Sunday, November 16, 2014

SONGS THAT TELL A STORY #10: "The Four Seasons Of Life" by NARVEL FELTS, 1963



Albie's Note:  According to everything I can find about it out on-line, this ballad was first recorded by Rockabilly legend Narvel "the Marvel" in 1963, but this is the version I have always loved, recorded live for the above album much later, sometime in the '70s, I believe.  I had this old LIVE album on Cassette and this song brings back all kinds of memories of my younger days in the 1980s and my '73 Chevy pick-up.  I especially like this version because of the introduction, where Narvel [born November 11, 1938 and still touring!] tells of "the strange mood" that came over him when he came to write this unusual song about family, life and death, and this intro serves to give the whole thing a certain strange-- almost eerie-- poignancy. 

Hear for yourself:





THE FOUR SEASONS OF LIFE

Deep in the night a baby cries
Little does he understand that before he knows it he'll be a man
In the spring a young man's fancy turns to love
In treetops high he sees the mating of the dove
Then he finds her somehow, somewhere, and with one kiss a love they share
This is the first season of life


In the summer he gives her a wedding band
As hot wind blows they walk together through the sand
Then they have a family, first comes one then two then three
This is the second season of life


Then comes autumn the green leaves turn to gold
Their two daughters have husbands their son takes a wife
Their grandchildren have reached number nine
This is the third season of life


In the winter an old man's hair has turned to snow
His dreams are gone with the cold north wind that blows
For she is gone and he's alone soon he must go where she has gone
This is the last season of life




 
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
 
JAMES 4:14
 
PEACE

Saturday, November 15, 2014

POETRY BREAK #22: "THE QUIET JOYS OF BROTHERHOOD" by Richard Farina, 1966



Albie's Note: The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood is a beautiful poem by the late, GREAT novelist/folk singer/iconoclast and genius Richard Fariña  (March 8, 1937 – April 30, 1966)  which he set musically to the public domain melody of the ancient Irish air My Lagan Love. His widow Mimi Fariña (born Margarita Mimi Baez, April 30, 1945 – July 18, 2001) sang it in 1968 on the final Richard and Mimi Fariña album Memories [a long time fave of Albie's] , two full years after Richard's untimely death in a motorcycle crash.

I loved that old album like few others, and always loved this particular poem.   I have long considered Farina the TRUE 'last of the Beats' because in many ways he was the last gasp of that strange sensibility... at once joyous and poetic yet darkly acknowledging of the "American Weirdness."

Here is Mimi's great rendition of one of Richard's true poetic classics. I am no leftie, but Brotherhood is a really good thing to sing about.

Amen.




Where gentle tides go rolling by
Along the salt-sea strand
The colors blend and roll as one
Together in the sand
And often do the winds entwine
To send their distant call
The quiet joys of brotherhood
When love is lord of all

Where oat and wheat together rise
Along the common ground
The mare and stallion light and dark
Have thunder in their sound
The rainbow sign, the blended flood
Still have my heart enthralled
The quiet joys of brotherhood
When love is lord of all

But men have come to plow the tides
The oat lies on the ground
I hear their fires in the field
They drive the stallion down
The roses bleed, both light and dark
The winds do seldom call
The running sands recall the time
When love was lord of all





 
PEACE


 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

BIG AL's JOVIAL JUKEBOX #33: "It Ain't Me, Babe, " Sayaka Alessandra sings Bob Dylan, 2010


Albie's Note: I always like to listen to this young gal form Sicily, the amazing Japanese/Italian amateur [recently turned professional]  SAYAKA ALESSANDRA.   Her taste in songs is marvelous, strongly leaning toward the Country/Rockabilly side of the spectrum, but at the same time, full of wonderful surprises too.  

Here, in a video posted back in 2010 she does Bob Dylan's great paean to "bad relationships" in a way that I think might actually top both the TURTLES' and JOHNNY CASH's hit versions from the 60s.

"It Ain't Me, Babe."   Indeed.


IT AINT ME, BABE
Written by Bob Dylan

Go ’way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I’m not the one you want, babe
I will only let you down
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who will promise never to part
Someone to close his eyes for you
Someone to close his heart
Someone who will die for you an’ more
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

Go melt back into the night, babe
Everything inside is made of stone
There’s nothing in here moving
An’ anyway I’m not alone
You say you’re lookin' for someone
Who’ll pick you up each time you fall
To gather flowers constantly
An’ to come each time you call
A lover for your life an’ nothing more
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe



See more at Sayaka's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJVseQRrohzvXKtkdUbWWog


 
 
PEACE
 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

RANGER AL's WESTERN COMIX THEATRE #8: RED RYDER from DELL Comics, 1943

Albie's Note:  Here was Red Ryder, the single most popular western comic strip of all time, adapted-- in 1943 AD--  to fit the relatively new novelty called "comic magazines." 

While in some ways it doesn't hold up well [the sidekick Little Beaver is a somewhat uncomfortable stereotype, for example]  I can actually, totally, see the appeal.   Real life ranchman and artist Fred Harman [February 9, 1902 - January 2, 1982] created a wildly unrealistic white hat hero-- then drew him with such virile action and western vigor that it's actually pretty easy to see how the kids loved ol' Double R!

This episode ends kind of abruptly but I think it's because these were reprints from an on-going daily continuity.

In any case, bad guys had best beware... Red-headed Justice is riding hard!

You betchum!













 
PEACE
 

Friday, October 10, 2014

BIG AL's JOVIAL JUKEBOX # 32: "My Own kind Of Hat" by ROSIE FLORES, 1994


Albie's Note: One of all-time favorite albums remains the obscure tribute record Tulare Dust: A Songwriters' Tribute To Merle Haggard from the HIGHTONE record label originally put out in 1994.  This collection of familiar and obscure Haggard songs re-interpreted by alt-rock stalwarts [there was an all-star-country tribute album full of big names the same year but it wasn't nearly as good] contained some truly beautiful music and I really liked Hag being re-interpreted by younger but still respectful artists. 

Also, I always loved this particular song-- a true Libertarian anthem-- originally a top ten country hit found on Hag's great 1979 album SERVING 190 PROOF.  I remember there was a story at the time that the song came from an experience when Merle was at a photo session for an album cover and arrived in a Fedora.  The photographer handed over a Stetson and said to Hag:

"I think the label would rather have me shoot you in a cowboy hat."

To which the Okie philosopher replied "I'll wear my own kind of hat, thank you." 

True or not, it's a great story.... and the song is even greater. 

Here is the version I like best from San Antonio rockabilly legend Rosie Flores.

Wear your own lids, folks!   Amen.


MY OWN KIND OF HAT
Words and Music by Merle Haggard
Cowboys and outlaws, right guys and southpaws,
Good dogs and all kinds of cats.
Dirt roads and white lines and all kinds of stop signs,
But I stand right here where I'm at,
'Cause I wear My Own Kind Of Hat.

There's two kind of lovers and two kind of brothers,
And two kind of babies to hold.
There's two kind of cherries and two kind of fairies,
And two kind of mothers I'm told, and told

Cowboys and outlaws, right guys and southpaws,
Good dogs and all kinds of cats.
Dirt roads and white lines and all kinds of stop signs,
But I stand right here where I'm at,
'Cause I wear My Own Kind Of Hat.

There's two kind of brothers and two kind of lovers,
And two kind of babies to hold.
There's two kind of cherries and two kind of fairies,
And two kind of mothers I'm told, and told

Cowboys and outlaws, right guys and southpaws,
Good dogs and all kinds of cats.
Dirt roads and white lines and all kinds of stop signs,
But I stand right here where I'm at,
'Cause I wear My Own Kind Of Hat.




PEACE

Thursday, October 9, 2014

COOL STUFF FROM LIBRARY BOOKS # 34: Spurgeon ON CHRISTIAN UNITY!


"UNITY BRINGS BLESSING"

By C. H. Spurgeon
[From THE TREASURY OF DAVID]


"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
"It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
"As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore"
(Psa. 133:1-3)

 
The Beauty of Unity
"Behold." It is a wonder seldom seen, therefore behold it! It may be seen, for it is the characteristic of real saints – therefore fail not to inspect it! It is well worthy of admiration; pause and gaze upon it! It will charm you into imitation, therefore note it well! God looks on with approval, therefore consider it with attention. "How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" No one can tell the exceeding excellence of such a condition; and so the Psalmist uses the word "how" twice – Behold how good! and how pleasant! He does not attempt to measure either the good or the pleasure, but invites us to behold for ourselves. The combination of the two adjectives "good" and "pleasant," is more remarkable than the conjunction of two stars of the first magnitude: for a thing to be "good" is good, but for it also to be pleasant is better. All men love pleasant things, and yet it frequently happens that the pleasure is evil; but here the condition is as good as it is pleasant, as pleasant as it is good, for the same "how" is set before each qualifying word.
For brethren according to the flesh to dwell together is not always wise; for experience teaches that they are better a little apart, and it is shameful for them to dwell together in disunion. They had much better part in peace like Abraham and Lot, than dwell together in envy like Joseph’s brothers. When brethren can and do dwell together in unity, then is their communion worthy to be gazed upon and sung of in holy psalmody. Such sights ought often to be seen among those who are near of kin, for they are brethren, and therefore should be united in heart and aim; they dwell together, and it is for their mutual comfort that there should be no strife; and yet how many families are rent by fierce feuds, and exhibit a spectacle which is neither good nor pleasant!
As to brethren in spirit, they ought to dwell together in church fellowship, and in that fellowship one essential matter is unity. We can dispense with uniformity if we possess unity: oneness of life, truth, and way; oneness in Christ Jesus; oneness of object and spirit – these we must have, or our assemblies will be synagogues of contention rather than churches of Christ. The closer the unity the better; for the more of the good and the pleasant there will be. Since we are imperfect beings, somewhat of the evil and the unpleasant is sure to intrude; but this will readily be neutralized and easily ejected by the true love of the saints, if it really exists.

Christian unity is good in itself, good for ourselves, good for the brethren, good for our converts, good for the outside world; and for certain it is pleasant; for a loving heart must have pleasure and give pleasure in associating with others of like nature. A church united for years in earnest service of the Lord is a well of goodness and joy to all those who dwell round about it.
The Blessings of Unity

"It is like the precious ointment upon the head." In order that we may the better behold brotherly unity David gives us a resemblance, so that as in a glass we may perceive its blessedness. It has a sweet perfume about it, comparable to that precious ointment with which the first high priest was anointed at his ordination.
It is a holy thing, and so again is like the oil of consecration which was to be used only in the Lord’s service. What a sacred thing must brotherly love be when it can be likened to an oil which must never be poured on any man but on the Lord’s high priest alone!
It is a diffusive thing: being poured on his head the fragrant oil flowed down upon Aaron’s head, and thence dropped upon his garments till the utmost hem was anointed therewith; and even so doth brotherly love extend its benign power and bless all who are beneath its influence. Hearty concord brings a benediction upon all concerned; its goodness and pleasure are shared in by the lowliest members of the household; even the servants are the better and the happier because of the lovely unity among the members of the family.
It has a special use about it; for as by the anointing oil Aaron was set apart for the special service of Jehovah, even so those who dwell in love are the better fitted to glorify God in His church.
 
The Lord is not likely to use for His glory those who are devoid of love; they lack the anointing needful to make them priests unto the Lord.
" That ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard." This is a chief point of comparison, that as the oil did not remain confined to the place where it first fell, but flowed down the high priest’s hair and bedewed his beard, even so brotherly love descending from the head distils and descends, anointing as it runs, and perfuming all it lights upon.
"That went down to the skirts of his garments." Once set in motion it would not cease from flowing. It might seem as if it were better not to smear his garments with oil, but the sacred unguent could not be restrained, it flowed over his holy robes; even thus does brotherly love not only flow over the hearts upon which it was first poured out, and descend to those who are an inferior part of the mystical body of Christ, but it runs where it is not sought for, asking neither leave nor license to make its way. Christian affection knows no limits of parish, nation, sect or age.
Is the man a believer in Christ? Then he is in the one body, and I must yield him an abiding love!
 
Is he one of the poorest, one of the least spiritual, one of the least lovable? Then he is as the skirts of the garment, and my heart’s love must fall even upon him.
 
Brotherly love comes from the head, but falls to the feet. Its way is downward. It "ran down," and it "went down": love for the brethren condescends to men of low estate, it is not puffed up, but is lowly and meek. This is no small part of its excellence: oil would not anoint if it did not flow down, neither would brotherly love diffuse its blessing if it did not descend.

The Bounty of Unity


"As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion." From the loftier mountains the moisture appears to be wafted to the lesser hills: the dews of Hermon fall on Zion. The Alpine Lebanon ministers to the minor elevation of the city of David; and so does brotherly love descend from higher to the lower, refreshing and enlivening in its course. Holy concord is as dew, mysteriously blessed, full of life and growth for all plants of grace. It brings with it so much benediction that it is as no common dew, but as that of Hermon which is specially copious, and far-reaching.
O for more of this rare virtue! Not the love which comes and goes, but that which dwells; not that spirit which separates and secludes, but that which dwells together; not that mind which is all for debate and difference, but that which dwells together in unity. Never shall we know the full power of the anointing till we are of one heart and of one spirit; never will the sacred dew of the spirit descend in all its fulness till we are perfectly joined together in the same mind; never will the covenanted and commanded blessing come forth from the Lord our God till once again we shall have "one Lord, one faith, one baptism."
 
Lord, lead us into this most precious spiritual unity, for Thy Son’s sake. Amen.
 

    
 
PEACE
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

POETRY BREAK #21: "A VAGABOND SONG" by Bliss Carman, 1896

 
"A WALK IN THE COUNTRY" Norman Rockwell, 1935


Albie's Note:  This little lyric, from the  second book of Canadian poet Bliss Carman's  VAGABONDIA trilogy: More Songs from Vagabondia [1896], was once a widely quoted popular favorite  in the both the USA and the poet's native country.   It's a poem I always think of when October rolls around.... there truly is something in autumn that makes that adventuruous spirit awaken.   Enjoy this classic from the poet Louis Untermeyer celebreated for "the heartiness, the gypsy jollity, the rush of high spirits, that conquered" through his verse.

 


A Vagabond Song

1861-1929



There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood --
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.


 



PEACE