Before her retirement many years ago, my mother was a professor at an institution of higher learning in Laredo, Texas, teaching Spanish Literature and English as a Second Language. I ended up following her career path, though in a different discipline (History).
Anyone who has worked in academia will tell you of some of the strange and bizarre excuses that students come up with for missing class. My mom, however, encountered one that I doubt I’ll ever top. Once, a female student of hers who was pregnant said she couldn’t make it to class one evening because her parents, who were very superstitious, believed that if she went out during a full moon she would end up giving birth to a werewolf.
I wonder what Warren Zevon would’ve thought…
Well, look at this video. (4:19)
In fact anyone who has ever heard Kate Smith sing must be ostracized just to be safe. We need to be protected because she sang two songs in the 30s that no one but Social Justice Matters remembers. It was not PC before PC was invented therefore … Social Justice Matters is the group with the motto, “We just really don’t get satire and you shouldn’t either.”
“Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” by Charles Wesley
1 Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
2 Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
3 Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
4 Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
5 Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
6 King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!
I picked this because Christianity Today said that as near as they can tell it is the most popular Easter hymn in America.
Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
see him dying on the tree!
‘Tis the Christ by man rejected;
yes, my soul, ’tis he, ’tis he!
‘Tis the long-expected Prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
by His Son God now has spoken:
’tis the true and faithful Word.
Tell me, ye who hear him groaning,
was there ever grief like His?
Friends through fear His cause disowning,
foes insulting His distress;
many hands were raised to wound Him,
none would interpose to save;
but the deepest stroke that pierced Him
was the stroke that Justice gave.
Ye who think of sin but lightly
nor suppose the evil great
here may view its nature rightly,
here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed,
see who bears the awful load;
’tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man and Son of God.
Here we have a firm foundation,
here the refuge of the lost;
Christ the Rock of our salvation,
His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,
sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
who on him their hope have built.
Here is a poem for your consideration as we celebrate Holy Week in the midst of sadness over the great damage to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. This poem does not come from a post-Christian, unbelieving viewpoint, teetering on the edge of depression. I spared you my comments on those poems. Instead I have a different poem to offer. This is a manly poem, encouraging us to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and start all over again, striding out with confidence in the approaching bright Easter Day.
Built on the Rock, the church shall stand
even when steeples are falling;
Crumbled have spires in ev’ry land;
bells still are chiming and calling.
Calling the young and old to rest,
calling the souls of those distressed,
longing for life everlasting.
Not in a temple made with hands
God the Almighty is dwelling;
high in the heav’ns His temple stands,
all earthly temples excelling.
Yet He who dwells in heaven above
chooses to live with us in love,
making our bodies His temple.
We are God’s house of living stones,
built for His own habitation;
He fills our hearts, His humble thrones,
granting us life and salvation.
Yet to the place, an earthly frame,
we come with thanks to praise His name;
God grants His people true blessing.
Thro’ all the passing years, O Lord,
grant that, when church bells are ringing,
many may come to hear God’s Word
where He His promise is bringing:
“I know My own, My own know Me,
you, not the world, My face shall see;
My peace I leave with you. Amen.”
The author was Nikolai Fredrik Severin Grundtvig. It was translated from Danish by Carl Döving.
Tonight was the annual concert of my village’s brass band, L’Avenir. The brass band has two major concerts per year, in the spring and at Advent, and performs at events such as the 1er août and Désalpe. The band often has joint concerts with other bands in the region, both in Lignières and their homes, and competes in regional and national contests and has historically performed very well for a volunteer band from a village of around 1000 people.
The concerts turn out a substantial fraction of the village. I’m not skilled at estimating crowds, but this one pretty much filled up the school gymnasium where it was held, and I’d guess there were around 350 people there. I rarely miss a concert, but this was one where attendance was obligatoire, because I was to be made an honorary member of the band due to my support over the last quarter century. (If you knew how rudimentary my musical talent is, you’d appreciate what an honour this is.) I got a specially inscribed magnum of Neuchâtel Pinot Noir and applause from the crowd.
Let’s get to the music. Here are three of the pieces from the concert. These were recorded with my Canon S100 pocket camera (the same one that froze solid at the South Pole, but worked fine when it thawed out and continues to soldier on six years later), then converted with OpenShot to OGG (Theora/Vobis) format at 360 pixel resolution with medium quality video, but full CD-quality stereo audio, which is what matters. I’ll bet you can’t turn your computer speakers up high enough to be as loud as it was in person.
The repertoire is varied: lots of classic brass band material like marches, but also jazz, classical music like Grieg’s Peer Gynt suite and, as you’ll see and hear, movie music. Goutez!
All of us have songs we remember from when we used to listen to new songs, as opposed to grumbling about the noise that kids listen to today.
Here are two of my favourites from the 1980s. What are yours from your personal musical Overton window?
The best selling album is The Eagles’ “Greatest Hits 1971-1975. Thriller by Michael Jackson no longer has the title.
What is your number one Eagles’ tune?
Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
Take It Easy
One Of These Nights
Take It To The Limit
Peaceful Easy Feeling
The Best Of My Love
Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2
Seven Bridges Road (Live Version)
Victim Of Love
The Sad Cafe
Life In The Fast Lane
I Can’t Tell You Why
New Kid In Town
The Long Run
After The Thrill Is Gone
You know, in the bayous of Louisiana – quelle beau pays – that’s what the Cajuns say.
And in New York’s Little Italy – que bella terra – that’s how they say it their way.
And in the beer halls of Milwaukee, you’ll hear the words wie schöne das Land.
And it’s que lindo país – that’s what you’ll hear them say along the border, down by the Rio Grande.
You know there’s a lot of ways to say it. And it’s a privilege to play it.
‘Cause a lot of good people earned it. And this is how I learned it…
About once a month, usually in the months with an ‘r’ in their names, a painter near me hosts a concert or recital in his studio. He’s a fairly traditional representational artist who eschews aspects of modernity.* Last night, he made an exception for a group of Boston-based musicians** on tour. They were brilliant.
During the intermission, I spoke to one of the violists, asking if they were on Patreon since I was interested in supporting them. She told me they were, and would say something about that at the end of the concert. We were subsequently informed that they were passionate about social justice issues, particularly “immigrant rights.” Well, that put an end to any thoughts of helping them. If only they’d kept their stupid political mouths shut! The Left are shooting themselves in the foot every day.
*In the program notes for a previous concert, the host artist had written some things that reminded me of the work of philosopher Roger Scruton. During a break I asked him if he was familiar with Scruton’s ideas. He said, “not only that but Scruton sat for a portrait here last last time he was in Los Angeles.”
**The group’s name is Palaver Strings. When I think of palaver it’s in the context of pointless palaver. They have a different interpretation but mine is closer to the mark, at least when they open their mouths. They should stick to bowing strings.
Most soothing song in my collection. Upbeat but serene.
I could feel at the time
There was no way of knowing
Fallen leaves in the night
Who can say where they’re blowing?
As free as the wind
Why the sea on the tide
Has no way of turning
More than this
You know there’s nothing
More than this
Tell me one thing
More than this
Ooh, there’s nothing
It was fun for a while
There was no way of knowing
Like a dream in the night
Who can say where we’re going?
No care in the world
(Maybe I’m learning
Why the sea on the tide
Has no way of turning)