A Lot of Music, a Little Gardening…

Today, one of my neighbors was walking up the steps toward the Metro playing a banjo.  I heard it first and looked out the window.  When I saw him, I opened the sash and gave him a shout.  We laughed about a banjo being hard to ignore and he said he was “taking it to the streets.”  Last summer he played it up on the plaza between some office buildings and it was always nice to hear.  I’ve been reflective lately, trolling through my music, old and new.

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In the garden, the peas, already mixed with mint, are coming along nicely.

It’s made me check in on people I hadn’t played for a while to see if they have something new out or a tour planned.  I’m surprised how many of the artists whose music I’ve loved are dead.  Some recently so, like John Prine.  When I first heard of his passing I thought how hard that would be for his family, and then I thought, “I hope Steve Goodman met him at the pearly gates and they’re jamming now.”

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Kirsten, the County Extension Agent, set up outside the garden with boxes of seeds. There is apparently a seed shortage.

I came to John Prine’s music through Steve Goodman.  They were buddies in Chicago folk clubs and wrote songs together as well as sang together.  Goodman wrote The City of New Orleans, which Arlo Guthrie recorded, Banana Republics, which Jimmy Buffet recorded, and a boatload of other songs, including Go Cubs, Go (his family gave the rights to that to the Chicago Cubs) and The Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request among a lot of others.  He was a small-statured bundle of energy on stage and apparently in the rest of his life as well.  In this clip, he sings Banana Republics and The 20th Century is Almost Over.  That crazy bouncing and dancing in the second song is typical of his concert enthusiasm, and for some reason the song seems oddly topical and contemporary.  He and Prine also sang together fairly often, as in this rendition of Prine’s Souvenirs.

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Fellow gardeners Atoshi and Mike kept social distance.

So without Goodman, I might not have learned of Prine so early.  One of the first of his songs I heard, Paradise, was about strip mining and became an anthem of protests against its effects.  His songs could be lovely and lyrical or unvarnished and true.  Mostly they were stories that pointed to some truth–like Hello in There, recorded by quite a few people–Bette Midler and Joan Baez among them–about an elderly couple with a history.  There was Sam Stone, about a soldier come back from war with a heroin habit, and Angel from Montgomery, recorded by Bonnie Raitt, about a woman worn down by life.  He said once in an interview that if you write a song and record it you’d better like it because if it’s a hit, “you’ll be singing it the rest of your life.”

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Blooming thyme, with rosemary putting a blooming branch in upper right. I learned that AFAC is no longer taking fresh produce, as it involves too many people in the warehouse. Plot Against Hunger is looking for other places to donate. There is great need for food.

There is a lot of joy and fun in his songs, as in The Glory of True Love and Lonesome Friends of Science.  Two of my favorites are The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness, recorded by Nanci Griffith, among others, and Summer’s End off his 2018 album, Tree of Forgiveness.  What a lovely album that last one is.

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Mike has a look at the blooming rosemary–and have a look at the Columbine (aka Aquilegia) by the fence.

I listen to a lot of music and like most of it, from classical to jazz to blues to rock to punk and new wave, and have dipped my ear into rap.  There is something about singer-songwriters though, that draws me.  I do like the way country music and blues and bluegrass rolled into the potent tidal wave of rock and roll and continue to change.  So I guess this is part of my Covid Coping.  I’ve seen that hashtag on Twitter and for me, a little music, a little walking in nature, a little gardening, a little baking, and a few friends are keeping me sane, for the most part.  Have a lovely week.

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47 Responses to A Lot of Music, a Little Gardening…

  1. I spent today listening to music, just for a change. Perhaps you influenced me from afar – Including several of the songs you specifically mentioned. I have a huge musical repertoire but it calls a halt at rap. I just don’t really get that – except for when it is mostly the backup singer carrying the piece…. I’ve been listening to audio books whenever else I get a chance if I have chosen something other than silence. And also enjoying the recordings of plays presented by London’s National Theatre and a selection of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals …… and also a couple of local offerings. I’ve loved the chance to have a bit culture, a taste of live theatre, minus the live bit. 🙂

    We are a month into lockdown now and today heard there is another week to go before we retreat to level 3 and if all goes well , another week later Level 2 which is about as low as we will go for the foreseeable future. Jacinda has done a sterling job. But I know most people will be glad to be able to socially mingle a bit more. Even Siddy – he’s missed his friends calling round.

    Liked by 5 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      I’ve been reading what a fabulous job your PM has done and how well the pandemic is being contained. I’m glad. You may be out and about sooner than we are. Yes, I’ve been hearing the offerings of different theaters and am going to try some of those for evening entertainment. As for rap, I did say “dipped my ear” as most of it is angry and misongynist. Here and there, there’s something I enjoy, but it’s a hunt I haven’t done in a while. I’d like to hear your voice and glimpse you–will email re a call.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. A lovely musical saunter around the garden. Naturally I did enjoy the phrase: “So without Goodman, I might not have learned..”!! I’m looking forward to your Spring and Summer of gardening, Lisa!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely tribute to Prine and music. I’m spending this Pause much the same way you are: walking in nature, gardening, baking, and listening to lots of good music. And what good music Goodman and Prine have gifted the world with. Have a good week. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A fascinating tour through a musical era. I was a big fan of Joan Baez

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really enjoyed this post. Where we would be without music? Every morning as I read blogs and comment, I listen to music on YouTube. Mostly alternative rock, which is my favorite, but I also like the Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlyle. And bluegrass. And, and, and… Lovely pictures, too. A lot more advanced than Maine, but we are making progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      It’s nice to be able to hear new and old music so easily now. Yes, alt rock is a favorite of mine, too. Glad you like the post! A lot of people only listen to one kind of music, so I was afraid I’d put some people off. Still, it’s what I’ve been thinking about. Spring will creep into your neck of the woods soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Those pink columbine caught my eye right away. My foliage is only a few inches high, but growing steadily.
    Thank heaven we have music, our gardens and telecommunications to help us get through this. Take care of yourself, Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sylvie Ge says:

    You seem to have all the resilience that is needed in this crazy moment we are going through.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like your days have been pleasant enough. Like a long staycation perhaps 😉 Did you hear Brandi Carlile do ‘Hello In There’ on Colbert last week? I was so smitten with her take on it, I went to itunes to hear it again. Here’s her performance on Colbert

    Liked by 2 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      I’m still working, getting less done with more effort because of technology. I did hear Brandi Carlile sing that. It was lovely. I hope you’re doing okay and it will be spring in your neck of the woods soon. Thanks for coming by for a visit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      For some reason, even though I responded to this, my comment didn’t show up! I did hear this, and liked it. I think they sang together on occasion. I hope spring is coming to Alberta and that you are hunkered down contentedly.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. kevin cooper says:

    You can’t beat music and gardening. Lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. shoreacres says:

    I spent some time listening to your links and pondering why John Prine never was part of my listening rotation. When he died and the tributes rolled in, I couldn’t figure out why he’s never ‘clicked’ for me, but so it is. It was interesting for me to think about other musicians I’ve never favored: James Taylor and Carole King, for example. Even at the height of their popularity, I didn’t choose to listen to them. Odd.

    The good news is that we all have music that can help to sustain us in a time like this. Steely Dan and Steve Winwood are scheduled for Houston in June — my fingers are crossed, because I would go to see them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Ooh, I like them, too. I hope you can go. I think a lot of Prine songs that people heard about or that got critical attention could be hard to listen to or conversely there are some comic ones that got attention and people might have thought that’s all there was. In between all that were some really lovely songs. Of course, like Dylan, there’s a voice to get used to–When Dylan put out Tempest I remember laughing with delight at the songs and by that time his voice was like rocks in a blender. But the fact is, it’s taste and some thing that appeals. When I need to feel better there’s nothing quite like The Glory of True Love.

      Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Hmmm… Here’s another one I responded to that didn’t show up in the feed. Not going to give the full response here, but do hope you can see Steely Dan and Winwood if they come! let me know if you didn’t get the first comment…

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres says:

        I just had a chat with the WordPress guru, and provided some links to various blogs that are having the same problem. Your first comment didn’t show up. Did you happen to reply from your notifications tab? It seems to me that’s part of the problem, so I’ve started coming back to blogs to leave comments, rather than using notifications.

        The WP person said they’re aware of an issue, but haven’t pinpointed it. I was able to tell her (him?) that it seems to be system wide, since people in England, the US, and New Zealand have experienced it. With luck, they’ll fix it sooner rather than later.

        Liked by 1 person

      • arlingwoman says:

        Interestingly, the problem seemed to be that I was replying form the notifications, but just now, I went directly to the comment and it didn’t offer me a reply option, so I clicked on edit and got into some other version of posted comments where I could choose reply. It just started happening with this blog, I think. Did you get my first comment? or just the one where I said it hadn’t showed up in the comments? I think for me part of the pleasure is reading people’s comments and the replies, so when I saw it looked as though I wasn’t replying, I started plugging something in. Thanks for letting me know. I will stop using notifications for the moment.

        Like

  11. Lavinia Ross says:

    Many years ago, when I lived back east, I attended a triple feature show with John Prine, Arlo Guthrie and Karla Bonoff. It was fantastic! John left the planet all too soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Robin says:

    Thank you for the music, Lisa. I enjoyed it. I was saddened by John Prine’s passing. So many musicians have left us. I jokingly said something to my husband the other day about how the musicians started flying off in their own rapture not long about the 2016 election, as if they knew something we haven’t yet figured out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I never thought of it that way! But it gave me a laugh to read that interpretation. Regardless we still have the music, even if their won’t be new stuff from them!

      Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      I laughed about the musician rapture. Perhaps you’re right. At least they left their music! Adding this comment as the one I sent from the feed did not show up here. Oddly with quite a few of them this post. Not sure what to do about it, but hope you don’t mind a double comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Music and gardening are a wonderful combination! One thing I don’t do anymore is singing aloud at home. My son has hyperacusis and the music actually hurts his ears. It’s sad, really, that he’ll never fully understand that joy. I used to love singing to show tunes. With my theater background, I’ve seen a lot of musicals. I also enjoy movie singalongs. My tastes, like yours, are eclectic as well. I’m sorry to hear about the plot against hunger and AFAC. I’ve heard that the food banks have lost 70% of their volunteers, at a time when the need for food has vastly increased.

    Like

  14. arlingwoman says:

    Not singing would be majorly hard for me! I must look up hyperacusis. AFAC has been trying to limit the number of people in the warehouse and also the number of people, how far apart they are and how quickly they pick up food. I imagine it’a a nightmare. They’re packing bags for people, rather than giving choice of protein, vegetable, etc. It’s likely safer, but let’s hope they can go back at some point. We’re looking to see how we can offer fresh produce through Arlington Urban Agriculture. We’ll see. I’ve been listening to Jason Mraz (kind of like a 21st Century Beach Boys) and Melody Gardot’s Worrisome Heart, which I love.

    Like

  15. I love the way you juxtapose the music with the here and now in your world. Thanks for sharing this lovely post. I need to listen to more music. Oddly enough, when we walk the baby, everybody sings to her, not just lullabyes, but old 60’s, 70’s and 80’s songs too.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. LB says:

    Lovely post, especially your friend who took the banjo to the streets! After John Prine passed, I went to Rolling Stone Magazine and listened to that publications perspective on his 25 best songs. What an amazing artist!
    Glad to see all of the gardeners out there doing their thing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Maria says:

    That’s great you’re keeping busy and have all those wonderful neighbors helping you out despite these terrible times. It’s still spring and no one can change that. Your garden is looking great!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Leif Price says:

    Nice, I also do gardening while enjoying lovely musics!

    Like

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