Category : 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

(FMN) Florence musician shares what’s on her heart by singing out

With life on hold for the past few months, Chelsea Hamshaw’s plowing through the monotony one song at a time.

And she’s sharing her music on social media in the hope it provides a little therapy for friends, family and her community as the world faces such strange times.

“It’s a way I can communicate and share what’s on my heart,” Hamshaw said. “My music enables me to do that, and that’s why it’s so important to me.”

Hamshaw was born in Pittsburgh, where her father served as a minister. The family later moved to Bakersfield, California. After college, Hamshaw sensed a call to move to South Carolina, which is where she met her husband, Jason, who at the time was the youth minister at Prince George Church in Georgetown. The two married in 2010 and are now the parents of four boys.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Marriage & Family, Music

A Wonderful BBC Northern Ireland Clip about the lockdown singing competition at St Patrick’s Drumbeg

Posted in Church of Ireland, Music, Parish Ministry

More Music for Easter–Andrea Bocelli: Amazing Grace – Music For Hope (Live From Duomo di Milano)

Posted in Easter, Italy, Music

(CC) Peter Marty–Looking for constancy when routines are disrupted

I’ve been thinking a lot about constancy in recent days. The initial stay-at-home decree from health officials may have felt cozy or even exotic at the outset, especially to Americans accustomed to being on the go. But that sentiment fast morphed into waves of personal anxiety and disequilibrium as huge swaths of the country settled into extended isolation. With daily rhythms for life and work now disrupted, people with serious financial, medical, and relational constrictions are feeling especially exhausted.

I’ve had to face my own disorientation since the cancellation of in-person worship has become more than a momentary phenomenon. I’m lost on Sunday mornings as I try to navigate between online worship, reading the newspaper, texting colleagues, and lounging around within the confines of my home. It’s like having one’s circadian rhythm interrupted, only much more significantly than with a flight across time zones. The clock that regulates my spiritual metabolism has spent 60 nonstop years calibrating itself to weekly worship. I realize that people who don’t worship in a congregation have no idea what I’m talking about. But for me, this arrhythmia is huge.

Constancy isn’t just a virtue in horn playing. Spiritually speaking, it’s that God-inspired equanimity that allows us to find our way through turmoil. If I don’t get my bearings back soon, I may just have to pull out the horn and give myself a lesson.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Music, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology

Friday Mental Health Break–Children+Music+Outreach+Compassion=Magic

Posted in Children, Health & Medicine, Music

SOOO Wonderful–Luciano Pavarotti’s embarrassing moments on stage

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Music

Monday Morning Mental Health Break–(NBC) Meet the talented 6-year-old drummer already getting university attention

Posted in Children, Education, Music

(EF) TobyMac writes a song about the passing of his son

TobyMac, former member of DC Talk and an influential Hip Hop artist with seven solo albums, has written a song about the experience of losing a son.

“‘21 years’ is a song I wrote about the recent passing of my firstborn son, Truett Foster McKeehan. I loved him with all my heart. Until something in life hits you this hard, you never know how you will handle it”, the artist said on his Instagram account. He said he was thankful for all those who have surrounded his family with “love, starting with God’s”.

He and his wife Amanda have four other children.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Music, Theology

(Telegraph) British composers have started a new craze for Christmas carols

The peak of the tradition in the 20th century has to be Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, composed in the depths of war in 1942. After the war, the rich stream of carols abated somewhat, though there are some fine carols from the Fifties and Sixties such as Anthony Milner’s Out of Your Sleep Arise and William Mathias’s Sir Christèmas. The real surprise, though, has been the upsurge of carol writing in the past 30 years. This is partly due to the efforts of some far-sighted choirmasters who’ve actually commissioned new carols, such as Andrew Nethsingha at St John’s College Choir Cambridge, and the late and much missed Stephen Cleobury of King’s College Choir.

Cleobury commissioned a new carol for the famous Nine Lessons and Carols every year from 1983 onwards, and persuaded some unlikely people to contribute, including the young Thomas Adès. The plaintive, haunted sideslipping harmonies of Adès’s Fayrfax Carol is absolutely typical of him, proving that composers don’t have to repress their natural musicality to write something appropriately festive or (in this case) rapt and mystical.

Even more striking is Judith Weir’s Illuminare Jerusalem, also commissioned by King’s College Choir. She sets a medieval Scottish poem exhorting Jerusalem to be “illuminated” by the wondrous events happening within its walls, in a way that captures the magic of the scene while obeying the ancient verse form.

Read it all.

Posted in Christmas, Church History, England / UK, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music

Friday Night Mental Health Break–Faith’s Song by Amy Wadge

Posted in Music

Kendall Harmon for 9/11: Number 343

On Monday this week, the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.

So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.

On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.

–First published on this blog September 11, 2003

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Music, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

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

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

(NYT) Lebanese Band’s Concert Is Canceled After It’s Accused of Blasphemy

A Lebanese music festival has canceled a concert by a major indie music band, Mashrou’ Leila, after it was accused of blasphemy and received death threats because a member had shared an image of the singer Madonna as the Virgin Mary.

The controversy has raised questions about religious tolerance and freedom of expression in the relatively moderate, multi-sectarian and Muslim-majority country.

The Byblos International Festival, one of the country’s most popular music events, canceled the Aug. 9 concert by Mashrou’ Leila over fears of “bloodshed” after the image angered the Maronite Christian Church and prompted threats of violence from hard-line Christian critics.

“Unfortunately, the national debate that ensued as a result of an organized campaign against the band and the festival goes well beyond the scope of the mission BIF is able to handle,” the festival said in a statement on Tuesday.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Lebanon, Middle East, Music, Religion & Culture

(NBC) How U.S. troops helped this young Afghani pianist pursue his dreams

Here is the NBC blurb:

Elham Fanous grew up in Afghanistan. At the time, the Taliban had made playing or listening to music a crime, but American forces put an end to that in 2001, when Elham was four. He is now headed to grad school at the Manhattan School of Music, and says none of it would have happened without the U.S. troops who gave music back to the Afghan people.


Watch it all.

Posted in Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Immigration, Music, War in Afghanistan, Young Adults

Friday Mental Health Break–Willie Nelson – Have You Ever Seen the Rain featuring daughter Paula Nelson

Posted in Music

More Music for July 4th–Lee Greenwood – God Bless The USA (Home Free Cover)

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

Music for July 4th: God Bless America – Celine Dion

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

(ABC Aus) Hong Kong Christians turn ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ into unlikely protest anthem

In Hong Kong there have long been links between the pro-democracy activists and in particular the Catholic Church, which has a decades-long unresolved dispute with China’s Government over the right to ordain bishops.

The city’s most prominent young political activist, Joshua Wong, is a devout Christian, as are many older members of the pan-democratic camp.

“Some Christians, including me, are afraid that if the extradition bill is passed, it could affect freedom of religion in Hong Kong and freedom of religious activities,” Mr [Edwin] Chow said.

He believes it is this fear that has mobilised a larger-than-normal turn-out among the city’s Christians, who number around 900,000 — or about 12 per cent of the population.

Read it all.

Posted in China, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Great NBC Piece for Father’s Day–Father and daughter duo reunited in song

‘Singer-songwriter Jenni Alpert grew up with a supportive adoptive family who encouraged her to pursue music. She reunited with her birth father Don Logsdon nearly 30 years after he gave her up for adoption. After helping him through his recovery, Jenni and Don are bonded by their love for music.’

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Men, Music

Monday Mental Health Break–(CBS) The “Wow!” concert

“It was an unusual outburst for a classical music concert: an audience member shouted out “Wow!” at the very end of Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral Music,” performed by the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. The group’s president and CEO, David Snead, was determined to find out who had broken audience protocol in such a forthright way. The answer to his query proved very surprising, as Steve Hartman discovered.”

A fantastic story-do not miss it.

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Music