July Music Passion: Birds – “Blackbird”


This is my entry for July’s Music Passion.  Every month, bloggers are posting one of their favorite songs based on each month’s theme.  Thanks to Sarah of Sarahpotterwrites, last month’s most popularly “liked” entry, the theme this month is “birds”.

My choice is “Blackbird” by the Beatles.  I can never tire of the beautifully simple message of this song.

The lyrics:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

About the song:

The song “Blackbird” was written by Paul McCartney (although credited to Lenon and McCartney) and appeared on the Beatle’s White AlbumIt was recorded on June 11, 1968 at EMI studios and features a blackbird singing through part of the song.  George Martin was the producer.

Says McCartney about the meaning behind the lyrics:

“I had been doing poetry readings. I had been doing some in the last year or so because I’ve got a poetry book out called Blackbird Singing, and when I would read “Blackbird”, I would always try and think of some explanation to tell the people, ’cause there’s not a lot you can do except just read the poem, you know, you read 10 poems that takes about 10 minutes, almost. It’s like, you’ve got to, just, do a bit more than that. So, I was doing explanations, and I actually just remembered why I’d written “Blackbird”, you know, that I’d been, I was in Scotland playing on my guitar, and I remembered this whole idea of “you were only waiting for this moment to arise” was about, you know, the black people’s struggle in the southern states, and I was using the symbolism of a blackbird. It’s not really about a blackbird whose wings are broken, you know, it’s a bit more symbolic.”— Paul McCartney, Interview with KCRW’s Chris Douridas, May 25, 2002 episode of New Ground (17:50 – 19:00)

I think the meaning behind the lyrics can go even more personal than this.  How many of us are waiting for our own “moment to arise”?

If you’d like to participate, jump on over to Allaboutlemon for more information and jump on in!  The blogger posting the video which receives the most “likes” for the month gets to choose the topic for next month.

10-Word Story Challenge #2: “Sky”


This is week #2 of the 10-Word Story Challenge.  I’m inviting anyone and everyone to participate.  The subject this week is “… sky…”  The rules are simple:

  • It will be exactly 10 words.
  • It will be a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an ending.
  • It will be in context to the subject each week.
  • A new challenge will be posted every Wednesday and the deadline will be the following Tuesday at midnight wherever you’re living.
  • Post your 10-word story in the comments of each week’s challenge and feel free to comment on each other’s.

Post your 10-word story below in the comments and be sure to comment on your favorites!  More about the Challenge here.

Let’s have some fun!

Here’s my entry for the week:

Looking up, she whispered and waited.  The sky didn’t reply.

Take the 10-Word Story Challenge: Dreams


The subject this week is “dreams”.

I am rabid about writing challenges.  They pull me out of my comfort zone and make me explore different facets of my muse.  There are a lot of writers out there reading this right now and I challenge you to write a 10-word story.  Here are the rules:

  • It will be exactly 10 words.
  • It will be a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an ending.
  • It will be in context to the subject each week.
  • A new challenge will be posted every Wednesday and the deadline will be the following Tuesday at midnight wherever you’re living.
  • Post your 10-word story in the comments of each week’s challenge and feel free to comment on each other’s.

If you are a blogger, post your entry on your blog and reference The 10-Word Challenge.  Also, be sure to include a link to your blog when you post your story in the comments.  Let’s have some fun!  Spread the “word”.

Add this image to your blog with a link to the 10-Word Story Challenge page!

My 10-Word Story entry this week is:

He awoke into a dream of waking and fell asleep.

A Little Sweetness — Charlie Chaplin “Kiss Me”


City Lights

I enjoy the old silent films; sometimes more than modern films.  There’s something relaxing in the simplicity, something soothing in lack of dialogue, something more artistic in the blacks, whites and grays.  It’s become a lost art form a midst the spoon-fed splendor of digitally rendered eye-candy and deafening pyrotechnics.  Charlie Chaplin is my heart’s favorite.

The Kid

Here’s a little gem I found; an extra cube of sugar in your tea today.  I’m not one for overt romantics, they tend to repulse me.  But the sweetness I found in this video just made me smile.  I hope it brings a little sweetness and smile to you too.

Charlie Chaplin “Kiss Me”

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy Charlie Chaplin and The Great Dictator:  The Speech that Resounds Across Time

Music Passion – Flowers


This is my first entry in Music Passion.  Every month, bloggers are posting one of their favorite songs based on each month’s theme.  Thanks to Katrina of Freedom to a Full Life, last month’s most popularly “liked” entry, I have the chance to participate.

If you follow my blog, you already know I love flowers.  They captivate me with their graceful but short-lived beauty.  How could I pass this up?  There are so many songs out there about flowers but it didn’t take long to pull a childhood favorite from a little box of specially-kept memories in my heart.  It’s a favorite of my dad’s too which makes it all the more dear to me.  A hint…  It’s about the little flower pictured above.  Do you know what it is?

The song is “Edelweiss” from the soundtrack of the movie The Sound of Music.  As you begin this video, which is the scene from the original movie, you’ll also be reminded of another very famous Roger’s and Hammerstein tune.  The singing of “Edelweiss” follows it directly.

“Edelweiss” was composed by the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein for their 1959 musical The Sound of Music.  It would be the last song they composed together.  The song is named for a tiny white flower which grows native to the Alps where the story is set.  The song as it first appears in the original film is sung by Captain Von Trapp as a testament of defiant patriotism.  The welling of emotion that springs forth from the image of the tiny flowers is what drove the song so deeply into my memories.  It was a testament to purity and conviction.

The Lyrics:

CAPTAIN:
Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss,Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever.

CAPTAIN, MARIA, THE CHILDREN AND CHORUS:
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss,Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever

Writing of the Song:

While The Sound of Music was in tryouts in Boston, Richard Rodgers felt Captain von Trapp should have a song with which he would bid farewell to the Austria he knew and loved. He and Oscar Hammerstein II decided to write an extra song that Captain von Trapp would sing in the Kaltzberg Festival (Salzburg Festival in the film) concert sequence towards the end of the show. As they were writing it, they felt that this song could also utilise the guitar-playing and folk-singing talents of Theodore Bikel, who created the role of Captain von Trapp on Broadway. The Lindsay and Crouse script provides a metaphor of the edelweiss flower, as a symbol of the Austria that Captain von Trapp, Maria and their children knew would live on in their hearts despite the Nazi annexation of their homeland. As such, the metaphor of this song builds on an earlier scene when Gretl presents a bouquet of edelweiss flowers to Elsa Schraeder during her visit to the von Trapp household. Rodgers provided a haunting waltz-time melody, based on simple romanticBiedermeier era tunes like Hänschen klein and others, to the simple Italian style ritornello lyric that Hammerstein wrote about the appearance of the Edelweiss flower. This song turned out to be one of the most beloved songs in the musical, and also one of the best-loved songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Another Use:

During the 1970s in the United States, the song became a popular tune with which to sing the benediction in some Christian churches. At a United Methodist Women’s Conference, revised lyrics for the song were handed out with instructions stating that the benediction was to be sung to the tune of “Edelweiss”. The trend spread quickly across different denominations of Christianity, and it is still very common to hear the benedictory lyrics (“May the Lord, Mighty God”) sung to an organ or piano accompaniment of the song from the Sound of Music.

Altered Benediction Lyrics:

“May the Lord, mighty God,
Bless and keep you forever.
Grant you peace, perfect peace,
Courage in every endeavor.
Lift your eyes and see His face,
And His grace forever.
May the Lord, mighty God,
Bless and keep you forever.”

Despite the popularity of this practice, the estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein have not authorized the use of the lyrics of this benediction with the melody of the song, and hold that this practice is illegal. Rodgers stated that “he would take legal action against any group” using the “Edelweiss” melody with altered words, and the current rightsholders will not grant permission for these requests, which are “inconsistent with the creators’ intentions”.

(Source:  Wikipedia)

Do you want to play along?  Stay tuned, go to All About Lemon’s Music Passion Page for the ground rules, and go grab your favorite song about flowers!  You can’t repeat someone else’s entry and the most popular will get to choose next month’s theme.  Go!