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.

26 March 2006

"Midnight Special"

This is a song by Huddie Ledbetter, and I can't think of him without remembering my experience learning to play guitar, lo, these twenty-plus years ago. The original instrument that I played on was a hand-me-down from my aunt, and it was horrible. The strings were an inch off the frets and it wouldn't stay tuned for more than a couple of minutes at a time. My guitar teacher at the time, Butch Malinowski, (who was fabulous) warned me that I 'could not go on tour with this instrument'. My parents got me a new guitar later, which I still own and love. My parents never were very musical themselves, but my mother has a good ear, and they had the people at the guitar store play the instruments in their price range, and Mom picked the one that sounded best to her.

Along with that first guitar from my aunt I received an old instructional book. My aunt must have gotten it with the guitar, sometime in her teens. In its brief ten lessons I learned basics that have had to hold me for twenty years, and I first learned and played versions of songs by Huddie Ledbetter, who I had never heard of. It's very strange when I hear 'proper' covers of these songs now, when the first version I heard was my own voice and that sad original guitar.


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