Wednesday 4th August, 2010
















A Thought for Today

There are angels in the alcoves we have never met but will.


This One Does It For Me!

Dear Ken,

I'm told there is, or was, a French version of The Sea available.

Is this correct? If so, is it vinyl or CD? And where do I get it?

Hope you can help.


Absolutely correct, Valerie, and it was available on CD.

I say was because I don't see it listed on Stanyan House so availability may be a problem. It's worth your while dropping Ben at Stanyan a line and posing the question, though.

The original version of The Sea, also on CD, is still available from Stanyan so grab a copy if you don't already have one.

Here are the liner notes from the La Mer album along with Gifts From The Sea.

La Mer - The Sea

In January, 1967 two events occurred which became one. Rod McKuen completed a new set of poems which were set to the music of Anita Kerr, and Warner Brothers Records recorded and released an album entitled “The Sea”. The rest is history. “The Sea” received critical praise for its originality, freshness, beauty and artistic merit. It also became the single largest selling album Warner Brothers ever released. It remains so to this day.

At the time Rod McKuen remarked on his constant fascination with the sea and how it personally touches him. It had been a place of solace, sorrow and love. “I don’t believe a man can write about the sea and not include himself. Much of me is here and I have used the sea as a platform to speak about the times and the seasons and people’s relationships to one another. Most of all I’ve used the sea to write about loving.

Today, “The Sea” is still discussed, remembered and played by people all over the world. It has been recorded in Japanese, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Dutch. They say that French is the language of love, and when listening to this album one is inclined to agree without qualification. The words and feelings of rod McKuen are still there, only the voice is different. It’s now the sensuous interpretation of Marc Ogeret. Yes, a different sound, but not a different feeling. The knowledge and understanding of the language is not important. When you listen you cannot help but be struck by the emotions conveyed. It is also two events in one - a re-introduction to “The Sea” and an introduction to a new and stirring experience. Nothing is lost and a new horizon is gained.

- Thomas Wesley

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notable birthdays Louis Armstrong o Ezra Taft Benson o Arthur Butterworth o Richard Belzer o Roger Clemens o Tina Cole o Mary Decker o Herb Ellis o Knutte Hamsun o Helen Kane o Harry Lauder o Elizabeth, The Queen Mother of England o William Schuman o Percy Bysshe Shelley o Cole and Dylan Sprouse o Kristoffer Tabori o Helen Thomas o Billy Bob Thornton o Raoul Wallenberg
Rod's random thoughts Plant something in a friend’s garden. Even if it’s only a new idea.

Books ought to be a meeting place for mind and heart - they are where we start our journeys.

Only those inside its funnel fully comprehend the hurricane.

Les Cadeaux De La Mer/
Gifts from The Sea

You see how easily we fit together,
as if God's own hand had cradled only us
and this beach town's population were but two
and this wide bed but a child's cradle
with room enough left over for presents.

Tomorrow I'll buy you presents.
Pomegranates and breadsticks,
tickets round the room and back
and red, red roses like everybody buys everybody.

Everybody's got a diamond ring
         And Sunday shoes.
Neckties and petticoats,
pistols and tennis balls.

What pleases you?
         I'd hock my watch to buy you Greece
or sell my car to bring you rickshaws from Rangoon.

All they had down at the corner
           were poppies with some lemon leaves.
They'll have to do
         till I can bring home Union Square.

I found a twenty-dollar bill when I was ten.
I bought a cardboard circus and a fountain pen
and a jackknife because I never had one before.
My mother thought I'd stolen the money.
I bought her perfume from the dime store,
                    She believed me then.

I was rich in those days,
for a week I had everything.

I wish I'd known you then.

           - from the album "The Sea" & "Listen To The Warm," 1967


If you have a favorite McKuen song, poem or story you'd like to share, or a question you need answered, drop me a line (you'll find the address on our Contact Page) and I'll feature your request right here one Wednesday soon.

-Ken, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 4

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