Part of an occasional series wherein I post an original song and two covers. If I can find them I usually post alternates that take the song somewhere else. Fellow blogger Christian did a post a while back and noted Sheryl Crow’s fine version if you want to check that out. And Joe Cocker does a nice job with it.
I posted about George Harrison’s great artistic triumph All Things Must Pass a while back: “From the 1971 Rolling Stone review: “It is both an intensely personal statement and a grandiose gesture, a triumph over artistic modesty, even frustration. In this extravaganza of piety and sacrifice and joy, whose sheer magnitude and ambition may dub it the War and Peace of rock and roll, the music itself is no longer the only message. The lyrics are central.””
I posted a couple of tunes but one of them I did not post was “Beware of Darkness.” Wikipedia: “The song marks a return to the spiritual concerns of Harrison’s songs with The Beatles. The lyrics reflect the philosophy of the Radha Krishna Temple, with which Harrison was involved, in which spiritual concerns must always override material things.
In the verses, the listener is warned against various influences that may corrupt them. Among the potentially corrupting influences are con men (“soft shoe shufflers”), politicians (“greedy leaders”), and pop idols of little substance (“falling swingers”).
In addition, the lyrics warn against negative thoughts (“thoughts that linger”), since these corrupting influences and negative thoughts can lead to Maya, or illusion, which distracts people from the true purpose of life.”
That is some heavy shit and a long way from “Don’t Bother Me.” Let’s give it a listen, shall we?:
Leon Russell shuffled off this mortal coil about four years ago. I don’t know why but for some reason I always associate this song with him. You can read more about him in my post.
His version of “Darkness” comes from his second solo album, Leon Russell and the Shelter People. I note with some interest that Eric Clapton plays on both Harrison and Russell’s albums. And to come full circle, Harrison and Rusell performed this song together at George’s 1971 Concert for Bangla Desh:
Okay, let’s hear this tune from a woman. And who better than the fabulous Ann Wilson? This version was recorded at a 2014 event called George Fest – A Night to Celebrate the Music of George Harrison.
Performers included Brian Wilson and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys, George’s son Dhani, Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, Conan O’Brien, Spoon’s Britt Daniel, and Brandon Flowers of the Killers.