Covid Island Discs

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Playlist Video for Week 24 (click here)

Day 166: Can’t take it with you, Alan Parsons

In this song, Alan Parsons adopts Egyptian mythology and imagines a conversation between a man who is at the point of death and the boatman who has been charged with taking his soul across the river of death. I have written below the beginning of verses 1 and 2.

“Well I sympathise completely, but there is nothing I can do, I am just a humble servant with a message here for you. And I know you have good reasons and there’s things you have to do but the boatman won’t be waiting and he’s leaving here with you.”

“Well I sympathise completely, but there is nothing I can do, I am just obeying order, I’m a simple soul like you. Well you really are persuasive but I heard it all before..”

That final line of verse 2 I have always found striking as the image is so powerful. Yes imagine the most powerful richest man or woman in the world trying to argue with death that it is not their time. I love the way death (the boatman) is so polite softening the blow with feigned praise; “yes you really are persuasive …. but I heard it all before: wow what an understatement when one thinks of the number of people in the history of the world who have died.

Back in the days when I was a St Paul’s fellowship leader, I used this song in an Evangelistic play I put together. A girl who attended our fellowship group at the time, who was a dancer, put together a really cool choreographed dance sequence for me. Once more all distant memories of long lost days.

So one final thing, about this clip. It features the late comedian Robin Williams playing the part of the protesting traveller. Somewhat sad and ironic because, as with so many comedians, in reality William’s life was much more towards this melancholic end of the scale rather than the funny man of many of his movies and of course in the end he embraced the boatman through suicide RIP.

My Video Summary

If you click on the Playlist Video for Week 24 (top right of this page) you will be taken to a single video which allows you to play each song in this week's list one after the other. Alternatively, if you watch my own video summary below of this week's songs at the end of the video two playlist links will appear. The one on the left hand side will take you to the video playlist for this week while the one on the right will take you to a single video playlist that allows you to play the complete Covid Island Discs collection for all the currently completed weeks so far — well over 200 songs and counting!

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