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Daddy’s Little Girl

I’m still caught off guard by the way that a certain song at a certain time can just grab you and wring every ounce of emotion out of you.

I was starkly reminded during a recent wedding reception that we attended.  This is Mr. D’s baby brother, 10 years his junior.  Mr. D is the oldest of seven, so they are all very close in age and very close, in general.

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Baby Bro has six kids and this is his second to marry within a year.  Number one son was married in May of last year in a beautiful outdoor ceremony.   Now, it was time for his oldest daughter…the soccer star who left home at 18 on a college scholarship and after a storied college career has become a neo-natal nurse in a Southern city six hours away.  We all knew that this one was going to be a little tougher on Baby Bro and his father’s death a few days before no doubt made it even more difficult.

However, he held up pretty well.

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Even when he had to kiss her goodbye and give her away.

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But then, someone interjected the cruelty of a song for the traditional Father/Daughter dance that left many in the crowd (yours truly included) in a puddle of tears.

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Even my burly nephews were wiping away the tears.  I think all of the parents there were acutely aware of the feelings when you realize that your work is really done and that while you will always be there to help and care, that baby you brought into this world no longer needs you to survive.  They are beautiful, independent people starting their own journeys and creating their own stories.

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With such a large loss only a few days before, this moment had significant poignancy as a son remembered his father and saw his father’s reflection in his own daughter’s eyes.

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Admittedly, I had heard this song before but never really took the time to listen to the words and the emotions in Tim McGraw’s voice.  The father of three daughters, I imagine little pictures of them flashed through his mind just as pictures of this lovely bride through the years flooded her Daddy’s memory.

  My Little Girl

Gotta hold on easy as I let you go.
Gonna tell you how much I love you,
though you think you already know.
I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm.
You’ve had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born.

Chorus:
You’re a beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this old world.
But to me you know you’ll always be, my little girl.

Verse 2:
When you were in trouble that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone.
Now look at you, I’ve turned around and you’ve almost grown.
Sometimes you’re asleep I whisper “I Love You!” in the moonlight at your door.
As I walk away, I hear you say, “Daddy Love You More!”.

You’re a beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this old world.
But to me you know you’ll always be, my little girl.

Verse 3:
Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand.
But I won’t say “yes” to him unless I know, he’s the half
that makes you whole, he has a poet’s soul, and the heart of a man’s man.
I know he’ll say that he’s in love.
But between you and me. He won’t be good enough!

You’re a beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this old world.
But to me you know you’ll always be, my little girl.

Pardon me.  I’m still a little verklempt. 

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4 Comments

Posted by on February 12, 2008 in Country, music imprints, that's life

 

Circle of Life

As one leaves, another is born to take their place.  Mr. D found out today that he’ll be a Grandpa again, in October.  The news couldn’t have come at a better time.

  Will the Circle Be Unbroken

p.s.  We attended a beautiful wedding Saturday night (Mr. D’s neice) in honor of a great man.  Life does go on.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2008 in memorials, that's life

 

Colette’s Corner: Comfort & Joy

This seems to be a recurring theme, this year. As we strap in for the ride that is “Christmas weekend”, here’s a great post from Colette.

Colette has some surgery earlier this week and here’s wishing her a speedy and pur-FECK recovery. I have a few comments at the end of this piece, but guys, remember that the most important part of Christmas or Hanukkah is sharing TIME with family and friends….the gift of self.

Comfort & Joy

As this year of big challenges ends for me, I find myself wanting to share two songs of solace.

Both are tunes that have inspired many singers, in a multitude of covers. And both songs endure because they are musically captivating as well as meaningful. They are songs of faith, resilience and love, in the best sense, and after a year of dealing with the death and illness of loved ones, and my own health issues, I take comfort in them and hope you will too.

Like a Bridge

Ironically, Paul Simon wrote his 1969 ballad “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as the “waters” of his longtime friendship and artistic partnership with Art Garfunkel were becoming troubled.

But songs come to composers for so many reasons – not just as depictions of life as it is, but also as how we yearn for and imagine it to be, at its ideal.

So out of the vanities and frictions of these two musicians, who for a decade really did need and complete one another, came a gorgeous anthem of selfless love and concern.

Simon later reportedly regretted having Garfunkel sing lead on the song in the original hit recording, and Artie apparently didn’t want to in the first place. They were both wrong. A very moving live performance, with Artie’s unearthly falsetto, from their 1981 Central Park reunion:

– Simon and Garfunkel

Aretha Franklin was among the first to pick up on the song’s spiritual, hymn-like nature. OK, y’all know I’m an Aretha maniac – but her version is a great, great treasure. She performs it here, just after picking up a Grammy for her recorded rendition. Catch that bright orange sari!:

— Aretha Franklin

MM, you know I’ve never been big into Elvis, but his performance of “Bridge” is to be cherished, as I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s also poignant, given his own private anguish at the time. Here he is performing the tune live in 1972:

— Elvis

Last, an entirely simple, humble and beautiful acoustic interpretation by the late Eva Cassidy. This very gifted singer, who died young and achieved limited success when alive, has left a wonderful legacy on youtube:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYyQcQSqpbI] – Eva Cassidy

A Little Prayer

“I Say a Little Prayer,” though uptempo and more pop-ish, also carries a lot of meaning for me. Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach for Dionne Warwick, it was a cut David didn’t want to release as a single. Thank heaven Bacharach felt otherwise!

When it came out in 1967, the Vietnam War was escalating and the song was widely interpreted as a woman’s message to a loved one in battle, that throughout the day she was “saying a little prayer” for him.

But the recording is beguiling in any context, for a lot of reasons – its lyrics sweet and flippant, its charming duet between Dionne’s voice and the horns, the unusual time signatures (a trademark of Bacharach’s) and a wonderful soaring bridge – “For ever and ever….”

Here’s the studio version, with pics of the great Dionne in her prime:

It wasn’t long before that sharp-eared Aretha chimed in with her more soulful take on the tune, released on her spectacular 1968 album, “Aretha Now.” (Also on it: “Think,” “You Send Me” and “Seesaw.”)

Aretha slows “Prayer” down, really sings like she means it, and her spiraling high notes are pure ecstasy in this British 1970 TV version – with her inimitable backup gals. And don’t she look fly? One of my favorite Aretha clips ever:

– Aretha Franklin

All great songs can mean a variety of things, and this rendition by the (often underrated) Natalie Cole and the (sometimes overrated) Whitney Houston, is a stone tribute to down-home sisterhood. In this 1980s duet, they have a ball topping each other. (They also do “Bridge Over Traveled Water” in the same set, but that’s more of a scream-a-thon):

– Whitney Houston & Natalie Cole

Finally, a quietly enchanting instrumental of the tune by a Brazilian artist, Naudo, who does beautiful acoustic guitar renderings of great songs on youtube. Here’s Bacharach’s rich melody, at its essence:

— Naudo

Thank you, Colette, for the wonderful posts that you have contributed to me wee lil’ blog. It’s so wonderful to have people come here who are interested in music, it’s history and influences. I appreciate all you guys.

As for Ms. Ree, she really is fantastic and there is honestly nothing that she can’t “do”. Someone I know will be going to see her in the Spring and if that person doesn’t provide pictures and a review to this blog, I will be highly upset. Not to worry, however, as I don’t think I will be disappointed.

Lastly, regarding “comfort” songs, I discovered The Prayer about 10 years ago from Celine Dion’s Christmas CD. I immediately fell in love with it but always associated it with Christmas until one of my friends used it in their wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. (Yes, I’m a schmuck for weddings, too.)

The Prayer – Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

This song always soothes me and makes me feel better. It’s a very powerful song that, for me, is best delivered by Andrea Bocelli. I’m not a Josh Groban fan, although his rendition with Celine is very good.

As for “joy”, this Christina Augilera rendition of Angels We Have Heard On High is particularly appealing to me this season. And, just for Shrew…a little Garth with Baby Jesus is Born. I can’t help but move and groove when these songs pop up in my Christmas song rotation. (A site to behold, to be sure!)

 
 

Ok, NOW I’m excited…

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After a sound trouncing of Louisiana Tech, 58-10, LSU is back on top….back to where they once belonged….

Get Back, The Beatles

….get back, LO-retta.

And, I gotta say that one week removed from the “crashed wedding”, it still feels good. Even better, actually, since Mississippi State put the hurt on the great Saban Nation.
Sweet Home Alabama never looked so good:

HEY, PEOPLE! The LSU Tigers are, once again, #1 in the Nation.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 11, 2007 in lsu, lsu football, lsu vs. alabama, Uncategorized

 

LSU Football: The Jilted Lover

I have spent the better part of this whole week basically doing two things.

1. Listening to and refuting delusional claims by Alabama Crimson Tide fans that their mediocre team is superior to the #3 ranked LSU Tigers.

2. Trying to explain why many LSU fans hate Alabama Coach Nick Saban with the intensity of 1,000 suns.

Not sure that I made much headway on #1, but I came up with an analogy that I think sums up #2 quite clearly. First, let me define the “players” (no pun intended).

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LSU Fans = The Jilted Lover

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Nick Saban = The Lying Ex-Girlfriend

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Les Miles = The “Great” New Girlfriend

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Alabama Crimson Tide = Big Al a/k/a The Jerk

 

While I was Tag Surfing for LSU/Alabama fodder, I found a tight little blog called 3rd Saturday in Blogtober. There I found a post that asked the question, “Why do LSU fans hate Saban so?” Since I have to deal with Bama and Auburn fans daily and became pretty proficient in my arguments defending #2 above, I had a pretty good analogy to adequately explain the “Saban Hater” phenomenon. It was so effective that blogmaster, Crimson Daddy posted my analogy comment as a post.

….is honored.

Here is the re-posting of said analogy:

Here’s an analogy that might shine a little light on the LSU fan/Saban love-hate thing:

Let’s say you meet a girl and she is the absolute love of your life. She’s perfect. Treats you like a king, laughs at your dumb jokes and generally makes you feel really good about yourself — better than you have in a long time. You spend three glorious years together and you think, “This is the one.” You contemplate marriage and just before you pop the question, she lets you know that while she still loves you, she has bigger dreams — dreams that she can’t fulfill living there, in your small town, with you.

Because you love her, you let her go. Off to her big career in the big city, yet knowing that she didn’t really leave you — she left the small town life for more opportunity. After all, she still speaks fondly of you and you are really good friends.

Then, a few years later, you hear through the grapevine that she’s dating a guy IN YOUR SMALL TOWN that used to beat you up in high school. A guy that you have despised since childhood and who has really been mean to you over the years. We’ll call him Big Al.

You question your old girlfriend about the relationship. “No way. I don’t know how to say it any plainer. I am not nor am I going to be Al’s girlfriend.”, she assures you.

Then, two short weeks later, your Mother calls to tell you that said old girlfriend is moving back to town — you know, the one she said wasn’t big enough to hold her — and get this….she’s engaged to Big Al. Getting married in the Fall.

So, tell me….do you show up at the wedding with a present or a with an axe to grind?

I also added that while you might be happy with your “new love”, you’re still pissed because your old girlfriend lied to you about dating Big Al, your mortal nemesis and you feel that you were never really special, after all.

One poster asked, “So when do you ‘get over it’?”. I responded:

I’ll get over it once I feel that I have made the ex-girlfriend feel as bad as I felt when I heard the news of her impending nuptials….beating her by 14 points or more in her home stadium.

Make no mistake. This is a big game for the Tigers. A loss would assuredly dash any hopes for a National Championship and likely, a SEC Championship. While it’s an important road game for the team, it is THE game of the season for the fans. The jilted lovers. We want a win. A big win. A “beat their ass into the ground, make their coach cry” win. To show the ex-girlfriend that he made a huge mistake when he left us. To make him, uh her, sorry for leaving us, for lying to us, for betraying us with a bitter rival.

There’s lots of talk in lots of circles that LSU is overrated. That the Tide is underrated. That it’ll be a tough contest. That LSU will be lucky to win this one. That Les Miles has everything to lose and nothing to gain. That Nick Saban “owns” LSU.

As usual, I follow the money. The handicappers set the initial line at LSU -7. That has increased to -7.5 as of Thursday night. That indicates that people are betting LSU and is usually directionally accurate. Considering that Bama is at home (good for 3 points in the spread) and LSU is favored by 7.5 means that bookies are figuring that LSU is at least 10 points better than Alabama. Of course, as this crazy season has proven, anything can happen. However, if LSU gets there and takes care of their business, it should be a relatively easy win.

Maybe with a win LSU can quell some of the delusions of Bama fans and their unnatural mortuusmania concerning Bear Bryant and the incessant exaggeration regarding National Championships. Here’s a newsflash for the Tiders:

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No matter how they may squint, Nick Saban is NOT the new “Bear”. He ain’t even the old Nick. Come Saturday night, LSU will be “over” the old coach. The new coach will see to it, crazy bastid. So, for all those Bama fans, I have three words:

FEAR. DA. HAT.

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GEAUX TIGERS!!! GEAUX TIGERS!!! GEAUX TIGERS!!! GEAUX TIGERS!!!

In the Air Tonight

ETA:   Favorite Alabama joke of the week —

How many Bama fans does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one.  Then 70,000 to sit around (for 25 years) and talk about how good the old bulb was.

🙂

credit Tigerdroppings.com/rant

 
9 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2007 in lsu football, lsu vs. alabama

 

Twangalicious Brad

I’m on a mission to convince my friend, Shrew, that there is some listenable Country music. She hates “twang”, so it’s very difficult to find Country music sans ANY twang. So, I thought I’d over-compensate with humor and hawtness. Therefore, I give you….

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Brad Paisley.

Brad is multi-faceted. He’s an accomplished guitar player, a great singer and has quite a sense of humor. Brad is a modern-day Jim Stafford. Many of his songs poke good-natured fun at everyday life and love. He’s married to Kimberly Williams who plays Jim Belushi’s sarcastic sister-in-law on According to Jim. She also played the daughter in the Father of the Bride movies with Steve Martin. Brad and Kim recently became parents of William Huckleberry. (Now, you gotta give props to somebody who names their kid Huckleberry.)

Brad talks a little about being a father in this interview:

One of my favorite Paisley tunes of late is Alcohol. While the lyrics are hilarious, the video is hysterical. Note: Brad has a certain fascination and friendship with Little Jimmy Dickens. (Brad doesn’t allow embedding of his YouTube videos, so please click on the song titles for the link to the video.)

Alcohol

I can make anybody pretty.
I can make you believe any lie.
I can make you pick a fight with somebody twice your size.
Well, I�ve been known to cause a few break-ups,
An’ I�ve been known to cause a few births.
Well, I can make you new friends, or get you fired from work.

And since the day I left Milwaukee,
Lynchburg an’ Bordeaux, France,
Been making the bars lots of big money,
An’ helpin’ white people dance.
I got you in trouble in High School,
But College, now that was a ball.
You had some of the best times you�ll never remember with me:
Alcohol; Alcohol.

I got blamed at your wedding reception,
For your best man�s embarrassing speech.
And also for those naked pictures of you at the beach.
I�ve influenced Kings and world leaders,
I helped Hemingway write like he did.
And I�ll bet you a drink or two, that I can make you put that lampshade on your head.

Cause since the day I left Milwaukee,
Lynchburg and Bordeaux, France,
I been making a fool out of folks just like you,
An’ helping white people dance.
I am medicine and I am poison,
I can help you up or make you fall.
You had some of the best times you’ll never remember with me:
Alcohol.

Yeah, since the day I left Milwaukee,
Lynchburg an’ Bordeaux, France,
Been making the bars lots of big money,
(Helpin’ white people dance.)
Yeah, I got you in trouble in High School,
But College, now that was a ball.
You had some of the best times you�ll never remember with me:
Alcohol; Alcohol.

Brad actually met Kimberly while filming the video for the immensely popular I’m Gonna Miss Her, which is an ode to fishing:

I’m Gonna Miss Her

I just really love his humor….and he’s certainly not sore on the eyes. Brad hit the scene with this first hit…

Wrapped Around

He followed that up with Mud on the Tires...Welcome to Mudstock!

Mud on the Tires

Brad spoofs off of American Idol a bit in Celebrity, which features a great interaction with William Shatner…I love this ending.

Celebrity

One of his most recent hit is Online. Brad actually had a contest on YouTube for the best video idea. He judged the entries, picked a winning concept, then used the idea. Kewl. Jason Alexander is a frequent guest if you hadn’t noticed him in Celebrity.

Hopefully, this is not reminiscent of anyone here…

Online

While Brad has a most excellent sense of humor, he’s not a one-trick pony. He has other songs that are sincerely heart felt and meaningful. I seriously love this video….Kimberly has a great scene in this one — at the end. Genuine.

Little Moments

Another recent tribute to his lovely wife is She’s Everything. I love these lyrics, as well.

She’s Everything

She’s a yellow pair of running shoes
A holey pair of jeans
She looks great in cheap sunglasses
She looks great in anything
She’s I want a piece of chocolate
Take me to a movie
She’s I can’t find a thing to wear
Now and then she’s moody

She’s a Saturn with a sunroof
With her brown hair a-blowing
She’s a soft place to land
And a good feeling knowing
She’s a warm conversation
That I wouldn’t miss for nothing
She’s a fighter when she’s mad
And she’s a lover when she’s loving

And she’s everything I ever wanted
And everything I need
I talk about her, I go on and on and on
‘Cause she’s everything to me

She’s a Saturday out on the town
And a church girl on Sunday
She’s a cross around her neck
And a cuss word ’cause its Monday
She’s a bubble bath and candles
Baby come and kiss me
She’s a one glass of wine
And she’s feeling kinda tipsy

She’s the giver I wish I could be
And the stealer of the covers
She’s a picture in my wallet
Of my unborn children’s mother
She’s the hand that I’m holding
When I’m on my knees and praying
She’s the answer to my prayer
And she’s the song that I’m playing

[Repeat chorus]

She’s the voice I love to hear
Someday when I’m ninety
She’s that wooden rocking chair
I want rocking right beside me
Everyday that passes
I only love her more
Yeah, she’s the one
That I’d lay down my own life for

And she’s everything I ever wanted
And everything I need
She’s everything to me
Yeah she’s everything to me

Everything I ever wanted
And everything I need
She’s everything to me

There are many other great Brad Paisley songs that I encourage you to seek out and listen to. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the two songs that I think are the best of Brad’s repertoire. Both are duets. The first one, with Dolly Parton, packs a strong message is one of my top ten favorite songs.

When I Get Where I’m Going

Finally, Brad delivers a haunting performance with Allison Krause that rivals George Jones’ He Stopped Loving Her Today, with the superb Whiskey Lullaby.

Whiskey Lullaby

Brad is a smart, conscientious entertainer who has a great sense of humor and appears to be very well grounded. He’s a family guy who’s obviously in love with his wife and his life. I really like this attitude and his humor…the fact that he’s as cute as a button doesn’t come into play whatsoever.

Pinky swear.

 
28 Comments

Posted by on October 17, 2007 in brad paisley, Country

 

Double Whammy

September 30th.

A very inconspicuous date. Never gave it much thought. In 1989, all I wanted to do was hurry up and get married. Mr. D. and I had been dating for two years and were really ready to officially become man and wife. We decided to move the wedding date from late October to September. My brother was getting married on September 16th, so in deference to them, we chose 9/30/1989.

Since it was a second wedding for both of us, we kept it very simple. Yet, it was lovely. We honeymooned in Colorado, then came home to start our official life together.

Although Mr. D. had two – basically grown – boys, I convinced him that our life just wouldn’t be complete without a child between the two of us. After a little while and at the age of 42, he relented. After we had been married just over a year, we found out that we were going to have a baby. Although he was due on October 16th, our ever impatient boy made his debut on our 2nd wedding anniversary — September 30th, 1991.

So, today — on our 18th anniversary — our baby turns 16….just as he turned 3 on our 5th, 7 on our 10th, 13 on our 15th and as he will turn 18 on our 20th, 23 on our 25th and so on, and so on…

 

 

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Very few people are lucky enough or blessed enough in this life to find their soul mate. Though we are years apart, our worlds are aligned. There are no words or song that can ever capture what we have been blessed with…however, these somewhat capture the emotion that I have for my ever-patient and loving husband who is still my best friend. Believe it or not, each of these songs has a special meaning to us.

The Game of Love, The Mindbenders

I’ve Been Lovin’ You, Otis Redding

I Love You (For Sentimental Reasons), Nat “King” Cole

Sugar Shack, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

Always, Patsy Cline

And then, there’s our progeny…

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The photo was taken on Saturday. Our baby is in the early stages of manhood. It’s exhilarating– yet painful– to watch. We are rarely needed anymore and are just playing out the last few years that we’ll have him completely in our lives. Even through his “teenage angst”, thoughtfulness and caring peep through. He is a good boy….um, man.

These selections are for our son, who has truly brought us such joy:

Beautiful Boy, John Lennon

Child of Mine, Carole King

In My Life, The Beatles

…..I guess you could say that September 30th is very special.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on September 30, 2007 in that's life

 

The Love that Music Brings

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The Right Stuff

 

 

This weekend, I’m heading north a bit to attend my nephew’s wedding. Now, normally that’s not too much of a story…but this is a special situation. You see, his mother — my sister — and her husband are both profoundly deaf.

 

Together, they have raised five children — all hearing. The three older girls were his from a first marriage and the two younger boys are theirs together. This handsome young man is the elder of those two boys and my godchild. He was born two months premature in 1981. He was just a wee sprite but even in the NICU, he responded to the music the nurses played to soothe the tiny infants. After five weeks he came home and in eight short months he had a baby brother. That baby grew up to be a Speech Pathologist that works with stroke victims, teaching them to speak again.

 

His big brother, however, never had such a calling. While he diligently handled his parents’ business dealings and ordered for everyone when they went out to eat, he found music to be his calling when he was about 10 years old. He knew, even then, that this had to be his life. The “muses” kept calling him…so strongly that he ended up teaching himself trombone, trumpet, piano and guitar. He became an all-state tenor in high school and went to college on a music scholarship. He worked so hard to improve his craft and made extra money as the music minister and organist at two different churches each weekend. (I am not kidding, here.)

Over the years, I have had the privilege of hearing him sing at my grandmother’s 100th birthday party and then five days later at her funeral. The birthday party was four days after 9/11 and this fine young boy initiated a version of God Bless America among the hundred or so party-goers (fiercely Cajun and fiercely American). Goosebumps.

 

Right after Hurricane Katrina, he again amazed us by singing and playing for my father’s (his namesake) funeral. I still cannot hear How Great Thou Art without getting choked up at the thought of that moment. My Daddy was SOOOO proud of his grandchildren. To have his oldest grandson pay him such an honor surely made his heart sing.

Through music, he met a lovely young lady who is equally talented and loves him unequivocally. Their lives are surrounded by music and they are pursuing their passions. He is teaching middle school music while pursuing a Masters in Music, while his fiancee’ just received her undergraduate degree in Music with the intention of teaching, as well. His long-term goal is to become a conductor. He is working on a requiem mass for his parents so that when they are finally able to hear his music, it will all be in perfect harmony.

I’m still in awe of this young man and his brother and all they’ve accomplished despite adversity. I am so proud of them and what they’re doing with their lives. It’s so poignant to me that these two boys are involved in things that their parents can’t partake in. (However, I must add that my sister is the best dancer I have ever seen.)

Mr. D. and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary next week (on Mini DD’s birthday) and seeing this young couple so in love and dedicated to each other while they chase their dreams is a sweet reminder of why we did what we did so many years ago.

 

 

And, for this young groom, I am ecstatic that music has brought him love, in multiple forms.

 

 

 

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 20, 2007 in that's life, Uncategorized

 

Beauty is Skin Deep?

Part of the enjoyment of writing this blog is hearing others’ thoughts on musical issues (and otherwise). Many of you are so very articulate and provide such interesting views. Colette is one such reader. She sent me this post and I think it is very thought provoking.

Recently there has been some comment in the media about how the major record labels only want to sign and back women who are considered “hot” — conventionally very attractive — no matter the strength of their musical gifts. And that today, no woman can win American Idol who isn’t very young and “sexy” by fairly rigid rules.

How would some of the great, great female vocalists of the past have made it in the age of music videos and hotness-hype. Would they be considered too fleshly, too unusual looking, too unfashionable, not provocatively sexy enough, to appeal to those raging teenage hormone cases the record companies are most eager to serve? And the narrow standards of beauty much of the American public has internalized?

So, here are three remarkable, unique women singer-songwriters who had great success in the 1960s and ’70s — would they have been shunted aside today? Whatever the answer, how lucky they weren’t, back when. We still have their music — and at least a little good video of their most moving, captivating songs:

Phoebe Snow: “Poetry Man”

Janis Ian: “At 17′

Laura Nyro: “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Poverty Train” (at Monterey Folk Festival)

Thought provoking, indeed. Before the Music Dies addresses this issue, in spades. This video is a stark illustration of just how shallow the music industry is now. Dear Erika Badu so aptly captures the ludicriousness of the pop-star “machine”, particularly with young women. To quote Erika, all you need to make is “cleavage down to here…..but make it down to here, now because 2006 — it’s butt-naked, Wednesdays.” I heart Erika.

Before the Music Dies – How to Create a Sexy Pop-Star

Sadly, today’s music scene would promptly reject artists like:

Janis Joplin

Mama Cass

and let’s face it, Barbra Streisand, herself would have a tough time breaking into the biz nowadays….

Sadly, the glorification of superficialness by men in an industry that promotes 80 lb. darlings and favors looks over talent is the prevalent thought in today’s music. That’s why it’s time for people who really enjoy music to find the talent, no matter the “look”. Problem is, how many truly talented “ugly ducklings” never even pursue a music career because of the daunting challenges associated with “making it”?

Special thanks to Colette for her contribution.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2007 in Music Today

 

And the two shall be one….

I was all ready to snark about the crazy dancin’ at the Cajun Wedding we attended this weekend. (See previous post.) And, while we did have some great dancin’, the scenery and the overall event captivated me. Let me state for the record that I absolutely love my heritage. I’m blessed to be Cajun and married to a Cajun (I forgive him the 1/2 Yankee of his mother as she is a strict convert for over 60 years). This wedding was everything that is great about being Cajun….great people, great food, great love, great fun, great atmosphere.

To properly describe the event, I’ll start with this picture.

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This is the lovely bride and groom saying their vows under one of the many stately live oak trees that surrounded us. A thunderstorm was threatening but never did deliver. It was an atypically nice May evening of temperatures in the high ’70’s and a light breeze off the water. Oh yeah, we were on the water….

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Right after the ceremony, the clouds cleared and the most amazing sunset took place. We all stood around in awesome wonder watching the gorgeous ending of a wonderful day. Here are a few shots I captured of the sunset.

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The structure in the water is an old chimney from a house that was once on the grounds. This is on Lake Peignur where, about 15 years ago an oil drilling rig punctured the salt dome causing the lake to drain rapidly, taking in many buildings and much of the grounds. Rip Van Winkle Gardens on Jefferson Island has been refurbished but some of the land will never be reclaimed.

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This is Mr. D’s baby brother and his lovely wife watching their eldest son take his vows. They are the proud parents of six (yes, good Catholics).

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The D family is very proud of their “D”….so much so that the flower girl had to work double time.

The sunset was absolutely fabulous and glorious and all of those adjectives that you can think of to describe awesome. Here are a few pictures to describe it.

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There was music and lots of it. Some beautifully sung during the ceremony by a 17 year old neice who will be attending the Boston Conservatory in the fall. The rest supplied by a very nimble DJ. All of the cursory favorites were included, but somehow that’s not what I wanted to post about. This was a beautiful event that reminded me of the wonderful culture and heritage that my husband and I come from. So, I’ll only include one song in this post and it was the choice for the first dance of the married couple….

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Nightfall didn’t end the party and under the stately oaks, a wonderful sparkler display lit up the dark to welcome another set of lovers into the world.

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Posted by on May 13, 2007 in Uncategorized