Category : Music

(Christian Chronicle) Loretta Lynn ‘was serious about her faith and a devout member of the church’

In her 1976 autobiography, Loretta Lynn, then 44, reflected on her “funny beliefs,” which she said sometimes mixed religion and superstition.

“I’m trying to lead a good Christian life, especially since I got baptized two years ago,” she wrote. “So there ain’t too much spicy to tell about me — just the truth.”

Elsewhere in the book, she proclaimed, “Nobody’s perfect. The only one that ever was, was crucified.”

Lynn grew up in the coal-mining community of Butcher Holler, Ky., also known as Butcher Hollow.

She attended church on Sundays and listened to preacher Elzie Banks “tell us about God and the devil.”

“I believed it all, but for some reason, I was never baptized,” she said. “After I started in music, I got away from going to church and reading the Bible. I believe I was living the way God meant me to, but I wasn’t giving God the right attention….”

Read it all.

Posted in Alcoholism, Baptism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Music, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CT) Russell Moore–Loretta Lynn: A Coal Miner’s Daughter in the #MeToo Age

Many times, the church’s response to the abuse of women can sound just like that of the 1960s-era country music industry: “Well, he’s Bill Monroe; how could someone that talented do something like that?”

Loretta Lynn could see through that, and so should we.

That’s especially true when the way of Christ is strikingly different from the way of the world. The biblical story starts and ends with a mission that includes both men and women as joint heirs with Christ—inheritors together of the mandate to conserve and govern creation, along with the kingdom that is breaking through now in Christ Jesus.

If accountability for this vision will come, it will come through honesty. And honesty—at least in an institution committed to its own self-perpetuation—often comes with controversy.

“Fighting for my freedom made me the Loretta Lynn I am today,” the singer said. “Even though it hurt, I can’t regret that. I won’t.”

That’s the Loretta Lynn the institution of country music needed to be confronted with. The institution of the church, too, need to be reminded that women and girls are not “Honky Tonk Angels” expected to endure what no one should be asked to endure.

Read it all.

Posted in Marriage & Family, Music, Religion & Culture, Women

(Church Times) Cathedral music is facing a sustainability crisis, report warns

Cathedral music faces a serious sustainability crisis and is in danger of losing credibility with the public, unless it faces up to the challenges of widening participation and increasing affordability, a comprehensive report from the Cathedral Music Trust, published on Sunday, has concluded.

The report acknowledges that cathedral music — “one of the glories of English cultural heritage” — has an importance in British national life which goes far beyond its place in daily worship. “The UK’s flagship cathedral choirs are renowned worldwide and consistently perform to the highest standards of excellence. Cathedral music is one of the UK’s greatest and most distinctive cultural assets,” it says.

It also emphasises: “Cathedral music and particularly the service of choral evensong have seen a sustained surge in popularity even at a time of decreasing church attendance overall. Many people love cathedral music for its transcendent beauty and numinous quality, whether or not they are religiously active, and there is strong support and engagement for cathedral music from those interested in heritage, the artistic value of the music and its place in education.”

But, without compromising on excellence, it must evolve to meet the challenges of the context in which it now operates, the report concludes. Cathedral choirs are “expensive to run and difficult to manage”, it acknowledges. “There is a risk that cathedral music becomes polarised between well-endowed choral foundations with linked choir schools which produce music of the highest quality but are perceived as exclusive, and those cathedrals which recruit their choristers from local schools but struggle to find the time and money to reach similar standards of excellence.”

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Church of England, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

May we Never Forget Twenty-One Years Ago Today–A Naval Academy “Anchormen” Tribute to 9/11

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Music, Terrorism

(NPR) 1980s pop goddess Olivia Newton-John has died at age 73

“I wanted this girl bad,” Travolta told Merv Griffin on TV in 1981. “The perfect Sandy, the ultimate Sandy, would be Olivia Newton-John.”

But the 28-year old Australian singer was skeptical about playing a high school student.

“I couldn’t do an American accent, and I was too old,” she told the Today show in 2019. “And I had all these reasons why I couldn’t do it. We did a screen test. The chemistry was there. It worked and when John came to see me at my house — how could you say no to John Travolta?”

No one, it seemed, could say no to Grease. The soundtrack was wildly successful. A duet with Travolta ended up as a best-selling single.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Australia / NZ, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Movies & Television, Music, Women

(CT) Hannah Anderson–The Masculinity Debate Needs Johnny Cash

Later in his life, Johnny Cash had something of a come-to-Jesus moment. Although he’d been raised and baptized in a Southern Baptist church, he rediscovered personal faith after his marriage to his second wife, June Carter Cash.

He eventually toured with Billy Graham, made several gospel albums, and in an ultimate expression of grassroots evangelical culture, took a trip to the Holy Land. The front of the album commemorating this trip is emblazoned with a holographic image of Cash standing on the Mount of Beatitudes.

It’s hard to know how much of Cash’s public persona translated to his private life, and if you read through his body of work, you’ll likely find more than one objectionable lyric. Like the United States itself, he was a man of deep challenge and contradiction.

But what you will also find is a vision of masculinity that is honest and humble. You’ll find a vision of masculinity that embraces the complexity of the human condition while refusing to blame-shift, whine, or deflect responsibility. You’ll find a vision of masculinity that knows its need of grace.

In a word, you’ll find a real man.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Music

The Full Text of America’s National Anthem

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

–Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Language, Music

An Easter Carol

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but Life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, the light;
Stronger than the wrong, the right.
Faith and Hope triumphant say,
Christ will rise on Easter-Day.

While the patient earth lies waking,
Till the morning shall be breaking,
Shuddering ‘neath the burden dread
Of her Master, cold and dead,
Hark! she hears the angels say,
Christ will rise on Easter-Day.
And when sunrise smites the mountains,
Pouring light from heavenly fountains,
Then the earth blooms out to greet
Once again the blessed feet;
And her countless voices say,
Christ has risen on Easter-Day.

Up and down our lives obedient
Walk, dear Christ, with footsteps radiant,
Till those garden lives shall be
Fair with duties done for Thee;
And our thankful spirits say,
Christ arose on Easter-Day.

–Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

Posted in Church History, Easter, Music, Poetry & Literature

Saturday Mental Health Break–Ben Rector – The Men That Drive Me Places

Mkes sure to listen to it all. More than once.

Posted in Anthropology, Language, Music, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(NYT) Stephen Sondheim, Titan of the American Musical, Is Dead at 91

Stephen Sondheim, one of Broadway history’s songwriting titans, whose music and lyrics raised and reset the artistic standard for the American stage musical, died early Friday at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 91.

His lawyer and friend, F. Richard Pappas, announced the death, which he described as sudden. The day before, Mr. Sondheim had celebrated Thanksgiving with a dinner with friends in Roxbury, Mr. Pappas said.

An intellectually rigorous artist who perpetually sought new creative paths, Mr. Sondheim was the theater’s most revered and influential composer-lyricist of the last half of the 20th century, if not its most popular.

His work melded words and music in a way that enhanced them both. From his earliest successes in the late 1950s, when he wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” through the 1990s, when he wrote the music and lyrics for two audacious musicals, “Assassins,” giving voice to the men and women who killed or tried to kill American presidents, and “Passion,” an operatic probe into the nature of true love, he was a relentlessly innovative theatrical force.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Music, Theatre/Drama/Plays

Saturday Encouragement from the BBC–meet Felix Klieser, the musician who plays the French horn using his left foot

Posted in England / UK, Health & Medicine, Music, Psychology

Tuesday Afternoon Mental Health Break–Dan Fogelberg’s Leader of the Band

Interested blog readers may remember we noted his death and its personal significance back in December 2007.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Music

Music for July 4th 2021–Ragged Old Flag by Johnny Cash

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Music

The Full Text of America’s National Anthem

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

–Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Military / Armed Forces, Music

(NPR) Why Sea Shanties Have Taken Over TikTok

Argh, the latest trend in pandemic distraction may be – shiver me timbers – sea shanties.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: (Singing) There once was a ship that put to sea, and the name of that ship was the Billy of Tea.

SIMON: Landlubbers on TikTok and other social media are now appreciating the 200-year-old art form.

MARY MALLOY: Sea shanties are a particular kind of song that accompanies work.

SIMON: That’s Mary Molloy. For 25 years, she taught a program out of Woods Hole, Mass., called the Sea Education Association Semester. She says sea shanties are influenced by the rhythms of African work songs with lyrics that are Anglo Irish. Mary Malloy is also a folk singer. How could she not be with so fine a name? And yes, she sings sea songs. Here be Mary.

Read it all and do not miss this example of the fun:

Posted in Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Music

Friday Mental Health Break–The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford–Sing, Precious Music – New CD release

watch and listen to it all–great fall pictures!

Posted in England / UK, Music

(NBC) Best Story of the Week Candidate–Man’s Groovy Morning Commute Goes Viral

‘When Nathan Apodaca’s car broke down, he made a TikTok video of himself riding his longboard, drinking juice and listening to Fleetwood Mac. Now millions of Americans have enjoyed his video, and it’s changed his life forever.’

Posted in --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Music

Friday Mental Health Break–James Taylor and YoYo Ma: Hard Times Come Again No More

Posted in Music

Music for a Saturday– Pastime with good company from the King’s Singers

Posted in History, Music

Thursday Mental Health Break–Taylor Swift sings Can’t Stop Loving You (Phil Collins cover)

Posted in Music

Monday Mental Health Break–Dizzy – Roman Candles

Posted in * General Interest, Canada, Music

Louis Armstrong plays the National Anthem

Posted in America/U.S.A., Music

The Full Text of America’s National Anthem

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

–Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Music

Bob Dylan Nails our current cultural moment in a recent interview–‘Good news in today’s world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run’

Why didn’t more people pay attention to Little Richard’s gospel music?

Probably because gospel music is the music of good news and in these days there just isn’t any. Good news in today’s world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run. Castigated. All we see is good-for-nothing news. And we have to thank the media industry for that. It stirs people up. Gossip and dirty laundry. Dark news that depresses and horrifies you.

On the other hand, gospel news is exemplary. It can give you courage. You can pace your life accordingly, or try to, anyway. And you can do it with honor and principles. There are theories of truth in gospel but to most people it’s unimportant. Their lives are lived out too fast. Too many bad influences. Sex and politics and murder is the way to go if you want to get people’s attention. It excites us, that’s our problem.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Music, Religion & Culture, Theology

Tuesday Mental Health Break–VOCES8: Send in the Clowns – Stephen Sondheim (arr. Clements)

Posted in Music, Theatre/Drama/Plays

Music for Memorial Day–Eternal Father, Strong to Save (The Navy Hymn)

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Military / Armed Forces, Music

You owe it to your country and to them to take the time to listen and watch this today

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces, Music

An absolutely must not miss–Singer Archie Williams Delivers an Unforgettable Song – America’s Got Talent 2020

Holy guacamole this is just wonderful–watch and listen to it all.

Posted in Music, Prison/Prison Ministry

(NYT) Why Yo-Yo Ma Would Invite Socrates to Dinner

What books are on your nightstand?

“The World That Made New Orleans,” by Ned Sublette.

“Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo,’” the oral history of one of the last known African survivors of the Middle Passage, by Zora Neale Hurston.

The memoirs of Alexandre Dumas, the first volume of which I am struggling through in French.

“Spirit Rising,” by the unparalleled Angelique Kidjo, who recommended the first three titles. She and I are working on a new project that explores some of the less-known intersections between what we think of as Western classical and African music.

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Music

Sunday Sunday Mental Health Break–An Ode an die Freude (Ode to Joy ) Beethoven Symphony No.9 classical music Flashmob from Barcelona, Spain

Posted in Music, Spain