Tag Archives: God

MAKE MUSIC PART OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: “Nearer My God To Thee” I SALONISTI


Enhanced by Zemanta

SAINT OF THE DAY – APRIL 13: ST. MARTIN I


SAINT OF THE DAY
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

April 13
St. Martin I
(d. 655)
When Martin I became pope in 649, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire and the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. The struggles that existed within the Church at that time were magnified by the close cooperation of emperor and patriarch.

A teaching, strongly supported in the East, held that Christ had no human will. Twice emperors had officially favored this position, Heraclius by publishing a formula of faith and Constans II by silencing the issue of one or two wills in Christ.

Shortly after assuming the office of the papacy (which he did without first being confirmed by the emperor), Martin held a council at the Lateran in which the imperial documents were censured, and in which the patriarch of Constantinople and two of his predecessors were condemned. Constans II, in response, tried first to turn bishops and people against the pope.

Failing in this and in an attempt to kill the pope, the emperor sent troops to Rome to seize Martin and to bring him back to Constantinople. Already in poor health, Martin offered no resistance, returned with the exarch Calliopas and was then submitted to various imprisonments, tortures and hardships. Although condemned to death and with some of the torture imposed already carried out, Martin was saved from execution by the pleas of a repentant Paul, patriarch of Constantinople, who was himself gravely ill.

Martin died shortly thereafter, tortures and cruel treatment having taken their toll. He is the last of the early popes to be venerated as a martyr.

Comment:

The real significance of the word martyr comes not from the dying but from the witnessing, which the word means in its derivation. People who are willing to give up everything, their most precious possessions, their very lives, put a supreme value on the cause or belief for which they sacrifice. Martyrdom, dying for the faith, is an incidental extreme to which some have had to go to manifest their belief in Christ. A living faith, a life that exemplifies Christ’s teaching throughout, and that in spite of difficulties, is required of all Christians. Martin might have cut corners as a way of easing his lot, to  make some accommodations with the civil rulers.

Quote:

The breviary of the Orthodox Church pays tribute to Martin: “Glorious definer of the Orthodox Faith…sacred chief of divine dogmas, unstained by error…true reprover of heresy…foundation of bishops, pillar of the Orthodox faith, teacher of religion…. Thou didst adorn the divine see of Peter, and since from this divine Rock, thou didst immovably defend the Church, so now thou art glorified with him.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

QUOTATION: Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being the action of reason or imagination, rarely or never.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

ARTICLE: MAIMONIDES


Maimonides

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, or Maimonides, was the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages. His great philosophical work, Moreh Nevukhim (Guide for the Perplexed), attempts to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy with the tenets of Jewish theology and addresses such metaphysical and religious topics as the existence of God and the principles of creation. A physician as well as a scholar and philosopher, he also wrote a number of medical texts. Why is he called “Rambam”? More…Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Dresdner Kreuzchor: Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber) + Abendlied (Josef Rheinberger)



Live-Recording from 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roP6Mc…

Slide Show to

Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber 1910-1981)
Motet for mixed choir

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona nobis pacem.

Abendlied / Evensong (Josef Rheinberger 1839-1901)
Motet for six-part choir

Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden,
und der Tag hat sich geneiget,
o bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden.

Stay with us, because night is coming
and the day has gone,
o stay with us, because night is coming.

Dresdner Kreuzchor, Roderich Kreile
Geistliche Gesänge / Sacred Songs
recorded 2003 Lukaskirche Dresden

http://www.amazon.de/Geistliche-Ges%C… 

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detai…

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S SAINT: ST. JOHN OF GOD


Feastday: March 8
John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.
1495 – 1550
From the time he was eight to the day he died, John followed every impulse of his heart. The challenge for him was to rush to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit gave him, not his own human temptations. But unlike many who act impulsively, when John made a decision, no matter how quickly, he stuck with it, no matter what the hardship.

At eight years old, John heard a visiting priest speak of adventures that were waiting in the age of 1503 with new worlds being opened up. That very night he ran away from home to travel with thepriest and never saw his parents again. They begged their way from village to village until John fell sick. The man who nursed him back to health, the manager of a large estate, adopted John.John worked as a shepherd in the mountains until he was 27. Feeling pressure to marry the manager’s daughter, whom he loved as a sister, John took off to join the Spanish army in the waragainst France. As a soldier, he was hardly a model of holiness, taking part in the gambling, drinking, and pillaging that his comrades enjoyed. One day, he was thrown from a stolen horse near French lines. Frightened that he would be captured or killed, he reviewed his life and vowed impulsively to make a change.

When he returned he kept his spur of the moment vow, made a confession, and immediately changed his life. His comrades didn’tmind so much that John was repenting but hated that he wanted them to give up their pleasures too. So they used his impulsivenature to trick him into leaving his post on the pretext of helping someone in need. He was rescued from hanging at the last minute and thrown out of the army after being beaten and stripped. He begged his way back to his foster-home where he worked as a shepherd until he heard of a new war with Moslems invading Europe. Off he went but after the war was over, he decided to try to find his real parents. To his grief he discovered both had died in his absence.

As a shepherd he had plenty of time to contemplate what God might want of his life. When he decided at 38 that he should go to Africa to ransom Christian captives, he quit immediately and set off for the port of Gibraltar. He was on the dock waiting for his ship when he saw a family obviously upset and grieving. When he discovered they were a noble family being exiled to Africa after political intrigues, he abandoned his original plan and volunteered to be their servant. The family fell sick when they reached their exile and John kept them alive not only by nursing them but by earning money to feed them. His job building fortifications was grueling, inhuman work and the workers were beaten and mistreated by people who called themselves Catholics. Seeing Christians act this way so disturbed John that it shook his faith. A priest advised him not to blame the Church for their actions and to leave for Spain at once. John did go back home — but only after he learned that his newly adopted family had received pardons.

In Spain he spent his days unloading ship cargoes and his nights visiting churches and reading spiritual books. Reading gave him so much pleasure that he decided that he should share this joy with others. He quit his job and became a book peddler, traveling from town to town selling religious books and holy cards. A vision at age 41 brought him to Granada where he sold books from a little shop. (For this reason he is patron saint of booksellers and printers.)

After hearing a sermon from the famous John of Avila on repentance, he was so overcome by the thought of his sins that the whole town thought the little bookseller had gone from simple eccentricity to madness. After the sermon John rushed back to his shop, tore up any secular books he had, gave away all his religious books and all his money. Clothes torn and weeping, he was the target of insults, jokes, and even stones and mud from the townspeople and their children.

Friends took the distraught John to the Royal Hospital where he was interned with the lunatics. John suffered the standard treatment of the time – being tied down and daily whipping. John of Avila came to visit him there and told him his penance had gone on long enough — forty days, the same amount as the Lord’s suffering the desert – and had John moved to a better part of the hospital.

John of God could never see suffering without trying to do something about it. And now that he was free to move, although still a patient, he immediately got up and began to help the other sick people around him. The hospital was glad to have his unpaid nursing help and were not happy to release him when one day he walked in to announce he was going to start his own hospital.

John may have been positive that God wanted him to start a hospital for the poor who got bad treatment, if any, from the other hospitals, but everyone else still thought of him as a madman. It didn’t help that he decided to try to finance his plan by selling wood in the square. At night he took what little money he earned and brought food and comfort to the poor living in abandoned buildings and under bridges. Thus his first hospital was the streets of Granada.

Within an hour after seeing a sign in a window saying “House to let for lodging of the poor” he had rented the house in order to move his nursing indoors. Of course he rented it without money for furnishings, medicine, or help. After he begged money for beds, he went out in the streets again and carried his ill patients back on the same shoulders that had carried stones, wood, and books. Once there he cleaned them, dressed their wounds, and mended their clothes at night while he prayed. He used his old experience as a peddler to beg alms, crying through the streets in his peddler’s voice, “Do good to yourselves! For the love of God, Brothers, do good!” Instead of selling goods, he took anything given — scraps of good, clothing, a coin here and there.

Throughout his life he was criticized by people who didn’t like the fact that his impulsive love embraced anyone in need without asking for credentials or character witnesses. When he was able to move his hospital to an old Carmelite monastery, he opened a homeless shelter in the monastery hall. Immediately critics tried to close him down saying he was pampering troublemakers. His answer to this criticism always was that he knew of only one bad character in the hospital and that was himself. His urge to act immediately when he saw need got him into trouble more than a few times. Once, when he encountered a group of starving people, he rushed into a house,stole a pot of food, and gave it to them. He was almost arrested for that charity! Another time, on finding a group of children in rags, he marched them into a clothing shop and bought them all new clothes. Since he had no money, he paid for it all on credit!

Yet his impulsive wish to help saved many people in one emergency. The alarm went out that the Royal Hospital was on fire. When he dropped everything to run there, he found that the crowd was just standing around watching the hospital — and its patients — go up in flames. He rushed into the blazing building and carried or led the patients out. When all the patients were rescued, he started throwing blankets, sheets, and mattresses out the windows — how well he knew from his own hard work how important these things were. At that point a cannon was brought to destroy the burning part of the building in order to save the rest. John stopped them, ran up the roof, and separated the burning portion with an axe. He succeeded but fell through the burning roof. All thought they had lost their hero until John of God appeared miraculously out of smoke. (For this reason, John of God is patron saint of firefighters.)

John was ill himself when he heard that a flood was bringing precious driftwood near the town. He jumped out of bed to gather the wood from the raging river. Then when one of his companions fell into the river, John without thought for his illness or safety jumped in after him. He failed to save the boy and caught pneumonia. He died on March 8, his fifty-fifth birthday, of the same impulsive love that had guided his whole life.

John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

QUOTATION: Miguel de Cervantes


Everyone is as God has made him, and oftentimes a great deal worse.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: MERWAN SHERIAR IRANI, MEHER BABA (1894)


Merwan Sheriar Irani, Meher Baba (1894)

Born into a Zoroastrian family of Persian descent, Meher Baba underwent a spiritual awakening at 19 and in time concluded that he was the avatar—the incarnation of God in human form—of his age. He formulated a belief system that identified the goal of life as realizing the oneness of God, from whom the universe emanates. In an effort to bring others to that realization through love, he worked extensively with the poor and the physically and mentally ill. For how many years did he remain silent? More…Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

QUOTATION: Plato (427 BC-347 BC)


All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

WORD: COGNOSCENTE


cognoscente 

Definition: (noun) A person with superior, usually specialized knowledge or highly refined taste.
Synonyms: connoisseur
Usage: I may not be a cognoscente of art, but I know talent when I see it, and this painter has it in spades. Discuss.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

ARTICLE: JULIAN OF NORWICH


Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich was an English mystic who began reporting visions of Jesus during a serious illness. After recovering in 1373, she wrote accounts of her experience. Her Revelations of Divine Love is remarkable for its clarity, beauty, and profundity and is believed to be the first book written in English by a woman. Though Julian lived in a time of plagues and peasant revolts, her theology was optimistic and focused on God‘s compassionate love. What was her most controversial belief?More… Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S SAINT: St. Scholastica


St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica

Feastday: February 10
Died: 543
St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to Godfrom her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode in the neighborhood at Plombariola, where she founded and governed a monastery of nuns, about five miles from that of St. Benedict, who, it appears, also directed his sister and her nuns. She visited her brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went in company with some of his brethren to meet her at a house some distance away. These visits were spent in conferring together on spiritual matters. On one occasion they had passed the time as usual in prayer and pious conversation and in the evening they sat down to take their reflection. St. Scholasticabegged her brother to remain until the next day. St. Benedictrefused to spend the night outside his monastery. She had recourse to prayer and a furious thunderstorm burst so that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could return home. They spent the night in spiritual conferences. The next morning they parted to meet no more on earth. Three days later St. Scholasticadied, and her holy brother beheld her soul in a vision as it ascended into heaven. He sent his brethren to bring her body to his monastery and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. She died about the year 543, and St. Benedict followed her soon after. Her feast day is February 10th.

 

from Wikipedia

Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 542) is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Born in Italy, she was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia.[2]

St. Gregory the Great, in his Dialogues, tells us that she was a nunand leader of a community for women at Plombariola, about five miles from Benedict’s abbey at Monte Cassino. We do not know what rule this community followed, although it seems most likely it was the Rule of St. Benedict.

Scholastica was dedicated to God from a young age (some tellings of her story indicate that she preceded Benedict in godliness, and he came to holiness after she did). The most commonly told story about her is that she would, once a year, go and visit her brother at a place near his abbey, and they would spend the day worshiping together and discussing sacred texts and issues. She also is the founder of women’s branch of Benedictine Monasticism.

Austrian €50 coin of 2002

One day they had supper and continued their conversation. When Benedict indicated it was time for him to leave, she protested, and begged him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. He refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, and after a moment, a wild storm started outside of the guest house in which they were housed. Benedict asked, “What have you done?”, to which she replied, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion. According to Gregory’s Dialogues, three days later, from his cell, he saw his sister’s soul leaving the earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove.

Her memorial is 10 February. Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns, convulsive children, and is invoked against storms and rain.

She was recently selected as the main motif for a high value commemorative coin: the Austria €50 ‘The Christian Religious Orders’, issued 13 March 2002. On the obverse (heads) side of the coin Scholastica is depicted alongside Benedict.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

LA Opera’s “Noah’s Flood” (“Noye’s Fludde”) by WIlliam Ohanesian


I created this profile of the production of Benjamin Britten‘s “Noye’s Fludde” at the Los Angeles Cathedral on April 19th and 20th, 2013. 

Performance conducted by James Conlon.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

ARTICLE: SUMMA THEOLOGICA


Summa Theologica

Summa Theologica was the first Christian attempt at a comprehensive theological system. Written by Thomas Aquinas—a 13th-century philosopher and a principal saint of the Catholic Church—it is a compendium of all the main teachings of the Church for the “instruction of beginners.” It addresses a range of topics including God, the creation of the world, morality, and the life of Christ. Though incomplete,Summa Theologica is Aquinas’s most important work. About how many pages is it? More… Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S SAINT: St. Francis de Sales


St. Francis de Sales

 
St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

    Feastday: January 24
    Patron Saint of Journalists, Writers
    1567 – 1622
    Born in France in 1567, Francis was a patient man. He knew for thirteen years that he had a vocation to the priesthood before he mentioned it to his family. When his father said that he wanted Francis to be a soldier and sent him to Paris to study, Francis said nothing. Then when he went to Padua to get a doctorate in law, he still kept quiet, but he studied theology and practiced mentalprayer while getting into swordfights and going to parties. Even when his bishop told him if he wanted to be a priest that he thought that he would have a miter waiting for him someday, Francis uttered not a word. Why did Francis wait so long? Throughout hislife he waited for God’s will to be clear. He never wanted to push his wishes on God, to the point where most of us would have been afraid that God would give up!

    God finally made God’s will clear to Francis while he was riding. Francis fell from his horse three times. Every time he fell the sword came out of the scabbard. Every time it came out the sword and scabbard came to rest on the ground in the shape of the cross. And then, Francis, without knowing about it, was appointedprovost of his diocese, second in rank to the bishop.

    Perhaps he was wise to wait, for he wasn’t a natural pastor. His biggest concern on being ordained that he had to have his lovely curly gold hair cut off. And his preaching left the listeners thinking he was making fun of him. Others reported to the bishop that this noble-turned- priest was conceited and controlling.

    Then Francis had a bad idea – at least that’s what everyone else thought. This was during the time of the Protestant reformation and just over the mountains from where Francis lived was Switzerland – Calvinist territory. Francis decided that he should lead an expedition to convert the 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. But by the time he left his expedition consisted of himself and his cousin. His father refused to give him any aid for this crazy plan and thediocese was too poor to support him.

    For three years, he trudged through the countryside, had doors slammed in his face and rocks thrown at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he tramped through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, but once he slept in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. And after three years, his cousin had left him alone and he had not made one convert.

    Francis’ unusual patience kept him working. No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door. So Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors. This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people.

    The parents wouldn’t come to him out of fear. So Francis went to the children. When the parents saw how kind he was as he played with the children, they began to talk to him.

    By the time, Francis left to go home he is said to have converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism.

    In 1602 he was made bishop of the diocese of Geneva, in Calvinist territory. He only set foot in the city of Geneva twice — once when the Pope sent him to try to convert Calvin’s successor, Beza, and another when he traveled through it.

    It was in 1604 that Francis took one of the most important steps in his life, the step toward holiness and mystical union with God.

    In Dijon that year Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon — a woman he had seen already in a dream. Jane de Chantal was a person on her own, as Francis was, but it was only when they became friends that they began to become saints. Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction, but, not surprisingly, Francis wanted to wait. “I had to know fully what God himself wanted. I had to be sure that everything in this should be done as though his hand had done it.” Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself.

    Three years after working with Jane, he finally made up his mind to form a new religious order. But where would they get a convent for their contemplative Visitation nuns? A man came to Francis without knowing of his plans and told him he was thinking of donating a place for use by pious women. In his typical way of not pushing God, Francis said nothing. When the man brought it up again, Francis still kept quiet, telling Jane, “God will be with us if he approves.” Finally the man offered Francis the convent.

    Francis was overworked and often ill because of his constant load of preaching, visiting, and instruction — even catechizing a deaf man so he could take first Communion. He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, “So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. For the truth is that this kind of work is infinitely profitable to me.” For him active work did not weaken his spiritual inner peace but strengthened it. He directed most people through letters, which tested his remarkable patience. “I have more than fifty letters to answer. If I tried to hurry over it all, i would be lost. So I intend neither to hurry or to worry. This evening, I shall answer as many as I can. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished.”

    At that time, the way of holiness was only for monks and nuns – not for ordinary people. Francis changed all that by giving spiritual direction to lay people living ordinary lives in the world. But he had proven with his own lifethat people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation. Why couldn’t others do the same? His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for these ordinary people in 1608. Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe – though some preachers tore it up because he tolerated dancing and jokes!

    For Francis, the love of God was like romantic love. He said, “The thoughts of those moved by natural human love are almost completely fastened on the beloved, their hearts are filled with passion for it, and their mouths full of its praises. When it is gone they express their feelings in letters, and can’t pass by a tree without carving the name of their beloved in its bark. Thus too those who love God can never stop thinking about him, longing for him, aspiring to him, and speaking about him. If they could, they would engrave the name of Jesus on the hearts of all humankind.”

    The key to love of God was prayer. “By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God. Begin all your prayers in the presence of God.”

    For busy people of the world, he advised “Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others and talk to God.”

    The test of prayer was a person’s actions: “To be an angel in prayer and a beast in one’s relations with people is to go lame on both legs.”

    He believed the worst sin was to judge someone or to gossip about them. Even if we say we do it out of love we’re still doing it to look better ourselves. But we should be as gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we should be with others.

    As he became older and more ill he said, “I have to drive myself but the more I try the slower I go.” He wanted to be a hermit but he was more in demand than ever. The Pope needed him, then a princess, then Louis XIII. “Now I really feel that I am only attached to the earth by one foot…” He died on December 28, 1622, after giving a nun his last word of advice: “Humility.”

    He is patron saint of journalists because of the tracts and books he wrote. 

    from Wikipedia

     

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014: ST. VINCENT PALLOTTI


    Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

     

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Today” Saint: ST. AGNES


    Saint of the Day for Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

    Image of St. Agnes

    St. Agnes

    St. Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was … continue reading

    More Saints of the Day

     

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Quotation: Friedrich Nietzsche about man and tree…a comparison


    It is the same with man as with the tree … The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep—into the evil.

    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) Discuss

    Bach – Cantate BWV 190 – Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing to the Lord a new song )



    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH BWV 225 Sing to the LORD A NEW SONG LYRICS

    Sing to the Lord a new song 

    Sing to the Lord a new song, the congregation of saints praise him. Israel rejoice in him that made him.The children of Zion rejoice in their King sei’n, Let them praise his name in the series, with timbrels and with harps they want to play him. 

    As a father pities 
    God, you also receive our on, 
    About his young infants, 
    So the Lord is doing all of us, 
    So we childlike fear him pure. 
    He knows our frailty, 
    God knows we are only dust, 
    Because without you nothing is done 
    With all our stuff. 
    Just as the grass from the rake, 
    A Blum and falling leaves. 
    The wind only blows over it, 
    So it is no longer there, 
    Drum you be our shield and light, 
    And do not deceive us our hope, 
    So you’re going to make it further. 
    So man passes away, 
    Its end, which is close to him. 
    Blessed is the only stiff and strong 
    Relies on you and your bounty. 

    Praise the Lord for his mighty acts, praise him according to his excellent greatness! 
    Everything that has breath praise the Lord Hallelujah! 

    English: Sing ye the Lord a new refrain, the assembly of saints shoulderstand be telling his praises.Israel joyful be in him who hath made him. Let Zion’s children rejoice in him who is mighty Their king, let them be praising his name’s honor in dances, with timbrels and with psalt’ries unto him be playing. 

    Chorale (Chorus II) 

    As a father doth mercy show 

    Aria (Chorus I) 

    God, take quiet Further now our part, 
    To his own little children dear, 
    Thus doth the Lord to all men, 
    If pure as children we fear him. 
    He sees our feeble powers, 
    God knows we are but dust; 
    For, lacking thee, naught shall we gain 
    Of all our Endeavors synthesis. 
    Just as the grass in mowing, 
    Or bud and falling leaf, 
    If wind but o’er it bloweth, 
    It is no longer there, 
    So be thou our shield and true light, 
    And if our hope betray us not, 
    Thou wilt Malthus henceforth help us. 
    E’en so one’s life is passing, 
    His end is near to him. 
    Blest he Whose hope Both strong and firm 
    On thee and on thy grace doth rest. 

    [Ps 150:2 and 6] (Chorus I, Chorus II) 

    Praise ye the Lord in all his doings, praise ye him in all his might and majesty! 

    (Chorus I and II) 

    All things Which do draw breath, praise ye the Lord, hallelujah!

     

    Happy Christmas! Handel – Messiah – Hallelujah Chorus


    animated_christmas_tree_2013 (1)


    From Andre Rieu’s “Live From Radio City Music Hall” in New York City 2004, with the Johann Strauss Orchestra and the Harlem Gospel Choir.

    Though heavily romanticized, it is one of the best renditions of this magnificent piece, in this one’s opinion.

    LYRICS:

    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah 
    (For the lord God omnipotent reigneth)
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah 

    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth 
    (Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah)
    Hallelujah 

    The kingdom of this world; 
    is become 
    the kingdom of our Lord
    and of His Christ 
    and of His Christ 

    And He shall reign for ever and ever
    And he shall reign forever and ever
    And he shall reign forever and ever
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    and lord of lords
    King of kings and lord of lords

    And he shall reign
    And he shall reign
    And he shall reign
    He shall reign
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    King of kings forever and ever
    and lord of lords hallelujah hallelujah
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    King of kings and lord of lords
    King of kings and lord of lords
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    Forever and ever and ever and ever 
    (King of kings and lord of lords)

    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    Hallelujah

     

    Word: RECTITUDE


    rectitude 

    Definition: (noun) Righteousness as a consequence of being honorable and honest.
    Synonyms: uprightness
    Usage: We are all equally satisfied of the complete rectitude of Miss Isabel’s conduct, and we are all equally interested in the vindication of her good name. Discuss.

     

    Frederick Delius: Brigg Fair by Sir Charles Mackerras



    Frederick Delius (1862-1934)

    Brigg Fair“, an “English rhapsody” (1907)

    Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera
    by Sir Charles Mackerras
    1990

     

    A comment, (poetic thought by George-B)


    A comment, (poetic thought by George-B)

    Pain unscaleable,
    unquantifiable on a scale from 1-10
    with faces drawn 
    more or less happy,
    and some sad,

    pain that hides in its own shadow,
    become its shadow,

    cut the branch we’ve landed on, to rest for a while…
    While… all you can do
    is imagine being painless for a quantum of an eternal moment:  
    a note may be, or an entire song,
    a rhyme, or even an entire poem,
    While… letting go and sharing pain free,
    glamourless, natural,
    denuded of inhumanity,
    hoping that you may be understood, taken seriously,
    at face value,
    as an immortal soul – in the making,
    a mortal – body in the making,
    as a star  - in the making,
    a universe – in the making,
    as a molecule – in the making,
    a Rigs Boson – in the making ,
    God in the making,
    as an…!
    (Exhale 1-2-3-4 [Held Breath 1-2] Inhale 1-2-3-4 [Hold Breath] REPEAT…n times)

    Modern Mythology II, poetic thought by George-B


    Modern Mythology II, poetic thought by George-B

    The Gods have been very inventive-
    they invented clubs,
    bows and arrows,
    spears and the gallows,
    yatagans and cutout moons and 

    Of course, the atom bomb.

    Then humans invented Gods…

    And yet, with no God alive inside of US,
    Is how we’ve turned…ungodly.

     

    Word: INDIGNATION


    indignation 

    Definition: (noun) Strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base; righteous anger.
    Synonyms: outrage
    Usage: I could hardly contain my indignation at his disparaging comments. Discuss.

     

    Just a thought: Privatize Justice? (What a 5,000 years old concept, in the 21 Century!)


    Just a thought: Privatize Justice? (What a 5,000 years old concept, in the 21 Century!)

     

    Just a thought: “Be as if you were Humanity’s only hope!”


    Just a thought:  “Be as if you were Humanity’s only hope!”

     

    Quotation: Jerome K. Jerome


    How long the dawn seems coming when we cannot sleep!

    Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) Discuss

     

    “Christe, Qui Lux Est et Dies” by Byrd, translated with lyrics



    Here’s another piece from 16th century English composer William Byrd, titled “Christe, Qui Lux Es et Dies” or “Christ, Who Art the Light and the Day,” with lyrics, performed by Stile Antico in 2007, and loosely translated by me. This video is from my blog, When Suffering Doesn’t Stop: Life with Chronic Pain at http://life-incessant.blogspot.com/.

     

    Hymn to the Theotokos at Sinaia Monastery in Romania



    Pilgrims singing in Sinaia monastery church in Romania

     

    Bob Dylan- With God On Our Side (Lyrics In Description) Listen and learn! don’t listen and err!



    Oh my name it is nothin’
    My age it means less
    The country I come from
    Is called the Midwest
    I’s taught and brought up there
    The laws to abide
    And the land that I live in
    Has God on its side.

    Oh the history books tell it
    They tell it so well
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians fell
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians died
    Oh the country was young
    With God on its side.

    The Spanish-American
    War had its day
    And the Civil War too
    Was soon laid away
    And the names of the heroes
    I’s made to memorize
    With guns on their hands
    And God on their side.

    The First World War, boys
    It came and it went
    The reason for fighting
    I never did get
    But I learned to accept it
    Accept it with pride
    For you don’t count the dead
    When God’s on your side.

    When the Second World War
    Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans
    And then we were friends
    Though they murdered six million
    In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now too
    Have God on their side.

    I’ve learned to hate Russians
    All through my whole life
    If another war comes
    It’s them we must fight
    To hate them and fear them
    To run and to hide
    And accept it all bravely
    With God on my side.

    But now we got weapons
    Of the chemical dust
    If fire them we’re forced to
    Then fire them we must
    One push of the button
    And a shot the world wide
    And you never ask questions
    When God’s on your side.

    In a many dark hour
    I’ve been thinkin’ about this
    That Jesus Christ
    Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can’t think for you
    You’ll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side.

    So now as I’m leavin’
    I’m weary as Hell
    The confusion I’m feelin’
    Ain’t no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head
    And fall to the floor
    If God’s on our side
    He’ll stop the next war.

     

    Bob Dylan – Shelter From the Storm (Original studio version, from Blood on the Tracks) WOW!



    BOB DYLAN LYRICS

    “Shelter From The Storm”

    I was in another lifetime one of toil and blood
    When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
    I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    And if I pass this way again you can rest assured
    I’ll always do my best for her on that I give my word
    In a world of steel-eyed death and men who are fighting to be warm
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    Not a word was spoke between us there was little risk involved
    Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
    Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    I was burned out from exhaustion buried in the hail
    Poisoned in the bushes and blown out on the trail
    Hunted like a crocodile ravaged in the corn
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there
    With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
    She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    Now there’s a wall between us something there’s been lost
    I took too much for granted got my signals crossed
    Just to think that it all began on a long-forgotten morn
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    Well the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
    But nothing really matters much it’s doom alone that counts
    And the one-eyed undertaker he blows a futile horn
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.
    I’ve heard newborn babies wailing like a mourning dove
    And old men with broken teeth stranded without love
    Do I understand your question man is it hopeless and forlorn
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    In a little hilltop village they gambled for my clothes
    I bargained for salvation and they gave me a lethal dose
    I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

    Well I’m living in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line
    Beauty walks a razor’s edge someday I’ll make it mine
    If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born
    “Come in” she said
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.

     

    Cherokee Prayer Blessing


    Cherokee Prayer Blessing

    May the Warm Winds of Heaven
    Blow softly upon your house.
    May the Great Spirit
    Bless all who enter there.
    May your Mocassins
    Make happy tracks
    in many snows,
    and may the Rainbow
    Always touch your shoulder.

     

    Antony sings “If it Be Your Will” in the Leonard Cohen (I’m Your Man”)… (“All your praises they shall ring If it be your will”)



    The Antony part in the Leonard Cohen documentary – I’m your Man.

    LEONARD COHEN LYRICS

    “If It Be Your Will”

    If it be your will 
    That I speak no more 
    And my voice be still 
    As it was before 
    I will speak no more 
    I shall abide until 
    I am spoken for 
    If it be your will 
    If it be your will 
    That a voice be true 
    From this broken hill 
    I will sing to you 
    From this broken hill 
    All your praises they shall ring 
    If it be your will 
    To let me sing 
    From this broken hill 
    All your praises they shall ring 
    If it be your will 
    To let me sing 

    If it be your will 
    If there is a choice 
    Let the rivers fill 
    Let the hills rejoice 
    Let your mercy spill 
    On all these burning hearts in hell 
    If it be your will 
    To make us well 

    And draw us near 
    And bind us tight 
    All your children here 
    In their rags of light 
    In our rags of light 
    All dressed to kill 
    And end this night 
    If it be your will 

    If it be your will.

    Leonard Cohen London (recitation) 2009 live – “If it be your will” with The Webb Sisters



    Leonard Cohen London 2009 live – If it be your will

    Lyrics: 

    If it be your will 
    That I speak no more 
    And my voice be still 
    As it was before 
    I will speak no more 
    I shall abide until 
    I am spoken for 
    If it be your will 
    If it be your will 
    That a voice be true 
    From this broken hill 
    I will sing to you 
    From this broken hill 
    All your praises they shall ring 
    If it be your will 
    To let me sing 
    From this broken hill 
    All your praises they shall ring 
    If it be your will 
    To let me sing 

    If it be your will 
    If there is a choice 
    Let the rivers fill 
    Let the hills rejoice 
    Let your mercy spill 
    On all these burning hearts in hell 
    If it be your will 
    To make us well 

    And draw us near 
    And bind us tight 
    All your children here 
    In their rags of light 
    In our rags of light 
    All dressed to kill 
    And end this night 
    If it be your will 

    If it be your will

     

    BALAAM


    Balaam is an Old Testament diviner whose story appears in the Book of Numbers. He was asked by Balak, the king of Moab, to curse the Israelites as they approached Moab near the end of their 40 years of wandering. The Israelites had already defeated two kings in their travels, and Balak feared he would be next. According to the account, when Balaam opened his mouth, he was only able to bless the Israelites. In one part of the narrative, Balaam’s donkey speaks to him. What does it say? More… Discuss

     

    Leonard Cohen London 2009 live in London- “If it be your will” with Webb Sisters (Uploaded on Sep 16, 2010 – 156,347 views)


    Uploaded on Sep 16, 2010 - 156,347 views

    Leonard Cohen London 2009 live – If it be your will

    Lyrics: 

    If it be your will 
    That I speak no more 
    And my voice be still 
    As it was before 
    I will speak no more 
    I shall abide until 
    I am spoken for 
    If it be your will 
    If it be your will 
    That a voice be true 
    From this broken hill 
    I will sing to you 
    From this broken hill 
    All your praises they shall ring 
    If it be your will 
    To let me sing 
    From this broken hill 
    All your praises they shall ring 
    If it be your will 
    To let me sing 

    If it be your will 
    If there is a choice 
    Let the rivers fill 
    Let the hills rejoice 
    Let your mercy spill 
    On all these burning hearts in hell 
    If it be your will 
    To make us well 

    And draw us near 
    And bind us tight 
    All your children here 
    In their rags of light 
    In our rags of light 
    All dressed to kill 
    And end this night 
    If it be your will 

    If it be your will

     

    Louis Armstrong – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (1962)


    Louis Armstrong – “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen Lyrics”

    Artist: Louis Armstrong

    Album: Miscellaneous

    Genre: Jazz

    • Songwriters: Louis (arr) Armstrong, Traditional

    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Nobody knows but Jesus
    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Glory, Hallelujah

    Sometimes I’m up, sometimes
    I’m down, ohh, yes Lord
    Sometimes I’m almost
    To the ground, oh yes, Lord

    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Nobody knows but Jesus
    Anybody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Glory, Hallelujah

    If you got there before
    I do, oh yes Lord
    Tell all my friends, I’m
    Coming too, oh yes Lord

    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Nobody knows but Jesus
    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Glory, Hallelujah

    Although you see me
    Goin’ on so, oh yes
    I have my trials, here below
    Ohh yes, Lord

    Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Nobody knows but Jesus
    Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
    Glory, Hallelujah
    Ohh, glory, Hallelujah

     

    “I Think, Therefore…I Am”: “He who trust no one, trust not oneself”


    “He who trust no one, trust not oneself”

    Isn’t it a Pity – Nina Simone (George Harrison)


    Isn’t it a pity
    you don’t know what i’m talking about yet
    but i will tell you soon
    it’s a pity

    isn’t it a pity
    isn’t it a shame
    yes, how we break each other’s hearts
    and cause each other pain

    how we take each other’s love
    without thinking anymore
    forgetting to give back
    forgetting to remember
    just forgetting and no thank you
    isn’t it a pity

    some things take so long
    but how do i explain
    why not too many people can see
    that we are all just the same
    we’re all guilty

    because of all the tears
    our eyes just can’t hope to see
    but i don’t think it’s applicable to me
    the beauty that surrounds them
    child, isn’t it a pity

    how we break each other’s hearts
    and cause each other pain
    how we take each other’s love
    the most precious thing
    without thinking anymore

    forgetting to give back
    forgetting to keep open our door
    isn’t it a pity
    isn’t it a pity

    some things take so long
    but how do i explain
    isn’t it a pity
    why not too many people
    can see we’re all the same

    because we cry so much
    our eyes can’t, can’t hope to see
    that’s not quite true
    the beauty that surrounds them
    maybe that’s why we cry
    God, isn’t it a pity

    Lord knows it’s a pity
    mankind has been so programmed
    that they don’t care about nothin’
    that has to do with care
    c-a-r-e

    how we take each other’s love
    the most precious thing
    without thinking anymore
    forgetting to give back
    forgetting to keep open the door

    but i understand some things take so long
    but how do i explain
    why not too many people
    can see we’re just the same

    and because of all their tears
    their eyes can’t hope to see
    the beauty that surrounds them
    God, isn’t it a pity
    the beauty that surrounds them
    it’s a pity

    we take each other’s love
    just take it for granted
    without thinking anymore
    we give each other pain
    and we shut every door

    we take each other’s minds
    and we’re capable of take each other’s souls
    we do it every day
    just to reach some financial goal
    Lord, isn’t it a pity, my God
    isn’t it a pity, my God
    and so unnecessary

    just a little time, a little care
    a little note written in the air
    just the little thank you
    we just forget to give back
    cause we’re moving too fast
    moving too fast
    forgetting to give back

    but some things take so long
    and i cannot explain
    the beauty that surrounds us
    and we don’t see it
    we think things are just the same
    we’ve been programmed that way

    isn’t it a pity
    if you want to feel sorry
    isn’t it a pity
    isn’t it a pity
    the beauty sets the beauty that surrounds us
    because of all our tears
    our eyes can’t hope to see

    maybe one day at least i’ll see me
    and just concentrate on givin’, givin’, givin’, givin’
    and till that day
    mankind don’t stand a chance
    don’t know nothin’ about romance
    everything is plastic
    isn’t it a pity
    my God. 

    Today’s Quotation: Mary Shelley – on Thinking (for yourself, or like others?)


    Teach him to think for himself? Oh, my God, teach him rather to think like other people!

    Mary Shelley (1797-1851) Discuss

    Bob Dylan – Forever Young


    May God bless and keep you always
    May your wishes all come true
    May you always do for others
    And let others do for you
    May you build a ladder to the stars
    And climb on every rung
    May you stay forever young
    May you stay forever young.

    May you grow up to be righteous
    May you grow up to be true
    May you always know the truth
    And see the lights surrounding you
    May you always be courageous
    Stand upright and be strong
    May you stay forever young
    May you stay forever young.

    May your hands always be busy
    May your feet always be swift
    May you have a strong foundation
    When the winds of changes shift
    May your heart always be joyful
    And may your song always be sung
    May you stay forever young
    May you stay forever young.

    Determined but Delusional Eurocrats “Carry On Up The Khyber” – Nigel Farage



    Where would the World be without healthy Opposition?

    My take on this: “In the vicious circle of repeating the past mistakes again and again! Thank You Mr. Farage for your Humanity for Humanity! God Bless!”

    Leonard Cohen – The old revolution


    The Old Revolution, by Leonard Cohen

    I finally broke into the prison,

    I found my place in the chain.
    Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows,
    all the brave young men
    they’re waiting now to see a signal
    which some killer will be lighting for pay.

    Into this furnace I ask you now to venture,
    you whom I cannot betray.

    I fought in the old revolution
    on the side of the ghost and the King.
    Of course I was very young
    and I thought that we were winning;
    I can’t pretend I still feel very much like singing
    as they carry the bodies away.

    Into this furnace I ask you now to venture…

    Lately you’ve started to stutter
    as though you had nothing to say.
    To all of my architects let me be traitor.
    Now let me say I myself gave the order
    to sleep and to search and to destroy.

    Into this furnace I ask you now to venture…

    Yes, you who are broken by power,
    you who are absent all day,
    you who are kings for the sake of your children’s story,
    the hand of your beggar is burdened down with money,
    the hand of your lover is clay.

    Into this furnace I ask you now to venture…

    Wishmaster (1997) – Fear the Djinn


    “Once, in a time before time, God breathed life into the universe. And the light gave birth to Angels. And the earth gave birth to Man. And the fire gave birth to the Djinn, creatures condemned to dwell in the void between the worlds. One who wakes a Djinn shall be given three wishes. Upon the granting of the third, the unholy legions of the Djinn shall be freed to rule the earth. Fear one thing in all there is…fear the Djinn.” (From Wishmaster)

    Happy Halloween, and be careful what you wish for and more importantly: of whom!

    The Truth Behind – The Truth Behind the Devil’s Bible (from National Gegraphic Channel)



     http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/the-truth-behind/ Allegedly made from the skins of 160 donkeys, the Codex Gigas is the world’s largest and most mysterious medieval manuscript.

    Occupy Together & Beethoven’s Ode Of Joy


    Occupy Together_Global Directory_ Now It Is Global
    Occupy Together_Global Directory_ Now It Is Global (click and access the Global Seachable Diectory!)

    Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Performed by the South German Philharmonic.

    The lyrics were originally a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in the 18th century and adapted by Beethoven for the 4th movement of his 9th symphony.

    Joyful, joyful
    We adore Thee
    God of glory
    Lord of love
    Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
    Hail Thee to the sun above
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
    Drive the dark of doubt away
    Giver of immortal gladness
    Fill us with the light of day

    With light
    With light

    Mortals join the mighty chorus
    Which the morning stars began
    Father love is reigning o’er us
    Brother love binds man to man
    Ever singing march we onward
    Victors in the midst of strife
    Joyful music lifts us Son ward
    In the triumph song of life


    Bob Dylan – Maggie’s Farm (Newport, 1965): Happy October 15, 2011!


    I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
    No, I aint gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
    Well, I wake up in the morning
    Fold my hands and pray for rain
    I got a head full of ideas
    That are drivin’ me insane
    It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
    I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.

    I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
    No, I aint gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
    Well, he hands you a nickel
    He hands you a dime
    He asks you with a grin
    If you’re havin’ a good time
    Then he fines you every time you slam the door
    I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother more.

    I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
    No, I aint gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
    Well, he puts his cigar
    Out in your face just for kicks
    His bedroom window
    It is made out of bricks
    The National Guard stands around his door
    Ah, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more.

    I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more
    No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more
    Well, when she talks to all the servants
    About man and God and law
    Everybody says
    She’s the brains behind pa
    She’s sixty-eight, but she says she’s twenty-four
    I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more.

    I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
    I aint gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
    Well, I try my best
    To be just like I am
    But everybody wants you
    To be just like them
    They say sing while you slave and I just get bored
    I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.
    [ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_dylan/maggies_farm.htm

    More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_dylan/#share

    The lyrics of the song follow a straightforward blues structure, with the opening line of each verse ("I ain't gonna work...") sung twice, then reiterated at the end of the verse. The third to fifth lines of each verse elaborate on and explain the sentiment expressed in the verse's opening/closing lines.

    "Maggie's Farm" is frequently interpreted as Dylan's declaration of independence from the protest folk movement.[1] Punning on Silas McGee’s Farm, where he had performed “Only a Pawn in Their Game” at a civil rights protest in 1963 (featured in the film Dont Look Back), Maggie’s Farm recasts Dylan as the pawn and the folk music scene as the oppressor. The middle stanzas ridicule various types in the folk scene, the promoter who tries to control your art (fining you when you slam the door), the paranoid militant (whose window is bricked over), and the condescending activist who is more uptight than she claims (“She’s 68 but she says she’s 54″). The first and last stanzas detail how Dylan feels strait-jacketed by the expectations of the folk scene (“It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor” and “they say sing while you slave”), needing room to express his “head full of ideas,” and complains that, even though he tries his best to be just like he is, “everybody wants you to be just like them”.

    The song, essentially a protest song against protest folk, represents Dylan’s transition from a folk singer who sought authenticity in traditional song-forms and activist politics to an innovative stylist whose self-exploration made him a cultural muse for a generation. (See “Like a Rolling Stone” and influence on The Beatles, etc.)

    On the other hand, this biographical context provides only one of many lenses through which to interpret the text. While some may see “Maggie’s Farm” as a repudiation of the protest-song tradition associated with folk music, it can also (ironically) be seen as itself a deeply political protest song. We are told, for example, that the “National Guard” stands around the farm door, and that Maggie’s mother talks of “Man and God and Law.” The “farm” that Dylan sings of can in this case easily represent racism, state oppression and capitalist exploitation.

    In fact this theme of capitalist exploitation came to be seen by some as the major theme of the song. In this interpretation, Maggie’s Farm is the military industrial complex, and Dylan is singing for the youth of his time, urging them to reject society.
    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie%27s_Farm)

    Democracy – Leonard Cohen



    Leonard Cohen – Democracy
    (lyrics from http://www.6lyrics.com)

    It’s coming through a hole in the air,
    from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
    It’s coming from the feel
    that this ain’t exactly real,
    or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.
    From the wars against disorder,
    from the sirens night and day,
    from the fires of the homeless,
    from the ashes of the gay:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
    It’s coming through a crack in the wall;
    on a visionary flood of alcohol;
    from the staggering account
    of the Sermon on the Mount
    which I don’t pretend to understand at all.
    It’s coming from the silence
    on the dock of the bay,
    from the brave, the bold, the battered
    heart of Chevrolet:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

    It’s coming from the sorrow in the street,
    the holy places where the races meet;
    from the homicidal bitchin’
    that goes down in every kitchen
    to determine who will serve and who will eat.
    From the wells of disappointment
    where the women kneel to pray
    for the grace of God in the desert here
    and the desert far away:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

    Sail on, sail on
    O mighty Ship of State!
    To the Shores of Need
    Past the Reefs of Greed
    Through the Squalls of Hate
    Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

    Today’s Quotation: George Eliot (1819-1880)


    Don’t let us rejoice in punishment, even when the hand of God alone inflicts it. The best of us are but poor wretches, just saved from shipwreck: can we feel anything but awe and pity when we see a fellow-passenger swallowed by the waves?
    (From Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot–1858–Book 3–Chapter 22. The story was originally published in 1858 in Blackwood’s Magazine. The first edition of the novel was published in 1910 after she passed away.)
    George Eliot (1819-1880) Discuss