Saturday, June 09, 2007

There's A Storm a Comin' for This Orphan

I've been indulging in a little pop culture catching up lately. I only have a few weeks to finish JK Rowling's "The Order of the Phoenix," the fifth book in the series about a young wizard named Harry Potter. The next movie comes out July 13, and I want to be ready for battle with -- oh, sorry, he who shall not be named....

Despite the temptation to diss this story and its films, I've been enchanted by all of them. And, I suppose it helps that I've had a crush on most of the men in the cast -- Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman -- for much of my adult life. For the record, none of my family -- my late mother, my children, any of my friends or extended family -- have fallen prey to the Fictitious Satan or taken to bewitching people with spells we learned in the books. Look, if you're afraid of imagination in a children's book, you have really big problems.

If you're Harry, you have bigger problems.

What does Harry have to do with Bluegrass? Well naturally, he's an underdog. And, he's an orphan. And, nobody understands him. And, he's got all this unspeakable power that he's still discovering.

That seems pretty bluegrass to me, I'd say.

Harry's story somehow reminds me of Julie and Buddy Miller and their rough-around-the-edges attitude that I love, so much. A while back, Julie recorded a song co-written with Patti Griffin called Orphan Train.

If you've read the books or seen the movies, you know that Harry and his friends must ride a secret train to get to Hogwarts, the school in which most of Harry's story is set. Harry drifts between Hogwarts, where he feels utterly at home, and 4 Privet Drive, where he resides in misery with his "muggle" (nonmagic) Aunt's family. He's drifting, an orphan, looking for his emotional home.

Aren't we all?

Buddy and Julie don't have their version of this tune (featured on Julie's Broken Things recording) out there, so I'm sharing Lee Ann Womack, in a pretty decent version that attempts to capture the driven nature of the song.

Orphan Train
Come all you broken hearted, come and lay your burden down
Come kings and queens, come royalty surrender up your crown
Come empty-handed come with nothing of your own to claim
Come naked, poor, come like a child to ride the orphan train

Come ride, ride on the orphan train
Put your ear to the track, you can hear your name
Come ride, ride on the orphan train
It'll take you all the way home

The way is narrow, it is steep that brings you to the door
But love awaits there to embrace your heart forevermore
Come you abandoned, you forsaken
Friendless and alone, come refugees left homesick for
Some place you've never known

Here princes, paupers, criminals and saints are all the same
No more or less than God's beloved child aboard this train

Come ride, ride on the orphan train
Put your ear to the track, you can hear your name
Come ride, ride on the orphan train
It'll take you all the way home

The way is narrow, it is steep that brings you to the door
But love awaits there to embrace your heart forevermore

Come ride, ride on the orphan train
Put your ear to the track, you can hear your name
Come ride, ride on the orphan train
It'll take you all the way home

It'll take you all the way home
It's gonna take you all the way home

5 Comments:

At June 10, 2007 6:32 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

We both love Harry Potter!! when a new book comes out we have to get it on day one, and then bargain over who gets the book when. We will have 2 bookmarks and lots of the person who's ahead threatening to reveal newly learned secrets. I don't care what anybody says. We think they are a joy.

There's a universal appeal for beaing able to be in a different place, where you are important, loved, have friends, money and power to make things change.

The movies -- we see them in the first week they come out but are not huge fans. I don't think they hold a floating candle in Hogwarts to the books. We occasionally see them twice but no more than that.

 
At June 10, 2007 6:33 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

typo: "beaing" = "being"

 
At June 10, 2007 7:06 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Oh hooray!! I'm so glad to know more grownups who dig Harry's story. Now that we are under separate rooves, the kids' dad no longer tips off the secrets, but my son is no runner up there -- always bursting to let slip a key development. Aieee! And while the other movies came out in November, this one comes out in July -- I've got to get crackin!

My mom had started reading the books when they first came out, and passed them on to us when my son was just old enough to enjoy them, about the time my daughter came along. Part of the joy now for me is picking up where she left off.

I think the movies have improved from the first two -- they're darker and more reflective of the process of growing up and facing the shadow aspects of that process. And DAG, RALPH FIENNES? I'm all conflicted about that.

 
At June 11, 2007 6:49 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

The casting is my main problem with the movies. Ralph Fiennes, that you mentioned, and Snape, Hermione, several others I had problems with. Just not what I'm picturing and I'm still struggling with my imagination vs. what the movies are telling me to imagine. Some were great though, like Harry, the Weasleys, Harry's family, Hagrid, several more.

 
At June 11, 2007 11:24 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Oh the WEASLEYS -- aren't they just amazing?! Did they recruit an entire carrot top family for that?! But you're right. I don't know if Ralph Fiennes is creppy enough. I like the way Lupin is handled, and I think Rickman makes a good Snape. I just got to the point in the book where Professor Umbridge is introduced so I haven't formed a character in my head for her yet -- although she reminds me terribly of a recent search client who shall not be named, lol...

 

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