It’s Gonna Be OKAY

God bless us, every one.

tinytim_2425699k-largeAhhhhh.  Don’t you just love that ending?

 

No matter what you’ve been through, no matter if you think you’re falling apart, it’s gonna be okay.

The Piano Guys started making music videos together for fun and their “hobby” turned into a worldwide phenomenon when their self-made YouTube videos amassed millions of views. I saw them at Tanglewood last summer.  They are ingeniously inventive. And brilliant. A cut above perfect, truly.

 

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Their song, It’s Gonna Be OKAY, came out to great fanfare, and for good reason. Here’s the story behind the tune~

We’ve all had that phone call. That email or that message. That conversation.

Bad news.

We’re all struggling with something – a debilitating weakness or illness. Or someone we love is barely holding on.

We watch the news. We see the tweets, the Facebook posts…the YouTube comments!

We hear about hate, terror, and despair. But just because what sells, what goes “viral,” or what gets attention may try to drown out the good in the world, it doesn’t mean that goodness is gone. Just because choruses of controversy and scandal shout louder than quiet symphonies of service, it doesn’t change the fact that, inside, most of us still genuinely want happiness — not only for ourselves, but also for our family, our friends, and our fellow human beings.

Media can make the world look bleak. They’ve given themselves this job description, in part because there’s a darker side on the surface of human nature that feeds on fear and cynicism. But deep down, we are beings of light. And in the end, since darkness is merely the absence of light, light will inevitably overcome dark.

This is the essence of hope. And the essence of this song. “No matter what you’ve been through, no matter if you think you’re falling apart, it’s gonna be okay.”

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But we believe that someday, somehow, all things will be made right. 

In the meantime, there are so many more things to hope for and to work at while we yearn for the outcome we want so badly – more gratitude for what we have, more love for those we’ve taken for granted, more faith in ourselves and those we hold dear.

We felt like the best way to spread the message of this song was to supplement our standard classically-influenced instrumental niche with a more pop-driven tune featuring Al’s superb vocal skills.

A mashup of musical talent with killer singing chops, the Piano Guys kick start my spirit.

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Anyway, have a listen. And when you’re having a rough week, or there never seems to be a let up of mind-mauling news, think of this song. It’s gonna be okay.

Toni 12/6/16

BETWEEN MY EARBUDS

The sounds of my era , the 60’s, were mostly about good and bad romance.

That’s not to say 60s music wasn’t ever serious.   It didn’t shy away from civil rights, Vietnam, women’s lib or the environment.

But gone are those dusty singles and vinyl albums.  Now I listen to oldies radio on SiriusXM and make my own stations on Spotify.

And I do love the current crop of films and podcasts, ideal places for sussing out new voices. When the credits roll, I’m all ears eyes. Like at the end of this movie, The Confirmation.

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It’s a gentle gem of a movie, true to small-town America and the people who do the best they can when they fall on hard times.

 

 

Clive Owen is Walt, a down-on-his luck carpenter. Unemployed and locked out of his own house, he’s in charge of his eight-year-old son, Anthony, while Anthony’s mom and her new husband are away.

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But when Walt’s prized toolbox is stolen, a quiet father/son weekend turns into a wildly funny and sprawling search for the thieves.

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It’s a warm turn-the-other-cheek kind of tale with a soul-shearing score.

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I’m a fan of Gillian Welch and recognized her quiet-yet-stoic voice singing Wrecking Ball and Everything is Free.

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But I had to google Jim Byrnes.  Turns out, he’s a musician who croons, drawls, belts, hollers and sweet-talks better than most. Think Louis Armstrong meets Tom Waits, with an amen-astonishing life story to boot.

In the film, the song I Need a Change offers a bluesy spiritual shoring-up. What are the blues about, if not moving on and moving forward? Byrnes begins by describing his early innocence, when “love was a virtue time could not destroy.” However, he realizes that since then, “something’s gone wrong”.

Lord, I need a change – a change in the way I am living, a different way to feel. A change in the way I perceive this old world, oh, I need something that’s real.

Killer slide guitar.

Sumptuous material.

Soul-tugging vocals.

What a find.

So, what’s new between your earbuds?

 

Toni 9/1/16

Life is full of surprises…. and serendipity.

Sometimes it’s the little victories.

Like making it through Wednesday, right?

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But wait.  Sometimes a serendipitous moment just takes your breath away.

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Yes, it happens.  The world is a smaller place because of the Internet and the potential for happy accidents is, well, infinite.  Like Horace Walpole, you merely need to be open to good things and accept the gifts that come your way.

 

Horace Walpole, the 4th Earl of Orford, coined the word serendipity, a pleasant surprise. He was a curious intellectual.  Horace would have loved the Internet.

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When he read the Persian fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip”, he was enthralled by the princes who made amazing discoveries by accident. And the word serendipity was born.

 

” This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word. And was formed from a fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.”

So here’s my fairy-tale-story.  I got an email from a folksinger/songwriter/poet in the UK.  It seems that while he was searching the Internet, Google linked John Richards to a post I wrote about my dad, Foundryman’s Daughter.  

Serendipity, I’m telling’ ya.

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John says that he has a lot of songs covered by UK folk artists and the most recent one is Foundryman’s Daughter.  Don’t you just love Google?

 

THE FOUNDRYMAN’S DAUGHTER
(partly inspired by the experience of John’s daughter when going to University)

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They laughed at your past and the town you were born in
Laughed when you spoke of your romantic dreams
They made you feel small in the biggest of cities
Friendship it seems isn?t all that it seems
They laughed at the hopes of the father that loved you
Foundryman’s girl in a smoke covered town
Where life had been hard for this King and his Princess
With no silver spoons and no golden ball gowns
But be who you are
And be proud of where you?ve come from
Be true to yourself
And be true to those that wish all that’s best for you
Don?t ever forget you’re as good as the next man
And better than most when you know who you are
You’ve made your own way
Earned the things that surround you
Houses and land and a seamless blue sky
But you won’t forget how to treat those around you
Foundryman’s girl with such steel in her eye.
You know who you are
And you’re proud of where you’ve come from
You’re true to yourself
And you’re true to those who wish all that’s best for you
Don’t ever forget you’re as good as the next man
And better than most when you know who you are.
***

John wrote this song in honor of his dad, a foundryman made redundant after 20 years of service via an impersonal letter posted through the door.   Have a listen.

 

John is one special guy. Not only did he seek me out because of our shared history, he sent me the CD.

 

I know his dad would be so proud.  Maybe John will share a photo of his foundryman father to post alongside mine.

 

So, that’s the story. Who could ask for anything more?

Toni 6/1/16

P.S.  A big hello to everyone who is reading WWWW for the first time — *waves* — thanks for being here!