Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blue Turns To Grey (Constable/Jagger/Richards)

Well, now that she is gone,
You won't feel bad for long,
For maybe just an Hour or 
Just a moment of the day --
And try as you may.
You just don't feel good --
And you don't feel alright.
And you know that
You must find her
Find her, find her . . .

She's not home when you call,
So you then go to All
The places where she likes to be,
But she has gone away --
And try as you may
You just don't feel good --
And you don't feel alright.
And you know that
You must find her
Find her, find her . . .


Song:  Blue Turns To Grey (Jagger-Richards)

Performance Link 1:  Cliff Richard and the Shadows (1966)
Performance Link 2:  The Rolling Stones (1965)


Top:  John Constable, Study of Cirrus Clouds, 1822, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Middle:  John Constable, Sky Study With Shaft of Sunlight, 1822, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Bottom, John Constable, Cloud Study (Hampstead Heath), 1822, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

This post is dedicated to Beyond The Pale (, which never fails to turn grey days into colorful ones.


  1. Curtis,

    This is beautiful, and from this end, timely in more ways than I am able to explain (or for that matter to understand).

    There is always so much to be "read" in Constable's clouds...

    And, as we have looked at this post throughout the day, the springtime blue with light cirrus has gradually been erased from the sky and over-written with dark ominous cloud masses rolling in off the North Pacific; which in turn by evening had given way to a cold, steady rain far more reminiscent of midwinter than of Maytime.

    Bering would have felt right at home.

  2. Thanks so much. These posts and your comment both mean a lot to me. I've always loved this song, which is a high point (which is saying a lot) in the Rolling Stones' now (and for a long time) quite frayed and tattered songbook. I mean it's really great and I think it also gave Cliff and the Shadows perhaps their finest musical moment. I think there's a real association (there must be) between the English weather and the island's art and I love John Constable's work.

    Maytime here is peculiar too on a number of levels, and I'm currently girding myself for the week ahead, though I'm happy to report that we successfully made it through a portentous weekend that included Jane's first big Friday 13th "semi-formal" dance at school (we imported an old friend of hers as a date from NY; it almost transpired that he wouldn't appear because his family was stuck in traffic) and another of those heart-in-mouth official USFSA figure skating tests. My daughter didn't get her very practical and useful sang-froid from me, but I've finally semi-come around. Bering's story is pretty amazing. I really need to take cheer and lighten up. Curtis

  3. Curtis,

    To take cheer and lighten up is also something the heavy overcast sky of the North Pacific ought to be doing. As blue turned to grey in the heavens, and also in my mind, what with our mutual dwelling upon the lyrics and images you have posted, my thoughts turned to these annual spring visitors, obviously a bit confused by the seasons this grey-blue year: The Sanderlings.

    A semi-formal dance and a figure-skating test in the same week almost matches a spring migration for effort. Somehow I take Jane's poise and competence for granted, given the household. But of course one should give credit where due. A bird could never do these rites of passage with its heart in its mouth, there would be no room for all those necessary-fuel-intake bugs and grubs. (Not to bring that imported date into the false analogy, but just saying...)

  4. Hi. It's nice to turn to this after a heavy bout of contract drafting this morning. Often I really enjoy the work -- it's clarifying and actually edifying, building a solid, logical construction undergirded by positive will and trust. Sometimes however, like this morning, it's real Book of Rules territory. I think you would find one of the projects, which will be freed from its Fort Knox level of confidentiality and security shortly, amusing. It's a film project that definitely has a "Dominique Strauss-Kahn" weird publicity angle to it. Essentially it's a documentary by a director trying to make lemons into lemonade and succeeding. Jane's dance was fun for her, I think, and I was very impressed with how nicely the young man who accompanied her has grown up. She really did ace the skating test, which is rarely done, but seeing her out there on the ice summons up images of Orson Welles' film of The Trial, an effect emphasized by the physical qualities of the rink, which is called the Philadelphia Skating Club & Humane Society. Interestingly, it's the oldest skating club in the US and its somewhat unusual name derives from the fact that in the late 19th century, the members of the club used to fish skaters who fell through holes in the Schuylkill River out of the water. (It has nothing to do with animals.) I will spend part of the rest of the day trying to collect overdue fees, which is, as I'm sure you know, really irritating. Curtis