Chapter Forty-Five of Keeping Score In America: Eva Cassidy
By Michael Moriarty
I have been waiting for Eva Cassidy all my life!
Waiting for 73 years!!
Never have I known an artist, all by herself and her guitar, to take me eternally prisoner.
So completely! So irresistibly!
My first encounter with her today was her rendition of the timeless love song to Time itself: The Autumn Leaves.
Then comes Danny Boy!
“Tis you must go
Indeed, t’was she who “went”!
“You shall tell me
Tragically cut down by cancer.
“What’s on my mind now,” as Facebook asks?
True Colors, the magic of which is best described by Melissa Lilim:
“When I was blind with rage and trying to claw my way out of my own skin, or when I was screaming with terror in the middle night, she (Eva Cassidy) would hold me so tight and softly sing this in my ear until the rage and terror gave way to tears and then a calm that would settle on me again, soothed by her gentle voice...”
The artist as Goddess!
And her instrumental figures beneath her gloriously perfect voice, the comforting sounds of her own guitar?
Next we have The Beatles’ Imagine,a song I had quickly become sick of in the midst of Beatlemania!
Imagine has now been reborn for me with Eva Cassidy’s rendition of it.
Just now I am hearing her sing the first blues in her repertoire and…. Wow!!!
Now her voice cuts!
Now it cuts!
Much later on, it’s Chain, Chain, Chain!
What an exquisitely divine agony!
The law she brings: There ain’t no ecstasy without agony!!!!!!!
Is it the art or the artist?
Eva Cassidy answers that question by, as Donny Hathaway’s tragic end showed us, suddenly leaving the stage at an excruciatingly early age.
Cassidy’s rendition of Fever is not only transplanting Peggy Lee’s version but erasing it in my memory.
Eva Cassidy is now bringing me a heaven on earth, while at the same time reminding me that she herself might not have known how her mark on human memory might very well threaten Eternity itself!
Now it’s The Beautiful Tennessee Waltz!
Never heard it offered more simply nor more powerfully… nor more profoundly offered up.
No voice has so owned my soul so completely!
No other voice ever will.
I’m too old to expect another miracle like this.
Oh, just to bring you The Cassidy’s Divine and Sublimely Ravishing Death Blow: here is Kathy’s Song.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.