16 June 2009

A 30 year old song mystery solved (mostly)!

I was between 8 and 11 years old. My dance teacher Cindy lent me an album so I could choreograph a dance. I don't remember a single song on that album, save one. It was a group children's choir singing a haunting but joyful melody, and the children's voices sounded like little haunted but joyful mice. I didn't understand the lyrics (because come to find out today, they were in Greek). I was between 8 and 11 years old. I didn't have the foresight to write down the name of my favorite song, and the Internet didn't yet exist, and hence there was no need to search millions of resources with a few keystrokes, so really, why bother?

I've kicked myself for nearly 30 years because I had no way to find the album or the song, and I loved that song. The melody waxed and waned in my head for that whole time.

Today, I ate a croissant and drank Earl Grey in Mocha Maya's cafe in Shelburne Falls, occasionally paying attention to the interesting mix of songs playing. The out of the blue, that song, that melody of 30 years ago piped in on a piano's keys! At first I thought it was melodic coincidence, the melody is very traditional and has inspired many songs throughout the ages. So at first I thought it was just a fluke, kind of like how you can sing the words to any Emily Dickinson song to "The Yellow Rose of Texas". (Try this one, it's terribly fun and funny.)

It was the song!! The long lost song. I ran up to the woman at the counter and asked, "what was that song?" She led me to the computer. She had no idea. It was a random Pandora selection, but the information was still on the screen, and she wrote it down for me: "George Winston, Night Part Three: Minstrels."

I looked it up on my iPod Touch and found the liner notes to the album. "Night Part Three" was an adaptation of "St. Basil's Hymn", aka "The Kalanta of the New Year". I've since found several versions, none of which are the original mouse child chorus I heard all those years ago, and I have the chords, so I can pluck away at it on my autoharp.

So I guess the Internet just proved its worth.

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