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ELDER MUSIC: Sleep

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

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At last, a topic we all indulge in. I suppose there’s always the chance that you might nod off during today’s column, given the topic. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen as there are some good songs that are worth a listen.

I’ll start with HOAGY CARMICHAEL who wrote songs for a living, and occasionally sang them.

Hoagy Carmichael

One such song is Two Sleepy People, which he wrote with Frank Loesser. It’s probably best known to people of our vintage from the version by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross from the film Thanks for the Memory where they also sang the title song. Here we have Hoagy and Ella Logan singing it.

♫ Hoagy Carmichael - Two Sleepy People


The EVERLY BROTHERS are having Sleepless Nights.

Everly Brothers

This is one of several of their songs covered memorably by Emmylou Harris (and others as well). Their songs were so well crafted, either by them or others, that people really want to sing them. In this case the song was written by song writers Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.

♫ Everly Brothers - Sleepless Nights


DAVE COHEN also recorded under the name David Blue.

Dave Cohen

The first time I encountered him (on record) was on a disk called “Singer Songwriter Project” where he and three others performed their own songs. One of Dave’s was called I Like to Sleep Late in the Morning, later covered memorably by David Bromberg.

♫ Dave Cohen - I Like To Sleep Late In The Morning


What a cad was HELEN SHAPIRO’s bloke.

Helen Shapiro

He gave her the flick at midnight, presumably after they were doing something or other. I’ll leave that up to you. There was only one thing she could do (well, I suppose there were several things, but we won’t go there either). She sings I Cried Myself to Sleep Last Night.

♫ Helen Shapiro - I cried myself to sleep last night


WILLIE NELSON has by far the best song today. It’s probably not the only column where I could say that.

Willie Nelson

Willie’s song is from his extraordinarily good album “Red Headed Stranger”. Any song from that would be worth featuring, but Can I Sleep in Your Arms is the only sleep related song.

♫ Willie Nelson - Can I Sleep in Your Arms


BOBBY LEWIS couldn’t sleep at all last night.

Bobby Lewis

If that isn’t a cue for a song I don’t know what is. That song is Tossin' and Turnin', a song that not only made number 1 on the charts it was also the number 1 song for 1961. Okay, there wasn’t much competition that year, but it’s still a good effort.

♫ Bobby Lewis - Tossin' And Turnin'


There’s a personal angle to GORDON LIGHTFOOT’s song, but I’m not revealing anything.

Gordon Lightfoot

It came from around the time that the album “Summer Side of Life” was released, which naturally I bought back then. The song I’m talking about in my roundabout way is Talking in Your Sleep.

♫ Gordon Lightfoot - Talking in Your Sleep


Instead of talking in her sleep, HANK WILLIAMS’ honey was crying in her sleep.

Hank Williams

Perhaps it was Helen (above), but probably not as he skedaddled, and Hank seems to be still around (in song terms, not in life, unfortunately). Hank sings (Last Night) I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep.

♫ Hank Williams - (Last Night) I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep


I’m sure if I mention THE TOKENS, those who know that group will know which song comes next.

The Tokens

I suspect that, like me, without resorting to Wiki, you couldn’t name another of their songs. It doesn’t matter, this one is worth hearing. The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

♫ The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)


MERLE HAGGARD wrote the song Don't Ever Let Your Lover Sleep Alone and it appeared on a duet album called “Old Loves Never Die” with LEONA WILLIAMS.

Merle Haggard & Leona Williams

In his autobiography, Merle said that he wished that he’d made a solo album instead, that Leona was just using him to further her career. I don’t know if that’s so, but I’ll have to say that I haven’t heard of her outside this album. She seems to be an okay singer though.

♫ Merle Haggard & Leona Williams - Don't Ever Let Your Lover Sleep Alone


Now that you’ve got to sleep, be careful you don’t Sleepwalk. That’s a cue for SANTO & JOHNNY who had a big hit with the tune way back in 1959.

Santo & Johnny

Santo and Johnny were brothers Santo and John Farina from Brooklyn and their father gave them both guitars. The tune evolved from the brothers jamming after one of their gigs.

♫ Santo & Johnny - Sleep Walk



INTERESTING STUFF – 2 March 2019

PAY IT FORWARD, ACTS OF KINDNESS

And oh what those acts can do. From Tom Delmore.

MOLLIE THE BEAGLE ADOPTS AN ORPHANED POSSUM

You know fro these posts that I can't get enough of interspecies friendship. Here's another.

THE GREAT ICE ORCHESTRA

You've heard of ice hotels? This is an ice orchestra. The Youtube page explains:

”Tim Linhart was sculpting ice in Colorado when he decided to try something new: creating a giant, frozen violin. When a friend jokingly asked how Tim thought his violin would sound, it sparked an idea. Why not make an entire, functional orchestra out of ice?

“That was 21 years ago. These days, Tim is based in Sweden and gathers his icy ensembles to play in cosmic igloos. Grab a seat, and best don’t forget your coat.”

A NAZI NIGHT AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

From the Youtube page:

”In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York's Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism - an event largely forgotten from U.S. history.

A Night at the Garden, made entirely from archival footage filmed that night, transports audiences to this chilling gathering and shines a light on the power of demagoguery and anti-Semitism in the United States.”

Margaret Talbot wrote about this film in The New Yorker last week.

TALKIING GARGOYLE AT DENVER AIRPORT

Laughing Squid tells us:

"When the newly-renovated airport was re-opened, management decided to take the campaign even further by perching a rather garrulous gargoyle in the middle of the brand new Jeppesen Terminal. The 243-year-old patinaed creature hilariously engaged with skeptical travelers, disbelieving tourists, curious little children and even a custodial employee or two."

Take a look:

OCTOPUS ESCAPING THROUGH A ONE-INCH HOLE

It's not that I haven't seen this before, it's that it still amazes me.

BEFORE WINTER IS OVER, MY BLIZZARD STORY

From Cop Car who blogs at Cop Car's Beat. Back in 2005, Cop Car related her 1983 big blizzard story here and I followed up with this one of mine. It seems a good time to repeat these:

”I lived in Greenwich Village, downtown, and the production office of the ABC-TV television show I worked on was at Columbus Circle, about three miles north.

“Overnight, the snow had piled up, closing in on two feet. The wind was blowing and the snow showed no signs yet of diminishing.

“Everyone else in our small office lived out of the city or on the east side where subway travel was not easily usable, but there was some work that HAD to be done (no email yet in those days or VPN networks), so it was up to me because my commute was to walk one block from my home to the subway and then one block to the office at the other end of the ride.

'I bundled up: longjohns, two or three sweaters, knee-high, fleece-lined boots, hat and - important to the story - an extra-large, bright blue parka I'd been given on a cold-weather shoot; it had a giant ABC logo on the front of it.

“Columbus Circle is well-known in New York City as a dangerously windy corner and that proved true when I climbed out of the subway there. It was blowing hard - that tiny kind of snowflake that is not quite sleet, but hurts when it hits your face.

“I wrapped my arms around a light pole while I peeked between gloved fingers to see when it might be safe to cross the street - Broadway - which lives up to its name, very broad and on that day, icy and slick.

“At last, the few cars looked far enough away that I could cross and have time to pick myself up, if I fell, before a car could slide into me.

“As I let go of the light pole to step off the invisible curb, a giant gust of wind blew me down on my back in a huge snowdrift. With all four limbs flailing in the air, I must have looked like a big, blue-clad turtle on its back.

“Now, remember the ABC logo on my parka? As I tried to right myself, I saw a camera pointed right at me. A camera with a CBS-TV logo pasted on it. The cameraman yelled through the wailing wind: 'You'll be on CBS tonight, baby.'"

WILD RED SQUIRRELS DOING SOME VERY HUMAN THINGS

From the Laughing Squid page:

”Swedish/Dutch photographer Geert Weggen has created a wonderfully whimsical photo series of surprisingly cooperative wild red squirrels performing some very human tasks such as taking photos, riding a bicycle, playing piano, having tea, riding different vehicles, rowing a boat and enjoying a nice campfire.

“Weggen stated that he became a full-time photographer in 2013 and these squirrels and birds are his specialty.”

A couple of examples:

Squirrel2

Squirrel1

And here's a video of Weggen and one of the red squirrels.

More still images of Weggen and red squirrels at Laughing Squid.

HONEY BADGER RESCUES BABY FROM LEOPARD

The Mother Nature Network (MNN) page tells us

“Don't mess with mama...One hungry leopard in South Africa learned this the hard way recently as it zeroed in on a possible meal. In the tense video, the leopard begins to attack a baby honey badger until it is viciously undone by the cub's mother.

“Honey badgers are known to be fearless, but taking on an adult leopard is bold even by their standards. This clash shows how strong their maternal instincts can be.”

More at MNN.

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Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog.



Cancer Update – 1 March 2019

I wrote about some of this last week, but I'm coming at it from a different direction today.

It was November 2018 the last time I wrote a cancer update. The good thing is that not much has changed in terms of the disease since then – but my behavior and attitude drift from here to there and back again.

Some of that is a result of chemo side effects. A difficult one is loss of appetite. It's important for my continuing health to keep up my weight but for several days after a chemo infusion, I can barely put a bite in my mouth without retching and in four or five days, I can lose that same number of pounds.

When my appetite returns I spend the next week stuffing myself with all the high calorie food I can eat to increase my weight before the next infusion. And then I start over again.

More difficult than the weight loss and gain, however, is fatigue. I feel fine for two days or so following the infusion; then I'm exhausted for two or three days, sometimes needing two naps and early bed each day for that period of time. After that, I feel like a normal, healthy person until the next infusion.

The most difficult thing that comes with loss of appetite and fatigue is a really bad mood. Terrible mood for two days or so during which it feels like it's time to bring this to an end as I run scenarios of my final day.

It doesn't matter that I've experienced this often enough now to know that it lifts entirely within two days. Knowing that doesn't make getting through it easier.

And yet. And yet.

With all that, what a remarkable series of events I'm living through, especially for a short-timer whose life is unwinding now during a period I had expected to become slower and quieter until time to go.

Instead, some of the most extraordinary events of my life have been taking place:

Meeting the son (and his family) I gave up for adoption 56 years ago

Fulfilling my long-held intention to have a magic mushroom experience in the face of impending death

And, a near dispensation from chemotherapy side effects

No, I didn't forget the appetite problem, fatigue and horrible mood. But compared to the long list of those and other potential side effects I was given to expect when I began this chemotherapy (some of them quite icky), I been lucky beyond measure.

The side effects I have are short-lived – about three days every two weeks – and astonishingly, they have become lighter and easier to tolerate with each infusion.

No one can tell me how much time I have left. It depends on how long this chemo is effective and how the cancer develops from here. My stamina and energy are down; it takes about twice as long to do almost anything I once did faster but I don't dislike the slower pace.

I seem to want more time alone than before and spend some of it digging around for a deeper understanding of myself and of the meaning of life. Fat chance I'll get anywhere with that second one but why not try.

This blog is important to me. I write it as least as much for myself – to figure out what I think and believe – as for you, dear readers.

Living is easier now without ambition, worldly goals and urges to compete. The worst that can happen (“you have incurable cancer”) has happened now and I've become accustomed to knowing that. It's all right.

In fact, this simple, little life I have may be the most contented I have known in my near 78 years. How did I get so lucky.

I know there are a goodly number of TGB readers who have and/or are living through similar circumstances. Does any of this resonate with you?