Sunday, May 2, 2010


MAY FIRST being written on MAY SECOND.
Last week I expressed - as in squeezed out - a lot of thoughts on the music program.
I promise not to make this another such diatribe.

Yesterday, May 1st, four of our organ group went as scheduled, to Kennebunk for the May Day Fair. We were set up and playing by 10:30. It was warm and breezy, a lovely day to be out in the fresh air on the edge of the Mousam River. Brian's friends, Mark who plays guitar and Mary who plays flute, joined him in some duets.

I have not seen such a turn out for any local event since last year in West Kennebunk at their Family Fun Fair. Those Kennebunk people (I used to be one) know how to have a great event. There was a parade with dozens of liittle baseball players proudly sporting their red, blue and black jerseys. There was a bagpipe band in pretty blue plaid kilts. The Shriners were there with both the moped team and the little yellow car team. The Shoe String puppeteers were there. That impressive group from Portland wear oversized wildly fashioned and colorful outfits, and oversized papier mache heads with rather grotesque features. They march in total disorder led by a character on stilts which elevate him to about twelve feet tall. They are a very special group. There was a drum corp wearing Mexican hats. (A bit early for Cinco de Mayo!) We don't have a significant number of Mexican illegal immigrants in Maine so no political statement was intended, I am sure. There was a parade of vehicles of interest, large wreckers and tow trucks, etc. The American Legion provided an honor guard and grand marshall. NICE PARADE.

Back to MUSIC - I went to GOOGLE to see what I could find in "Music about May". Google took me to Cape May, a list of people named May both first and last, and people named Musick. It further referred me to people named Mary. I actually thought it was pretty funny. I then went to Songs about May" and that was more interesting. I suppose I could have stopped at "A Tisket, A Tasket" which is apparently about a May Basket. Remember those? We delivered them to someone's door and then ran. Originally that little adventure was for girls and boys, and the "hangee" chased the "hanger" and gave her/him a kiss. In my childhood we hung them on everyone in the neighborhood. I remember my Mom making the baskets out of little paper cups and yards of crepe paper carefully crimped and pleated; then glued to the cups. Handles were made of braided crepe paper or pretty ribbons. Good heavens! Do any mothers today have time for such things? One year the minister's wife down the street from us, though not of our church, was very ill. Mom made a basket from a half-pint ice cream box - you know, the little square ones like gold fish used to come in - and filled it with vanilla ice cream for her. Once again I digress, which is a great failing of mine when I am writing.

May 1st it seems, is actually International Workers' Day. There are a number of songs written to that theme, one being Pete Seeger's "Talking Union". Continuing to look for some lovely music for a lovely month, I found a site with two Irish pieces, written in Gaelic! There were translations but no music. Following is a verse from Ecstasy of Spring:

May clad in cloth of gold
Commeth this way.
The fluting of black birds
Heralds the day.

The second had no name. They are both beautiful pastoral poems. If you are interested Google "Ecstasy of Spring". If you are inclined, try writing some music to accompany them. You never know how far that will take you.

SO, the only song I could come up with is from the wonderful musical "Camelot".

In brief, "It's May, THE LUSTY MONTH OF MAY, That lovely month when every one goes blissfully astray. It's here, That shocking time of year when tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear. It's May, That gorgeous holiday, when every maiden prays that her lad will be a cad. It's mad, it's gay! A libelous display. Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks. Everyone makes divine mistakes - The Lusty Month of May" There is much more to it, this amusing light-hearted song which Guenevere sings so gaily.

Lowrey has this in EZ Play book #287 and Hal Leonard has published a complete souvenir folio of Camelot in traditional piano music with chords for other instruments.

Keep a song in your heart and keep the music playing.


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