If you recall the old children's nursery rhyme, Monday's Child, you may or may not be aware that it's gone through some changes since it was written down in the 1800's (and likely, it's way older than that). Today's prevailing version of this verse is as follows:
Monday's child is fair of face,However did you know, initially, it was Friday's child that was full of woe in the rhyme? It was only later that Wednesday and Friday flip-flopped their day fortunes (the fate's of Thursday and Saturday were also exchanged, but that takes us away from where I wish to go with the post). If you were born on a Wednesday, you have to feel a bit ripped off by this (BTW, if you don't know what day of the week you were born on, you can find out here). Wikipedia reports that the original fortune telling (by day of birth) for Friday likely reflected old traditional superstitions associated with back luck pertaining to Friday the 13th. At least for me, that explains the reason for the title of one of the better original Star Trek series episodes. I wonder if my mother knew about this (its meaning, not the sci-fi TV show), or what she'd have felt about it, since both of her surviving children were born on Friday. As a kid, I recall her telling me that my father warned her in no uncertain terms, on Thursday the 12th, that she better NOT have his child the very next day. I like to think that my mother took that admonition as a dare. As one would have expected, things didn't quite work out with my dad's talking-to, now didn't it?. With 13 as my lucky number... and Friday being my favorite day of the week, I look at it as Mom winning that challenge.
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
I do prefer the current version of this poem with its loving and giving aspect for my fortune, though. With that in mind, I also get a kick from the themes that have come to be associated with the conventional last day of the work week within the blogosphere. One such distinction are the posts and series by various bloggers that promote Friday's Forgotten Books (Lesa's contributions and pattinase's series are prime example of this, and some of the best things I discovered last year). Some great books have come back to the forefront via this, so I look at the endeavor as heady and very good material for the mind. Literary works and the day named after the German word Freitag aren't the only thrust on the web, however. If reading is for the mind (warning: cliche alert!), music has to be that which touches one soul. Notwithstanding my poor attempt at grand meaning, music is well represented with the Old School Friday inter-tube thread (great examples can be found with Nordette and others). And variations on the theme can be found, if you look hard enough. So I thought for this day, the last Friday of January Twenty-Ten, I'd hope, in a small way, to resurrect one book, a film of course, and a couple more forgotten songs that have crept onto someone's known tech device (and lightened his pocket somewhat... shhh, don't tell my wife), with this post.
For some strange reason, the year 1970 has pulled at me recently, and my choices here will reflect that. For the book, I'll select James Dickey's first (and best known) novel, Deliverance. Though I read it only after seeing John Boorman's excellent film adaptation of the novel, it still managed to surprise and grip me with its poetic violence and power. Its tale of a outdoor weekend going down a doomed (and soon to be dammed) river, and how it goes harrowingly wrong for four city men in the wilderness, remains the stuff of adventure and nightmare. Although the film was beautifully and hauntingly lensed by cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond for the film, the author's descriptions and elegiac prose within his novel will linger, I think, in the reader's mind perhaps a bit longer than the pictures.
Kelly's Heroes is an absolutely wonderful oddity of a film. How many World War II movies do you know that are also a crime caper? I dare say there are not many of them. This one is Clint Eastwood's second go around (and war picture) with director Brian G. Hutton (the fine and fun Where Eagle Dare being the first). The movie is pure entertainment (as is WED), with a dash of old hippie cool running through it because of Donald Sutherland's surfer mellow-like performance. Besides the hijinks plotting that's central to its story, the other unconventional facet that makes this film so engaging is how the film begins. It audaciously drops the audience right into the middle of a night time German armored convoy while our hero (Eastwood, of course, as Kelly) attempts to drive his jeep (along with his captive, kidnapped German colonel) out from among them. And all of this as the movie's theme song plays (and as the credits roll by). It is the curious but fitting, Burning Bridges, sung by the Mike Curb Congregation along with music by the famed Lalo Schifrin. As well, one could count it as one of the forgotten songs (it's on my iPod due to this movie). This brazen and totally unexpected beginning to a movie is one reason I (and my Monday teen) love to watch it:
Finally, although 1970 was the year many significant groups broke up (Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Dave Clark Five and others), a lot of great music was still being released (happily, disco had yet to arrive). Among them, were this pair of forgotten tunes. The first one might quality as a one-hit wonder in the U.S., but Indiana Wants Me proved to be a big best seller that year, and it was Motown Record's first crossover hit performed by a white artist (R. Dean Taylor). The second, Turn Back The Hands of Time, showcased Tyrone Davis' outstanding voice and the heartfelt delivery that he was known for by fans (unfortunately, he left this world far too soon, for many of us). Anyway, I hope you enjoy... and happy Friday.