Monday, July 25, 2016

Music Monday ~ Kumbaya (or not!)

Happy birthday to Bruce Woodley !
Bruce William Woodley (born 25 July 1942 in Melbourne), Australian singer-songwriter and musician. He was a founding member of the successful 1960s pop-folk group The Seekers.

Then and now images: Bruce Woodley is on the right in the first pic and on the left in the second. Other original group members: Judith Durham, Athol Guy and Keith Potger.

The Seekers' songs were mainly sweet and gentle: The Carnival is Over and A World of Our Own spring to mind first. The group also recorded Kumbaya, my Lord - a little information on that, of which I wasn't previously aware - ain't Google great?

"Kumbaya, my Lord" was first recorded by an out-of-work English professor, Robert Winslow Gordon, in 1927. Gordon went on a search for black spirituals and recorded a song "Come by Here, My Lord", sung by H. Wylie. The song was sung in Gullah on the islands of South Carolina between Charleston and Beaufort. Gullah is the creole language featured in the Uncle Remus series of Joel Chandler Harris and the Walt Disney production of Song of the South. "Come by here, my Lord" in Gullah is "Kum by (h)yuh, my lawd" (see our Gullah dictionary).

American missionaries took the song to Angola after its publication in the 1930s, where its origins were forgotten. In the late 1950s the song was rediscovered in Angola and returned to North American where it swept the campfire circuit as a beautiful and mysterious religious lyric. That is why the song is associated with Angola in many current printed versions.

In the US, however, the song was associated with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other campers sitting around a campfire in perfect harmony. The picture of a warm, cozy community without conflict associated itself with the song and especially that foreign-sounding word in its title, kumbaya. Since the word had no actual meaning in English, cynics eventually converted this harmless connotation into the actual English definition of the word. That definition now seems to be "naive, unrealistic optimism" to many of us.

"Naive, unrealistic optimism"? At this point in the 2016 election season my own naive unrealistic optimism has taken a hike, I can barely see its backpack disappearing over the far horizon - and nary a wave farewell!

This song is striking a rather unrealistic note, as things are right now - but it's a pleasant enough tune:


mike said...

Well, a big KUMBAYA to you, Twilight, on this first day of the DNC. I've never been one to entertain the kumbayas. It's said that pessimists have a better grip on reality and suffer less depression...LOL. Here's to hoping that Wikileaks releases some additional, very damaging emails today, and that Bernie will find the words to eloquently chastise those that took the low-road to victory.

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.” George Bernard Shaw

Twilight said...

mike ~ I'm inclined to swing frequently from optimist to cynic - I'm in full cynic mode today!

Hillary obviously has no intention at all of moving even a smidgen to the left - her appointing Debbie W.S. to run her campaign after her resignation as chair of DNC is a definite "up yours" to Sanders' supporters and the left in general.

Add to that, her choice of a centrist Dem (at best) as VP, and I have no doubt at all that I will not vote for Clinton in November. I was wobbling for a while after Bernie's endorsement, willing to wait a while. No longer. It'll be a matter of either leaving presidential box blank or voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson as protest vote against only other names on the list.

Once I get my registration moved back to Independent I'll likely go support the real Socialists with an annual subscription.

Bernie has done his best, I'll always support him, but he's ensnared in the web of the Democratic Party now - they have him and they have knee-capped him, one way or another - probably both, in ways of which we'll never know the full truth. :-(

mike (again) said...

Re - I liked webwalk's comment:
"Once again, it is hard to discern:
Is Trump the Republican nominee in order to guarantee Clinton is elected?
Or is Clinton the Democratic nominee in order to guarantee Trump is elected?"

Hillary just threw another log on the bonfire. I believe the DNC opens at 3 PM, with Moon in Aries square Pluto...Moon trine Venus, Venus inconjunct Pluto. The DNC closes on Thursday with Uranus stationary retrograde. All this with a backdrop of Saturn square Neptune, both retrograde. I would anticipate demonstrations to be intense.

Bernie's natal Moon is conj transiting Moon, natal Mars is conj transiting Uranus, opposing his Venus. Transiting Sun conj his N Node, transiting N Node conj his Sun. Bernie may have some excoriating words.

Hillary's Mercury and Venus both in Scorpio are being squared by transiting Mercury and Venus both in Leo, conjunct her natal Saturn. Not the best for coming across clean and trustworthy.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Yes, webwalk's is a good one. I liked one at Naked capitalism this morning too on the Debbie W.S. thing: from "Mike NY" - "It does have something of a cosa nostra feel to it."

Thanks for the astrology. I hope Bernie's planets can get through to him strongly enough to have him in strident mood, ready to (as my grandma used to say) "tell 'em their names for nowt". Translation: hmmmm - tell them exactly how corrupt and slimy they all are. ;-)

Can't yet find any indication of the time when Bernie will start his speech. Liz Warren has "keynote" speech position (likely a prize for endorsing Clinton early on); Michelle Obama is somewhere in there tonight, and Bernie - maybe Cory Booker too. Fun proper begins 9pm Eastern Time, so 8pm here. Not sure I could stomach more than one speech. Maybe a clearer agenda timeline will be published later today.

mike (again) said...

An interesting speech from The Bern. Certainly not incendiary, but imploring the cooperative efforts of both campaigns to develop the DNC platform. He delivered his usual stump, but he can now say that it's Hillary's, too. Hillary may be the nominee, but Bernie's signature is all over her and he proudly stated such. I liked it when he said he was looking forward to the delegate count tomorrow.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I watched 2 and a half hours of the convention, from the opening gavel, then left it alone until around 9pm CT. Watched episodes of Dickens' Bleak House on Amazon Prime until 9, then saw the last part of Cory Booker's speech which got me mad and cynical, then Michelle Obama's whioch I admired, likewise Liz Warren's. Then Bernie's. I wept all through the long stretch of cheering and the first 10 mins of his speech, as it seems did several in the audience. Had to have a top up of my Scotch and lemonade! :-)

That's than then! Not sure I'll watch any more this week, I'll follow events from articles online from now on, including tomorrow's delegate count.