Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Trouble of the World (BOTB) & (#IWSG)
Don't struggle with insecurity. There are plenty of other things to get you down in this world without getting troubled over your writing. And you're not alone: There are more of us out here so don't feel alone. Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog. Join me today for a double whammy of the #IWSG and later down the page you'll find this month's Battle of the Bands.
Don't Be Troubled by the Writing
There are so many things happening in this old world of ours that sometimes our writing woes seem pretty insignificant. My sense as to why so many readers prefer escapist literature such as fantasy and sci fi is that it takes them away from the fears and woes of the present day. As for me I'd rather read non-fiction or stories that tend to be closer to my life experience. That has been my inclination regarding my own writing as well.
My earlier writing preference leaned toward science fiction and fanciful stories. I might continue to try to write in those veins someday, but for now I'm looking in other directions. Writing my blog posts has helped. It's not exactly where I want to be as a writer, but stylistically I'm closer when I write my blog posts. Now it's a matter of doing more writing beyond the blog.
But in the meantime, there is so much going on--so much that could make a person just want to run away and just survive the best they can. Where is this world going? And will writing make any real difference for any of us? I guess it's an outlet like watching television or taking a hike on a nature trail or whatever we do to get away to escape. An outlet. Not like a discount mall, but a way to vent our minds. Lord knows my mind needs venting.
Battle of the Bands
December 1st of 2015 is here which means the end of the year is at our back door. It's also time for another installment of Battle of the Bands. This event which takes place on the 1st and 15th of each month was started by Far Away Eyes at Far Away Series. Blogger Stephen T McCarthy maintains the participant list and answers your questions about the event--you can find his blog with a list of participants at StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.
Here's what I'm asking of you: Listen to the song versions presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it. Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battles to vote on.
And now my song pick for this round of Battle of the Bands:
"Trouble of the World"
Also known as "Soon Ah Will Be Done", the song "Trouble of the World" is by most accounts a traditional Negro spiritual from the days of slavery. Later the song was formally arranged by 20th century composer and choir director William L. Dawson--his name will occasionally be credited on recordings of the song though usually the credit is listed as "Traditional". There are so many wonderful recordings of this song on YouTube that I could go for months having Battles that pitted the various versions against each other.
After I decided to use the song for a BOTB contest, news reports of terrorist attacks and so many other distressing events only served to emphasize the relevance of this song in our times. In past years I and other BOTB players have used traditional Christmas songs in our contests. Indeed this is not a traditional song of the Season, but since it has Christian subject matter I feel that the song is one that could easily be included in many Christmas programs.
Whatever the case may be, I'm using it because it's a darn good song that turns our minds to the birth of Jesus Christ and the messages he delivered to all of us. Our lives on this Earth are relatively short so we shouldn't get too overwhelmed by all the troubles we face while here.
Here are what I think are a couple of the better recordings of this song. I hope you enjoy them and are perhaps even blessed by them.
Mahalia Jackson "Trouble of the World" (1956)
My first exposure to Mahalia Jackson's version of "Trouble of the World" was in the heart-wrenching 1959 film remake of Imitation of Life which featured Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, and Mahalia Jackson herself. If you like tear-jerkers, you won't find many more powerful than this film. I've watched this many times and it never fails to leave me teary eyed. I highly recommend this fine film about racial injustice and family ties. A good tag line for this film might be a quote from the character Annie: "How do you tell a child that she was born to be hurt?" If you have not seen this film yet I encourage you to find it and then let me know what you think. I'm starting to cry just thinking about it.
In the mean time here's Mahalia Jackson's soulful rendition of "Trouble of the World".
Kevin Max "Trouble of the World" (2007)
Known as a vocalist with popular contemporary Christian groups dc Talk and Audio Adrenaline, Kevin Max also has a well established solo career with a number of LP's and EP's to his name. His version of "Trouble of the World" maintains the spirit of the rendition by Jackson while updating it with a solid rock spiritual sound and some very tasty instrumentation.
If Mahalia's version didn't grab you too much then maybe Max's version will do a bit more for you. Take a listen and compare.
For an alternate link if video below is not viewable please try this one: Trouble of the World
Time to Vote!
Do you like one of these versions better than the other? Don't let the subject matter of this song be a deterrent to your participation. Which song version do you enjoy the most? Judge what you hear in the above videos. It's up to you to help determine the winner.
Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours
Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:
‘FAR AWAY SERIES’
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
'Curious as a Cathy'
Sound of One Hand Typing
DC Relief Battle of the Bands
The Doglady's Den
Cherdo on the Flipside
Jingle, Jangle, Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting & Editing.
J. A. Scott
Holli's Hoots and Hollers
Results on Monday December 7th
What could be much more appropriate than announcing the winner of this contest on December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. Talk about trouble in the world and after 75 years things seem to have only gotten worse. I know this is the "Merry" season, but still it's hard to escape the fact that peace and compassion are often so elusive in our world.
Do you find yourself somewhat fixated at times on the troubles in this world? What do you think is the biggest world trouble that we face? Do you sometimes find it difficult to enjoy escapist literature when there are so many real problems to be addressed in our lives?