“A Red, Red Rose” #Music

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It’s Burns Night once again! Every year on January 25th, many people in Scotland and other countries hold suppers in honor of the great poet, Robert Burns, born January 25, 1759.

This song is often known by its first line, “My Love is like a Red, Red Rose.” Burns did not write it, but based his poem on traditional sources. We owe Burns a debt of gratitude, because if it were not for his desire to transcribe traditional Scottish tunes, many beautiful melodies like this one would be lost to time.

I hope you enjoy my zither arrangement!

“Praise Him Praise Him!” #Music

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It seems I post these hymns later and later every Sunday! I apologize for this. I do my very best to abide by the International Metaphysical Ministry Ordination Vows and Code of Ethics, which contain a requirement that says (my paraphrase), “I vow not to let my personal struggles and problems interfere with my work.” I have always taken my Ordination Vows and Code of Ethics seriously, and I am deeply committed to the work I’ve chosen. But lately, it’s been extremely difficult! I thank all of you for your patience and continued support!

Today’s hymn is entitled “Praise Him Praise Him!” It was written by the incomparable Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby in 1869. I sang this in church as a child, but this is the first time I’ve played it. I hope you enjoy listening to this hymn on zither!

I wish each and every one of you peace, health, strength, and above all, both the knowing and feeling that you are loved!

“The Bluebells of Scotland” #Music

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Here is another traditional Scottish folk song, called “The Bluebells of Scotland.” Dora Jordan, an English actress and writer, wrote this song, which was first published in 1801. It remains popular today, both in Scotland and elsewhere.

I hope you enjoy hearing this lovely melody on zither!

“Largo (Going Home)” #Music

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The lyrics to “Going Home” were written by William Arms Fisher (1861-1948). The melody, however, is not the African-American spiritual many people believe it to be. In reality, the melody is taken from Bohemian composer Antonin Dvorak’s “Largo” theme, from his Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), Op. 95. In the symphony this theme is played on English horn. Dvorak was not involved in writing the lyrics or arrangement that later became “Going Home.”

I hope you enjoy hearing Dvorak’s “Largo” theme played on lyre!

This Is Not a Lyre #Music #Poem

Original Lyre Music

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This is not a lyre.
It looks like one, if you know what a lyre looks like.

It has a rounded soundbox from which two arms reach to the sky.
One arm is shorter than the other,
but it has no disadvantage.

The top of the lyre comes to a point
that, on this one that is not,
faces away from the player.

From the point, the long arm slopes sharply toward the player,
almost like a sliding board.

Along this arm are tuning pins.
You guessed it–
the strings are attached to these
and tied to a bridge on the lower part of the soundbox.
Yes, it looks like a lyre.

Yet this is not a lyre.
It is a music box to say the least,
a magic box,
a mystical box,
the bottle containing
the alchemist’s elixir of immortality.

It won’t make you immortal.
But think about it.
Would you really want to be
immortal, ever remaining in your current form?
I didn’t think so!

But the music
of the mystical,
musical box
can lead you
to your immortal soul.

This is not a lyre,
but you might misconstrue its unassuming form,
if you didn’t know better.

But you, dear reader,
know better!

is not
a lyre…

An object poem for

“Au Clair de la lune” #Music

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Not to be confused with Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” a classical piece I love, this one is an 18th-century French folk song. The title literally means “By the Light of the Moon.” Its author is unknown, but the melody reigns supreme when anyone learns a musical instrument. In fact, it was one of the first songs I learned to play when I took violin lessons.

Today you’re hearing alto recorder, viola rather than violin, and Oriole soprano recorder, accompanied by ukulele. I hope you enjoy this catchy melody!

“My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean” #Music

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Here is a traditional Scottish folk song, so well known that most of us have heard it. I heard it as a child and wondered who Bonnie was. Well, Bonnie may refer to “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” but it may have other meanings as well. The song’s origin is unclear, but it remains popular in Western culture and even as a children’s song, much to my delight.

My arrangement contains viola and alto recorder, with ukulele accompaniment. I hope you enjoy it!

“Hope for Hard Times” #Music #SixSentenceStories

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There are times when we could all use a filter, especially when we feel tired and run down or in pain.

Maybe it’s a coffee filter; these days it’s probably a mask, or even a mask with a filtering element.

Whatever you use and whatever you need, I pray that yours is a filter of hope!

Not to prevent hope–oh no–but to prevent some negativity from entering your heart, mind, soul, and outlook!

Here is a medley of two pieces I composed years ago, “Hard Times” and “Hope.”

May this meditation with zither, alto recorder, and Oriole soprano recorder be a hopeful filter for you during these difficult times!

Written for
#SixSentenceStories: Filter
Tale Weaver #310: Tired and Run Down.

“I Need Thee Every Hour” #Music

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Annie Hawks wrote the poem, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” in 1872. Her pastor, Dr. Robert Lowry, wrote the refrain and the music. Though Annie Hawks wrote over 400 hymn texts, this is the only one continually published and sung today.

I hope you enjoy this arrangement with ukulele, viola, and alto recorder!

“Will Ye No Come Back Again?” #Music

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Also known as “Bonnie Charlie,” this is a traditional Scottish folk tune, author unknown. The lyrics, however, are not traditional, in the sense that they were written in one time period, about another time period which their author did not witness, and they imitate a particular style of song. The author of the poem is known; you can read more about the poem and its place in history

I hope you enjoy this arrangement played on lyre, viola, Oriole (soprano) and Yamaha alto recorder!