Sometimes I sing to myself, in my head; something lugubrious, mournful, Presbyterian:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
Could save a wretch like me,
Who once was lost, but now am found,
Was bound, but now am free.
I don’t know if the words are right. I can’t remember. Such songs are not sung anymore in public, especially the ones that use words like free. They are considered too dangerous. They belong to outlawed sects.–The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Tag Archives: music
Sing With Feeling
On mornings when Theresa didn’t have to work, I’d wake to hear her singing loudly to Carole King’s album Tapestry. She’d have the lyrics laid out before her, coming in always a second or two behind. “You’ve got a friend…a friend, oh baby.” Bent on her knees, her body rocking back and forth, the depths of her heartfelt emotion would pour from her mouth in an ear-splitting, eye-wincing, out-of-tune, soulful ballad.
–Synanon Kid Grows Up by C.A. Wittman
The Rhythm Is Everywhere
I thought of a rhythm in my mind.
I heard the rhythm with my ears.
I looked at the rhythm with my eyes.
I smelled the rhythm with my nose.
I sang the rhythm with my mouth.
I caught the rhythm with my hands.
–I Got The Rhythm, written by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison
Admiration List: Ani DiFranco
I have been a fan of Ani DiFranco‘s life story since 1992. I was working in radio as a copy writer and part-time (weekend) DJ when I stumbled across a magazine/catalog of up-and-coming artists. It consisted of artist photographs, a brief categorical description of music style (e.g.: folk, R&B, rock, etc.) and a short biography. The magazine targeted station employees in charge of selecting music, with the objective of enticing the decision maker to listen to a sample and consider adding the featured musicians to the playlist. It probably came with a CD or cassette tape (cassettes were still regularly used back then), but I only saw the magazine.
The magazine is important because the biography is what attracted me to this artist. She not only writes and performs her own music, she also runs her own recording studio and is known for refusing to take potentially lucrative contracts that go against her political/ethical beliefs. In short, she defied the music industry’s standard operating procedures – and won!
I did not get the opportunity to hear her music until about 8 years later.
Frankly, while I admire her skills as a lyricist and include a few of her songs in my private list of top-50-favorites, it was never the music that earned my admiration – it’s her actions as a small business owner, an activist and a person.
I would welcome the opportunity to hear her play live in concert but I would LOVE to hear her talk about her journey as a small business owner and an activist.
Ani DiFranco’s music on Amazon.com
Distance Provides Perspective
Out of Range
“I was locked
Into being my mother’s daughter
I was just eating bread and water
Thinking nothing ever changes
And I was shocked
To see the mistakes of each generation
Will just fade like a radio station
If you drive out of range”
–Out of Range by Ani DiFranco
The Devil’s Clean Shirt
Seven times I went down
Six times I walked back
I don’t fear the dark anymore
‘Cause I’ve become all that
Don’t forget the time
I wooed him with red wine
The devil he wore such a fine, fine shirt
And it stayed so clean
While he dragged me through the dirt
Don’t trust anyone who looks you in the eye
Don’t take any kindness, it’s a demand in disguise
–A Bird Flies Out by Deb Talan
Cost of Freedom
May 30th is Memorial Day!
“Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you
Lay your body down”
-Find the Cost of Freedom by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Everything Is Relative
“Virtue is relative at best
There’s nothing worse than a sunset
When you’re driving due west”
“And I know that sometimes
All I can see is how I feel
Like the whole world is on
The other side of
A dirty windshield”
–Up Up Up Up Up UP by Ani DiFranco
I Will Get There
“Put one foot in front of the other
Steppin into the here and now
I’m not sure just where I’m goin
but I will get there anyhow”
“I got this far with no direction
Followed my nose to where I stand
My heart’s still strong, I know I’ll make it
Sit right down in the promised land”
“People come and walk beside me, until our pathways do divide
Nothin much but love to give you, even less have I to hide”
Here and Now by Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott
War Is Never Cheap
“Your soul is able
Death is all you cradle
Sleepin’ on the nails
There’s nowhere left to fall
You have admired
Every man desires
Everyone is king
When there’s no one left to pawn”
“There is no peace here
War is never cheap dear
Love will never meet here
It just gets sold for parts
You cannot fight it
All the world denies it
Open up your eyelids
Let your demons run”
Beat The Devil’s Tattoo on Black Rebel Motorcycle Club