My Lazy Days of Winter

      

      

“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”-Tchaikovsky

It has been 4 days since my last posting. Just didn’t know what to write about. Life has been OK, no emergencies…Mom’s doing all right, though she’s been in the house for weeks due to the weather and the mountains of snow; yet she doesn’t complain. As long as I always have library books for her and she does her daily crossword puzzle, she’s not bored. How lucky I am that she has never been a demanding person who needs to be entertained. Speaking of Mom, I’ve written before on the time she took me uptown to see a panel discussion on Civil Rights in the early 60s at the NY Society for Ethical Culture. The society is over 100 years old. I definitely remember Sydney Poitier and Harry Belafonte being on the panel and I think James Baldwin also was there among others. Well, today is Mr. Poitier’s 87th birthday!!!  I remember mom and I going to the movies to see “Lilies of the Field” and singing “Amen” along with Sydney Poitier and the nuns. I’ve seen every one of his movies. Today also marks the death of the great Frederick Douglass in 1895. It was a sudden death after having a very nice and productive day at a Women’s Rights conference. Folksinger, Buffy Sainte-Marie was born today in 1941. Always loved her music.

So, I found a little inspiration today to do my blog posting! Yay!

Hope all are well out there in WordPress Land!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Part II

For my music buffs…I could’ve gone on and on with this, it was such fun! Should I provide an answer key?

 Some of Our Favorites by IleneOnWords

Dylan sings, “My love she speaks like roses”

Jimi twangs, “And the wind cries Mary”

Joni still promises, “I could drink a case of you”

Tracy remembers her Mama’s, “All that you have is your soul”

Ella scats, “Let’s do it, Let’s fall in love”

Frankie croons, “One for my baby and one more for the road”

Billy serenades “I love you just the way you are…” Our song forever

Eric invites you to “Take off your thirsty boots and stay for a while”

Hartmann & Coltrane collaborate “My one and only love”

Carmen claims, “It never entered my mind”

Sarah’s “In a sentimental mood”

Bill declares “Ain’t no sunshine when you’re gone”

Joan knows Bob believes “Love is just a 4-letter word”

Me…I agree with Pete as he affirms, “Kisses sweeter than wine.”

“I Feel That My Whole Life is a Contribution.”-Pete Seeger

     

“Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”-Pete Seeger

The world has lost a beautiful flower, one of the Greatest Humanitarians it has ever seen or will see again: Pete Seeger. His life, his whole being, inspired me since I was a little girl of about 4 or 5 years of age when my mom bought his first long-playing LP of children’s songs for my birthday. As I evolved, got older, I saw Pete so many times at many different marches, rallies, events and at the old South Street Seaport when he first acquired the Clearwater Sloop and would dock the boat, hand out pumpkins, sing a few songs and bring along some friends to help. I remember one time, one of Pete’s young friends, Don McLean performed an unfinished “American Pie.”  Pete was an American Treasure and stood for the best of what we could each aspire to be. We will miss him.

 

 

 

Winter in NY

“I’m not in show business,” he said. “I’m in the communications business.”Richie Havens

The forecasters are making me very nervous, as they always do, with their expectations of a foot of snow!!!!   I go into the “What if…” scenarios: What if I can’t get to Mom’s?  What if she loseselectricity?What if we lose electricity?  If I could only, only, let everything be and let life happen cause life is going to happen no matter the worries I harbor. It’s a good morning to listen to Richie Havens, his soothing voice  helps to calm the nerves. Richie was born today in 1941 and we lost him just last year. He was a Beautiful Man and had a Beautiful Voice!!!!!  I remember seeing him with my brother at the former Anderson Yiddish Theater on 2nd Ave, oh, so many years ago. After that I did see him several times and he was always great. I’m listening to Richie’s “Follow” and am already feeling better. Happy Listening!

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Synonyms for Literate: Educated, Well-Read, Informed

 

“What’s Another Word for Thesaurus?”-Steven Wright, American Comic

How many of us have a worn paperback or hardback copy of Roget’s Thesaurus?   I know I do…somewhere. Roget’s Thesaurus and a dictionary were always by my side growing up and came in so handy. Today I learned that Peter Mark Roget, who took 12 years to compile the thesaurus, was born today in London in 1779. Dr. Roget accomplished quite a few things, “the log slide rule, which included a scale displaying the logarithm of the logarithm in 1815;”about.cominventors    and “He was the first to notice something called “persistence of vision” — the illusion of movement when looking at a series of still photographs in rapid succession — which formed the basis for future motion picture technology.”The Writer’s Almanac

The Greek word for “treasure” is thesaurus; I can only imagine how Roget must’ve valued, appreciated, treasured his project once it was completed for all the world to use and use they did….it is still in print and online.

Joan Baez wrote and sang: “Then give me another word for it  You who are so good with words”Diamonds and Rust   Hey, did Bobby use a thesaurus?????

 

 

  

“People Everywhere Deserve to Live in Freedom and Equality.”-Secretary of State John Kerry

People everywhere deserve to live in freedom and equality. No one should face violence or discrimination for who they are or who they love,” Secretary of State John Kerry, 1-15-14, MetroWeekly Poliglot

On this day, January 17th, 1945, the evacuation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp began.  You can imagine the horror I felt when I read that Nigerian police were rounding up gay men, persecuting them, arresting them, torturing them. It was all too familiar. Nigeria recently passed an anti-gay law that not only prohibits same sex marriage and LGBT organizations, but the simple getting together of a group of gay individuals.

The sad inquiry, “Oh When Will They (or We) Ever Learn? from Pete Seeger’s song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone laments through my heart.

Friday Folk Musings

 

I haven’t seen the Coen Brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” but I will, when it comes on cable. I’ve read many reviews and many opinions of the film, but they do not matter to me since I am just so happy that the music from the film will, hopefully, gain momentum and bring folk music (or “Americana”) to a new high that it hasn’t had in over 40 years. I did see the Town Hall Concert on Showtime (Another Day, Another Time) that presented the artists in the movie and it was so beautiful.  The Coen Brothers are Baby Boomers like me, in fact, they are one year younger. It is inspiring and uplifting that they, along with T Bone Burnett, felt or knew that a story about Greenwich Village in the 60s warranted a movie. I don’t fault them for inaccurate facts, portrayals of folksingers, dates or locales, it’s a movie, it’s fiction. Elijah Wald’s book, The Mayor of MacDougal Street may have impacted them and propelled them to make a movie, but we all know the real Dave Van Ronk is not represented in this movie. Perhaps a movie about Dave Van Ronk and the other folkies who walked the streets of Greenwich Village and played in the clubs will be on the horizon due to “Inside Llewyn Davis,” I can only hope. Recently folksinger Happy Traum weighed in with his opinion after seeing the movie: “In the end, it was a Coen Brothers movie and there were enough flashes of humor, creativity and artful filmmaking that it won me over. It was the story of one guy and his misadventures, and it didn’t have to represent an entire musical community. Best of all, how wonderful that Elijah Wald’s excellent book, Dave Van Ronk’s music, and the phenomenal music scene that had its birth in ‘60s Greenwich Village were given such a huge platform, and generated such heated discussion.”

As for me…I’ve been singing “Dink’s Song” as I drive to mom’s each morning this week. It’s a song I first learned when I took a couple of singing lessons from folksinger Ed McCurdy, probably in the early 70s. Ed was living on the Upper West Side with his wife. He wrote the legendary song, “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” and was a character in his own right. Ed was a huge man physically and wasn’t in the best of health when I met him. I liked him, he was bold, brash and held nothing back. The folksingers of the 50s, 60s, early 70s still impact our lives whether we know it or not. The words, the messages of the songs are true to this very day in 2014. Music is understood all over the world and hasn’t lost its power to transform or heal.