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.

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.

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