What is Your Music of the Night?

This morning whilst sorting laundry, I was treated to a rare concert. One of my house guest’s eight children is quite proficient at piano; as such, she was giving our lovely not-quite-as-prestigious-as-a-grand-piano some exercise.

Beginning with “The Phantom of the Opera,” she worked her way through to “The Music of the Night.” -At about an Allegro. I think Michael Crawford, wherever he is, felt a jolt. Heaven help me, I had to stop her.

First I exhorted her to slow down. Then I used words like, “hypnotic” and “seductive.” I finally pulled out YouTube and our portable speaker and let The Master explain it to her.

As a child I would lay next to the speakers in our family room and allow the entire 1986 original London cast to wash over me. Envelop me. Yes, even hypnotize and seduce me. My sister and I pored over the included playlist, read its stage notes, pictured in our minds what the music and speaking parts outlined.

I saw the daring, terrifying phantom descend into the masquerade. I trembled with pleasure at the image of his masked form waiting just behind Christine Daaé’s mirror. And I wept inside whenever I heard his echo to the romantic interchange between Christine and Raoul (skip to 4:03).

My poor visiting piano player didn’t know any of that, of course. How could she?

After I returned to my laundry, I thought about music. I thought about S. Chersis mentioning books as a craving and how that put me in mind of songs that I must listen to until satiation.

Phantom is not the only music I’ve loved. It’s not the only music I still love and still need to ingest periodically. I also cannot live without Chopin, The Pixies, Offenbach, Led Zeppelin, Book on Tape Worm, Evanescence, Weezer, Holst, Eminem, Prokoviev

When I use the word “love,” I do not exaggerate. These songs and others reach a part of me that nothing else can and help me to feel again.

Does anyone else ever get that way with music? What songs speak to you? Have you any that always have and always will?

mpumelelo-macu-9p-DsBtSygA-unsplash

—————-

Plug into your favorites, and read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, June 26: Delved into our secret tastes with “Have You Any Guilty Pleasures?

Thursday, June 27: Re-blogged Lunch Break Fiction’s fantastic story, “Where the Wild Things Were.”

Friday, June 28: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Bereaved Single Dad!

Saturday, June 29: Announced the 32nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is ‘Little Willie’ poems. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, June 30: Nothing. Still have house guests.

Monday, July 1: Re-blogged The Pale Rook‘s piece about self-value and creation. She’s an amazing writer and artist; check her out!

Tuesday, July 2: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Seven.”

Wednesday, July 3: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “A Return to the Dentist,” “A House Full of Kids is a House Full of Love,” and “A Very Short Parenting Poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
Mpumelelo Macu

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard since last week’s contest. No -I’m certain I laughed even more this morning. My four-year-old kept looking up from whatever-he’s-getting-into-so-I-can-write and asked if I was all right. Repeatedly.

I’m in favor of calling everyone a winner. Buuuuut… two poems had the same level of my definition of terrible poetry; so, in a first-ever gesture, I am assigning two winners:

Awake in a Manger

by Molly Stevens

Awake in a manger
His bed lined with straw
The little Lord Jesus
Looked up at his maw.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.

The mother and father
Looked down where he lay

With a neigh neigh here and and a neigh neigh there
Here a neigh, there a neigh, everywhere a neigh neigh.

The little Lord Jesus
Let out a great bray.

Hush little baby don’t say a word
Mama’s given birth in an animal herd.
If that animal herd don’t sleep
Mama’s gonna fall apart and weep.

I love thee Lord Jesus, but I beg thee and pray,
Give me relief, some sign of your presence.
Hark! The herald angels looked down on the fray,
And sent down a helper – an angel named Clarence.

Now every time there’s a crying King
An angel gets at least one wing.
E-I-E-I-O.

—–AND—–

Christmas Cheers

by Gerard LaDamus

Christmas time is here,
Christmas time is near,
Let’s have a Christmas beer,
For the New Year

Good times we will have,
With Santa and the elfes,
A true Christmas blessing,
Having Zen on our shelves

Let the bubbly flow,
Soon we’ll be kissing under the mistletoe,
Toss the figgy pudding,
Nobody likes that crap, who are we kidding

Christmas presents wrapped with care,
Let’s hope jolly ol’ Saint Nick soon appears,
Maybe I’ll get a rabbit or a hare,
It’s better than a box of Bartlett pears

Baby it’s cold outside,
Get close by my side,
Let’s make an Christmas elf,
We can name him Relph

Christmas time is here,
Christmas time is near,
Let’s have a Christmas beer
For the New Year

—–

Congratulations, Molly and Gerard! You are the Most Terrible Poets of the week. Share the crown, I suppose. Sing to all of your terrible prose!

Molly had me cringing as I chuckled, at her insertions of mismatched chorus in her traditional carol. I started laughing aloud at the baby braying and could only feel admiration as my poetic sensibilities were twisted uncomfortably for the remainder of the poem.

Gerard, a first-time contestant (welcome!), dashed away with those same sensibilities at his terrible meter, timing, spelling, and subject matter. I mean –what is this song about? Admittedly, the element that bumped him to first was ‘elfes’ and ‘Relph.’ Argh.

Do yourself a solid, and read (sing?) the rest of these. If I could find music for all of them, I’d offer to release a Christmas album for you all:

Yuletide balls

by Bruce Goodman

We’re hanging our balls on the tree
pa rum pum pum pum
We got them at various shopping malls
pa rum pum pum pum
They come in all shapes and colors
pa rum pum pum pum
And some of the balls are our mother’s
pa rum pum pum pum

Chorus:
Balls! Balls! Wonderful yuletide balls!
We’re hanging them on the tree
There’s nothing to match them
I warn you – don’t scratch them
Everyone who sees them is filled with admiration
If the tree and balls catch on fire there’ll be a conflagration.

Everyone who sees them shine bright
pa rum pum pum pum
Says see how they catch the light all through the silent night
pa rum pum pum pum
After we’ve finished hanging our balls
pa rum pum pum pum
We’re going to start making the hors (hors should rhyme with balls if you’re reading it our aloud)
d’oeuvre
pa rum pum pum pum
For Christmas dinner
pa rum pum pum pum

Chorus:
Balls! Balls! Wonderful yuletide balls!
We’re hanging them on the tree.
There’s nothing to match them.
Be careful not to scratch them.
Everyone who sees them is filled with admiration
If the tree and balls catch on fire there’ll be a conflagration.
Alleluia!

—–

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, by Death Metal Grunge

by Death Metal Grunge (AKA Bladud Fleas)

ChrissmaaassChrissmaaasChrissmaaas
CHRISSSSMAAAAAASSSS
ChrissmaaassChrissmaaasChrissmaaas
CHRISSSSMAAAAAASSSS
EEEUGHHHHCHRISSMAAAAAAS

Gotta dead tree an painted all the chrissmas lights blaaack
Got yooza present, here’s the receipt, so you can take it baaaaack
To Waaaal-maaaart. Yeah, shame they don’t do death head tattooooos
Cos that is what I wooda bought for yooz. Yeah.

ChrissmaaassChrissmaaasChrissmaaas
CHRISSSSMAAAAAASSSS
ChrissmaaassChrissmaaasChrissmaaas
CHRISSSSMAAAAAASSSS
EEEUGHHHHCHRISSMAAAAAAS

Decorated the room and nailed my sock above the FIRE
If I said it didn’t hurt a bit I’d be a LIAR
It’d learn me to take my foot outta it BEFORE
But the blood splatter goes with the gizzards and the GORE

YEEAAH Santa’s gonna puke.
ChrissmaaassChrissmaaasChrissmaaas
CHRISSSSMAAAAAASSSS
ChrissmaaassChrissmaaasChrissmaaas
CHRISSSSMAAAAAASSSS
EEEUGHHHHCHRISSMAAAAAAS

(ad lib & fade)

—–

Reindeer’s Fly at Night

by Anneberly

Sung to the tune of “Christmas Don’t be Late”

Reindeer’s, reindeer’s in the sun
Sleep for hours and have no fun
They can’t cook, nor can they bake
Lazy reindeer’s, need to wake
Santa’s sleigh is packed with toys
For all the lil’ girls and boys
Sun has set, the moon is bright
These reindeer’s fly at night

Santa’s sleigh is packed with toys
For all the lil’ girls and boys
Sun has set, the moon is bright
These reindeer’s fly at night

Sun has set, the moon is bright
These reindeer’s fly at night

—–

Untitled piece

by D. Wallace Peach

Sung to the tune of We Three Kings

We three drunks of the neighborhood bar
Pounding shots we daren’t drive the car
Bloody Mary, beer and brandy
Oh my gosh, I’m seeing stars

Bourbon, I love you, high as a kite
Bar with a mirror lit up so bright
To the gutter leading, hope I’m not bleeding
Guide us to thy Michelob Light

Chicken wings, my mouth is on fire
Give me a pint to douse the hot pyre
Drunks forever, barfing never
Karaoke carols join the choir

Oh-ohhhh, bar of wonder, bar of blight
Bar of cocktails, blurry-eyed sight
Olives and cherries, I’m feeling merry
Cheers to a tipsy Christmas night!

—–

Candy Canes

by Ruth Scribbles

Sung to the tune of “Deck the Halls”

Line the streets with sugary treats

La fa la fa la, fa la fa la

‘Tis, time to sleep and not make merry

La fa la fa la, fa la fa la

Merry is as merry does

La fa la fa la, fa la fa la

Does the candy go buzz buzz?

La fa la fa la, fa la fa la

*

Merry Jane is insane

La fa la fa la, fa la fa la

She puffs a pipe and always gripes

La fa la fa la, fa la fa la

If you give her some advice

La fa la fa la fa la fa la

She will turn you into ice

La fa la fa la fa la fa la

—–

Mingle Smells

by Peregrine Arc

Sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells”

Mingle smells, mingle smells
I have tooth decay
Oh what fun, it is to say
You smell like puke today.

Dashing through the roads
In a stolen minivan
Past the cops we go
Laughing all the way
Ha ha hah!

Cops on phones do ring
Making handcuffs tight
Oh what fun it is to run
From committing crimes tonight!

Oh! Mingle smells, mingle smells
I have tooth decay
Oh what fun, it is to say
You smell like puke today.

Oh! Mingle smells, mingle smells
I have tooth decay
Oh what fun, it is to say
You smell like puke today…

—–

All I Want for Christmas

by Natalie K.

All I Want for Christmas

All I want for a Christmas is a kid who eats,
A kid who eats,
A kid who eats.

Oh, all I want for Christmas is a kid who eats,
Then I could have a Merry Christmas.

It seems so long since I’ve not said,
“You didn’t eat your dinner, so no snacks in bed”.
It seems so long since I was glad,
Not sitting at the table and getting mad.

All I want for Christmas is a kid who eats,
A kid who eats,
Oh, a kid who eats.

Gee, if I could only have a kid who eats,
Then I could have a merry Christmas!

—–

Christmas Chaos

by Brad (Writing to Freedom)

Technically this was written for last week’s theme, but we’ll go with it!

Twas the night before Christmas and chaos filled the house

Elves were chasing Santa’s mouse

Mrs. Claus was posing with a potted Dancer

Vixen was determined to ride Prancer

cups were flowing with spiked nog

creating a bit of a toy backlog

yuletide traditions were put aside

preparing for a naughty sleigh ride

with visions of mischief and merriment

Santa long past the age of retirement

this tale has gone awry

on Comet, on Cupid, it’s time to fly

You were all wonderfully awful! Come back the Saturday after Christmas to enter again!

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What is the Beat of YOUR Creation?

After delving into lighthearted topics like Life After Death, I thought it might be time to hit a heavier subject today. Let’s discuss music.

Do you like music? Do you listen to music when you write? How about if you do other creative things; like painting, sewing, singing, dancing, acting, etc? I feel like creation comes in so many forms and even tried to capture that idea with poetry. I, myself, delve into other arts besides writing. I sing, play, paper-craft, paint, draw, and do not dance.

And I need music.

A friend of mine told me she doesn’t listen to music much because it affects her. That is precisely why I listen. Yes, with the mental and emotional issues I deal with, I am affected as well. I am moved to tears, anger, fear, resolve, sadness, or elation. Not only that, but I am moved beyond the slip of a shadow those two-dimensional words convey in print.

Take this angry piece I’ve listened to today:

I have played it fifty times because, when music influences me, I have to hear it over and over and over …till whatever feeling it ignited within is appeased and I can move on.

That’s not to say I’m a grunge rock groupie. Before Blackbriar, I swam the soporific currents of Chopin. This piece, in particular, was on repeat for a few days:

I haven’t talked to my husband much about my Chopin infatuation because he’s already a little sensitive about how much into The Awakening I was in high school. Chopin has brought me to new heights, however, even 169 years after his death.

In my defense, I am not the only author who has attributed inspiration to music, nor even to specific tracks. Stephenie Meyer, who wrote some sort of romance book you may have heard of, even lists the songs she “hear(s) in (her) head while reading the book.”

I’ve written two or three blog posts with a certain song playing. One of my favorites, Let’s Stay in Bed Today I wrote while listening to “Defcon 5,” by Book on Tape Worm:

And, another of Blackbriar’s songs, “Preserved Roses,” plus Faith Marie’s “Antidote” were responsible for depressive works like It’s All in Your Head, Are You In There?, and It’s All a Lie.

I hate to end on a downer, so you’ll be happy to know that Wilhelmina Winters is often fueled by The Piano Guys:

So, is music your muse? What are some of your favorite jams?

—–

Here’s what transpired this past week:
Wednesday, December 5: Should I Stay or Should I Go?, just my pondering on what comes after death.
Thursday, December 6: Skinwalkers, XLIV
Friday, December 7: Winner of The Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest announced. Congratulations, Michael B. Fishman.
I also re-blogged Susanna Leonard Hill’s children’s story contest. She does another around Valentine’s Day, so try again then.
Saturday, December 8: Beginning of The Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest (Enter it!).
Also, The Little Shepherd’s LullabyI wrote part of this as new lyrics to a song the children our local church ward (parish) are singing. I added, tweaked, re-worked, and submitted it to the contest with a minute to spare.
Sunday, December 9: Livelihood, a flash fiction entry for Carrot Ranch Literary Community. I put on my angry music, thought of the theme, and pictured paint gushing like blood onto a brick wall.
Monday, December 10: Inspirational Quote by e. e. cummings.
Tuesday, December 11: Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Five,
and The Bedtime Routine over at my motherhood site. My second son’s picture is in that article, though I generally prefer to use stock photos.
Wednesday, December 12: This post.

Children’s Songs That Don’t Suck

Some people are irritated by very specific things: nails on chalkboards, a supervisor’s voice, forks on a ceramic plate, or animals chewing with their mouth open.

For me, it’s children singing.

Now, now, now -don’t get up in arms and start defending anyone. Don’t ask me whether I’m a good mother, cringing whenever my offspring try to carry a tune. That’s not it at all. My real hate is when children sing what they ought not to.

Don’t believe me? Go listen to that devil’s creation: Kid’s Bop. Oh, wait. It’s spelled “Kidz Bop.”

Children singing off-key and innocently to pop songs would be my eternal torment. Actually -eternal torment would be facing a mundane chore like piles of laundry or dishes; and when I am literally folding the last sock or washing the last pan, something dumps another hour’s worth of work in front of me.

Wait a minute…

So, getting back to children doing terribly irritating things, I thought I’d save anyone else the trouble of torture by providing a list of songs geared toward young children that will not drive you completely batty (er… more completely batty).

1. Caspar Babypants
Did you ever listen to “Peaches,” “Lump,” or “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by The Presidents of the United States of America? If not, do yourself a solid and check them out. “Peaches,” alone is worth watching; I do so with my offspring frequently. Weird Al even parodied “Lump” with a song titled “Gump.”

That lead singer, whatshisname (Chris Ballew) went on to produce and sing a whole crapload of songs once he settled down and made mini hims. I like a lot of them; they’re cute, catchy, and have good lyrical and musical aspects.

2. Banaphone
This is an oldie but a goodie. I can’t allow the kiddos to replay this one as often as Babypants, but it’s still fun.

They also like the video, so win-win.

3. They Might Be Giants, for kids
TMBG has clever songs for all ages. The singer’s a bit nasally, but their lyrics are educational. Admittedly, we listen to much of the Apollo 18 soundtrack with our children as well; but those aren’t specifically for a younger audience (say, like when I mute that tiny cuss word at the start of “I Palindrome I”).

I respect a band that tries to keep things scientifically accurate. Like, releasing a new sun song when they felt the old one was misinforming.

4. Lots of classical pieces
My nerdy childhood was spent listening to the classical station on the radio and trying to be a snob of a higher degree. I listen to a wide variety of music now; and, by proximity, so do my children.

Still, music of this sort has the following advantages: clean, enlightening, traditional, timeless, and the YouTube videos don’t usually have some animated character dancing around and causing listeners to just stare at a screen.

5. Instrumental covers of awesome songs
Yes, the originals are better. For all the benefits I outlined above (like, no swearing or questionable video content), I will sometimes put these on to play while we’re cleaning the house.

And yes, these are not geared toward kids. It’s my list, though, so I make the rules.

6. Super Simple Songs
Now here’s a company who knows its audience. These are NOT songs to play if you don’t want small children staring at a screen, so maybe play it from computer speakers with the monitor turned off?

For a good half-hour or hour of needing to use the bathroom and text and adult, I am in favor of playing them as-is.

Super Simple Songs are almost annoying. I certainly wouldn’t pick them for an eternal playlist, but I will listen to quite a few without tearing my ears off my head.

7. Parry Gripp
If you have children, you have probably heard of “It’s Raining Tacos.” Don’t worry -I’m not going to suggest you listen to Parry Gripp all day long. I merely threw it on here because they’re fun, my spawn enjoy many of them, and I liked them back before they were annoying cool.

In fact, “Mr. Raisin Toast” was the first of theirs we listened to.

8. The Muppets
Again, these fall into the “watch it, too” category. But, you know -Sesame Street. Nostalgia. Subtle humor that doesn’t involve farting (always a plus when one has all boys, like me).

That’s about all I can remember for tonight. I’ll write another post about songs we all like (and are appropriate), in the mainstream music field. Besides those, do YOU have any to suggest? Don’t be shy; we’re always open to new songs and artists.

While You Sleep

Who will love you, when you’re empty;
A stranger sitting, all alone?

Whose anxious faces keep appearing;
Some of whom have your blue eyes?

What hands will gently still your shaking,
With fingers just like yours?

What voices will tell nighttime stories
As you nap away the days?

Who will sing your childhood songs
In sweet, soprano tones?

Who will come, when days are past
And only night awaits you?

We will love you, Grandma, Dear;
We’ll hold, and tell and sing.

We’ll care for you, though you’re not here,
While you go to sleep.

Adventures, Right Here

Quick! Open the door to hide from siblings’ seeking. You’ll need a fur coat -there, at your elbow.

Now; watch a filthy-fingered store owner glare at young boys, as she discovers a well-placed rat retribution.

Laugh the painful glee of snappy satire; chortle in appreciation of the cynic.

Sing along to “Come, Thou Font,” or “Camptown Races.”

Hold your breath for 20,000 leagues. You’ll need a harpoon; no, don’t ask why.

¿Que pasa, amigo? ¿Te gustaría aprender español?

Come, my fellow bibliophile, to the library. Only here may you travel so broadly, and taste-test such varied fare.

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Entry

Life Cycles

Running Shoes

Sometimes I leave the house, pay the child care, and run round the track at our tiny neighborhood community center. It’s called exercise: this monotonous plodding round and round.

Fourteen laps is one mile.

For inspiration and distraction, I listen to music as I jog the endless circuit. I pick adrenaline as I lag, interest to keep enduring, or awesome bass for confidence.

Still, I need to run. I need to run the same path. I need to run the same path fourteen times. I need to run the same path fourteen times with only myself to think to, and the songs to divert me.

Life is repeated monotony, and I try to switch to a different track whenever the boring frustration drives me crazy! -even that, in a repeated pattern, though.
There is no escaping the circuit, but it needs to be the cog of life and not a mouse exercise wheel.

I always play the same song for my final lap. I get excited to hear it, and know my heart rate increases in anticipation of finally getting to sprint one instead of shuffle-jog thirteen. The introduction plays, and I nearly Whoop! aloud.

Get a song to anticipate, a time to finally reward yourself, a goal to sustain you through the doldrums. Otherwise; you’ll break stride, stop for a drink, excuse yourself to favor a small pain, check your phone, or push too hard in panic and not have the energy for your favorite parts.

And you won’t want to miss your favorite parts.