“Calomel” as Lockdown Breakdown

In their day the Hutchinson Family Singers of New Hampshire satirized certain medical authorities as doing more harm than good to large numbers of Americans. They took a popular hymn, Old Hundred, and created lyrics for the purpose. The New Hutchinson Singers of the Eastman School of Music recorded this a cappella arrangement in 1976.

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“Get Off the Track!”

“Manchester Valley,” Joseph Pickett (1848-1918)

While Tom Steyer, as we learn in Joe Malchow’s excellent interview, perfects his agenda as newly-appointed head of Newsom’s task force on “re-opening” the California economy, protests at City Hall around the Golden State are scheduled for tomorrow. It all reminds me of this song, from 1840s New Hampshire.

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Today Only – Met Stars Sing from their Homes and Zoom It

A friend just sent word that “until early evening” today (Sunday) EST, the Met four-hour fundraiser will stream for free. It features the singers performing everybody’s favorite bits from their homes to the interwebs.

It’s such fun! Of course it’s always fun to visit other peoples’ living rooms. The singers are having fun too, obviously. In one case the improvised accompaniment was a great big beautiful accordion. I am just going through this now, and already thinking that this is way more enjoyable than pounding pavement to get to some opera house.... [Read More]


Some Easter Monday Music

Being a Catholic with traditionalist leanings, I have not been much of a fan of what today is called worship music. Give me some “Salve Regina” any day. Nevertheless, there are always exceptions. A couple of years ago on Easter weekend, one of my favorite podcasters and pundits – John Derbyshire – ended his weekly podcast with the song below, titled “How Long, O Lord?” by Sovereign Grace Music:

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John Prine

John Prine succumbed to the WuFlu a few days ago. His most famous song is Angel from Montgomery. I especially like the version with Bonnie Raitt. Prine often sang about loneliness, as in Hello in There or Donald & Lydia. He had a good sense of humor too, as in Dear Abby. The song that seems to fit the times best is Spanish Pipedream, which concludes with

We blew up our TV, threw away our paper
Went to the country, built us a home
Had a lot of children, fed ’em on peaches
They all found Jesus on their own... [Read More]


I Write the Code

Yesterday, a friend of mine texted me a link to a podcast, the subject of which was Bill Gates and how he (with not inconsiderable help from his family) built the Microsoft empire. At the end of the podcast was this wonderful parody by David Pogue of Barry Manilow’s hit (and piano bar staple) from 1975, “I Write the Songs”:

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Ch ch ch ch annnges….

Group effort today- what changes will occur to our society by year one AV (After Virus)?

I will throw a few out to get it started….... [Read More]


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.

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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]