Category: Music

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The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Real voices of real people with real emotion. Much of the collection is freely available and downloadable on iTunesU. As Pete Seeger said … “If you’re ever feeling a little down … listen to what these people have to say!” Music from the heart and soul. And what music! Enjoy.

The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

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Singin’ in the Rain

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My Favorite things – Julie Andrews – The Sound of Music

It was in 1965 that a film was made of The Sound of Music. Here’s Julie Andrews singing what came to be one of the most famous and most loved of songs from American Musicals. The song, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, was originally perfromed on Broadway in 1959.

The post which precedes this one, is John Coltrane’s version. Both are among … my favorite things.  Enjoy.


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My Favorite Things – Coltrane

and this is one of them:


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“Singin’ in the Rain”

If you need to get out of a rainy mood, or if you just happen to like movies, take a 4 minute refresher by watching this!

A. 0. Scott takes a look at the 1952 musical:

Singin’ in the rain !

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Posted in Music Cross Cultural Comments USA Online Language Resources for English

This land … by Woody.

Folk music is all about folk – people, family, friends, you and me and everyone else;  individuals coping with life’s everyday cares. Happy ones and sad, hard and sweet.

Folk music provides us with a country’s history because it’s the people’s history … and how can we understand the present without a feeling and grasp of the working people who’ve lived before us, built our railroads, plucked our cotton, suffered the dust storms and prayed for rain? Brought us to where we are? Not only with their successes … but also their failures. Folk is about “everyday” people in touch with their emotions, their strengths, their weaknesses, their environments.

American folk music is so incredibly rich that I’d like to introduce you to a few tunes, stories, people and songs. Far from today’s global political stage, these songs are rooted in everyday experience. Pionners. Immigrants. Roamers.Expressions of work, love, family, discovery.

Without the advent of sound recording,  they’d be lost. Fortunately, there are many many recordings and thanks to a fellow whose name was Moses Asch, the Folkways Collection was a lifetime project to guarantee their perennity … and  I, at least, am grateful to him and his team for their work. Vanguard Records, too, as well as major and minor labels produced artists whose souls are still very alive.

Folk music is for listening. And here’s one of the classics: Woody Guthrie, of course.

PS.The Folkways Collection put about 2 dozen podcasts on the net for free downloads on iTunes (and maybe elsewhere!) … and this leads me to one of my father’s, bless his soul, favorite sayings:

“A word to the wise is sufficient.”

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Singin’ in the Rain – Lyrics

The Lyrics

Singin’ in the Rain. Gene Kelly. Masterpeice.

I’m singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin’
I’m happy again
I’m laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I’ve a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin’,
Singin’ in the rain

Dancin’ in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I’m happy again!
I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain!

I’m dancin’ and singin’ in the rain…

Why am I smiling
And why do I sing?
Why does September
Seem sunny as spring?
Why do I get up
Each morning and start?
Happy and head up
With joy in my heart
Why is each new task
A trifle to do?
Because I am living
A life full of you.

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Eleanor Rigby

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

In The Wizard of Oz … Dorothy dreams … and sings … Somewhere Over The Rainbow. All-Time Masterpiece. performed 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?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

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A fiddler in Edinburgh

One afternoon last summer this fiddler was playing on the sidewalks of Edinburgh. I asked him if I could record him. He agreed. Here’s one minute 11 seconds of some fine fiddlin’. OK … I admit it … I need some practice filming with my iphone … and a better camera wouldn’t hurt! But the sound is there! Enjoy.

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