Thursday, March 18, 2010

Music and Me

Last night, quite by accident (although I don't believe in such things as accidents!) I watched an absolute musical treat in the form of Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra.

I don't watch a great deal of television even less the PBS stations but my husband had been watching

WPBT2 - South Florida Public Television    

and had disappeared!  He tends to do that!!  You know the type - turns on everything that makes a noise and then leaves the room.  The exercise is then repeated in whichever room he goes to.  

So there I was, about to get down to some backlog paperwork when my daughter told me that there was going to be a concert from Dublin.  Thinking it was to do with St Patrick's Day, I showed an interest.  It turned out that the only thing to do with Ireland was that the concert had been recorded in Dublin. I don't know when and I didn't care.  It was an absolute treat to watch and once again I was reminded of how much I miss and am starved of, events such as this. Yes there is theatre, music and a great deal of talent in the Caribbean but my roots are in Europe and every now and again I yearn for a show, a concert, an opera or an operetta.

My father's love of music came from the Irish side of the family and when he found himself in Italy post WW11 on his way to Austria, his love affair with opera began.  When he met my Austrian mother (who couldn't hold a note much to the amusement of the rest of the family!), he embraced the wonderful music that was on offer from long dead and not-so-dead European composers.

I was weaned on Lehar, Puccini, Verdi and Rossini; Viennese waltzes and Oscar and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin. The music was always there and the latest 'records' were forever on the turn table. Great big old 78s. Later there was Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers from whom I heard once again the Irish rebel songs. And as I grew, hearing the likes of Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford, Sinatra, Crosby, Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr. to name but a few of the greats, my taste broadened so that eventually Presley made Bill Haley and the Comets look positively tame! Even later my father would come to love the Sandpipers, Demis Roussos, Shirley Bassey and would you believe, Tom Jones?? Oh yes, "Delilah" was a favourite of his too but I drew the line at 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon'.

So last night when I heard Thunder and Lightening Polka, The Merry Widow, Song of the Volga, Gypsy Love, The Blue Danube Waltz,  Song of Olympia, Radetzky March, the Slaves Chorus, The Marino Waltz and an Opera Pot Pourri I was taken back to another time. A time of enchantment. A time of wonder. A time of discovery. A time when I felt safe. A time when my father and I would sing duets from musicals such as Kismet. A time when I would sit through Hollywood musicals totally enthralled by the magic that took me into another world.

Last night Andre Rieu took me back to that world.  The tears flowed as I watched. listened, hummed and sang. The tears of nostalgia flowed as I remembered a time when music and love filled a home and through my tears, I silently gave thanks to my long deceased father for introducing me to music which has brought me so much pleasure through the years.

What would life be without music? "Music goes straight to the heart" said Andre Rieu last night.  I know it's in mine.




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day

There's a tear in your eye,
And I'm wondering why,
For it never should be there at all.
With such pow'r in your smile,
Sure a stone you'd beguile,
So there's never a teardrop should fall.
When your sweet lilting laughter's
Like some fairy song,
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be;
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile,
And now, smile a smile for me.

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

For your smile is a part
Of the love in your heart,
And it makes even sunshine more bright.
Like the linnet's sweet song,
Crooning all the day long,
Comes your laughter and light.
For the springtime of life
Is the sweetest of all
There is ne'er a real care or regret;
And while springtime is ours
Throughout all of youth's hours,
Let us smile each chance we get.

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

Lyrics to When Irish Eyes Are Smiling  by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. and set to the music of Enerst Ball for Olcott's production of The Isle O' Dreams. The music was published in 1912.  

Let's do a jig , see if we can all find a four leafed clover and remember that when Irish eyes are smiling, they'll steal your heart away.  Am glad to be able to say that my paternal grandmother came from the Emerald Isle - County Cork to be exact.

A Happy St Patrick's Day to all my friends with Irish roots and also to those who do not have Irish roots.   The generosity of the Irish is such, that they will welcome anyone so let's all celebrate.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Twenty Five Years On..............

Twenty five years ago last Sunday, a couple surrounded by love, very close family and a very small group of  extremely close friends, exchanged marriage vows.

Some people who weren't invited said it wouldn't last. Wrong!

Twenty five years and two days on, I think my husband and I will make it to twenty six!    Providing he continues to remember who is the Boss!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Children's Bible

The Children's Bible in a Nutshell

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas.  The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that. 
Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did. 
Then God made the world.
He split the Adam and made Eve.  Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. 
Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden.....not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.
Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham.  Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
 After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast.  Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston.  Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people.  These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
 God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti.  Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff.
Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humour thy father and thy mother.
One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies.  Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.
After Joshua came David.  He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot.  He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines.  My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.
After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets.  One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. 
There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament.  Jesus is the star of The New.  He was born in Bethlehem in a barn.  (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats.
Jesus also had twelve opossums.
The worst one was Judas Asparagus.  Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
Jesus was a great man.  He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.
But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot.  Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus.  He just washed his hands instead.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again.  He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum.  His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

With thanks to

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Italian Boy's Confession


'Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl'.

The priest asks, 'Is that you, little Joey Pagano ?'

'Yes, Father, it is.'

'And who was the girl you were with?'

'I can't tell you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation'.

"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later
so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?'

'I cannot say.'

'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?'

'I'll never tell.'

'Was it Nina Capelli?'

'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'

'Was it Cathy Piriano?'

'My lips are sealed.'

'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?'

'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'

The priest sighs in frustration.

'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone.
You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.'

Joey walks back to his pew
and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, '
'What'd you get?'

'Four months vacation and five good leads.'



I told you I needed duct tape for Lent!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Cherokee Parable

An interesting lesson for us all.

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, ' My son, the battle is between two ' wolves ' inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. '

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ' Which wolf wins? '

The old Cherokee simply replied, ' The one you feed. '

Two Wolves
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