Song(s) For Troubled Times

Words could never do full justice to any discussion of how music has enriched my life’s journey; how it’s seen me thru the troubled times / paved over the rough patches on the road I’ve been traveling.

As I’m sure most of us world-weary travelers would readily agree, by now, to categorize 2020’s cratered, altered reality as “a rough patch”, would be a monumental misnomer. Such an attempt would be akin to rebranding the Grand Canyon as the Gradual Swale.

But all geography set aside, let’s refocus on the musicology…

My encountering a masterpiece, such as Paul Simon’s Bridge Over Troubled Water (BOTW), one hafl century ago, had been akin to a life changing event. Simon, teamed up with Art Garfunkel, had released it on January 20, 1970 and, soon thereafter, FM radio station DJs began playing it so frequently, they practically melted down the vinyl onto their turntables.

This song even tracked out within my high school classroom on a cold winter’s Friday afternoon. That’s when my fresh out of college, hip instructor’s goal (to make poetry more relevant to her 10th grade students) paid off, big time! Never, before, had I ever seen a roomful of rambunctious adolescents awed into silence; and with the weekend beckoning, no less! By song’s end you could’ve heard the proverbial pin drop; even had that event occurred within a 20 km distant forest.

However, neither my words nor Wikipedia’s could ever adequately enhance the actual pièce de résistance, featured above. That’s where our supplementary clips, below, come into play. For the truly musically adventurous, check out the onsite clip showcasing BOTW’s backstory. I’ve also linked us to the very songs, which Paul Simon credits as his inspiration (Keep your ears open for Swan Silvertones member, Claude Jeter’s lyric “I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in my name.”).

The Swan Silvertones ~ Oh Mary Don’t You Weep
Johann Sebastian Bach ~ O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

While I hope you’ll have the time to enjoy all four fascinating clips, at the very least, do play back and zone out on our blog topper video’s soundscape and tranquil scenery. To slightly alter the lyrical couplet…

“Like a bridge over troubled water
Paul and Arthur will ease your mind.”

Paul Simon – November 9, 1969

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Four-Play (Week #6)

Welcome to the sixth installment of my musical blog’s 13-week experimental run. For those who’ve missed my past posts, they’re neatly filed away in my music category.

This week, my selections feature the 60s progressive British rockers, Procol Harum, and the 90s German / L.A. based Sweetbox project… spotlighting rapper, Tina Harris. These recording artists turned in peak performances while “sampling” the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Oh btw, the Procol Harum headline, below, is a link… that’s to afford you the opportunity to hear the band performing, “live”, alongside a full symphony orchestra and choir.

And that’ll just about do it for the “in depth” musical analysis since my Four-Play focus is more about the pure enjoyment of great music.

While I acknowledge it’s nearly impossible to please all the people all the time, I’d also encourage everyone to be musically adventurous… to trade off marching in lockstep for marching to the beat of a different drum.

“Still not my ‘cup of tea,’” you say? Not to worry. You never can tell what you’ll be hearing, here, next Sunday… so do click back at that time.

Blog response will act as my Arbitron / Nielsen “radio ratings”… so… if you’ve enjoyed my “show”, click that “Like” Star. Of course, comments are always welcome, too!

Sweetbox / Tina Harris ~ Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Air on the G” string (Suite No. 3, BWV 1068)

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude No.1 in C Major, BWV 846

Procol Harum ~ Repent Walpurgis