Date: June 25th, 2018
Location: Turku, Finland
Special Thanks: To Barbora Xu. Thank you for your hospitality, friendship, incredible music & indomitable spirit. Together, we will change the world, you & I...one song at a time. (I believe in you).
The Tinkerman's Daughter
THE SONG: Lyrics & melody by Michael McConnell; arrangement by yours truly.
It's said that, once upon a time in Ireland (as the song says, "...where the Kerry hills meet the River Faele, at Listowell), there once lived a farmer who, to his peril, fell in love (or infatuation) with the daughter of a 'Gipsy' or 'Traveller,' as they were camped on the outskirts of his land. She was, it is said, bought for the price of one of the farmer's strong, young geldings, but some months after they were married, she left him to rejoin her troupe. The farmer, feeling cheated out of his purchase, swore that--should any 'tinker' set foot on his land again, he would shoot first & ask questions later. This is where the song ends...
...however, legend has it that the redheaded woman had in fact been with child and, after rejoining her people, had died in childbirth, giving life to a healthy baby boy. Twelve years later, when the boy had come of age, he returned to the farm to meet his father. When the farmer saw him, it is said, he fired--killing the boy instantly. Later, when he (somehow) discovered that he had killed his own son, the farmer took his own life as well...and in many tellings of the story, it is said that when the shots rang out, a redheaded woman was seen through the town, walking to the farm as people ran to see what the commotion was about...
Now, of course, this is a bit of a tall tale, but it is thought that the basic storyline is true.
Janie Chandler & Joseph McKetti (I am so sorry to dedicate such a sad song to you, but you are one of my most favorite redheads & the man she loves. Thank you for your constant love, kindness & inspiration. Thank you for your support (in everything). Thank you for teaching me to be kind & compassionate, to myself & the world.
Date: June 18, 2018
Location: Rome, Italy
Special Thanks: To Bend the Barb for playing such great music with me, inspiring me & being all around amazing musicians & friends. Also, an incredible thank you to Matteo & Irene for hosting me on a whim (and for SO LONG), staying up late at night for kitchen concerts & conversations...and just being your beautiful, generous selves. You are family now, whether you like it or not & I cannot wait til you come to America & Canada!
THE SONG: ...(plural, in this case).
The Wind & The Rain — Lyrics by William Shakespeare, taken from Feste’s song in Twelfth Night; melody written by Genevieve Andersen (at least, I hope so. Sometimes when a melody happens very easily, you wonder if you are subconsciously borrowing…well, if so I’m sure one day I’ll know).
Tom o’ Bedlam — We believe this is one of the oldest songs in the English language, with many, many names ('Mad Maudlin's Search' & 'Bedlam Boys,' among others), versions & verses. The verses are sometimes quite dark & disturbing & it is said they were written based on things spectators overheard the inmates saying in 'Bedlam' or 'Bethlehem Royal Hospital' (the first insane asylum) in London. (One of my favorite songs of all time).
The Pirate’s Gospel — Lyrics & music by Alela Diane. I do not own any rights to this song. I just love it & sing it, on occasion...
The Three Sisters — Lyrics & Music by Genevieve Andersen (aka Juniper & the Wolf). Friends commonly refer to this song as ‘Bit o’ Gold.’ It is part of a ballad or song+story about three sisters who embody greed, lust & despair, possessing & destroying men, one after another, until they all fall in love for the same man…you can hear the whole story & song on the upcoming album, “Oh, Sweet & Bitter Medicine.”
To pre-order, go to juniperandthewolf.bandcamp.com.
Leah Douglas & her family, for literally saving my life after a crazy adventure in the Scottish Highlands, trying to find a 'Bothy' & succeeding, I might add, but at great peril to my health. (Haha).
**For more on Bothy business, stay tuned for one of the upcoming episodes of Crossing Borders, the We Who Move podcast series where we will talk about 'Bothy Ballads,' Scottish songs of labour & home & I will interview singer & historian, Scott Gardiner. **
Date: June 11, 2018
Location: Rome, Italy
Special Thanks: To Michele, for opening your home to me, sharing your incredible music, beautiful taste in...well, everything, your brilliant conversation & helping a poor, stranded musician--not once but TWICE when she was in need. I am forever in your debt. Thank you so much for your kindness (and for letting me film these silly things in your lovely home).
'Today' (While the Blossoms Still Cling to the Vine) is an American folk song, written by Randy Sparks & the New Christy Minstrels as part of the soundtrack for the wartime comedy film Advance To The Rear in 1963. It hit the top of the charts in 1964 and now seems to be most well-known as a campfire song.
Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine.
A million tomorrows shall all pass away, 'ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.
I'll be a dandy and I'll be a rover, you'll know who I am by the songs that I sing.
I'll feast at your table, I'll sleep in your clover, who cares what tomorrow shall bring?
I can't be contented with yesterday's glory, I can't live on promises winter to spring.
Today is my moment, and now is my story, I'll laugh and I'll cry and I'll sing.
DEDICATED TO: My father, who often spoke to me of Randy Sparks & the New Christy Minstrels, from the time he spent in Hollywood. (I love you, Dad).