Music for Valentine’s Day

 

I heard a whimsical cello tune this morning at 8:57 that made me smile. It was from an operetta called Violettes Impériales. The song is “L’amour est un bouquet de violettes,” or “Love Is a Bouquet of Violets.” The composer is Francis Lopez. The musicians were the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Sol Gabettta played the cello. I couldn’t find the exact recording on YouTube, so I picked the two videos below. The first I love for the art; the second shows how lovely the music is on the piano.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Birthday, Tony Bennett!

I was reminded by ABC News this evening that today is Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday. Later on the Empire State Building will light up in his honor. Way to go!  He’s awesome. I just found the CDs so I can play them for my aunt. We’ve seen him in concert a couple of times. In many articles and interviews today, he said he still has a lot to learn. That’s the way to look at life.

And I always loved that he is a serious painter…and very good, too.

Here are my two top favorite Tony Bennett songs. But how can anyone really choose? They are all so good.

  1. Steppin’ Out with My Baby:

And, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”:

Placido and Puccini

Now I undertand why one of my former bosses loved Placido Domingo so much. His voice is beautiful! She was lucky enough to see him at the Met several times. As an actor, she called him one of the best. I hope he is still performing. I heard a piano and violin version of “Storiella d’amore” the other day–an instrumental–and was hooked. I want to do more research on the Puccini opera as a whole. Here’s a link to the English translation of the song. I hope it’s the right one.

Here’s another instrumental of it I found for piano and trumpet that is also very lovely. There’s something about Italian music that really grabs the emotions. A very gentle way to begin the day.

Ghana Evening Song

Our assistants taught me this song one evening as they were helping me get in bed. It was a school song, one they sung in the early grades after the end of each day. I felt compelled to set it down:

Now the day is over;

night is drawing near.

Shadows of the evening soar across the sky.

Amen.

 

 

I’m Already There –Lonestar

My assistant was humming this song this morning. When her daughter was young, she used to sing it to her. I was glad for the reminder. Here is background on what inspired the songwriters. I always enjoyed hearing it on the radio.

 

Two Favorite Spiritual Songs from a Current Read

I recently discovered the work of Christian author Jane Myers Perrine. My aunt and I are already on the second volume, The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek. In today’s chapter, “Wade in the Water” and “Oh Happy Day” were mentioned in a visit to a neighborhood church. I hadn’t heard either song in a while, so I thought I would present them here.

I’ve felt scattered lately, so “Oh Happy Day” helped to get me back on track a bit. Here’s the version by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

I can’t decide which version of “Wade in the Water” I like best. The first version is by Ella Jenkins; the second, The Staples Singers.

 

 

 

 

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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