SYW: To Be or Not to Be: Is That the Question?

Here are my answers for Melanie’s weekly Share Your World challenge.

SYWSkeletalHand

Questions:

Are we “here” or do we just think we are?  (A metaphysical question today folks.) Can you prove your point of view?
I think we are here and our existence on this tiny blue dot of a planet in the solar system is real. However, there may be alternate versions of us in alternate universes. This is a question explored in quantum physics: of all possible outcomes of any action, does the only one that exists the one we’ve chosen in our current existence’s real time? Perhaps in alternate versions of ourselves, other choices are made and our lives are very different.

I exist and see the world from my own point of view. I interact with others personally, on line, or otherwise, and every individual I come into contact has an impact on my life, however profound or slight.

As for existence after death (this wasn’t part of the question but it represents the future of whether we are “here”), I don’t believe in heaven or hell but neither do I believe in nothing. We are composed of energy which came from the stars created during the Big Bang. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So what happens to the energy within our bodies when we die? It must go somewhere. That is my semi-scientific/semi-religious justification for believing in another existence after our current existence dies. Maybe my energy goes into the formation of a new person on Earth. Or maybe it will travel far and find itself in another being on another planet. Who knows? Many people believe in reincarnation – how that happens may be part of their religious belief. I believe in reincarnation also because I can’t believe in nothingness.

From an identity stand-point, which would be the worst for you personally to lose?  Your face, your body or your voice?    Which do YOU identify with most strongly for your own sense of self?
How do you come up with these questions?? Usually your questions are a lot less profound! I would not want to lose any of those things. If I “lose” my body, then who I am will cease to exist. However, if I lose the ability to USE my body (such as if I become totally paralyzed), I think it would be terrible as long as my brain were still working. Maybe I could learn to use one of those artificial voice translation machines if I couldn’t move, so that I could still communicate. Lose my face – what, from having it destroyed by burning or something? God awful! Burning would be the very worst way to die, in my view. Anyway, without my face, I wouldn’t have eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Maybe it would be better to have all those things but have my body be paralyzed. Because what would I be without any of my senses? When I think of not having a face, I think of ancient sculptures of people whose faces were destroyed by the ravages of time.

Statuette of Queen Sobekneferu, last ruler of the 12th dynasty in ancient Egypt

We see their body but not their face so we never know what they might have looked like. As for my voice, there are a couple of ways of thinking about this: my physical voice, that is, what one hears when I speak or sing; or my voice in the metaphorical sense – having a voice in decisions made, having a voice in who is elected president. We say we have a “voice” when we vote. If I were to lose that kind of voice, it would mean we would be in some sort of dictatorship or autocracy – which could happen if Trump is reelected….but I don’t want to think about that right now! However, if it were just my physical voice, I think I could do without it, because I could still write in order to communicate. However, it would be difficult, because I like to talk and I talk a lot!!

Do you have a ‘song’?  If you’re part of a couple, you could use “your couple’s song” OR a song that’s just always resonated with you.
There are too many songs to think about. So I will just say Unchained Melody, because when I first met my husband, that was the one song he would always want to dance to. So it kind of became “our song.”
Unchained Melody

“Spooky” Halloween Question:  Oooo!  BOO!  

Are ghosts real or has someone been smoking something and just imagines them?
I honestly don’t know. The logical, skeptical part of me says that ghosts or spirits do not exist. However, there is a part of me that believes in them. Maybe that is where our energy goes when we die – into a spirit or “ghost” if you want to call it that. Sometimes when I heard unexplained sounds in the house (my old house had these – where I live now is too small and too new for that), I said there was a ghost in the house. I told my son this when he was young and I got him to really believe it, but I assured him that the ghost was harmless and would never reveal itself to us. Just leave it alone and it will leave us alone. “Our” ghost became a sort of comforting presence!


GRATITUDE SECTION (as always strictly optional)

Please free free to share a moment of gratitude you experienced over the past week.
Hearing my son’s voice on the phone now that he is clean and sober. He’s actually pleasant to talk to when he isn’t depressed or self-medicated and has had something nutritious to eat.

Also I am grateful that the weather has been a little warm again even though it’s been really windy. Today was the last day of that warmth though – tomorrow it is supposed to be 20 degrees cooler and will not get warm again, probably until April!!

Enjoy the balmy beauty while it lasts!!

Song Lyrics Sunday: Where Do the Children Play?

I am copying this narrative from the host of Song Lyrics Sunday challenge because I do not often participate. It’s a fun challenge, though, and the song I chose is one of my favorites.
I, you, we or they do, only he or she does and the past tense of do takes the form did. Do, does and did each have a negative form which is don’t, doesn’t and didn’t and these are contractions. I didn’t like being bitten by the dog or being scratched by the cat. Our Song Lyric Sunday prompt is Did/Didn’t/Do/Don’t/Does/Doesn’t and the grammar lesson is over for today, I think will trigger some interesting songs.
Let’s have some fun today with this challenge. I enjoy seeing all the different songs that everyone contributes, so share your music with others and listen to the music that the others come up with. SLS should be more than just posting a video, so do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post. This could be something as simple as what year the song was written, who wrote it, or did it make the charts? Post a video, show the lyrics, but most important, make sure that you have fun. Try to find a song that fits the prompt, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.
Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

I thought of this Cat Stevens song right away as soon as I read the prompt. He was one of my favorite artists back in the day and I had bought all of the LPs he released (which I no longer have because I got rid of all my vinyl – I think my son has my collection now!).

catstevens_001-2.jpg

Where Do the Children Play? is one of my favorite songs by Cat Stevens. The lyrics are right on the video.

FOTD: Hark, Ye Heralds of Spring!

I was definitely in the mood for spring, but then…
On Sunday – three days ago! – we had a snowstorm! About 3 inches of wet snow fell.

By yesterday, though, the snow was completely gone and the temperature rose to above 70°F! I was able to go out for a walk wearing a t-shirt!  I admired the daffodils along the route, and saw a painted lady butterfly which landed on the daffodils.
20190409_150856I made up a silly song about daffodils. I think of them as heralds of spring because they bloom early and look like trumpets. This is to the tune of the Christmas song, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. (I tried to maintain the rhythm of the song and  rhyme every two lines!)

Hark, ye heralds of the spring!
I just cannot help but sing!
Sun is out and air is warm,
Winter’s gone and spring is born!

Joyfully I walk outside
Everyone I meet says, “Hi!”
Daffodils along my way
Showing off their bright array

With their trumpets they proclaim,
“Flowers, come join our refrain!”
Butterflies and birds and bees
Color everywhere for all to see!

To see lots of spring color, go to Cee’s FOTD 4/18/19.

 

When I’m 64

It’s my birthday today. I’m now the age of that famous Beatles song that has been covered by so many artists. My brother-in-law belongs to a barbershop group, and many times I’ve heard them perform this song. This recording is not my brother-in-law’s group, but instead an international collaboration of When I’m 64….
The singers in the barbershop rendition are:
► Sonny Vande Putte (Belgium) – Lead
► Dieter Verhofstadt (Belgium/Suriname) – Baritone
► Dan Wright (USA) – Tenor
► Julien Neel (France) – Bass

When my husband turned 64, my bro-in-law’s quartet sang this song to him. However, he was lucky because his birthday is on Valentine’s Day and the quartet was out singing to people all over the Northwest suburbs, gifts from their sweethearts. However, today the members of the quartet are all doing something else, including my b-i-l, who’s in Indiana for his grandson’s graduation. So I content myself with renditions on YouTube and reflect on how much of this song really applies to me.

— LYRICS
When I get older
Losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine?
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

If I’d been out
Till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy
Mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride

Doing the garden
Digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight if it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard
Drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely wasting away

Give me your answer
Fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

This song of what one’s life might be like at 64 was a vision of four young men for whom 64 was very far off indeed. Although two of those lads from Liverpool have long passed the age of 64, two, unfortunately, never had a chance to reach that age.

beatles69

When I’m 64 is actually a cute love song. A young man is asking his girlfriend to commit to a long-term relationship. He wants her to grow old with him and imagines a distant future life together, when he is 64 (she is older, too, but her age is unknown/ unimportant) and the things they might enjoy then. He asks her to reflect on whether she wants to have a relationship that will last into old age, whether she’ll be content with an old man, will she still love him.

The interesting things mentioned in this vision of “old age” are accurate in many aspects:

  • A relationship in which the man is older than the woman may become dull after awhile and maybe she will want to seek excitement with a younger man vs. long-lasting love, the dream of most people as they age.
  • An older man  might be handy (stereotype) and be able to fix things around the house for her.
  • The coziness of their empty nest life – she “knits a sweater at the fireside” (another stereotype) and they can go out for drives on a Sunday morning. These are things older people might enjoy more than young people, or that the former have time for and the latter don’t.
  • Gardening – some young people like to garden, but as young adults many don’t have a house of their own or a place to grow plants. When I walk around the neighborhood, who do I see gardening? Usually, but not always, older people! senior-man-gardeningAnd I have a garden now, too, which I started about a decade ago. It’s soothing and satisfying to dig in the dirt, nurturing plants that come up every year, in a predictable cycle. And I appreciate nature much more now than I did when I was young. I pay attention to it now. I even write poetry about it occasionally.
  • A cottage – something my family had for 50 years. 284A cheap vacation, comparatively speaking. Many older people are on fixed incomes, although most 64 year olds who are not comfortable financially are still working.
  • Grandchildren – yes, that is something to be expected at 64 – assuming one has grown children by then – although I have no grandchildren and may never have any. Grandchildren are nice to have, because you can babysit them, enjoy them, but then send them home with their parents afterward! grandma&grandchildrenMost of my friends and contemporaries have grandchildren that they love to indulge and talk about, and show pictures of those sweet youngsters to their friends, that they have stored on their cell phones. I wish I had one or two “on my knee”, to read to, to cuddle with, who would love for me to visit. I do have several grand-nephews and grand-nieces, whose company I enjoy (for a limited time!).

 

Word(s) of the week: Auld Lang Syne

As it is the first day of a new year, I decided to research the meaning and history of the title (and lyrics) of this famous song, sung all over the world on New Year’s Eve.

auld_lang_syne-couple celebrating

Auld Lang Syne is a gift from Scotland to the world. The words to the song were written in the 18th century, but there are several different versions. The lyrics are mainly attributed to Robert Burns robert-burns(1759-1796), Scottish poet, and the original words are written in Scots, a language related to English but with its own pronunciation, form and unique vocabulary. This is why, popular as this song is and sung throughout the world on New Year’s Eve, most people have no idea what the song is about.

Auld lang syne means, roughly, “old long ago.” The song is about retaining old friendships, that whatever happens throughout our lives, we should remember our lifelong friends and hold them dear. This is an appropriate sentiment as we “ring out the old and ring in the new.”

The popularity of Auld Lang Syne has mainly to do with two factors. First, Scotland was influenced by Calvinism (introduced in the 16th century), out of which grew Presbyterianism. These Calvinist Presbyterians, until about 100 years or so ago, did not celebrate Christmas, which they considered “hedonistic” – the holiday’s most popular customs had nothing to do with the birth of Christ and in fact, most scholars believe that Christ was not born in December. Thus, Christmas was more associated with the winter solstice, celebrated by pagans.

RoyalScots-Dunnotar

Thus, in Scotland, the more important holiday of this period came to be New Year’s, or “Hogmanay” as they call it. Auld Lang Syne was thus sung during this time and became connected with New Year’s celebrations. Everyone likes a party, so the song, unintelligible to many people, becomes more so – and sung with more gusto – after one has had a few drinks!

Hogmanay celebration, Edinburgh
Hogmanay celebration, Edinburgh

Torchlight Procession, Edinburgh
Torchlight Procession, Edinburgh

Hogmanay Festival Fireworks
Hogmanay Festival Fireworks

The second factor was the American custom of watching television. The Canadian band leader, Guy Lombardo, broadcast a big band version of the song on New Year’s Eve beginning in 1929 (on the radio) and continued to be a yearly tradition until 1976 (by then broadcast on TV). This created another link to the holiday and became the tradition. What is a New Year’s celebration without singing Auld Lang Syne?

Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians
Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians

So raise your glasses one more time and get ready to sing: here are the words (in Scots, then translated into standard English) of all five verses of Auld Lang Syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, (originally “my jo”)
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp, (pronounced “stoop”)
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wandered mony a weary fit
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidled i’ the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught

For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Auld Lang Syne-words

English translation:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.

(Refrain):
And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago.

And surely you’ll buy your pint-jug!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago.

(Refrain)

We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many the weary foot
Since long, long ago.

(Refrain)

We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since long, long ago.

(Refrain)

And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will
For long, long ago.

(Refrain)

Happy-New-Year-2016

All images downloaded from Google Images.
Web sites used for research:
Vox.com
RobertBurns.org
www.carols.org.uk
www.scotland.org