Saturday, April 21, 2012

Music of S: Samuel Barber, Israel, and Section 9

With only 8 music blogs left, I present the letter S!

If you can make it past the first song, I promise you, the last one is a feel-good song. Scout's honor.

1. Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings"
I'm not sure if I should blame or thank my blogging buddy Caitlin over at Logically for turning me on to this song. Last November during NaNo, we were talking on Twitter about good writing music. I think I asked for sad music, or maybe she just offered it. Either way, I remember Cait telling me it was one of the saddest pieces of music she had ever heard. Ever the skeptic (and one who had listened to some incredibly sad tunes in her day), I took the challenge. She's not too far off, gang. This piece of classical music is painfully beautiful. Set against the poem in the video below makes it all the more powerful.

2. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World"
I'm almost done with funeral songs, I promise. Unfortunately, I've lost too many incredibly important family members in my short life and I have songs tied in my heart to that person's memory. I selected this song for the service of the man who was like a father to me growing up. Seeing as my father died when I was 10, I don't use that phrase lightly. Thinking of you, TWC.

3. "Section 9" by The Polyphonic Spree
Okay, let's lighten it up, shall we? It is Saturday, after all. Thank you, Scrubs, for introducing me to this totally bizarre musical troupe. This is one of those situations where there really are no words. Just turn it up and feel inspired. This song shows up on my half marathon play list somewhere around mile 10 or 11. Not quite the finish line, but close enough to the end to remind me to keep going. "Just follow the day and reach for the sun..."

(ETA: I'm not sure how to feel about this song being used for The Lorax movie. Really? The Lorax? Sigh. Fine. Whatever. I still think of Scrubs.)

Okay, S is also for Saturday so you tell me--what tunes do you like to listen to on a Saturday to get you up and dancing? And watch out for Monday's "T" post. It looks like there will be more videos than usual!


  1. The first time I heard Polyphonic Spree was at a late-night event at the Dallas Museum of Art. The DJ played this song while I was looking at impressionist paintings and I had some kind of transcendental moment. I started dancing in the gallery! :)

  2. I'm sorry you lost someone who was like a second father. Nice that you were able to select a song for his funeral.

  3. Who doesn't smile when hearing that version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow? So cool.

    And this morning I had a little Snow Patrol listening session. Pure coincidence it was an "S" band.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  4. Adore the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole song - I first heard it during the credits of "Finding Forrester." IMDB lists no less than twenty movies and shows that have used it, and no wonder.

    And I heard the other two from movies, too: Adagio for Strings will always remind me of "Platoon," and the Polyphonic Spree song was in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

    1. I first heard Israel Kamakawiwo'ole during the episode of ER where Goose/Dr. Greene died. At least, I'm pretty sure that was the same episode.

      And I've never seen Platoon or Eternal Sunshine. I'm afraid they'll both depress the hell out of me, but I feel like I really should see Platoon.

    2. Yeah, that episode was listed at IMDB, and it worked really well there.

      And both movies will depress you, but if you can handle the warfare, Platoon should be seen.

  5. It doesn't get me up and dancing, but Chopin and Sibelius do help me to ease into the day...

  6. That version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is one of my favorites!

  7. I love that version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

    Check out the music of Steve Goodman.


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