A week that started with floods in Texas and ended with a near-drowning of higher education in Wisconsin needs a good blues version of a classic song.
One of my favorites is “Funny How Time Slips Away” by B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland. It’s particularly relevant because King, as the New York Times put it, came home for the last time Friday. The Times story and its accompanying slide show are worth spending a few minutes on.
I love King’s version of the song (written by Willie Nelson) because it has a sweetness not present in the original recording. That feeling is brought on primarily by the interpretation and interplay of King and Bland. Incidentally, the first recording, by Jimmie Walker, and Nelson’s early version are good listens themselves, and the Nelson version on YouTube is also fun just because of the picture of a young Willie on its album cover.
The words on all these versions are primarily about the ebb and flow of love in our lives, but the meanings of lyrics always have a way of transcending literal topics. All three versions end with the reminder that in time, we all have to pay.
That seems appropriate for those of us in Wisconsin. But no more so than for anyone else, and regardless of where we are, we strive to make the best of what time we have left.