Holidays: Friday Feathers

Two marvellous birds from the Zoo

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

 

And as an unrelated bonus:

A video I stumbled across indulging in my love for Peter, Paul and Mary: Puff, the Magic Dragon.

What I love about the performance isn’t so much the artists, but the audience who is singing along, or at least mouthing the words, from the toddler to the grandpa.

Soundtrack to your life: 4

Yesterday we talked about songs not actually suitable for weddings but played there.

When I got married, we carefully chose our song.

It’s one of the most wonderful tunes I know, soft, with lyrics that are evocative, holding the promise of a future. The information leaflet of the civil registration office said “you can bring music on a CD and hand it to the clerk”. It didn’t say “make sure there’s only that one song on the CD, because our clerk is completely unable to play a specific track, despite it being 2007.” So the lady who conducted the ceremony simply put in the CD and pressed play so instead of getting married to  “Fields of Gold” (track #5) I got married to track #1:

 

I almost fell of the chair trying to suppress laughter, because holy shit, I was getting married to the lines “I send an SOS to the world, I hope that someone finds my message in a bottle”.  “Fields of Gold” is forever the song I didn’t get married to, but not in the sense all other songs carry that label.

 

But, it could have been worse. Because I wanted to play Queen “Don’t stop me now” at the end.

Track #1 on that CD?

Mama, just killed a maaaaaaaan!

La Luna

Rq just posted some wonderful shots of the moon and the skies, and coincidentally, I’ve got some waiting as well.

full moon

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size

full moon.

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size
Of course I could either get the trees in focus, or the moon…

full moon behind trees

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size
The last two are a bit older

full moon

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size

 

 

As for the musical interlude:

Hijo de la Luna

What a very 90s video. For those who don’t speak Spanish: A woman prays to the Moon for help, who wants her firstborn child in return. The child is born pale as the Moon, as the swarthy father kills the woman for feeling betrayed. The Moon now has the child and she makes a cradle when it cries.

The Soundtrack to My Life

Blue Rodeo at the Sanderson Center, November 23/18, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Last night a friend and I went to see Blue Rodeo at the Sanderson Center in Brantford and it was fabulous. The band has 2 lead singers who both write their own songs and they both have different styles so their music is broad. They’ve done everything from hard rock to bossa nova to ballads and big band sounds. They’ve been together since high school and became Blue Rodeo in 1984. That was the year I discovered them and in the 34 years since they’ve stayed my favourite band. They truly are the soundtrack to my life. They’re all consummate musicians and showmen and their live shows are always good. I think they sound better live than on disc. They’re in Canada’s Music Hall of fame and they’ve been inducted into The Order of Canada and their sound is Canadian.

I had a bit of trouble with the vibrations and volume making today a double gravity kind of day, but it was so worth it. Once a year I willingly sign up for this bad day and I’ll keep doing so as long as Blue Rodeo keeps touring. If you don’t know this band you should check them out. This video isn’t from last night’s concert, but they played this song and it’s one of my faves. My actual fave list is 72 songs long… 34 years = a lot of music. Sorry about the bad picture. I only had my camera phone and I’m hopeless using it.

Spotlight Fever

It’s what they call stage fright here. What’s comforting is that I’ll be among a thousand other singers and no one will hear which notes I miss.

In other words, yes, it’s performance day. Here’s a fragment as performed during the Song and Dance Festival, this same soloist is performing the main role tonight. Not as good as the other guy, but he’ll do. The rest of the cast is also quite stellar; I’ll share my impressions after.

(Less comfortingly, I will not have the anonymity of these thousands of singers. But I think one among a thousand is okay, too.)

 

A small child plays in the crossroads,

Beneath the cart wheels, beneath the hooves,

Beneath the iron footprints.

 

A small child plays in the crossroads

Like time, sand runs through his fingers – 

It is our freedom, it is our life.

 

Call me louder, child,

Call me, I still hear – 

I still have a voice and words.

Call me, child!

 

Call me louder, child,

Call me, I still hear – 

I still have a voice and words.

But call me louder!

 

A small child plays in the crossroads

Like time, sand runs through his fingers – 

It is our freedom, it is our life.

 

 

Wheat Kings

Sometimes my head has too many thoughts.

Today’s song holds more than just a nice melody for me. In a lot of ways, what it is about is a reminder of why I do the work that I do, and why it is important to do it well. If you google “David Milgaard” (the inspiration – what a terrible designation – behind the song), you can probably divine more than a hint of what I do. The why is a complicated mix of ‘I like it’ and higher values and the feeling that I can do something to make the world a little… better, I suppose. Or something that makes me feel useful on a daily basis. Anyway, here’s your music:

The Tragically Hip is a strange kind of band, they’ve been around since the 1980s and they really sunk deep into the Canadian consciousness. They were certainly a fixture of the music world in the 1990s and early 2000s. I don’t know if they ever tried (too hard), but they never made it big outside of Canada. Within Canada, though, hoo boy. Everyone knows them, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily like them. They have a very unique style that doesn’t always feel accessible. It’s taken me years to grow into my appreciation of their music, and they certainly have a rich collection of Canadiana that touches on stereotypes and themes and very specifically Canadian subjects, even though their songs that I do like are definitely among my favourites. Their lead singer, Gord Downie, is a whole other kettle of fish. He did their farewell tour 2 years ago (he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was given about a year, he walked on later that same year) and it was one of the biggest things to happen in recent Canadian cultural history. Not least because in his final months he addressed the subject of residential schools (I’m a bit out on a white dude saying so much without hearing about him giving First Nations people a voice of their own, but I can’t say he did wrong). We’ll be hearing more from the Tragically Hip in the future.

In any case, enjoy the music. I have a very social weekend ahead of me and it’s tangling with new stuff at work that makes me feel out-of-step but has many possibilities for personal and professional development. I hope to recover soon. :)

A Soviet Heritage

So this happened. And yes, snowflake that I am, I find it offensive. Deeply so.

“We are disappointed that the largest retailer in the world and in the U.S., Walmart, does not acknowledge or respect the millions of victims of various nationalities, who suffered under the Soviet regime – those deported, including the elderly, infants and children, political prisoners, dissidents, members of resistance movements and all those who lost their lives, health or family in the Gulag or other repressions of the Soviet totalitarianism,” a letter to Walmart, signed by the chairman of the Estonian Pro Patria party, Helir-Valdor Seeder, Estonia’s minister of justice, Urmas Reinsalu, and the Estonian member of the European Parliament, Tunne Kelam, said.

It’s like some symbols of authoritarian regimes are verboten, while others… are hip and trendy? By virtue of being labelled differently? (And yes, the term ‘communist’ as applied to the Soviet Union bears little resemblance to its application to the underlying philosophy, but this is not that discussion.)

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