Waltz with Me!

I like waltz music, especially those from the Strauss family, I still have my one CD and record album.

Here are four waltzes I especially enjoy from different composers.

The first is “The Skater’s Waltz, Op. 183” by Émile Waldteufel in 1882. I don’t recall this one from my childhood. I heard it on the radio this morning and thought it very pretty:

Next is “Waltz of the Flowers” by Tchaikovsky. I like the flowers and nature photos and paintings throughout this video. I first heard it on a kids’ program years ago. When I was in high school, I got my own complete recording of the ballet. I saw it onstage at Lisner Auditorium with friends, Earlier that night, we had gone to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree and concert.

“The Carousel Waltz” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. I have a collection of carousel horse music boxes, and one of them plays this tune. That’s where I first heard it.

And “Tales from the Vienna Woods” by Johann Strauss II.

“The Blue Danube” is a close second.

Here’s a montage of waltz music:

Enjoy!

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Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring is another Bach favorite. I’ve heard it many times in my life, but never could keep the title in my head until recently. Inspired by a Jacquie Lawson Easter e-card where it was the musical accompaniment, I like it even better now. It always makes me think of new days to start over in, hope rising,  peacefulness, and early mornings.

Here’s the orchestral version:

And the piano version:

And one with vocals:

Singing, For the Joy of It

One of my assistants likes to sing hymns in twi.  She’s originally from Ghana, and that is one of the five languages she knows. Sometimes my aunt will hum along with the melody, and my assistant will translate for me. I asked her recently if she was in her church choir. Unfortunately she is not; her schedule doesn’t allow it. “I just love to sing,” she says. “I always have.”

When I was growing up, I liked singing hymns, and I remember my aunt singing all the time–with the radio and without, and just about anything. As my mom and all her siblings were growing up, they sang together as well–as entertainment in the evenings. This was in the days before television, and some people didn’t have radios.

Music and singing bring out a range of emotions; mostly, I think, music is here to make people happy,so that they can bring that joy and enthusiasm to others. My aunt always says that it would be a very dull world without it.

These conversations and memories made me think of  “How Can I Keep From Singing?” Here’s Pete Seeger‘s version:

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentation.

I hear the real, though far off hymn
That hails the new creation

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I’m clinging.
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest round me roars
I know the truth it liveth
What though the darkness round me close
Songs in the night it giveth

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I’m clinging.
Since love is lord of Heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?

Copyright: Figs. D Music Inc. O.B.O. Sanga Music, Figs. D Music Inc.

I’m also remembering the saying, “He who sings, prays twice.” Here is its interesting history.

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“Sleepers Wake”

Over the past months, I have been listening to a lot of Bach now and again because I have been enjoying the journey of reading John Eliot Gardiner’s totally awesome biography, Music in the Castle of Heaven. This is the very familiar Sleepers Wake, one of my favorites. naturally, I heard this one morning as I was waking up, still yawning and stretching, but ready to face the day.

Enjoy!

 

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Songs for a Monday that Didn’t Go Well….

I had a fall today, and everything hurts. That’s all I’ll say regarding the incident. I tried to make myself laugh so it wouldn’t hurt as much, but it didn’t work. I thought of the “Only When I Laugh” routine. Today also reminded me of “The Bricklayer’s Lament.” The Corries performed a version years ago. But I also like this one that includes the lyrics.

Here’s Gerard Hoffnung‘s spoken-word version:

Years ago, a former co-worker always sang “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” when she was joking about a frustrating day. I sing this (badly) sometimes as well. Here’s Louis Armstrong’s version:

Armstrong deserves his own separate entry one of these days.

Finally, here’s “We Are Bangor” a song for everyone who’s experienced someone getting their own name, city, or town wrong. Great job, guys! This made me smile. Seen originally on NBC Nightly News. I’m also sending a shout-out to everyone in Bangor, Maine. I’d love to visit sometime!