Pearls Before Swine 🎹 🎼 🐷

Although I wrote this with my own performances in mind, there was Andre Previn who, they say actually quit his job conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony because it was like throwing pearls before swine – people coughing, being there for the wrong reasons etc. All experienced musicians and artists, I’m sure, have experienced the same!

We’ve all experienced
A listener who
Is not concerned
With what you do.
Haven’t you?

I’ve sung my song
For folk who’ve sat
And folk who sit
Apparently attentive to it.

Between sets we’ve chatted about
This and that. It
Shows that they’ve not heard
A word,
Or listened to a single note.
They’ve learned to act mechanically – by rote,
Know exactly how to chew the fat.

And I sense the song of mine
Is throwing lots of pearls to swine.
Do I feel vexed or angry?
I know it is vanity
To bank on ears awake to me, and only me.
Folk may disagree, have differing capacity
To listen with a heart unstained,
Single-mindedness untainted.

Leaving ego-self at home,
Expectations on their own –
I sing for me and me alone,
And cling to song and growth and fun,
The only aim that’s worth the run.

There’ll always be pearl-eating swine
Not interested in ditty mine.
That’s utterly and fully fine –
My duty is to sing divinely.

Pearls Before Swine 6.30.2019 Vaguely About Music II; Circling Round Vanities II; Circling Round Egos; Arlene Nover Corwin

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