Category Archives: music

High Coo – Nov 14 – Happy B’day Fanny Mendelssohn

Fanny Mendelssohn, sketched in 1829 by her husband, Wilhelm Hensel

Fanny Mendelssohn (14 November 1805 – 14 May 1847) was a German composer and pianist of the early Romantic era who was also known, after her marriage, as Fanny Hensel (as well as Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel). Her compositions include a piano trio, a piano quartet, an orchestral overture, four cantatas, more than 125 pieces for the piano, and over 250 lieder, most of which went unpublished in her lifetime….Due to her family’s reservations, and to social conventions of the time about the roles of women, six of her songs were published under her brother’s name in his Opus 8 and 9 collections.”

How sad that patriarchy feels threatened by the creativity and talent of their sisters. How fortunate that the United Nations has been celebrating international girls and women’s events to correct the inequities of the past.

Today’s homage haiku: Happy Birthday Fanny Mendelssohn

Due honor withheld

until later in life – we’re

grateful you played on

Fanny Hensel, 1842, by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim

High Coo – Nov 2 – Day of the Dead

Dead Guitarist at The Blue Habanero in Richmond, VA – photo taken by author

Today’s haiku: Day of the Dead

Let us remember

loved ones departed – and our

future reunion

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated November 2. On this day, it is believed that the souls of the dead return to visit their living family members. Many people celebrate this day by visiting the graves of deceased loved ones and setting up altars with their favorite foods, drink, and photos….The main tradition for Day of the Dead sees families gather to honor and remember their loved ones who are no longer with us. Celebrated as a sacred and joyous occasion, there is plenty of food, lots of flowers, visits with family members and nostalgic stories about those who have died.”

Today, I honor my departed ancestors, friends and teachers who have “crossed over” and “continued” to the next phase of their life journey. I’m especially remembering my grandparents, father and younger brother today. I look forward to our reunions.

I respect that your experience may be different from mine. Many cultures honor their ancestors with holidays like the Day of the Dead. For example, see the chart below:


ChinaGhost FestivalThis traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival is part of Ghost Month, during which ghosts and spirits, including those of deceased relatives, come out of the lower realm.The 15th day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar, which is normally at some point during August.
CambodiaPchum Ben (Ancestors Day)A religious occasion when the gates of hell are said to open up and the souls walk among the living. People dress in all white and make food offerings.15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer calendar, which usually falls in September.
North and South KoreaChuseokChuseok is a harvest festival and comparisons are often drawn to Thanksgiving. It’s tradition for Koreans to visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects.Meaning “Autumn Eve” the holiday is celebrated for three days straight, normally in either September or October
NepalGaijatraKnown as the “festival of the cows” Gaijarta is a celebration of death. It’s purpose is to help people accept death as a reality and to help ease the passing of those who have died. Each year cows, or children dressed as cows, walk in a procession throughout towns.The first day of the dark four night according to the lunar Nepa. This is usually in August or September

Regarding the last row in the chart above, please check out a fellow blogger’s post The Two Doctors and his excellent review of the Festival of Light:

La Catrina mural at The Blue Habanero in Richmond, VA – photo taken by the author

High Coo – Oct 29 – Feed the Birds Day

Wild Birds Unlimited –

“Today, the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds celebrates Feed the Birds Day. R.S.P.B. advises people to put out food and water for birds regularly. These can be kept in safe environments where the birds can land, rest and replenish themselves. Birds can be in danger of malnutrition during colder months. The weather naturally limits the amount of food the birds get access to in the wild.


  1. It raises awareness – The holiday contributes to the conservation of wild birds. People are made aware of the problems birds encounter and how to help them.
  2. It protects birds – People are more likely to help birds as a result of the holiday. Birds have easier access to food and water, which makes it easier for them to survive.
  3. It helps the environment – Birds play a vital role in the ecology. They aid in the maintenance of a healthy environmental balance. Protecting them contributes to environmental protection.”


And let us not forget Mary Poppins song to Feed the Birds

Though her words are simple and few
“Listen, listen”, she’s calling to you
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag”

Songwriters: R.M. Sherman, R.B. Sherman
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: Musixmatch

Today’s haiku: Feed the Birds

we all need some help

from time to time – remember

to pay it forward

For more information on how to feed the birds see advice from Wild Birds Unlimited at

High Coo – Oct 26 – Storied Strings p.3

Charles Lindbergh Lyre Guitar with airplane-shaped bridge

Every musical instrument has a story to tell.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is currently offering the original exhibition Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art (

Today’s haiku: GUITAR QUESTION

admire the beauty,

feel the shape – oh what stories

will you sing today?


High Coo – Oct 25 – Storied Strings p.2

VMFA – Recording Studio

Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art

OCT 8, 2022 – MARCH 19, 2023, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Highly recommend this creative historical display in Richmond, VA. (

This project includes beautiful paintings, photos, and many guitars and musical recordings. Examples include:

Jessie with Guitar, 1957, Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889–1975), oil on canvas, 42 x 30 ½ in. Jessie Benton Collection © 2022 T.H. and R.P. Benton Trusts / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Odetta, 1958, Otto Hagel (American, b. Germany, 1909–1973), gelatin silver print, 13 9/16 x 10 9/16 in. Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Hansel Mieth/Otto Hagel Archive, 98.117.66. © Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation.

Today’s homage haiku: Storied Strings p.2

pretty troubadour

with musical companion

your song sets us free

High Coo – Oct 24 – Storied Strings

Guitarist by Charles White 1959
VFMA Display Description

Attended the VMFA’s Original Exhibition Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art. VFMA is the very impressive Virginia Museum of Fine Arts based in Richmond, VA. See

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, visit

I will share more in the days to come.

In the meantime, here is today’s haiku: Storied Strings

Pluck, slide or strum it

fingerpick, if you prefer –

music anywhere

Astronaut Chris Hadfield records first song in space @ the Verge

High Coo – Oct 18 – Happy Birthday Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle, character actor, born Oct 18, 1935

“A bold, blunt instrument of hatred and violence at the onset of his film career, Peter Boyle recoiled from that repugnant, politically incorrect ‘working class’ image to eventually play gruff, gentler bears and even comedy monsters in a career that lasted four decades.”

Known most for his roles in the comedy movie Young Frankenstein and the hit TV show Everybody Loves Raymond, Peter Boyle was a delight to watch and a source of laughter for many years.

“Boyle’s death (December 12, 2006) had a tremendous effect on his former co-stars from Everybody Loves Raymond, which had ceased production less than two years before his death. When asked to comment on Boyle’s death, his cast members heaped praise on Boyle. Ray Romano was personally affected by the loss, saying, ‘He gave me great advice, he always made me laugh, and the way he connected with everyone around him amazed me.’ Patricia Heaton stated, ‘Peter was an incredible man who made all of us who had the privilege of working with him aspire to be better actors.’ …

After Boyle died, his widow Loraine Alterman Boyle established the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF).”

Today’s haiku: Happy Birthday Peter Boyle

We laugh and we cry

you humbly role modeled while

Puttin on the Ritz”

Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein 🙂

High Coo – Oct 14 – Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons

Tim Minchin photo by Daily Express

Following on yesterday’s advice to Celebrate Failure, I’m pleased to share Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons address to his alma mater, the University of Western Australia. But first, a quick review of the greatest philosophers who led me to Tim’s supremacy.

It all started with Allan Sherman‘s song in 1963, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (aka the Camp Granada Song). From there I graduated to Dr. Demento and Weird Al Yankovic. And while I also love Bo Burnham, Tim Minchin is truly the best when it comes to musical comedy delivering a life philosophy worth singing about.

So, if you’re still with me, here are Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons:

  1. You don’t have to have a dream
  2. Don’t seek happiness
  3. Remember, it’s all luck
  4. Exercise (you can’t be Kant)
  5. Be hard on your opinion
  6. Be a teacher
  7. Define yourself by what you love (not what you’re against)
  8. Respect people with less power than you
  9. Don’t rush (it all ends with death so take your time and enjoy the ride)

Listen to Tim’s 11-minute university address video here via MotivationArk’s YouTube channel.

Check out his website here and his biography here

Yes, I’m a fanboy! 🙂

Tim Minchin photo by Tamara Drewe

High Coo – Oct 8 – World Octopus Day

Octopus: fun facts, marine biology, infographic from Pinterest

“World Octopus Day celebrates one of the most distinctive creatures living on the planet today. Octopuses are worthy of appreciation for a number of reasons:

Today’s haiku: World Octopus Day

Three hearts and eight brains

a diversity starr and

saltwater wonder

And check out this 2013 video ad starring Ringo Starr and an animated version of his song, Octopus’s Garden