Have Yourself a Merry Music Monday

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the trailer for the film Meet Me in St. Louis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the Saturday Song feature this week I shared a classic Christmas tune sung by Tori Amos.  It’s one of those songs that every musician alive has covered. No, seriously. Every. One. You’ve heard Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble but even Coldplay has recorded it (To be honest, their version is quite nice). Kenny G. and Neil Diamond have done it! Twisted Sister opened a concert with it, Santa hat and all. Heck, even the French garage band High Fans, whoever they are, has a version of this song on YouTube!

But my favorite will forever be the original from the 1944 hit movie Meet Me In St. Louis. Six years back, NPR did an interview with writers Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine about the original–and very dark–lyrics and how Judy Garland refused to sing them. Still, Blaine and Martin’s final version has more than a bit melancholy to it.  The scene has such an intimate blend of sadness and faint hope. Few people seem to be able to carry it off in their renditions. So here is a clip from the movie, shocking snowman scene and all.

Why not share a link to your favorite cover of the tune in the comments?

Saturday Song for the Season with Tori Amos

Tori Amos performing at the 2005 Glastonbury f...

Tori Amos performing at the 2005 Glastonbury festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have lots of other things to blog about but the phrase from an old song, “We need a little Christmas–right this very minute” keeps coming to mind. I’ll share that one soon enough but as my sweetheart is napping on the sofa, a YouTube playlist of Tori Amos songs reeling away on the TV, this came to mind. I don’t know why I have so rarely shared Tori on my Music Mondays or Saturday Songs but she remains one of my favorite musicians. I’ve seen her in concert twice with Brian. Much of what she performs in her is her own amazing and original material but what she does with her cover songs is equally spellbinding. You can find footage of her singing this live but I just need some simple and clear notes of joy and hope this evening, even if they are tinged with recent sadness and concern for the future.

Whatever you celebrate, I wish you joy and peace, my friends.

Featuring Daryl Sznyter

Meanwhile . . .

Word Fountain

While we are busily working on the upcoming winter issue of Word Fountain (Look for announcements about our release party at the Osterhout, scheduled for January 5th at 6:30 pm!) we’ll continue to share some of the exciting activities and accomplishments of our contributors. That includes writers from previous and upcoming issues. You can also keep up with news on the ground via our Facebook Page here.

Daryl Sznyter

Daryl Sznyter’s piece “How to Fall Asleep and Never Wake Up” appeared in our summer 2016 issue and she’s been quite busy since then. Her poems “Bald Mountain” and “Hawaiian Spring” appeared in the recent Noble Gas Qrtrly and several of her pieces have recently been published in Eunoia Review. In the October edition of Bluestem you can read along as she

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Here’s How We’ll Unite Again After Trump’s Election

jerry-mahoney.com

trump-obamaTrump voters, you’re upset. I hear you. Let’s start there.

You don’t like all the fuss Hillary Clinton voters like me are making over your guy’s victory. You wish we could just accept things and move on, like good American citizens. We’re all one country, so why can’t we just come together for the sake of unity?

Well, I get it. I don’t think you’re all bigots. You’re not all bad people. And you’re not all stupid.

But let me make one thing very clear: you made a colossal mistake.

That guy you elected? He scares the shit out of some of us. He’s said hateful things about us. I don’t mean privately, in an email he never intended for anybody else to see. I mean openly, in his campaign speeches. In his party’s platform. And then he refused to apologize for them. He didn’t misspeak. He wasn’t taken out…

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How I Learned to Stop Analyzing and Embrace “The Hug,” with Tess Gallagher

Perhaps it’s in poor taste to reblog your own blog post. Blame it on the fad of Throwback Thursdays, probably already fading. But this showed up on my Facebook feed this morning, a post from three years ago when I was living in Northumberland and regularly reading with the Poetry Under the Paintings peeps in Lewisburg. There are some nits I could pick, but I’m not about to rewrite the piece. I think this is worth talking more about. I will add though, that I’ve been reading more and more soulful poetry in print lately. It’s been a dang good year for that, and it gives this old man/boy hope.

The Dad Poet

Monkey Prodigy Loves Hugs The Monkey Prodigy Loves Hugs

I thought of the title “Saved by ‘The Hug,'” but that seemed just a tad too cute. There is something transcendent though in this poem. I wanted to title this post with something about becoming totally engrossed in the unexpected. I thought of the word “surrender,”‘ but there is no war in this poem. I considered the word “consumed,” but there is no sense of predatory feeding here.

Connotation is important, not just in poems, but in blog titles as well. Whatever word you choose brings to mind other words and other possibilities. That’s part of the beauty of the whole process, and it’s something that both the author and the reader bring to a text.

But today is Sunday, and since I sometimes, like today have a Sunday off from work, let’s be a little less scholarly and just enjoy a poem, shall we?

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