03 March 2008

One Grain of Sand

Someone asked me about Murder Ballad Blackjack recently. I haven't been doing too much with it lately, I've been focusing more attention on M'Alice. But I think I'll work on it some more in April. I'm re-energized after watching the PBS Pete Seeger documentary 4 times (see below). Without Pete Seeger, I probably wouldn't be paying homage to folk music with a role playing game.

Pete Seeger has influenced my life, and his life has inspired me countless ways through his music and commitment to community and social justice. It wasn't until after Bea was born and I picked up a Pete Seeger album did I realize it. It was an album for children. I knew every single song on it. Sure, many of the songs were in Rise Up Singing, but I probably first heard these songs at St. Anastasia's Montessori Pre-School. Now every time I hear Pete Seeger's children's albums it is clear to me that I became a folk music geek thanks to the music of Pete Seeger. Thanks, Mrs. Leong for playing Pete Seeger in Montessori.

The song "One Grain of Sand" is my all time favorite Pete Seeger song. Anything I say about that song will not do my love for it justice, so you'll just have to listen to the sample or read the lyrics. It speaks for itself. It's a lullaby and love song. Incidentally, Pete does an awesome version of "Pretty Polly", my all time favorite murder ballad.

Bea and Ingrid both listen to Pete Seeger, and like me, they probably don't realize how much he will influence their lives as they get older, musically, politically, socially.

In the American Masters documentary on Pete, there's a scene where Pete and his wife are walking around town and a woman comes up to him and just thanks him for being him, for doing what he's done, for inspiring and provoking and supporting. Yeah. She speaks for so many of us.

So why the orange singing Carmen? Well, I remember that sketch from my toddler-hood, my early Pete Seeger years. It's one of my favorites, from back when Sesame Street really spoke to children's sense of humor and appreciation for the absurd. It also helped inform my love for my favorite opera, Carmen.

Pete Seeger, Montessori Pre-School (cookies and juice, sitting on my dot in a circle, singing songs in groups), an appreciation for the absurd, oranges singing Carmen: that's a little slice of Julia at 3 years old. And 37.

Pete Seeger love links:
Clearwater (especially the Clearwater Festival)
Pete Seeger Appreciation Page
Pete Seeger's Notable Unitarian's Page
Rise Up Singing
One Grain of Sand: the Book

Thanks, Pete!

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