Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Dilly, Dilly, and to All a Good Night! (#BOTB Results)


Christmas time means end of the year which often calls for a bit of introspection and a lot of retrospection.  Sounds like this could be time better spent on other things, but still I'll add my thoughts about the year in entertainment...



Looking Back on 2018

        Since I don't keep up with music much anymore, I'm not very familiar with anything that came out this year.  I think most of it probably sounded like stuff that came out in previous years.  Don't ask me about current music because I don't know much.  This past year I mostly focused on my own songs.  Now to figure out what to do about them.

        Sadly, I haven't been keeping up with reading.  When I read, it's mostly older books or non-fiction.  With all the crazy stuff going on around us everyday, who needs to read fiction?  Things get more fantastical every day so I don't need any fantastical story to carry me to another realm.

       Since retirement I've been watching more television than I've watched at any time since my pre-college days.  That's not been the best thing for me, but I've fallen into a bit of a habit.  Unfortunately for me (or is it a good thing?), most of the TV shows that I get into seem to get cancelled or just disappear without any fanfare.  As usual I guess mainstream tastes don't match mine or perhaps there is something more nefarious afoot.  There have been some TV shows that I've liked a lot that apparently most other people don't care about.  So it goes.

       Finally, there are the movies.  As a bit of a refresher, I had to look up the movies that came out in 2018.  I came to the realization that not only had I seen very few new movies (about 5 or so), but I've not even heard of a good many of them.  I definitely have not been keeping up with new movie releases!  Of the few 2018 movies that I did watch, there are none that I would likely watch again because I was essentially unimpressed.  Were there any good movies that came out in 2018?  Not for me I guess.  Or at least I haven't seen them yet.

         So that's my retrospective look at 2018 from the standpoint of entertainment.  Not very enlightening I suppose.   This was a mostly good year for me, but the good parts came from my own life and the things associated with it.  Hollywood has little to offer me nor does much of the rest of the world of entertainment.  Maybe that world has become too obsessive with messages and agendas.

          I live less than 20 miles from Hollywood, but you'll rarely find me there.  Normally I only go to Hollywood if I have a visitor who wants to see the area attractions.  There's nothing in Hollywood that I particularly need.  If I saw a celebrity or a movie star it's likely that I wouldn't know who the hell they were.   But they wouldn't know who I am either.   I guess that puts us on an equal plane and that's about the only thing we'd have in common.

         Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!   Make your own life and memories.  Don't let someone who doesn't really care about you decide what you should and shouldn't like.

         And that's as controversial as I'm going to get for now.   I'd hate to offend anyone.


Battle of the Bands Results


       My previous Battle was between versions of "Lavender Blue" that came from two different Disney films.  The first was a more widely known version by Burl Ives first recorded in 1949 while the second appeared in a live action version of "Cinderella" that came 66 years later.

       I kind of thought that there would be more voters who wouldn't care for Burl Ives' voice or the old style of the song while more would appreciate the updated style of the song.  With a different voter demographic this probably would have been the case, but the voters for this Battle went for the more traditional sound.   I did too--my vote went to Burl Ives.


Final Vote Tally

Burl Ives                21 votes

Muffin Songs           5 votes



Next Battle of the Bands on Tuesday January 1, 2019

       I'll be back on the blog next year for my first Battle of the Bands post of 2019.  Next year is really only a matter of days away, but I can use the blog break.  Of course, if the whim hits me, I might post before then, but don't count on it.

       Again, Merry Christmas!

      What great innovative music did you hear over the past year?  Are there any television shows that captivated you in 2018?   Please, please name a movie from 2018 that is not only worth watching, but worth adding to my home film library to watch more than once?






Saturday, December 15, 2018

Lavender Blue ( #BOTB )


 Wishing a Merry Christmas to my NJ grandkids Dilly, Lillie, Marley, Gracie, and Tommy!  I'm going to miss this holiday season with you, but look for me in the summer...


Dilly ready to rock!



Dilly as Chucky for Halloween
Dilly Dilly

        My youngest grandchild in New Jersey recently celebrated her first birthday.  She somehow acquired the nickname of "Dilly" though her real name is Logan (inspired by the 2017 superhero film of the same name).  Everyone says that she is the happiest baby they've ever seen and every time I've been around her she has had such a sweet disposition, smiling away at everyone she sees.  When I heard my daughter calling her "Dilly" the first thing that came to my mind was the old song "Lavender Blue".  In honor of her recent first birthday I've dedicated this round of Battle of the Bands to Dilly...


Battle of the Bands

      Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs 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 Battle action.

Lavender Blue

        Originally an English folk song dating back to the 17th century, this tune was reworked in 1949 for the Disney film So Dear To My Heart in which a version sung by Burl Ives was featured.  The song was nominated for a "Best Song" Academy award, but lost out to the now controversial song "Baby, It's Cold Outside".

         Since the song's revival by Ives, many versions have been recorded over the years.  In 2015 Disney used an updated version of the song for the live action film version of Cinderella.   With so many wonderful versions of "Lavender Blue" from which to choose, I thought it most appropriate during the festive season of Christmas and in honor of granddaughter Logan to use these two versions from Disney films released some 66 or so years apart...

Burl Ives   "Lavender Blue"  (1949)

      This is not the movie version.  There are a few versions by Ives to be found on YouTube, but I liked this one best since it's the version I know best.  At least I think it is...  





Muffin Songs   "Lavender's Blue"  (2015)

          Everywhere I looked I saw this version attributed to "Muffin Songs".   Since I don't feel like doing any more research that I've done then I'm going to stick with Muffin Songs as the artist...





Time to Vote!

      Don't be silly, this Battle's for Dilly!  Vote!  Don't let this cute kid down. 
 What's your favorite between these two choices?  Do you prefer the old or the new?  Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         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:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday December 21st

        I'm going to announce the winner of this Battle on Friday since Monday will be Christmas Eve and that doesn't seem like a great time to do that post.   I'll be home for Christmas this year which means I'll likely be taking it easy with no travelling in store.   It's hard to believe that another year is coming to a close.

       Have you seen either of the films mentioned in this post?  Are you familiar with the traditional folk song from which "Lavender Blue" was derived?   What will you be doing for Christmas?






Monday, December 10, 2018

It Ain't Easy Being an Angel (#BOTB Results)


      There are times when we just do things because they are the right things to do at that particular moment in time.  If we think too much about what we believe to be the right thing to do, then we give ourselves ample opportunity to talk ourselves out of doing them.  The brain can be an insidious device that cultivates fear and inaction...

         
Battle of the Bands Results


      My most recent Battle was between country superstars Alabama and the far lesser known Tutti Druyan singing the song "Angels Among Us".  The outcome was predictable, but I liked the idea of using the song in lieu of more tradition Christmas fare.  I enjoyed Tutti's version, but like most of you I had a preference for Alabama.  Thanks to all who voted!

Final Vote Tally

Alabama              18

Tutti Druyan          4


Next Battle on Saturday December 15th!

       It's coming soon!  This Saturday in fact!  Be there for my next song offering for the Christmas season. 

        Do you have a good internal guardian who keeps you from making a lot of rash dumb decisions?  How often do you talk yourself into being afraid?  What is the greatest decision you've made that was essentially irrational with a potentially disastrous outcome?








Wednesday, December 5, 2018

So That Answers That Question! ( #IWSG )



If you haven't voted on my Battle of the Bands for December 1st then you can go here and cast a vote for your favorite song version of "Angels Among Us".  




The Insecure Writer's Support Group



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


The co-hosts for the December 5 posting of the IWSG are J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey--Stop by their blogs to say "thank you!"  



December 5 question - What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?





     Was that "5" or "500"?   One might wonder looking at the above photo of my writing space.  Actually I've cleaned up the space since that picture was taken some months ago, but still it's pretty bad.  I tend to accumulate stuff since my writing space is also a multi-use area where I do all sorts of things. 

       So what are five objects that would always tend to be found in my writing space?  

       1)  My house phone:  If it rings then I don't want to be going to another room to answer it.  Though it might not be a bad idea to have to get up since that would provide some much needed exercise.

        2)  Pens and paper:   I don't often use pens and paper for writing these days, but sometimes I do feel an urge to scribble something down.

        3)  Miscellaneous office supplies:  Stapler, paper clips, scissors, and so on--after all, this space is my "office" so I should have office supplies even if I rarely use any of them.

       4)  Sound entertainment system:   I don't know if these are still called "boom boxes", but I do have a combo with radio/CD/cassette tape just in case I want to listen to music or talk radio.  I don't listen to these like I used to, but it's there if I need some background sounds. 

         5) My Computer:   This is the most important item since this is how I do most of my writing as well as research.   What did people do before there were computers anyway?  Well, I do know, but I don't think I want to go back to that time.

         So that also partially answers the question as to why I don't get much writing done.  Maybe I'd be better off taking a notebook and a pen to sit beside a secluded waterfall or upon a mountain top to write without distractions.  Are you kidding?  Then I'd be watching the water or looking at the view instead of writing.  I can always find an excuse not to do things I probably should be doing.

 
         Do you tend to accumulate clutter on your desk?  Do you have a desk?  Do you prefer to write at home or some other place?










Saturday, December 1, 2018

Angels Among Us (#BOTB)


      Reach out to a friend in need, or for that matter someone you don't know--not just during this Christmas season, but all through the year...

Be an Angel!
       


Battle of the Bands

      Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs 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 Battle action.

Angels Among Us

       Not exactly a Christmas song, but it fits in well with the spirit of the Season.  This song was first released by the country group Alabama in 1993.  In this Battle I take the risk of putting the original artists up against an internet artist that you probably don't know.  Either way, enjoy the song and maybe let the message soak in some.  Let's be like angels during this Christmas season and then keep on doing it through the year to come...

 Alabama  "Angels Among Us"    (1993)
          
       From Fort Payne Alabama, this group touts its home state as their group name.  These fellows started playing together in 1969 under the name Wildcountry, but after changing their name to Alabama in 1977 they started hitting the music charts eventually becoming one of the biggest bands in the country music genre. 




Tutti Druyan  "Angels Among Us"  (2013)

     Tutti is a successful singer, actor, and voice-over artist from Israel.  She began her career at age 3 and now at age 25 she can be considered a veteran in the entertainment business.







Time to Vote!
      Come on!  Don't be a Grinch!  Vote!
  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         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:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside


A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday December 10th

           You'll have plenty of time to vote on this one even though I'll have an #IWSG post on Wednesday the 5th.  Busy time ahead for many of us as we head toward the New Year.  Can you believe we're reaching the end of yet another year? 

           Have you ever experienced an "angelic" encounter?   Do you do any volunteer projects that help others?   What is a nice gesture that you would recommend that others do to help someone who needs an angel?






Monday, November 26, 2018

Just Thinking As We Approach Year's End (déjà vu)



This is a re-post from my currently inactive memoir blog Wrote By Rote.  This post first appeared on December 31, 2011.   





Winds of Change Without Awareness--A New Year's Eve Once Upon a Time

                                                             Image via Wikipedia

I try to remember but I can't. It's the exact year that I don't remember, or most of the details of that evening. I do know it was New Year's Eve.

I was married to my second wife, Susan, at the time. We were in Tennessee at my parents' house. This is where we typically spent New Year's Eve. It was the more happening place between going to Richmond, Virginia, where her parents lived, and being with my family, who were the more fun party people.

My father was still alive at the time, our kids were still babies, and my wife and I were still in our thirties. The house was aglow with lights and music and chatter and laughter as the festivities pressed on toward the turning over of one year to the next. Everyone was having a grand time.

At one point Susan and I decided to go out into the dark quiet of the night to take a break from the activity in the house. It was unseasonably warm that end of December night. Strangely and unseasonably warm--more like a summer night, but with the crisp dryness of autumn.

In silence, we strolled into the expansive back yard to a point that was about fifty yards from the house and sat down side by side in the desiccated winter grass. Wordless, we smoked a joint under a cloudless starry sky and basked in the comforting balminess of the evening breeze. Gazing upon the big house with lights in every window silhouetted against the black night sky, I slipped into a meditation.

Here from where we sat in the back yard, the lights, the house, the people seemed so far away, and it was only Susan and I with our life together beautiful and filled with so much promise. A feeling of serenity and security enveloped me as I clutched Susan's hand. I felt that now was forever and this moment would have no end.

Then a whoosh of warm wind swept over us and I felt exhilarated. With a deep breath I leaned forward to breathe in the moment. It was only Susan and I. Our world was perfect. A mental image of a distant future filled my mind--a place peaceful and beautiful where my wife and I would grow older together and watch our grandchildren grow and we would fade into the twilight years happy with the satisfaction of dreams fulfilled.

That was then, one moment on a New Year's Eve many years ago. Not too many years after that night it ended. Things changed and became different. I'm not even sure what happened or why it happened, but only that it did happen. Susan left and what we had was over. Any dreams she had once had about us were simply shrugged off as she moved on, leaving me to shoulder the burdens of memory and the confusion of questioning why things had come to the point they had reached.

It was one New Year's Eve when things were weirdly warm and sublimely wonderful. It was only an illusion--my personal illusion I guess. The winds bring change that we don't even realize, things we don't understand even after they've blown past us. Life sweeps us forward to where the next adventure awaits. There is time for memories, but no real time for memories. The memories are only illusion.

A new year is a new year and an old year is an old year and all of the years just blend together. Our minds capture certain memories isolated without reference other than the years that came before and the years that followed, whichever those years might have been. And even then we sometimes don't know which years or why.

Capture this moment in time. Savor it and breathe it in deeply. This is the last time you will ever be here.

            Have you ever been swept by a magical wind?   When your expectations aren't fulfilled do you accept your circumstances with a shrug or clenched fists?   How much has your life changed in the past seven years?








Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Bob Beats Bob! (#BOTB Results)

May all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Eat well  and rest often--a recipe for a decent life.


Battle of the Bobs

         Let's just get to the point of the post:  Who won the Battle of the Bobs

          It's not a big surprise to me who won this match, though I do think it could have gone the other way.  I thought Bob Dylan did a credible and maybe even more convincing job of presenting the song.  He gave a wistful reflection that I could believe he had experienced.  But even though I liked Dylan's version a lot, like the rest of you I gave my vote to Bob Darin.  The orchestration was a big plus for me.  It put me in mind of records my mother used to listen to like Percy Faith with his lush strings. 

      Both versions carried me back to sweet memories and younger days.  But the song does that with its lyrics and dreamy melody.  This song has really touched me over the past week.  Once upon a time...don't we all think about that now and again?

Final Vote Tally

Bob Darin            19 votes

Bob Dylan             5 votes



Next Battle of the Bands on Saturday December 1

         My December Battles won't be Christmas songs, but I use some themes that are related to Christmas things.  Again, have a fantastic Thanksgiving.









Thursday, November 15, 2018

Once Upon a Time (Battle of the Bobs) (#BOTB)


     Knowing how to begin and where to begin is sometimes the biggest challenge in story-telling.  That is the point where readers will often decide whether a story is worth their time.

How Do I Begin?

         If you're doing NaNoWriMo this year then you are likely not reading this post of mine, but many who do read are writers so you still might have the concern of how to start a piece.  "Once upon a time" is an oft-used standard approach--trite perhaps--but it can be effective either verbatim or in some variant.  A story has to begin somewhere to fit within the parameters of a readers expectations and economic use of words.

        Then again I suppose any story can begin in any place that seems appropriate.  It depends on what a writer is trying to achieve and what is the most important information to give readers in order to achieve said purpose.

           "Once upon a time"?--it's a vague reference that begs continuance.

           Midway into NaNo month I hope participants are meeting goals while being productive and having fun.  But let's take a moment to listen to some music.  It's the "Battle of the Bobs"  and they both have a story to tell in their own personal styles.  Enjoy...


Battle of the Bands

      Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs 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 Battle action.


Once Upon a Time

          This pop standard comes from the 1962 musical All American.  I don't know the musical, but I know the song well.  It has been recorded by numerous artists over the years.  It is a very slow but beautiful song.  I hope you'll give it a chance as it tells a wistful, but familiar story.  In this current Battle I offer two versions by two Bobs--Bob Darin and Bob Dylan.  These live performances were recorded fifty years apart.  The story never changes...



Bob Darin   "Once Upon a Time"   (1966)




Bob Dylan   "Once Upon a Time"  (2016)





Time to Vote!

       
Now that you've heard the beginning of my blog post story, it's time for an ending where you provide an outcome with your votes.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         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:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced Wednesday November 21st

         Hope you take the time to listen and enjoy these song stylings.  Maybe you'll want to listen when you are wanting to get in a mellow mood.  I can understand if you might get bored, but really--this is a beautiful song and each rendition is special.  May the best Bob win.

          Do you find it difficult to write good openings to stories or other written works?   Are you more challenged by how to begin or how to finish?    Do you like hearing Bob Dylan sing pop standards?












Wednesday, November 7, 2018

My Theory of Evolution ( #IWSG & #BOTB Results)


       I didn't start out my writing life as one of a million monkeys with a typewriter, but as a regular ol' kid with a number 2 pencil and some lined notebook paper.  No monkeys in my family tree as far as I'm concerned though a few of us have been known to monkey around...

The Insecure Writer's Support Group



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

Co-hosts for the November 7 posting of the IWSG are Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman--be sure to stop by their blogs to thank them.


November 7 question - How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

      Since I've been writing as far back as the third grade, my creative life has grown along with my life in general.   I began thinking in musical terms as I began writing poetry and songs.  I played violin in the school orchestra.   I learned to juggle and joined our family juggling act.  Experience has been my greatest teacher.  A curiosity about life and the world around me evolved into a quest to create

       Writing certainly did not set off my creative life, however writing became an integral part of my creative life.  The ability to express myself through written word opened up a whole new world of imagination, communication, and analysis.  I welcomed most writing projects in school when others dreaded the idea.  In my spare off-school time I would often turn to writing as well as reading. I imagined myself as a writer early on.

        Maybe it would be more accurate to say that my writing evolved in tandem with my creative life.  Writing has just been one part of the creative side of me.  It has been but one of the many things that I am.  


Battle of the Bands Results



        This most recent Battle put Michael Jackson against Willie Nelson with the old ballad "All the Things You Are".   From the outset I figured that Willie would pretty well out-distance Michael in the final vote count, but I wasn't concerned about a shut-out for this match because I was sure there would be a few who don't care much for Willie Nelson's vocals.  I was right.  No shut-out and actually not a horrible outcome for the late King of Pop.

        Since "All the Things You Are" is one of those songs that I like a great deal, I had been planning on using it for quite some time.  Finding the unique disco take by Michael Jackson cinched that choice as one for me to use since it was new to me and I quite frankly liked it.   Still Willie does the song the way I think it should be done and does it exquisitely.  I've got to join in with the majority and cast my vote for Willie.


Final Vote Tally

Michael Jackson       5

Willie Nelson           16


Next Battle of the Bands on Thursday November 15th

          I'm doing a special NANO tribute post for my upcoming Battle of the Bands face-off.   This one will be a bit quirky and a Battle that I think you'll have some fun with.

         
      Did you enjoy writing when you were in school?   Which of your talents have you honed the most in your life?   What would you most want to be known for at the end of your days in this world?  







Thursday, November 1, 2018

All the Things You Are (#BOTB)


        There are so many things in life that we might dream of being.  On Halloween we can be some of those things for a fantasy fun time.  Sometimes the fun gets lost in the fantasy...


Sloppy the Clown Mask
from Morris Costumes
All the Things We've Been

       Another Halloween gone by and I hope yours was okay.  I've tended to mostly ignore Halloween since I stopped working in the business.  But the event of Halloween had a good run through my childhood.  I dressed up every year until high school and made my rounds candy gathering.  I was good at that sport, reaping a stash that would always last until the day after Thanksgiving.  On that Friday I'd either eat up whatever was left (and typically not much good was left by then) and then I'd dump the rest unceremoniously.

        Over the years we've seen so many costumes come and go as well as the traditional favorites that have likely been around for decades.  My mother usually bought us the packaged costumes.  One of my better costumes was the one I wore in 1962 when I was 11 years old.  My mother was in the hospital giving birth to my brother, Jeff, so my sister and I had to put together homemade costumes.  She used some old dance clothes and went as a ballerina.  I patched together some old clothes and hoop earrings and went as a pirate complete with facial hair drawn on with an eyebrow pencil.   Looking at a photo taken by a neighbor, I must say that my sister and I looked rather professionally costumed--far better than those prepackaged jobs we'd always gotten in previous years.

        It's not surprising to me that I eventually went into entertaining on stage and later managed a costume company.  I've played a lot of roles in my life, but we all do wouldn't you say?   Each day we can appear in different ways to different people.  Sometimes pretending just seems to be the way things are.  Some of us do our pretending with our writing.  With NANO now upon us there will likely be a lot of mental role playing as participants write (or attempt to write) their novels.

         What are your roles?   Who will you be tomorrow?   Or maybe we should just listen to a song about a more metaphoric, poetic way to look at this question...

Battle of the Bands 

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs 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 Battle action.

All the Things You Are

         This Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein tune was originally written for the mostly now forgotten 1939 musical Very Warm for May.  This is the most well known song from this "lost musical" having appeared in a few subsequent films and recorded by a myriad of artists over the years.  Unique in its melody and chord progression, the song has become a true jazz and pop standard.

        "All the Things You Are" is another of those haunting melody songs that I have heard and loved since I was a child.   My BOTB post of a year ago today was another similar type song, "Where or When" which was from the 1937 musical Babes in Arms.   Sadly, songwriters of recent times don't seem to write as many melodies such as these songs. 

          For this Battle I've chosen relatively recent versions by two very well known artists.  Who wins for you?  I have a feeling how this will turn out, but I'm almost always surprised by the outcomes of these Battles.   Take a listen to both and tell us who you like the best...
     

Michael Jackson  "All the Things You Are"  (1973)

         This recording comes against a visual backdrop of earlier live performances by MJ and his brothers before he became the "King of Pop" serving as a reminder of a more innocent but still immense talent that Michael Jackson was.  This version gets a lively injection of disco pop sound which might just get you to dancing in your seats...





Willie Nelson  "All the Things You Are"  (1994?)

        Slowing things down more in keeping with the original versions of the song, this video comes from a live performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.   I'm not sure about the exact date, but I'm guessing he was promoting the album that featured this song and that one came out in 1994.  With lush orchestration and Willie's expressive vocals, this rendition of the song might instill a reverie filled with memories or it might bore you to death.  You'll have to decide and let us know...





Time to Vote!

       
With elections coming up this is a good opportunity to get in voting practice while having fun.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         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:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced Wednesday November 7th

       Not only will the winner of the above Battle be announced next Wednesday, but I'll also be submitting my contribution to The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Best of luck to all of you who will be participating in NANO.  I've chosen not to be a part of this once again, but that's become a tradition with me--not participating.  

        Are you doing NANO this year?   Did you dress up for Halloween?  Do you like to fantasize about living a life other than what you're living now?  What would that be?