Lyrics: Perfect Moments |
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Perfect Moments

by Clive James and Pete Atkin

Perfect moments have a clean design
Scoring edges that arrest the flow
Skis cut diamonds in the plump of snow
Times my life feels like a friend of mine

Perfect moments wear a single face
Variations on each other's theme
Renoir's mistresses in peach and cream
Rembrandt's mother in a ruff of lace

Perfect moments bear a single name
They're placed together though they never meet
Charlie Chaplin policing Easy Street
Charlie Parker playing My Old Flame

Perfect moments should redeem the day
Their teeming richness ought to be enough
To take the sting out of the other stuff
A perfect bitch it doesn't work that way

Note (from Collected Poems)

Purist scholars of Charlie Parker might say that his solo on ‘My Old Flame’, recorded when he was near death, is a bit of a wreck: but in Cambridge I would play it over and over, close to weeping. It’s a great song anyway: even Mae West can touch your heart with it.