Not our usual 4th of July, but happy, healthy, and peaceful. So grateful.
This medley is one of Phil’s favorites so dedicated to my producer! Shenandoah is a traditional folk song from the early 1800s. It originated with French Canadian and American fur traders. What I did not know was that Shenandoah was an Oneida chief and the lyrics are sung by a fur trader who wanted to marry his Native American daughter. I always thought Shenandoah was a body of water!!
Mine Eyes (I prefer that title over Battle Hymn) was written by Julia Howe, an ardent abolitionist, and promoter of women’s rights. During the Civil War, she was inspired by the melody to JohnBrown’s Body but felt the words “needed improvement”. She sent the song to Atlantic Monthly and the rest is history. Oh, and she received $5.00.
My Mother died three years ago on June 25. When my Grandma Agnes Teigen died years earlier I played Amazing Grace in her honor at her memorial service. Mom asked that I play it at her service someday and I did. As I performed this piece, I could hear my piano teacher,mother saying….a little quieter here, now build it, watch the fingering on that run, and express your emotions. So I did.
You would not be listening to this piano piece today if she had not given birth to me and been my only piano teacher. On her 80th birthday in 2008 we recorded a solo piano cd called Piano Teacher, Mother as a special gift. Below is the sentiment written inside the case. Thank you so very much Mom for giving me the enjoyment of music!!!!!!
Home has become a headline word in recent months….”Stay-at-home.” We are fortunate to have our homes. Some have lost their homes to rioting and violence, some to loss of jobs and income, some to fire and storms. Some have been temporarily away from their homes due to illness, work, or other obligations. It is a special warm feeling to come home when you are tired, burdened, or seeking solitude.
Years ago Carolyn Freese and I were doing the “concert circuit” (Definition….church gatherings, care centers, retreats!) promoting our locally released piano and vocal CDs. I miss our time together! My very favorite selection that she performed was Homeward Bound by Marta Keen. My eyes filled with tears every time she sang this haunting, Irish inspired piece. The final line is…”In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed when the sparrows stop their singing, I’ll be homeward bound again.”