Let’s Take A Moment Day 420

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?

May blog 2021

(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.

Happy birthday to the man born Paul Hewson who we call Bono. He was born May 10, 1960 in Ireland & conquered the world as a humanitarian and as the lead singer of the iconic rock band, U2. I must admit I was not a fan right away when the group’s first album came out in 1980. Their music was a hybrid of punk, new wave, rock & politics, leaving me a tad confused & wary.

But I kept listening to U2’s songs on the radio and watching their videos to see how they evolved. Finally in 1987 I was swayed to their fan base with the release of “The Joshua Tree” album. Since then I have enjoyed most of their songs & watched them take their rightful place in music history as one of the best bands of all time. But more importantly all four original members have stayed together for 45 years. And that makes them rock & roll royalty. Happy birthday, Bono.

Home hard to know what it is
If you’ve never had one
Home I can’t say where it is
But I know I’m going home
“.

u2

U2 at their Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in 2005 (L-R: Larry Mullens Jr, Adam Clayton, Bono & The Edge. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2: “Walk On” (2000, written by U2: Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr).

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 272

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 12 1AA

(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 been called “the antidote to cheery holiday songs”, “thoroughly depressing” & “a sad Christmas song” by the writer herself, Joni Mitchell. I grew up with Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” so I thought I was already well versed in a not so happy holiday tune about heartbreak. Wrong. Presley’s is sad without question, but Mitchell’s original rendition is just desolating. The stark beauty of her voice & the piano accompaniment just squeezes my soul and wrings every emotion out of it. When Meg Ryan quoted from it in 1998’s “You’ve Got Mail” because her business was failing and she missed her late mother, just the mere mention of the lyrics made me weep.

The song is Mitchell’s second most recorded track (close to 500 covers, behind even more for “Both Sides Now”) and I have not heard most of them, but I am still pretty sure today’s version would be in the top five. The cello arrangement is absolutely stunning on its own, but combined with the singer’s pensive tone it turns the song from just sad to hauntingly beautiful.

I was introduced to it by one of my most active readers, Michael, and I will be forever grateful for his input. Today’s version is by Robert Downey Jr. who performed it as Larry Paul, the love interest of the title character in season 4 of “Ally McBeal”. I loved that show and Downey so much I still do not know how I missed his on-air performance of this song (season 4, episode 6, “‘Tis The Season”), but thanks to Michael it has a permanent spot on my playlist all year long. It is absolutely exquisite.

It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
“.

Ally-and-Larry

Robert Downey Jr. (L) & Calista Flockhart (R) in a scene from season four of “Ally McBeal”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Robert Downey Jr.: “River” (2000, written by Joni Mitchell).

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

Stay well.