Tuesday, June 5, 2007

In My Hands (Natalie MacMaster)

The fiddle/violin is my favorite instrument in the world - it can be Cajun, jazz, country, bluegrass, Celtic, rock, classical and more. I believe what it's called is purely semantics regarding the style of music being played, as the sounds of the fiddle evoke foot-stomping joy and light-heartedness while the violin conjures images of peace or melancholy - I can go either way quite easily. I love Mark O'Connor's Heroes CD, as he teams up with the leading players from each genre - the rendition of House of the Rising Sun is positively weep-worthy...

Here's the link to "Red Violins", a wall-hanging made, and promised to someone else, by my friend Elizabeth - one day I'll commission a similar piece for my home... :-)

SONG: In My Hands by Natalie MacMaster

BOOK: The Heart of the Wood by Marguerite W. Davol

POEM: Fiddler Jones by Edgar Lee Masters from Spoon River Anthology

The earth keeps some vibration going

There in your heart, and that is you.
And if the people find you can fiddle,
Why, fiddle you must, for all your life.
What do you see, a harvest of clover?
Or a meadow to walk through to the river?
The wind's in the corn; you rub your hands
For beeves hereafter ready for market;
Or else you hear the rustle of skirts
Like the girls when dancing at Little Grove.
To Cooney Potter a pillar of dust
Or whirling leaves meant ruinous drouth;
They looked to me like Red-Head Sammy
Stepping it off, to "Toor-a-Loor."
How could I till my forty acres
Not to speak of getting more,
With a medley of horns, bassoons and piccolos
Stirred in my brain by crows and robins
And the creak of a wind-mill -- only these?
And I never started to plow in my life
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle --
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
And not a single regret.

I also love The Mountain Whippoorwill by Steven Vincent Benet but, since it's entirely too long to reprint, here's the link (and, should you be another fiddle fanatic, the rest of the site is worth exploring as well)...

QUOTE: "We consider that the man who can fiddle all through one of those Virginia reels without losing his grip, may be depended upon in any kind of emergency." ~ Mark Twain

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