28 October 2013

Windmills

Noel Harrison was born on January 29th 1934 and died just a few days ago on October 19th. He was an Olympic skier, an actor, father of five, a musician, entertainer and songwriter. The son of film actor Rex Harrison, Noel lived a full and colourful life which included National Service in the nineteen fifties and as recently as 2011 he appeared at the Glastonbury Festival. Yet he will probably be best remembered for his 1968 rendition of the oddly enigmatic song "The Windmills of Your Mind". Developed from "Les moulins de mon cœur" by the French composer, Michael Legrand, this enduring song has a melancholic, reflective mood that arguably and poetically asks us all to consider the mysterious nature of human existence...

Round like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning

On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly?
Was it something that I said?
Lovers walk along a shore
And leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
Or the fragment of a song
Half-remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair?

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind...

15 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. And you have renovated your blog ~ nice paint job YP

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    2. Thank you Carol. I have also put in a shower room and wine cellar.

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  2. Mrs. RWP and I once saw Noel Harrison in the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was not as good an actor s his father, but it was an interesting performance nonetheless. I suppose he was trying not to make it derivative, but how could it help but be?

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    1. I guess it's a burden that the children of famous people bear. How do your kids cope?

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  3. A song that I have always loved. And that I used to sing in coffee houses and on college stages in the late 60's and early 70's. Never as beautifully as Mr. Harrison, of course. Began the song with my guitar and then stopped playing about halfway through and ended just with my voice. Loved that song!

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    1. Mama Thyme. Wow! I didn't realise you had that in your locker. I wish I could have witnessed one of your performances. Is there a name for a male groupie?

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  4. One of my favourite songs. Nice new look to your blog. Very fetching!

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    1. One has to keep up with the Joneses you know!... and the Aspins.

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  5. When I was a teen
    I adored Maureen mc govern's version

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    1. I found a moving French version on You Tube but I will now see if there is a version by Maureen there. Thanks.

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  6. Looking at your new profile picture, I see you've wisely invested you huge teaching pension in some well-needed plastic surgery.
    Great song too :)

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    1. Personally, I think I looked more handsome before the surgery which was at my wife's insistence. She said she was sick of people staring at me. Even dogs and small children ran away. I used to love chewing my cheek.

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  7. First it was 'Where do you go to my lovely', now this. I can really see you driving a Facel Vega (sensibly) through France on your way to Monaco.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.