I hate to see the evenin' sun go down
I hate to see the evenin' sun go down
It makes me think I'm on my last go-round
-- "St. Louis Blues" by W.C. Handy

Sometime I believe, I'm on my last go round,
Sometimes I believe, I'm on my last go round,
She knows that I love her, she tries to tear me down.
-- "I Bleed Through My Soul" by Andrew "Smokey" Hogg

Let me sigh, let me cry when I'm blue,
Let me go away from this lonely town,
Won't be long till my sun will be blue,
Cos I know I'm on my last go round.
-- "Blue Prelude" by Gordon Jenkins and Joe Bishop

I've got to tell you one more thing about the music, Son, and then I need to rest my eyes for a while.

What the thieves did, each of 'em stole a hair: One from God's beard, the other from one of the Devil's cloven hooves. And when they got back here to this world, they twisted them two hairs together to make a string, a very special guitar string, forged in Evil, Holiness, and Steel.

Then they cut that string in half so each side'd have equal power for the fight.

They say that those strings can produce sounds the likes of which no axman, regardless of how skilled he is, can ever hope to reach.

I always used to dream about hearing them sounds, but you and me both know I ain't gonna be around much longer. Spent my whole life waiting to hear that kind of music. You know, ever since your mother passed on, it's been one of the few things that's kept me going, hoping to hear that sound. That -- and knowing what a good son you been to me.

Ritual is important when the time comes. I know it sounds kinda silly, but you got to remember that even in them cases when music has no connection to the ritual act, folks'll still tell you that they get something outta music of all kinds. Know why that is? 'Cause music is the emotional substitute for the ritual--and why the hell not? Christian angels're supposed to be consummate musicians, and performing music's believed to be a suitable occupation for timeless life in Heaven. Hope to hell I get to tickle the ivories up there, over there--wherever.

The words of the Scripture are sung as well as spoken; temple, church, and synagogue musicians, choirs and cantors, songs and hymns, rhythms and Hindu whatchamacallits--ragas--ain't all of those things considered an important part of their religion?

Music represents the struggle of reaching the...the wholly other, which most musicians can never express. But for it to be true, to be alive and have some meaning, it's gotta come not just from the heart but from the belly and guts and every living part. That's why I envy you, and cry for you, too, truth be told: Weren't for your hand being all crippled up like it is, you coulda been one of the real ones.

Me? Sit me down in front a piano and I can play the notes, sure, play 'em just as sweet as you please, but that...that extra thing, the thing that exists between the notes and beyond the song itself...I'll never know what it feels like to reach it.

Just remember, Son, that even though you'll never reach it, either, you could have.

And that ought to hold some comfort you. Maybe not much, but some.

We gotta do this because we can't have music taken back, understand? Can you imagine a world without music? Even the sound of the morning birds? Gives me the willies just thinking about it.

Okay...I done told you everything I know about it. Now you go on about your business and let me...let me rest my eyes for a little bit, okay?

If you get picked, Son, if you're still running the place on the night of the showdown, and if you are honored to hear them sounds, listen real good for me, will you? Remember that music, and maybe I can snatch me a little listen, wherever it is I'll be.

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