Friday, June 5, 2009

Non-random 1, 6/5/09

I could say I'm posting this picture of Julie Newmar in lingerie to remind you to vote on your favorite Catwoman, and to lobby for my personal favorite, but that hardly seems necessary. There have already been more votes on this than on Sherlock Holmes, and the public so far is in agreement with me that Ms. Newmar is the best choice, followed by Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer.

If I wanted to make the most obvious joke, I'd write some double entendre about Julie Newmar and wood, but I'm not going for the obvious, for once.

For me, Catwoman is more than just a silly character from a campy TV show with a fondness for pussycats and pilfering. She is a metaphor for the decisions we make in love, decisions that are barely decisions at all, we feel so compelled to make them.

The 20th Century Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh wrote lyrics to a tune from the 17th Century. The song is now known as Raglan Road, and the first verse is as clear a piece of writing about what love does to us poor fools as I have ever heard.

On Raglan Road of an autumn day
I saw her first and knew,
That her dark hair would weave a snare
That I might one day rue.
I saw the danger and I passed
Along the enchanted way.
And I said: 'Let grief, be a fallen leaf
At the dawning of the day.'

It's a very popular Irish ballad now. Nearly everyone with a drop of Irish blood has recorded it, and not just the men. Mary Black, Lorena McKennitt and Sinead O'Connor have all sung it, as have Van Morrison and Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy. The best known version is by Luke Kelly, singing with the Dubliners. Kelly's version was in the film In Bruges, a British crime drama/comic tragedy set in the picturesque Belgian village. The films stars Colin Farrell, a reminder that women are just as capable of being fools at love as men are.



Utah Savage said...

I loved Bruges. And I have truly been a fool where love is concerned. And maybe I should not put that "..where men are concerned.." bit in there. T'would be more true to merely say, I've been a fool about most everything.

Matty Boy said...

I've never visited Bruges, but the movie makes it look wonderful. My next trip to Europe, I promise Bruges will be on the list.

namastenancy said...

That's a beautiful song from a movie that thought I would not like but really got under my skin. And who among us has not been foolish in love? I remember all too well that leap of the heart when you follow your folly - knowing that it will end in tears but doing it anyway.

Anne said...

I love that song, and Kavanagh (no U - that's Lowell's "Mills of the") is well worth checking out. There's a TCD site devoted to him, with a few poems online.

Anne said...

Sorry, I mangled the html. The site is here:

Or here:

Matty Boy said...

Thanks, Anne. I've changed the spelling.