Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to see my latest haiku published yesterday.

The world is dying Humankind has abused it Now’s the time to heal Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly […]

Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Almost a Cat-astrophe

Yesterday the sky was filled with dark grey clouds and it looked very unlikely that I should get to see the annular eclipse. If we were lucky, people across the UK would be treated to views of a crescent sun as the moon appeared to partially block out the sun. In other parts of the world the “ring of fire” would be visible from places such as Canada, Greenland and northern Russia.

I was kitted out with polarised lenses for my glasses, and with my trusty camera. The only problem was that although I can look directly towards the sun with my lenses attached I cannot then see the screen of my camera so it was a case of lenses on, look at the sun, lenses off, look at the camera – repeat ad infinitum. I do not have a tripod – a lack I will have to address!

Here are the results: (My camera time is one hour behind)

Song Lyric Sunday – 27 December 2020 – Heart of the Country

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Odor /Scent /Smell /Taste this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week I’m pondering on the final concert, and the final public performance, of The Beatles, Paul and Linda McCartney’s move to the Mull of Kintyre, and the beauty of that part of the world. I was fortunate to live in the Outer Hebrides for two years, based in Ballivanich, on the Isle of Benbecula. Wild, sparsely populated, enduring some tremendously strong winds and wild weather but beautiful, captivating, and instilling a sort of desert fever in those who are lucky enough to experience it.

The Beatles’ final paid concert of their career took place on 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The band played to an audience of 25,000, leaving 7,000 tickets unsold. They had become disillusioned with live performances, singing the same songs time and again, unable to hear themselves playing. They had upset many fans with John’s statement that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

The Beatles’ rooftop concert on 30 January 1969 marked the end of an era for many fans. The group did record one more album, Abbey Road — on which work started the following month — but by September 1969 the Beatles had unofficially disbanded.

To save some money from the taxman and as a bolt hole from Beatlemania, Paul had, encouraged by then girlfriend Jane Asher, bought High Park Farm in Campbeltown, near Argyll’s Mull of Kintyre in 1968. But it was only when newly married to American Linda Eastman in 1969 that he decided to make it a home.

He said: “Going up to Scotland was real freedom. It was an escape – our means of finding a new direction in life and having time to think about what we really wanted to do.”

The farm, which was rustic to say the least, would become home to Linda’s daughter Heather and the couple’s first child Mary. Stella, now a top fashion designer, arrived in 1971.

But it was also the place where Paul’s next music project was born.

The new expanded editions of Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway include never-before-seen pictures of the McCartneys’ life in Campbeltown, which in time would inspire his love letter to the area – Mull of Kintyre – a 1977 Christmas No1. 

They released the album ‘Ram’ together in 1971 and formed the band Wings in the same year. The couple were also nominated for an Oscar for their song ‘Live And Let Die’, the theme tune for the 1973 Bond film of the same name.

“When she came to Britain and we got to together the greatest thing about it was we both wanted to be free. We did what we wanted and she took pictures of it all.”

Linda McCartney died after a battle with breast cancer on April 17, 1998. She was 56 years old. 

The song I’m offering is Heart of the Country from the album Ram released in 1971.

The video shows some great examples of the free and easy life in their dream home. A great place to raise their children, grow their own food, ride in deserted areas (UK horseriders may note they use American style saddles and tack), and generally enjoy life.

The song aint bad either!

If you want to see more then there is some lovely pics, and music, at the bottom of the lyrics.

I look high, I look low

I’m lookin’ everywhere I go

Lookin’ for a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

Lookin’ for a home

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Want a horse, I want a sheep

I wanna get me a good night’s sleep

Living in a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

Livin’ in a home

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Want a horse, I got a sheep

I’m gonna get me a good night’s sleep

Livin’ in a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Song Lyric Sunday – 13 December 2020 – Orange Crush

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Apple /Banana /Cherry /Olive /Orange /Strawberry this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

The band I’m featuring this week is R.E.M. an American rock band from Athens, Georgia. The band was formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead singer Michael Stipe, all of whom were students at the University of Georgia. They disbanded, amicably, in 2011.

Orange Crush was released as the first single from the band’s sixth studio album, “Green”, in 1988. It was not commercially released in the U.S. despite reaching number one as a promotional single It peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the band’s then-highest chart hit in Britain.

The song’s title is a reference to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the U.S. Army recruiting slogan, “Be all you can be… in the Army.” Stipe’s father served in the Vietnam War.

I think R.E.M. were best when performing live. Here is a recording from a 2003 performance in Germany.

….and here a remastered studio recorded version

The middle section of the lyrics mimics the helicopters flying over and around to disperse the defoliant Agent Orange, used to destroy the overhead cover of the Viet Cong. Little did they realise that it was also destroying the lungs, and other organs, of the civilian population, and American soldiers and airmen. That legacy continues to kill people today!

Lyrics

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one came on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

We would circle and we’d circle and we’d circle to stop and consider and centered on the pavement stacked up all the trucks jacked up and our wheels in slush and orange crush in pocket and all this here county, hell, any county, it’s just like heaven here, and I was remembering and I was just in a different county and all then this whirlybird that I headed for I had my goggles pulled off; I knew it all, I knew every back road and every truck stop

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one climbs on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one climbs on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Mills / Berry / Buck / Stipe

Orange Crush lyrics © Night Garden Music

Song Lyric Sunday – 6 September 2020 – Yanamamo

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Musical/Opera this week rather than a choice of words to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

I’m opting for a not so familiar song this week, from a musical that is normally performed by schoolchildren. I was lucky enough to attend a performance, probably 25 years ago now. It was very moving. The children had obviously spent a huge amount of time in learning, rehearsing, and performing the 90 minute work. Afterwards I bought a cassette tape (remember those) of the performance and played it often in the car whilst travelling to and from work.

Peter Anthony Rose MBE (music) and Anne Conlon MBE (words) are British writers best known for their environmental musicals for children. They were both teachers in Lancashire, England, for the majority of their creative achievements and most of their works have been written specially for St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington. At the time Peter Rose was their head of music. They wrote with a view to expanding the children’s knowledge of the world and the environment, perhaps hoping that their seeds would fall on fertile minds and help to make the world a better place.

In 1988 the US-based World Wildlife Fund (WWF) funded the musical Yanomamo, by Rose and Conlon, to convey what is happening to the people and their natural environment in the Amazon rainforest. It tells of Yanomami tribesmen/ tribeswomen living in the Amazon and has been performed by many drama groups around the world. Sadly, lessons were not learned and the Yanomami continue to endure massacres, disease, and a loss of more and more of their environment. What appeared to be a positive awakening of their plight was very short lived. The rest of the world calls it progress!

Yanomamo is a 90-minute work for chorus, soloists, narrator and stage band, and the original production, performed by the choir and musicians of St Augustine’s RC High School, was narrated by Sir David Attenborough and premiered at the Royal Institute, London, before appearing at the Edinburgh Festival. They later performed Yanomamo in America, narrated by Sting, which production was recorded for television and later broadcast (on Easter Sunday, 1989) on Channel 4 under the title of Song of the Forest. The TV version was commercially released by WWF. Since its publication the musical has seen performances by thousands of children throughout the world.

The lyrics are on the video which, unfortunately, is not very good quality. I hope you enjoy “Song of the Forest”