aired July 11, 2015 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbnngK8Kmws
RABBI SOL: Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon, the founder and spiritual leader of Temple Sons of Bitches.
DAVE: And this is Dave Lefkowitz, host of the “Dave’s Gone By” radio show –
RABBI SOL: with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of July 12th, 2015. Take it away, Dave.
DAVE: Those of you who have seen Rabbi Sol onstage know that he loves music. It doesn’t always love him back, but the Rebbe feels that music and lyrics –
RABBI SOL: And a well-placed trombone solo –
DAVE: The combination of all those musical elements can say more in three minutes than a dozen speeches.
RABBI SOL: Or even a baker’s dozen, which is 13, and a nice deal, since you’re paying for 12, and they throw in an extra one for no charge. They should do that with condoms. Anyhoo, because music is so potent, songwriters are obligated to write lyrics that say something. Not just, “Ooh, I wanna shtup you,” or “Ooh, why did you stop shtupping me?”, or “Ooh, why are you shtupping my best friend?” or, if it’s a country song, “I love my truck.”
DAVE: And songs can also be cryptic, or indirect, with words that convey multiple meanings. Every tune is a byzantine Rorschach test for the listener.
RABBI SOL: Boy, doesn’t that sound like fun? My job as Rabbi is to help guide you, my listeners and parishioners, through the truth of these songs. The subtleties, the answers, the keys to their changing meaning and the meaning to their changing keys. I also chastise the songwriters if they’re being lazy or prurient or Michael Bolton.
DAVE: To that end, Rabbi Sol has volunteered to deconstruct a popular song, line by line, and offer his commentary. You may not agree with his interpretations, but as the Rabbi says:
RABBI SOL: Who the hell are you? Write your own Talmud.
DAVE: Today’s song is a classic by The Beatles. Written by Lennon and McCartney and sung by Ringo on their “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” record.
RABBI SOL: A concept album that pretty much runs out of concept after the first two songs.
DAVE: Nevertheless, “With a Little Help from My Friends” remains among the catchiest and most enduring of The Beatles’ pop hits. But does it stand up under the Rabbi’s scrutiny?
RABBI SOL: I dunno, does it?
DAVE: Let’s find out. I’m gonna sing “With a Little Help from My Friends,” and Rabbi Sol will interrupt when he has something to say. Or even when he doesn’t.
RABBI SOL: Wait a minute. You’re gonna sing? You’ll do more damage to The Beatles than Yoko!
DAVE: Very funny, Rabbi.
RABBI SOL: You’re telling me! I saw you in a nightclub once where you promised to sing an entire album by the Beatles. You asked for audience requests. Everybody said, “Help!”
DAVE: All right, all right. Are you ready?
RABBI SOL: Am I ever?
DAVE: This is “With a Little Help from My Friends” . . . and from Rabbi Sol.
(play song with commentary. After song:)
RABBI SOL: Well, that was painful. But I hope you all learned something about not taking songs for granted. The composers are trying to tell you something, so it’s important to listen, digest, and make up your own mind. Or make up your own lyrics. (sings, “There’s a bathroom on the right…”) Speaking of which . . .
DAVE: Oh dear, it’s the Rabbi’s private time. With his privates. So this has been a Rabbinical Reflection with me, Dave Lefkowitz. (sings) Her majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say.”
RABBI SOL: Count yourself lucky. I got a queen at home; she never shuts up! Temple Sons of Bitches in Great Neck, New York. and ani, Rabbi Sol Solomon
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