Raised on Rufus
October 6, 2008, 12:48 am
Filed under: Rufus Wainwright, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Since I dove headlong into my curious relationship with Rufus Wainwright in 2002 when my daughter was less then two years old (she is now eight), she basically has no memory of a world without Rufus.  I suppose that could be viewed as either a benefit or a disadvantage, depending how you feel about the man.  Anyone who wants to be around me  has to at least be able to tolerate him, because, well, there he is.  Fortunately, unlike some others around me who would prefer to have seen and heard the last of him, Stella appreciates Rufus and seems unembarrassed by my unbridled enthusiasm for his every rainbow-fart.

She was three years old when Want One came out, and my first memory of her actually responding to a Rufus song was when she asked me why Rufus didn’t mention buses in the part of “Oh What a World” that goes Why am I always on a plane or a fast train? I told her Rufus probably doesn’t ride the bus nearly as often as we do, but she still insisted upon changing the line to Why am I always on a plane or a fast train . . . or a bus?” seemingly in blatant disrespect of the songwriter’s intention.  Still, it made me feel good when she asked me to play the song.  Unfortunately no recordings exist of her rendition, so I cannot share it with you.

Want Two was a balm to my battered spirit, residing as it did in a body within one year had withstood being cut open, poisoned and burned.  This goes to say that I played it a lot, and I have fond memories of escaping into it on my trips to radiation.  The song that caught on with Stella this time was “Little Sister,” along with which she would sing the Just for awhile bit, smiling in her enjoyment of the melody.  At the time I was some thirty-odd pounds heavier, alienated from my stiff and aching body, and doubting whether I would ever feel like myself again.  Moments like these, like the times when she would bounce through the sliding doors of the Cancer Center exclaiming It’s cancer time! (because she liked the play area), causing me to snicker against all odds, helped me forget I was stuck inside a miserable, aching body.

Here is a live performance of the song from Wien, which I believe is from November 23, 2007.  Bonuses! Lederhosen and amusing fumble:

Apparently this is yet another one of those clips that refuses to be embedded, so here’s the link:

Although it is unpopular with many longtime fans, I am partial to the string arrangement on the Want Two version, which you can hear on (I am denalynn2001 there).

My other favorite memory of Stella from the Want One era was that since she was four years old and I didn’t want to explain what the title of the final song meant, I just told her it was “An Old Horse Diet.”  Wilburrrrrr!

I’m not sure Stella ever had a favorite song from Release the Stars, but the last time I insisted we play it in the car, she remarked when it was over that she sometimes thinks she doesn’t feel like hearing Rufus but she’s always drawn into the music once she hears his voice.  When she asked us to please turn it up, I smiled and thought “That’s my girl.”

Now that she’s eight I think she could handle a show, but unfortunately one I am attending in Hammond is at the Horseshoe Casino where minors are not welcome.  In all fairness I would like to squeeze in a game or two of video poker after the show, so this might just not be quite the right venue for her first live concert.  I have faith we’ll have our chance within the next year or two.  Just like when I see her reading, so absorbed in a book that she doesn’t know I’m there, my heart will swell up unreasonably much with pride when I hold her hand and walk her over the threshold, into the venue of her first Rufus Wainwright concert.

Since I have experience dealing with these things, if she asks me about the words to “Gay Messiah,” I will explain that he is singing baptized in gum:*

Yes, I know it’s silly string, but that doesn’t have the right rhyme or cadence.  And yes, I was there.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

My kids arent so keen on rufus-i am trying to convert them-aged 6, 5 and 2 years-the youngest calls him RUSUF- anyway they know i LOVE rufus!!!!

Comment by clare

How wonderful to see the second video — I love it! And I love Rufus!

Comment by nancy

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