Sunday, February 13, 2005

It's not a meme; it's pie... yummy, yummy pie 

The lovely Bakerina provided answers to the following questions, but did not follow directions (it's not baking, after all) regarding passing of the stick. Instead, she left said stick on the table, saying, "Maybe if you think of it less as a stick and more as a freshly-baked pie...everybody likes freshly-baked pie."

I think I'll have some pie...

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

Does this mean audio files, or sheet music files? I'm rather an accidental Luddite about audio files; there are none resident on my computer. I have the technology and lots of music that I love, but I just haven't bothered. I do have, however, a number of PDF files of sheet music for English Country Dance tunes.

The CD you last bought?

'Down Came an Angel', a recording of solo piano interpretations of Christmas songs by Jacqueline Schwab, a tremendously talented pianist and truly lovely person. While I know her from the community of folk dance musicians, many more peope will recognize her playing from Ken Burns' documentaries: The Civil War, Lewis and Clark, and others.

What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

The Coffee Drink Delivery Service song, as "written" and sung by my husband Paul.

Oh, did this mean recorded music? Hmmm... I really don't remember.

Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

Five? How am I supposed to choose? It's made a bit easier because much of the music that I love most does not have words, and would therefore be classified as tunes rather than as songs.

'One I Love' by Jean Ritchie. A lovely waltz-time song by one of the matriarchs of American folk music, this song has traces of the traditional Irish, English and Appalachian songs that the Ritchies collected. I learned it around the time that Paul and I got engaged; it's as close to being "our song" as any, but a little different in that I sing it for him.
For when the fire to ice doth turn,
And when the icy sea will burn
And when those rocks all melt in the sun
My love for you has just begun.
One, I love. Two, he loves. Three, he's true to me.

'World's Bliss: Medieval Songs of Love and Death' by John Fleagle. This is an entire album; if pressed, I would choose 'The Hern' (The Heron) as my favorite song on it. John had one of the most glorious voices I have heard, and played a number of early and modern instruments beautifully. He died too young. My friend Shira Kammen, whose violin seems like an extension not only of her body, but of her very being, played on this album with John.

'Why Walk When You Can Fly?' and 'Jubilee' by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Perhaps I'll just choose all of 'Stones in the Road,' which is one of the few albums I own on which I like every track.

'No Man's Land' by Eric Bogle, on June Tabor's album Ashes and Diamonds. I was listening to this "song about the waste and futility of war" written after Bogle's visit to cemeteries in Flanders, when I heard that the US had attacked Iraq in 1991. I think of it often these days.
And I can't help but wonder now, Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you "the cause?"
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it's all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

'Cold Missouri Waters' by James Keelaghan, as sung by the short-lived group Cry, Cry, Cry (Richard Shindell, Dar Williams, and Lucy Kaplansky). Inspired by Norman MacLean's book Young Men and Fire, this is perhaps the best modern ballad about a real-life event that I've heard. Even reading the lyrics gives me goosebumps.
Sky had turned red, smoke was boiling
Two hundred yards to safety, death was fifty yards behind
I don't know why I just thought it
I struck a match to waist high grass running out of time
Tried to tell them, Step into this fire I set
We can't make it, this is the only chance you'll get
But they cursed me, ran for the rocks above instead
I lay face down and prayed above the cold Missouri waters

Ummm, yes, I am a folkie, and a sappy romantic. Did you really have to ask?

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

Here's a chocolate torte. Here's the whipped cream. Help yourselves. Please share.