Let’s Take A Moment Day 335

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Hearts

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh

That is one of my favorite poems by William Butler Yates. And despite being entitled “A Drinking Song”, I think of it more as a poem about life and love.

As for all I shall know for truth at this point in my life: .

Love is the answer, as John Lennon so eloquently put it, And love, of any kind and in any form, is all you need.

Music is at the heart of love. Both heal & speak to the soul.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy
“.

Happy Hearts Club

The Beatles in 1967 (L-R): Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “All You Need Is Love” (1967, written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 308

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

4951d9fdd4e4d3c05a376ab06815412c

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Many admirers of civil rights activist & Baptist minister Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., campaigned for years to make his birthday a federal holiday. King, who was born January 15, 1929 and led the fight for racial equality through nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work & leadership by example.

One of the people who worked for King’s recognition was Stevie Wonder. He wrote a song in 1980 about King’s birthday to help get the word out about the proposed holiday. When it finally happened in 1986, Wonder celebrated by hosting a concert in Washington, D.C. That city’s National Mall became home to a memorial dedicated to King in 2011. His words proved to be as valuable as his actions as their power continues to influence generations more than 50 years after his death. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “Only in the darkness can you see the stars”. Today we remember Dr. King born 92 years ago with a song from one of his biggest supporters.

A boy is born in hard time Mississippi
Surrounded by four walls that ain’t so pretty
His parents give him love and affection
To keep him strong, moving in the right direction
Living just enough, just enough for the city
“.

Stevie

Stevie Wonder circa 1986 after King’s birthday was declared a federal holiday. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Stevie Wonder: “Living For The City” (1973, written by Stevie Wonder).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 291

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Happy New Year, everyone. Thanks for spending the last one with me. Glad to have you along for the new one ahead. I wish you all love, peace, health, happiness, grace, safety & great music in 2021.

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good
“.

Nina Simone

Nina Simone’s 1965 album features today’s song. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Nina Simone: “Feeling Good” (1965, written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 290

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

New Year's Eve

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Here we are-New Year’s Eve of 2020. How far away this day seemed over nine months ago when we were plunged into quarantine here in the United States after watching what the pandemic did to Italy and other countries first. And the year just went downhill from there. But as much as I do welcome a new one after the bad one we had, I cannot help but feel thankful for the gifts of 2020. For all the craziness we faced, we also received the chance to slow down. A year ago life for many of us was more or less a to do list. Once all the ballast of everyday life was gone, we were given the gift of just being present. Life became about the basics: home, family, staying safe, having enough food & supplies to stay comfortable & helping each other, especially those who were the most vulnerable. We also revisited our ideas about what work was essential and what was not, who the real everyday heroes truly are and how much we all owe them.

Of course it has not been easy and many things we took for granted will hopefully be cherished once they resume, And even though we finally arrived at this last day, things will not suddenly be OK once the clock strikes midnight. We are still dealing with a lot and that will not change in a split second. But it will be a new day in a new month of a new year. In year’s prior that always made me feel invigorated with a clean slate ahead of me. I do not expect that to change this year. New days, new seasons, new opportunities, new moments. That is what I look forward to the most every year starting on this night.

So that is why I chose today’s song by Eric Clapton. It was recorded in 1970 but not released until his 1988 boxed set collection, “Crossroads”. He has done a few different versions of this J.J. Cale song over the years but today’s is absolutely the best one. Clapton singing & playing guitar is perfection, but add horns to the mix and even God calls it heaven.

We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
We’re gonna give an exhibition
We’re gonna find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
“.

Eric_Clapton_Album_Cover

Eric Clapton’s 1970 Self Titled Debut Album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “After Midnight” (1970, written by J.J. Cale).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 284

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Peace On Earth

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Merry Christmas to all. I usually reserve “Joy To The World” for today, and despite the fact that it is indeed a joyous holiday, for this year I thought a song about peace would serve us all better. For our minds & bodies, for our hearts and spirits, for our country & our world, may “peace on earth, good will towards men” begin on this Christmas Day and await us all in the new year.

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can
“.

Bowie Crosby

David Bowie (L) and Bing Crosby (R) in 1977. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bing Crosby & David Bowie: “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” (Recorded live during “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” TV special in 1977. “The Little Drummer Boy” written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. “Peace On Earth” written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman and Alan Kohan in 1977).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 283

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 24

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

It goes without saying that Aretha Franklin could sing anything, yet she waited over 45 years in to her career to release an album of seasonal music with 2008’s “This Christmas Aretha”. The record included several spiritual tracks that were reflective of Franklin’s gospel roots. Between her incomparable voice, her interpretation of the lyrics and the absolutely gorgeous arrangements, the entire album is simply stunning. But since today is Christmas Eve, I think this song is the best choice to celebrate this glorious day of the year.

‘Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
“.

Aretha

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Aretha Franklin: “Silent Night” (2008, written by Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 282

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 23

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Elvis Presley is The King, but even he had his own definition of cool. You know what, rather who, that was? Dean Martin. Perhaps that is how he earned the name “The King Of Cool”. His charm, charisma, swoon worthy handsome face and gregarious personality helped him earn this title but as a fellow Italian I can’t help but think his ancestry had a lot to do with it as well. His suave, dreamy persona came through in every song he sang, including today’s holiday pick.

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa’s big scene
And above all
This bustle you’ll hear
“.

Dean

Dean Martin circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dean Martin: “Silver Bells” (1966, written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 281

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 22

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today’s song has the distinction of being featured at the end of two Christmas classics: “It’s A Wonderful Life” & “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. And today’s singer’s rendition is one of the best out there. He may be known as the premier voice of the season for his iconic version of “The Christmas Song” , but nearly every holiday song Nat King Cole recorded in his lifetime is a treasure. He was one of the earliest entertainers who used his talents as a singer, songwriter & musician and turned it into a brand. His TV show was one of the first of its kind in entertainment and he was the first black artist to host his own series. His sound infused jazz & pop while his appeal as an artist helped him cross over into film & Broadway as well. All of that made him one of the most successful, original, charismatic artists of all time. And a staple every Christmas season.

Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
“.

Nat_King_Cole

Nat King Cole circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Nat King Cole: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (1960, based on a 1739 Christmas carol with various writers including Charles Wesley and George Whitefield).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 280

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 21

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

There is so much to love about the movie “Elf” from Will Farrell’s portrayal of Buddy, the man-child Santa’s helper of The North Pole, the supporting cast, the fact that most of it takes place in NYC and so on. But the music is a huge part of the story as well. I love that it is a grown-up soundtrack. That was also the approach “A Charlie Brown Christmas” took with its music when it introduced children to contemporary jazz through holiday songs. Many of the tracks were written specifically for the TV special (most notably “Christmas Time Is Here”, “Skating” & “Linus & Lucy”) while it ended with a traditional carol (“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”).

Elf did not use any original tunes but it made up for it in the artists which were included in the film. It gave us powerhouses like Louis Prima (yes, “Pennies From Heaven” is not a Christmas song but it worked so well in the scene, plus how many contemporary soundtracks feature this incredibly talented man?), Stevie Wonder (“What Christmas Means To Me”), Jim Reeves (“Jingle Bells”) & The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, with today’s pick. Any movie that introduces a new generation to this woman is one everyone should see.

Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we
We’re snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be
Let’s take that road before us and sing a or two
Come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
“.

Ella

Lady Ella Fitzgerald circa 1945. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “Sleigh Ride” (1960, written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 279

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 20

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Ray Charles singing any song is magic. Ray Charles singing any song related to Christmas is heaven.

Gone away is the bluebird
Here to stay is the new bird
He sings a love song
As we go along
Walkin’ in a winter wonderland
“.

Ray Charles backstage San Francisco 12/5/71 
sheet 905 frame 25a

Ray Charles circa 1970. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “Winter Wonderland” (1985, written by Felix Bernard and Richard Bernhard Smith).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.