By now I'm sure you've heard the sad news of the death of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. If he wrote it I read it, with "Cat's Cradle" being the fave book of my teen years. I devoured it several times, but I never heard The Man himself reading from it until today's post on CrudCrud:
Kurt Connegut, Jr: reads from "Cat's Cradle" , or sings calypso, in the case of the first track; for a very different reading of those same lyrics, see the Ambrosia post below.
"History - read it and weep!"
One of the holy calypsos of the Caribbean religous leader Bokonon in "Cat's Cradle":
"Fish got to swim, bird got to fly
Man got to sit and wonder why why why"
"If flying-saucer creatures or angels or whatever were to come here in a hundred years, say, and find us gone like the dinosaurs, what might be a good message for humanity to leave for them, maybe carved in big letters on a Grand Canyon wall? We probably could have saved ourselves, but were too damn lazy to try very hard... and too damn cheap."
"I've had a hell of a good time. I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different."
Vonnegut subscribed to the athiest/skeptic philosophy of Humanism. When addressing a Humanists convention he said about deceased science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov, "Isaac's in Heaven now." It got a big laugh.
From WFMU's blog:
Two songs from Dave Soldier's Ice-9 Ballads (another "Cat's Cradle" reference, doncha know) album, with voiceover by Mr. Vonnegut:
"Duo For Clarinet And Meade Lux"
And big thanks to Idolator for posting a couple of Vonnegut-related tunes,including one from Ambrosia. Yup, the schlock-meisters famed for such '70s atrocities as "How Much I Feel" actually started off as a kind of laid-back L.A. prog band (soft-prog?) - their 1975 self-titled debut features a song with lyrics taken from another one of Bokonon's calypsos, complete with goofy fake Caribbean accent, though the music owes more to Gabriel-era Genesis then, say, Mighty Sparrow.
Ambrosia: "Nice, Nice, Very Nice"
It ain't gonna happen of course, but it sure would be great if Vonnegut is buried, like Bokonon at the end of "Cat's Cradle," frozen on his back, eternally "...thumbing his nose at You Know Who."