Posted by: Jim E | July 23, 2011

Shadows…A Birthday…Good Music…And Something From The Civil War…

I was going to post something entirely different than this today…but it just came up on PowerLine…which I read everyday…(just part of my “trap line”, I check everyday)…so kudos to PowerLine and the music they often bring to my attention…today is  the birthday of Alison Krauss, one of my favorite singers…she turned 40 today…wonderful musician…instrument and of course her voice…a giant in bluegrass music…plays the fiddle…no, she’s not a fiddle player…she plays the fiddle…(I once heard someone talking about the difference between two bandleaders from the big band era, both lead with the clarinet…he said it like this: Benny Goodman was a clarinet player…but Artie Shaw played the clarinet…you may or may not agree with that)…so it is with Alison Krauss, she is a real talent on the fiddle…the song today is “Shadows”…she and her band, Union Station…Dan Tryminski, Ron Block, Barry Bales and Jerry Douglas…with Tony Rice sitting in on his guitar…here they are backing her up on this wonderful song…Shadows is all about aging and regret, written by Gordon Lightfoot, who had recorded it some 20 years earlier…here’s some of the words and then the video…

The words of the first verse and chorus: “Shadows”

Let me reach out love and touch you,/ Let me hold you for awhile./ I’ve been all around the world/ Oh how I long to see you smile./ There’s a shadow on the moon/ And the waters here below/ Do not shine the way they should/ And I love you just in case you didn’t know./  (chorus) Let it go/ Let it happen like it happened once before./ it’s a wicked wind/ and it chills me to the bone/ And if you so not believe me/ Come and gaze upon the shadow at your door./

For those of you who have followed my posts from time to time….well, yes, you have seen this video at least once before…but when something is this good…probably you will see it again…just enjoy…

Again for those of you who have been reading right along…I have been reading about the Civil War during this 150 year celebration…and today again from Alison Krauss another song…this time written by Stephen Foster…born July 4, 1826 and died January 13, 1864 in New York City…sometime referred to as the “Father of American Music”…he died sick and penniless…but left a legacy of beautiful, truly American songs...Oh! Susanna…Swanee River…Beautiful Dreamer…Old Black Joe…Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair…My Old Kentucky Home…and many more…

Today though I have another beautiful song by Alison Krauss…this time she is with Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Conner, but featuring Alison Krauss…creating a beautiful mix of voice and instruments for this haunting song, “Slumber, My Darling”…enjoy…

This Stephen Foster song you see and hear are part of the “Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster” album…many artists are on this album, it was released in 2004 and I don’t know if you can get it any more…there are 18 songs on this album…and yes, you know almost all of them, especially if you are of “a particular age”…or if you have had a “proper” musical education…I remember so well…Mrs. Engquist, our music teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary School…and she with her knowledge and recordings gave us one of the most well rounded musical education any one could get…did you have someone in your past like that???…well, then you need to thank God for that person…in fact all along I had great people who gave their all to bring music to me…I hope you did too…

And the words: Slumber, my darling, thy mother is near,/Guarding thy dreams from all terror and fear,/Sunlight has pass’d and the twilight has gone,/ Slumber, my darling, the night’s coming on./ Sweet visions attend thy sleep,/ Fondest, dearest to me,/ While others their revels keep, / I will watch over thee.// Chorus// Slumber, my darling, the birds are at rest,/ the wandering dews by the flow’rs are caressed,/ Slumber, my darling, I’ll wrap thee up warm,/ And pray that the angels will shield thee from harm.// Slumber, my darling, till morn’s blushing ray/ Brings to the world the glad tidings of day;/ Fill the dark void with thy dreamy delight-/ slumber, thy mother will guard thee tonight,/ Thy pillow shall sacred be/ From all outward alarms;/ Thou thou are the world to me/ in thine innocent charms.// Chorus// Slumber, my darling, the birds are at rest,/ The wandering dews by the flow’rs are caressed,/ slumber, my darling, I’ll wrap thee up warm,/ And pray that the angels will shield thee from harm./

That is pure Stephen Foster…beautifully written and beautifully played and sung…hope you enjoyed this little trip through this music and a little of what makes up America…it is hard sometimes to believe these Stephen Foster songs were written around and during the Civil War…it seems so long ago, yet so up to date…what Mother could not relate to this song…and what lovers could not relate to Shadows…if you have ever truly loved, you know what I mean…


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