Category: music

Just Because I Feel Like It

     …and because too many fail to remember, and too many have never known: Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc As she came riding through the dark; No moon to keep her armour bright, No man to get her through this very smoky night. She said, “I’m tired of the war, I want …

Continue reading

Ruins

     The saddest things on Earth, for my money, are the ruins of things that could have been great. That excludes archaeological ruins, of course; at one time they were legitimately impressive structures, or so we’re told by the “authorities.” What I have in mind here is a bit different: art, or music, or fiction …

Continue reading

The Poet Of Today

     …is likely to write song lyrics rather than straight prose poetry. Today, “poets” who proclaim themselves to be such tend to be indifferent to the rules and traditions of poetry. Worse than that, the majority of them are no-talents whose “poetry” is more masturbatory than evocative. Eliot, Tennyson, and Goethe would cross the street …

Continue reading

For Mothers’ Day 2022

     A Happy Mothers’ Day to all my Gentle Readers, all mothers, and anyone who had a mother! Mothers, as most of us are aware, are vital to the continuing of the species…and you’ve just got to love our species. Especially the members who wear “pronoun pins” and insist that men can give birth. But …

Continue reading

Things Lost And Things Misplaced

     Time was, there was a kind of space reserved in pop music for the ballad. Harry Chapin was one of the better known practitioners of the form, but there were many others. Being a storyteller by inclination, I have a soft spot for ballads and balladeers, and I miss them.      Way, way back …

Continue reading

Because Today My Years Are Weighing Heavily Upon Me

     I hit the big Seven-Oh recently, and it’s had me…remembering: Stood there boldly Sweatin’ in the sun Felt like a million Felt like number one The height of summer I’d never felt that strong Like a rock I was 18 Didn’t have a care Working for peanuts Not a dime to spare But I …

Continue reading

Some American Music

     Yes, I’m old. Yes, my tastes are “fossilized,” even “petrified.” But I know what I like – and I claim I have good reasons to prefer it to the modern crap, even if I decline to discuss them.      Accordingly, have a terrific tune from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s classic album Uncle Charlie …

Continue reading

We’ve Lost Another One

     You have to be my age or older to appreciate the loss of certain artists. Indeed, being my age or older is no guarantee that you’ll remember them at all. Like Paul Siebel, who passed away just last night at age 84:      Siebel’s 1970 Elektra album, Woodsmoke and Oranges, is a treasure few …

Continue reading

A Little…Afternoon Music?

     I have a great fondness for the folk artists of the Sixties, particularly for the ones who started out with nothing but a guitar and a folder full of song lyrics. Most faded away and were forgotten. A couple of them became famous. A handful failed to reach Dylan’s heights but retained a following. …

Continue reading

We Need Some Music Around Here!

     And so we shall have some: Last night I dreamed about you I dreamed that you were older You were looking like Picasso With a scar across your shoulder You were kneeling by the river You were digging up the bodies Buried long ago Michelangelo Last night I dreamed about you I dreamed you …

Continue reading

Saint Stephen

     Today, December 26, is the feast day of Saint Stephen, one of the first (some accounts make him the very first) martyrs to the Christian faith. Here’s what this morning’s missive from the Catholic Company has to say about him:      St. Stephen (1st. c.) was one of the Church’s first deacons in Jerusalem …

Continue reading

When Princes Meet

     Just because I feel like it…and because it is exactly what princes do: When princes meet, the poor little men must tremble In judgment seat. they speak of their wars while great armies assemble Their armor shines to shame the sun They move like gods they do resemble All bow their necks to iron …

Continue reading

Mood Elevator

     Aware that my mood and my writing have been trending darker, I’ve been trying to post as many uplifting pieces as possible. Have one right now;      Many virtuosi are more concerned with promoting themselves than with making music as it should be made. Pat Metheny is not of their ilk. Unparalleled in skill …

Continue reading

Just Because I Feel Like It

     I’m in something of a mood this evening, so have a couple of songs from two of the paramount singers of the Twentieth Century. First, from the late, great Stan Rogers:      And for dessert, the two pieces that made Tom Rush a legend:      I suppose the Twentieth Century wasn’t all bad, after …

Continue reading

Parodies Sometimes Improve On The Original

     Consider these two songs, the first the original by R.E.M.:      Now, the parody, by the immortal Al Yankovic:      Frankly, I prefer the parody. (I must also admit that I do like Spam®. Dad was a Navy man, and the stuff was a staple of his diet in his World War II years.)

Every Era Of Music Has Its Standouts

     As the Disco era of the Seventies faded, new powers arose to make their mark in popular music. The guitar faded as a dominant instrument, supplanted – though only for a while – by the synthesizer. Some Eighties bands were as fleeting as the life of a mayfly. Others, such as the Pointer Sisters, …

Continue reading

Fifty Years Ago…

     …a musical prodigy named Todd Rundgren decided to stretch his wings further than he ever had before. This was the result: I wanted to write you…      …a beautiful, beautiful song I wanted to write you…      …a beautiful, beautiful song A beautiful song The kind that makes your memory go sailing through the …

Continue reading

Because We All Need To Be Blessed Now And Then

The wanderer has far to go Humble must he constant be Where the paths of wisdom lead Distant is the shadow of the setting sun. Bless the daytime Bless the night Bless the sun which gives us light Bless the thunder Bless the rain Bless all those who cause us pain. Yellow stars may lead …

Continue reading

Something Catholic And Beautiful

     If you haven’t yet made the acquaintance of Loreena McKennitt, it’s high time. Listen to what she does with the stanzas from Saint John of the Cross’s classic tome Dark Night of the Soul: Upon a darkened night The flame of love was burning in my breast And by a lantern bright I fled …

Continue reading

Something Unexpected

     Liberty’s Torch isn’t a well-known, heavily-trafficked site. Thus I don’t expect to receive a great deal of email from persons with a significant public profile. I get a little of it…evenly split, as you might imagine, between applause and razzberries. So the following, which arrived in the email moments ago, came as a surprise. …

Continue reading

Load more