Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today is George's birthday.

George gave new meaning to the word "extrovert" - you could not say "Good Morning" to him without it becoming a fifteen minute conversation. It was always funny, detailed, smart and enjoyable. He cared deeply, believed deeply, and was the first person to stand up for what he thought was right.

Note that I say was. George died, peacefully, several months ago.

I'm staggering with the number of people who have wished George Happy Birthday on Facebook today. His family did post an update to say that he'd left us, but an incredible number of people seem not to have noticed.

George - I noticed. Happy Birthday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day Ten - a Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

I've been alerted that there is a code that will let me embed You Tube links more directly to these posts. Stand by - I might actually learn some technology.

That having been said, no link this time.

At my alma mater, one of the fraternities had a music tradition that has always made me laugh. During Hell Week, pledges had to spend any time that they were not in class, in the library, at meals or in the shower in the fraternity lounge, where one song would get played over and over and over, 24/ 7, for the entire week. One year it was "Ice, Ice Baby" and another year it was "I'm Too Sexy." I confess that the idea that people were trying to sleep to, "I'm too sexy for my cat" still makes me grin.

On a very different note, Mozart wrote plenty of rousing and stirring music, but I confess that I've always preferred his quieter stuff. It's calm and peaceful, and probably has helped more than one student get a slightly higher grade on a paper or exam. Years ago, I picked up a CD called "Mozart For Morning Coffee." It's a collection of works, primarily for strings, that are downright soothing and happy.

There's no individual tune that makes me fall asleep from this disk, but it makes me feel so peaceful and calm that sleep is inevitable. I suppose composing a series of tunes called "A Little Night Music" does make this inevitable.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day Nine - A Song You Can Dance To

I loathe, abominate and despise Dumbo.

Put a baby in my arms, and I will automatically rock it and sing "Baby Mine."


Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Song You Know All the Words To

Ahem. This title should be "A Song to Which You Know All the Words" - but I digress. :-) Hey, it's my blog, I can digress if I want.

I have searched You Tube, but I cannot find a good recording, or at least one that meets my standards. "This Plum Is Too Ripe" from The Fantasticks is something I mumble under my breath all too often. Consider the opening:

"This plum is too ripe."
"Please, don't watch me while I'm eating."
"You're about to drown that magnolia."
"You're - standing - in - my - KUMKWATS!!"

Apart from my soprano envy (some really great bits for the woman's voice in this quartet) this song is such a great expression of frustration. I'm not a composer or musicologist, but my take on the harmonies and whatnot is that this is how many of us argue, be it with a loved one or with the idiot in front of us on the Interstate.

Kumkwats grow on trees. Sometimes I just get so frustrated that I need to think about standing in kumkwats.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day Seven - Thirty Days of Songs

A Song The Reminds You of A Particular Event

A great many possibilities here -

"Let the Bright Seraphim" (Handel)


reminds me very much of the Charles & Diana wedding back in 1981. Yes, I knew said tune at the time... I didn't get out much as a kid. I nearly dropped my breakfast when Kiri Te Kanawa got up and sang something I knew. Not just knew, but loved and still love...

I freely admit that some of this is probably soprano envy. Singing is great fun for me, but it's highly unlikely that I will ever stand in front of an orchestra and belt this piece out, let alone sound half as good as Te Kanawa does at it. She makes this performance all look and sound so effortless... and I'm sure that on that sunny July morning, even though she'd performed the piece countless times, Te Kanawa thought about the size of her international audience and felt at least a little nervous.

The way that the trumpet and the vocal trills come together thrills me no end. This is a piece I truly could listen to over and over again, Royal Wedding or no Royal Wedding. I'm still not entirely sure what it's about, but that doesn't matter.

As a slightly (cough) older person than the starry eyed kid with a bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios in her lap who watched the wedding with her dog, I'm struck by this being a rather odd choice for a wedding - perhaps this is English tradition, or perhaps it's further proof that Charles didn't quite think through all of the details of marriage before jumping in.

No matter. There's nothing wrong with the occasional fairy tale.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Day Six

A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere

Oh, this is painfully easy.

As an undergraduate, double majoring and doing honors work in one of those majors at the same time might not have been the wisest academic decision on my part, but I'm damned proud of it, and would like it to be noted in my obituary. Oh, yeah, and I was in a long-distance relationship at the time. Consequently, I did not get a lot of sleep. The day I started hallucinating in class, I realized that I needed to shift a few priorities and get a bit more rest.

(I kept the boyfriend.)

I didn't sleep eight hours each night after that, but I did try to grab at least five. OK, maybe I didn't succeed, but I tried...


Sting's "Fields of Gold" always seemed to be on the radio when I woke up each morning that spring. My bed was next to the window, and I would look out at the basketball court (not very sentimental sounding, I realize) and the trees and the grass and the dew and the village waking up, and I felt so much at peace. This song puts me back to being twenty-one, feeling hope, enthusiasm, and joy - oh, yeah, and a bit of lust for that long-distance boyfriend.