Tag Archives: joan baez

It’s Not Fair

I know, nothing is fair. Love and life, war, strife. Having a meal or not being able to find one.

We are about to choose the leader of the nation based on political attacks.

I have made my choice. Bob Newhart will be President. VP will be Whoopie Goldberg as I always wanted a VP named Whoopie. Sorry, VP Goldberg as you’ll have to go to a lot of funerals.

Secretary of State is Robert Klein. UN Ambassador is Meryl Streep as she speaks all the languages and is a consummate actor.

Chief of staff is up for grabs. Go for it. Dee

ps. It’s not up for grabs, Chief of Staff is Bob Dylan. Joan Baez is head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the military.

pps Jane Fonda is head of the Afghanistan project but that’s CIA so you know, and whoops, did I say CIA?

ppps Jimmy Buffett is head of the Manatee Program, sorry CIA, I blew it again. I’ll stop now. No, I can’t.

Cheech and Chong are doing everything that has anything to do with TSA.

The people who become famous for becoming famous, the Kardashians, are in charge of busting anyone who wants to have tv shows as bad as their shows. They are the new J Edgar Hoover. OK I’ll ‘splain it to you, it’s the FBI. You’re in charge of reality TV shows.

Who is the CIA? Can you help me with this?  It is anyone who went to prep school, any Ivy League school. Secret societies. All I can guess is that you play tennis and golf because you’ve never worked a day in your life, just sail to get away from the life you do not live. D

 

 

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Teach Your Children

well, that was the song my tone deaf band sang at age 12, at a concert. Whenever I rose up to do harmony they came up with me. That was my only concert, even though in a huge school we did place second.

It’s after nine a.m. and the dog doesn’t know where to go so I’m thinking of taking her out, again. She loves sleeping on the bed but wants me now as well and I’ve been up for hours. My husband works on the other coast and is looking forward to a long weekend with us. Shhhh, sleep, dear.

I’d like to think the songs of Bob Dylan, CSNY, PPM, Joan Baez and others have made a different life for parents and children. I was too scared of Dylan at age 12 and I’ve only about 12 chords, never enough for Joan Baez even though I sing her music all the time. Dave Mason, I took up guitar again at age fifty and cannot play Joan Baez, I’m a beginner. One of the best musical virtual friends (now deceased) I have is Johnny Cash. I made fun of country/western music as a kid at age 12, just to be cool. A fool, I was.

Johnny Cash is one heck of a teacher even after he’s gone. When I was in private lessons I’d download free lyrics then unpack my mind and new guitar and make up chords to go with it. No primers, no music, or chords. I’d just hear in my mind, and do it.

It was time to quit private lessons as my teacher was rude to me, treating me like a kid, and when we sang a song together and he followed me to harmony he became angry, denigrating me by saying I had perfect pitch. It was American Pie and I did a riff at the end that he liked, practiced all week. He was impressed then did a turnaround.

I told him I never thought of it but Dad and all my music teachers said so. I think he had such talent on instruments that he taught his kids well, I had perfect pitch but nothing like his playing ability so as Dave Mason would say, we agreed to disagree. Dee

New Things

When I was 12 years old we moved to a very different place. We usually had only the networks and PBS for television (I liked PBS when it began showing Julia Child). OK, also Sesame Street to keep my young brother occupied for a bit.

As to music I’d always bought transistor radios and only had a few channels so it was mostly top 40. Then I met other kids who listened to Dave Mason. I tried out a lot of bands and began with Elton John, lots of famous balladeers including Joan Baez. Dylan, but was missing several components, but in gym class got to play the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. I created a stretch class for that, no teacher, I was in 10th grade.

Our family was back north (luckily I didn’t have to shoot BB guns in gym class anymore) a year later. I was into Beatles, Bad Co. and a lot of other music.

One thing I missed was country. I thought it simple and somewhat backward but I was wrong. It is true music, granted I can probably transpose many songs into the traditional cowboy chords. Who spoke to me? Johnny Cash, CSNY (not country, but worth mentioning as well as Peter, Paul and Mary). Joan Baez, always, though her chords are too difficult for this neophyte.

At the time we laughed at Glen Campbell while singing his songs, as he is a legend in many ways. This year at the Oscars they sang a song he wrote to his family about having Alzheimers. He has done wonderful work and I love the simplicity of country songs and the lyrics these “cowboys” put to music.

Perhaps I mis-speak but I am not a fan of “entertainers” taking the stage and yelling undecipherable lewd lyrics into a microphone. I grew up with Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. I believe that folk, country and pop have a place and not just on the oldies channel.

Speaking of which, I do not yet have or use Pandora. I do not listen to music in the car as I usually only drive a couple miles per day. My guitar teacher was so pleased that I actually wanted to learn a song that came from this decade, Hey There Delilah. We parted ways and moved before that ever happened.

It just shows that anyone, musician, dancer or otherwise should always keep up with the times but also remember classical training. That is first. For cooks as well. Learn the groundwork and riff away. Cheers! Dee

American Pie

Yes, I have the lyrics on my music stand and made up the chords as a beginner guitarist to suit me and even did a riff at the end for my guitar teacher a few years ago. I know, you want me to say before the music died.

It lives and I awaken every day with a song in my heart, whether it be from The Sound of Music, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Juni Fisher or Bob Dylan.

I’m writing about ham, and cheese, perhaps even a quiche, as that is an American Pie. No top crust on that, sadly. Pot pie is an invention made to disguise leftovers. Apple pie is a classic but I prefer strawberry/rhubarb. No, I don’t bake as that was left to my mother and sisters so I did main courses and veg on Thanksgiving.

So what is American Pie? I’d like it to be a melting pot of many of our cultures but today, politicians say the folks who came in and looked like them are “in” and everyone else is out. That doesn’t sit right with me.

I always thought I was a good Catholic girl growing up with strict rules around the house and many chores on weekends. As I recall now I was a scrapper from the start, smart and always fighting for the little ones. No fisticuffs, only words. I like to think that spirit is a piece of American Pie. I didn’t fit in and neither did they, but I was three years older so put the bullies in their place.

Perhaps it started when a family of boys on our small school bus stole my hat and ripped it in half. It was cold out and I had to walk 1/4 mile home from said bus without it. I was crying entering the classroom and the teacher sent me to the principal. He knew the family and showed me photos of the boys so I could identify them. I was terrified as I knew there were eight of them and they would retaliate but my dairy friends, two families with ten kids between them stuck up for me the next day and not a word was said thereafter.

My aunts kept a dictionary atop the toilet in their guest powder room. We were expected to open it, learn a word and define it before we rejoined them. Of course we only touched the dictionary with clean and dry hands.

Never underestimate the power of language. I miss those protectors too and we’ve been in touch since, but that was a long, long time ago. Dee

Theories

The sun gets me up really early in the morning. I just took the dog out and have been up four hours. Epiphany! It comes, courtesy of an idea from Slate.

It comes from two songs that differentiated our nation. It’s Irving Berlin’s God Bless America vs Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land.

God Bless America is a wonderful song, and I love Irving Berlin for his many contributions to the American scene, but the republican party has commandeered it to show that only God can rule America and we have to stick to the Old Testament in its most heinous ways. I believe the composer would be shocked and disturbed at this use of his song as he was a Jew and immigrant and as such did not live a charmed life.

Woody, on the other hand, when it came down to brass tacks composed This Land Is Your Land about our nation, its natural wonders and asks whether this land is really made for you and me. Written post-war, WWII, I believe he foresaw what was to come in the late 60’s. He already knew about alienation from society.

This past week we’re given a blow on Voting Rights and a win for allowing people who love each other to marry. This is not the old Hollywood studios making Rock Hudson marry because he was gay and had to be a hunk to be in the movies. This is real life.

On our national anniversary, July 4th I do like to hear a recording of Kate Smith singing Berlin’s song. My heart, however, goes out to Woody and Arlo and what their music has brought to this nation of ours.

I did take up the guitar a few years ago (beginner) and am going to teach myself This Land Is Your Land today. To you, Irving, Woody and Arlo. Dee

ps Pete Seeger, PPM, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash and many others – thanks!