Skip to main content

Oldies but goodies . . .

On the 4th Mondays of the month, I sing at the Meadowood Assisted Living Center in Grapevine.  I begin back in the Memory Care section, and sing for about 30 minutes. Then I move up to the front of the building and sing for about 45 minutes to an hour, or up until lunch time.

Today, I wanted to do something different.  So, I sang as many of the old Cowboy and Folk songs that I have on my iPad. 

Now get this, I am singing songs like "Clementine", "Red River Valley," and "Ghost Riders in the Sky" . . . and one of the gentlemen there (who is probably in his 80's) says to me, "my dad used to love those songs."

The man is in his 80's, and he says that his dad loved the old folk songs. 

That puts things into a little perspective for me.  Good music is always good music.

After I sang "Do You Remember Sweet Betsy from Pike," another of the residents asked me what the song was about.  Well, one resource I had checked earlier said that it was about an Irish couple who had come to America to escape the potato famine in Ireland.  There are lots of varying "origin stories" for many of the old folk songs. Which is right or wrong depends on who is telling the story I guess. Some of these songs are old enough now that all we know anymore is how the song is sung today . . . which may be totally different than it was originally sung in days long ago.

Another resident remarked that the old folk songs were often about hard struggles.  Consider "Erie Canal."  Imagine being the mule driver whose mule pulled the longboats and barges through the various sections and locks of the Erie Canal.  If you were lucky enough to have a good mule, you could make a hard, but decent living . . . "every step of the way from Albany to  Buffalo."

"Clementine" shares the danger of mining.  "Red River Valley" shares the story of a loved one who has had enough in a relationship and calls it quits.   Life was hard then . . . and it's hard now.  But consider that many of the old folk songs were about cowboy and pioneer days . . . when work was about all there was to life.

These are all old songs . . . but they are good songs.  And good songs are always good songs.

God's grace . . . and good songs . . . still amaze me . . . ><>

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Glen Hansard talks about his well-worn Takamine Guitar

There is little doubt that the most famous guitar in the world, or at least the most famous Martin guitar, is Willie Nelson's guitar, "Trigger."

Another famous guitar is Glen Hansard's Takamine guitar, which he has played so much, on a daily basis, that it is even more worn than "Trigger" is.

The relationships certain performers form with their favorite instruments is truly fascinating to me.

Please enjoy the video!

BTW - CLICK HERE to go to Glens website!

If you have a favorite guitar, uke, bass, flute, trumpet, violin or any other instrument, and would love to share you story, then please contact me by email at revrickmang@gmail.com.

God's grace, and favorite insturments, amaze me greatly! ><>

Tuning a baritone uke to G-C-E-A ??

Well I'll be . . . it can be done.
If you didn't know, I use Aquila Nylgut Ukulele strings on my tenor and baritone ukes. Best sounding uke strings out there in my humble opinion.
I love my Kala tenor uke . . . but I've got such big bo-honking fingers, and the frets on a tenor uke are not exactly large . . . I can really only play chords on the first 5 frets.
Then one day a while back, I noticed on the package that Aquila makes a Baritone set tuned to G-C-E-A, just like my tenor. A baritone uke is usually tuned like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar . . . D-G-B-E.
Well, I jumped in and ordered a couple of sets. And . . . they work . . . at least to me. Now, I am not by any means a uke "purist." They are the "tools" I use as instruments when I sing certain songs. Restrung with the new strings, the Kala baritone is about as loud as my tenor . . . but with a little deeper sound. Some may not like it . . . but I do, especially as I work to learn the names of…

Goodbye Tom Petty . . ..

It was confirmed last night that Tom Petty died after being found in his home unresponsive and in full cardiac arrest.  Tom and the Heartbreakers has just finished up their 40th anniversary tour.  Tom was planning to spend more time at home with his new grandchild. 

Everyday is precious.  Live each day as if it is your last.

RIP Tom.  Thank you for the music!

God's grace, and cherished memories of people that made great music, still amaze me . . . ><>