Riding the Train

So I turned 49 years old on Saturday, and though I didn’t make a big deal out of the occasion it was still a perfectly fine day sprinkled with reflection and reverie. Jessie the cat brought me a present: a dead cicada she carried around in her mouth for 10 minutes before she deposited it on the driveway, batted it around a few times, and then sauntered off. Thanks Jessie! Just what I always wanted 😆

Turner Classic Movies unintentionally gave me a birthday present as well, by airing “All About Eve” for its primetime feature. One of the most delicious screenplays ever to come out of Hollywood, it’s all theater people “throwing shade” at each other as the kids today would call it. It’s Bette Davis in all her audacious, mouthy, chain-smoking glory, dressed in gorgeous Edith Head gowns, uttering phrases like “Maaax, you sly puss”. My favorite is toward the end, when she says to the conniving climber Eve Harrington, “Nice speech, Eve. But I wouldn’t worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.”  Savage.

We haven’t had a Music Monday on this blog in quite some time so I will remedy that right now. Our video is the magnificent Eva Cassidy singing a stirring rendition of “People Get Ready”, a gospel-inspired song written by the legendary Curtis Mayfield. It became a hit single by The Impressions in 1965 and has been covered by many notable artists since then, among them Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and Rod Stewart. It is widely considered one of the greatest songs of all time, and for good reason. But I promise you, you have never heard a version of this song as affecting as this. Eva Cassidy was one of the most remarkably gifted vocalists we’ve ever had. When she died in 1996 from melanoma, at the tragically young age of 33, the world lost an enormous talent.

The song also has personal significance for me, because I boarded that “train” a few years ago. Striving every day to stay aboard has strengthened me to perceive my life – my purpose here on earth – with more clarity, more courage, and more devotion. I’ve included the lyrics below. See you soon, friends!

 

People get ready
There’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels a hummin’
You don’t need no ticket
You just thank the Lord
Yeah yeah yeah

People get ready
For the train to Jordan
Picking up passengers from
Coast to coast
Faith is the key
Open the doors and board them
There’s room for all
Among the loved and lost

Now there ain’t no room
For the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind
Just to save his own
Have pity on those
Whose chances are thinner
Cause there’s no hiding place
From the Kingdom’s throne

Ohh people get ready
There’s a train a comin’
You don’t need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels a hummin’
Don’t need no ticket
You just thank the Lord

26 thoughts on “Riding the Train

  1. kdmedina says:

    So lovely! Hadn’t thought of her in a long time. Nor Curtis Mayfield, an inspiring man.

    Clayton Kershaw is on the DL. Last year it didn’t matter. I guess he won’t get a Cy Young this year.

    And happy birthday, C! The peace of the Lord be with you.

    • artmodel says:

      Ken,

      Clayton Kershaw will just have to make do with the three Cy Youngs he already has. Poor guy 😆

      Thank you for your comments and happy birthday wishes! Always good to hear from you.

      Claudia

  2. Lucy says:

    Love Eva Cassidy. Such a pure vocalist.

  3. ksbeth says:

    happy birthday and i loved her too )

  4. Happy belated birthday. 🙂

  5. Dave Rudin says:

    Happy birthday to you.

    “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

  6. Diana says:

    🌈Happy birthday Claudia 🎉🎂that was a beautiful article you wrote in your blog the and allergies etc. and the Curtis Mayfield song about the train and the films you mentioned and described in your article.🎂🎉

    • artmodel says:

      Diana,

      I like your emojis! So glad you’re enjoying my blog writings.
      Thanks for commenting and for the birthday wishes!

      Only two more Saturdays for you at the National. So sad.

      Claudia

  7. fred braakman says:

    Just discovered Eva because of your blog! Thank you. I love her music.

    • artmodel says:

      Fred, how wonderful!! Delighted to have introduced someone to Eva Cassidy. If you haven’t already, check out her rendition of “Over the Rainbow”. It’s breathtaking.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

  8. Bill says:

    I’m sorry that I missed the event, but this is what I would have sent — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Loinq1cbyY

    I hope that you have a really great year!

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      LOL, I should have done some cake throwing on my birthday! That little purple elephant is so cute.

      Thanks for the warm wishes and the video!

      Claudia

  9. roberta m says:

    Happy Birthday–I hope this year brings many opportunities for you to continue finding clarity and devotion.

  10. artmodelandrew says:

    I didn’t know you liked dead cicadas. I’ll keep that in mind for Christmas.

    • artmodel says:

      Andrew,

      Dead cicadas are actually preferable to Jessie’s usual ‘presents’ of dead rodents and dead birds. Blech.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Claudia

  11. Steve Y says:

    Happy belated birthday young lady! Gotta love cats, they’re so contrary & ironic. Enjoy your summer break, have some fun. The Lord bless you. 😎

    • artmodel says:

      Steve,

      Cats really are humorous creatures, aren’t they? Jessie makes me chuckle on a regular basis. She’s a cute, funny girl.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and blessings. Great to hear from you, friend. Hope you’re having a joyous summer!

      Claudia

  12. 49? You are in your prime! Happy belated B-Day.

  13. derek says:

    happy birthday luv

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