The Adventures of Winston Churchill in Modern Music

It’s Monday morning, but here is a blog entry I made in my Palm over the weekend. I was on an overnight trip with my daughter to watch her participate with others from our congregation in a Bible Bowl:

Funny what a stray word or two can do to you. I’ve had Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello in my head all morning. I managed to trace it to two things.

First, last night in the motel room I was passing CNN while looking for Fox news. They had an “expert” predicting Bush’s political demise as a result of the war because “it’s what happened to Winston Churchill after World War II.” My opinion of that political opinion aside, the name “Churchill” must have floated around in my head until…

Second, when I had Fox News on in the motel room this morning. They were talking about an attack at a Marine checkpoint.

The combination of these two words, “Churchill” and “checkpoint” together within a few hours conjured up the Costello song, which features, in two separate verses:

There was a checkpoint Charlie
He didn’t crack a smile
But it’s no laughing party
When you’ve been on the murder mile


But there’s no danger
It’s a professional career
Though it could be arranged
With just a word in Mr. Churchill’s ear

It could have been worse, I guess. A word other than “checkpoint” could have triggered the lyrics to Supper’s Ready by Genesis, which is 20 minutes long. It features the line:

There’s Winston Churchill dressed in drag,
he used to be a British flag, plastic bag, what a drag.

Now for Monday.

Since I wasn’t about to transfer my files for HI to the iBook and take stacks of dead matter with me, I worked on And/News in odd moments over the weekend. I made surprising progress when I tallied up the page count, although I have to wonder if what I wrote actually got me anywhere. Thinking about it, I guess it did. What I was writing was some of RIchard’s back story, in the form of a friendly interrogation at the hands of Vic and Ray. And hey, if I see it doesn’t work in the editing process, I can always chop it all out with the trusty red pen. Right?

Friday/Saturday’s Scorecard
Chapter Fourteen
457 pages (+7)
101,590 words (+1675)

NP – iTSP (The English Beat, “Doors of Your Heart”)


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