Let’s Take A Moment Day 211

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(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.

Four years ago today Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first time for an American citizen in 23 years. It put him in the same company with other great writers like Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and William Faulkner, amongst others. Dylan received this prodigious & well deserved honor “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

His road to this esteemed prize began in 1962 when he released his self titled debut album. Comparisons to one of his major influences, Woody Guthrie, were almost immediate. Dylan also drew inspiration from the blues, country music & rock & roll while he was growing up. He started playing guitar while he was in high school in Minnesota and his band covered songs by Elvis Presley & Little Richard. As much as Dylan enjoyed rock & roll music, he wanted his own music to show life in a more honest realistic way.

In 1960 he dropped out of college and soon relocated to New York City. It was there that he began performing but also where he would meet the man he called “the true voice of the American spirit”, Guthrie himself. Dylan started playing around Greenwich Village, getting great reviews for his work and playing on records by other folk singers like Carolyn Hester. It was through that collaboration that he met producer John Hammond who signed Dylan to Columbia Records. By 1962 he released his first record & legally changed his name from Robert Allen Zimmerman to Bob Dylan.

His debut album contained only two original songs but his sophomore release, “The Free Wheelin’ Bob Dylan” contained all his own material and the first of his many masterpieces, “Blowin’ In The Wind”. The record also included “I Shall Be Released”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”. His third album from 1964, “The Times They Are a-Changin'” cemented Dylan’s genius & his voice as the one to articulate the social issues of the era.

He took the world from his acoustic folk music to his electric guitar sound & introduced his back-up group, The Band, along the way. He influenced everyone from John Lennon to Joni Mitchell to Bruce Springsteen to Patti Smith to countless others. He has written some of the most iconic songs of the 1960’s & 1970’s and his profound words are what he is most revered and beloved for. The Nobel Prize is proof of what he has bestowed upon us all. To quote the many lines he is known for would take more than one blog post to list, so I will use one of my favorite verses from today’s song as an example of his immense talent. The phrase “national treasure” is overused sometimes, but if there is one person who defines the phrase perfectly, it is Bob Dylan.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now
“.

Dylan

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bob Dylan: “My Back Pages” (1964, written by Bob Dylan).

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 55

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?

Peanuts music

(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.

If you watch “This Is Us” then you know that the woman behind today’s song is one of the stars of the show, yet she is not a member of the cast.  She is who young Rebecca yearned to be and who older Rebecca listened to on vinyl at the record store before driving to Laurel Canyon with Kevin to find the former home of her idol, Joni Mitchell.  It is hard to believe that she was only in her twenties when she wrote songs like “Both Sides Now” and today’s pick.  She had such an incredible insight into life at such an early age.  I know she is incredibly gifted, but I also wonder if some of her awareness came from her experience with giving a child up for adoption when she was 21 years old.  They reunited 32 years later and have been in each other’s lives ever since.

As for my comprehension about life, there are three things I know for sure:  One, Jungleland is the most beautiful song I ever heard.  Two, life is not fair and three, it goes by impossibly fast.  Devastatingly fast.  Tragically fast.  One minute we are playing games as kids, the next we are graduating from high school,  One day our mothers are taking care of us and the next we are taking care of them.  Or they are gone.  That is why I think today’s song is perfect for this particular Sunday.

Mothers-Day

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Happy Mother’s Day to all.  And for those of us mourning our mothers or the other women who ever cared for us in any way, may we find peace and comfort in our great fortune to have known such spectacular women.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

Joni

        (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Joni Mitchell:  “The Circle Game” (1970, 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.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 22

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Holiday greetings to all of you on this first day of winter!

day 22 B.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

I have a weakness for string arrangements in any type of music.  It began the moment I heard the absolutely exquisite introduction to Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland”.  That union of a piano and violin is just so beautiful I never recovered from that first listen.  It inspired me to learn to play the viola in junior high.  I stayed with it all through high school, then in college I took cello lessons.  It became my first love to both play and listen to.  I firmly believe that whoever coined the phrase “hauntingly beautiful” did so after hearing an unbelievably powerful and heartbreakingly elegant string arrangement, perhaps like this one from my favorite movie soundtrack of all time by composer Rachel Portman.

Today’s pick was originally done with only a piano accompaniment to the singer’s voice which made for a really lovely piece of music.  The version of the song I am using today is also a  piano/vocal combination.  But with the addition of one of the most gorgeous string arrangements I have ever heard,  it goes from lovely to utterly sublime.

Ally mcbeal

Robert Downey Jr.:  “River” (2000, written by Joni Mitchell in 1971).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

For The First Song Of December The Vintage Vixen Gave To Me…..

Happy December, dear Vixens!!!  T’is the season for Christmas songs so while you deck the halls and enjoy your Advent treats, why not add a few new tunes to your play list???

hello-december-1

I have been overdosing on the genius of this woman for weeks now, and I do not see an end in sight anytime soon.  I have been a fan of hers for years, but after not listening to her music for a while because all of my CD’s are still not unpacked, I heard one of her songs on the radio (yes, I still listen!!!) and became addicted all over again.

I must admit she was an acquired taste for me yet, despite hearing her songs by other artists for years I still did not get it.  But I guess I am in good company because Tom Hanks’ character in “You’ve Got Mail” was unsure of her as well (” ‘It’s clouds illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all’  What does that mean?  Is she a pilot?  Is she taking flying lessons?  It must be a metaphor for something, but I don’t know what it is.”)

youve-got-mail-movie-meg-ryans-brownstone

Courtesy of Warner Brothers Studio

Total aside – I love that scene…..

And that movie…..

Sa-woon.

But I digress.

I am ashamed to admit that it took me so long to appreciate this woman’s gifts for story telling, poetry, imagery, songwriting and singing.  Now I can listen to her for days on end and still not get enough.  And for a music connoisseur like me, you know it has to be good if I am letting my ears have that much time with her.

So here is my first music selection…..

For the ENTIRE Christmas season of 2016…..

And I hope it makes your heart swoon like it does mine   🙂

frozen-river

Joni Mitchell:  River.

Another aside – Sarah McLachlan covered this song ten years ago on her”Wintersong” CD.  I think it does the original justice.  Listen to it here

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

wreath

 

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