Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart

It’s Thanksgiving Eve — or as some commercial folk now have it, Black Wednesday — which this year is November 22nd, St. Cecilia’s Day, a day to celebrate music (coverage here in a 11/21/11 posting, “Saint Cecilia”), but also JFK Assassination Day.

For Black Wednesday, I ordered a new bed, a floor sample at 50% off (technically, it’s a Christmas present to me), a firm and handsome replacement for my rather broken-down 40-year-old veteran.

The unfortunate concurrence of St. Cecilia and JFK comes by every year, always close to Thanksgiving, triggering a deeply uncomfortable mixture of emotions. Music is a balm:

When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Paul Simon to the rescue. And specifically for today:

“Cecilia” is a song by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel, released in April 1970 as the third single from the group’s fifth studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water (1970). Written by Paul Simon, the song’s origins lie in a late-night party, in which the duo and friends began banging on a piano bench. They recorded the sound with a tape recorder, employing reverb and matching the rhythm created by the machine. Simon later wrote the song’s guitar line and lyrics on the subject of an untrustworthy lover. The song’s title refers to St. Cecilia, patron saint of music in the Catholic tradition. (Wikipedia link)

The chorus:

Celia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please to come home
Come on home

The verses:

Making love in the afternoon
With Cecilia
Up in my bedroom
I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed
Someone’s taken my place

She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I laughing
She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I laughing

You can listen to the 1970 recording here.

There are tons of covers and recordings of live performances, including this somewhat odd version by Stomp, Jimmy Fallon, and Paul Simon on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 4/6/11. Fallon obviously loves the music deeply, and he’s  a very good amateur musician, but against Paul Simon, even a 70-year-old Paul Simon, and even though they’re both enveloped in the pulsing beats of Stomp. he’s a bit out of his league. But still very enjoyable.


One Response to “Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    Remembering so vividly November 22nd, 1963. My church in St. Louis where I was a medical student at Washington University – Trinity Episcopal Church – used to do a huge St. Cecilia festival every year on St. Celilia’s day. Shortly after John Kennedy was assassinated – we had to cancel the festival on a few hours notice – and eat up a huge quantity of food (and drink, we’re Episcopalians, I mean) for what turned into a wake. The memory is still vivid more than half a century later.

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