Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Only Thing (Stay Safe!)


                                           Bonsai trees 

                                                       Pink Muhly Grass

                                               Fothergillia Mt. Airy    (These leaves are beautiful!)

"The Only Thing" is a song by Travis and Susanna Hoffs, one of the singers from 1980's group, The Bangles.  This song was just released this year! (Travis is from Scotland and was popular in the 1990's.)
I really like this song, so I hope you will give it a listen...

It's my job to give you guys music, you know! And also a few photos of nature. Music and nature: I am there for you, my friends! 

Remember these three words...HANDS, FACE and SPACE.
Keep your HANDS washed, your FACE covered and keep SPACE between yourself and others.  (I saw this on the BBC.)
I am very fond of rhymes, not sure if you know that about me!
I dreamed that I went to a doctor's office to take the virus vaccine and the woman who came in to give it to me had "Maxine" on her name tag.  "Oh, it's Maxine with a vaccine!", I said to her. 
She just looked at me in a most bored manner. "Uh, I guess you get that all the time", I said to her.  "No", she said,  "You're the first one".
HA!  There, you see, I even dream with rhymes on my brain!
I'm sure you saw that Dolly Parton gave one million dollars towards the vaccine that was developed in Tennessee! Isn't that marvelous!
I told you that songwriters were the best! 

For all my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving!  And for my friends in the rest of the world, happy times to you! Stay safe, all of you.

                                       I do not have a black beard. That is me wearing a mask!

                Saw the Zebra long wing as late as this last weekend! What a pleasure it has been to see this beauty!  Isn't it beautiful?

Sunday, November 15, 2020



"Silhouettes" was a big hit for the Herman Hermits in 1965.  Did you know that it had already been a hit for the Rays in 1957? I didn't know that, I just learned it!  The Rays were a Doo-Wop Group and they remind me very much of the 50's music from the film "Back To The Future"!  (I hope you all know that is one of my very favorite films EVER! Remember the dance? The theme was  "Enchantment Under the Sea"!)  Anyway, what was I talking about before my film self jumped in there? OH yes, the song- "Silhouettes"!

Of course, I am going to have the lyrics so that you can sing along! Yes, you know I will!

Ah ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah ah
Took a walk and passed your house late last night
All the shades were pulled and drawn way down tight
From within, the dim light cast two silhouettes on the shade
Oh, what a lovely couple they made
Put his arms around your waist, held you tight
Kisses I could almost taste in the night
Wondered why I'm not the guy whose silhouette's on the shade
I couldn't hide the tears in my eyes
Silhouette's (silhouette's) silhouette's (silhouette's)
Silhouette's (silhouette's) ty oh, oh oh
Silhouette's (silhouette's) silhouette's (silhouette's)
Silhouette's (silhouette's) ty oh, oh oh
Lost control and rang your bell, I was sore
Let me in or else I'll beat down your door
When two strangers who have been two silhouettes on the shade
Said to my shock, "You're on the wrong block"
La la la la, la la la
Rushed out to your house with wings on my feet
Loved you like I'd never loved you, my sweet
Vowed that you and I would be two silhouettes on the shade
All of our days, two silhouettes on the shade
Silhouette's (silhouette's) silhouette's (silhouette's)
Silhouette's (silhouette's) ty oh, oh oh
Silhouette's (silhouette's) silhouette's (silhouette's)
Silhouette's (silhouette's) ty oh, oh oh
Two silhouettes on the shade

Okay, that was the one by The Rays!  Isn't it wonderful?

Oh Ding DANG, I can't get the one by Herman's Hermits on here. YouTube won't allow me. You can easily look it up...

The version by Herman's Hermits is speeded up a bit. I like them both, you know I do!

The song was written by Bob Crewe and Frank Slay Jr.   And it is funny for me to learn they also wrote a favorite song of mine as a very young child, "Lucky Ladybug" by Billy and Lillie on the Swan label. See, I told you I have always liked music! It has always been a big part of my life.  They also wrote many of the hits by the Four Seasons AND they also wrote "Silence Is Golden". Gee, no one ever SAYS that anymore do they? More's the pity, I say!

The idea for "Silhouettes" came to Bob Crewe as he was on a train and saw a couple embrace through a windowshade. The song really does tell a story, so be sure to read through the lyrics even if you don't sing them. (And apparently, Cliff Richard had a hit with it in 1990 in England. Our son was a baby then so I don't remember that, I must have been a bit busy!)

Our leaves are gorgeous just now! And you will never guess...I saw a Monarch butterfly today! Yes! I was so pleased. I had just washed my car and was turning off the water when I spotted it. I admired it for a few seconds and then, sprinted inside to grab the camera...but when I came back out, it was gone.  Safe journey, dear Monarch. Happy to have some flowers for you as you passed by....

These photos are from this time last year but I hope you won't mind me showing you. The leaves are just as pretty today! How are you all doing? Hope you are all well and enjoying beauty, even if it is in your own back yard.  

Sunday, November 8, 2020

To Everything There Is A Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)


TWO videos for you of the same song!  "Turn, Turn, Turn" was a big hit for The Byrds in 1965 although it had been written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950's. So, I have the Byrds singing it for you and also Pete Seeger... it astounds me how a song can be so very different by how it is arranged and by new singers. (Songwriters 101 might become the new name for my blog.)

All of the lyrics except for the "Turn, Turn, Turn Part" and the final two lines are all from the Bible, the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain that which is to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time of love, and a time of hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

"A time to refrain from embracing"...does this remind you of this year when it has become mandatory for us to keep our distance?
Let's always keep hope in our hearts! Stay safe everyone!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

We The People (Sing It!)


The Preamble to the Constitution! Of course, I know it by heart because it was set to music in School House Rock. (Why don't we have tunes for everything? I would never forget a thing!) 

I looked this up...it was written by a woman named Lynn Ahrens. She was quite young at the time, this would have been in the autumn of 1973. The TV network, NBC had already shown some of these 3 minute animated spots which highlighted tunes to help kids learn their multiplication tables. Since they were successful, the network was asked to do more.  The producer happened to notice Lynn Ahrens who worked as a secretary at NBC. (She would bring her guitar and play during her lunch time!)

He asked her if she could write a song! Well, you can guess her answer! If any of you are familiar with these songs, I wonder if you knew who wrote them? She not only wrote about history but also about grammar! (I just looked this one up..."Conjunction Function"...I really loved that one! It was written by Bob Dorough, a very well known person in music, in Jazz! Gee, he is also quite fascinating...read about him just here.

Okay, THEN I thought to look up who actually wrote the words of the Preamble...that would be...

and I am not making this name up...Gouverneur Morris.  I did NOT misspell that name! Here is someone else who should be portrayed on film! What a fascinating life story HE has! I don't have the time to tell you all about him just now...perhaps another time, or you could look him up and see what you think. (Waving his false leg around at a  French mob telling them that he knew what it was to fight for LIBERTY? I mean, you have to love that! Even it if wasn't true and he had lost the leg in a carriage accident...hey, you gotta do what you can to get by in life!)

Sorry, I got sidetracked there...I was telling you about Lynn Ahrens. She went on to be very successful in musical theatre with Stephen Flaherty, winning many awards.( AND she also wrote jingles, one that I remember is "What would you do for a Klondike Bar?")  Their latest musical..."Marie, Dancing Still" which is based on the Degas statue "Little Dancer of 14 years". (Ahrens wrote the lyrics and Stephen Flaherty wrote the music.) Sounds like something I would really like...but then, I think I would also like "Ragtime" and "Seussical The Musical"! 

So, we have been told that this election  day is considered a very stressful day for Americans. Here is my contribution to help with that...keep singing! 

.We the people,

In order to form a more perfect union,
Establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
Provide for the common defense,
Promote the general welfare and
Secure the blessings of liberty
To ourselves and our posterity
Do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

For the United States of Americaaaaaaaa

Monday, October 26, 2020

Jackie Coogan (Can't Someone Make A Film About Him?) Please?


Why doesn't someone make a film about Jackie Coogan? (I even know who should be cast in the role!)

Jackie Coogan was born on Oct. 26, 1914.  He starred with the genius film maker  Charlie Chaplin in "The Kid" in 1921 and is one of the very first child film stars.  His mother and step-father squandered his movie earnings which brought about legal protection for children in the industry, the California Child Actors Bill, well known as the Coogan Act. (He lost almost all of what he had earned, an estimated $3 to $4 million!)

Most of my generation would remember him from various TV shows but especially from "The Addams Family" for his portrayal of "Uncle Fester".

In 1924, he worked with the charity "Near East Relief " on a fundraising drive which brought in over $4million.  When he was only 20 years old, he survived a car accident that took the life of his father and three others, including his best friend. Jackie Coogan served in World War II as a glider pilot taking British troops behind enemy lines in Burma.

Jackie Coogan was married four times and had four children. One of his grandsons, Keith Coogan, is in one of my favorite films, "Adventures In Babysitting"! And THAT is who I think should be cast in my imaginary film about Jackie Coogan, his own grandson, Keith Coogan! Keith was born Keith Mitchell in 1970 but changed his name to Keith Coogan in 1986, two years after the death of his grandfather. He married on Oct. 26, 2013 on what would have been his grandfather's 99th birthday. There...you see, who else should be in that role?

Keith Coogan was a teenager in the film "Adventures In Babysitting" and I thought he did an excellent job. All of the actors were good and the MUSIC!
Oh, I love every single song, you know I do! At one point, the babysitter and the kids have to go on stage and sing a Blues song...I tried to get that song on here for you...perhaps you could do a search and find it!

Time for me to tell you that the clocks have already changed for the UK, so I have to remember that it is just a 4 hour difference at the moment between Georgia and England. It will be back to a 5 hour difference by Sunday, as our clocks fall back this weekend in the USA! Take care everyone, I will still speak to you all when I am a famous movie director, I promise!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Be Positive (Move, Breathe And Notice The Beauty!)


"Every year of my life I grow more convinced that it is wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and good and dwell as little as possible on the dark and the base."    Richard Cecil  

Hello my friends!  I hope you like that quote above as much as I do! I have meant to share that with you for some time now...but I hesitated because there is always someone who will take me for a "Pollyanna" with my head in the sand and not fully comprehending  the problems of the world. I assure you that is not the case.  It's just that I want to surround myself with all the positive people I can find! Oh wait, I haven't been able to do that this year, have I? I need that positive energy!

"12 Ways To Cope With Anxiety"... I just read this article and at number one was EXERCISE!  You may read it just here.

Okay, who was Richard Cecil? (You know you want to know!)

Richard Cecil was an Anglican priest who lived from 1748 to 1810. Born in London, I notice that he was also- for a brief time- a minister in Lewes, East Sussex. (It makes me happy to know that I might have walked down the same streets there!) He was a member of the Clapham Sect which you might recognize as being associated with William Wilberforce. And please tell me you know William Wilberforce! As a member of Parliament, he was one of the leading Abolitionists against slavery.  Michael Apted directed a wonderful film in 2006- "Amazing Grace" about this campaign against slavery. I highly recommend it! This movie won a Christopher Award, which is an award given to a film, book or TV special "that affirm the highest values of the human spirit". 


Josiah Wedgwood designed the above "to move hearts and minds".

(You should know the Wedgwood name from the English chinaware.)

You may read about this just here.  "The Power of the Image".


Goodness me, I do hope you are all doing well! Take care, everyone! What song will I have here for you? You know the song "You Are So Beautiful"? Most folks might think of it being sung by Joe Cocker, it was a huge hit for him but it was written by Billy Preston! (Co-written with Bruce Fisher.) AND I have just learned that he really wrote it with his mother in mind! Isn't that wonderful to know?

Okay just one more...Billy Preston (when he was only 11 years old!) with the one and only Nat King Cole!

You know that article that I linked to? The 12 Ways to cope with anxiety? Let me add to that list... find some good music, something that brings you joy.  Take care!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

October- Sunflowers/Baseball/Music "Like A Twig"


Hello, Yellow!  I know I told you all about the yellow daisies that bloom in September.  In October, we have the swamp sunflowers. So exciting to see them! These tall yellow flowers are native wildflowers and quite often you can find them growing in a ditch or field beside the road.  I took the following photos from the window of the car as Richard was driving! (Yes, I made him stop but it was a quiet road and no one was behind us, I promise!)

These were at least 7 feet tall!  Swamp sunflower ( Helianthus angustifolius) is a perennial and a member of the aster family.  It is a beautiful native wildflower and the range is from New York to Florida to Texas. That is quite a range!  I think they are called swamp sunflowers because they like moist soil but from what I have read, they are easy to grow and . . . this is important for this area...the deer don't like to eat them! 

October is also the month for the baseball play-offs! The Atlanta Braves are playing against the Los Angeles Dodgers just now, the Braves lead in the series 2-1. (Just last night, the Braves lost with the score of 15-3. We won't discuss that.)  They are playing as I am typing this to you and . . . FANTASTIC, the Braves just scored and it is now 5-1 with the Braves in the lead! Oh, I do so hope they win!
I want them to go ALL the way and win the WORLD SERIES.
Yes, I said it!

It has been so much fun to watch them play this year and let's face it, we have great need in 2020 for fun.

I can't see live music this year so I have been listening to a concert from seven years ago! Anybody remember that our son was in a band called The Sevens? I have a video here for you. The sound quality isn't very good but I am able to overlook that and hear the great vocals and guitar playing from Christopher! (The people talking in the background...so rude!)  I think you can tell which one he is, you can see his photo on the side of my blog! I really like this song, "Like A Twig". Christopher wrote the music and lyrics! Is it just me or don't you think that this would sound really good on the radio? C. is still writing his songs! He is also a sportswriter! Hmm...he loves music and sports...wonder where he got THAT from?

OKAY!!!  The Braves score is now 7 - 1.
Go Braves!

Hope you are all doing well, my friends! What has your October been like?