice gently singing Sam Cooke’s signature song. A face, somewhat beardy, a little rosy, certainly bleary, opened its lips and softly stated that art is one way of expressing love for the world, whether it is the art of a singer song-writer, or that of an architect or engineer, or that of a painter, the butcherthebakerthecidermaker…..

And what, I enquired, drawn as one is under such circs into conversation with a stranger, brought on this eye-watering profundity?

And the face, somewhat meekly, responded that this particular epiphany was ignited by a day out in the metropolis, during which it had had a guided tour of the National Gallery and then visited the new extension to the Tate Modern.  Enough "art" in one day to fund a Trident…..

And so, I am intrigued, what might be the connection with Mr Sam Cooke, deceased?

Ah, well, it’s the profession of ignorance, nay innocence, with respect to book-learning while emphasising that love can reveal the wonders of the world.  This touches my simple four-valve heart-pump.  And it is a beautiful song.  Beautifully sung.  And I don’t know much about art (though I knows what I likes)…..

So, wondering where I was going, I asked what it was that he likes….

Angels!  Angels with guitars!  And blue – I love the sheer luxury of lapis lazuli, agate of the Afghans…..

And the landscapes in the backgrounds of Italian renaissance pictures.

Et al?  The conversation sputters forward.

Indeed.  I confess that I am quite taken with the arts!  In fact, it takes quite something to dis my pleasure in the visuals.

Give me a furry stance?

I’m not keen on Tiepolo or Rubens…..  Could I  offer you a drink?

Awe?  Thank you, I’ll have a number 12….

The chap who sawed up a cow, and stitched a shark in a tank.  The lady with the bed and tent….

Ah!  Bri Tart?

Scream Tease I call it. 

But did you know that Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railway, 1844,  by Big Joe Turner there’s a train breasting the Maidenhead Bridge in a fit of storm, and we are meant to feel it all – the gouts of rain, the spiffs of steam and the atrocious speed of it all? Look close and there’s a hare on the tracks; and peoples on the river banks….. And all the manmade madness of it was down to I K Brunel, who built the bridge and the train.

So, what did you make of the new state of the Tate?

Thanks…. Cheeers….  To be Frank

Didn’t catch your name? Gelett Burgess, was it?

James, James Bradburne….. And yours?

James James, eh?  I waved a little finger over my new glass of apple soup.  The Tate?

Have you seen it?

A tad brick on the outside, concrete inside for me.  Too much of the ziggurat....

Sam Cooke wouldn’t really like it.

‘Nuff said.  State of the mind....

Though it is a wonderful world

Apple juice helps.

It's all done with mirrors.  

Going far?

Maybe.  Depends.  You?



But I’ll get you one before…..

I don’t know…..  

I can't de-cider....


Well.  One for the virgin......

OK. Don't mind if I was.  

Here's to Big Joe Turner, Isambard Kingdom Come and the Thames at Maidenhead!  

And here's to the lies that make us realise the truth!


I knows what I likes.....

La ta ta ta ta ta ta (History)

Hmm-mm-mm (Biology)

La ta ta ta ta ta ta (Science book)

Hmm-mm-mm (French I took)

Yeah, but I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

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