George Herbert + Ralph Vaughan Williams + the Order of Preachers = ?

George Herbert + Ralph Vaughan Williams + the Order of Preachers = this!

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a light as shows a feast,
Such a feast as mends in length,
Such a strength as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a joy as none can move,
Such a love as none can part,
Such a heart as joys in love.

from Herbert’s “The Call,” published in The Temple. Set by Vaughan Williams in 1911.

via Fr. Philip Neri Powell, O.P.

Best version yet!

One of my favorite songs of all times — Pink Martini, Una notte a Napoli. An Italian friend told me a few years ago that China Forbes’ Italian was perfect, but without accent. He didn’t mean that as a compliment, exactly — for something like this I think he expected more Napoletano.

Argh! I am finding it hard to embed videos. Go here!

And for the story of the band – here you go. Please ignore the politics, which are totally self-indulgent. They raise money for affordable housing…and bicycles! And they sing in foreign languages! If I remember, Mr. Lauderdale and Ms. Philips met at Harvard, after all.

Yikes – almost missed my Audible download deadline!

It’s the 21st and I’ve got to find something to listen to!

I have recently listened to My Name is Red. I bought the book in 2003 in Rome and read it there. I picked it up and flipped around in it once since then. It’s LONG and very, very good. The next time I teach Islamic Art and Architecture I may have the students read the chapter “I am a Tree.” It ends with something along the lines of:

I am not a tree. I aspire to be the idea of a tree.

This week I’ve been in a snowless-winter funk and listening to The Great Influenza (John Barry). Talk about depressing! And anyone who thinks that America is sliding into Fascism needs to read about Woodrow Wilson, PhD. THAT man was a mess.

This is my deadline day – so I downloaded another Philip Kerr novel. Bernie Gunther is one of the better (historical) detectives of the early 21st Century.

So trotting on in my German song theme . . .

Isn’t Ute Lemper just the best? Well, pretty close. Her Mack the Knife in German. And in English, kinda of a cheesy big Brit variety show version. And a medley of Allein, Lily Marlene, and Black Market.
Not to mention, but the girl can dance.
And my favorite translation of all…Neil Harmon and Ute Lemper sing the Tango Ballade. What a brutal song!
And, Brad, why didn’t I figure this out when we were young enough to play with these songs together?

Can you tell . . . ?


That she’s not a native speaker of English? I had forgotten that. And yes, Your Loving Arms is the song I think of fastest when Billy Ray Martin crosses my mind, but the Sortes iPodicae cast this one up tonight while I was grilling.
Funny how the language of the art song has shifted to English from 19th Century German. but what were Lieder but art-pop? And was singing them yourself around the piano so very different from re-mixes? “I just want to dance all the way right down to the core of the black and the white” (Systems of Silence) isn’t a bad line at all. I wonder what Schubert would have done with it?

Sortes iPodicae

It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss Radio Mix) – Whitney Houston – Superstars #1 Hits Remixed, 1999
Legacy – Pet Shop Boys – Yes, 2008
Aqua Boogie – Parliament – Tear The Roof Off, 1974-1980
Jamaica Ska – Desmond Dekker (with the Specials) – Israelites – The Best Of Desmond Dekker
Leavin’ – Shelby Lynne – I Am Shelby Lynne, 1999
Mack the Knife – Charlie Palmieri – Eddie Bauer Mambo, 2000
Holiday (Extended Mix) – Mad’s House – This Is Dance! 1980s
Sorry – The English Beat – Special Beat Service, 1982
I Want You – Marvin Gaye – Marvin Is 60: The Tribute Album
Don’t Call Me Baby – Madison Avenue – Dance Club 2000
Que Sera Sera – Pink Martini – Sympathique, 1997
Blame It On Cain – Elvis Costello – My Aim is True, 1977
Come Live With Me – Heaven 17 – Best Of Heaven 17
Shed – Macy Gray – The Id, 2001
Good mix for grilling chicken, enjoying the late evening sky, and starting what looks to be a grim Norwegian mystery (Jo Nesbo, Redbreast).