A Song For Thanksgiving 2014

“May the Light of Love” is a song by singer-songwriter David Roth. I have always wished I could see him in concert. I hope he comes to Northern Virginia sometime. His other songs are great, too, from what I saw on his website.

He wrote this song in 1993. I love the words, because they remind me to be thankful every day–even when circumstances make it extremely difficult to feel that way. The melody is also beautiful. Several people have recorded it, including the singer Anne Hills–whose version I heard first and enjoyed on Dick Cerri’s “Music Americana” radio program.

(I wish Dick Cerri and the program were still with us. His brother, Bill, was a host on Classical WETA in its earlier days. Bill’s trademark was saying, “Thank you for listening.” They were just two of the great radio folks in this area.)

Here he is in performance. I have included the lyrics below. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Lyrics to May the Light of Love
As we come around to take our places at the table
A moment to remember and reflect upon our wealth
Here’s to loving friends and family, here’s to being able
To gather here together in good company and healthMay we be released from all those feelings that would harm us
May we have the will to give them up and get them gone
For heavy are the satchels full of anger and false promise
May we have the strength to put them down

May the light of love be shining deep within your spirit
May the torch of mercy clear the path and show the way
May the horn of plenty sound so everyone can hear it
May the light of love be with you every day

May we wish the best for every one that we encounter
May we swallow pride and may we do away with fear
For it’s only what we do not know that we have grown afraid of
And only what we do not choose to hear

May the light of love be shining deep within your spirit
May the torch of mercy clear the path and show the way
May the horn of plenty sound so everyone can hear it
May the light of love be with you every day

As we bless our daily bread and drink our day’s libation
May we be reminded of the lost and wayward soul
The hungry and the homeless that we have in every nation
May we fill each empty cup and bowl

May nothing ever come between or threaten to divide us
May we never take for granted all the gifts that we receive
Being ever mindful of the unseen hands that guide us
And the miracles that cause us to believe

May the light of love be shining deep within your spirit
May the torch of mercy clear the path and show the way
May the horn of plenty sound so everyone can hear it
May the light of love be with you every day

May the horn of plenty sound so everyone can hear it
May the light of love be with you, may the light of love be with you
May the light of love be with you every day

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles!

I heard in passing on a TV news program that yesterday was the 52nd anniversary of the Beatles.  I caused much consternation and disbelief whrn I told my friends in college that I didn’t like the Beatles. They immediately set out to educate me. That’s how I saw the movie Yellow Submarine and a Beatles mockumentary by Monty Python. Other people shared about which of their songs moved them. Another friend admitted that “The Long and Winding Road” makes him want to cry. The melody of it caught my ear, and the words move me. Whenever I hear it, I think of love, loss, and reconciliation. For a while, I had a cassette tape of the band’s final album, Let It Be.

Also, I have seen clips of the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and their other concerts so often that I feel like I was there, but I was too young to really remember. Radio shows also offered tribute to the Beatles, and I guess I must have absorbed some music, after all, but I never really paid attention. I have yet to see a Beatles tribute band. I suppose I am more of the Paul McCartney & Wings generation. After college, anytime I ran across a Beatles movie or a documentary, I attempted to watch them. So now I feel like I’m catching up on all that I have missed. And yes, I did read about them. I enjoyed the 2006 biography, The Beatles, by Bob Spitz.

Another friend of mine grew up listening to classical music, and still enjoys it. She always liked “Eleanor Rigby” because of the orchestral-sounding violins. Other songs contain elements of classical music.

Paul McCartney’s only classical music effort was 1991’s Liverpool Oratorio. This has thirteen parts–all available on YouTube.

One evening as I researched material for another blog entry, I wanted to hear a Beatles tune–any tune. That’s how I found this Rolling Stone story about the 100 Greatest Beatles songs.

I like the songs from their early albums best. Interestingly, I want to hear one from a later album. Go figure. So here, in no particular order, are some favorite Beatles songs. Enjoy!

The Long and Winding Road:

Here, There, and Everywhere:

Nowhere Man:

Let It Be:

Yesterday:

Hey, Jude:

Blackbird:

Paperback Writer:

Life Goes On:

Hello, Goodbye:

If I’m ever lucky enough to make it to the UK, one of the many things I want to do in London is roll in my power wheelchair down Abbey Road, just as the Beatles do in the photo on the album cover.

Here Comes the Sun:

Octopus’s Garden:

Yellow Submarine:

Now for their solo work:

Ringo Starr

It Don’t Come Easy:

Liverpool 8 (Full Album):

Paul McCartney

Band On the Run (Full Wings Album, 1973):

Ebony and Ivory (with Stevie Wonder, “In Performance at the White House,” 2010. The song was originally recorded in 1982.): 

McCartney/Springsteen:

McCartney — Dance Tonight (Love the mandolin in this!):

George Harrison

My Sweet Lord:

All Those Years Ago:

John Lennon

John Lennon Greatest Hits (Full AlBum):

So This Is Christmas:

 

This next song is by Christine Lavin. She wrote “The Dakota” as a tribute to John Lennon.

Now I fully realize how much the Beatles changed and influenced music as a whole–as a group and in their solo careers. They tried many instruments new to rock–such as the sitar. With each album, they tried to do different things, Some I like better than others, Now I can finally say I like the Beatles–and what a great ride it must have been.

Handel’s “The Harmonious Blacksmith” — Variations

I have loved “The Harmonious Blacksmith” ever since I heard it on the radio several years ago. Legend has it that Handel was traveling somewhere, and that his horse needed a new shoe. He found a blacksmith at a local inn, who re-shod the horse, writing the piece as a thank-you. There is no historical truth to this, but it’s a nice thing to imagine, anyway. I also may have garbled the details from various stories I have heard. Here is more information online. The melody is part of a larger work, “Suite in E Major, HWV 430.

Here is “The Harmonious Blacksmith” as played on the piano:

When I was in middle school, I took a music appreciation class, and became quite a harpsichord fan for a while.The only harpsichord album I had at the time must have been by Bach, released on Angel Records. Here is “The Harmonious Blacksmith on harpsichord, followed by the full composition on harpsichord.

Next, here is a trio playing “Blacksmith” on oboe, bassoon, and harpsichord:

I didn’t know until recently that there is a group called The Harmonious Blacksmith. I’d love to see them in concert sometime.

Now to search for other harpsichord works…

 

 

“Waterfalls”–A New Interpretation

The other night, I saw Bette Midler on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She has a new CD out which honors the girl groups from decades gone by, all the way up to the 1990s. She performed a beautiful song that I didn’t know, called “Waterfalls,” originally performed by the rap and R&B group TLC. I was very haunted by the lyrics, so I decided to look up the original version, the first one listed below.

Here is Bette Midler’s version from the new CD:

Bette Midler has performed many great songs from different eras. I have her Peggy Lee CD. I also enjoyed “The Rose” and some of her modern jazz songs like “TKO.” But Midler’s version of Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Julie Gold‘s “From A Distance” is my favorite, although I like Nanci Griffith’s version a lot as well. The video below also includes the lyrics. The original poster, however, has made an error. The correct line is: “From a distance, we are instruments, marching in a common band.”

When this song was first popular, it was always on the radio. One day, when I was on lunch break from work, it was playing on a deli’s radio. I remember one of the workers singing, it, and he commented that it was his favorite song.

And finally, here’s Bette Midler’s cover of “In My Life,” by the Beatles:

 

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

On Tuesday, November 4, I voted. By the time I started back home it was dark, and I was having trouble adjusting to the time change. I happened to look up, and i saw a full moon. That made me think of the “Moonlight Sonata.” Here is that recording in full:

As one YouTube commenter suggested, it’s very tempting to turn the stereo all the way up. Enjoy!

George Gershwin – I Got Rhythm – Variations for Piano, Orchestra

There’s so much info to explore on “I Write the Music.” Each time I read an entry, I feel like I’ve learned something new about music. This “I Got Rhythm” entry captured my attention because it’s a favorite song. I love Gershwin music, and this is a new interpretation.

Here is the “An American in Paris” scene where Gene Kelly sings it and shows off his signature “airplane” dance move:

http://youtu.be/LvglHa_P9BA

I also love the musical “Crazy for You,” which pays homage to Gershwin.

I Write The Music

Alessio Barcellini

Wayne Marshall – Aalborg Symphony

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Peter Paul and Mary – A Song Will Rise – 1965 Album

The author of “I Write the Music” blog shared this full-length album. This is a wonderful new trend in posting YouTube recordings, I’m enjoying listening. I’ve never heard this before. I wish the album included “If I Had a Hammer.” I’ll have to look it up.

I Write The Music

tony peacock peacock

A Song Will Rise is the fourth studio album by the American folk music trio Peter, Paul & Mary, released in 1965
1.”When the Ship Comes In” (Bob Dylan)
2.”Jimmy Whalen”
3.”Come and Go With Me”
4.”Gilgarra Mountain” (Trad arr Peter Yarrow)
5.”Ballad of Spring Hill (Spring Hill Disaster)” (Peggy Seeger, Ewan MacColl)
6.”Motherless Child”
7.”Wasn’t That a Time” (Seeger/Hays/Gilbert/Brooks/Coigney)
8.”Monday Morning”
9.”The Cuckoo”
10.”The San Francisco Bay Blues” (Jesse Fuller)
11.”Talkin’ Candy Bar Blues” (Noel Paul Stookey)
12.”For Lovin’ Me” (Gordon Lightfoot)

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The Transformative Power of Classical Music–A Classic TED Talk

I recently subscribed to TED Talks, and I really enjoy them. Saturday’s post fits this blog to a T. I decided to post it here. It’s a charmer!

I also gained some new perspectives on Chopin, a composer I enjoy but don’t know all that much about. I don’t think I’ll ever hear Chopin in the same way again. The speaker, Benjamin Zander, has an interesting background.

And here’s some Chopin music. Enjoy!

The 25th Anniversary of Tearing Down the Berlin Wall

President Ronald Reagan once said in a speech, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Twenty-five years ago tomorrow, it happened–the Berlin Wall came down. Hearing the memories of journalists who were there this past week, it came as a shock to people.

I remember the news coverage and how happy people were. To me, it meant freedom. And I also remember even earlier news footage that showed people trying to escape, and I would read personal accounts in magazines. The one and only time I visited the CIA headquarters for a story, a piece of the wall was in their museum. Some of the graffiti read “And the wind cries…” Before I left for the day, I stopped by the gift shop and bought a Berlin Wall T-shirt and photos. Just mementos to remember the day. I still have these–and the clip.

Google honors the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in a Google Doodle.

To look back at all the Doodles, click here.

Crosby, Stills & Nash wrote the song “Chippin’ Away” to commemorate the event. Here’s the video:

 

Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra

I first heard the “Love Is Blue” instrumental on the radio when I was a kid. I couldn’t wait for it to come on because I thought it was so pretty…and I still do. I think it was recorded originally in 1968. I still have the 45 I bought. Although the tune is familiar, I knew nothing about Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra. So I looked them up.

Here is the orchestra performing it (really cool!) along with some other songs:

And here is “Love Is Blue” accompanied by gorgeous photos:

Here is another tune, “Butterfly,” which I do not know, but it is very pretty also. I love the visuals in this YouTube video. Enjoy the music, too!

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