Tag Archives: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Opium Tea

Smooth Sailing Here in Crazeysburg, Gang!!

Happy, summer, gang!! We are getting there — just 4 more days!!

Well, another glorious day is upon us here, and I want to take full advantage of that feeling, because the next several days are supposed to include lots of thunderstorms.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that thunderstorms around here means that, throughout the day and night, I go around closing 21 windows, then opening 21 windows, then closing 21 windows…. ad infinitum.

Until the storms clear.

Sometimes, I get so fed up with all the openings & closings, that I become very nautical and try to determine from which direction the wind is actually blowing, and then only close windows on that side of the house. Or sometimes, if it seems that no real wind is blowing at all, and the rain is sort of falling straight down, I close no windows at all and just sort of let everything get a little bit wet.

Okay, well!!

I am making the weirdest “progress” on Letter #8 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. I was once again at it all day yesterday, and only managed to take about 4 paragraphs that I’d already written the day before and re-write them down to about 8 sentences. And then, after I’d closed down the laptop for the evening, I was re-reading what I’d re-written and realized that one of those sentences needed to be completely re-worded.

Multiply that by 3 weeks, or some such nonsense as that, and you get an idea of how long it’s taking me to write this particular “Letter.” And the weirdest part of it is that I know exactly what I want to write about! But the words are coming out so darn slowly. It is ridiculous.

Peitor is supposed to call today. I’m not sure if we’re doing Abstract Absurdity Productions work, or if we’ll just be chatting. We haven’t talked in a while, so either way will be good.

He’s primarily a music producer/composer, and he’s been in the studio a lot now, catching up on mixes because he couldn’t get in the studio while L.A. was in lockdown. The last few days, he’s been working primarily on mixing one particular song he wrote — with a very, very Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” type sound — and he sends me updates on the various mixes every day. And the one he sent over during the night blew my little socks off this morning! It was so fucking good!!

I wish I could post the music file for you here on the blog, gang, but he would probably kill me!! But it is just so good.

I just went on a google search to see if I could find info on the singer he’s using right now — a guy I actually follow on Instagram, but he usually goes informally by his initials and now I can’t remember his actual name so I can’t even find him on Instagram. Anyway, I found this great photo of Peitor instead!! From 2012  — (he’s about 55 years old here. He doesn’t ever seem to age at all). (He just turned 63 this past Tuesday.)

This Time (2012) - Covering Media

New topic…

I am indeed studying French again — on the Mondly app. Since I gave up studying Italian back in September, that’s where the Mondyl app left me — in September’s lessons — regardless of the fact that I am now studying a different language.  Since I actually know French, I am going through a month’s worth of lessons & quizzes every 2 days. I’m trying to get caught up to the actual current lesson (meaning June’s lessons). So I’m going at quite a clip.

It is definitely more conversational than any French I’ve ever studied. So, even though I tried just leaping in at June, I found a bunch of phrasing that I wasn’t really familiar with, so that’s why I’m trying to get all the lessons in order.

I really enjoy studying French, obviously. I have just always loved the French language (& culture) (& films, too,  god knows!!). But, now, as I’m studying — and of course, being reminded of all the various language courses in French that I’ve taken over the last 52 years (including but not limited to attending the Alliance Française in NYC):

Education Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Cerami & Associates

— I am of course very aware that, nowadays, people just speak English into their phones and then out it immediately comes from their phones in the language of whoever it is that they’re trying to talk to.

No incentive (or need) anymore to really learn a language at all, so I’m not 100% sure why I am still bothering. But I just love the darn language! So on I go!!

Plus, I’m learning nouns that, oddly enough, I’ve never learned before. Like the French words for “shark,” or “monkey,” or “housefly.” Sort of common words, right?  But I have always studied more of a “business” type, formal French. And certain ordinary words, in all this time, have never come up!

My French colleagues in Paris used to tell me that I actually wrote French better than most of the actual French people they knew. Which means that, if you’re just a regular French person trying to converse casually with me, I don’t have a clue what you’re saying!! I honestly don’t.  (If I was in a publisher’s office, having a meeting, though, I could understand everything because the French I know is so formal.)

Anyway, this is why I say that, after 52 years of studying it, I still don’t speak French. Maybe this time will be different!! We shall see.

And if I still can’t speak French after 53 years, I’ll just speak English into my phone and let my phone converse with you.

Okay, so!! On that chipper note…

I’m gonna get started here today. I hope you have a great Wednesday, wherever you are in the world and in whatever language you speak!! I’m leaving you with my breakfast-listening music from today, even though I’ve posted it here before — “Opium Tea” from B-Sides & Rarities (2005) by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. I love the mood of this, and the pacing and the melody. So listen (again) and enjoy!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys! See ya!!

“Opium Tea”

Here I sleep the morning through
Till the wail of the call to prayer awakes me
And there ain’t nothing at all to do but rise and follow
The day wherever it takes me

I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I am what I am, and what will be will be
I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I make me a pot of opium tea

Down at the port I watch the boats come in
Watch the boats come in can do something to you
And the kids gather around with an outstretched hand
And I toss them a diram or two

Well, I wonder if my children are thinking of me
‘Cause I am what I am, and what will be will be
I wonder if my kids are thinking of me
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

At night the sea lashes the rust red ramparts
And the shapes of hooded men who pass me
And the moan of the wind laughs and laughs and laughs
The strange luck that fate has cast me

Well, the cats on the rampart sing merrily
That he is what he is and what will be will be
Yeah, the cats on the rampart sing merrily
And I sit and I drink of my opium tea

I’m a prisoner here, I can never go home
There is nothing here to win or lose
There are no choices needed to be made at all
Not even the choice of having to choose

Well, I’m a prisoner here, yes, but I’m also free
‘Cause I am what I am and what will be will be
I’m a prisoner here, yeah, but I’m also free
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

© 1996 Nick Cave, Conway Savage

Si!! Per due giorni non ho studiato italiano!!

Yes! That’s right!

This morning, I realized that I hadn’t studied my Italian lessons for the past 2 days. Which also means I missed my Sunday quiz!

Ack!! I’ve been so caught up in revisions of the play, as well as the profoundly intense heat wave, that everything else fell from my awareness.

I’m not gonna spend the rest of the summer giving you the weather report for around here, but I do want to at least say that it is an unbelievably beautiful day here, today. All the heat and thunderstorms are completely gone.  It is sunny and mild and supposed to stay that way all week. And by mild, I mean it’s going down into the high 50s Fahrenheit during the night! I feel transformed because of it.

I did not feel transformed yesterday, though.

I had a very challenging day with the revisions for Tell My Bones.

I was getting good work done. I liked what was coming, but it was painstakingly slow going. And I am still having trouble going back & forth between the new revisions for the overall play, and the staged reading version of the play , which is condensed and shorter, less music, etc.

And as I make the revisions to the overall play, I then have to go back to the staged reading version and make sure it gets updated. So the constant switching back & forth was extremely distracting.

After I was at it for 8 hours, the director of the play called to wish me a happy birthday and to confirm our lunch appointment for today — AND to say that he was reading the screenplay version of Tell My Bones and that it was incredibly wonderful and he told me all the reasons why he thought so and that he lamented that the play couldn’t capture a lot of that because they were two different media.

(The screenplay scored really well in several high-profile screenplay competitions the year I wrote it, and won Best Voice of Color at the Cleveland Independent Film Festival the following year.)

While we were talking, I was already so incredibly exhausted from laboring over the revisions of the play for 8 hours, that my “take away” from the phone call was that the play was nowhere near as good as the screenplay and so I had to start from scratch or something.

It blew my evening right out of the water, and not in a good way. I stayed at my desk for 3 more hours wondering, what am I supposed to do here? How do I turn this into the screenplay?

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that Sandra and I struggled with just that very thing for a couple of years before I came to the conclusion (with input from Peitor in Los Angeles) that I had to let go of the screenplay entirely, and approach the play from a whole new perspective. Because it wasn’t working for the stage.

Last night, though, I kept feeling that there must be a way to sort of layer aspects of the screenplay on top of the play…. and have a 90 minute full-cast dramatic screenplay magically become a 90 minute one-woman play with music.

I’m sure you can readily see that I was completely out of my mind.

Eventually I realized that I was starving and needed to eat dinner. So I finally closed the darn laptop and walked away.

This morning, though, I had an entirely fresh perspective on all of it. And I know something magical is going to transform or infuse the play with aspects of the screenplay. I don’t know yet what that is but I can feel it sort of hovering at the edges of my mind.

Even though this also means that at my meeting today, revisions to the script will not be finished. But it isn’t the end of the world. I still have  2 weeks before Sandra gets here to begin the initial rehearsals.

(Here’s something interesting that I just noticed: Whenever I need to type the word “being” it always comes out as “begin” and I have to fix it. But just there when I needed to type the word “begin” it came out as “being”! Clearly, I know how to type the word “being” so why can’t I just type it the right way when I need it??!!)

Anyway. Hey, thanks to new readers who are coming here through the post over at EdgeofHumanity.com yesterday. I appreciate it.

I thought it was kind of interesting that yesterday was my birthday and the first excerpt from my childhood memoir-in-progress, In the Shadow of Narcissa, went out on the EdgeofHumanity.com feed.  I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting that. I knew it was coming out this week, but I didn’t think it would be on Monday.

I have emotional issues with In the Shadow of Narcissa, only because it is very hard for me to write.  It’s hard for me to emotionally claim all the stuff I need to in order to write it. But I do feel 100% sure that I need to write it, so I’m not going to allow my emotions to get in the way of that.

Still, seeing something so personal to me arrive as another entity’s web update in my inbox, was startling. Partly, you know, I just want to remove myself from it. It’s the only way I can handle it, really.

I appreciate so much that they are wiling to publish it over at Edge of Humanity, though, because I think it’s helping me stick with the process of writing it.

Okay, gang. I’m gonna get started around here now because I have to have that lunch meeting in a couple of hours. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with the breakfast listening music from today! “Opium Tea” from B-Sides & Rarities. A song with an hypnotic, groovy little groove to it. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys! See ya.

“Opium Tea”

Here I sleep the morning through
‘Til the wail of the call to prayer awakes me
And there is nothing at all to do
But rise and follow the day wherever it takes me

[Chorus]
I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I am what I am and what will be will be
I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I make me a pot of opium tea

Down at the port I watch the boats come in
Oh, watching the boats come in can do something to you
And the kids gather around with an outstretched hand
And I toss them a dirham or two

[Chorus]
Well, I wonder if my children are thinking of me
Cause I am what I am and what will be will be
I wonder if my kids are thinking of me
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

At night the sea lashes the rust-red ramparts
In the shapes of hooded men who pass me
And the mad moaning wind laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs
At the strange lot that fate has cast me

[Chorus]
The cats on the rampart sing merrily
That he is what he is and what will be will be
The cats on the rampart sing merrily
And I sit and I drink my opium tea

I’m a prisoner here, I can never go home
There is nothing here to win or lose
There are no choices need to be made at all
Not even the choice of having to choose

[Chorus]
I’m a prisoner yes, but I’m also free
Cause am what I am and what will be will be
I’m a prisoner here but I’m also free
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

c – 1996 Conway Savage & Nick Cave