No, I’m not buzzed out on painkillers and listening to old records of acid rock. Those are just a couple subjects that I dealt with today.
I went to see one of the nurses at my heart doctor’s office and she found where I can get my cheap meds cheaper and my two expensive meds for free, UNLESS some unforeseen problem comes up. Afterward, the missus took me to the sign of the tarnished arches for a late breakfast. Personally, I wouldn’t go there as long as they have queer fries, but the missus was paying, so what the heck. As we ate our sausage gravy and biscuit, we were noticing how one of the “songs” playing over the PA system managed to have a repetitive pattern to it, but with no melody and no really definable rhythm.
After that, I sat in the truck a few minutes with the AC running, while she ran into Chinamart to get some milk. During that time, I was wondering if, years down the road, the young people would discover the idea of melody again and think it was something entirely new that they invented. A wonderful old song came to my mind and got stuck there, as sometimes happens. Have you ever heard the old song “After the Ball?” Before we came home, my water pill struck and I had to stop at a fast food joint to drain. While there, Marvin Gaye’s version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” was playing—a very different classic from a very different era.
Here’s a link of a 1925 recording of “After The Ball,” and further down are the words that are closest to what I remember (There are different versions, including parodies.)
AFTER THE BALL
A little maiden climbed an old man’s knees—
Begged for a story: "Do uncle, please!
Why are you single, why live alone?
Have you no babies, have you no home?"
"I had a sweetheart, years, years ago,
Where she is now, pet, you will soon know;
List to the story, I’ll tell it all:
I believed her faithless after the ball.“
”Bright lights were flashing in the grand ballroom,
Softly the music playing sweet tunes.
There came my sweetheart, my love, my own,
‘I wish some water; leave me alone.’
When I returned, dear, there stood a man
Kissing my sweetheart as lovers can.
Down fell the glass, pet, broken, that’s all—
Just as my heart was after the ball.“
”Long years have passed, child, I have never wed,
True to my lost love though she is dead.
She tried to tell me, tried to explain—
I would not listen, pleadings were vain.
One day a letter came from that man;
He was her brother, the letter ran.
That’s why I’m lonely, no home at all—
I broke her heart, pet, after the ball."
After the ball is over, after the break of morn,
After the dancers' leaving, after the stars are gone,
Many a heart is aching, if you could read them all—
Many the hopes that have vanished after the ball.