"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

24 December 2009

James Taylor, The Frozen Man.

This morning's hike was a little chilly and being on the river reminded me of this song.

Last thing I remember is the freezing cold
Water reaching up just to swallow me whole
Ice in the rigging and howling wind
Shock to my body as we tumbled in
Then my brothers and the others are lost at sea
I alone am returned to tell thee
Hidden in ice for a century
To walk the world again
Lord have mercy on the frozen man

Next words that were spoken to me
Nurse asked me what my name might be
She was all in white at the foot of my bed
I said angel of mercy I'm alive or am I dead
My name is William James McPhee
I was born in 1823
Raised in Liverpool by the sea
But that ain't who I am
Lord have mercy on the frozen man

It took a lot of money to start my heart
To peg my leg and to buy my eye
The newspapers call me the state of the art
And the children, when they see me, cry
I thought it would be nice just to visit my grave
See what kind of tombstone I might have
I saw my wife and my daughter and it seemed so strange
Both of them dead and gone from extreme old age
See here, when I die make sure I'm gone
Don't leave 'em nothing to work on
You can raise your arm, you can wiggle your hand(unlike mysef)
And you can wave goodbye to the frozen man

I know what it means to freeze to death
To lose a little life with every breath
To say goodbye to life on earth
To come around again
Lord have mercy on the frozen man
Lord have mercy on the frozen man


Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

This is also one of my favorite songs by James Taylor. I thought it was a bit cryptic when I first heard it. Thereafter I found an interpretation that made sense to me. But I would love to hear your take on the song. You seem to be literate and thoughtful. I would be grateful for any comments you would care to leave.

Of course, if the artist himself has explained it, perhaps you could let me know where I could find his remarks.

Kindest remarks,

Rob Firchau said...

Thank you for your interest and kind words. Here is a link that may shed some light on your inquiry ...