Category Archives: music

Feb 5 – Gotta Serve Somebody

As Dylan’s first release during his “gospel” period, “Gotta Serve Somebody” was met with divisive reviews; John Lennon famously criticized the song and wrote a parody titled “Serve Yourself” in response. Nevertheless, the single won the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Male in 1980. … Cash Box said that the “bluesy instrumentals” were the song’s highlight and that “Dylan avoids a preachy tone with humorous asides.”

Yesterday’s blog Living In-Between was a difficult message directed at myself. It is something I needed. I shared it with you in case it might be of help to someone you know.

Upon second thought, I realize that some messages are best kept to oneself, at least until you’ve had more time to consider the possible consequences for putting those words out into the world.

Here’s two more thoughts on yesterday’s blog:

  1. Thich Nhat Hanh taught that it’s important to look deeply before speaking lovingly. In his book, For A Future to Be Possible, (c) 1993, Thay’ says, “We only need to choose our words carefully, and we can make other people happy. To use words mindfully, with loving kindness, is to practice generosity.” p. 41
  2. For some reason, my favorite verse of this Dylan song is #5. It always makes me smile 🙂

Gotta Serve Somebody

Feb 12 – Happy Birthday Thomas Campion

Poet/lyricist Thomas Campion was born February 12, 1567, and lived until March 1, 1620, dying at the age of 52, most likely of the plague. His poems/songs were known for their “brevity and simple, straightforward delivery.” Considered a “keen observer of human frailty, particularly that brought on by the conflicts of love and sexuality. He is also a moralist.” Campion never married and left a paltry legacy to “his longtime friend and collaborator, Philip Rosseter.”

Campion was also known as a metric poet more interested in syllable count than rhyme. He wrote that rhyme should be “sparingly used, lest it should offend the ear with tedious affectation.” He added that rhyming was a “childish titillation.” These comments did not endear him to his contemporaries, and he was “neglected for almost two hundred years, but in the late 1800s he was rediscovered by A.H. Bullen and was later admired by T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. In The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933) Eliot calls Campion, “except for Shakespeare … the most accomplished master of rhymed lyric of his time.” His lyrics and the songs in which he presented them strongly reflect his period’s style, and Davis finds Campion’s influence in the works of such poets as Pound, W.H. Auden, and Robert Creeley. Campion has been called a poet of the ear, and his careful respect for the nature of the language and its capacities for pleasing intonation was a significant development.”

Today’s senryu: Happy Birthday Thomas Campion

Offending your peers

may lead to obscurity;


Feb 6 – Doomsday Clock Update – Just Another Monday

“We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday clock time reflects that reality. 90 seconds to midnight is the closest the clock has ever been set to midnight, and it’s a decision our experts do not take lightly,” Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of BAS, said at a news conference on Tuesday (Jan. 24).”

Today’s senryu: Just Another Monday

spy balloon shot down …

do you feel safer today?

proceed with caution

High Coo – Dec 18 – Ball of Confusion

What a crazy world we live in! What a crazy Christmas/X-Mas season.

Thank you, Edge of Humanity! Your song recommendation and YouTube link brought back some great memories. I especially enjoyed the current, this century, photos in the music video that corresponded to last century lyrics. I highly second this creative recommendation.

Today’s senryu: Ball of Confusion

mental dissonance

seasonal competition

non-violent night?

Another fun and confusing seasonal YouTube worth checking out is this Violent Night movie trailer:

Is Jesus the Reason for the Season?

High Coo – Dec 12 – National Ding-A-Ling Day

Sometimes life gets way too serious. Solemnity is one thing but when it turns grim it’s time to ease up a little, or maybe, a lot.

Here’s today’s senryu: National Ding-A-Ling Day

Shake it off, relax,

don’t be so serious man –

take a break and sing!

National Ding-A-Ling Day is one of those uniquely American inventions. It’s sort of a two-fer holiday where you touch base (preferably by phone — hence the playful reference to “ding-a-ling”) with friends or family you may have lost track of during the year. You also get a free pass to be just a little bit weird for the day. 

(Initiated in 1971) the idea for National Ding-A-Ling Day evolved during a group conversation about people being friendlier and staying connected with loved ones. Somehow the term “ding-a-ling” came up — defined as “one who hears bells in his head.” Soon, millions of people were touching base on December 12 (or “ding-a-linging” because iPhones weren’t invented yet) with contacts they hadn’t spoken to throughout the year.”

Here’s a fun variation of the Ding-a-Ling song by Sha Na Na

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