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Category Archives: holidays

How Do I Love Thee…?

Let me count the ways.

Ah…l’amour. Thrilling, euphoric, tragic and agonizing. No more complicated emotion, but truly the “essence of life”.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

— 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

For your Valentine’s Day enjoyment, the Music Maven VD play list:

All You Need is Love - The Beatles
I Love You for Sentimental Reasons - Sam Cooke
Prisoner of Love - Billy Eckstine
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning - Frank Sinatra
Chapel of Love - The Dixie Cups
Crazy Love – Poco
I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You - Elvis Presley
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Carole King & James Taylor
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman - Bryan Adams
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling - The Righteous Brothers
When I Fall in Love - Nat King Cole
Trust in Me - Etta James
Have a Little Faith in Me – John Hiatt
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Elvis, Etta James, frank sinatra, holidays, love

 

Happy Dad’s Day

Today, we honor the Dads and Grand-Dads, alive and gone, who are/were those loving, solid rocks who we adored as children, sparred with as teenagers and honored as adults.  If yours is still here, hug his neck tightly today.

Here are a few “Father” favorites:

  My Father’s Eyes, Eric Clapton

  My Little Girl, Tim McGraw

  Cats in the Cradle, Harry Chapin

Miss you, Daddy.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2009 in acoustic, Eric Clapton, family, holidays

 

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Remember…

…all gave some, some gave all.

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Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.   John 15:13 

  I Will Remember You, Sara Mclachlan

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in friends, holidays, memorials

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

This is my Mother.  Despite popular belief that I was hatched from some quasar during a particularly spectacular Libra Dragon season, I was actually conceived and delivered the normal way by two pretty great parents.

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At 77, my Mother is in seriously good shape for her age.  (And, if you need confirmation, just ask her.  ;) )  She’s been through polio at 2 years old, leaving her with a paralyzed left arm, her oldest child was found to be deaf at 9 months old, she had a major brain surgery in her early ’50s that would have killed a weaker person, and she watched her loving husband of 57 years suffer extreme pain for over ten years and die an agonizing death.  She’s been rich, poor and in between, but she never lost faith nor wavered in her love of life….and of her children.

At an early age, she instilled a love of music in me that I’m eternally grateful for.  My childhood was filled with wonderful harmonies and encouragement to sing and play musical instruments.  I never did have the patience to master piano and guitar, but I was definitely given the opportunity.  The house was always filled with tuneage growing up, either from the radio in my nursery (the ’60s version of white noise) or the actual “live” music with friends on Friday nights.

There are several songs that, for me, are forever linked to my mother.

  All I Have to do is Dream, The Everly Brothers

Many times, in the car, driving around, I’d beg my mother to sing “Dream” with me.  She taught me the harmonies and it is one of my favorite and most indelible memories of my mother.

  Prisoner of Love, Billy Eckstine

A family favorite, Prisoner of Love still holds a special place in my heart.   My Godmother, her daughter, my Mother and I all have sung this song 100 times — in four part harmony.  Those times are among my favorite memories.

C C Rider, Elvis Presley

Another memory from those Friday night “jam sessions”, C C Rider seemed to be my Mother’s “riscque” song.  Must say, she sang it with conviction.

  A Good Man is Hard to Find

My Mother and Godmother actually worked out the Cajun French version of this…Et Bon Homme et Deur a Trouvier.  I mastered both versions before my 13th birthday.  To this day, it is Mr. D’s favorite song.

  Whole Lotta Shakin’, Jerry Lee Lewis

My Mother adores piano and piano players.  Since “The Killah” is from Ferriday, Louisiana, he is/was like a local god for the Cajun folks in the 50s and 60s.

I am her baby, the youngest of three.  For years, I denied my obvious resemblance and now I’ve come to realize that it’s an honor.  While she is the most aggravating person I have ever come across, she is also the most loving and endearing.  She is passionate and caring, independent and sensitive.  And, I’m sooooooo glad that she’s still here.

To my wonderful Mother and all the Mothers out there, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Mother’s Day with the peace that you are loved unconditionally by your children. 

And, Mamma, thanks for the music.

 

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Go n-eírí an bóthar leat

“May the road rise up to meet you.”

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Blessin’s upon ya.

  Obligatory Irish Drinking Song

One that didn’t go so smoothly…

HAPPY ST. PADDY’S DAY!!

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2009 in Funny, holidays

 

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It’s Carnival Time….

   Carnival Time, Al Johnson

Four days of excess.  Drunkedness.  Debauchery.

It’s that time of year again. 

Mardi Gras.

As I mentioned in past Mardi Gras posts, I’ve experienced various Mardi Gras celebrations from Lafayette to Mobile and points in between.  There’s really nothing like it.

But, this Mardi Gras will be spent in a much different “state”.

  Rocky Mountain High, John Denver

That’s right.  We’re taking the show on the road.  Have beads, will travel.

I hope to provide first hand reports of the Rocky Mountain Mardi Gras over the next few days. 

Until then, party on.

  Mardi Gras Mambo, The Meters

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2009 in holidays, that's life, Travels

 

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You ARE the Best Thing….

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Mr. D watching his grandson be baptized

 

I was in the grocery store the other day, running around like a chicken and trying to gather up all we needed for the week.  Don’ t you just hate when you remember that you need garlic and you’re already over in the dairy section.  I’m constantly criss-crossing the store, it seems.

It’s usually during these mundane tasks that some totally inspiring music jumps in and stops me in my tracks.  So was the case this day, while I’m doing the Winn Dixie shuffle.  Strains of Gladys Knight’s iconic hit You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me comes on over the supermarket speakers.  As I listen and sing along (yeah, I do that alot), I start to apply the song to my own life — where it just so happens to be particularly relevant.

You see, I’m one of the lucky ones.  Fortunate, privaledged, serendipitous….whatever you use to categorize blessed. 

Many, many Valentines Days ago, my sweet Mr. D professed his undying love.  Why?  I have no earthly idea, but I’m eternally grateful that he did — and that he chose me.     We are partners, friends, lovers and contemporaries.  I thoroughly enjoy my life with this odd human being.

From his professional ironing skillz to the love of musicals to the deep love he shows his sons…I still remain in awe of this wonderful, loving man who just happens to love me.

So, when I heard Gladys’ You’re the Best Thing (That Ever Happened to Me) in that mundane grocery store moment, I realized just how perfectly that song captures exactly how I feel about my wonderful man. 

I’ve had my share of life’s ups and downs
But fate’s been kind, the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I’ve been lucky
Well, I guess you could say that it’s all because of you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
Ooh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Ah, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me

Oh, there have been times when times were hard
But always somehow I made it, I made it through
‘Cause for every moment that I’ve spent hurting
There was a moment that I spent, ah, just loving you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
Oh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Oh, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
I know, you’re the best thing, oh, that ever happened to me

  You’re the Best Thing (That Ever Happened to Me), Gladys Knight & The Pips

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2009 in family, holidays

 

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2008 Music Maven Christmas Playlist

manger

Hope you all have a very safe and Merry Christmas and a most blessed New Year.  To assist in your merriment, here’s my annual Christmas playlist…a little old school.

Grown Up Christmas List —  Michael Buble’

Let it Snow – John Legend

Away in a Manger  –  Ella Fitzgerald

Santa Clause is Coming to Town — Bing Crosby

Christmas Waltz — Frank Sinatra

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Me — Stevie Wonder

Go Tell it on the Mountain — Mahalia Jackson

We Three Kings — George Strait

The Christmas Blues — Dean Martin

Winter Wonderland — Tony Bennett

Do You Hear What I Hear?  — Perry Como

Celebrate Me Home — Kenny Loggins

Silent Night – Elvis Presley

Run, Run Rudolph — Keith Richards

Christmas Auld Lang Syne – Bobby Darin

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlen

Little Drummer Boy — Bob Seger

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — Judy Garland

Jingle Bells — Sinatra & Crosby

O Come, O Come Emmanuel — Enya

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2008 in christmas, holidays, music maven

 

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A WONDERful Christmas Time…

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Sorry for being so absent lately.  Not that there’s not alot of music thoughts going through my head, it’s just that something has to give, sometime.  With work, hauling down the decorations, decorating, gift searching, gift buying, gift wrapping, cleaning, cooking, college searching, and the various asundry tasks on my To Do list, that there is no “free time” to write the type of meaningful posts that I like to do.  And, after all, I can’t give up “The Midgets” on Monday night or Biggest Loser on Tuesday or the host of mindless crap (a quote from my husband) that I consider valued entertainment after 5 p.m.  Truth is, after a long day, all I want is mindless crap, but that’s another topic for another day.

While I’ve been busy, I haven’t been void of music and of course my FAVORITE genre of Christmas music.  We officially kicked off the Holiday season with some festive tunes on our drive back to Alabama from Louisiana after Thanksgiving and each day, I’ve been sampling my vast Christmas collection and compiling my list for the 2nd Annual Music Maven Christmas Playlist.  Be on the lookout over the next week or so for that compilation of Christmas goodness.

I’ve always LOVED Stevie Wonder’s Christmas music, particularly What Christmas Means to Me.  It just gets me in the right Christmas spirit and is such a happy song.  And, the other night, I was watching the movie This Christmas and heard an old familiar Wonder song that I hadn’t thought of in a long, long time.

The WONDERfulness of Twinkle, Twinkle is the fact that just like the Christmas season it’s joyful, melancoly, introspective and warm….just one of the great tunes of Stevie’s enduring Christmas repetoire.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Me is one of those soulful songs of the period when a plethora of non-traditional Christmas music was introduced, capturing the spirit of Christmas in new ways.  In 1967, Little Stevie Wonder having just dropped the “Little” and fresh off of hits like FingerTips, Uptight (It’s Alright), A Place in the Sun  and For Once in My Life, Wonder released an epic Christmas compilation, Someday at Christmas and Twinkle, Twinkle was one of the hidden gems on this wonderful collection of the man entering his heyday. 

Someday at Christmas is a mix of traditional and non-traditional Christmas songs and was released right after Thanksgiving in ’67 and was, no doubt, well-received.  However, I don’t recall hearing much of Stevie’s Christmas music until I was an adult and largely through movie soundtracks.  That’s how I got turned on to What Christmas Means to Me, the anchor song on Someday at Christmas.

This song always puts me in such a festive mood.  The kind of Risky Business, Tom Cruise in tighty whities, sock sliding across the floor in sunglasses, strummin’ air guitar kind of mood.  It is one of my absolute favorite Christmas PARTY songs.

But, Someday at Christmas has a little something for everyone and is a superbly well-rounded record, particularly for a specialty CD.  But then, it IS Stevie Wonder, after all.  A Warm Little Home on the Hill and Bedtime for Toys bring a sweetness and longing for family, home and hearth.  A new find that I am particularly enjoying this year is The Day That Love Began, which is a combination of doo-wop, Motown, and classic Wonder:

I like that one almost as much as the inspiring, soulful One Little Christmas Tree.  (NOTE:  The video for One Little Christmas Tree was pulled off of YouTube, so the others may vanish, as well…another subject for another post.)

Of course, Stevie doesn’t stray too far away from the standards with traditional takes on The Christmas Song, Silver Bells, Ave Maria, and The Little Drummer Boy…all of which are superbly sublime.

If you’re looking to expand your Christmas collection, Stevie Wonder’s Someday at Christmas CD is a “must have”.  Unfortunately, the original album/compilation is no longer available, but fear not…all songs from this CD, plus a couple more are available on iTunes and Amazon via 20th Century Masters under The Christmas Collection: Stevie Wonder.

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Click here to order from iTunes.

Many times, when I’m doing research for these posts, I find unanticipated nuggets.  This time, I found a wonderful cover of Someday at Christmas, by a very talented young man named Justin Bieber:

Just goes to show that good music endures.  BTW, Stevie Wonder re-released For Once in My Life as a single this past Monday…40 years after original release. 

Everything old is new again. 

 

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Thanks for things BIG and small…

  Thank You for the Music, ABBA

….and thanks to you all for coming here and being such great compadres on the musical road of life.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into God’s presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God! It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. 
– Psalm 100

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2008 in holidays

 

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