Tag Archive | Music

Music Is My Other Language

thP7Z7MNNR  “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”― Maya Angelou 

I know how that feels.  When you don’t know why you are in physical pain, sometimes you have to dig deep inside your soul searching for solutions or just some method with which to cope. When we are dancing on the mountain tops, it’s easy to know what those feelings are. But when we are in the dirt of the fields or the slosh of rain, it may be harder to define. Sometimes what grows in those places are the absolute sounds of life and death—whether in the songs of hard-working people or the small pensive voice of a child.  And what emerges out of pain and joy is MUSIC—haunting or joyful; loud or soft; simple or complex. It can tell a story or carry you away on a note you’ll swear is part of Heaven’s angel choir.

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I’ve heard some people don’t know about music.  How is that possible?  How can people not be able to sing? How can a human live in the world for even a short time and not hear the thousands of songs of the birds, the mating calls of the animals or the psithurism in the air. [1]  For me, music is felt not just heard.  Deep in the soul the notes make a sound that runs through my body.

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Music is communication∼

A means of reaching deep into our inner beings∼

Healing us when we’re sick∼

Energizing us when we’re down∼

Uplifting our spirits∼

Wiping away our tears∼

Filling us with laughter∼

Music is inspiration∼

In a study about the effects of music on pain, I can confirm there is a correlation.

5 Ways Music Makes You Happy©

The idea that music can help alleviate pain is not surprising, since the right music can “soothe the soul.” Recently, researchers set out to investigate the effects of music on pain and depression in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder distinguished by severe musculoskeletal pain, followed by fatigue, sleep and memory and mood issues. (The Alternative Daily©) [2]

The study regarding those diagnosed with FMS is very personal to me.  I live with that diagnosis and daily seek methods to ease the overall pain and the effects of fatigue and sleep interruptions. It took years before a doctor finally gave me the information that could provide me some answers. You don’t get over it but you can work within it.

Without even knowing why, years ago I discovered that listening to music made me happier and more serene.  Music plays constantly in my head—a hum often turns into singing words—a phrase or entire songs.  I just have to sing them—it’s like I have no choice.

Music has always been a part of my life.  I grew up in a home full of music…all kinds.

My mother sang in a gospel church group.     thN06QGA3H

My father loved cowboy & western music.    th64GCV245

 

They both loved Big Band Music.                     th43Y2H3RY

 

My mother was also a huge Frank Sinatra fan as well as the other “crooners” of that era. We listened to songs of the 30s, 40s, 50s as well as classical music. We heard those who sang what is called “The American Songbook” (defined as songs from the 20s to the 50s) backed by some of the best orchestras of our time–Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Ozzie Nelson, Les Brown, Guy Lombardi, Lawrence Welk, The Dorsey Brothers, Artie Shaw and more.

Some of my best arias were heard as I pumped the swing higher and higher for hours singing many songs I knew and some I just made up.  It seemed like it took my sister all day to return from school so we could play—I wiled away the hours singing.

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My favorite one to sing was “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” (1948) by Moon Mullican (click link)

https://youtu.be/RlrK8nuvodI

I had been singing in church since I was a little girl.  The first chance to enroll in choir came in 4th grade, and I was delighted! As my voice developed I worked with the choir master learning harmonies and adding to my repertoire . A few years later I began singing with a teenage trio who traveled to churches around the geographic region. Singing was not only my hobby, my pleasure, my gift…I found it made me happy to sing. If the song was more sad or one with deep meaning, I discovered I could deliver that message to the audience as well.

And the music around my home never stopped. It was the early 1950s and my sister and I listened to all the music available on radio. We were so lucky to have many 78 rpm records later adding some 45s purchased from our pooled allowances. And then there were the 33 1/3 vinyls.

I must interject this: Did anyone else ever subscribe to the Colombia Record Club where they sent you a 33 1/3 vinyl record each month for a penny? Well, we did and learned if you didn’t reply to “do not want this month’s record,” you’d get it anyway. We kinda dreaded those days our daddy would come home with mail that was the size of a medium pizza box. That meant we were going to have to pay full price for the record because our “cancel this month’s order card” did not reach the company within the cancellation time. What a huge promotional moneymaker.

The music in the first half of the ’50s was the light-hearted lyrics reflecting the Post WWII Era. Some of the singers hitting the charts had been singing since the 30s & 40s, such as the Ink Spots, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby.  Joining those were new voices singing new tempos, lyrics and beats. A few were: The Crew Cuts, Guy Mitchell, Gale Storm, Four Lads, Dean Martin, Joni James, The Platters, Gogi Grant, Patti Paige, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney, and Perry Como—and all considered “parent friendly.”

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Some songs of the early 50s that would later be called “country” were immersed into the pop radio stations as well. There were the great story songs from Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Conway Twitty, The Browns, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, and Eddy Arnold.

By the mid 50s, however, the sounds were changing as younger performers were trying to grab up the expanding youth market appealing directly to young people with money of their own to spend. Yet, all that “white American complacency” could not hold back the vitality of Black R&B music, so a whole new sound emerged—Rock and Roll.

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In the South, where Country and Western had ruled the charts, Sam Phillips (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 1986) opened the Memphis Recording Service – the first place a black musician could go to record. Phillips’ motto was “We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime.” [2]

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Cracks in the dam broke loose during the summer of 1953 when Elvis Presley came to the Memphis Recording Service to make a record, ostensibly for his mother’s birthday, but with hope of being discovered. In this initial session Elvis recorded “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.”[2]

thQZS0SUXOSoon the youth declared Mom & Dad’s music wasn’t “cool, Daddy O.”

Another movement in musical style was when the airways of the 50s became filled with harmonies of new groups capitalizing on those smooth sounding groups of the 30s & 40s. The listener now could sing along high or low or in between. The great harmonies were a favorite of mine. I had heard music all my life that moves along closely above, below and between the standard note.Music Notes in Circle

It would be when I was away from home visiting friends that I first began listening to the Rock ‘n Roll of the 50s & 60s–Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jackie Wilson, Bobby Rydell, Jimmy Clanton, Bobby Darrin, The Diamonds on my friend’s portable record player.  Soon my sister & I would purchase the 45 rpm records (and the insert to play on a standard spindle).  Some of those music makers came and went; others with true talents moved through the decades such as Paul Anka, Bobby Vinton, Elvis, B. J. Thomas, the Platters.

blues musicBecause black R&B groups now had the privilege of being played on radios and appearing on Dick Clark’s Bandstand, more and more performers echoed our thoughts. The likes of Chubby Checkers, Ronettes, Supremes, Coasters, Sam Cooke, Shirelles, Chuck Berry, Hank Ballard, Otis Redding were among those who gave us music to which we could move, dance and sing along.  It was the beat…always about the beat…pulsating and destroying the old safety nets with a virile, passionate new sound. Kitschy as the words may be, we enjoyed singing lyrics like “take out the papers and the trash,” “like a long neck goose” “He’s a clown that Charley Brown” or “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop.”

If you want to revisit the 50s, here is a great link to that era:    

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/QuartzM386/_1950s__billboards_top_100_songs_of_the_fifties_/

In the early 60s, I was enthralled with the music and chance to dance & sway to it.  In my Texas school, every Friday night we kicked off our black flats and penny loafers so as to not scratch the gym floor and danced the night away (you wanted to make sure your socks were fashionable & clean).  There was a song just for this phenomenon: Danny & the Juniors released “At the Hop” in 1957. But it was a more romantic song that closed every Friday’s Last Dance–Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are.” I fell in love every Friday night to that song.

Close your eyes and let’s go back to the sock hop

https://youtu.be/NEH3uqbpsm8

By the mid 60s music was changing forever because of the social battles and protests from people my age. The turmoil came to us daily in the headlines and from our televisions. It wasn’t long before I began to listen to the pop songs that would lead us through one of the most challenging & controversial decades—my coming of age decade.  

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Lyrics became arrows shot toward enemies–perceived enemies–who may never would have been in another time and place.  Death and hate filled our newspapers and our television sets. The world changed our minds, our country and seemed the music would be forever dissonant.  While I always knew music was important to me and those around me, I began to realize it was a manner of speaking desires, expressing your emotions, protesting events, resulting in a manner in which what we do with music often becomes a part of who we are and who we become.

5 Ways Music Makes You Happy© further states:

What is really telling about this research is that we’re built to identify with the music and the songs we listen to — whether uplifting or sad. Music is extremely influential. So it stands to reason that through positive music, you can create a happier and more fulfilling life. (The Alternative Daily©) [2]

Can it be argued that music is a picture of who we are with our good feelings and positive sentiments contrasting  with how we express our ill will and hate? Some say it has become that in this 21st century.  Because music is such a blessing to me and so important to my well being, I just choose to listen to what makes me serene or contemplative. That was true in  the 60s 70s 80s 90s and still today.  I trend more to the melodic or less violent lyrics or even the softer instrumental arrangements. I’m fully aware music expresses the story of love, the story of struggle, the hopes and dreams, and the joy of living. I don’t need words of hate and distress in my life, so I choose to let the notes float to me on waves of beauty.

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When I study the paths my life has taken, I don’t regret but hopefully learn there are some things that should remain. Music is one of the essentials which should remain in my life. When a note, be it an instrument or the human voice is formed, it should be used for the good of ourselves or others.

Through it all there was the gospel and religious music.  I learned those notes and words listening to my mother practice in church.  I sang along with my daddy to the radio while we traveled in his truck. I sang along with my grandmother while she played the piano, and she taught me the harmony notes. My sister and I both lent our voices to our churches for years.

And this is why:

 

When was the first time I sang? My family tells me it was long before I could pronounce the words. But it didn’t stop there! Soon I began dancing to the music that we would play on our record player (Dinah Shore’s Button & Bows was one of my routines). I never was afraid of being in front of people, so singing to audiences was a normal part of my life.  I’m not sure if such confidence was a part of my personality or simply part of wanting to hear & sing all the music I could find. And I still do!

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Learning is one of my favorite hobbies. So that means if I hear some music I enjoy, I must research it and discover who wrote it, who performed it, what year it was introduced, etc. In the midst of that research, I find other music and musicians and introduce them into my music library thus making it a living/changing tribute.

In these years of electronic advancement, I’m delighted for programs such as Pandora so I don’t have to carry around CDs, casettes or 8-tracks.     I just plug in my phone and let the notes lead me down the road.

See the source image

Join me here again for

New Journeys on

Old Roads

[1] Definition: psithurism (sith-err-iz-um). (rustling whispers of the trees on
a windy day)
We can’t see wind, only the things it moves. Likewise, we can’t hear wind 
unless it’s flowing past something that makes it vibrate; this causes it to
adopt various sonic guises depending on what it interacts with.
[2] https://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-ways-music-makes-you-happy/ 
5 Ways Music Makes You Happy ©The Alternative Daily 2019
[3] Copyright 1996-2020. Michael Rich. All rights reserved. 
WWW.FIFTIESWEB.COM is a creation of RichWeb and is not endorsed or 
sponsored by or affiliated with any of the products, services, programs, 
celebrities or entities mentioned herein

[4]https://www.nme.com/list/100-best-songs-of-the-1950s-1155

New Journey … on New Roads

I most often take you down New Journeys on Old Roads, but in April, you can ride with me along some New Roads I’ve never traveled. We can stop and dip our toe in the Atlantic along Florida’s beaches, breathe in the salty magic of the ocean, ponder the history of the struggles of a people, and feed our soul on the blues music of the Deep South. We’ll drive Atlantic Ocean’s 1-A1 Route viewing Florida’s coastal lighthouses. We’ll visit the sprawling Naval Station Norfolk, largest naval station in the world. At the halfway point of the tour, we’ll enter the southern portion of the 2,000 miles of the Appalachian & Allegheny Mountains. Before I bring you back home, we’ll visit FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals AL and see some musical collections in Memphis. But don’t worry…after I drive you out of the Deep South, we’ll celebrate more music in the dazzling and magical Ozark Mountains before we turn south to the Red River and back to TX.

Magical Musical Historical Tour

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Beginning on the Historic Bankhead Highway Route, we’ll leave North TX along I-20 into the East Texas Forests, through Caddo Parish, LA along Highway 80 to the Bossier Strip casinos.

 

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We’ll cross the Mississippi River in Vicksburg MS where the river boats roll, and we’ll imagine the captain might be Mark Twain.

Riverboat

Just south of Vicksburg is Natchez, MS. The historic Natchez Trace Parkway is a forest trail extending roughly 440 miles from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi, linking the Cumberland (in TN) and Mississippi Rivers.web-Natcheztrl-e1450370163848 (1)

natchez-trace-parkway-mississippi-tennessee4At the point where we pull onto the Trace, you’ll need to be ready to pause & reflect upon one of the harshest exercises of US laws—the Indian Removal Act of 1830. By 1838, over 100,000 Native Americans Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole were forcibly relocated from the rich fertile soil of their ancestral homes in the South to a newly cleared desolate dirt land called “Indian Territory” (present day OK). This “herding” has been called the “Trail of Tears”; more than 15,000 died on the trail.

At the Forks of the Road intersection in Natchez, in the decades before the Civil War, this marketplace was where enslaved Africans were brought from southern plantations to be bought & sold. For this reason, The Trace is sometimes referred to as the “Slavery Trail of Tears.” After arriving in the southern part of the Trace, slaves were marched to the Mississippi River to be placed on barges for delivery to owners. The 13th Amendment ended slavery in the US 1865.

Music Notes in Circle

I can’t be only a history seeker—I must feed my other passion—MUSIC

 

blues music

The most prominent highway in blues lore was U.S. Highway 61. With the advancement of the automobile & national highway system in the 20s & 30s, the blues, jazz & spirituals by African Americans singing about the riverboats, trains & railroads expanded its audience. The sound, too long trapped in the Deep South, moved along this same trail as other historical migrations. From the Birthplace of the Blues in New Orleans, moving northward through Memphis, St. Louis and eventually to St. Paul changing music for centuries to come.

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About 3 hours later, we’ll pull into Selma Alabama, the location of another type of cultural crisis occurring in the 20th century playing out in an ugly horrific scene on March 7, 1965. Known as “Bloody Sunday,” African-Americans seeking voting rights crossed Edmund Pettus Bridge to walk to the capitol in Montgomery. They were met by law enforcement on foot and horseback blocking the way off the bridge; many were beaten including now-congressman John Lewis. By March 21st, accompanied by the Alabama National Guard under federal command, the march was peacefully completed once again led by John Lewis and joined by Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King and Andrew Young. In August 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Voting Act.

The next stop on this Magical Musical Historical Tour is St. Augustine FL. I’ve never traveled to FL so I picked this scenic city with a rich history.

Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States.  Its prominence and location made it ripe for trade & settlement but also a target for invaders and pirates. The territory suffered through multiple turmoil during its history including marauding European Empires’ explorers, the Civil War Confederacy, the Civil Rights Violence, and persistent developers trying to quickly buy it up as the “winter haven” for the northern rich.

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St. Augustine Lighthouse

The scenic drive along the Southeastern Coast’s A-1A features numerous lighthouses–a landmark I try to visit in all my travels.

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When we leave St. Augustine by way of US Highway 17, I’ll do my best to not get lost as we cross rivers, inlets and bays tracking along the shore for most of its 1,000 miles parallel to I-95 from Punta Gorda, Florida to Winchester, Virginia. We’ll cover some 665 miles through places which are little more than a small country road, while in others it’s a main thoroughfare. I’ve identified some 15 bridges along the way…and may I say crossing bridges is a “challenge” for me!

We’ll visit the sprawling Naval Station, the largest Navy station in the world, supporting 75 ships & 134 aircraft alongside – 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangars housing the largest concentration of US Navy forces. The air operations conduct nearly 300 flights a day on average totaling over 100,000 arrivals/departures each year.

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110715-N-QY430-162 NORFOLK (July 15, 2011) The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) arrives at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rafael Martie/Released)                                                                    [used from Navy Times public photos]

90 miles southeast of Richmond VA, Norfolk is about 18 miles from the Atlantic Ocean near the popular beach town of Virginia Beach bordered by Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Road Harbor.

thNU3Z0YYRFamily Time – where life begins and love never ends 

(unknown author but I’ve decided to make it mine!)

I’m spending some time with my new great granddaughter. She’s a big part of this journey–pretty good reason.

After a while, we’ll say our goodbyes and I’ll begin a NW route where we’ll encounter the Appalachian Mountains, the Shenandoah River and into the Monongahela National Forest. The Forest comprises 1/3 of the Allegheny Mountains, and, as such, part of the Appalachian Range forming the Eastern Continental Divide.

Family Time – where life begins and love never ends 

In Elkins I’ll visit with my son & daughter-in-law who live on a piece of beautiful property backed up to the Monongahela National Forest with their horses & cats. Some TX sized stories will be shared and then I’ll load up for the SW run to TN.

The city of Knoxville is one of the gateways to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, its location at the confluence of three major rivers in the Tennessee Valley brought flat boat and steamboat traffic creating one of the South Eastern’s merchandising areas. Between the ridge-valley of the Appalachian Mountains and Cumberland Plateau, Chattanooga is called the “Scenic City.”

thNHDRWRNT…a musical note here…city made famous in the 1941 song “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller. (if you don’t know or just want to hear again, here’s the song).

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=video+of+chattanooga+cho+cho+tex+beneke&&view=detail&mid=F64F71C592EC889C0AC7F64F71C592EC889C0AC7&&FORM=VRDGA

What is THE MUSCLE SHOALS SOUND?

It won’t surprise you that my Magical Musical Historical Tour calls for a detour here in Northern AL.  It has been said of this lonely-looking building there is a quiet magic in the air. There are tours of this iconic studio so I’m going to experience the magic! FAME_Recording_Studios_Muscle_Shoals

Artists from the Deep South and some from outside the South gathered with the local musicians to create their own sound at FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprise).

Detroit rocker Bob Seger’s signature song — “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll” — began as a demo tape at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. An engineer’s mistake gave the song its distinctive da-da-da intro. Seger liked the sound and kept it in the final song.

Over the years, some of the artists who recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio included The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook, Julian Lennon, Oak Ridge Boys, Cher, Alman Brothers, and Glenn Frey

I could talk music all day, but I’ll leave you with a couple sites you can visit for more details.

http://muscleshoalssmalltownbigsound.com/

https://www.npr.org/2003/09/20/1437161/the-legendary-muscle-shoals-sound

Bet I’ll be singing some of those great songs recorded at FAME as I turn NW out of AL headed to a sundown in one of the most beautiful river towns in the Deep South, defined as a region stretching from Memphis TN in the north to Vicksburg MS in the south and from Helena AR in the west to the Yazoo River in the east. I’ll be entering the city on part of the Blues Highway 51 that carries the name of the undisputed King of Rock ‘n Roll Elvis Presley Blvd. Highway 51, a north/south terminus, runs parallel with Highway 61 visited in the beginning of this tourMississippi-River-Memphis-Tennessee-620x413

There is no other thing that captures my mind and soul like music. That’s why I keep coming back to revisit the “never-since-replicated” music of the 50s & 60s. Not only is it part of my “coming of age” timeline, but these songs form the base of my musical interests. You’ll remember we began this Magical Musical Historical Tour on the Mississippi & Blues Highway 61. We now come back to visit more of the sounds of the Delta.

These lyrics will set the tone for the places I’ll walk:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=walking+in+memphis+video&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

Scholars disagree as to whether there is a substantial musicological difference between blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta and blues from other parts of the country. They note the defining characteristics of Delta blues are instrumentation and an emphasis on rhythm; the songs are typically expressed in the first person and often concern love, sex, traveling, lifestyle, life’s tribulations, sin, salvation and death.

The list of musicians who got their start in Memphis reads like a Who’s Who of  music royalty.  Led by “the King” you can add Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Booker T & the MGs, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Percy Sledge, Sam & Dave and B.B. King.

There are so many landmarks to visit, I’ll just mention a few:

  • Beale Street (national historical landmark);
  • Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio;
  • Stax Records (soul sound grittier than Motown);
  • Graceland;
  • Heartbreak Hotel;

I’m taking a tour of the Rock & Soul Museum; here is their site for details. You may want to make the museum part of your next trip.

https://www.memphisrocknsoul.org/exhibits

 

memphisWhile lost in my thoughts and the tunes of blues, I must not forget Memphis is home to Tennessee’s largest African-American population and played a prominent role in the American Civil Rights Movement. The city on the Mississippi was the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination at the Loraine Motel. The city hosts the National Civil Rights Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate institution. There is also an outside museum at the Loraine Motel.

I’ll make my final crossing over the Mississippi as I leave out of Memphis, taking a NW road through the Mark Twain National Forest on Highway 60. That day’s journey will bring me to Branson MO.

It’s been called a “Nashville in the Ozarks” first developed in the 1960s, the theaters of Branson abound with various musical shows, revues & good food on the lake. Theaters bear the names of heavy weights in the industry: Andy Williams Moon River, Glen Campbell Goodtime, Roy Clark, Oak Ridge Boys, Wayne Newton, Ray Stevens, Mel Tillis, Osmond Brothers, Lawrence Welk Orchestra, and Bobby Vinton Blue Velvet.

No matter how I love the music, nothing can surpass the allure of the mist on the Ozark Mountains. I forever hear your song!Ozarks

This Texan always feels the flat lands of OK/TX calling me home. A turn southwest out of the Ozarks leads you across that territory I first mentioned called “Indian Territory”  My grandfather was born there before it became the state of OK.

But we’re not through with rivers yet. We will cross the Arkansas, a major tributary of the Mississippi River flowing east/southeast across Arkansas and Oklahoma. At 1,469 miles (2,364 km), it is the sixth-longest river in the US & the second-longest tributary in the Mississippi-Missouri system…and the 45th longest river in the world.

I know the last river I’ll cross is the one mentioned in the songs of “Western Swing” and “Cowboy Songs” my daddy sang.

Waylon Jennings sings about that place in his lyrics:

But when you cross that ol’ Red River hoss, That just don’t mean a thing

Once you’re down in Texas, Bob Wills is still the King

Crossing the Red River joining OK/TX makes my heart beat a little faster, my feet feel more solid, and draws my gaze to the sparse vegetation. We’ll quickly begin to see a line of 200-300 ft wind turbines utilizing all the wind-swept vastness of these plains.

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 Magical Musical Historical Tour

As a seeker of history, I must remain open to other’s stories and other’s experiences. That is the only way we humans can mend our differences and understand what happens around us.

The musical portion is not a side “note” for me but an integral part of my being. I listen to music not only for the beat or rhythm but for the depth of someone’s soul displayed in the sounds of words or relationship of the notes & chords that come forth.

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Note: please read my comment policy under “My Rules”

Music is My Prayer

When I find it hard to go on without those who’ve gone,

I turn to songs.

I mix a potion to heal my wounded heart by melding

lyrics to those songs.

When I seek to bring hope and peace to others,

I write words that rhyme.

But when I try to say how you touched my life,

I find the music is out of tune and out of time.

I know this dissonance surely can’t be right.

But I know One who can calm the troubled shores~

One who loves no matter what – and then even more~

One who says, “You don’t have to do it all alone.”~

I’ll stay with you through the darkness of the journey home.

I can feel when we’ve turned the corner into light.

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I reach deep inside for the music that strengthens my heart.

I listen quietly, the prayers take rise, and the music starts.

With your memory close inside me for the lonely times,

I’ll come back again and sing to you the words I’ve I turned into rhymes.

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Rain, rain, go away…

 

People pray for it
They write about it
Some curse it
Many welcome it
Some run through it
Some run into it
Some run from it

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What is the one thing that can elicit the most

emotions

actions

re-actions

It’s simply RAIN

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As a child did you ever sing

“rain, rain go away; come again some other day.”

Learn to live in it

with it

through it

Try to praise it

write odes to it

sing about it

It’s only RAIN!

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It will pass

it will end

it will move on

Don’t be caught

looking the other way

or you’ll miss the very best thing

of all about rain…

 thFU05U7XT

The Rainbow

Does Wind Whisper or Roar?

Later in this column, I’ll give you the scientific definition of WIND.  But for the moment, think about wind only as a source of energy—something we can’t see but can feel.  I consider it the most mysterious of weather conditions.  Where is it?  If it can be so powerful, why can’t we see it?flowers_blowing_in_the_wind_by_silverlioness77-d4zxkz1[1]

 

This winter of 2013/2014 has proved to be one of the most extreme weather patterns in recent years (in some cases decades).

Mostly we consider wind to be the “source” that:

  • messes up our hair
  • takes the dirt/dust in the air and collects it on our cars,
  • sends the pollen into our red, watery, itchy eyes.

It is also that thing which causes your little speeding golf ball to take an unruly path away from the hole on the green.

And you may remember the frustration of trying to fly a kite which is difficult with too little or too much wind.

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For all the things we can blame on wind, I want to consider it’s positive force—how it makes you feel.  Whether you think of wind as in the concept of power or gusts or you think of it as a whisper fluttering the leaves, it undeniably has power like no other part of nature.

To me  it is the way I feel in the wind.  I know, scientifically, there is energy and power in the wind.  But to feel the wind as it touches my face and body, to let it drift over my mind and thoughts, just to see it moving the other elements of nature is so representative of a force greater than you and I.

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It seems to have the ability to make my mind clear – like clearing out the cobwebs.  It actually affects my body & health.  It takes only a few minutes outside in quiet solitude before I feel as if I’d done spring cleaning in my  thoughts completely removing the problems and worries and enjoying the deep breaths I draw.

Regeneration is a word that reminds me of what “wind” does for me.

Let’s think about when wind mixes with a particular element–that brings on a whole new meaning.

  • If it is snow blowing and swirling, then we have a blizzard;
  • if it is sand or dirt blowing, then we have a dust storm;
  • if it is rain that is moving with the wind, it may result in tornadic or hurricane force winds.th[7]

Sometimes those things bring us upheaval and disaster.  So the ferocious manner of wind is not to be ignored.  But think with me about the breeze and gusts that most often make up our day.thBTE95TC0

  • The coolness of an autumn breeze;
  • the snow moved softly by the wind;
  • the pollen pushed forth by the blowing;
  • the rain shower that blows upon us for only minutes.

Like most of us in the US, I’m awaiting those days that will soon burst forth giving us more pollen, more rain, more movement than has laid below our frozen tundra and iced vegetation.  As the Spring of 2014 drifts upon us in a few more days (weeks), I hope I will be able to appreciate what the wind provides for us and greet it with welcoming smiles.

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Wind dusts off, cleans away, and refreshes the earth as well as our body.  The power of the wind reminds me the source of all wind (all energies) is controlled by my Creator and that God is the maker and purveyor of this earth.

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Scientific Information about wind:  For any of you who wish to read a “scientific Description” of wind, you may click this link.  It seemed to me to be very mysterious in its definition—a little like wind seems to me!  http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_causes_wind.htm

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For the wordsmiths among us, here are other words for wind:

breath  ♦  breeze  ♦  draft  ♦  ozone  ♦  puff  ♦  blast ♦ waft ♦

whirlwind cyclone  ♦  flutter ♦  cyclone ♦  flutter  ♦  tempest  ♦

typhoon  ♦ zephyr  ♦  ventilation  ♦  chinook  ♦ psithurism

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Wind has so many attributes and has often been used in music & poetry.

One of the songs about “wind” is represented in the1969 Hollywood film “Paint 
Your Wagon” (They Call the Wind) Maria (pronounced /məˈr.ə/) performed by 
Harve Presnell.  Here is a video of that performance.

click here⇓

 

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The exact opposite of Maria is when “wind” brings us the soft, wistful thoughts.  “The Breeze & I are whispering goodbye…”  For those who want to dance in the breeze, I’ve included that haunting melody here

The Breeze and I - words by Al Stillman, music by Ernesto Lecuona
music written in 1929 as a piano piece called "Andaluza,"part of the Andalucia Suite
by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona - words added later by Al Stillman - 
sung here by Caterina Valente, 1953

The breeze and I are saying with a sigh
That you no longer care
The breeze and I are whispering goodbye
To dreams we used to share

Ours was a love song that seemed constant as the moon
Ending in a strange, mournful tune
And all about me, they know you have departed without me
And we wonder why, the breeze and I
The breeze and I

click here⇓

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Here is a little known fact related to weatherology:

As mentioned, the song  “They Call the Wind Maria” was featured in the 1969 Hollywood film “Paint Your Wagon,” starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg.  It was George Rippey Stewart’s 1941 novel Storm, in which he presents the storm which is the protagonist of his story  and named it “Maria” (pronounced /məˈr.ə/).

In 1947, Stewart wrote a new introduction for a reprint of the book, and discussed the pronunciation of “Maria”:

“The soft Spanish pronunciation is fine for some heroines, but our Maria here is too big for any man to embrace and much too boisterous.” He went on to say, “So put the accent on the second syllable, and pronounce it ‘rye'”

The success of Stewart’s novel was one factor that motivated U.S. military meteorologists to start the informal practice of giving women’s names to storms in the Pacific during World War II. The practice became official in 1945. In 1953, a similar system of using women’s names was adopted for North Atlantic storms. This continued until 1979, when men’s names were incorporated into the system.

Think about how the wind moves through nature and through you.

“..A Poem as Lovely as a Tree…”

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Sometimes our fate resembles the fruit tree in winter.  Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom; but we hope it; we know it.

Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

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In every winter’s heart, there is a quivering spring and behind the veil of night there is a smiling dawn.

Kahlil Gibran

sunrise edited

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If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

Kahlil Gibran

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click  link below to hear musical version of Joyce Kilmer’s ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE featuring Mario Lanza, recorded 1952

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=if4gWDYdyEU#t=9

Printed Lyrics to Only God Can Make a Tree

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the sweet Earth’s flowing breast

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain

Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree

Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; 6 December 1886 – 30 July 1918)
was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled
"Trees" (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems
in 1914.

Do You Have a Dream?

You Are Not Alone… 

[Before you begin to read this, click the video below,
open it and let it play while you read. Chopin touches my 
heart in a spiritual way!]

A comparison to music and dreams may seem a bit strange, but I believe they are very much alike.  And I like the idea that a dream is akin to music notes flying across time and space.  Some say that musicians and dreamers are less than realistic emphasizing both pursuits are a bit ambiguous and elusive.  True, you can’t hold them or look at them or put them in a box…but the results born out of either is like unto love…and that is real.

You may have experienced that life puts you right in the middle of living with no time for fanciful things–like dreaming.  I was one of those giving excuses for holding my dreams inside of me letting them become distant and unattended.  I had hushed the joy of my melody by keeping the music silent.

Then, circumstances changed.  Even after I had the opportunity to sing my song for all to hear, I hesitated.  Sometimes we actually are afraid of our dreams…we are afraid to make the music if others will hear it.  We’re a little embarrassed about what we think is good and maybe someone else would call it shallow, inferior.  Even after I’d found the time to pursue my dream, it took me a while to be brave enough to step into the abyss of my imagination.  So just recently I found a way to put a life-time dream into action, and the music (words) began to flow freely…and you’re reading it now!

I believe the words I write are like music playing all across the internet – straight from my heart to yours.

I INVITE YOU to dream, make the music, take the chance, play the song even if it is not yet concert worthy.  For living your dream is the most satisfying and joyous thing you can do.    Sad that we give in to denying ourselves the joy; but how much more lovely our world would be if we did not hold our dreams and music hostage inside us.  To make the world more beautiful and peaceful, we must set them free.

YOU HAVE A PLACE YOU CAN SPEAK YOUR DREAM, YOUR WISH, YOUR HEART’S DESIRE.

On this blog, you can leave your dream.  You can test out your ideas.  This is a place you can share with others.

Like a secret, some say a dream loses its strength if  you share it.  Others say it confirms its validity when you hear it echoed from your thoughts into words.  Again, this is how dreams are like music.  Imagine this…the music is there even before the piano key is pressed, before the strings are strummed or the voice emits a sound.

You may have a valid point when you say you’re hesitating because someone else is squashing your ideas and dreams.  I understand that.  I’ve been in that place.  It takes a strong belief in yourself, your self-worth, your abilities, and a lot of extra effort to dig out of such a negative place.

Here, I may need to remind you:

what is inside of you is yours…you must own it, defend it, direct it and it’s no one else’s responsibility.  Therefore, you cannot blame your failure to try upon someone else.  Well, you can, but it does nothing to promote achievement of your personal goals.  And it’s no one else’s business how you dream your dream.  How do you know if a dream is worth the effort?  If it burns inside of you, then it’s worthy.

After you have established the belief that your dreams are worth pursuing, the next step is to research it, check out others who are doing what you want to do, read their stories, play their compositions.  The struggle others have experienced and the roads they have traveled to victory is an important lesson for you to know.  Maybe it’s time to let what’s inside you have its voice and let it go where it may.  Think how many you could influence if you put feet to that dream and wings to that music

I will publish your wish, your dream, your goal so others may see faith in action. 

Or if you just want to write it down and don’t want the world to know, I will keep it safe for you.

If you are in the midst of that negative place, read about others who found the strength to work their way out.  If you doubt your abilities, go ahead and try; you will either succeed or fail.  If you want to make the music, find a quiet place and begin your symphony.  Starting over or stepping onto another path is never easy, but what awaits is pure joy and peace.

Let the music out of your soul~
Let it fly across the world to others.Music Notes in Circle
 
“Don’t die with the music still in you.”  Wayne W. Dyer
By clicking Leave a Comment beside the title of this story, you can leave your dream for safe keeping or to share with others.  I will leave this as the top story for a month for you to write, revisit, share with others, and say what you wish to about your dreams or the music you are composing in your life.
You may also follow me on Twitter by clicking the “Follow Me on Twitter” on my home page or by clicking this link: https://twitter.com/VanHessTXred
You may follow this blog by e-mail and be notified when new posts are published.
© Van Hess and New Journeys On Old Roads, 2013-14

Christmas Wishes

angel

There are angels among us and

Christmas wishes can come true

Hope your many wishes, prayers and thoughts are strengthened with the joy of knowing it’s possible.  There’s nothing as precious as wishes made in your heart at Christmas time.

May peace fill your mind and heart today and for every day of the year(s) ahead. There is no greater peace than what God offers.

Whisper a prayer, and let this angel deliver it to the heart that needs it most…I just did and sent it to you..

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One of my all-time favorite singers with a great song.  Thanks, B. J. Thomas, for all the music through the years…and for this particular one!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:14 KJV
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GOD'S POETIC CHILD!!!

Dear Reader, I am here to give you a little taste of poetry with some water on the side. When you come on my blog that's all that you will taste is Poetry. Not the type of poetry where it doesn't have a meaning. The type of poetry where you will be inspired, uplifted and you will have a different mindset once you leave this site. You might even come to get a taste of this poetry again. Don't be afraid to let your kids read this blog. My poetry is for and to help the youth. Bring them along with you. You both are scrolling down your phone or on the computer anyway. Let's have fun and get a taste of some poetry. I promise this type of poetry tastes delicious. Grab a plate and a fork and I'll feed you. ENJOY!!!!

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