Thursday, September 14, 2006

Different Seasons




An artist once told me, "Of Truth, Good, and Beauty, I regard Beauty as the highest value. Only when we Vietnamese understand the true meaning of beauty does our country truly change. Just you wait and see."

Beauty, in his view, has nothing to do with good appearance, say, a good-looking woman. I am not a philosopher, and it's not my intention to become one. I have no idea as per what beauty means. However, I believe that if beauty is "a combination of qualities pleasing to our senses," as some philosopher put it, then music must be a source of beauty as it holds qualities pleasing to the ears.

All definitions are incomprehensible if they are presented just in words. The best way to catch the meaning of anything should be an access to it through examples. A beautiful song by the Johny Hates Jazz band, Different Seasons, will provide a good example of beauty. I am enchanted by its melody and harmony. However the music is unavailable for me to share. So we will have to accept a much worse way of admiring the beauty in music, that is to sense it through lyric, as follows:

There is a face deep in your mind
One that your heart won't leave behind
Memories are cold-empty of laughs
And all that remains are photographs

When she's gone, there are no reasons
Nature's cruel - it's just different seasons
going on and on

There is a voice deep in your soul
Telling you not to lose control
And day after you hold back the tears
'Cos pain is the greatest of your fears

When she's gone, there are no reasons
Nature's cruel - it's just different seasons
going on and on
There are no reasons
Say it's only different seasons...

No copyright. Feel free to quote any of these lyrics for any purpose, even for showing it to your sweetheart, saying "It's my poem."

We are fools indeed, however, because talking about beauty always leads us to talking about women. The word "beauty", in fact, is used definitely to mean "women's beauty". In a broader sense, it is applied mostly to women, by that it is distorted, making those who talk about beauty without thinking of women become ridiculous.

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends.

Like my fathers come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends.

Here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are.

As my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends.

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends.

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends.

Here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are.

As my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends.