Song of the Day: Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo ft. Frank Turner, “Fields of June”

A live performance blending two of my favorite singers in a “Jackson,” June Carter Cash/Johnny Cash style duet? Yes please.

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Song of the Day: REM, “Find the River”

From Automatic for the People, an album I still have memorized apparently, as I can sing every song I’ve played from it in picking out songs for this week. As is well documented here and in my life, I’m an unashamed car singer. I have no problems being that person dancing and singing to whatever I’ve chosen to play. I must have played this album, on a tape I think I still own, a thousand times, repeating each note and line until they were etched into my subconscious. Even still, I have to drive with an album a few times before I’m fully able to hear it.

Commonplace: Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Charge of the Light Brigade”

*Okay a bit of a connective stretch, but given that this poem is about the futility of war and the event documented here occurred during the Crimean War, I think it apropos given the turmoil in the Ukraine.

I
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
III
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
   Rode the six hundred.
IV
Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
   All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
   Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
   Not the six hundred.
V
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
   Left of six hundred.
VI
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
   All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
   Noble six hundred!
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Charge of the Light Brigade”

Song of the Day: Paul Simon, “Spirit Voices”

Live version, so the sound is a little muddled.

Canned version, alas, but clearer sound on the drums.

While the whole song is beautiful, it’s the lyrics in Portuguese by Milton Nascimento that resonate the most:

Saudocões (Greetings!)
Da licenca um momento (Excuse me, one moment)
Te lembró (I remind you)
Que amanhã (That tomorrow)
Será tudo ou será naoa (It will be all or it will be nothing)
Depende coração (It depends, heart)
Será breve ou será grande (It will be brief or it will be great)
Depende da paixão (It depends on the passion)
Será sujo, será sonho (It will be dirty, it will be a dream)
Cuidado, coração (Be careful, heart)
Será util, será tarde (It will be useful, it will be late)
Se esmera, coração (Do your best, heart)
E confia (And have trust)
Na força do amanhã (In the power of tomorrow)