By Charlie Johnston
Yesterday afternoon, magnificent Christian and Jazz singer Kitty Cleveland and her husband took the Thanksgiving Song of Rescue and laid out a chord structure. Kitty sang it and sent me the recording, telling me she had the beginning of an idea for an overlaid melody. It gave me goose-bumps. Alas, this website does not support the type of file she sent, so I can’t share it with you just yet. Of course, by the time she puts a melody to it, I am sure we will get some sort of file that can be supported.
Her wonderful efforts triggered a couple of thoughts, though. First, I am going to put up today a new category of links – for Music and Musicians who are friends of this website. I’ll start first with a link to Kitty’s website right here before I add the permanent link. Now the song is actually an ostinato, or what is commonly called a bass-line (though it does not have to be bass, just a repeating foundational pattern: witness Ravel’s Bolero). That was what was given to me…and I have always assumed that the melody would come at the time of rescue. But as I mentioned, my angel had a sly, pleased look when he said it was okay for people to do their own melodies now, using this particular ostinato. Several decades ago, I got in the habit, particularly when saying a Novena, of giving thanks for the answer to my intention before it was answered. That did not mean that I got what I asked for – or even expected to. It was an act of trust that once I turned it over to God, whatever He sent me was for mine and other’s good. It is a refined way to pray, I think. At least it has been the source of many blessings for me – often unexpected blessings. I suspect that writing melodies for this is along the same line, a sort of prayer giving thanks for our Rescue now before the Rescue has come. I love that. So rather than guard this ostinato carefully, I put it out there, inviting any to adapt it and add a melody atop it. I like the idea of a thousand songs of rescue, all united by the same bass-line, could be going up as we go through the Storm. The only thing I ask is that if you write something, note that the ostinato either came from me or was given to me. You don’t have to say this came from an angelic source – but you need to mark it from me so it can be traced back to the source. If you’re uncomfortable with the nutty stuff – no prob…I’ll take that. Let’s make some music as a confident and joyful prayer of trust and triumph right now. But man, I can’t wait to figure out how to get this so you can hear Kitty’s take. It knocked my socks off!
Jim Geraghty of National Review had an awesome rant in his “Morning Jolt” column today. After President Obama said, in response to the Baltimore riots, that “I think there are police departments that have to do some soul searching. I think there are some communities that have to do some soul searching. But I think we, as a country, have to do some soul searching, ” Geraghty tartly responded that:
“No, we don’t!
This is not a time for the usual “Socialism of Blame” where responsibility for what happened gets spread far and wide and equally to everybody.
Why do we have to do some soul searching? We didn’t do anything to Freddie Gray, the man who died after being arrested. The police actions are being investigated. We didn’t set fire to a senior center under construction. We didn’t run into a CVS and grab everything we could. We didn’t set police cruisers on fire, or jump atop smashed police cruisers.