Get Wind Of This… (Sunday Song Series)

Thanks for breezing into my neck of the WWW woods. Your timely arrival coincides with Week #36 of our Sunday Song Series. On this occasion, our musical adventure involves the selection, Sunday Morning Breeze, performed by Mannheim Steamroller… Chip Davis’ ensemble renown (almost) exclusively for performing covers of centuries spanning, Yuletide carols. That “almost” parenthetical is due to the fact that these accomplished musicians have amply proven their vast repertoire is not a December only phenom. Or… to quote Mr. Davis, “see… Mannheim isn’t just for Christmas.”

At its considerable face value, our featured track is blue-chip, relaxation music. And who amongst us cannot benefit from a Sunday (or any other day) Take Five from the rat race… all of which works out wonderfully / literally seeing how this particular musical interlude does clock out at a mere 11 seconds beyond the 5 minutes.

I can recall one of my own laid-back listening experiences where daybreak, Sunday breezes (of the meteorological variety) provided additional audiovisual effects… e.g., outdoor rustling leaves… branches swaying with waking up, chirping birds and indoor swaying curtains. Factoring in the scent of freshly brewed coffee and well… need I say more?

Going beyond the face value… an instrumental masterpiece can have its advantages… for one… no storytelling songsmith who might inhabit / inhibit our thoughts. For some of us, imaginations will be free to roam… be our focus a fond memory or unfulfilled fantasy. If we’re sufficiently wowed, such selections might even get added to “the soundtracks of our lives.”

In my own case, this included an actual soundtrack… part of my playlist featured on a burned CD tribute to my late mother. Sunday Morning Breeze (and similar tracks) certainly enhanced the mood as I sat before a microphone to recreate the eulogy I had written for / delivered at her memorial service. I consider my tribute the finest recording studio work I’ve ever done and… even were I immortal… I’d never expect to top it.

Our Sunday Song Series will be return seven days from now. Hopefully, you’ll be back, too?

 

 

 

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Mitchell’s Lyrical Enigma? ~ Sunday Songs Series

For week #35 of our Sunday Songs Series, we find Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell presenting us with a lyrical enigma. What, exactly, is her Sunny Sunday story-line all about? To be sure, when her word count is a scant 100 playing out in 2 minutes and 36 seconds, clues are few and far between.

When interviewed way back in 1994 by Tracey Macleod on BBC2 TV’s The Late Show, Mitchell did shed a bit of light…

“It’s not autobiographical. Actually it’s kind of a composite portrait. I have a friend who I paint with, who had a roommate who did this. It’s just the story of a woman waiting for some little change to give a new direction… it’s a kind of a mysterious little song. It’s also the shortest song I ever wrote.”

As is true with most noteworthy lyrics / poetry, one’s imagination does tend to roam freely. In my own case, this resulted in some scenarios that might account for someone taking potshots at a streetlight.

Might Mitchell’s pistol-packing protagonist be a…

a. militant, dark skies seeking stargazer / environmentalist battling light pollution?
b. stressed-out worker tormented by unresolved anger management issues?
c. 2nd Amendment domestic terrorist totally entrenched within America’s gun sick society?
d. misguided hero worshiper of Bonnie (Parker) and Clyde (Barrow)?

Oh btw… the comment section awaits those who’d like to express their own theories.

For those who’d like to see where our next Sunday Songs Series adventure will take us, stop back here seven days from now…

 

 

Simpson Sings of a Simpler Life (Sunday Song Series)

For Week #34 of our Sunday Songs Series, we’ll be giving a listen to Jessica Simpson’s You’re My Sunday. While crafting her lyrics, she drew upon heartfelt feelings for her soulmate… and that served as inspiration to her artful simile… i.e., her comparing his mind and soul-soothing influence over her to a Sunday (a kickback and enjoy life “day of rest”). Talking to AOL, she effusively elaborated re their relationship…

“He inspires me to be a better person. He just makes my life peaceful. In the midst of all the chaos, the gossip, the tabloids and people’s expectations of me, it’s nice to know that a guy loves you for who you are. So ‘You’re My Sunday’ is dedicated to him.”

Of course… even to the occasional Simpson listener… i.e., one unaware of that backstory… her words could also be interpreted as the Sunday Day… all by itself… arriving just in the nick of time… to rescue us all from humankind’s rat-race. However… if your sentiments are anything like mine… we’ve all been lamenting over one nearly inescapable fact of life…  namely that… in our 24/7 world… Sunday days of rest can be scarce.

Oh… how I yearn to return to my own, long lost, leisurely, small-town Sundays. In those days of yore… with few exceptions… e.g. our “Mom ’n’ Pop” grocery store… business owners and their staffs were at home… enjoying some much-earned, time off with their kinfolk. My own, typical family routine would find us attending early a.m. church services and, afterwards, discussing our Pastor’s sermon perhaps [1] while flipping thru the pages of the two Sunday newspapers we subscribed to, [2] during one of our leisurely joyrides about town, or [3] in the course of one of our sit-down suppers.

I can still, virtually, taste Mom’s to-die-for pot-roasts, loaded with browned spuds, carrots, green peppers and onions… all “swimming” in the vast sea of thick. beef gravy.

I can also vividly recall my very favorite Father G sermon… his wisdom and wit expressed during a blistering midsummer heatwave…

“Whew… it sure is hot today. But never forget there’s a place that’s even hotter! End of sermon!”

Once the KP was done, our lazy Sunday truly began winding down. Courtesy of the (then) three (yep only three) major TV networks, we were treated to primetime viewing fare inclusive of [1] the boy-and-his-beloved-dog drama Lassie, [2] the bratty sitcom Dennis the Menace, [3] a variety show MC’d by Ed Sullivan, [4] the western drama Bonanza, [5] a reality TV / viral video precursor (Alan Funt’s) Candid Camera, [6] the game show What’s My Line. and [7] the local, 11 o’clock newscast.

Now that I’ve related my own Sunday reveries, maybe you’d like to share yours? The comment section below can be your forum.

Hmm… seeing how I’ve become completely lost within my fond memories of pastoral phenomena and past repasts… how the latter has evoked hunger pangs for my breakfast… well… what better time for me to get lost… right?

In order to give you enough time to find a good hiding place (jk)… be forewarned… I’’ll be back seven days from now with another edition of our Sunday Song Series.

Hope to see you back here then… if not sooner.

 

 

 

Tiësto… A Contemporary Toscanini?

INTRO… Either playback the above vid as you read along or save it for the end to compare it to two traditional versions.

In the music biz, radio airplay can be instrumental to a song’s rise in popularity. Such was the case way back in 1938, when the baton of Arturo Toscanini… the NBC network’s conductor… first brought Samuel Barber’s 1936 classical music masterpiece… Adagio For Strings… to the attention of a goodly portion of our global community.

Ever since, Barber’s strings have become tightly interwoven into the fabric of humanity… mainly because this musical swell has become the Go-To track for mourners. This well-crafted sequence of notes has been heard following the demise of eminent leaders (e.g. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy), floating amidst the still settling dust of communal tragedies (e.g. 9/11… 2016’s Brussels bombing… 2016’s Orlando, Florida Pulse nightclub massacre)… and whenever our losses literally hit home / involve close family and friends.

I can personally attest to how Mr. Barber’s musical staff… akin to a supportive walking stick… had kept me on my feet… twice walked me through the darkest days of my own mourning process. My description of this twostep phenomenon goes like this. First, his orchestral commiseration helps us cope. Next, just knowing he’s counselled a long line of survivors before us, does offer us hope… i.e., if they could bravely go onward with their lives, so can we.

I’ve dubbed this therapeutic process, “The Adagio For Strings Experience.” End of story?

NOPE, not when a high tech, latter-day Toscanini… DJ Tiësto… has emerged to eagerly accept the inter-generational passage of the (figurative) baton… not when this mix-master has taken “The Adagio For Strings Experience” to a novel, higher astral plane… best described as contemporized, synthesized, beat driven and dance club ready.

Say what? Yep, I can practically hear classical music purists’ group gasp / groan … hear their protestations…

  1. CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH A GOOD BEAT THAT’S EZ TO DANCE TO?
  2. AN ADAGIO?
  3. WOULD SUCH A MASH-UP EVEN BE WORTH LISTENING TO?

Stunningly… the answers to that trio of Qs is YES! YES!! YES!!!

Admittedly, upon first ear-witnessing Tiësto’s mix, I could not help but wonder…

Is our world really ready for such a radical departure from the musical norm?

Well… almost instantaneously… I answered that Q with another Q…

Is not our world facing down its own radical departure from the sociological / political norm?

Even without factoring in the disheartening specifics… the long litany of specific societal ills, which the unwise powers-that-be have inflicted upon us… which typically, disproportionately target / devastate commoners (like me)… how can we not conclude that both fair-minded leadership and civility, itself, are all but dead? Under such glum circumstances, who amongst our decent, worldly citizens would not wind up in deep mourning… in dire need of “The Adagio For Strings Experience”?

More to the point… since the younger generation has so much more to lose than those of us who, at present, have far more days behind us than ahead… they need Barber’s counseling even more. We must consider their hitting the dance floor to Tiesto’s beat akin to group counseling… musical motivational training… their rallying anthem.

Now… I fully realize that DJ Tiesto’s interpretation may not be everyone’s cup of tea… as it were… so… keeping the classical music purist in mind… I’m also including…

 

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini (NBC World Premiere)

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Leonard Slatki (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)

 

 

 

An Exorcism of Evil Spirits? (Sunday Song Series)

Once-upon-a-time, Prohibition had been the political / theological crusade to “cure” Americans of their drinking problem… an attempted “dry-out” campaign, which [1] had predated (by multiple decades) the eventual, 1920 thru 1933, 18th U.S. Constitutional Amendment and [2] preceded (by nearly one century) this week’s blog topic.

In a sense, week #33 of our Sunday Song Series “re-ushers in” Prohibition and affords us a listen to the Wm. Jerome and Jack Mahoney composed / Edward Meeker performed…

Every Day Will Be Sunday When the Town Goes Dry

A brief rundown of the Prohibition pros and cons…

Eventually, this legislation was credited for reducing a slew of societal and literal ills… e.g., domestic abuse (and other moral / financial bankruptcy), workplace absenteeism / loss of productivity, cirrhosis of the liver, alcoholic psychosis, etc.

However, Organized Labor leader, Samuel Gompers, did astutely observe / lament that unlike most previous, federal level legislation, this time individual rights were restricted rather than expanded.

BTW… time permitting… also give a listen to this alcohol-related, British 1568 folk song… John Barleycorn… traditional arrangement and performance by Willow’s Drum…

While I’d like to believe that the 21st Amendment’s repeal of Prohibition had been to purge Democracy of Theocracy… the un- Constitutional mash-up of church and state… it is far more likely the primary motivation had been… what else… Capitalism. After all, Uncle Sam’s taxation of liquor had been… and still is… enriching.

If you’ve found this Sunday Song Series to have been musically / historically enriching, why not make a pilgrimage back to this site each Sunday?

 

 

 

Everyday Will Be Sunday (Sunday Song Series)

With Passover and Easter both being observed at this time, I figured a spiritual selection would be an apropos addition to our Sunday Song Series… an ongoing mix tape of sorts that we’ve been experiencing for… counting today… 32 weeks.

The dictionary defines Gospel music as…

“A fervent style of black American evangelical religious singing, developed
from spirituals sung in Southern Baptist and Pentecostal churches.”

Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes not only live up to those above words but also amply prove that the soundtrack to organized religion does not, necessarily, need to be subdued and somber to be uplifting.

Even though I believe that religion primarily, truly, dwells within one’s head and heart… i.e., sans any real need for attending services within a brick and mortar church, synagogue, mosque, temple, etc.… well hell… just knowing songs such as Everyday Will Be Sunday are getting sung each sabbath, I could become sufficiently motivated to join such a flock.

And speaking of joining… our Sunday Song Series will be meeting back here seven days from now. I cordially invite you to be part of our ongoing adventure where the phrase… musical diversity… rules supreme.

 

Emotional / Legal Apprehension (Sunday Song Series)

For Week #30 of our Sunday Song Series, we’ll be giving a listen to Oasis. Were we to sum up this English band’s Sunday Morning Call video in just one word, that’d be apprehension… in at least two different connotations of that word.

First… we experience the vegged out, couch confined man’s practically palpable, emotional apprehension as he gets jolted back to reality, jumps out the window and winds up in a run for his life chase scene. Next… we eyewitness his legal apprehension by the authorities. With his life having decidedly taken a turn for the worse, his apprehension can only heighten once he finds himself committed to a mental institution… replete with scenes reminiscent of those portrayed within One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest… both the Ken Kesey 1962 novel and the Jack Nicholson 1975 film adaptation.

The novel / film / music video scenes certainly add depth to this Sunday Morning Call lyrical passage…

and in your head do you feel
what your not supposed to feel
and you take what you want
but you won’t get hope for free
you need more time
because yer thoughts and
words won’t last forever more

To be sure, those final two lines even foreshadow the eventual fate of protagonist Randle Patrick “Mac” McMurphy. I won’t elaborate further for I wouldn’t want to spoil the reading / viewing experience for those who’ve yet to read the book / watch the film.

So… after 30 weeks of Sunday Songs, are you committed to returning for more… oh… say… seven days from now?