Friday, 12 April 2019

PerfectlyWritePoetry: Seaside Pastiche

PerfectlyWritePoetry: Seaside Pastiche: This piece was prompted by a multi-site visit to the northern Israeli coastal resort of Nahariya arranged by the Nefesh B’Nefesh immigration...

Seaside Pastiche

This piece was prompted by a multi-site visit to the northern Israeli coastal resort of Nahariya arranged by the Nefesh B’Nefesh immigration aid organisation.
The trip started at the town’s striking octagonal water tower that has served as an art gallery since 2003 and has been hosting a show by prize-winning crochet portrait artist, Orly Ben Basat.
There were also stops at the Lieberman House Museum that was restored in the 1990s and the home-based studio of Judaica fabric artist, Adina Gatt.

A white tower’d gallery

by a river near the sea

frames women, three.

Sweet waters run softly till they end their song.

Slipped tight behind

mud-fogged glass,

time honours all

who’ve In these ancient

waters passed.

Why do they yet mourn

by God’s slim river, now

we’ve regained Zion?

Full fathoms five,

neither blind to the magic,

nor deaf to the melody,

see the needle-pointed

pearls that are their eyes,

those knitted brows.

Hark that silenced chargrilled

voice; a patterned arm.

Look how that behatted,

urchin charm plays on.

This falling house never

fell; no girl bathed

upon its bridal roof;

no royal watcher

gloated on the

embroidered truth.

Sweet waters run softly till they end their song.

Cry me a river!

Don’t laugh at

my belief in man;

at my belief in you,

little river.

Cry on, tho’ your

waters meet the

sea and herein ends

this song.


© Natalie Wood (12 April 2019)

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Alwayswriteagain: Why Israelis Love ‘Green Bóok’

Alwayswriteagain: Why Israelis Love ‘Green Bóok’: It is no surprise that Peter Farrelly’s hit movie Green Book continues to delight Israeli audiences: The real story behind it has ...

Monday, 18 February 2019

’Boy’ or ‘Boss’: Water Keeps a Hit Movie ‘Green’!

If there’s a song whose meaning I’ve always misconstrued, it’s those of the  American folk melody, Water Boy.

I first heard it sung in a satirical version by American Jewish comedian, Allan Sherman. But even later, hearing the real lyrics, I mistook them as a call to the cotton field workers’ own slave – the abused child who brought them water during their labours.

I could not have been more wrong!

According to contributors to Lyrics Mode it is a prison work song and the prisoner, doing hard labour, laments how his bad luck gambling in card games has cost him ‘silver and gold’ – along with his liberty. The singer is either calling for the water boy to bring him water or is telling the guard, whom he calls ‘boss’ how hard he's working and that he's the best worker on site. It is suggested further that the word ’boy’ is mistranscribed from the original and should be ‘boss’.

There are innumerable versions of Water Boy, with fans claiming a wide range of musical references encompassing classical composers, a Jewish marriage song and a Native American tune.

The song and the many artistes who have covered it have enjoyed renewed interest with the release of the movie, Green Book as The Don Shirley Trio recorded a most compelling instrumental version.


Water boy, where are you hidin’

If you don't come right here

Gonna tell you pa on you

There ain't no hammer

That's on a this mountain

That ring like mine boy

That ring like mine

I'm gonna bust this rock boy

From here to the Macon

All the way to the jail boy

All the way to the jail

You Jack o diamond

Jack o diamond

Know you of old boy

I know you're of old

You rob-a my pocket

Rob my pocket

Silver and gold boy

Of silver and gold

There ain't no sweat boy

That's on a this mountain

That run like mine boy

That run like mine

© Natalie Wood (18 February 2019)