Seven Songs Meme
I have a blog called Bazungu Bucks which I sometimes post to. Mostly I have a blog because I love to read and leave comments on other blogs. It seems like a good idea to play along. But I get stuck about what to write sometimes. Another blogger Daisy tagged me with a blog meme. Generally I react to these blog tagging games rather like chain letters and avoid them. But I was stuck about what to write and this one seemed fun. Play along if you like.
Seven Songs Meme
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring-summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.
I listed seven songs at my blog with links to YouTube. I would have embedded the videos, but of my one or two blog readers at least one is in Uganda and Internet speeds do do YouTube and my blog is already too slow to load.
A friend left a comment with seven songs. David Pohl is an artist, illustrator and musician. He is also a treasured friend. He has a great collection of recorded music and generally listens to music as he does his illustration work. He has encyclopedia knowledge of music and he also knows me pretty well. So I eagerly followed his links to seven songs at YouTube.
Of the many great discoveries here at Ned, I'm particularly grateful to Linda Nowakowski for introducing me to Buddhist Economics. The problem of why social science theories always seem so inadequate, or just plan bad, has puzzled me for a long time. So I've been interested in scholars who have tackled the problem head on. Among them is the architect Christopher Alexander. Alexander begins the first book in an important series on Architecture by introducing "The Quality":
There is a central quality which is the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town, a building, or a wilderness. This quality is objective and precise, but it cannot be named.
From my instruction in Christianity and a boy something akin to this quality with no name had made me think. I was taught that the answer to what is a sacrament is: An outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace. Even as a boy the words were meaningful, I thought I knew wherefore this grace. But a name for that grace is hard to pin down. So I was really excited when I first read Alexander to see a scholar take seriously this quality. Mostly scholars divide the world into stuff, ever more finely, and then there is form, pattern difference, relationship, etc. which it often seems is merely a background not able to be studied. Some radical materialist proclaim it is all stuff. But how can this quality be stuff?
Linda has been thinking hard about how to tell Buddhist Economics to people in the West and also the opposite side of the coin about how to tell people in the East that the Western ideology of more doesn't lead to happiness. That Linda is engaged in the serious study of economics following the presumption that happiness is important, show she's approaching social science in different way; a way where not all that matters is stuff.
What any of this has to do with seven songs is a bit of a mystery, or as all my stories are, long. But David among his songs linked to Holding Back the Years sung by Jimmy Scott. I had heard of Jimmy Scott, but I'm not sure I ever heard him sing. But hearing the song made me stop whatever else I was doing. I noticed there was a smile on my face. There is a quality in Scott's singing.
I can't name the quality, but his singing reminded me of other great vocalists. I thought of Joao Gilberto, here is an old video singing Desafinado. (I don't speak Portuguese, but the lyrics rendered into English are lovely.) What is the quality I'm responding to? Perhaps it's an expression of vulnerability in both Scott's and Gilberto's singing? I also thought of Shirley Horn. Here she's singing If You Love Me. These songs bring a smile to my face in a particular way.
Alexander in his book The Timeless Way of Building goes on at length about the quality with no name. He ends with something that seems appropriate to what I'm resonating with in these songs:
The quality which has no name includes these simpler sweeter qualities. But it is so ordinary as well, that it somehow reminds us of the passing of our life.
It is a slightly bitter quality.
Please if you want to list some songs you're loving this summertime.
Edit: Fixed link to Desafinado
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