Thursday, December 22, 2011

“Three Angels”

 Happy Thursday, kids!  I’m checking in today with odds & ends, not to mention some Xmas Music for People Who Hate Xmas Music.

The holiday is really almost upon us of course, & I must say it’s been an odd one for me, living on my own after a number of years of sharing holiday traditions in a relationship.  It’s lonely at times, tho mostly I consider myself fortunate—indeed, in a real sense of the word, blessed—to have so many dear friends with whom I can share the time, whether they’re friends here in Portland or friends scattered not only thru this country but in others as well.

The holiday has been simplified for me, that’s for sure.  I bought exactly one gift, which was for my mom—95 & still maintaining back in Massachusetts.  I did “splurge” on some Christmas cards, which I enjoyed sending & which helped me feel like I was acknowledging the holiday in a way that meant a lot to me—again, getting back to the friends who’ve so enriched my life.

Speaking of friends, some local friends loaned me the small tree that you see in the photo above, as well as the decorations.  That also meant a lot to me—the tree is perfectly in scale with my celebration this year, & I enjoy it daily.  As far as other holiday festivities go, I’ll be attending a Christmas Eve dinner party, which I’m really looking forward to—some great folks involved—including great cooks!—& have decided that I’m going to watch (for the umpteenth time, but who’s counting) Chaplin’s Modern Times on Christmas Day itself—one of my very favorite films.  It sounds pretty nice to me.

I’ve loved today’s song for many years.  Bob Dylan’s New Morning album has always struck me as a somewhat overlooked gem in his oeuvre; admittedly, “If Not For You” was a hit, but all in all, I think the album hasn’t received the attention it deserves.  Songs like “Sign on the Window,” “Time Passes Slowly” & “Day of the Locusts” are really powerful compositions, both lyrically & musically, & the album has a definite sound—lots of piano on this one.  While writing this post, I was looking thru the list of outtakes for New Morning—it’s quite long—& was fascinated to learn that Dylan recorded both “Yesterday” (yes, that “Yesterday”!) & “Ghost Riders in the Sky” for possible inclusion on the album!  Wow. 

Anyway, “Three Angels” is a beautiful recited piece—complete with the “angel chorus” at the end.  I’ve never been sure whether I liked how he ended the song lyrically—it seems a bit pat to me—but the rest of the lyrics are very strong.

Robert Frost’s Banjo will have posts right up thru Christmas morning, so stay tuned for your holiday listening & reading pleasure.



  1. Love your tree and the arrangement around it. Simplify is a concept we are practicing this season and it has made life so much better.

    I had never heard that Dylan recitation before. Thanks for sharing.

    Wishing you comfort and joy this holiday season!

  2. Your tree is beautiful, and in such a nice sunny spot!
    Glad to hear you will be celebrating Christmas Eve with friends and good food!
    I'll raise a glass to you on Christmas Day and wish you well for the future.



  3. Have a warm and happy holiday.

    Modern Times is a great way to celebrate; I love when he's roller-skating in the department store.

  4. Nice tree, John! I'm glad to hear that you're dealing with the holiday season reasonably well. Hang in there!

  5. Hi Joyce, Kat, HKatz & Roy

    Joyce: Simplification at Christmas time is a good thing in general I think--thanks for the good wishes!

    Kat: Thanks so much! I'll be thinking of you on Christmas as well!

    HKatz: That's a great scene, isn't it. I hope your own holiday season is passing nicely.

    Roy: I'm hanging! Thanks so much!

  6. Aw John I love your tree! Adorable.

  7. Hi Mar: Thanks so much--it's a Charlie Brown tree for someone who feels like Charlie Brown a good part of the time lately :-)


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