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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Stay Healthy!


“50 Ways” Not To Leave Your Lover (Sunday Song Series)

My keep a hanky handy advisory accompanies the arrival of week #20 of our Sunday Song Series. That’s because listening to… correction… experiencing Tell Me on a Sunday does have a tendency to tug at the heartstrings… i.e., owing to the fact that music composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyricist Don Black and thespian / vocalist Denise Van Outen have all so proficiently tapped into their own souls and unique skillsets to breath life into “the dots” and words appearing on the musical score.

In doing so they’ve made fully palpable the raw, heartbroken sorrow that goes hand in hand with failed relationships… that is… if “relationships” ever was the applicable word here.

Contrasting with lyricist Paul Simon, who once-upon-a-time mused about the 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, Black’s lyrics tell us precisely how not to. While what Simon says may make it sound so simple… i.e, the manner in which he so flippantly flips it all off… what Black counsels is have a little heart… please?

And while men do get their hearts broken, too, it’s fair to speculate that… disproportionately so… stormy relationships are something women are forced to weather far more often… far too often… once again… if “relationships” ever was the applicable word here.

Of course it might only be a silly macho thing… i.e., society favoring the “strong” silent type… which causes males to be under-counted? But digging deeper into that is best left for a another Sunday / another blog.

Beyond savoring Tell Me on a Sunday based upon the pure artistry, a torch song such as this could also enlighten all… especially in a world full of full of themselves, love ‘em and leave ‘em cads… could well serve as a reminder that the heart is not a toy to be abused, broken and tossed aside. No siree, love should never be a game… if “love” ever was the applicable word here.

The words that are applicable here… it’s likely Ms. Van Outen’s own melancholy memories of love lost which fire the passion in her voice… unleash the rush of raw, frayed feelings from her soul… cause the fought back tears in her eyes. If she has yet to find resolve, one can only hope the everlasting love and respect every human deserves will soon be hers anew.

More applicable words… our Sunday Song Series will return… seven days from now.




Four-Play (Week #13) Thanks for listening!


Welcome to my Internet Blogcast. This week, my show’s four-tracked, musical theme reflects “The End” to my show’s planned 13-week run. While I’ve barely scratched the surface regarding ideas for future programming, past shows’ low ratings simply don’t warrant my continuing on a regular basis.

My special thanks go out to all of the recording artists who have so graciously allowed us YouTube access… permitted us to ear-witness their studio performances and eyewitness them, live, on stage. I want them to know that I am not a freeloader… a very high percentage of the music I’ve featured in my Blogcasts is material I’ve purchased in the vinyl and/or compact disc formats. In fact, some of their music, which I’ve heard online, has even inspired me to go out and purchase what I hadn’t previously included in my vast library.

I also thank the talented YouTube videographers and performers who’ve greatly enhanced all we’ve seen and heard, here.

On a personal note, I thank my sister who… oh so long ago… had encouraged me to have big ears / be musically adventurous.

Last but not least, I thank each and everyone who has listened to, liked, and commented on the twelve previous installments of Four-Play.

Turning now to the routine Blogcast housekeeping duties…

Even though this program comes to an end this week, for as long as WordPress remains on the www, my previous shows will remain neatly archived in my music category. Who knows… since it’s oft been said that “Nothing ever dies on the Internet”, what I’ve created, here, might even outlive both WordPress and me.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, this day, click that “Like” Star. Of course, comments, as always, are welcome, too!

Thanks again for listening… I hope… in some small way… that my Blogcasts have made a difference in your lives. Take care!


Who ~ The Song Is Over

Sha Na Na ~ Only One Song

(Cover) Alice In Chains ~ Don’t Follow

Paul Simon ~ The Sound Of Silence (9/11/2011)

Simon and Garfunkel ~ The Sound Of Silence (original studio recording)