The Cycle of Life

You remember the movie Time Bandits? (If you don’t, read about it here.) Terry Gilliam’s Opus.george time map

George was known as the ‘Quiet One’ when he was fab. Later, as he got to be known, he was also known as the funny one. He started a company called Hand Made Films, which produced such hilarious films as Time Bandits, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl and more serious fare such as Withnail and I and Shanghai Surprise. All told, around 50 films.

Yes, George was a funny guy. But listening to his music, you find it is steeped in mysticism and meaning.

One of the themes that repeatedly arises is the cycle, or progressive series, repeating sequence or some such.

The title track of his first post-Beatles solo album, (did you know he released a solo album wonderwallwhile with the Beatles? He did. 1967’s Wonderwall.) The album was called All Things Must Pass and the title track uses the phases of a day as his setting to get his message across.

———————george stained glass

All Things Must Pass

Sunrise doesn’t last all morning

A cloudburst doesn’t last all day

It seems my love is up and has left you with no warning

It’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must pass

All things must pass away

Sunset doesn’t last all evening

A mind can blow those clouds away

After all this my love is up and must be leaving

It’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must pass

None of life’s strings can last

So I must be on my way

To face another day

Now the darkness only stays the nighttime

In the morning it will fade away

Daylight is good at arriving at the right time

It’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must pass

All things must pass away

——————–

The message, metaphorically looking at life itself, is hard, good, dark, bright times grace all but in the end, it’s not always gonna be this grey.

I would tend to agree.

You may or may not know, the Beatles were, of course, pioneers in almost everything. Videos, which exploded in the ’80’s, were another area in which they led the way. Check out Penny Lane.

In the late ’70’s, George was still making videos. The hit from his 33 1/3 album was called george blow away 2Blow Away, again invoking cycles as the thematic base, this time equating the darkness of a storm approaching, doing it’s damage and moving on to the ups and downs experienced throughout life.

———————–george blow away

Blow Away

Day turned black, sky ripped apart

Rained for a year ’til it dampened my heart

Cracks and leaks The floorboards caught rot

About to go down I had almost forgot.

All I got to do is to love you

All I got to be is, be happy

All it’s got to take is some warmth to make it

Blow Away, Blow Away, Blow Away.

Sky cleared up, day turned to bright

Closing both eyes now the head filled with light

Hard to remember what a state I was in

Instant amnesia Yang to the Yin.

All I got to do is to love you

All I got to be is, be happy

All it’s got to take is some warmth to make it

Blow Away, Blow Away, Blow Away.

Wind blew in, cloud was dispersed

Rainbows appearing, the pressures were burst

Breezes a-singing, now feeling good

The moment had passed Like I knew that it should.

All I got to do is to love you

All I got to be is, be happy

All it’s got to take is some warmth to make it

Blow Away, Blow Away, Blow Away.

—————

The video is absolutely hilarious. But be prepared, it’s pretty cheezy. I love it.

And the message is an undeniably positive one.

As is the message from All Things Must Pass.

Cycles go up, down, around and back again. And if you start in a good place, perhaps you will end up in a better place.

Yang to the Yin indeed, George.george while album