Grief is sorrow's child - John Adams
A Father Was Dying
When my father was dying some years ago, I happened to hear this wonderful piece of music on classical radio in Kansas City (at that time, KXTR). But I couldn't stop to write it down. By the time I was able to pull off and notate it on a sack of groceries I had with me, I could no longer remember the composer of the music or the title of the song.
But it has remained with me since that time. I wish I had had it when my brother died some years ago.
Suddenly, on Sunday while I was getting ready to go for a hike, KDFC-FM (the classical music station for northern California) played this piece after all these years.
I rushed home, got onto KDFC's website (kdfc.com), and there it was under a 3:45 pm listing - the song that I had waited so long for.
Ignore the short commercial before the piece.
The song is from the Auvergne region of France, where I had happy memories twenty years ago. It's a stunningly beautiful area, This song is in the Auvergne dialect. Joseph Canteloube, I know now, is the composer.
An English subtitled version is at the bottom of the page.
But what impresses me most about this song is that it is about sorrow. And I'm feeling a lot of sorrow at the moment. While the multi-million Olympics were going on in London, families were being killed in Syria by the thousands, young people were being raped in the Congo, and the situation elsewhere - in Somalia, for example - is very dire.
There are so many contrasts in this world, happening at the same time.
The news media talk about these tragedies, but it is in a very distant voice, just like Iraq. When are we - Americans- going to hear the voices of real people as their sons, daughters, husbands are killed. When are we going to hear our own veterans speak?
Could you stand it?
To me, this song represents all the sorrow that is being felt around the world.
And yet it is also uplifting, in a very unusual sort of way.
Here is a version with paintings - also quite nice.
Is there a favorite song which helps you to go through sorrowful times?
Share it here.