Let’s Take A Moment Day 475

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?

4th of July

(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 245th birthday, America.

Free
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream
“.

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond circa 2000. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Diamond: “America” (1980, written by Neil Diamond).

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 314

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?

Shakespeare music

(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 80th birthday to the man born Neil Leslie Diamond on January 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, NY. Singer, songwriter, poet, actor, legend. Whether you sang along with The Monkees version of “I’m A Believer” or the cover version from the “Shrek” soundtrack, or if you sang “Hello Again” during “The Jazz Singer” movie or during “Saving Silverman”, or if you joined in with the Fenway crowd to sing “Sweet Caroline” or laughed at the quarantine version of that song, there has not been a generation that was not touched by Diamond’s music in nearly 55 years. That is the stuff superstars are made of. As a native New Yorker myself, I could not be more proud to hail from the same state as one of the most prolific songwriters of the 20th century. Happy birthday, Neil Diamond.

I’ll weave his web of rhyme
Upon the summer night
We’ll leave this worldly time
On his winged flight
“.

Neil D

Neil Diamond circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Diamond: “Longfellow Serenade” (1974, written by Neil Diamond).

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 251

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?

kurt v

(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 was always curiosity surrounding the inspiration for Neil Diamond’s hit song, “Sweet Caroline”. From the record’s release in 1969 there were rumors as to whether or not he wrote it about President John F. Kennedy’s daughter of the same name. For nearly 40 years Diamond evaded the question. Finally in 2007 when he sang the song at Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg’s 50th birthday party Diamond confirmed that he did indeed write the tune about her. He saw a picture of her with her parents on the cover of a magazine around 1963 which gave him the idea for the track. Thinking of her & the rest of her family today on the 57th anniversary of her father’s death.

Look at the night and it don’t seem so lonely
We filled it up with only two
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when holding you
“.

diamond kennedy

Neil Diamond (L) and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Neil Diamond: “Sweet Caroline” (1969, written by Neil Diamond).

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 208

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(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 in 1970 Neil Diamond had the #1 song in the country with “Cracklin’ Rosie”. That tune was the pick for Day 30 so I will choose another from his vast & fabulous catalog to spotlight to honor the anniversary of one of his hit records. That will not be hard at all as I absolutely adore so much of his music. One of my very favorites is from his 1971 album, “Stones”. It is an introspective tune that Diamond said in an interview he wrote while he was in therapy after moving to the west coast. Whatever the impetus was for him to write this song, it is a beautiful evocative number with gorgeous layers of music, from the haunting cello in the first verse to the acoustic guitar interludes to the string & horn arrangements. I also think it has some of the most compelling lyrics Diamond ever recorded carried out in one of his best vocal performances.

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I’ve tried but it won’t let me go
And I’m not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared for the sound of being alone
“.

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond circa 1973. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Diamond: “I Am…I Said” (1971, written by Neil Diamond).

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

Stay well.

Lets Take A Moment Day 30

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?

music heart

(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.

I am someone with a highly repetitive nature.  I can listen to a song I adore for days at a time and watch the same show or movie I love for weeks without getting bored.  Sometimes I watch something so many times I am afraid I will need an intervention to stop.  One movie I have been watching a lot recently is 2001’s “Saving Silverman”.  I knew nothing about it the first time I caught it on a movie channel except that Jack Black was in it, and that was all I needed to know.  I had fallen in love with him after I saw “High Fidelity” and “School of Rock” because not only is he a good singer/musician, but he is also hilarious.

What I did not know about “Silverman” was that at the heart of the movie, Black and two of his buddies are in a Neil Diamond cover band.  I love that man, too, so I was thrilled to see him make an appearance at the end of the movie when the guys in the cover band not only meet their hero, but also sing with him onstage at one of his shows as well.  Diamond is very funny in the film and even quotes lines from his own songs.

I grew up listening to his music, but then again who didn’t?  From the Monkees to “Shrek” to a variety of artists covering his songs (Chris Isaak with “Solitary Man”, UB40 with “Red Red Wine” & Urge Overkill with “Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon”) to his movie debut (in “The Jazz Singer”) to his E.T. inspired song (“Heartlight”) to the Boston Red Sox adopting “Sweet Caroline” as their unofficial official anthem, to Diamond’s reworking of that song in an Instagram post by changing the words from “touching hands” to “washing hands”  to match our new normal, Diamond is omnipresent.  Basically if you have been alive in the last 50 years there is no way you cannot know who this unbelievably talented artist is.  He has won every award and accolade out there and is undoubtedly one of America’s greatest songwriters of all time.

With so many fabulous enduring songs to choose from, it is hard to pick just one as my favorite.  I sort of shuffle them around depending on my mood so that what I am listening to at the time determines what I like best at the moment.  Right now I have rediscovered how much I love the string arrangement introduced in the second verse of today;s song.  It underscores Diamond’s voice beautifully and increases the happy feel of the song, at least it does for me.  It was his first number one record in America and put him on the music charts in several countries around the world as well.  The lyrics are fabulous, too.  I am proud to bow at the altar of the Diamond.

Hitchin’ on a twilight train
Ain’t nothing there that I care to take along
Maybe a song
To sing when I want“.

Neil Diamond

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Diamond:  “Cracklin’ Rosie” (1970, written by Neil Diamond).

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 25

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?

music heart

(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.

The first time I listened to “The Last Waltz” album, it was an overload to my senses.  A magnificent overload.  So many artists that I adored-Eric Clapton, The Band, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, to name a few-were on it, so I had no idea who to listen to first.  Or should I just play it from start to finish, I wondered.  Given my impatient nature, I started with a few of the songs I loved most before letting the album play in its entirety.  And that is when I heard today’s song for the first time by Van “The Man” Morrison.  And I sa-woooooned.

How could I not?  A master of blue eyed soul with clear infusions of jazz, folk and the blues, he delivered a performance in an intense and expressive manner interpreting his own lyrics as only the writer could.  Within days I went out and bought his “Moondance” album and wore it out within the week.  After that I purchased two more-“St. Dominic’s Preview” & “Astral Weeks”-and before I knew it a month went by and all I had listened to were his songs.  And that is by no means a complaint.  My love for him only intensified a few years later when I finally saw his performance & the rest of the concert movie on cable.  I love so many of Morrison;s songs, but this one remains my favorite, especially because the lyrics speak right to my heart:

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know it’s got soul“.

Van

Van Morrison in 2014 (Image from vanmorrison.com.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison:  “Caravan” (1970, written by Van Morrison).

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

Stay well.

Christmas Song Countdown #8 & Goodbye To An American Hero

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Today’s song is a no-brainer.   It honors the man who died 36 years ago.  He taught us to peacefully question what we thought was wrong with the world, to imagine it as one, that all we need is love and that being a stay at home dad is a valid life choice, even when he became one in 1975,  Of course he did so much more, but that is what we remember the most.

Oh, and he was one of the Beatles   🙂

john-lennon

Original source unknown

Side note:  Did you know there is a park dedicated to John Lennon in Havana, Cuba?  It features a bronze statute of him sitting on a bench.  I cannot decide if it is creepy or cool.

Thoughts?

Oh, and the glasses are removable.

And we have a winner:  creepy it is.

Read more about the park and the glasses here.

john-lennon-figure Courtesy:  CNN

His Christmas song has become a holiday classic, and there are so many great versions of it by so many diverse artists I really could not decide which one you would like to hear.

So, today you have a choice.

Which version of “Happy Xmas War Is Over” would you like to listen to?

John Lennon’s original version;

Or Celine Dion’s;

celine-dion

Original source unknown

Or Darius Rucker’s;

Or Christina Perri’s

Or The Three Tenors‘;

3-tenors

Courtesy of kinoarena

Or Sleeping At Last’s;

Or Sarah McLachlan’s;

sarah-mclachlan

Courtesy:  sarahmclachlan.com

Or Neil Diamond’s.

Also today,  we lost another famous John.  A true hero to our country & in many respects the entire world:  John Herschel Glenn Jr.  Our first man to orbit the earth, he was a pioneer who made the dream of outer space a reality that inspired children everywhere to believe that they, too, could one day follow in his footsteps.

He quit college after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of that attack) to join the military and stayed for over two decades.  He served in World War II and Korea, then became a US Senator from Ohio.  He died at the age of 95, a good long life for a man who had so much to give and inspire us with.

Thank you for being one of America’s greatest men.

Rest in peace, Colonel Glenn.

This one is for you.

Elton John’s Rocket Man.

john-glenn

Courtesy:  Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

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, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

Third One’s A Charmer

Hello, dear Vixens!!!  We have arrived at song #3!!!

woodland-christmas-tree

This legend from my home state of NY just announced his 50th world tour, and getting tickets to one of his shows will be this year’s Christmas gift to myself (he will be in CT next June).

During those 50 years he has sold over 120 million records (including the Monkees hit “I’m a Believer”), has had eleven number 1 hits, is in both the Songwriters Hall of Fame & the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, appeared in one of the greatest concert movies ever made (“The Last Waltz“), starred in the 1980 blockbuster, “The Jazz Singer” and was the focus of idolization in the movie “Saving Silverman” where he appeared as himself.

last-waltz

Courtesy of IMDb.

SAVING SILVERMAN, Neil Diamond, Jason Biggs, Jack Black, Steve Zahn, 2001

                                                    Courtesy of Cineplex.com                                                                                

Total aside…..hilarious movie!!!

With Steve Zahn & Jack Black starring in it, how could it not be, right???

But I digress.

Over the summer I went to several games at Fenway and loved singing the stadium staple “Sweet Caroline” with the rest of the crowd for the 8th inning sing along.

I have always been a believer that less is more, and sometimes an acoustic performance is so much more powerful than a full band sound.  This is so true on “Acoustic Christmas“, his newest release that features 10 simply gorgeous Christmas songs including today’s pick, which features a stunning string arrangement.

Neil Diamond:  Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing.

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!!!

day-3