Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

29 October 2005

"Begin the Beguine"

What a great song, one I knew only very vaguely before this (possibly from some late night 'Best of the Thirties' Time Life record album commercial). The rhythm of it is great (what is the 'Beguine'?), but the most amazing, most significant thing: in this Reader's Digest, theoretically condensed version, this baby runs to six pages. Six pages! Unbelievable! It's impossible not to have this feeling that the editors were so entranced by the beautiful build up in this piece that not only did they include it--and there are tons of other fabulous Cole Porter songs that they could have put in this set--but they put it in for six pages!

Waxing rhapsodic, I know. This song is also inspired by Cole Porter's travels abroad to exotic locales, it shows, in a good way. Residual glamour, marvelously fragrant smoke, and possibly some discreet glitter, clings.

I am getting weary of moving so quickly through these pieces. Especially lately, when these tunes need more of my time to have fun with them, to wallow in their lushness. In theory, I would do this if I took a day off now and again, but in practice, my life has been recently very overscheduled. I believe that if I took even one day to redo some songs instead of moving on, this blog would end, and that would make me sad. I'd like to make it through this book, at least. Part of this practice, like so many others, is experimenting with the discipline of it. I will play a song, and sing this song, and write something vaguely inspired by this song every day. I will attempt to make what I write not suck, to make it coherent.

Rock on. I'm sure there's more Cole Porter for tomorrow. Stay tuned.


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