This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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

**

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Monongahela River ( #AtoZChallenge & #BOTB )

        Mysterious and foreboding was how the Monongahela River looked to be when I was a child.  My mother reminded me not to go too close to the river bank, but my own fear was the greatest deterrent to my getting near that water.  No way I wanted to fall into the murk and maybe disappear forever...
         

 
  #AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter M

  

Monongahela River 


Edith Barill Bridge (Star City Bridge) Near Granville WV  (Wikipedia)

         With a name that sounds like it could be a monster from a Japanese science fiction horror film, the Monongahela River crawls 130 miles across the Allegheny Plateau through West Virginia and Pennsylvania until it joins the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh to become the Ohio River.  It's a navigable river upon which one can often see barges loaded with coal.

         The Monongahela is not one of the big M rivers like the Mississippi River or the Missouri River  which are far more known to most people, but it is an important river for commerce and for the ecosystem.  It is a river that is more comparable in size to the Maumee River of Indiana and Ohio or the Maury River in Virginia. 

         When my mother started high school my grandparents moved to one of the older nice neighborhoods in Morgantown WV, but my mother had grown up  on the banks of the Monongahela River in nearby Granville where her father owned a general store and gas station. Several relatives still lived in Granville when I was a child and we would sometimes go to visit them.  My Aunt Kitty and Uncle Billy lived in a house with a back yard that ended up at the river bank.  My mother cautioned me about getting too near to the river for fear that I might fall in and drown.  I took her warnings seriously.

        Nevertheless, I loved watching the river and seeing the occasional coal laden barge floating downriver.  From my vantage point I could see the coal tipples climbing the hillsides on either side of the river as well as other crumbling old structures.  In his younger days, my grandfather had been an engineer on the railroad hauling coal down the Monongahela Valley.  The tracks still followed along the river when I was young though I can't say if I saw any trains running on them.  Maybe those tracks are still there. I haven't been there in many years.

         That old slow Monongahela River just plodded downstream and I would look at it wondering what was in the water.  How deep was it?   According to my research the river is at least 9 feet deep and maybe as deep as 20 feet.  Those big barges had to be able to get down the river to deliver the coal to the waiting customers.  I watched from my vantage point down by the river--but not too close.  The barges floated, but I wouldn't if I fell in.     


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 there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   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.



Down By The River (Not a Neil Young Song)

          Like my first BOTB installment at the beginning of this month, this Battle of the Bands is again dedicated to my friend from East Tennessee Marvin Lowe and also to another friend from high school, Vernon Clouse.   I'll have more to say about why in my results post next week.

          When most of us hear the title "Down By The River" we probably think of the Neil Young song by that name.  But there are other songs with this title and the Battle at hand features two different songs with a title that might be confused with other songs with the same phrase in their titles.  One is an obscure older tune while the other is from about 50 years later.  See which one you like best...  


 Beast "(Floating) Down By the River" (1969)

           This short-lived group was formed in Colorado Springs in 1968.  They are categorized as psychedelic jazz rock--in other words they were an eclectic group that dabbled in all sorts of styles and their debut album reflects this.  The band recorded two albums and toured for a couple of years before disbanding.   Here is their "Down by the River" song...



  




Milky Chance "Down By the River" (2014)  

        Milky Chance is an alternative rock group from Germany.  They've toured North America on occasion, but their greatest success has been in Europe.  They remain active with recording and performing...



Time to Vote!
        
          Why not float down these river songs and enjoy for a while.  Then play along in this Battle of the Bands.  I hope you'll at least give the versions a listen to discern your favorite.   Which version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 




Winner of this Battle Announced on Thursday April 22nd
           
           A to Z is still happening so you'll keep seeing daily posts on this site.  If you've voted in this Battle (which I really hope you do) then be sure to return on April 22nd to see which song recording was the crowd favorite.

          
         Is there a river from your childhood that haunts your dreams?    Did you hear any frightening river stories when you were a child?  Did you grow up with relatives around or did you have to travel to visit them?  









31 comments:

  1. Another great post of yet another great River. I've seen the Mississippi River also Missouri whilst in the Uk. You are most knowledgeable about your rivers Lee. Wonderful to read.

    I vote for Beast Floating (Down By Yhe River) am old enough to remember that.

    I am trying to continue with the challenge with great difficulty as I have arthitic Hands and is hard for me to type.
    Just thought I'd let you know.

    Take care.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I've seen a lot of rivers and while researching this A to Z series I've learned some interesting new facts.

      Keep up the good work in the Challenge. You can do it!

      A vote for Beast.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Lee,

    I grew up in southern WV, as you know. There was a creek (Little Slate Creek) that ran just behind our neighbor's house where we'd play a lot in the summer. It spilled into the Tug Fork River just a stone throw away. The water ran pretty swiftly most of the time and we didn't need any grown ups to tell us to stay away from it. I've always had a fear of water but after the flood of 1977 I was especially fearful of heavy down pours and swelling creek beds. I am familiar name only of the Monongahela River from my West Virginia History class in elementary school. I'm running behind on your series but hope to catch up a bit today with you.

    I like how you incorporated your A2Z theme in with your BoTB. I enjoyed both cover artists. The first act is old school and the second is a modern version to reflect the sound of today. Each song moves me totally different. In this early hour, my mind is swayed more by the 1969 mellow cover, so please give my vote to Beast. Great battle!


    Marvin the Martian Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketch

    Temptation Eyes BoTB Showdown

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, even a small creek can be a danger during big rains.

      Thank you for your vote for...

      Beast.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Living in Michigan (Michi gami) & having loads of areas & rivers with Native American names I assumed it was of that origin. Yup. My vote is for Milky Chance all the way!!! Great fun post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, the native peoples gave us a lot of our place names that we continue to use.

      A first vote for Milky Chance.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. You heard me mention the Welland River which I swam in but each year people drowned in that river because of the currents. To be honest, I never told my mom I swam across it with my friend. As for the song, I prefer Beast Floating Down By The River. It sounds much more melodic whereas the newer one I didn't care for at all mainly I hated the guy's voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I think many of us kept secrets from our moms so they wouldn't be upset about our daring escapades.

      A vote for Beast.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Huge river!
    I vote for Milky Chance, just because I like the music!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frederique, liking the music is what these Battles are all about.

      a vote for Milky Chance.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. I knew about the Monongahela river because my husband is a Pirates fan and we always watched the games where they inevitably talked about the three rivers that meet near the stadium.

    Janet’s Smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, Three Rivers Stadium is named because of the confluence of the rivers so it's an important fact that would get mentioned undoubtedly.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Spent quite a bit of time along the muddy Maumee. Right now we live near the north feeder, the St Joe. Neil Young's song was a staple for me back in the day when illegal canniboids were acceptable for my brain and lungs. Beast is similar to a lot of bands, both old and new, that I like. Get the weirdest sense of something I've heard before from Milky Chance. I vote MC by a whisker....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, Young's "Down By the River" was a mind opening experience in many ways for many of our generation. Now in CA the canniboids are legal for those who want to consume them.

      A vote for Milky Chance.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. I have always felt intrigued by water bodies. I can stand still for hours even if these are known haunted. The place I come from doesn't have Rivers nearby but these days, I am in a city which is known as city of lakes and I sit almost everyday near one or the other dam.

    may be, I am yet to feel something unusual or creepy about waters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunita, Where does the water for the lakes come from? I think usually it comes from rivers and often from rivers that are dammed. You will probably find some nearby rivers if you look more.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Dear Arlee, thanks for your A to Z on American rivers. The Monongahela river was probably one of the many rivers , forceably crossed by Native Americans, Cherokee ancestors, on orders of Theodore Roosevelt , before he was president, and wanted to clear land for European settlers. The infamous “ Trail of Tears “ highlighted in Cherokee town museum and fictionalized in a book : the nine moons.
    Neil Young, any day. You should try out Veronique Samson, French musician, songwriter and
    singer, companion to Nash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan B, a good many Native Americans had already assimilated or moved westward beyond the Monongahela before Teddy was around. The Trail of Tears was a sad misguided event but I guess it was all part of Manifest Destiny.

      I've listened to a lot of Neil Young in my years although I don't listen much anymore.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Falling into the river, I remember the stories of people disappearing in the Ocmulgee River near me. I can hear the cautions you heard.

    I picked Down by The River by Milky Chance. I'm not keen on Beast's technopop sound. The Milky Chance video of interesting in it's imagery of woodland nymphs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, falling into a river might be the last fall some people ever take especially when the current is swift.

      A vote for Milky Chance.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Oh, to have a river run past my backyard! Aside from La Llorona, the crying lady who supposedly stalked our dry riverbeds for kids to drown, our only worry was getting out of the way fast enough when the river did run unexpectedly. With that thought in mind, I liked Milky Chance for the quickening pulse it inspired.
    With four generations under one roof, just going downstairs was somewhat of a daily reunion ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, if I didn't have any small children to worry about I'd love a river in my backyard as long as my house was reasonable above the flood threat. A flash flood can be scary.

      A vote for Milky Chance.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. BOIDMAN ~

    Milky Chance was... tolerable.

    But BEAST -- Wow! Cool!

    I don't recall even hearing of Beast before, but I sure liked that song! It had a trance-like flow to it - almost like being down by a river and watching it slink along. And I really dug the flute. I listened to the song a second time just for the enjoyment.

    I might have to check out more of Beast's old tunes. The first time I played 'FLOATING (Down By The River)', I was thinking that their sound reminded me of some other band from that same era. The second time I played it, it dawned on me that this song, stylistically, sounds A LOT like Traffic, a band I always loved, and still do.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, back in the days when I was cruising the countryside with my friends, we listened to a lot of different music, but for a while much of the time if we weren't listening to Beast there was a good chance that we were listening to Traffic. The two were very eclectic bands that were listenable as well. You can find the whole first Beast album on YouTube--not sure about the other (never heard that one). Back in the day we found Beast albums in the cut-out bin and it wasn't that easy to find.

      A vote for Beast.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I vote for Beast.
    Loved it when I first heard it and still today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marvin, it's still a great song with a nice relaxing mood.

      A vote for Beast.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Neil Young gets my vote, but I really liked Milky Chance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEE ~

      I want to change my vote from Beast and vote for Mike instead.

      Yeah, I know that Mike isn't a competitor in this Battle, but if he can get away with it... then so can I!
      ;^)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Mike, Neil Young's "Down By the River" was my first BOTB entry so many years ago.

      Another vote for Milky Chance.

      (And no Stephen you can't change your vote to Mike)

      Lee

      Delete
  15. I grew up in a little town in the middle of nowhere in southern India.. and a river ran right alongside it.. We avoided going too close to it during the rainy season but during dry season, we could wade half-way through!!
    Your post brought back those memories like they were yesterday..
    Those Wonderful Muses of Poetry & How to Find Your Right Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lady, during a flood season a river is at its deadliest. Don't want to take many risks in flooded river waters.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee