Have you had the sheer and utter pleasure of reading Douglas Adams’ glorious Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

He plays plot, syntax and phrasing with as much joy and wit as Bruce Hornsby and Thelonious Monk. The subsequent four books in the “trilogy,” The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long and Thanks for all the Fish and Mostly Harmless aren’t so much a continuation of a linear reading experience as a ramble through a world both hilarious and absorbing. What could possibly equal the peak experience of my first “Hitchhiker” book?

I’ll tell you.

The very first authorized sequel has just been released and I began it today sitting in carpool…..wow, oh wow!! Eoin Colfer, noted young adult author and brave “into-big-shoes-stepper,” delights from the opening lines!

Lest you think my language passion begins and ends with cool sci-fi writers, try this delightful tongue stretcher from the imagination of the ever-great Lewis Carroll — another who made the fantastical real and the commonplace magic….

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!’

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

un-sense songs: Abracadabra (the Steve Miller Band — you know it, come on….); Who Can it Be Now? (Men at Work — I always thought of them as Australia’s Village People); Silly Love Songs (Paul McCartney — I had this and Disco Duck on a 45 when I was a little girl); Crazy as Me (Allison Krauss & Union Station); The Umbrella Man (Dizzy Gillespie — he played with music like it was a toy); Pencil Thin Mustache (Jimmy Buffet — I’ve tried to actually not smile when this song was on); Crazeology (Charlie Parker); Bling-Blang (Arlo Guthrie); Boney Bones (Louis Prima & Keely Smith — talk about fun); Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (KT Tunstall); 59th Street Bridge Song (Simon & Garfunkel); Laughing at Birds (the Subdudes — they tend to fly under the radar, but they are a rocking band); Crazy Island (John Mellencamp); Have a Good Time (Paul Simon — just grooves into your system); Absolutely Barking Stars (Maria McKee — do you miss Lone Justice, too?); Kiko & the Lavender Moon (Los Lobos — love them so much!); Mairzy Doats (Al Trace & his Silly Symphonists); 40 Acres & a Fool (Del McCoury — so much irony, such good bluegrass); Words Unspoken (Steve Martin); Shadows in the Rain (both the Police version & the Sting and the Blue Turtles versions are awesome, but the latter, the breakneck cut from the solo album is tightly frenetic); and of course, Space is the Place (Bruce Hornsby)

The poet’s goal is to light up the sky –> Ted Kooser

2 thoughts on “Monday music, 11.2.09

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