Song Lyric Sunday

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday this week asks for submissions containing one of the words Blossom/Cherry/Flowers in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

Here is an “oldie but goodie” by Canadian band Skylark from 1972: Wildflower. As I was listening to it, it became familiar to me in the refrain “She’s a lady/she’s a child” and “she’s a free and gentle flower.” I remember liking the song but didn’t remember much more than that part of the refrain. It’s one of those songs that gets in my head but is frustrating because I can’t remember the rest of the song!

She’s faced the hardest times you could imagine
And many times her eyes fought back the tears
And when her youthful world was about to fall in
Each time her slender shoulders bore the weight of all her fears
And a sorrow no one hears
Still rings in midnight silence in her ears

Let her cry, for she’s a lady (She’s a lady)
Let her dream, for she’s a child (Child)
Let the rain fall down upon her
She’s a free and gentle flower growing wild

And if by chance I should hold her (If by chance that I should hold her)
Let me hold her for a time (Let me hold her for a time)
But if allowed just one possession
I would pick her from the garden to be mine (I would pick her from the garden to be mine)

Mm-mm-mm, mm-mm
Be careful how you touch her, for she’ll awaken
And sleep’s the only freedom that she knows
And when you walk into her eyes, you won’t believe
The way she’s always payin’ for a debt she never owes
And a silent wind still blows
That only she can hear, and so she goes

Let her cry, for she’s a lady
Let her dream, for she’s a child
Let the rain fall down upon her
She’s a free and gentle flower growing wild

Let her cry, for she’s a lady (She’s a lady)
Let her dream, for she’s a child
Let the rain fall down upon her
She’s a free and gentle flower growing wild
She’s a flower growing wild
She’s free

History of the song Wildflower
Wildflower was written by Doug Edwards and David Richardson in 1972. Edwards was a member of the Canadian band Skylark, which first recorded the song. Since then, it has been covered many times and recently has been sampled in several hip hop songs. Edwards composed the song after reading Richard’s poem.

Capitol Records signed the band and Wildflower was included in their first album, named simply Skylark. Donny Gerrard was the vocalist for the song, which was also released as a single, but was not successful at first. It was played on a single radio station in Windsor, Ontario, CKLW. Capitol then decided to release it in neighboring Detroit as a regional release, where it became a huge soul hit before crossing over to the pop charts nationally. Wildflower spent 21 weeks on the Billboard pop chart and became very popular in Canada also, where it reached number 10 on the RPM Top Singles chart. Total sales of the single exceeded one million copies, so it was included on Skylark’s second album as well. In the end, it was the only Skylark song that made the pop charts in the United States. Its peak position in 1973 was 65 on Australia’s pop charts, 23 on the Dutch Top 40, 10 on Canada’s RPM Top Singles and number 1 on RPM Adult Contemporary chart.

Several R&B groups and singers have covered Wildflower, including Color Me Badd, Hank Crawford, Johnny Mathis, Lisa Fischer, Gary Morris, New Birth, The O’Jays and Silk. New Birth’s version added a more instrumentally complex introduction and other enhancements, and became a hit in its own right, making the R&B singles chart’s top 20 in 1974.

Source: WIkipedia, Wildflower (Skylark song)

Meaning of the song Wildflower
Wildflower is about the struggles and emotions of young womanhood. The central character in the song is a young woman who has survived very difficult times, much harder than a woman of her age should have to bear. “Wildflower” alludes to the person being able to grow through her struggle without help. She has been alone and can hardly hold back tears because no one knows or cares about her pain.

The solution is for her to have a chance to let out her emotions and pursue her dreams without any fear. “Letting the rain fall down upon her” means showering her with love and affection. The singer expresses how precious she is, and if she gives him the chance, he will try to make her his. Her emotions are delicate and the writer warns others to be careful how they treat her. She needs to be free for awhile.

The problems she has suffered were not caused by her; she is a loving and caring person who is affected by other people’s problems, and wants to help solve them.

The writer of the poem, David Richardson, says he was inspired by a nurse he was dating. He found her on the brink of tears one night, because two of her patients that she had become close to had died that day. He listened to her as she let out all her pain.

Ultimately, the song focuses on the strength with which this woman faces her problems. It also urges people to be sensitive of the needs of others and to give them a shoulder to lean on in hard times.

Source: “Wildflower” by Skylark

SLS: Clear

Clear is a song by Needtobreathe, which perfectly suits the Song Lyrics Sunday prompt of Clear/Dark/Light.

You are the moonlight in the sky that I’m pursuing
You are the reason for what I’m doing
You are the crystalline that keeps me from my ruin
You are the movement
You’re the true north pointing back home
You are the constant, my constellation
You’re the steady hands of a ticking clock that I’ll come to rely on
Oh, it’s so clear come a little closer all of my love is right here
I just want to hear you whispering you still trust
You’re the only thing that I have ever been sure of
I just wanna be where you are
I promise I won’t let you down
Honey, it’s so clear now
You are the four winds
You’re the catalyst of high hopes
You are the beauty
The sparks revival
You are the oxygen inside these lungs that’s giving life to my bones
Oh, it’s so clear
Come a little closer all of my love is right here
I just want to hear you whispering you still trust
You’re the only thing that I have ever been sure of
I just wanna be where you are I promise I won’t let you down
Honey, it’s so clear now
Oh, it’s so clear come a little closer
All of my love is right here
I just want to hear you whispering you still trust
You’re the only thing that I have ever been sure of
I just wanna be where you are I promise I won’t let you down
Honey, it’s so clear now
Honey, it’s so clear now
It’s so clear now
I promise I won’t let you down
Honey, it’s so clear now
Honey, it’s so clear now
Honey, it’s so clear now
It feels like heaven is coming down
It’s right here with me its all around
I once was so lost but I am found
When I’m with you
No ones watching the way you move
Your body’s dancing under the moon
You always know just what to do
When I’m with you
When I’m with you
When I’m with you
When I’m with you

Before I started looking for a song with this prompt, I had never heard of this song or the band, either, but I liked the song immediately. Clear is on the band’s album Hard Love, which was released on July 15, 2016. Atwood Magazine: For the Love of Music describes the song as being about a man who is following a guiding light, most likely a person. The lyrics explain that because of that guide, he will be there for others and will not let them down. His love has affected him in the most positive ways. With the addition of the background chorus, the song becomes inspirational.

Needtobreathe’s bass guitarist Seth Bolt wrote this song for his wife, Tori, just before their marriage in 2016. Seth Bolt told iHeartRadio, “I just got married a month ago, so it was really personal for me. It was really cool to get to surprise my wife and have it be the song we dance to as our first dance at our wedding. It’s a long song just about the depth and the beauty love can have. I was working on this with the guys literally two weeks before I got married. So never have I had the opportunity to craft a song that I knew was going to be played at my wedding.” (Source)

Faith is a frequent topic for Needtobreathe, who convey a message that is easy to relate to. Hard Love was the band’s sixth studio album and dealt with the hardships of being on the road day in and day out and tells of the band’s efforts to maintain their relationships while on the road. It illuminates the power of getting through adversity and the ability to rise above it.

According to Southern Living, Needtobreathe’s music is usually classified as “Christian Rock” because there is a hint of spirituality in their music and they were inspired by gospel music when they were growing up in South Carolina. Band leaders Bo and Bear Rinehart said they grew up playing music in their dad’s church – their father was a pastor. However, Needtobreathe believes their music has a wider appeal and want to break out of the “Christian Rock” genre label.

Clear is truly a beautiful love song, which should appeal anyone who has ever had a “great love.”

Song Lyrics Sunday: Spices

Jim Adams’ topic for this week’s Song Lyrics Sunday is spices/seasonings.

Thanks you, Jim! I get to report about one of my favorite songs as well as many of my favorite spices which are in the song!

I grew up with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Doors, and Simon and Garfunkel. While I love many of the latter’s songs, my favorite is Scarborough Fair/Canticle. It conjures up memories, emotions, places – it gives me goosebumps! I like the juxtaposition of the two songs and how they work so well together.

Lyrics:

Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt (On the side of a hill in the deep forest green).
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground).
Without no seams nor needlework (Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain).
Then she’ll be a true love of mine (Sleeps unaware of the clarion call).

Tell her to find me an acre of land (On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves).
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (Washes the ground with so many tears).
Between the salt water and the sea strand (A soldier cleans and polishes a gun).
Then she’ll be a true love of mine. (Sleeps unaware of the clarion call).

Tell her to reap it in a sickle of leather (War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions).
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (Generals order their soldiers to kill).
And to gather it all in a bunch of heather (And to fight for a cause they’ve long ago forgotten).
Then she’ll be a true love of mine.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine.

Known by its refrain of spices “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,” Scarborough Fair is actually a traditional English ballad dating from the 18th century. Its based on an old Scottish folk song The Elfin King. It was performed or recorded by a number of musicians, including British folk song collector and singer A.L. Lloyd in 1955 on his album The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Paul Simon learned it from Martin Carthy, an English folksinger, in 1965. Carthy had learned the melody from a songbook by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger and included it in his 1965 album Martin Carthy. Also, Bob Dylan borrowed some of the melody and lyrics from Carthy’s version for his song Girl From the North Country, which appeared on four of his albums.

Canticle is a reworking of the lyrics of an anti-war song called The Side of a Hill, written by Simon, and set to a new melody by his partner, Art Garfunkel. They then brilliantly weave the two songs together.

Scarborough Fair/Canticle was the lead track on Simon and Garfunkel’s 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and was released as a single after appearing on the soundtrack to the movie The Graduate. The copyright for the song was listed on the album only as Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel, which was resented by Carthy, who thought the “traditional” source should have been credited. The rift remained until 2000, when Simon invited Carthy to perform a duet with him at a concert in London. Simon performed the song with the Muppets when he was guest star on The Muppets Show.

For more details about the history of Scarborough Fair, see the Wikipedia article of the same name.
For a discussion of the musical structure of Scarborough Fair/Canticle and its place in popular music of the 1960s, see William Hume’s 2018 article.

Song Lyric Sunday: The Promise of Living

Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday this week has the theme Promise/Vow/Oath.

This is a song from The Tender Land by Aaron Copland, “The Promise of Living.” Our church choir sang it a couple of years ago for the funeral of the grandfather of one of our members. The fact that I have this personal connection to the piece is the reason I chose it. This recording is by one of my favorite choirs, Angel City Chorale, with full orchestration, although it is often performed with piano accompaniment, which is what our choir had.

Lyrics:

The promise of living with hope and thanksgiving
Is born of our loving our friends and our labor.

The promise of growing with faith and with knowing
Is born of our sharing our love with our neighbor.

The promise of loving, the promise of growing
Is born of our singing in joy and thanksgiving.

For many a year we’ve know these fields
And know all the work that makes them yield.
We’re ready to work, we’re ready to lend a hand.
By working together we’ll bring in the blessings of harvest.

We plant each row with seeds of grain,
And Providence sends us the sun and the rain.
By lending a hand, by lending an arm
Bring out the blessings of harvest.

Give thanks there was sunshine, give thanks there was rain,
Give thanks we have hands to deliver the grain.

O let us be joyful, O let us be grateful to the Lord for his blessing.

The promise of living, the promise of growing
The promise of ending is labor and sharing and loving.

Copland’s 1954 opera, The Tender Land, evokes the dignity and meaningfulness of labor. The librettist was Horace Everett, a pseudonym for Erik Johns. Farming – cultivating the soil of America’s heartland and reaping the benefits of its harvest for a balanced and fulfilling life are central to the opera’s theme. It tells the story of a farm family in the Midwest in the 1930s during the spring harvest and the protagonist’s graduation from high school. Copland was inspired to write the opera after seeing Walker Evans’ photographs of the Depression era and reading James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

Unfortunately, the opera was not a success. It was written for NBC’s Television Opera Workshop and rejected by network producers, perhaps because of the weakness of its characters and plot. It premiered at New York City Opera on April 1, 1954, but the work was intended for the intimacy of television and didn’t translate well to the stage.

In spite of its lack of success, it’s kind of amazing that television networks at one time commissioned composers to write operas for TV. At the time, both CBS and NBC had their own in-house orchestras. It was the time when an operetta written for the Christmas season, Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti, enjoyed tremendous success and was shown every Christmas season throughout the 1950s and early 1960s to the great enjoyment of the TV viewing public. (I remember watching Amahl every year on TV – it was a tradition in our house – and my siblings and I can still sing much of it by heart!) NBC Television Opera produced several other operas for TV in the period between 1949 and 1964.

Copland and Johns made revisions to the opera, including expanding Act II. The composer agreed to let Murry Sidlin rescore the work for fewer instruments for a production in New Haven in 1987, a staging that ran for 50 performances. Two of Copland’s Old American Songs were added to the central party scene.  A 1965 concert version of the work (i.e. unstaged) was released by Sony on CD.

In 1958, Copland turned the opera’s music into an orchestral suite. Here is the link to the orchestral version of The Promise of Living: https://youtu.be/uyDljV1-BSc.

The music starts softly, like the awakening of early morning with the birds singing, and unfolds into a majestic hymn of thanksgiving. The final chord encompasses the full range of the orchestra, just as the final chord in the vocal version ends dramatically with the entire choir singing fortissimo.

 

The information above was obtained from The Promise of Living: Copland for Labor Day by Timothy Judd and Wikipedia, The Tender Land.

 

 

Song Lyrics Sunday: Send In the Clowns

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday this week asks for songs with one (or more) of these prompt words:
Give/Get/Take/Receive/Send

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This doesn’t fit in exactly with the “cash and flowers” idea that Jim talks about, but Send in the Clowns is such a beautiful song, although sad. My favorite version is sung by Barbra Streisand, a singer whose voice I’ve always loved. (When my son was a baby, he heard a Barbra Streisand song and was captivated!)

Send in the Clowns lyrics:
Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,
Where are the clowns?
Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns?
Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here
Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year

The song was written by Stephen Sondheim for the musical A Little Night Music (1973), which was an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles of a Summer Night. The song is sung by the character Desirée, who is reflecting on the disappointments and ironies of her life. Many years before, during a period where her passions were theater and men, she flitted from man to man. She met Fredrik, who fell deeply in love with her, but she rejected his marriage proposal. Years later, when they meet again, she introduces him to her adolescent daughter, “Fredrika” (he doesn’t know yet that Fredrika is his daughter). By this time, she has become more mature and has realized she is in love with him, but this time Fredrik rejects her. He has married a much younger woman, and although their marriage is unconsummated, when Desirée suggests marriage to get him out of the situation, he rejects her due to his loyalty to his young bride. Desirée sings Send In the Clowns in reaction to his rejection. Later the young bride runs off with Fredrik’s son and he is finally free to accept Desirée’s offer, and the song is reprised.

A-Little-Night-Music-at-Signature-Theatre-Photo-by-Paul-Tate-DePoo-III
Holly Twyford as Desiree in the Signature Theatre production of A Little Night Music.

Sondheim wrote this song especially for Glynis Johns, who played the role of Desirée on Broadway. Johns had a nice voice but was not good at long, sustaining notes, so Sondheim wrote the song with short phrases in the form of questions. It became his most popular song after it was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1973 and Judy Collins’ version made the charts in 1975 and 1977. It was covered by many other artists after that, including Barbra Streisand on her LP The Broadway Album.

The clowns in the title do not refer to circus clowns. It is a theater term – Desirée is an actress – which means “if the show’s not going well, let’s send in the clowns,” i.e. “let’s tell some jokes.” Clowns, then, takes the meaning “fools.”  In a 2008 interview, Sondheim clarified: “As I think of it now, the song could have been called ‘Send in the Fools’. I knew I was writing a song in which Desirée is saying, ‘aren’t we foolish’ or ‘aren’t we fools?’ Well, a synonym for fools is clowns, but ‘Send in the Fools’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.”

Judi Dench, who played the role in London (and YouTube has a concert recording of Dench singing the song) commented in an interview that A Little Night Music is “a dark play about people who, at the beginning, are with wrong partners and in the end it is hopefully going to become right, and she (Desirée) mistimes her life in a way and realizes when she re-meets the man she had an affair with and had a child by (though he does not know that), that she loves him and he is the man she wants.”

Information about Send In the Clowns obtained from Wikpedia.

 

Cashews, Chocolate, Clowns and Other Topics

Melanie B. Cee created 11 questions to fulfill the requirements for the Sunshine Blogger Award and has opened them up to whoever wishes to answer them. So here they are, followed by my answers.

1. Have you ever made a decision that changed your entire life?

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A “selfie” my son took at Mont-St-Michel in France

Yes, (and at the risk of sounding cliché) deciding to have a child. I was in an unhappy and lonely marriage. I became convinced at the ripe old age of 32 that I could never get pregnant, so at the time of the month that I calculated I was most fertile, I “seduced” my husband. And guess what? I got pregnant! Although our son’s coming into the world propped up our marriage for a couple of years, when he was six, we got divorced. I was a single mom for a few years, then remarried – this time happily. My second husband had a daughter from his previous marriage, so we ended up with a “blended” family and contented ourselves with that since we didn’t want to have a child together by that stage in our lives. However, my son did change my whole life because he will always be a part of it. And because he often calls me to ask for money! :-}

2. What time of the day do you feel the most energetic and what do you usually do in those moments?
Afternoons. That’s when I get my butt over to the fitness center, take a walk or clean up the house or whatever. I like evenings, which is when I multitask: doing some artwork while watching the news shows on TV. (I guess “listening to” the news shows would be more accurate.) Two of my drawings and two mandala coloring book pages show how I spend many evenings.


3. What could you spend all day talking about?
Travel. Where I’ve been, where other people have been, and travel plans for the future. There are a lot of other things I could talk about for a long time (I’m known as being a person who talks too much!) but travel was the first thing that came into my head.

4. If you were a band, what type of music would you play?

lindor truffles
Lindor truffles are one of my favorite candies!

Some sort of international fusion with a good beat. Musicians that are classically trained but are versatile enough to play different kinds of music and to experiment with different instruments. When I was younger, I wanted to be an ethnomusicologist!

5. What’s your favorite type of candy?

Almost anything with chocolate in it. But please no peanut butter! Peanut butter belongs on a sandwich, not in sweets!

6. How do you feel about clowns?
I think they are – or should be seen as – funny. My motto for this is: “Make Clowns Funny Again!” They were never meant to be scary and then horror movies made clowns – and DOLLS – frightening. That was, is, a terrible trend! Clowns (and dolls) should be entertaining and fun. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to recapture that childhood innocence that made us curious and delighted by the world?!clown

7. What have you forgotten? If you can remember it….
I forget stuff all the time. It’s getting worse as I get older, but because I have ADHD, I have always had memory problems. The good thing about this is that the experience has made me develop strategies to remember things – post-it notes and Google calendars are my saviors!

8. What’s an obscure food that you’ve eaten that most people have never tried?
Cashew fruit (or “cashew apple” as it’s called in English, although it bears little resemblance to an apple) – it’s rather fibrous, but some people can make a rather tasty juice out of it. There are also several recipes online. I tried it when I lived in northeastern Brazil, where the “largest cashew tree in the world” is located. Note: the cashew nut that most people are familiar with is just at the floral end of this fruit. I’m posting a photo so you can see what a cashew looks like.
cashew apples

9. What’s the most creative excuse you ever made up?

I can’t remember (that’s not the creative excuse – but it’s a fact).

10. What’s the worst topping to put on ice cream?

Is there such a thing as a peanut butter topping? If not, I guess I’d say gravy!

 

11. What’s the worst song lyric you ever heard?
Because it’s the Christmas season, holiday songs fill my head. I heard a terrible Christmas song on the radio the other day, but I told Dale to change the station halfway through – I think the title was something like “Candy Cane Lane.” It was probably the worst Christmas song I’d ever heard.  But here’s one I really don’t like that our community choir had to sing in our concert last week. These are the words but the melody wasn’t much better!
At Christmas Time – words by Clara B. Heath
At Christmas time! At Christmas time!
At Christmas time, we deck the hall
with holly branches brave and tall.
At Christmas time, we deck the hall
with holly branches brave and tall.
With sturdy pine and hemlock bright
and in the Yule log’s dancing light
we tell old tales of field and fight.
At Christmas time! At Christmas time!
At Christmas time, we pile the board
with flesh and fruit and vintage stored.
At Christmas time, we pile the board
with flesh and fruit and vintage stored.
And mid the laughter and the glow
we tread a measure soft and slow
and kiss beneath the mistletoe.
At Christmas time! At Christmas time!
At Christmas time!
emoji with tongue out
Yuck!

SYW Holiday Edition: On Beating the Holiday Blues, Jolly Jolt, Jesus’ Birth, and Christmas Music

Melanie’s weekly Share Your World this week is about celebration of the winter holidays.

Questions:
What’s your remedy for the Holiday blues?
Sing carols or if singing is not your thing, listen to cheerful holiday music. Go to a light show at your local botanic garden or zoo or wherever there is a holiday light show. Stay inside, curl up near the fireplace (or some other warm spot in your home) with a hot beverage and read a good book.
reading by the fire with hot chocolate.jpg
Your favorite beverage (if it differs) during the holiday season? If it doesn’t differ, just answer the ‘what’s your favorite beverage” part.
In our family, the tradition is to serve “jolly jolt” on Christmas – this is hot apple cider with cinnamon and cloves, and possibly spiked with a bit of liquor – this is added to taste (rum, vodka, brandy, wine), so the children can enjoy jolly jolt without the liquor!
This one has been asked before, but what’s your take on pumpkin spice?
I like pumpkin spice, as in cake or cookies.
Is there is a person or god connected with your holiday?
Yes, the “son of God” or Jesus Christ. As a Christian, I was raised that “Jesus is the reason for the season” and while I do believe that and I love to celebrate and put up a creche or nativity scene in my house, I don’t actually believe literally in the story of Jesus’ birth. It just doesn’t make sense to me that three wise men followed a star or comet that led them to his birthplace or that angels appeared to shepherds and told them to go to Bethlehem to worship him.
jesus-birth.jpgI’m not even sure that he was born in Bethlehem, although I did go to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem last January and was just as excited as anyone to see the place where he was supposedly born. In my opinion, Jesus was just a baby, born like any other baby and probably “worshipped” only by his parents and other family members. But it doesn’t matter – the Christmas story is symbolic and it is the spirit of the holiday that counts. As well as all the traditions having nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, such as Christmas trees, decorations, snow, etc. I enjoy giving gifts and also receiving them and I enjoy singing carols and spreading the love of the season to others. Love, family, friends – that is what Christmas is all about.
• Who are they and do you believe in them?
I do believe in Jesus Christ but not as literally the “son of God.” He had an earthly father and mother and was conceived like any other baby. Call me blasphemous, but that’s what I believe. He was a man of peace, a very pious Jew who nevertheless challenged the Jewish establishment; he was the Messiah, as it were. But to me he isn’t technically a god.
• If you do not believe in these people or gods, does the celebration/honoring of that being, bother you in any way (e.g., ignored, dismissed, angry, etc.)?
I believe in freedom of religion and respect everyone’s faith or lack thereof. My husband is Jewish and every year is bothered by the onslaught of commercialism and Christmas-in-your-face from October through December. I sympathize with his feelings in spite of thoroughly enjoying the season myself.

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My husband has this bumper sticker on his car; I used to also, on my old car, but have not bought a new one for my new car.

Gratitude:
Share a song that you enjoy during this Winter season (whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa and so forth.
It’s hard to choose just one. I enjoy Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs, and many secular songs of the season. I guess my favorites are Angels We Have Heard on High and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, as well as the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah. As a classical music lover, I enjoy Handel’s Messiah and other oratorios of the season, as well as madrigal groups singing medieval and Renaissance carols. I also enjoy singing a Christmas cantata every year in my church choir as well as the traditional carols and secular songs.

 

Here is a nice French carol sung sweetly by a children’s choir: He Is Born, the Divine Christ Child.

This song, Lead Me Back to Bethlehem, is from the cantata our church choir sang last year,  (but this is a different choir – we don’t sound this good!!) – I loved singing this cantata, called Lead Me Back to Bethlehem by Pepper Choplin.
https://youtu.be/vwWt-e1–xs

 

 

 

SoCS: Dream Is the Stuff of Songs & Snow

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is a weekly writing challenge hosted by blogger Linda G. Hill. There is a simple prompt or theme and you just write whatever comes into your head – no editing! Except typos. I rarely participate in Stream of Consciousness Saturday, but as I was reading other participants’ contributions, I decided to try it. When I read the prompt – “dream” – my mind immediately began thinking of song lyrics. Also vacations.

Somebody spoke and I went into a dream. Dream a little dream of me. Dre-e-e-eam, dream, dream, dream. Michigan seems like a dream to me now. All of these phrases from songs came into my head when I thought about dream. Perhaps it’s because I’ve just done a post for Song Lyrics Sunday and have listened to a lot of songs. I personally dream of taking a trip to somewhere warm, far from this frigid Midwestern November. Today would have been my ex-husband’s 70th birthday, but he died at 54, and our relationship seems like only a dream to me now. I read old journals and look at old pictures of us together and I can’t believe I ever loved that man and whether I did or not, I spent 20 years with him. Ironically, he was born and raised in a tropical country but hated the heat – and was always willing to go out and shovel snow! I, who was born and raised in Wisconsin, have had quite enough of snow and cold.

Michigan seems like a dream to me now – I don’t have many memories of Michigan but the sentiment is how I feel about the past. Past relationships, past destinations, they are all dreams to me now. I am still blogging about our trip to Europe last summer even though that too seems like a dream. It no longer seems real – but the pictures tell me it was. I enjoy immersing myself in those memories. It’s hard to imagine now that while we were there, Europe had a heat wave that to us Midwestern Americans felt like a normal summer, but the Europeans normally don’t have such hot weather. Hot weather – that too is a dream as I sense how cold my hands are typing this. My present is what I live every day and dreams are what enter my mind at night. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas – well, yes, but I never dream of a white November! Maybe after Christmas, a trip to somewhere warm might be nice! One can always dream!!

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Looking out the window of a friend’s apartment on Nov. 11 – our Veteran’s Day snowstorm!

Fotunately, the snow itself is practically only a dream now: for a few days, nothing melted because of below freezing temperatures, but now, nearly a week later, only small patches of snow remain to remind us of our Veteran’s Day snowstorm!