A Mighty Wind
© 2003 by Raymond Weschler
Jonathon Steinbloom...................Bob Balaban
The very nervous and neurotic son of the folk music promoter Irving Steinbloom,
who has just died, who decided to organize a folk music concert in his dads honor.
The concert will star the semi-famous act of the 1960s that his dad had promoted,
including the following:
Mark Shubb...........................Christopher Guest
The founder of the group in the early 1960s.
Alan Burrows.........................Harry Shearer
The groups bass player, who discovers a deep secret about himself.
Jerry Palter..........................Michael Mckean
The groups lead singer, who joined after Mark and Alan met each other.
Mitch and Mickey:
A very shy and socially awkward singer who met Mickey in the early 1960s at
a concert in which he was seriously injured trying to protect her from an
aggressive and disrespectful member of the audience.
Mitchs singing partner, who broke up with him in the 1970s, but who told
Steinbloom she would agree to do the reunion concert with Mitch, even though
she hadnt asked him, and had not seen him in over 20 years.
The New Main Street Singers:
Terry Boehner.......................John Michael Higgins
The lead singer of both the old and new versions of the group, who,
with his wife, is very much into a ridiculous alternative religion.
Laurie Boehner......................Jane Lynch
Terrys wife, who joined Terry and the group after first
becoming a pornographic movie actress in the 1960s.
Sissy Knox..........................Parker Posey
Sissy, like everyone else in the group except for Terry and Laurie, was not
in the original Main Street Singers of the 1960s, but joined them in the 1990s
when it was "reformed" as the New Main Street Singers, in order to play for
nostalgic middle age fans on Florida cruise ships.
Mike LaFontaine.....................Fred Willard
A business man and failed TV actor from the 1970s who has started his own
company promoting various entertainment acts, such as The New Main Street Singers.
Lars................................Ed Begley Jr.
A TV producer for NPB (National Public Broadcasting, which is commercial-free
TV supported by the government), who is a Swedish musician who loves folk music
and using Jewish (Yiddish) words, even though he is not Jewish.
This film is a humorous documentary (or "Mockumentary," since to mock means to make
fun of), about the American folk music subculture. The story begins with news of the
death of the much loved music promoter Irving Steinbloom, who was responsible for
helping many semi-famous folk music acts in the 1960s. It is now well over 30 years
later, but Steinblooms son Jonathon, a very nervous and neurotic man, decides to
organize a reunion concert of his fathers biggest stars from that time period. Most
of these musicians had not seen each other in decades, but in honor of Jonathons dad,
they agree to perform together at New Yorks famous Town Hall Theatre.
The musicians include The Folksmen, a group of three singers who became successful
playing coffee houses in New York City, and The New Main Street Singers, a group of
nine who are known for their overly happy songs and faces, and a bit less known today
for the fact that only a couple of the original singers are still with the group
(and thus the reason they call themselves the New Main Street Singers). Finally, the
true stars of the concert are Mitch and Mickey, whose songs of love and romance brought
them many fans, but who could never really be romantically involved themselves, because
Mitch was just too shy, distant and socially awkward. Indeed, almost every musician and
every other character in this film is a bit strange or ridiculous, but of course those
are the most interesting type of people when youre making a mockumentary
A few words about folk music: It is basically impossible to give a good definition of
folk music, but you should be aware that is often thought of as "music of the common
people." As such, it is best known as music that is played by one or more singers who
play acoustic (non-electrical) guitars, and that often the song lyrics have to deal
with the struggles of everyday people, especially the poor and oppressed. Indeed, much
of folk music is quite political, dealing with such issues as war, civil rights and
justice, but just as often, the songs deal with the joys and common occurrences of
everyday life, such as eating at a favorite restaurant.
American folk music has been around since at least the 1800s, although the first truly
famous folk singer was Woody Gutherie, who wrote such classic songs as "This land is
your land" in the 1930s. Starting in the late 1950s and into the 1960s, folk became
more popular than ever, especially with the rise of such songwriters as Bob Dylan, who
started playing in small New York City coffee houses (His best known song is "Blowing
in the Wind"). Eventually, rock stars discovered folk music, and by the mid 1960s,
folk-rock was one of the most successful forms of popular music. Pure folk music continues
to be much loved by many today, though it is most often heard in combination with other
musical genres such as rock and country music. In any case, the (fictional!) musicians
in this film are good representatives of the type of folk stars that became popular in
the early 1960s, in that they sang with great spirit and optimism, although now, so
many years later, few are as idealistic as they were when they were younger!
A brief note: Some of the vocabulary defined below comes from the songs sung in the
movie. To distinguish the song lyrics from the spoken vocabulary, a [[
]] symbol has
been put around the lyrics.
Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know
After folk music promoter Irving Steinbloom dies,
The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers and
Mitch and Mickey agree to a reunion concert.
The music world mourns the death of folk music icon, Irving Steinbloom.
"To mourn" the death of a person is to feel great sadness.
An "icon" is a great or dominant symbol, in this case of folk music.
An instrumental figure in guiding folk music from its humble
beginnings in the 1950s to its zenith in popularity in the 1960s.
An "instrumental figure" is a very important or influential person in a
particular field or area. If a group has "humble beginnings," they start out
with little sign of success or hope for the future. The "zenith" is the
The sweethearts of the folk music scene, Mitch and Mickey.
The "scene" is the combination of people and events that mark a particular
subculture (In this case, the folk music subculture of the 1960s).
Young people got behind the message in a big way.
"To get behind" a message is to support it.
We cannot conceive of doing this...
"To conceive" of doing something is to consider or think about doing it.
The only fitting tribute.
If something is "fitting," it is appropriate or correct. A "tribute" is
an event thats held in honor of, or out of respect for someone.
My dad was really an amazing character.
A character is a common way of referring to a
person with an interesting or notable personality.
A concert that would be performed by all of
the fabulous groups that he used to represent.
A good alternative to excellent, wonderful or fantastic.
When I was 12, I formed the Jewish Childrens Polo League.
"Polo" is a sport that is played on horseback, with large wooden sticks (mallets) and a
large wood ball. A "league" is a group of sports teams that regularly play each other.
You could say she was overly protective.
If a mother is "overly protective" of her child, she is nervously
doing everything she can to make sure they are never hurt.
Whenever we had chess tournaments, I had to wear a football helmet.
A "tournament" is a series of games or contests to determine who is the best in a particular
sport or game. A "helmet" is a type of covering made of hard metal to protect a persons head.
We might have fallen and impaled our heads on a pointy bishop.
"To impale" a person is a horribly violent verb meaning to pierce or
penetrate their body with a sharp and pointed object such as a spear.
[[ They dont allow no frowns inside. ]]
A "frown" is a facial expression that shows sadness or frustration.
[[Theres brandy by the keg and sawdust on the floor. ]]
"Brandy" is a type of sweet liquor, a "keg" is a big wooden barrel for holding liquids such as beer,
and "sawdust" are the tiny bits of wood that are left on a floor after sawing pieces of wood.
[[ If you got a hankering, Ill tell you where to go,
just look for the busted neon sign that flashes E-A-O.
A "hankering" is an old word for a craving or strong desire. If something is "busted," its broken
or not working. "Neon" is a type of light, commonly used in the signs that dominate Las Vegas casinos,
and when light "flashes," it goes on and off very quickly (In this song, the neon sign is broken,
so instead of saying Eat At Joes, only the E, A and O are lit).
Twobadores----There were two of us, the reasoning behind the name.
"Reasoning" is another word for logic or rationale (Twobadore is not a word, but a troubadour
is a poet-musician who lived in England during the Middle Ages, around 1200).
Mark was a bass singer and I was a tenor singer.
"Bass" and "tenor" are musical terms that refer to
the style in which a person sings (high and low).
We went to New York to see what was happening in the biz.
A common slangy way of referring to business.
The Folk Club...was a flash point. :: We ran into Jerry.
It was like a big magnet. Everyone went there.
A "flash point" is a place where everything comes together or people suddenly burst into action.
"To run into" a person is to see or meet them just by chance, without having intended to do so.
A "magnet" is a piece of metal that physically draws or attracts other pieces of metal closer
to it (And thus if a person is a magnet, they naturally attract lots of people).
I was drawn to the folk music as well, and I wound up down at the Folk Club.
To be "drawn" to something is to be very attracted to it. If you "wind up" in a place,
you end up or finish there, even if that wasnt what you had intended to do.
Not a bad looking gent, to boot.
If a person is "bad looking," they are physically unattractive (the opposite of good looking,
pretty or handsome). A "gent" is a short and slangy way of saying gentleman. "To boot" is an
excellent colloquial expression which basically means "in addition."
We ended up getting together and
:: It clicked.
If two people get together or meet for the first time and it "clicks," this means that they
got along very well or liked each other a lot (To click means to literally make a brief
clicking sound, such as when you turn something on or off).
He signed us to Folk Town, which was the label to be on.
A record "label" is a particular record or music company (Mark is saying that Folk
Town was a good record company that lots of people wanted to record or work for).
We were moved down the food chain a bit to
the Folk Tone label, which was a subsidiary.
The "food chain" is a reference to the way certain animals eat certain other animals in nature).
A "subsidiary"is a smaller business owned by a bigger one (Mark is saying that The Folksmen
were put on a smaller and poorer record label than what they were originally promised).
It was a decent label. They just didnt have the distribution.
In this context, "decent" means OK or not bad. In a business context, "distribution" is the
act of getting the product widely distributed or out to the public, so that they can easily buy it.
They had no hole in the center of the record, so
youd get this vinyl...and its up to you to center it.
"Vinyl" is the black material that records used to be made of before the invention of tapes and CDs.
"To center" something is to place it in such a way that it is physically stable, so that it wont fall over.
It would teeter crazily on the spindle.
"To teeter" is to move unsteadily, as if about to fall. A "spindle" is a
small metal stick or shaft, in this case around which a record moves.
We had no control over that aspect of it.
An important word for a particular side or part of a situation.
It was about 1958 in Greenwich Village.
A famous part of New York City, on the island of Manhattan, that is well
known for its cafes and music clubs, where folk and jazz are played.
We became the Village Folk Ensemble and we were a great group.
An "ensemble" is a small group of musicians, all equally important.
In 1960, we were at a hootenanny and
we were jamming with the Klapper Family.
A "hootenanny" is a rare word for a folk music concert in which the audience
is asked to sing along. "To jam" is a common slang word among musicians which
means to practice or to play with great spirit on stage.
The harmonics were amazing.
"Harmonics" refers to the harmonies or melodies that make up a song.
"Amazing" is an excellent alternative to fantastic or unbelievable.
Theres five of them, and four of us; Its a neuf-tete.
A totally ridiculous word that does not exist! (In English, a quartet
is a musical group of four, and in French, neuf means nine).
This thing clicked with the Klappers, so we joined
forces, and we became the Main Street Singers.
If a situation "clicks," it works out really well (In this case,
everyone in the two groups got along really well).
10 years and 30 albums later we disbanded, but we had a good run.
If a musical group "disbands," it breaks up and stops producing music. If they
have "a good run," they go through a long period of good sales and success.
We called it quits, too. I went my way and Chuck went his.
"To call it quits" is to stop doing something, often after a long time.
The Three Wisemens Sex Emporium.
A funny play on words; In the Bible, the three wise men are three people who traveled to see
Jesus when he was a baby, but here, Wisemen is the family name of three brothers who own a
sex shop ("Wise" means smart, and an "emporium" is a shop or place of trade).
It was successful for a year until they sued
over something to do with a box of benwa balls.
"To sue" a person in court is to try and legally get money from them for
something wrong that they have done. "Benwa balls" are a type of sex toy.
You were dads favorite. Just deal with it! Ive never said this to a single soul.
If you tell a person to "deal with" a difficult situation, youre telling them to face it with bravery
and determination. "A single soul" is a way of saying just one person (A "soul" is the spiritual or
non-physical part of a person that lives on after the body dies. Or at least it does in theory!).
Just think about this before you make your mind up.
"To make up your mind" is to make a difficult decision between two or more choices.
It sounds cliché, but its kind of a blur. They loved us.
If an expression is "cliché," it is said so often that it has grown tiresome or even annoying.
If something is a "blur," it is distorted, hard to see, and not at all clear.
To be honest, I bought the image as much as anyone
else. We represented true love and romance.
In this context, to "buy" something is to believe it. Here,
a persons "image" is the way the public in general sees them.
Everybody loved to hang around Mitch.
"To hang around" a person is to spend time with them.
He was very smart, very intense...and distant, you know.
If a person is "intense," they have a strong personality marked by great energy or passion.
If they are "distant," they are shy, socially reserved or hard to get to know.
Youd get closer to him and hed just inch back that much further.
"To inch back" is to retreat or go back (an inch is a small unit of measurement).
Mickeys explaining how hard it was to really know Mitch.
[[ When the veil of dreams is lifted and the fairly tales have all been told,
theres a kiss at the end of the rainbow more precious than a pot of gold. ]]
A "veil" is a cloth that is worn over a womans face, or more generally, cloth that
is used to hide something. "Fairy tales" are stories of mythical creatures such as witches
and monsters, usually written for children. "Precious" means rare or very valuable.
The phenomenon of that kiss...cant be overstated.
A "phenomenon" is any important fact or event that can be observed. If something it
"overstated," people claim it is more important or significant than it really is.
It was a superb moment in the history of folk music.
An interesting adjective that means excellent or of the highest quality.
I didnt think this through. I should have talked to him beforehand.
"To think a plan through" is to carefully consider all the possible problems
and outcomes that might result from it. "Beforehand" means earlier.
For a while, we were able to keep it on a professional level.
This is Mickeys way of saying that she and Mitch could still work as music or
business partners, even though they were not getting along personally.
I was in awe of Mitch and Mickey. Who wasnt?
To be "in awe of" of a person is to be completely amazed by them, perhaps because
of their talent, energy or beauty. Note the final tag question is a stylistic way
of saying that everyone else was, too.
Mickey started shouting at Mitch. She just went off.
In this context, if a person "goes off," they become extremely angry and emotional.
She started throwing anything she could get her hands
on at Mitch----microphone stands, mikes, guitars.
"To get your hands on" something is to be able to grab or take it, often
after looking around desperately. A "stand" is an object designed to hold papers
or other objects, and a "mike" is a microphone for public speaking.
Mitch...he just snapped.
"To snap" is to break into two, or here, to get extremely upset or angry.
Terry and Laurie remember the 1960s, and Mitch arrives
at Mickeys house, 30 years after they were last together.
[[ Its time to kick on back, toss your cares away...]]
"To kick back" is to relax, and if you "toss your cares
away," you decide to not think about your problems.
[[ Cartwheels and piggybacks, its just that kind of day...]]
A "cartwheel" is the act of moving on your arms and legs like a turning wheel,
and if you ride "piggyback" on a person, they carry you on their back as they walk.
Ive come to understand theres been abuse in
my family, but it was mostly musical in nature.
"Abuse" is physical or emotional mistreatment of a person that is
so severe that it can permanently hurt them (It is never musical!).
I knew right and left and every way to Sunday.
Jerrys totally ridiculous and never used way of saying
he understood something from every point of view.
I made cardboard cutouts of everybody in the group to sing with them.
"Cardboard" is the thick paper-based material that boxes are made out of,
and a "cutout" is a material cut in the shape of a person or other object.
I was brought up...just far enough away to have been
with people with pure, unadulterated white trash.
To be "brought up" is to be raised as a child. If something is "unadulterated," it is pure,
and not diluted or corrupted. "White trash" is a very negative expression that generally
refers to poor and uneducated whites, especially in the American South.
I dont believe anyone noticed when I blew town
at 15 and ended up in San Francisco, California.
A very slangy way of saying to leave.
Its at this point in my story that the dark
clouds part because I met a certain Mr. Wisemen.
If clouds "part," they float or fade away. "A certain" is a stylistic way of
referring to a particular person who the listener probably already knows.
He tapped me to do some roles in some
of his short films for more mature audiences.
In this case, "to tap" is to pick, though it usually means to strike gently.
In a film context, a "mature audience" refers to those over 18.
Before long, I had landed, if you will, some
leads, and then I started to do some cameos.
"To land" a part in a movie is to get it. "If you will" is a way of admitting
the words just used may not be exactly what the speaker wanted to say. A "lead" in a movie
is the main role, and "cameos" are very short scenes or appearances in front of the camera.
I learned to play the ukulele in one of my last films, Not so Tiny Tim.
A "ukulele" is a type of very small guitar (Tiny Tim was a famous singer
in the late 1960s, though here it is a play on words for an X-rated movie).
Before long I was the new Mrs. Boehner. :: Aint that something?!
A very old-fashioned but still used way of expressing great surprise
or perhaps even happiness (Note that "Boehner" is pronounced just
like "boner," which is a colloquial word for a male sexual erection!)
Last week you were going to come in at 5: 00 and you never showed up.
A very common phrasal verb meaning "to arrive."
Im just looking out for you! :: Lets not rain on the parade, OK? Hes in, OK?
"To look out" for a person is to make sure that they are doing OK. "To rain on a
persons parade" is to bring them lots of bad news or negative energy after they
had just told you a lot of good or positive news.
In 1974, after the breakup, Mitch was extremely angry.
The "breakup" of a group happens when the members decide to leave
and go their own ways. "Extremely" is a stronger version of very.
"May She Rot in Hell," and this spiraled down to the next album, Calling it Quits.
"May she..." is a poetic way of saying "I hope that she
", and "to rot" means to
chemically dissolve or disintegrate into nothing over time (This is the name of a
song that Mitch wrote about Mickey!) "To spiral down" is to head uncontrollably downward
toward the ground while spinning around, perhaps like a plane that has lost its engines.
He should have stayed longer, because we really didnt get a grip on him.
In this context, "to get a grip on" a person is to be able to control them,
perhaps after understanding their problem (A nurse in a mental hospital
is talking about Mitchs stay at the hospital).
Welcome to the House of Crabbe. :: Thank you
very much, I just checked into the hotel.
To "check into" a hotel is to officially register for a room.
Do you like model trains? Its a bit of a passion for me.
"Model trains" are small toy-size trains that look exactly like the real ones, except for
their size. A persons "passion" is something for which they have great love or interest.
Weve got a brothel down above the saloon.
A "brothel" is a building where lots of prostitutes work,
and a "saloon" is an old but still used word for a bar.
I think Crabbeville in autumn would look quite magnificent.
"Magnificent" is exceptionally great, or of amazing quality and elegance.
Oak, poplar, maple, chestnut.
These are all types of trees.
Its Crabbe Town, not Crabbeville.
"Ville" is a French word, that when added to any proper name, implies a
small town or city (Crabbe is the family name of Mickeys husband).
Im in the bladder management industry. I sell catheters.
A persons bladder is the organ that holds their urine (piss).
A "catheter" is a medical device that helps people to urinate.
I have my own distribution company. Sure-flo medical appliances.
A "distribution company" buys various products from a manufacturer or producer and then sells
them to lots of stores (or in this case, lots of hospitals). An "appliance" is a machine, tool
or device that is used for a particular purpose.
It was named in tribute for my mother; Her name was Florence.
Note "Sure-Flo" is a logical name for a company that sells catheters, since such
devices help people with the flow of their bodily liquids, and also note that the
name Florence starts off with the same letters as flow.
Its a growth industry...because one in three
people over 60 have a flaccid or a spastic bladder.
If an organ is "flaccid," it is weak, and soft, as opposed to hard or stiff.
If an organ is "spastic," it suffers from uncontrolled muscle contractions
(If a person is spastic, they suffer from suddenly violent emotions).
In a sense, every 13.5 seconds a new incontinent is born, as it were.
If a person is "incontinent," theyre unable to control when they urinate (or piss).
Good old constipation. You have impacted
fecal mass in your rectum, pushing on your bladder.
"Constipation" is the medical condition of not being able to defecate (or more colloquially,
to shit). "Impacted fecal matter" is a ridiculously clinical or medical way of referring to
feces (or more colloquially, shit or pooh) that is stuck inside a constipated person. A persons
"rectum" is their anus (or much more colloquially, ass hole).
We were on stage and we had a horrible little heckler.
A "heckler" is a person who shouts at, or loudly makes fun of, an
entertainer on stage, or a person who is trying to give a public speech.
"You sing like crap. Get off the stage."
"Crap" is a useful alternative to shit ("You sing very poorly").
Very inarticulate, rude. :: Mean. Mean little bugger.
If a person is "inarticulate," they are not able to express themselves well.
If a person is "rude," they are very impolite, or perhaps vulgar. "Mean little
bugger" is a British way of referring to a totally unpleasant person.
All of a sudden, he pummeled the crap out of him.
A very slangy way of saying to severely beat up or injure ("To pummel"
means to hit, pound or beat, and "crap" is another word for shit).
I cant explain what was surging through my body.
If something is "surging through" your body, it is travelling
very quickly and increasing in number or volume.
I was consumed with an emotion that I had never felt before.
To be "consumed with" something is to be obsessed with it, or extremely interested in it.
We simply fused together in a very meaningful way.
If two people "fuse together," they are combined to become one.
I just focused on Mitch.
"To focus" on a person is to put all your mental energy
on them, or to study them with great concentration.
You know, I went along for the ride.
"To go along for the ride" is to join another person in order
to take advantage of or enjoy all the things that happen to them.
You both climb aboard the fairy at the same time. :: OK, fair enough.
A "fairy" is a small ship that transports people between two particular places that are usually
pretty close to each other. "Fair enough" is a common way of saying "thats fair."
The Steinbloom kids have their own reunion, Mike LaFontaine sees
money in folk music, and Lars decides to bring the concert to TV.
[[ Never heard the whistle of a Southbound freight or the
humming of its driving wheel. No, I never did no wandering...]]
A "freight" is a type of train that transports goods such as food and furniture. "Humming" is
the low continuous sound or drone that certain insects and trains make. "To wander" is to continuously
travel from one place to another, with no particular goal or destination.
We werent wearing the old stuff, the old gear.
"Stuff" is a very common for things in general, or in this case, for clothes.
"Gear" is a general word for machinery, though here it refers to clothes.
Im on record as Mr. Anti-dickey. :: You were Mr. drop-the-dickey.
To be "on record as" having said something is to have been officially heard as having
said something. In this case, "Mr." is used to show that this person was associated with
the words that follow. A "dickey" was a brand of pants, and thus "Mr. Anti-Dickey" would
be a person who never wore them, or even insisted that other people stop wearing them.
It sounds like youre thinking that the image that we had was a retro image
of something that wasnt retro, because we werent retro, we were then.
A persons "image" is the way in which others see or think about them. "Retro" is a slangy
adjective which means from an earlier time, or perhaps a generation or two earlier. Note
musical groups are often seen as old-fashioned or ahead of their times, and that the "then"
at the end of the sentence refers to the present at that time (i.e...."now"!).
To do then now would be very retro, but to
do then, then, was very "now-tro," if you will.
"Now-tro" is a ridiculous word that does not exist! "If you will" is a way for the speaker to admit
that what they have just said is not really correct English, but they still want to say it that way.
Youre not the only person going through this...
"To go through" a difficult time is to experience it.
I dont care for folk music, and dad knew that. I didnt get it.
"To not care for" something is to not like it, and in
this case, to not "get" it means to not appreciate it.
You like to make amends, but you cant.
"To make amends" is to do something financially or emotionally
positive after having done harm or injury to someone else.
Lets just hang on. Oh, Jesus.
"To hang on" emotionally is to stay calm or stable during a difficult time.
"Jesus" is often used to express emotion such as surprise or frustration.
I was rescued by the Main Street Singers and
they really gave me a break from that darkness.
To be "rescued" is to be saved. To get a "break" from the
darkness is to have a chance to escape it or get away from it.
I like to give people a break now...I want to be a vessel
of love and I want to entertain and make people happy.
In general, "to give a break" to somebody is to give them an opportunity or to
treat them well if they are in a difficult situation. A "vessel" is a large container
(as well as a big boat or ship).
Thats what brings me real joy.
A useful word for great happiness.
Quick plugola, Im Mike LaFontaine, owner
and founder of Hi-Class management.
A "plug" is a quick piece of advertising or promotion (though the
word "plugola" is a silly variation of that word which does not exist).
I starred in a series called "Hey, wha happened?!"
"To star" in a TV show is to be the main actor, and a "series" is a TV
show that is generally broadcast on a regular basis, such as once a week.
We had a lot of other catch phrases---"I got a real red wagon, I dont think so!"
A "catch phrase" is an expression that is associated with one particular person or show.
"I dont think so" is a useful expression to use if you have just been told something
that you are convinced is not true.
It only lasted a year and thats good, because thats how you establish a cult.
A "cult" is any type of TV show, rock group or other type of act that is followed by a
small but passionate group of fans (It is also a very negative word for any religion
that is thought to do harm to its followers).
I was on stage doing my shtick.
A good Jewish word for any kind of show business routine,
style or joke that is done over and over again.
If someone would heckle me....I would say "thats
right," and that would crack up the audience.
"To heckle" an entertainer on stage is to scream at them, taunt them or generally try to disturb
them as they perform in front of the audience. "To crack up" a person is to make them laugh.
I noticed a guy sitting down front with a long face. Nothing got to him.
If a person has a "long face," they look sad. Here, if nothing "gets to him,"
it means nothing helps them emotionally or makes them feel better.
I was never into folk music. Id worked some bills with some folkies.
To be "into" something is to really enjoy it. In this context, a
"bill" refers to the various artists who will perform at a concert.
I said to George, you put up some great numbers, and if you
re-form your group, I can send you on the Starfish Cruise Lines.
In this context, "to put up" great numbers means to make some good money, or a good profit.
"Cruise lines" are luxury ships that travel around various popular tourist cities.
Together we could make a fortune and you will have a ball.
A "fortune" is a huge amount of money, and if you "have a ball,"
you have a real fun time and very much enjoy yourself.
On a couple of cruises, dysentery broke out on the ship.
"Dysentery" is a very unpleasant and serious disease marked by diarrhea and upset stomach.
If a disease "breaks out" in the population, it spreads quickly from one person to the next.
I think youve done a fabulous job and Im very happy to be talking with you.
A good alternative adjective to wonderful or excellent.
Its a perfect fit. Our demographics are skewering older, and
that can be a minus with some of the corporate underwriters.
If two things are a "perfect fit," that means they go together very well. "Demographics" refers
to the study of various population groups, such as those of a certain age or ethnic background.
If a TV audience is "skewering" older, it is becoming older over time. A "minus" is anything
seen as negative. "Corporate underwriters" are the corporations or big businesses that agree
to pay for a particular show on non-commercial TV in exchange for being mentioned as an official
sponsor or supporter.
If youre not weary of hearing stories about your dad, I want to tell you a story.
To be "weary" of something is to be tired of, or exhausted by it.
I got right up to the box office and like some kind of practical joke,
the door slammed shut. Sold out right when I got there.
The "box office" of a theatre is where the tickets are sold to the public. A "practical joke" is usually
a trick done on a person that makes them feel silly or foolish. If a door "slams" shut, it closes with
great force or violence, and if a play is "sold out," there are no longer any tickets left.
I go "What?, A scalper?" I cant afford that kind of money for a ticket.
A "scalper" is a person who buys a ticket at the normal
(face) price and then later tries to sell it for a profit.
He was generous and kind and thats the way were doing this thing.
"Generous" is a good word for a person who is giving with their money,
time or energy, and a "kind" person is nice, warm or good-hearted.
Its a mitzvah what youre dad did, and I want to try and give that back to you.
This is a Jewish (Yiddish) word meaning a good or praiseworthy action or deed. Note
that Lars loves to use all kinds of Yiddish words, even though he is not Jewish!
Terry and Laurie discuss their views on existence,
and Mike and Lars continue planning for the great reunion.
Thats it, nice and crisp!
In this context, a good word meaning fresh, lively or energetic.
You know the policy. We all gotta wear the
uniform, until were ready to take it off.
An important word for a definite course of action that has rules or guidelines that must be followed.
Eventually youll be able to wear your civvies when youre singing.
A slang word for civilian clothes, as opposed to military uniforms.
The better news is were going live.
If a TV show is broadcast "live," it is aired at the same time
it is filmed, as opposed to being taped for broadcast later.
He just got bandwidth there and its live.
"Bandwidth" is a term used in technology that refers to the
ability of wires to carry communications or information.
The corporate underwriter wouldnt go for it. :: OK, shalom.
A "corporate underwriter" is a corporation that helps pay for the production
of a show. In this case, "to go for" something is to accept or support it.
"Shalom" is a Hebrew (Jewish) word that means both peace and goodbye.
Folk music is in my blood.
Lars way of saying that he has loved folk music since he was a child.
I had a garage band in Stockholm, which was a challenge in its
own right....to keep an instrument tuned in that temperature swing.
A "garage band" is a young musical group that practices in somebodys garage. Stockholm is the
capital of Sweden. If an instrument is well "tuned," it is adjusted in such a way that it will
sound as good as possible. A big "temperature swing" refers to the wide gap between the hottest
and coldest temperatures in a short time period.
I had a hit you might have heard of....which means "Hows
it hanging, grandma?," and it was big on the Swedish charts.
A "hit" is a song that is popular and widely played on the radio. In this context,
"hows it hanging?" is a very slangy and never used way of asking "Hows it going?" or more
formally, "How are you?" In this context, the "charts" refers to the list of best selling songs.
I got in touch with the American music and I thrived
on that so I came here and became part of that scene.
"To thrive" is to grow big, healthy and strong. In this context, the musical "scene" is the
combination of musicians, clubs and songs that form the musical environment of a particular place.
Im so happy to be here and come full circle,
airing that show on PBN. Its a dream come true.
"To come full circle" is to do something that you had started out doing much earlier in time.
"To air" a show is to broadcast it, and PBN is the Public Broadcast network, which is government
supported and does not have advertising (In real life, the radio version is called NPR, or
National Public Radio). A "dream come true" is a way of referring to something that happens
after working for a very long time to make sure it does.
Its confusing. Im hearing you with the same timbre, and its cluttered.
In music, "timbre" refers to the quality of a sound or tone, and if music is "cluttered," it is not
clean or clear, but confused, messy or marked by various notes and sounds that dont seem to go together well.
Now it sounds almost more like a ventriloquist.
A "ventriloquist" is an entertainer who is able to make it appear that they are having a
conversation with a puppet by producing the puppets voice without moving their own mouths.
Can I make the radical suggestion that maybe
this is not the best number to start with?
"Radical" means extreme, or far from traditional. In this case, a "number" is a song.
We dont want people to reach for the remotes.
A "remote control" is the device that allows people to change the channel
on their TV sets without having to move from where they are seated.
Im always anxious. I come out.
If a person is "anxious," theyre worried or nervous about something.
I could be empathetic. Im not sure what else I could do.
If a person is "empathetic," they show their sympathy for someone else
because they have experienced the same problems as the other person.
Im getting a bounce, but theres a lightness within it, as well.
A "bounce" is the action of a ball jumping from the ground,
or more generally, a sudden burst of energy or liveliness.
Its a tricky color.
A good adjective meaning difficult or hard to understand or estimate.
Terry and I worship an unconventional deity. The power of another dimension.
"To worship" is to treat with the greatest respect and honor. If something is "unconventional,"
it is very unusual or far from traditional, and a "deity" is a God. A "dimension" is a very
general and even philosophical word for units of measurement, including the dimensions of space
and time, and in Terrys case, of religious thought.
Through our ceremonies and our rituals, we have witnessed
first hand the awesome and vibratory power of color.
A "ceremony" is a formal act or tradition for a specific purpose, such as a marriage or funeral,
and a "ritual" is the specific way a ceremony is done. "To witness something is to have observed
or seen it. "Awesome" is a popular colloquial word among younger people that means totally amazing,
fantastic or incredible, and "vibratory" refers to vibrations, which are tiny wave-like movements
that travel thorough the air.
We believe this saturated energy is the basis of all creation.
If something is "saturated," it can no longer absorb or take in any more. The "basis of all
creation" is a religious way of referring to the ultimate cause of everything that exists.
We are WINC---Witches in Natures Colors.
A "witch" is a mythical old woman with supernatural powers, such as the ability to fly on a
broomstick! ("To wink" is to shut one eye briefly as a signal or as a way of flirting).
The word witch...has a lot of silly connotations.
An association or suggestion that people often think of when hearing a word (Jerrys saying
witch has silly connotations since when people hear that word, they often think of old
women flying around on broomsticks).
No, we do not ride around on broomsticks and wear pointy hats.
If a hat is "pointy," it has a sharp tip at the top.
This is not an occult science. This is not one
of those crazy systems of divination and astrology.
If a belief is "occult," it cannot be tested scientifically (The connotation of occult
is a belief system that is totally ridiculous!) "Divination" is the act of guessing when
something cant be known for sure, and "astrology" refers to the (strange!) belief that
a persons life is determined by the position of the stars when they were born.
That stuff is hooey and youve got to have a screw loose to go in for that.
"Hooey" is an excellent word for nonsense or bullshit. If a person has a "screw loose," they
are a little crazy (A "screw" is a small metal device which hold things together). "To go in
for" something is to believe it, even though it seems silly or false.
Humankind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration.
Youd make that conclusion walking down the street or going to the store.
The first sentence is Jerrys summary of his religious or spiritual beliefs about humans,
existence and color. "Humankind" is another word for mankind or humanity, and if something
is "materialized," it exists in the physical world. "The 49th vibration" is meaningless nonsense.
I dont want you to feel you have to push yourself too far.
If a person "pushes themselves" too hard or far, they are using
so much of their energy or emotion that its no longer healthy.
Theres a deception here. The audience, theyre
expecting to see a man who no longer exists.
A "deception" is the act of tricking or cheating somebody into believing something that isnt true.
[[ Talking about the loco man ]]
In Spanish, "loco" means crazy.
I got an idea, a very literate reference. Are you familiar with
a book about a private captain? His name is Moby Dick!
A "literary reference" refers to a character or scene in a novel. The "captain" of a ship
is its head officer or leader (Moby Dick is one of the most famous novels ever written,
about a captain and a killer whale).
"There she blows!" If you could do that, wed have
someone off stage drench the group with water.
The first sentence is a famous line from Moby Dick, which is said whenever the whale blows
or sprays water into the air. "To drench" a person is to get them completely wet or soaked.
By the end, youre all soaked, even the ladies.
"Soaked" is another word for totally wet or drenched.
And then you two turn the guitars upside
down and water splashes out. Kerplunk.
If water "splashes," it sprays or splatters in an uncontrolled way.
"Kerplunk" is the sound a rock makes dropping into water.
[[ Though an ocean of tears divide us, let the bridge of our love span the sea. ]]
"To span" two sides of the water is to connect them (This is the
most famous line from Mickey and Mitchs best loved song).
As the Town Hall prepares for the big day,
Jonathon Steinbloom starts to get a little nervous.
This is more of a classical venue, but itll be a lot of fun.
In this case, "classical" refers to classical music and a venue is
another word for place, and more specifically, a place for having concerts.
Its like having a carnival come to town.
A "carnival" is a large festival with entertainment, rides, lots of
food and drinks and the general atmosphere of a very big party.
Im the events liaison.
A person responsible for making sure scheduled
events take place in the right order and on time.
A lot of people call me "Your Majesty."
The way a king is addressed.
Ive been up to the highest catwalk changing light bulbs.
A narrow walkway.
I like to sing in church and in places like juvenile halls.
A "juvenile hall" is a city jail where teenagers who get into legal trouble
are kept (A "juvenile" is a young person, generally under 18 years old).
The acoustics are just perfect.
A scientific word that refers to how sound waves travel in a building.
It has chrome on the front of the hotel. You want to hang a left.
"Chrome" is a shiny type of pretty metal. "Hang a left"
is a slangy way of telling a driver to turn left.
Were you planning to study it later, just academically?
"Academic" is the adjective that refers to school, especially university education.
Nobodys busting your chops.
A very slangy way of saying to blame, bother or annoy.
Pull over and let me drive.
"To pull over" a car is to slow down, drive to the side of the road and stop.
Im not a fan of folk music. I could care less about it,
but that doesnt matter in the business of public relations.
Note that the correct expression is "I couldnt care less...", which means the person
has zero interest (This is a common and extremely illogical error made by native English
speakers). "Public relations" refers to the business of advertising, publicity and presenting
the best side of an organization to the general public.
A product that youll love to buy; Thats the
way we look at the particular concert.
A "product" is a common word for any thing that one buys or uses.
And if we cant do that, we fake it.
"To fake it" is to pretend that you believe what you are
saying when in fact you might think the exact opposite.
Ill have an idea, it will be just a teeny, tiny little spark,
and then it will get to Wally and hell make it a fire.
"Teeny" and "tiny" both mean extremely small or microscopic,
and a "spark" is a tiny bit of flame or fire that flies through the air.
Not just big, but big-time stuff.
A slangy way of saying an event is going to be very important.
As Deputy Mayor, it gives me no greater pleasure than
to declare tomorrow folk music day in the Big Apple.
The "Deputy mayor" is the official immediately below the Mayor, who is the head of city government
(A "deputy" is the second in charge, right below the leader of an organization). "The Big Apple"
is a common way of referring to New York City.
Wheres the real mayor? Someone shot
the mayor, but they did not shoot the deputy.
A silly line, making fun of the lyrics to a famous Bob Marley
song that goes "I shot the Sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy."
Incidentally, the D.A.s office called. They cant find any witness, so hes in the clear.
"Incidentally" is one way of saying "By the way." The "D.A." is the District Attorney,
who is the government lawyer who prosecutes criminals. If a crininal is "in the clear,"
then they wont be punished, since theres not enough evidence to charge them with the crime.
One of the founding members has passed
away, but hes with us tonight anyway!
A "founding member" of an organization is a person who helped
to found or create it. "To pass away" is a gentle way of saying to die.
I was at a swingers party the other night and a fellow says
to me "Id like to meet your wife," and I said "Your honor."
A "swinger" is a colloquial word for a person or couple who have sexual relations with lots of
other people ("To swing" is to rock back and forth through the air). The last line is a ridiculous
play on words; "Your honor" is the way one addresses a judge in a court of law, but note that "youre
on her" (i.e....youre physically on my wife) is pronounced the same way!
To paraphrase an old joke: Knock, knock. Whos there?
"To paraphrase" a joke or story is to tell it in a quick and short version. "Knock" is
the sound that is made when a hand taps on a door to see if anyone is home (And "knock knock"
is how many stupid jokes begin).
Seeing those long lines of fans who want nothing
more than to have you sign an autograph.
A "fan" is a person who greatly admires the work of an entertainer
or athlete, and an "autograph" is the signature of a famous person.
They say "We dig what you do." And then
theres the kids, and they say "You rock."
"To dig" something is a very slangy way of saying to like it, and "to rock"
is an equally slangy way of saying to be really cool, talented or excellent.
I was flashing back to the rush of adrenaline
we used to get arriving at the concert hall.
"To flash back" on something in the past is to have such an intense
or strong memory of it that one feels like theyre experiencing it again.
A "rush" is a sudden surge or flow, and "adrenaline" is the hormone
or chemical in the body that causes a person to get nervous.
Wed wait back stage hearing the crowd chanting "Mickey!"
"Back stage" is behind the stage of a theatre, where the audience cannot
see you. "To chant" is to scream the same words over and over again.
The decibel level!
This refers to the intensity or strength of loudness.
That commercial crapola.
A slangy version of crap or shit, which in this case refers to really
bad music (Crap can be either nonsense or something of really poor quality).
Music that is considered too commercial, or made just to sell as much as possible,
is often considered bad by those more interested in true art.
Im a model train enthusiast.
A "model train" is a tiny version of a real train, often used as a toy for children (There are
also model cars, planes, etc
). An "enthusiast" of something is a person who is passionate about it.
Ive got a whole layout in my basement.
A layout is a map, plan or drawing of a building, town or other project.
Id like to propose a big toast in honor of dad.
"To propose" something is to officially suggest it, and a "toast" is
the act of raising a champagne or wine glass in order to honor or acknowledge
a person and their accomplishments.
He had an amazing hum. Wherever he went,
he would just suddenly break into a hum.
A "hum" is the sound one makes when singing with your lips
completely closed. "To break into" something is to start doing it.
We do this every single day. This is just like clockwork.
To do something "just like clockwork" is to do it on a very
regular basis, such as every weekday morning or afternoon.
Two weeks rehearsal. Thats the way to play Town Hall.
A "rehearsal" is the act of practicing a play or concert
before actually performing live in front of an audience.
If wed stayed together, wed be lucky to be
in Branson, opening for the Main Street Singers.
Branson, Missouri is a tourist town that is well known
for its country singers and other family friendly performers.
Im feeling very relaxed, very confident, very focused.
If a person is "focused," they are able to concentrate
on what they need to without being distracted.
35 years ago, preparing for a concert meant
playing "Find the Cobra" with a hotel chambermaid.
A "cobra" is a type of snake and a "chambermaid"
is a maid who works in hotel rooms.
Im sure it will be an adventure, a voyage in
this magnificent vessel into uncharted waters.
"Magnificent" means exceptionally excellent or wonderful, and a "vessel" is a type of
ship or container. If a ship goes into "uncharted waters," it is going where no others
have been, where the geography is unknown.
What if we see sailfish jumping and flying across
the magnificent orb of a setting sun?
An "orb" is another word for a ball or sphere.
I think its impeccable. It says happiness, it says opening night.
"Impeccable" means perfect, or without any flaws or weaknesses.
The "opening night" of a play is the first night it is performed.
Im a little afraid of these pokey things that are sticking out. :: Apple blossoms.
If something is "pokey," it is pointed and sharp so that it could hurt
someone who isnt careful. An "apple blossom" is a type of flower.
Im so afraid that someone could come to sniff, to admire,
and just get an eye poked out. Id love to clip it off.
"To sniff" is to breath in air through your nose, or to smell. To "poke out" a persons
eye is a violent phrasal verb which means to remove it, by sticking something sharp into it.
I have a health and safety issue. Those vinyl things,
theyre a disaster. Theyre too low, theyre too tangly.
The first sentence is a slangy way of saying they are concerned about health and safety.
"Vinyl" is a type of hard material (that music records used to be made of), and to get "tangled" in
something is to get physically caught in its branches or vines, though "tangly" is not a real word.
Theyre waiting for an elderly person to wheel by,
or somebody with a walker or a brace on their leg.
If a person is "elderly," they are very old. "To wheel by" is to roll by in a
wheel chair. A "walker" is a device that helps weaker people to stand and walk,
and a "brace" is a device that allows weaker people to keep their legs straight.
Why dont we just get some carnations and a beer stein and put them up here?
A "carnation" is a common type of flower and a "stein"
is a type of glass that is used for drinking beer or wine.
I think Jerry was razzing me the other day at Alans house about it.
"To razz" a person is to tease or make fun of them, but this word is rare.
With that regimen, my skin will look its best in front of 2,000 people.
A "regimen" is a diet or plan with a set of rules that
one has to follow in order to reach a certain goal.
You cant put a price on that.
A poetic way of saying something is so valuable or
precious that no amount of money can pay for it.
I did the Good Times reunion...I want to make sure we get plenty of close-ups.
Good Times was an old 1970s TV comedy show, and a "close-up" is a view
of a persons face, filmed very close so that the viewer can see it in detail.
One of those great shots where you pull back
to see the enormity of the event and the venue.
In this case, a "shot" is a view or picture taken from a film camera.
"Enormity" is the state of being extremely big, huge or gigantic.
Do we have a crane standing by?
A "crane" is a large machine which raises, lowers and moves giant objects at
construction sites. If somethings "standing by," it is waiting to be used.
You know those kind of swooping shots where it goes over the audience.
If a camera "swoops" over an audience, it flies low
and over it, like a bird looking for food on the ground.
Or when they pull back, kind of like a California adventure
ride, where you see the whole scope of the thing.
The "scope" is the entire view or perspective.
Heres your giant banjo....its painted to look three dimensional.
A banjo is a type of small guitar. If something is "three dimensional,"
it looks like it exists in real life (with depth), and not just in a picture.
Just go out there and take a peek.
A "peek" is a quick look.
Its not called furniture. Its called a set.
In this context, a "set" is the furniture, props and other things on
a stage that give a play the look and feel of a certain place and time.
I really dont have time to explain stagecraft 101.
"Stagecraft" is the art of producing a play and giving the stage a realistic look and feel.
In universities, the number "101" added to a class (such as Psychology 101) means that it is an
introduction to the subject, where students will learn only the most basic information about that topic.
We had to get rid of the lavender because it might have attacked my eyes.
"To get rid of" something is to eliminate it or perhaps throw it away.
A "lavender" is a type of plant (as well as a purplish color).
You were like 15 years old, with a deck of cards in your hands.
A "deck" of playing cards is a set of 52 cards for playing games like poker.
This flame...represents the light and the darkness.
A "flame" is the glowing part of a fire.
It also represent the uncertainty of life and its delicacy.
"Delicacy" refers to the state of being fragile or weak (though
note that a delicacy is a delicious and expensive food).
The great reunion concert finally arrives.
Ten seconds to air, then pre-record on my count.
"To air" is to start broadcasting a TV show, and a "pre-record" is a part
of the show that was taped earlier that is to be broadcast during the show.
Id like to warn you that some of the floral arrangements
here tonight have dangerously low hanging vines.
"Floral arrangements" are flowers that are professionally put together or arranged
to look as pretty as possible. A "vine" is a long green plant that can climb up walls.
They may be poisonous, so whatever you do, dont
eat them, and dont become entangled in them or trip.
If a plant is "poisonous," it contains a natural dangerous chemical that can harm or even kill.
To get "entangled" in a large plant is to become trapped or held up by its various branches.
On behalf of the entire Steinbloom family, welcome to Ode to Irving.
"On behalf of" is a poetic way of saying "for." An "ode to"
a person is a poem or song that is written in their honor.
There were the kind of infectious that was good to spread around.
If a disease is "infectious," it passes or spreads easily from one
person to another. This line sounds, and is, completely ridiculous.
[[ Never did no wandering... ]]
"To wander" is to travel aimlessly or without a particular destination.
Much folk music is about lonely people who wander from place to place.
You swear to God you didnt talk to Menshel about the set?
The strongest way of saying to promise.
I dont think finger-pointing is going to help us here.
In this context, "to finger-point" is to blame
somebody for something bad that just happened.
Im going to suggest we be bold.
An excellent word meaning brave, courageous or decisive.
Theyre currently butchering it.
"To butcher" an animal is to slaughter or kill it, and to butcher
a song is to play or sing it so badly that its hard to listen to.
Theyve brushed their teeth by that time; Its not even germane.
An educated word for relevant, or related to the subject being discussed.
Theyre gonna be flat out confused.
One way of saying completely or totally.
[[One night mama went to fetch a sweep potato, fell down the cellar stairs...
"To fetch" something is to go and get it, but this verb is used mainly
with dogs ("Spot fetched the paper"). A "cellar" is a type of basement.
...stork dropped in while mama was on
the floor so my sister was born down there
A "stork" is a type of large bird that young children are told is responsible for bringing babies into
the world. "To drop in" on a friend is stop by their house, usually without calling or announcing first.
Its a major key, its up-tempo. We open with "Old Joes Place."
In music, a "key" is a note. If a song is "up-tempo," it is
fast and happy. "To open" a concert is to start or begin it.
We do the song were known for, get it out
of the way, and heres the icing on the cake.
An interesting expression for the best part of a story or plan.
Long time, no see!
A common way of greeting a person you have not seen in a long time.
[[ Theres pie in the pantry, and the coffee is always hot. ]]
A "pantry" is a small room next to the
kitchen that is used for storing food.
[[Theres a puppy in the parlor and a skillet in the
stove, and a smelly old blanket that a Navajo wove...]]
A "parlor" is a small sitting room. A "skillet" is a frying pan. "Navajo" is one of
the better known native American tribes. Note that the past tense of "to weave" (which is
to sew yarn or thread together) is wove.
In this aisle here, I want chickens. Thats the ticket!
An "aisle" is a narrow passage way or walk way, such as the one between the seats on a plane.
"Thats the ticket" is a fun way of saying "thats what you need to succeed."
People who can do a pretty believable neigh....
were going to put a saddle on you folks.
A "neigh" is the sound a horse makes, and a "saddle" is
the leather seat one puts on the back of a horse to ride it.
Do they have a cell phone or pager or anything?
A "cell phone" is a small, wireless telephone and a "pager" is a small
electronic device that can receive a written message or signal.
Is there a cockfight arena near here?
A "cockfight" is a fight between two chickens that people will bet on. An "arena"
is a large public area for entertainment, such as a small stadium.
[[ Chickens cluck and go fiddle-dee, bull frogs
croak and pigs oink oink...its a barnyard symphony...]]
The first three words are the sounds that the corresponding animal makes, at least in English!
A "barnyard" is building on a farm where lots of different animals live, and a "symphony" is
an orchestra with all the major instruments, such as violins and cellos.
We dont often do encores, and this is why.
An "encore" is the playing of a song at a concert by a musician after
they have already left the stage, in response to audience desire for more.
In the late 1930s of the last century, Spain was wracked by civil war.
If a country is "wracked" by a war, it is totally destroyed by it.
Mitch could be lying face down in a ditch!
A long narrow hole or cavity, often dug in the ground for drainage.
Where the hell were you?!
A common filler in WH questions that
expresses emotion such as anger or frustration.
Theyre called the Folksmen, but after tonights
performance, I think they should be called The Spokesmen.
A "spokesman" is a person who speaks as the representative
of another person or organization in a professional capacity.
I have the very first poem you ever wrote me: Parched in exile,
thirsty for your smile, though silence behind this barbed wire mask...
"Parched" means very dry and thirsty. If a person is "in exile," they are far from home
after having escaped possible danger there. "Barbed wire" is twisted wire or metal with
sharp points, often used on a fence to prevent people from climbing over it. A "mask" is
a cover or partial cover on a face that is often used as a disguise, or for a costume at a party.
...Your spirit burns through that I might bask in your cool misty loveliness.
"To bask" in the sun is to enjoy it by lying down and relaxing
in it. If the air is "misty," there are tiny drops of water in it.
I wonder how theyre gonna handle that. :: Five dollars says they do it.
Note that "going to"----> "gonna" in rapid speech. In this case, "to handle" a problem is to
take care of it or solve it. The second sentence is Jerrys way of saying he would bet
$5 dollars that Mitch and Mickey will kiss on stage at their concert.
[[ And a kiss is the oath that they swear ]]
An "oath" is a legal promise, and in this context, "to swear" is also to make a promise.
[[Every carpenter and cowboy, every lame man on a crutch...
If a person is "lame," they are unable to walk without great effort.
A "crutch" is a brace or stick that helps a person with a broken leg walk.
A mighty winds a blowin, its kicking up the sand....
"Mighty" means strong or powerful. Note that these words are typical
of folk music, which often deals with great issues of social justice.
....Its blowing peace and freedom, its blowing equality...
A mighty wind is blowing, its blowing you and me....]]
A very funny (but subtle) play on words! The wind can certainly blow objects around,
and perhaps even peace and freedom, but note that "to blow" a man is a slangy way of saying
to give him oral sex! (A "blow job" is a common terms for the act of oral sex on a man).
The concert now behind them, our musical
heroes return to their everyday lives...
The morning after, the TV network executives were crawling out of the
woodwork, trying to get the New Main Street Singers into a TV series.
An "executive" is a very high level businessman in a company. If a person "crawls out
of the woodwork," they decide to act in a very public and obvious manner after having
kept very quiet or hidden for a long time.
The execs said "Were not sitting in judgement of your ideas. We love the kids."
An "exec" is a short and slangy way of referring to an executive. "To sit in judgement" of a person is to
act as if you are a judge who has the right to decide whether what a person has done is wrong or immoral.
I always thought there were 12 Supreme Court Judges, but now it
seems theres only nine. I dont know if its a budget thing or not.
This is a lazy and colloquial way of saying a problem related to the budget or lack of money (Of course
people overuse the word "thing" all the time). This entire sentence shows the speaker (Fred) is a truly
ignorant fool; There have always been only nine people on the US Supreme Court, and for the record,
at this highest level, they are called Justices, not judges.
Maybe during the day they hear death penalty cases
and at night they argue over who cooks dinner.
This refers to criminal trials in which the defendant can be
executed or killed by the state if they are convicted of the crime.
Thats sexual harassment!...Im not doing
much writing, but the ideas keep popping.
"Sexual harassment" is a legal term that often refers to the act of male employers who annoy
or intimidate female employees with inappropriate sexual remarks, or even threaten to fire them
if they do not agree to sexual favors. In this case, "to pop" is to suddenly appear.
[[ Dont leave them cold and damp...use our buttocks, drapes and penis clamp.]]
"Damp" means slightly wet. "Buttocks" is a way of saying ass or butt, and
"drapes" are curtains. A "clamp" is a device that holds parts together.
My sister said "You led him on. You shouldnt have
kissed him if you didnt want to go all the way."
In this context, if a girl "leads a man on," she flirts, or acts in such a way that he is led
to believe that she is romantically or sexually interested in him. "To go all the way" is a fun
colloquial expression which means to have sexual intercourse (as opposed to just kissing or petting).
You get caught up in the heat of the moment.
When this happens to a person, they become very emotional
or excited by the sudden or dramatic events around them.
I didnt lead him on, but he took it that way.
In this case, "to take" a persons words a certain way
is to interpret them or understand them in that way.
Ive never been in better head space. Im writing
poetry again. Im going through a very prolific phase.
"Head space" is a very 1960s and hippie-like way of referring
to psychological or emotional health. If a person is being "prolific,"
they are writing or producing a lot, and a "phase" is a period of time.
My one fear in getting together with Mickey was
that it might rekindle feelings she used to have for me.
"To rekindle" is to renew or bring back to life.
I feel badly that she was misled by the theatrics of the moment.
"To mislead" a person is to deceive, trick or even lie to them.
"Theatrics" refers to great drama, often that is created for a show.
I will always think of her fondly every time I see a rose.
"Fondly" is a nice little word that means with warmth or great affection.
Weve got some gigs here working at the casino.
A "gig" is a very slangy word for a show or concert, and a "casino"
is a room that is used for playing cards and other types of gambling.
I came to a realization that I was and am a blond female folk singer.
A "realization" is a sudden understanding about what is true or real.
When you put it that way, its almost poetry.
In this context, "to put it" a certain way is to say it or express in that way.
A Mighty Wind
Possible Topics for ESL Class Discussion
1. Does the country where you come from have its own type of folk music?
2. Do you like folk music? Any particular singers or songs?
3. Do you think its natural for people to grow less idealistic
and more cynical as they grow older?
4. Of the three groups---The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers
and Mitch and Mickey, which was your favorite? Why?
5. Who was the most ridiculous character in the movie? The saddest?
The most neurotic? The most disturbed? The most normal?
6. What did you like and not like about this movie?