Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Five: Our Favorite Music

Writing at RevGalBlogPals, Songbird tells us: “When I was a very little girl growing up in Virginia, I never missed a Sunday going to Court Street Baptist Church. But there was something else that made Sundays special, and that was "Davey and Goliath." Every week the opening strains of the theme song would find me lying on the floor, chin on hands, looking up expectantly to watch the adventures of a clay boy and his big dog.
What I didn't realize was who wrote that music, the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."

It was the same Martin Luther who said:
"I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor."

On this Friday before Reformation Sunday, let's talk about music. Share with us five pieces of music that draw you closer to the Divine, that elevate your mood or take you to your happy place. They might be sung or instrumental, ancient or modern, sacred or popular...whatever touches you.
Some of us even love hymns. (Well, I do.)"

1. I love hymns too, and of late years Anonymous 4 has begun recording some. But their music takes me closer to the Divine even if I can’t understand the words. See if you have the same reaction: (I added links to the videos for people with slow connections)

2. I love Priscilla Herdman’s voice and her choices of songs to sing. Occasionally she picks great people to sing with, too, as in this heartbreaking duet with the late U. Utah Phillips:

3. I can appreciate tenors, but I really like the baritones and basses. Gordon Bok is one of my favorites. Like Priscilla Herdman, he does write some of his own songs, but also has a genius for finding and performing other folks’ songs. When I was “living in exile” he was a welcome reminder of Maine. Here’s one of his own songs, with some really nice pictures to go along with it:

4. I like all kinds of Celtic music, and when I really need a lift I turn to Chris Norman, “The Man with the Wooden Flute.” I’m especially fond of his solo albums, but all I could find to share was this video from The Bar-Olk Project (=baroque + folk):

5. I hope I don’t get flamed for this, but I really do love Christmas music. Advent music, Solstice music, Chanukah music, winter music. (Kwanzaa music? The only piece I’ve heard was one Cordeliaknits’ choir did for a winter holiday concert several years ago. I think she was one of the ones who got to yell out “Kujichagulia!” I think it would be fun to put together some music for the days of Kwanzaa, highlighting the principles each day celebrates. Maybe I’ll do that this year.) Now, I do have standards. Don’t go bringing me any solo renditions of O Come All Ye Faithful, a hymn which cries out for a minimum of four voices (and those voices better be the Clancy Brothers). My favorites are either the less well-known songs or old favorites done in really new ways. The Miserable Offenders score on both counts. Go here and scroll down a bit to listen to a couple of their songs, and I bet you too will want to track down their CD Keepin’ the Baby Awake. For more of my favorites, stay tuned in a little over a month for the second annual Advent Calendar of Stories and Songs.

Thanks to Songbird for a great Friday Five!


MaineCelt said...

Oh, can I just borrow your whole gosh-darn list? Brilliant play--and I loved all the audio-visuals!

Sally said...

Thank you for the you-tubes I have discovered so much new music today. I loved Priscilla Herdman, have never heard her before!

Purple said...

I love a good tenor. Enjoyed your music.

Songbird said...

Thank you for such great answers! My favorite Anonymous 4 recording is "American Angels."