Monday, June 30, 2014
Astral Weeks' eight tracks, Van Morrison sings a grand total of 2,335 words. (That's our best estimate. We may be off by a half dozen or so. Or more. We are most definitely not counting again. Too many men were lost.) Not surprisingly, the album's longest song, "Madame George," features the most words: 454. The least? That would be "Slim Slow Slider" with 126. We won't bore you with the word counts for the rest of the tracks. Anyway ... What if those 2,335 words had to be represented by just one? What would that one word be? Is it even possible to have one specific word stand in for 2,335 others? And what if the rules were bent a tad and that one word was not truly a word, but an amalgam of two or three words—something that's quite Joycean in how it's delightfully nonsensical yet alltogether accurate. (From Ulysses: "The ghost walks, professor MacHugh murmured softly, biscuitfully to the dusty windowpane." Biscuitfully. Say that out loud. Isn't it fantastic?) What about something like, "nostalgianess?" Or "memorydrunk?" Or "daysgoneby"—as in, "The album's tracks are not rich in the artist's personal history, but rich in something more specific, more particular: the artist's daysgoneby." Too pretentious?