Happy 70th

May 24, 2011
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Choosing a favorite Bob Dylan song is impossible.  It would be wrong to let his 70th birthday pass, though, without a singing his praises.

Hmm…  My voice is even worse than his.  I’ll let David Bowie handle this one.

Song For Bob Dylan


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Song of the Day — Happy Music, and the Changing of the Guard

May 23, 2011
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Usually I play happy music to fan an ember of good feeling into bright blazing joy.  Sometimes when I’m lost and cold, I look to it for a spark.  (That usually doesn’t work.  Congruency matters.)

My song of choice for ages has been this:

Central Reservation (Spiritual Life _ Ibadan Remix)

I post it everywhere.  It still works.


The other day I was driving on the highway with my son, and an old happy song shuffled out of my ipod.  Oh yeah!  I forgot!  There are other happy songs!  This one by Rickie Lee Jones was IT for me 25 years ago:

Woody And Dutch On The Slow Train To Peking

He liked it.  Then he said, quietly, “I have a happy song, too, dad.”

I was skeptical.  I kept my eyes on the road, raised my eyebrows, and said just as quietly, “oh yeah?”  Glanced over at him with a no-nonsense expression on my face.

He narrowed his eyes and smiled.  Picked up the challenge.  “Oh yeah, dad.”

I shrugged my shoulders.  He turns 18 next month.  Thinks he’s a man.  I merged into the fast lane and said, quietly, “show me.”

He found his Otis Redding, and played this:

The Happy Song (Dun-Dum)

Yeesh.  Don’t tell him, but I think he won that one.  I have other happy songs, but they’ll have to wait.  Gotta go listen to some more Otis.

Song of the Day — Loudon Wainwright III

May 21, 2011
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“Heaven” was topical for today’s rapture (did it happen yet?  Traffic still looks pretty heavy on my street, but I live in Cambridge MA.  Life will stay pretty normal here either way.)  I like this one better, though:

The Shit Song

Song of the Day — Loudon Wainwright III

May 21, 2011


Song of the Day — Michelle Shocked

May 20, 2011
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Let me hold me in my arms…


Sleep Keeps Me Awake

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Song of the Day — Cowboy Junkies

May 10, 2011
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This cover (The Cowboy Junkies’ studio version of an old Neil Young song) haunts me.

I play it over and over, in a reverie, drifting into the narrator’s world, and humming along with the accordion and the mandolin.  The tone is so tender, the voice so matter-of-fact, that what should be a depressing story becomes noble and beautiful.

Life is short.  We get overwhelmed.  We see in a moment how far from perfection we really are.

And then we do our best, even when it’s not enough.

It IS a sad song, but it’s also beautiful, and — is it just me? I don’t think so — inspirational.


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