Song Lyric Sunday: Song of the Soul

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This feature was created by Helen Vahdati. This week’s theme is “soul.” This song’s artist, Chris Williamson, is from my home town of Sheridan, Wyoming. I don’t think she’s as popular, although she’s made quite a few recordings over the years. These don’t seem to be on Amazon, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this song on YouTube. It’s one of my favorites, and it’s about one of the things I did as a registered music therapist, working with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities. Enjoy, and sing along.

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—Song of the Soul

Written by Chris Williamson

 

Open mine eyes, that I may see

Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me

Open mine eyes, illumine me

Spirit divine

Love of my life, I am crying

I am not dying, I am dancing

Dancing along in the madness

There is no sadness, only a song of the soul

(chorus)

And we’ll sing this song, why don’t you sing along?

And we can sing for a long, long time

Why don’t you sing this song? Why don’t you sing along?

And we can sing for a long, long time

What do you do for your living?

Are you forgiving, giving shelter?

Follow your heart, love will find you

Truth will unbind you, seek out a song of the soul

(chorus)

Come to your life like a warrior

Nothing will bore you, you can be happy

Let in the light, it will heal you

And you can feel you, sing out a song of the soul

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My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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Song Lyric Sunday: Freeway of Love

Song Lyric Sunday was created by blogger Helen Vadahti. If you would like to participate, click here for guidelines.

This week’s theme is cars. In the wake of Aretha Franklin’s recent passing, this song, which was popular when I was in college, is a perfect fit. So hop in, fasten your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride.

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Aretha Franklin–Freeway of Love

Knew you’d be a vision in white
How’d you get your pants so tight?
Don’t know what you’re doin’
But you must be livin’ right, yeah
Oh, we got some places to see
I brought all the maps with me
So jump right in, it ain’t no sin
Take a ride in my machine
City traffic movin’ way too slow
Drop the pedal and go, go, go
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
Wind’s against our backs
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
In my pink Cadillac
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
Wind’s against our back
Ain’t we ridin’ on the freeway of love
In my pink Cadillac?
Never you mind the exit signs
We got lots of time
We can’t quit ’til we get
To the other side, ide, ide
With the radio playin’ our song
We keep rollin’ along
Who knows how far our car can get
Before you think your love slowin’ on down
City traffic’s movin’ way too slow
Drop the pedal and go, go come on now, go
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
Wind’s against our backs
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
In my pink Cadillac
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
Wind’s against our back
Ain’t we ridin’ on the freeway of love
In my pink Cadillac? Oh yeah
Here we go, one more time mmm
With the wind and your fingers in my hair
Kind of think we’re going for an extended throw down
So drop the top baby
And let’s cruise on into this better than ever street
City traffic’s movin’ way too slow
Drop the pedal and go, go, come on baby, go, do it for me now
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
Wind’s against our back
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
In my pink Cadillac
We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love
Wind’s against my back
Ain’t we ridin’ on the freeway of love
In my pink Cadillac?
What I want you to do baby
Get over to the left lane
And let’s merge with peace, oh yeah
Take the love that’s sent ya
And then in the right time
Go on over in love and satisfaction and joy, well
Ain’t we riding babe, ain’t we cruising down
Free, free, sweet
Go on after, awh let’s be good to each other street
Well, see that little landmark over there
A whole lot of kisses and sweet stuff
We’ll be just about, awh, awh, awh
And satisfaction road yeah, satisfaction yeah ooo ahhh
Songwriters: Jeffrey Cohen / Narada Walden

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Sunday Song Lyric: Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World

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Instead of my Saturday song feature, I’m trying something a little different. This was started by another blogger, Helen Vahdati. If you’re a blogger who would like to participate, click here for guidelines. Basically, you post song lyrics along with a video of the song. Helen suggests a theme every week, but you can post whatever song you wish as long as you include a reference to who wrote the song, a link to where you found the lyrics, and a link to a video or recording of the song. You may also link to her blog and/or mine.

Today, I’m giving you a two-for-one special. This is a medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” and the way these two songs are put together is intriguing. I love the vocal and ukulele rift at the beginning and end.

“Over the Rainbow,” as you probably know, is from The Wizard of Oz, one of my favorite movies. In fifth grade, I played Dorothy and sang this song in a production of this. In 2013 after my father passed away, my group sang “What a Wonderful World” at his celebration of life.

I first heard this medley in the waiting room of a doctor’s office where I was with my late husband Bill after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side. At times when I was a caregiver, I wished I could have been taken over the rainbow to a wonderful world. Enjoy, and have a great day.

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Over the Rainbow
Written by Harold Arlen, as sung by Judy Garland

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?

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What a Wonderful World
Written by Bob Thille (as George Douglas) as sung by Louis Armstrong

[Verse 1]
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and for you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

[Verse 2]
I see skies of blue, clouds of white
Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

[Bridge]
The colors of a rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do
They’re really saying, I love you

[Verse 3]
I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll never know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Thursday Book Feature: Celebrating All Seasons


The books I’m reviewing today contain poems, song lyrics, and prose for all seasons. Some of you may remember my review of Chasing the Green Sun back in 2012. This book is worth a second look, so be sure to scroll down and read my review.

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Julie Andrews Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year
Compiled by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
Copyright 2012.

The poems and song lyrics in this collection are divided into sections by month and season. At the end, there’s a section on other celebrations such as birthdays and welcoming newborns. Besides Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, other poets featured here include Emily Dickinson and John Updike, to name only a couple. The book includes illustrations and an index.

I enjoyed reading the poems in this collection. I knew most of the songs and ended up singing along, as I was reading the lyrics. I especially liked the Christmas section, which contains, among other things, Christina Rosetti’s poem that was the basis for “In the Bleak Mid-Winter,” a song I’ve sung a few times. I wish they’d included “Twas the Night before Christmas.” This book is fun for all ages, so if you have kids, I suggest reading them the poems and singing the songs with them, especially during the time of year for which the poems and songs are written.

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Chasing the Green Sun
By Marilyn Brandt Smith
Copyright 2012

This is a collection of stories, poems, and essays written mostly by Marilyn. She collaborated on a few of them with her husband and other authors. The book is divided into twelve sections, each corresponding consecutively with the months of the year. Some of the pieces are seasonal. Others were originally published in the Behind Our Eyes anthologies and Magnets and Ladders. The title comes from an essay in which Marilyn describes how her son, born blind, perceived the moon when he was a child.

I met Marilyn years ago when I joined Behind Our Eyes, an organization of writers with disabilities, of which she is now president. It was fun losing myself in her writing. I wondered what would become of a woman in a hospital on New Year’s Eve, a victim of domestic violence. I laughed when a blind man told a policeman why he couldn’t move his van. I found her stories about her volunteer work in the Peace Corps fascinating. This is another book that can be read over and over again the whole year through.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Saturday Song: A Perfect Day by Susan Boyle

This song is the first track on a CD of Christmas music by Susan Boyle, but it’s not about Christmas. A few years ago, I read a book with the same title by Richard Paul Evans, which takes place during the holiday season. You can read my review of the book here. Have a perfect Saturday.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

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Tuesday Book Feature: Love Letters in the Grand

Note: Since Thanksgiving falls on the day I normally review books here, I’m changing things around a bit. I’ll have a special treat for you on Thanksgiving Day, so stay tuned.

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Love Letters in the Grand: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Big City Piano Tuner

By John Justice

Copyright 2017

In this collection of stories, the author, totally blind, relates his experiences tuning pianos in New York City and Philadelphia during the 1960’s and 70’s. Some tales are humorous like “It Won’t Play If You Don’t Pay,” in which he describes his underhanded way of dealing with a customer who refused to pay for his services. Others showcase how unfairly he was treated by some customers, e.g. “Unintended Disaster,” in which he was blamed for breaking a music lamp on a piano top after being told it was clear.

Some stories don’t have much to do with piano tuning like “Star’s Rippingly Good Solution,” in which he explains how his guide dog handled a mugger on a New York City subway. In the title story, he relates how he found a packet of love letters inside a grand piano. At the end, he explains how he met his second wife at a rehabilitation facility for the blind in Little Rock, Arkansas, and eventually married her and found other employment while still tuning pianos on the side.

Since I play the piano, I was fascinated by his explanation of the inner workings of the instrument, as he related his various experiences. I liked his descriptions of Madison Square Garden and the Lincoln Center where he was sent to tune pianos. As a registered music therapist, my favorite piece was “Song for Adrienne,” in which his playing of a familiar Christmas carol touched the heart of a young woman in a psychiatric hospital. I loved his quote at the end. “Life is like a piano. It has highs and lows, but when all is said and done, it is an instrument on which we all must play our tunes.”

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

Sunday Best: Four Shillings Short

This past Thursday evening, I attended a program of Irish music and folklore by a duo who call themselves Four Shillings Short. These are traveling musicians with a carload of over thirty instruments from all over the world including a Sitar from India and a Renaissance Krumhorn, to name only a couple. They sing and alternate between at least two of them during a given song.

Most of the songs were in celebration of the fall season. Interspersed among the musical selections were readings of poetry by Irish writers. One of these was William Butler Yeats’ “The Stolen Child,” and this was set to music. It’s based on the legend of the changeling when fairies replace a human baby with one of theirs. You can click below to hear it, preceded by a reading of the poem in Irish.

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What’s the best thing that happened to you this past week? Please tell me about it. I hope something good happens to you this coming week.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

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