Julia

February 10, 2010

Michigan finally got a big snowstorm yesterday. It was all cold and grey and exposed dead grass before that. In other words, mid-winter ugly. My Christmas tree is still laying on it’s side in the backyard driveway, ornaments and all. Now it’s covered in snow, so hopefully it won’t bug the neighbors too much. Speaking of neighbors, we have one that likes to rip out his snow blower at midnight every time it snows. I don’t know what his work schedule is, but I think most people (fortunate enough to have a job) on our street are asleep at that time and have to get up for work around 6am. I remember when I was a kid and my mom would say things like, you don’t mow the lawn at dinner time, or you don’t park your car in front of someone else’s house, and you don’t let your dog sit outside and bark for an hour. Oh, and you don’t snow blow your sidewalk at midnight. What happened to these unwritten, common neighborly courtesies? Does it have to be a law for people to be considerate?

People generally do whatever they feel like these days. I talked to a friend, a university professor, who told me that some of her students text in class. I suppose it’s the technologically updated version of passing notes in class, difference being you’re an ADULT now and you have to pay for these classes. I told her that when I recently took a course at the local community college I remember people eating their breakfast in class – their whole breakfast. It would be all spread out before them on the table, juice and coffee, yogurt parfait and egg McMuffin. Everyday. I could understand if you got up late and you had to shovel something down your gullet so you had the energy to focus in class, but, come on.

Perhaps I need more sleep. Maybe I’ve become a grumpy old person…

Julia is such a pretty song, although I think the lyrics are a bit hippie-dippie – my apologies to John Lennon. The chords are lovely and they sound better on a guitar than a piano, but I couldn’t learn how to play it on guitar in 9 days. The piano has some fluid moments and clunky ones too. I played this song about 60 times last night (I’m not exaggerating) and finally gave in to what was there. I added a bass line on the acoustic guitar because Jim said it was one part of the original that stood out to him and he wanted to hear it. To him, the song has a haunting quality and I agree. I remember playing the cassette tape player next to my bed and falling asleep to I Will and Julia when I was younger, although I never understood the lyrics until I sang them last night. At number 17, this song marks the end of side two.

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12 Responses to “Julia”

  1. Kristen Says:

    Very pretty rendition Deanne, and the love the venting…oh-so-true!

  2. King Elessar 8 Says:

    Along with “Dear Prudence” and “Happiness is a Warm Gun” this is my favorite song on the White Album. IMO Lennon hit his songwriting peak on this album – sensitive and meaningful without being maudlin. I enjoyed your cover very much – I have never tried to play this song, I think I will have a go at it on the piano myself.

    • dmiovan Says:

      Those are my three favorites too. I’m sure you’ll get better results on the piano than I did. It is lovely to play.

  3. Astro Boy Says:

    Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

  4. Jarod Says:

    This is another one of my favorites from you (you & those keys are a magical combination!) Lennon’s strained pitchiness always distracted me in this song. Thanks for giving it the smooth fluidity it deserved.

  5. daniele Says:

    i love your version. haunting and beautiful at the same time.

  6. Matt Blick Says:

    Hey! Can’t wait for disc 2/side 3!

    I’ve undertaken a crazy Beatles related blog journey, though not as madcap as yours.

    http://blogafter909.blogspot.com/2009/12/hard-days-write-beatles-songwriting.html

    and I just put did a post on you here

    http://blogafter909.blogspot.com/2010/02/all-white-now.html

    I’d love to hear what you’re learning about songwriting on this journey you’re taking…

    • dmiovan Says:

      Thanks Matt! I’m surprised that I seem to connect more easily with John Lennon’s songs even though I’ve always been a Paul fan. I think Paul’s songs are too complicated for me! I’ve decided that I need to write more songs…and more often. I think that the effect of this project on my song writing will come to light when it’s over.

      • Matt Blick Says:

        You have my admiration working them all out by ear. I’m using the Beatles Complete Scores (flawed though it is). It’s been weird to see the Beatle-isms that were already in my songwriting by osmosis.

  7. Geoff Young Says:

    I just discovered your project and have been listening for the past couple hours. I’m enjoying what I’ve heard so far, and I particularly like your rendition of this beautiful tribute to John’s mother. Thank you.

  8. jenny barbour Says:

    haunting, dreamy, easing and present… i make my name julia as i am sure i have been loved in my life in a way that this would have been sung, had it been a poet who love me…

    i trade in my tokens for your version here, harkening me back to younger times when lennon maybe was still alive.

    the downside of drugs make maudlin what otherwise might not be. glad of this gentle shower of notes, like a soft fresh rain.


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