Sunday, July 8, 2012

Father Death by Allen Ginsberg (renamed repost)

"The Tyger" by William Blake

as sung by Allen Ginsberg
w/ Steven Taylor & Jim Jones
Recorded by
The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics,
July 1988

courtesy of superheronamedtony's YT channel

A beautiful thing, the free download and streaming from the internet archive project at Naropa University:
 A reading by Allen Ginsberg performing William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Songs of Innocence includes: "The Shepherd," "The Echoing Green," "The Lamb," "The Little Black Boy," "The Blossom," "The Chimney Sweeper," "The Little Boy Lost," "The Little Boy Found," "Laughing Song," and "Holy Thursday." Songs of Experience includes: "Nurse's Song," "The Sick Rose," "Ah Sunflower," "The Garden of Love," "London," "The Human Abstract," "To Tirzah" and "The Grey Monk."

And then, there is the always lovely PennSound, center for programs in contemporary writing at the University of Pennsylvania, and their New York, December 15, 1969 recording of Ginsberg singing William Blake -- plus PoemTalk podcasts.

By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


"My father died while I was out here. So I flew black... back, and on the way [home I w]rote a blues: Father Death Blues."

Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey old man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, don't cry any more
Mama's there underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death, don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death, I hear your groans
O Sister Death, how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths, go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death, your art is done
Lover Death, your body's gone
Father Death, I'm coming home

Guru Death, your words are true
Teacher Death, I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is true
Sangha Death, we'll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath, once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.

July 8, 1976 (Over Lake Michigan)

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