Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tagged again...

Every once in awhile, Tish throws a tag at me, just to see if I'm paying attention. I suspect this one is directed at me since I'm a musician. I have to post about a song that touches me and brings me to tears.

As a musician, there's little in popular music that really moves me, and if it does, it's more music-geekish...a unique chord progression, a great melodic line, things like that. NEVER the lyrics. I'm not a lyrics guy at all. Opera arias, when done well, will send a chill up my spine, and maybe a tear, but I couldn't name a single one.

Two exceptions to the popular music genre. Whitney Houston's version of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl in the early 90s. In the face of a new war, the tensions of the day, and the fact that postponement/cancellation of the game was a serious possibility, her stirring rendition was just the shot in the arm that the country needed. Unfortunately, I found it on YouTube, and frankly, it doesn't do it for me anymore.

The one that does is the amazing version of "Over the Rainbow" by Eva Cassidy. Eva died in 1996, from melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Her music was little-known during her 33 years of life, but today her soul-stirring voice is reaching people all over the world. I was managing a CD store in the 90s, and remember her album "Songbird" when it came out. Not a big deal--no one had ever heard of her. And she'd been dead for 2 years. But by Christmas of that year, the BBC had started playing "Over the Rainbow", and ultimately, her posthumous sales of her recordings has gone through the roof.

One really needs to read her story, and understand how she fought this cancer to the end, and her ultimate death at a grossly young age. Every time I hear her version, I'm in tears by the end. Literally. There's a few YouTube videos of live performances, but the studio recording is the tear-jerker. Corny video put together by someone, but the music track will melt your socks off. I'm also adding a "Nightline" segment about her. It's about 20 minutes long, and in three segments, but highly worth watching. Oh, I'm supposed to tag, so let me hear from Smiley (pssst..it's her bday today!), Carnalis, Biscuit, Evening, and Him from Blissfully Wed. Edit--Fuck, I'm in tears watching the whole Nightline thing...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for the introduction! what a beautiful version!

we have a soft spot for Iz's version due to sentimental reasons.