- The Marrying Maiden
“You Don’t Know Much About Love” by Cotton Mather
Holy Mother of God or Elizabeth, Whoever Gets Here First
When I receive the same reading with the same changing lines three times consecutively, I interpret that to mean…”will you please, please pay attention to this, you idiot – since the odds to getting this reading in this fashion three times consecutively are approximately a zillion to one.”
Actually a zillion is not a real number, my son tells me, but we all understand it to mean “the last bus stop before infinity”. Or “a bunch” as we say in Texas.
Hexagram 54’s second changing line, in my case this season, suggests that although I could be looking at spending the holiday alone getting quietly drunk with the cats, it’s better than succumbing to the very human impulse to join with the wrong others, in spite of the costs. So, in the words of Philip Larkin, whose verse speaks to me more and more these days, “good to have got that learnt”.
This song deserves a better everything, and I abandoned it accordingly because it was beyond my means to furnish it with good shoes, hat, and higher education. So I banged it out on my old acoustic guitar tonight and sang it with vodka and tonic in hand. I sure do wish I had the time, those Memphis horns, and Otis Redding at my convenience to get it properly done. And by the way, anybody out there amongst the hundreds of you holding your breath for each new song the I Ching confers upon me…have at it, do it better…please! I agreed to this mad undertaking and do not pretend to be the best vehicle for all of these.
When I write and record alone late at night, I know it’s time to go to bed when those plaintive Ken Burns Civil War melodies begin playing in my head, and I want to start every lyric line with:
“My dearest Elizabeth, the weather here has taken a turn for the worse, and our rations have dwindled along with our hopes of ever seeing home and loved ones again…”
“You Don’t Know Much About Love” recorded by RH at The Star Apple Kingdom