The inimitable Tav Falco has lead the unapproachable Panther Burns since the 1970s. The ditch-diggers of American music, idiosyncratic and effervescent, purveyors of arcane wisdom. Panther Burns have howled their way from Memphis out around the globe through those six decades bewitching, beguiling and sometimes bemusing fans of the blues, old soul and good old rock’n’roll. We’ve checked in with Tav often along the way. We even had a previous Christmas sojourn back in 2016. So of course we were going to ask Tav to join in with our December wide “Bunch of Five” project. Mr Falco went above and beyond and provided us with a mighty missive detailing his recent move out East and laying out his five great things… We’ve split it into 12 parts and we’re sharing it one day at a time to see everybody through into the New Year. It’s the twelve days of Tav-mas! This is part three… If you’re just joining us you can go right back to the start here ⇒
The Twelve Days of Tav-Mas! - Tav Falco - Day Three
Of the five (5) motives that make my world go round – as requested on this Christmas day by OutsideLeft – I will start with ‘Girls’. Yes, Girl, Girls, Girls! On this stretch of beach on down to Pattaya harbor is where the joy division followed the US Navy during its presence here in the 1960s. The trade once so flourishing with the sailors, has only mushroomed over time. Buddhism imparts a clear-eyed aspect to the lovely and dignified women who cater to satisfying the passions of gentlemen and others seeking their company.
To these creatures of the night and of shady afternoons, George Orwell wrote in 1925:
When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay
I lost my heart to a Burmese girl
As lovely as the day.
Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,
Her teeth were ivory;
I said ‘For twenty silver pieces,
Maiden, sleep with me.’
She looked at me, so pure, so sad,
The loveliest thing alive,
And in her lisping, virgin voice,
Stood out for twenty-five.
There is friend of mine about whom I’ve also written a song,
Lisha rode off into the night
side-saddle on a motorbike
not holding on to anything -
only to her coiled inner dharma
behind her driver – as they rode
onward in darkness under the stars
onward towards Elysian Fields
She's a thin sheaf of willows
in black linen wrapped tight
sitting up straight on the seat
her ankles crossed with steady poise
her balance perfect on a trapeze
black hair waving furious in the breeze
Elysian Fields are calling calling her name
Lisha, will I see you again?
Her eyes are almonds, black and serene
they stare through you in a foggy dream
when she makes love there's nothing to feel
there is sensation, never passion in our bed
until that moment of ecstasy, you can never fake
then she hugs my neck, and she hangs her head
and lies beside me a sheaf of twigs half awake
I hear the Elysian Fields calling her name
Lisha, will I see you again?
How did this whole thing begin?
There's nothing to lose, nothing to win,
Some things are never meant to be known
but the minutes, the hours with her have flown
away, lost in the exquisite heat of night,
yet cling like moss on coral stone,
and now – and now she's gone
into the night where she might belong
gone into night from whence she came
the Elysian Fields are calling
calling her name
Lisha, Lisha, Lisha
will I see you again?
TF – returns to La Conventicola Degli Ultramoderni, Rome July 2022