Vietnam’s Ministry of Health

In an animated music video from an unlikely source, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health may have unwittingly delivered the epidemic’s anthem — a catchy three-minute tune that sounds like it belongs on Top 40 rotation reminding citizens to wash their hands vigorously, avoid touching their faces and stay clear of crowded places.

... [Read More]


The Chieftains Have Still Got It

The traditional Irish band The Chieftains are on a “Goodbye Tour” that’s not really a goodbye tour because I don’t think they’re going to retire. They put together a terrific show tonight. Besides the band itself, there were traditional Irish dancers, a Scots pipe and drum band, and a children’s chorus.  Astronaut Catherine Coleman took Matt Malloy’s flute up to the ISS in 2010. They showed a short video of her playing a tune while on her mission.

The Chieftains will be touring the US through the month of March, including New York, Pittsburg, Philly, and Chicago. If you enjoy their music, you’ll not be disappointed by their performance. They played for two hours straight. It was great fun.


Evening Music

The current state of affairs in the US, and in the West generally, is bringing me down. The last stanza of Paul Simon’s American Tune is especially poignant:

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune
Oh, and it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest... [Read More]


#metoo, Cole Porter Version

There was a revival of the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate in 2019. One of the numbers is “Always True to You in My Fashion” about the relationships between a woman and wealthy men. It’s hard to see how the interactions described in the song differ from the complaints leveled about Harvey Weinstein. Surprisingly, the 2019 revival seems to have kept the explicit money-for-sexual-favors-exchange lyrics. How the Wokerati reconcile these lyrics with the #metoo kerfuffle perplexes me.

There’s an oilman known as Tex
Who is keen to give me checks
And his checks, I fear, mean that sex
Is here to stay!... [Read More]


Replacement for his royal highness….

Ya’ know, this has gone too far. Now he wants us to call him; “Your royal highness”! Impeachment is too good for him and if we let the democrats in this forum in charge of it, well you know how that goes, it will take forever.

I propose we just look for a replacement, and I have just the puppets in mind that will fill the bill nicely. They once stared on a segment of MTV and now they say they are ready to come out of retirement! Isn’t that great?... [Read More]


Chopin, Home for Christmas, If Only in His Dreams

Lulajże, Jezuniu, “Lullaby, Little Jesus” is a traditional Polish Christmas carol dating from the nineteenth century, or who knows, perhaps earlier. Here is a lyric in original and in translation; very homey, yes?

Lulajże Jezuniu, moja Perełko,
Lulaj ulubione me Pieścidełko.
Lulajże Jezuniu, lulaj, że lulaj
A ty go matulu w płaczu utulaj

 ... [Read More]


Christmas Music

Christmas is nearly upon us, heralded by the first round of parties this weekend. It seems friends are scheduling gatherings ever earlier in the month to avoid conflicts with holiday travel and others’ parties. That’s put me in a holiday mood so I though I’d share my YouTube Christmas playlist, along with some comments about each song. The playlist spans about five centuries and several musical genres, roughly in chronological order.

Gaudete is a medieval carol from the 16th century expressing joy at the birth of Christ. It’s a simple tune that evokes a very different world.... [Read More]


Carmina Burana: Orff the Wall Libretto

In 1935–1936 Carl Orff composed Carmina Burana, a cantata based on 24 medieval poems in vulgar Latin, Old French, and Middle High German.  The work was first performed in Frankfurt in 1937.  It opens and closes with the Latin “O Fortuna”, a poem dating from the 13th century, which is the best known part of the composition.  Since few modern audiences are likely to understand medieval Latin, they’re likely to hear other things, for example:

... [Read More]


Celebrating Matrimony

In Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Pamina and Papageno sing a duet in praise of marriage between a man and woman: the only kind there was up till the day before yesterday. Pamina’s boyfriend is Tamino, while Papageno is still looking for a wife, whom he eventually finds in Papagena. Thus, the duet is not two lovers singing to each other; it’s a tribute to marriage in the abstract.

Toward the end, Papageno sings,... [Read More]


Mind Grenade

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