funerals are the for the living

The deceased have passed on.  Thus, funerals are more for the living than for the dead.  Do not wait until a person close to you is dead to show your concern for them.  Spend time with loved ones who are in hospital or in hospice care.  Take the time now.  Don’t wait until it is too late and the opportunity is lost and gone.

 

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a tribute to Blood, Sweat and Tears

a tribute to Blood, Sweat and Tears

Target: Earth, third planet in star system number 6792.  Begin transmission.

While gathering our thoughts for other upcoming essays, we recollect on some very good music from the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

Blood, Sweat and Tears (BS&T) was a musical group that produced songs with rich sounds and good lyrics.  I would not classify them as either hard or soft rock.  Their music made use of more than just guitars and drums.  Listening last night to their songs that we first heard more than 40 years ago, was as enjoyable as when we first heard them.

We share these links to some of their more memorable tunes.  If you are not familiar with these, you may want to give a listen.  Most everyone has heard You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, and Spinning Wheel.  Therefore, we include some lesser known but very nice songs.

Sometimes in Winter – a haunting song that tells of lost love.  Deeply touching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEwKyie8jkY

Lucretia MacEvil   –  “Oooohh, Lucy, you just so damn bad.”  (at 2:22 of the song) Video features the vinyl LP playing on a turntable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trJkB5XtfXM

Hi De Ho

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_gY82cgg4k

And When I Die  – a great tune to sing along with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS-gwb8eSc0

God Bless the Child  –  on this song you hear more of the rich full-bodied sounds made by the various instruments accompanied by the moving vocal of David Clayton-Thomas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04rClGsbWp4

Lisa Listen To Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pcZHo_sieI

And, here is the full greatest hits album now on CD.  (I bought the original vinyl LP back in 1972 with money earned on my paper route.)  As one of the comments on YouTube says:  “This kiddies, is real music. “

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAi0MzxFcGc

Enjoy!

End transmission.

sweet music: soothe me and lift my spirit

sweet music: soothe me and lift my spirit

This is sort of a follow up to our Power of Music essay a couple of months back.  In that essay, we talked about instrumental music.  Today, we offer some songs with singing.

This essay is for the young and for the young at heart.

Music can lift your spirits and improve your mood.  I may not have liked the piano lessons my mother insisted that all her children take during elementary school days, but I have always enjoyed listening to music.  As a young child in the 1960s, I can remember the songs that were on the radio at the time, such as Light My Fire by The Doors, and Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones.  Last night, while sipping (really drinking) some quality Kentucky bourbon whiskey with water, my mood was improved by listening to some songs we share with you below.  (We also listened to some great instrumentals.)

It has been a very difficult winter for most of the US and Canada.  But, as you can see each day, the sun is getting higher in our northern skies.  Before long, the sun’s warmth will melt all the snow (with perhaps some areas of flooding) and then bring out the spring flowers. Women will shed their winter clothes and wear spring time fashions.  (What ever happened to wearing dresses in the US?  Why do so many women wear pants type outfits?  Bring back spring and summer dresses.)  Then, by late spring, say in late May when temperatures are warm to even hot, we will see the young women in their swimsuits.  And, for those who care to look, one can easily see the beauty of the female form.

We share now the lyrics to the song Easy to Be Hard by Three Dog Night.  (Lyrics were found at http://www.threedognight.com/l_easy.html)  A link to the music video follows the lyrics.

Easy To Be Hard

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard, easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend, I need a friend

How can people be so heartless
You know I’m hung up on you
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend, we all need a friend

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be proud, easy to say no
Easy to be cold, easy to say no
Come, on, easy to give in, easy to say no
Easy to be cold, easy to say no
Much too easy to say no

Listen to it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeXcaRYNlSQ

Help Me by Joni Mitchell is a nice song.  Back in 1974, this song was on the radio every day in the summer.

Listen to it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOEE-kR-Txg 

Pablo Cruise gives us A Place in the Sun

Everybody’s heart needs a holiday . . . .
It’s time to find your place in the sun . . . .

You can listen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOSHirh0Qzk

Beginnings by the well known musical group, Chicago, is still a great song decades after being released.

You can listen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWflYSmEXPY

From 1972, we have Go All the Way by The Raspberries.  Caution, this song starts up a bit loud before easing up on the decibel level.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faf1cVKiilg

This last selection we offer with a disclaimer.  We are not advocating sex outside of marriage.  This recent song treats of a woman’s desire for her man.  It sounds nice and the video accompaniment is appropriate for the lyrics.  Rated PG-13 or NC-17.  You make the call.  (We first heard this on the radio and it did sound nice.)

Cathy Dennis sings Touch Me (All night long)

“Let Your Conscience Go.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zARHOHq4W2Q

Enjoy!  And, if you feel the impulse to get up and dance, then do so.  Who is to know?

the power of music

the power of music

While listening to a couple of instrumental music CDs last evening, the thoughts for this essay came into my mind.

Listening to various instrumental selections can be, and is, very soothing, very relaxing. The mind can be quieted and worries put aside.  It may be that regular listening and for a time freeing the mind of its worries can be healing spiritually and/or mentally.

Although most of our CDs and old vinyl LPs are of songs with singing in them, we have several albums of exclusively music without singing by various recording artists or musical groups.  When there is no singing, no words to follow or to sing along to/with, the mind can be more relaxed.

There is a wide range of instruments made use of by the various artists to create rich sounds, textured sounds so to speak.  One can hear piano, koto (traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument), flutes, drums, etc.  Electronic synthesizers are used by some musical groups.  Some instrumentals are fast moving while others have a slower tempo. And, since the sounds are universal in appeal, it does not matter if you are listening to Tangerine Dream (Germany), or Osamu Kitajima (Japan), or a musical group from India, or a Native American flute musician.  With just instruments, there is no language barrier. As well, there is good instrumental music in most genres of music including rock and jazz.

You might want to try listening to some instrumental music for an hour or more some evening.  Turn the lights low and turn off the cell phones to create a more peaceful atmosphere and then turn on your CD player or stereo and sit quietly and just listen.  For those with children (or roommates), you may wish to listen after the children are in bed for the night.  This can be done easily if you have a set of audio headphones.  Plug them into your stereo and sit down on the floor by the stereo and listen in peace.

One does not need to purchase many CDs to be able to listen to good instrumental music. There are various compilations or anthologies on the market that feature selections from several musical groups.  For example, the 2 CDs we listened to last evening were Miramar Collection 1 and Miramar Collection 2.  Both are from the mid 1990s.  #1 has 45 minutes of songs on it.  #2 has about 74 minutes of music on it.  Both collections feature several different groups.  We also have a CD entitled Northern Lights on Finlandia Records (Warner Music Group) 1995.  It has 17 selections by various Finnish musicians.

But even bands that are more widely known for their vocals also have done some good work with instrumentals.  Santana comes to mind.  Even on their earliest albums in the very early 1970s, moving instrumentals were featured.  (Caravanserai, from 1972, was almost entirely an LP of instrumentals.  I think only one song had a little singing in it.)

We purchased many of our CDs back in the 1990s through a discount CD club.  Also, Amazon.com is a good source for new and used copies of many CDs.  On Amazon, you can read customer reviews of many of the musical CDs offered for sale.  (For years, I had been listening to Shadowfax’s instrumental album, The Odd Get Even, on cassette in my car. Belatedly, I decided to try to get it on CD for home listening.  There were not many copies of this 1990 album on CD to be found in late 2009.  On Amazon, was found an inexpensive, used copy that was in “like new” condition, and it plays great.)  As well, one can search on YouTube for various songs and artists and sample some of their music before deciding what CDs to purchase later.

There are many groups/artists that produce instrumental music.  You likely know of some. Here are a few, in addition to those already mentioned above.  Jan Hammer, Zazen, Jonn Serrie, James Reynolds, Paul Speer, Michael Gettel.  Shakatak has a few good instrumentals scattered across their many albums.

Here we include a link to Shadowfax’s song, Her Dress Hangs There, from the Odd Get Even album.  (One of the best songs from this album, Changing of The Guard, could not be found on YouTube.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGEFRBqX59Y

As to the power of sound, let me add these remarks.  Those who chant the Maha Mantra (the great mantra, the Hare Krishna mantra of 16 words), will speak of the transcendental nature and effects on us of certain sounds.  Chanting the holy names of God awakens the soul’s innate love (longing) for God, and helps to purify and elevate one’s consciousness.  All I can add is that when I chanted this mantra many times in the late 1980s, I was cured of my doubt as to the existence of God.  Now, my periodic struggles with faith are along the lines of sometimes doubting that we humans really were created for a higher purpose, and that we will achieve a higher state (a better plane of existence than living in this miserable world).  Sometimes, I think we were only created to suffer.  But, I do not doubt the existence of God.  (We addressed this mantra in one of our earliest essays in mid 2012.)

Atheists and skeptics may scoff at this.  (We have confronted and challenged the atheist position in a few previous essays.)  Atheists and skeptics need to stop being slothful (lazy) and start putting forth the necessary effort to build their faith.  Atheism is a cop-out and a dead-end.

We wish all readers a safe and happy Christmas holiday/holy day.

We will be back blogging next weekend.