Archive for November, 2010

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Too many good people we meet (good friends along the way) love this tune for us to ignore it.  Marley’s tunes were often simple and powerful, but this one stands near the top.

Here is Bob in 1979, two years before his death from cancer.  This live performance, with (pretty good) video, is a diamond-in-the-rough.  It’s a bit more abstract than earlier recordings, and Bob may have been under the spell of something.  But, this is about the music.  Cut away the rough spots for the brilliance of the diamond.


Here is another version, with Bob a little less carried away.  Please click the link:


Last and final installment:  Friday.

Previous Simple Tunes:

#1, Suzanne by Leonard Cohen with Judy Collins

#2, Jersey Girl, by Tom Waits

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No, it isn’t Black Friday that begins the Christmas season, with manic shoppers trampling themselves; nor even the day after Halloween, when stores put up Christmas decorations.  None of that has to do with Jesus.  You know that. 

Today, on the First Sunday of Advent, we sang this hymn in church:  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.  But we didn’t sing as beautifully as Christina Sonnemann.  I discovered this a year ago from a friend’s blog (thanks, Peg!). 

I hope you enjoy.  It may seem odd, juxtaposing her between Waits and Marley (he’s up next) but you can only listen to one at a time anyway…



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Here is the second installment of simple tunes:  Tom Waits’ Jersey Girl.  Tell me what it is that makes this one work.

Never mind that you can’t stand the alcohol-soaked voice of Tom Waits.  The song is pure gold, no matter who sings it.  Bruce Springsteen borrowed it, made millions, and if you’ve heard him first maybe you like Springsteen better; but he ain’t got a clue.  The song belongs to Waits.

Here is a live-in-concert version, somewhere in Italy in 1986; and a second song, The Heart of Saturday Night, tags along.  YouTube deleted a better recording of this performance of Jersey Girl, to my frustration.

Update:  They deleted that one too (so what if it’s copyright infringement?  This is art!).  So here is a collage, with film clips from that concert, and with better audio because it’s a recording studio performance.  A little smoother (if that’s possible for Waits) than his gutsy on-stage gig, but I’ll take the guts any day.  Sorry.


Below is a second, more electric version by Waits.  He does a little stand-up routine about the origin of the song before he gets into it.  Tune in around the 3:50 mark for the music alone.  Sorry, no Springsteen.  The videos were that bad.

Next in the series:  Monday.

First in the series:  Suzanne by Leonard Cohen, with Judy Collins.


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A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Psalm 100, King James Version:

 1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

 2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

 3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

 5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

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I was at a Harbor Committee meeting this evening.  This isn’t really our work, but if we’d thought of it, it would have been on the agenda.  This photo was taken on the end of the dock at Great Cranberry Island.

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