Category: Music and language

Memory and music now

Memory and music now
“I remember the time I knew what happiness was; let the mem’ry live again.” — from “Memory” in the musical “CATS” by Andrew Lloyd Webber I have been touched deeply by two musical stories resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both feature the same little girl, Amelia Anisovych, age seven. Amelia gained fame on... Read more »

'Three Gs and an E flat' -- Bernstein on Beethoven's 5th

'Three Gs and an E flat' -- Bernstein on Beethoven's 5th
Author’s Note: Thanks to my esteemed colleague Aquinas Wired for his celebration of Beethoven’s birthday (in December) in his blog, The Quark in the Road. It reminded me of Leonard Bernstein’s lecture about Beethoven’s 5th, which I remembered for the vivid description I mentioned in this headline. To ease my hands, I’ve chosen to share... Read more »

Changing the fingering for typing instead of cello

I haven’t written as much as I’ve wanted to lately. I may write less in the next few weeks. My doctor tells me that the tingling in my right hand needs a test, scheduled for Jan. 3. Most of the time, the tingling is at the end of my right little finger. I noticed the... Read more »
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'That Toddlin' Town' -- a reply to The Amused Curmudgeon

In this post today, my ChicagoNow colleague The Amused Curmudgeon called for a new Chicago song. I’m always in favor of new music, but I find his critique of “That Toddlin’ Town” incomplete. “Who else toddles but a waddling baby?” asks the Curmudgeon. Well, it turns out that babies’ toddling was named after a jazz... Read more »

Church in-person?! 'Get me to the church on time,' 2021

Church in-person?! 'Get me to the church on time,' 2021
My home church returned to holding services “in person” on June 20, 2021. I woke up on the 19th thinking “There’s just a few more hours, that’s all the time you’ve got!” and recognized it as the introduction to “Get Me to the Church on Time,” from “My Fair Lady.” With that very much in... Read more »

Come on, machine...

We’re switching to a new version of WordPress software here at Chicago Now. It will be more secure, and it will do more for us, but for now, it’s worse than trying to play a new piece of music. In some ways, it’s like going from the ways I’ve known for decades to play my... Read more »
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'When will I hold you again?' a pandemic Valentine's Day

'When will I hold you again?' a pandemic Valentine's Day
“Weekend in New England,” Barry Manilow’s old ballad, got stuck in my mind’s ear about a week ago. Its repeated “whens” seem all too appropriate for this Valentine’s Day, the last big holiday we’ve had on the calendar that hasn’t yet been affected by the pandemic. That’s why I tried a little rewrite for “Weekend... Read more »

'I'll be Home for Christmas' isn't meant to be cheery, but it could help this year

'I'll be Home for Christmas' isn't meant to be cheery, but it could help this year
I keep seeing references to the 1943 song “I’ll be Home for Christmas” as if other writers are pointing out yes, we’ll all be home, let’s make our own fun. But those writers are missing the point of the song. Here (with a little help from LyricFind.com) are the words to the song: I’ll be... Read more »

I'm gonna be (500 miles -- and 500 posts)

Thumbnail image for 'I'm gonna be (500 miles -- and 500 posts)'
To celebrate the appearance of this, my 500th post here on Margaret Serious, here is my own version of the words to “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles),” originally recorded by The Proclaimers. For those not familiar with the tune — or the original words — I’ve provided a link to video of my favorite version... Read more »
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Ah, look at all the lonely people! 'Eleanor Rigby' in quarantine

Ah, look at all the lonely people! 'Eleanor Rigby' in quarantine
My look at “getaway songs” in recent weeks led me to “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles (well, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, of course).  Living alone myself under Illinois’ “stay-at-home” order, a.k.a. quarantine, suddenly I’m thinking of it more than usual. Here’s my modernized version of the words, with apologies to the great... Read more »