By Tom Quiner
I spent some time on the piano tonight playing Gershwin.
I’m a sucker for George’s irresistible melodies and Ira’s urbane lyrics. By contrast, I am less than enthralled with Beyonce’s lyrics and melodies.
Beyonce Knowles had a highly praised performance at the Grammies last night. Critics drooled over the way she showcased her bare baby bump. I am conflicted.
Ms. Knowles is pregnant with Twins. Beautiful! She quoted Somalian poet, Warsan Shire:
“Baptize me, now that reconciliation is possible. If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious. 1,000 girls raise their arms. Do you remember being born? Are you thankful for the hips that cracked? The deep velvet of your mother and her mother and her mother? There is a curse that will be broken.”
Ms. Knowles has spoken highly of motherhood in the past in glowing terms:
“Being pregnant was very much like falling in love. You are so open. You are so overjoyed. There’s no words that can express having a baby growing inside of you so, of course, you want to scream it out and tell everyone.”
It seems that Beyonce’ sincerely believes in motherhood, and last night conveyed this love in her art.
So why am I conflicted?
The same people tripping over themselves in adulation at Beyonce’s gyrating belly bump are silent that 53% of black babies are aborted.
That number is so high that the Black community in this country is no longer replacing itself as their birth rate remains below replacement level.
Ms. Knowles’ art is far from admirable. I can’t get past her lyrics from a few years ago from her song, “Partition”:
Driver roll up the partition please/ I don’t need you seeing Yonce on her
Oh he so horny, yeah he want to f—
He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse
He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown
I just wanna be the girl you like, the girl you like
How base. She has been an active participant in the coarsening of our culture.
Let me leave you on a high note, if I may, with some lovely lyrics by the great Ira Gershwin. The song is called, “Love is Here to Stay.” It is the last melody written by his brother, the great George Gershwin, who died suddenly at the age of thirty-eight. Ira wrote the verse after his death.
This is pure class:
It’s very clear our love is here to stay
Not for a year, but ever and a day
The radio and the telephone
And the movies that we know
May just be passing fancies
And in time may goBut, oh, my dear, our love is here to stay
Together we’re going a long, long way
In time the Rockies may crumble
Gibraltar may tumble
They’re only made of clay
But our love is here to stay.
You can enjoy a beautiful rendition above by Natalie Cole.
Thank-you, Beyonce’, for promoting motherhood. Now if only you could borrow a touch of elegance from the Gershwin brothers. What a difference you could make.