This is an article about life, and cooking is a part of life. When a bride marries, the title encompasses four themes she must address. For me, old was the pearl necklace my great aunt’s husband gave her on their wedding day. New, earrings from a dear friend. Borrowed, a bracelet, and blue, the silk ribbon that encircled my wedding bouquet of French tulips and alstromeria, a gift from the wife of the Captain (USN Ret.) who performed our vows.
Now that I’ve taken up guitar and have a keyboard to practice, I’ve decided to come up with my own list of songs I’d like to learn. My teacher wants to continue challenging me with chords but voice as well. As I was growing up I was playing violin and piano but as an early teen, I chose to spend my babysitting money on albums. Actually first on 45′s including Three Dog Night’s “One is the Loneliest Number…” and Paul Simon’s “Mother and Child Reunion.” My first album was the Partridge Family (hey don’t knock it, my sister got Bobby Sherman for Christmas the same year, the one in the hand chair)!
So I started on the Beatles and moved on to Dave Mason, Jackson Browne, then Joan Baez and Dylan. Here’s a tentative list of what I’ve chosen so far, with over ten times that in my music notebook. I figure if I keep the chords simpler and the voice in my range I’ll have better luck short-term and may be able to have a sing-along with family come Thanksgiving.
Sara is blue, a gorgeous song by Bob Dylan on Desire. Brothers in Arms is a song I heard sung by Joan Baez and have loved over the years. It was a hit and written by Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler’s rendition is legendary. This one is old, and perhaps borrowed, also blue.
I Walk The Line and Folsom Prison Blues are some of the first songs I learned a few months ago. I love Johnny Cash and would have met him if he’d made a certain concert in the 1980′s but he was ill and we had to find a replacement. These are old.
Sweet Baby James is a tribute to my loving husband, a James Taylor song I’ve loved since I first heard it. Let It Be is an old Beatles tune that I’ve a story about. I was about ten and our school concert was coming up (I was in the chorus and orchestra) and the chorus had practiced this song and was ready to go and we were told to sing another song. A student with much more street savvy than me (OK it could have been anyone in the class) said the Principal had stopped us singing “Let It Be” because of the phrase “Mother Mary comes to me,” because that meant Mary Jane, pot, weed, marijuana.
As a result of the school’s not letting us sing “Let It Be” I learned more about marijuana than I would ever know at that age. By inflaming the issue the school taught little kids more about drugs than they ever thought of or needed to know. Now we knew that “Mary Jane” was available at school. Not that I ever availed myself of it. So I’d like to right that wrong by singing this song, a tribute to Matt and Debbie and all my classmates.
Hey There Delilah is NEW, my tribute to this century. While I think the lyrics are sexist, the tune is catchy and after I heard it on the radio I told my old teacher that he should be pleased that I finally found a song from this century I’d like to learn!
Whipporwill is a song by a Western cowgirl/poet guitarist and composer. We met her last year when she sang for our Nanny’s 82nd birthday. Juni Fisher plays and sings and writes beautifully. I sobbed the first time I heard her sing this song because my mother had just died and while she didn’t make a whipporwill call to bring us home from the creek for dinner, she did honk the car horn three times and we had 15 minutes to climb up the rope and get cleaned up and to the table. She’s been gone nearly a year now and this on might be something I’m not ready to learn yet, but I wrote down the lyrics and will place it in the folder to learn later. So this is another new song from Juni’s Gone to Colorado CD (get them at http://www.junifisher.net). No, I don’t get a cut. She’s a great lady and stayed with us on her journeys and even checked out my new Seagull guitar. The verdict is good, I just need to get the action lowered.
So I could always add some of my favorite early Jimmy Buffett songs: Peanut Butter Conspiracy and Great Filling Station Holdup. Also Railroad Lady. Or Marty Robbins’ El Paso or Juni’s rendition entitled Red Velvet Slippers. I could add some Pete Seger, Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver and much more Joan Baez.
When I was young and was buying records I always wanted my parents to hear these new songs. Mom said I only liked the dirges. She may be right. Ballads, anyway. When it comes to cooking old is anything that comes from my mother or Dad’s mother. New is anything I created or found for myself. Borrowed are many recipes that come with stories as well. And blue always has to be Mom’s blueberry sauce that is great on vanilla ice cream.
I try songs where the chords are a stretch, that I may be able to sing decently (no high soprano) and that will allow me to express myself. Kind of like our marriage. This post took a lot of thought and my loved ones (Jim and Zoe the dog) have already gone to bed so allow me to finish by saying thanks for listening. Talk to you soon, Dee