“I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard.” In his Oscar-winning performance in this very heavy 1992 film, which includes a great deal of humor as well, Al Pacino plays the role of a hell-raising, retired military officer, […]
There are at least a couple other versions of the words to this masterpiece (the Carpenters’ is well worth checking out), but I’m biased toward the original lyrics both written and sung by Neil Sedaka. Like all great lyrics, they bring a clear picture to the listener’s mind — an image of a lonely man, sitting at a table, playing game after game of solitaire. The songwriters nailed it with this stanza…
“Is that your answer, Old Man? You’re a hard case too, ain’t you?” In difficult times, I’ve often thought about a scene from one of Paul Newman’s most memorable films, Cool Hand Luke. Newman’s character, Luke Jackson, had escaped from a prison chain gang earlier in the day, and a posse is closing in on […]
One could write an entire book based on these penetrating lyrics. Perhaps the most poignant words of all are contained in the last two lines of the song: “The time has come for me to pay for yesterday … when I was young.” Whenever I listen this song, I think of the multi-talented Sammy Davis Jr. Prior to his death from throat cancer in 1990, I happened to read Sammy’s memoir, Why Me? It read like a real-life version of Yesterday When I Was Young.
“Yeh, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken-salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules.” There’s nothing more aggravating than a waiter who is saddled with the twin deficits of a bad attitude and a bureaucratic mind-set. A memorable scene from […]
People generally think of Janis Ian as a one-song wonder, but that one song, “At Seventeen,” is a work of true genius. Whether you’re a man or a woman, Ian’s agonizing words make it easy to envision the painful life she must have endured during her adolescent and teen years.