Friday, December 31, 2010

Why Not Your Baby? (Gene Clark Lyric)

She wore a blue dress when she walked in the room,
And in her eyes the look I saw was filled with gloom.
Is this the question I would answer all too soon?
Come tell your friend what's wrong with you.

Why don't you call me your baby anymore?
Am I so changed from some strange love that went before?
Is this the change of mind that I've been designed for?
Why not your baby anymore?

Those words we spoke they only seemed to block our way.
The truth rang out when you called me and called my name.
I don't know what I can do or I can say.
Your good friends also find a way.

Why don't you call me your baby anymore?
Am I so changed from some strange love that went before?
Is this the change of mind that I've been designed for?
Why not your baby anymore?

Why Not Your Baby? -- Dillard & Clark

Top:  Fernand Khnopff, The Veil, 1887, Charcoal and graphite 
on stumping on ivory wove paper, laid down on wood pulp board,
Art Institute of Chicago
Middle: Ante-chamber in white marble, Villa Khnopff, 41 Avenue des Courses, Brussels, 1900-2 (demolished)
Lower:  Exterior View, Villa Khnopff, inscribed above doorway "On n'a que soi".


  1. What a very melancholic entry for the end of the year! Sort of perfect for what has turned into an unusually autumnal rainy day here in Chicago. It makes me reflect upon the handful of artists and works to which I feel an attachment because I was lucky enough to discover them completely on my own -- not from a recommendation or assignment, or any logical progression from some other artist -- just happenstance as one wanders through life.

    I remember, for instance, coming across Preston Sturges' "The Palm Beach Story" flipping channels on late night, pre-cable television and thinking "this is so great! what the hell am I watching?" Fernand Khnopff is another example --- I was in the Belgian Museum of Fine Arts one day and they happened to have a major Khnopff retrospective on and I had some extra time and decided to wander through it and fell in love with Khnopff (but not, perhaps, the spelling of his name.)

    These kind of discoveries are such a delight and feel so private and personal that it is always a little bit of a surprise to find someone else knows of them as well. It's like sharing a secret when you're a child.

    Thank you, Curtis, for a lovely little end of season reverie. I hope you are happy and well. All my best wishes to you and your family for 2011.

  2. I'm so glad you liked this and felt something about the pairing of the Gene Clark and the Khnopff. Gene's work has been described as "autumnal" before and that's how I think of it; the Dillard & Clark record that this song appears on (it was their first of two) is one of the artistic high points of the 20th century. There isn't actually any other record remotely like it. I've posted two other Gene Clark lyrics recently -- one for his song Full Circle (in memory of a friend who passed away a long time ago -- the song makes me think of her whenever I hear it) and another called White Light that I paired with pictures reflecting my current Nabataean obsession. It was a kind of melancholic year, actually, but I'm hoping to brighten up reasonably soon. Oh -- and in case you missed them, I included a couple of Khnopff's in yesterday's entry called It's Just Business (New Normal). He's quite something. In an article about him in the magazine Studio published in 1912, the following is included:

    "When young painters come to ask his advice he says: 'Above all, be sincere; if you have nothing to say, say nothing.' 'Art is not a necessity,' he adds."

    Happy New Year.