Photo Credit – photonigeria – flickr creative commons – all rights reserved
I wrote the song, Black Water, immediately upon reading a grippingly sad article by Tom O’Neill with haunting photos by Ed Kashi in National Geographic’s February, 2007 issue. I attempted to contact Mr. O’Neill in 2007 about my song but there was no response. I have recently found photos on flickr from the Niger Delta area which, though not as graphic as those taken by Ed Kashi, compliment the song beautifully. Here is the original NatGeo article. I appeal to you to read it.
In this song I tried to personalize the sadness, suffering, crime, illness and the destruction that 50 years of oil development had inflicted upon a valid, dignified way of life practiced by the people of the Niger Delta. Thanks to photonigeria, I’ve been able to present the song in a dramatic, dignified fashion on YouTube.
Comments are very welcome.
Just to prove that I’m not alone here whining (and singing) in the forest…
Oh shit! Pete’s gone!
On February 2 Michael Enright played the following quote from his 2000 A.D. interview with Pete Seeger – while interviewing Alec Wilkinson about his short (at Pete’s insistence) biography of Pete called The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger.
The average person is now gradually coming to realize that settling problems with guns, bombs and other forms of violence will have to be phased out – quickly or slowly. The bombs have gotten too powerful and war is no longer something that is engaged in by a few professional soldiers. It’s something that wipes out whole countries and civilian populations Continue reading
“The days of the moneylender have arrived, and the days of the swaggering privateer; banker sits down with banker, and kings are their waiting boys.”
The above insight from the reflection of Thomas Cromwell on the new type of power in 16th C. Europe. Another surprise from the Booker Prize winning Hilary Mantel. I laughed out loud when I saw this on page 142 of Bring Up The Bodies. Cromwell is thinking that, despite his low birth and the repeated, jealous insults of the nobility in Henry’s court, he is the second most powerful man in England next to the king, and, perhaps, the most influential.
That from December, 1536.
Has the dominion of the banks over all types of planetary power, at its apex in this scary 21st Century, been growing ever since then?
Mantel won the Booker Prize for Wolf Hall, Volume I of her planned trilogy on the life and times of the powerful Cromwell. She won a second Booker for this one, Volume II, in 2012. Will her last in this series, due in 2015, win an incredible hat trick?
A long-time writer of immense taste, imagination and skill, her sprinkling of erudite LOL moments of pithy surprise throughout these works only compounds this reader’s delight.
Mack the Knife is one of my favorite songs of all time. I’ve been a fan of Bobby Darin since well before his 1959 version was a #1 hit in the US. I found Darin’s lyrics quite faithfully recorded at sing365.com, making only slight changes in spelling or caps for my chart below. The song was originally in a German operetta – music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertholt Brecht – that premiered in Berlin in 1928. The history of this song is a musical education in itself- fascinating! I was motivated to learn to play this one in response to a request by one of the complex care patients I entertain on Mondays at the local hospital. The reason I’d passed over it before is because it rises chromatically five times from concert Bb to Eb. It was beyond my guitar chops in 1959 to put this together, but if you can play bar chords it’s not that tough to follow what I’ve done here. If you plunk your capo on fret 1 you can start off in a comfy A and play along with this great YouTube video shared by Armadilloman.
Mack The Knife – Bobby Darin version
Using a capo for this piece isn’t all that necessary. I just like the way it ends with me playing in a comfy key of D which, because of the capo, sounds like Eb, a key I still shy away from if I can.
About that last, very cool, chord: Continue reading