Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Song of the Sea

So, I just happened to find out this morning that the theme song from Southland is an actual song, with lyrics, and not only is it beautiful, but it's Portuguese, and the lady who made this version of Cancao do Mar (Song of the Sea) an international hit, Dulce Pontes, is from Montijo, a town I served in for four and a half months that is not much bigger than my hometown. I don't know how I missed not only this, but her. I was out from 1998 to 2000, when she was around 30 and had already had some success. I knew the Portuguese had some cool fados, songs of mourning and loss that, I hate to say, are basically Portugal's only music worth a damn. I went to Portugal figuring that, like the rest of Western Europe, they'd have some great singers and musicians. Not only did I play the piano in sacrament every week, including in the largest ward in the country, but the Portuguese have some very unfortunate singing voices (as well as some very unfortunate-looking women, but that's a story for another day). They belted it out better than most stateside congregations in volume, but pitch-wise, they sound about like badgers getting a proctology exam from Captain Hook. I am going to have to do some research to see if any of my old cohorts know this woman. I hope you enjoy, especially my friend Mary, who is of Portuguese descent and is much easier on the eyes, but has had a rough couple of weeks.

Also... Gina, don't lust too much after the naked guy who appears on the left at around 1:50. He does have great abs. There was a video on YouTube that I liked better, but embedding was disabled, so you'll just have to look at the paintings courteously provided by MariaSlide. Have a great Memorial Day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Legacy of a Generous Heart

21 years ago today was the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson. This is the final song of a medley of Henson's favorite songs, sung at the end of his funeral in New York on May 21, 1990. I dare you not to cry. Richard Hunt, the voice of Scooter, died less than two years later, and seeing his face among other early Muppeteers who are now gone or retired makes it even sadder and sweeter. I grew up with the Muppets during what was possibly the height of their popularity when I was a very small child in the early 1980s, and was a regular viewer of the early(ish) days of Sesame Street. I don't think it would be a stretch to say that Jim Henson is responsible for many children's happiest moments. His vision and imagination rival virtually anyone born in the past century. My mother told me I had a particular love for the Swedish Chef, and would laugh uncontrollably when he came on. (In fact, he's still one of my faves).

Anyway, this month has been pretty good so far, breaking me out of my recent stretch of crappy Mays, but last week I was getting fed up with some of the shitty news out there (the Botox mom, among two or three other stories), and needed something to give me hope in humanity. Somehow, I stumbled across this, and I was able to break out of thinking that mankind is irretrievably damaged and think on the people who have been touched worldwide by one of my heroes, and put my focus back on the possibilities in the world that every single person represents. There is also a new Muppets movie coming out the week of Thanksgiving, starring and written and produced by Muppet enthusiast Jason Segel, with Amy Adams co-starring, and cameos up the wazoo. So really, that's a double rainbow. At any rate, I hope this clip brightens your day, and that our children, and children everywhere get to enjoy simple, innocent days with goofy Muppets cavorting and scampering across the screen and bringing pure joy with them.