June is Bustin’ Out All Over

Something for the weekend.  June is Bustin’ Out All Over (1956).  Central Illinois is experiencing a very pleasant June weather wise.  I became familiar with this song as a child listening to it being played on the Captain Kangaroo Show.  Leslie Uggams gave a memorable rendition in 1968:

 

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Published in: on June 9, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Time For Us

Count Marc Antonio Verano:

For 70 years,
I've watched the seasons change.
I've seen the vibrant life of summer,
the brilliant death of fall...
the silent grave of winter.
And then, I've seen
the resurrection of spring,
the glorious birth of new life.
And my father and my father's father
have seen it before me.
Nothing ever dies, my friend.
You don't believe that,
do you?

 Andrea Orsini:
I don't have your wisdom,
my lord.
I believe that I was born
and that I must die...
and that I must make the best of what
lies between the two extremes.
Screenplay, Prince of Foxes (1949)



 

 

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.  A Time For Us, also known as The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet (1968) and What is a Youth. Written by Henry Mancini for Franco Zeffirelli’s take on Shakespeare’s immortal tale of doomed love.  I know of no other song that better conveys the passage of time, and what a joyous, sad and wondrous thing the life that God grants us is.

 

 

 

Published in: on June 2, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Salve Regina

Something for the weekend.  Salve Regina.  A hymn to Mary whose origins are lost in the historical mists of the Middle Ages in the Eleventh Century.  Catholics regard May as the month of Mary and thus this song is appropriate.  I have always loved it.

 

Published in: on May 12, 2018 at 4:52 am  Comments Off on Salve Regina  
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A Little Traveling Music

British Soldier:
You call yourself a patriot, and loyal subject to the Crown?

Hawkeye:
I do not call myself subject to much at all.

 

Something for the weekend.  On a road trip today to pick up our daughter from library school at Dominican and music from Last of the Mohicans (1992) seems appropriate.  Rarely have I heard music that gives a better sense of movement.

 

Published in: on May 5, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on A Little Traveling Music  
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General Benjamin Butler

 

Something for the weekend.  General Butler sung by Bobby Horton who wages a one man crusade to bring authentic Civil War music to modern audiences.  Butler was cordially hated by the South due to his tenure as military governor of New Orleans during which time he issued his infamous “Woman Order”:

 

DQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF

New Orleans, May 15, 1862.
As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subject to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans in return for the most scrupulous non-interference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall by word, gesture, or movement insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.
By command of Major-General Butler:
GEO. C. STRONG,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.

 

Jefferson Davis ordered that if he were ever captured Butler was to be executed as a common enemy of mankind.  This was ironic because at the 1860 Democrat Convention Butler voted 57 times to nominate Davis for President of the United States.  Without a doubt, however, Butler was the most hated Union general in the South.

However, due to Butler’s military incompetence, Union soldiers who had the misfortune to be under his command also had good reason to curse his name.

 

 

 

There are of course several generals in the running for the title of most incompetent Union general:  Ambrose Burnside, Don Carlos Buell, John Pope, Henry Halleck, Nathaniel Banks and the list could go on for some length.  However, for me the most incompetent general clearly is Benjamin Butler.  A political general appointed by Lincoln to rally War Democrats for the war effort, Butler in command was a defeat waiting to happen for any Union force cursed to be under him.  Butler during the Bermuda Hundred campaign in 1864 threw away chance after chance to take Richmond, with a timidity that rose to astonishing levels and an ineptitude at leading his forces that defies belief.  Grant summed up Butler’s generalship well in his Personal Memoirs when he recalled a conversation with his Chief of Engineers:

He said that the general occupied a place between the James and Appomattox rivers which was of great strength, and where with an inferior force he could hold it for an indefinite length of time against a superior; but that he could do nothing offensively. I then asked him why Butler could not move out from his lines and push across the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad to the rear and on the south side of Richmond. He replied that it was impracticable, because the enemy had substantially the same line across the neck of land that General Butler had. He then took out his pencil and drew a sketch of the locality, remarking that the position was like a bottle and that Butler’s line of intrenchments across the neck represented the cork; that the enemy had built an equally strong line immediately in front of him across the neck; and it was therefore as if Butler was in a bottle. He was perfectly safe against an attack; but, as Barnard expressed it, the enemy had corked the bottle and with a small force could hold the cork in its place. (more…)

Published in: on April 28, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments (4)  
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Jester Song

Something for the weekend.  The Jester Song from the Danny Kaye flick The Court Jester 1955.  In an age of truly unfunny comics it is a pleasure to  watch a true comedic genius at work.

 

 

Of course I have to mention the vessel with the pestle:

 

 

Published in: on April 7, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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O Sacred Head

Something for the weekend.  O Sacred Head Surrounded.  The lyrics of this hymn derive from the latin poem Salve Mundi Salutare.  The authorship is open to doubt although I agree with those who attribute at least part of the poem to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, based upon stylistic similarities with portions of his other writings.    The sanctity and eloquence of Saint Bernard alloyed with the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach makes a potent combination indeed.

On a personal note this hymn has always moved me as no other does.  I had it played at my son’s funeral and when I depart this Vale of Tears I have requested that it be played at mine.  It reminds me that God died for me, something I find absolutely stunning.  Love and sacrifice begin and end with God, who regards each man as if there were no other.

How shall we explain the world-wide light of faith, swift and flaming in its progress, except by the preaching of Jesus’ name? Is it not by the light of this name that God has called us into his wonderful light, that irradiates our darkness and empowers us to see the light? To such as we Paul says: “You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord.” This is the name that Paul was commanded to present before kings and pagans and the people of Israel; a name that illumined his native land as he carried it with him like a torch, preaching on all his journeys that the night is almost over, it will be daylight soon — let us give up all the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark; let us arm ourselves and appear in the light. Let us live decently as people do in the day-time. To every eye he was a lamp on its lamp-stand; to every place he brought the good news of Jesus, and him crucified. What a splendor radiated from that light, dazzling the eyes of the crowd, when Peter uttered the name that strengthened the feet and ankles of the cripple, and gave light to many eyes that were spiritually blind! Did not the words shoot like a flame when he said: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk”? But the name of Jesus is more than light, it is also food. Do you not feel increase of strength as often as you remember it? What other name can so enrich the man who meditates? What can equal its power to refresh the harassed senses, to buttress the virtues, to add vigor to good and upright habits, to foster chaste affections? Every food of the mind is dry if it is not dipped in that oil; it is tasteless if not seasoned by that salt. Write what you will, I shall not relish it unless it tells of Jesus. Talk or argue about what you will, I shall not relish it if you exclude the name of Jesus. Jesus to me is honey in the mouth, music in the ear, a song in the heart.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Published in: on March 31, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on O Sacred Head  
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I Hate Snow

Something for the weekend.  I Hate Snow.  Courtesy of Winter Storm Uma my little slice of Central Illinois is under a winter storm advisory today.  This after a week of spring like weather.  Depressing but such is life in the Midwest where I have seen “Winter” occasionally in May.

 

Published in: on March 24, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on I Hate Snow  
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Hail to the Chief

Something for the weekend.  Hail to the Chief.  The Presidential anthem, it was written by James Sanderson in 1812 and became associated with the Presidency in 1815 to honor George Washington and the ending of the War of 1812.  Andrew Jackson was the first living president for which the song was played.  During the Civil War it was played for both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.  Chester A. Arthur did not like the song and had John Philip Sousa write a replacement, the Presidential Polonaise.  After Arthur’s term of office the Marine Corps Band went right back to playing Hail to the Chief to announce the President.  The song is preceded by four ruffles and flourishes, the highest of musical honors, for the President.  Here are the almost never sung, thank goodness, lyrics:

 

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that’s our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief! (more…)

Published in: on February 17, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Hail to the Chief  
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K-K-K-K-Katy

Something for the weekend.  KK-K-K-Katy, one of the more popular songs of 1918.  Our times do not have a monopoly on silly music. Kids were still singing this in the Sixties when I was growing up.

 

 

Published in: on February 3, 2018 at 5:50 am  Comments Off on K-K-K-K-Katy  
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