Long distance information, give me Memphis Tennessee
Help me find a party that tried to get in touch with me
She did not leave a number but I know who placed the call
‘Cause my uncle took a message and he wrote it on the wall
Help me, information, get in touch with my Marie
She’s the only one who’d call me here from Memphis Tennessee
Her home is on the south side, high upon a ridge
Just a half a mile from the Mississippi bridge
Last time I saw Marie she was wavin’ me goodbye
With “hurry-home” drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye
We were pulled apart because her mom did not agree
She tore apart our happy home in Memphis Tennessee
Help me, information, more than that I cannot add
Only that I miss her and all the fun we had
Marie is only six years old, information please
You got to put me through to her in Memphis Tennessee
Well, today’s theme sent me a few years into the past.
Back in the 1980’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. I had a huge therapy practice, in a huge, supportive Therapy Community.
Music, in many styles and forms, was a huge part of the work I did. I would play music for my groups or hand-pick songs for individual clients. I would also give the homework assignment to go out and find a theme song (“I will Not Be Broken” by Bonnie Raitt) or a power song (“I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty). It was a great, right brain way for clients to continue their personal work outside the group therapy setting. We would use music in group to relax, let down, access emotions, get energized, fight back, you name it.
And I used the more quiet pieces for visualizations, hypnosis, etc.
A funny story…I heard an album once (on a homemade cassette, just to let you know how long ago) that I fell in love with. It was almost all instrumental and quite different from the rock music I usually assigned to clients. Maybe it stirred something in my cellular memory because it was so Irish. (My name was Kathleen Kelly!)
I thought the name of the album was Crystal River, so I searched everywhere for it…combed through record stores, called radio stations, etc. I really wanted this album. Every song was so different and effectively triggered or enhanced different moods.
I could never find it.
Then I had a dream one night, with this very music playing in the background. In the dream I said out loud to whomever,
“Oh, it’s not called ‘Crystal River’. It’s called ‘Jewel Lake‘!!”
Memory…a funny thing. And dreams, so helpful sometimes.
Anyway, here is the song I thought of for today’s theme of Comfort. It’s the only song on the album with Lyrics. It’s also a beautiful video.
The rest of this album is great also, not all quiet and comforting like this song, some very energizing and uplifting. I think you can sample it here.
I love the deafening roar they produce as they fly over during a performance. Even the most self-conscious among us can scream, yell, whoop, yeehaw or swear at the top of our lungs without drawing attention to ourselves. It is a rush, for sure! Better than the loudest Rock Concert ever!
But my favorite part of the show is when you can see the Angels before their sound arrives!
Those short moments of silence are the loudest thrill of my life!
Each week Helen asks us to find a song for the theme she has chosen. It has been so much fun to hear new music and share some older tunes! The theme this week is FIRE!
Right after I thought of Fire and Rain by James Taylor, this song peeked through a psychedelic memory haze….
Just watch the beginning of this video (or the whole thing if you want to see the lyrics) to see how long ago rock musicians started dramatically expressing “darkness” in their music…not unlike so many groups today, but with way less developed sound, sight, stage and special effects!! Back in the 1960’s, this guy was something else!! He could take you on “A Trip” without needing any mind altering substances!
Now watch THIS one. Bless his heart, Arthur Brown is pretty spry for a 75 year old Rocker!!
I found this quote on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Brown_(musician)
“Though Brown has had limited commercial success, he has been a significant influence on a wide range of musicians and artists and due to his operatic vocal style, wild stage persona and concepts, he is considered a pioneer of shock rock and progressive rock and influential on heavy metal music.”
But clearly they were from Houston and recognizable as such to many Southern folks. They are gorgeous! (Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty gorgeous people from Natchez and they have their own social hierarchy!)
I have to say the Bishop who performed the ceremony was great and quite a good sport. In the pre-wedding interview with my cousin and his intended, the Officiant did his job well. Knowing these two were not practicing Mormons, he had to tactfully discover the nature of what the bride would be wearing. There are pretty specific standards in the Mormon church about what the bride can wear in her wedding…legs, arms, neck and shoulders are to be tastefully covered. I wish I could have seen his face when my new cousin-in-law described her lovely, Houstonian, strapless, designer gown. Bless his heart, somehow he worked it all out, maybe even in honor of my Aunt, long gone now, but a well-known member of this church…who knows.
The wedding task, assigned me by my cousin, as his only relative present for the ceremony, was to choose a short reading.
My self-imposed task was to say something leading up to the reading that might bring these three groups together. YIKES…but, I love a good challenge. I really wanted to do this right! My cousin is much more like a brother to me. I lived with him, his brother, and my aunt and uncle for many years when I was young. They became my immediate family.
I have officiated at several weddings myself and I know that nothing brings a group together faster than shared laughter, but I had to do some research because I did not want to be disrespectful to the LDS wedding guests who came primarily because they loved my cousin’s mother. My Aunt had a big hand in starting the Mormon Church there in Natchez years ago and these people still remember her! I wanted to make sure it was proper to laugh out loud, to applaud, and to rebel yell in a Mormon “Meeting House”…not that I could have stopped my cousin’s longtime Natchez friends from cheering at the end…He is 68 years old and this is his first marriage so this was a Big Deal!
I guess my research paid off because apparently the short comments I made before the reading were a hit. At the reception, at least one member of each of the three distinct groups gave me positive feedback on what I said during the ceremony.
Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch…Well, except there was that mix-up about who got to use the limo from Dunleith to the Mormon Meetinghouse, the Houstonians or the Bridal Party. The out of town guests were all staying in one of Natchez most famous Antebellum Mansions, and the Hummer Limo was the transportation to the church.
lighting in the Mansion’s rooms
That was a slightly stressful 15 minute wait for the Bride’s arrival, but she and her beautiful maids showed up and the ceremony was short, sweet, and as predicted, raucous at the end!!
The reception was lovely also. Again, in memory of my Aunt and Uncle, it was held in our childhood home. Beautiful string quartet, fantastic food and the successful blending of those three fairly distinct groups for an evening to remember! My aunt, uncle and other cousin would have been thrilled to see the transformation in their home, especially given the reason for it.
All in all, an amazing ending to the Natchez part of our trip. We piled in the car the next morning, bright and early, heading for home!