In My Life

“Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more”
John Lennon
John Lennon

There’s a Beatles song that was written by John Lennon that is one of my all time favorite Beatle songs. The song is In My Life and was released in 1965 on the Rubber Soul album.

John Lennon wrote the original song but Paul McCartney contributed to the final version. Later the pair disagreed over the extent of their contributions (specifically the melody). George Martin, who produced the recording, contributed the instrumental bridge. It is ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone‘s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as well as fifth on their list of the Beatles’ 100 Greatest Songs.

According to Lennon, the song’s origins can be traced to when the English journalist Kenneth Allsop made a remark that Lennon should write songs about his childhood. Afterwards, Lennon wrote a song in the form of a long poem reminiscing on his childhood years. The original version of the lyrics was based on a bus route he used to take in Liverpool, naming various sites seen along the way, including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field.

In a 1980 interview, Lennon referred to this song as his “first real major piece of work” because it was the first time he penned personal lyrics about his own life.

Here’s a YouTube video with Bette Midler performing the song accompanied by ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro.

Shine On



Music of the Night

“Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies,
the soul is the piano with many strings.
The artist is the hand that plays,
touching one key or another,
to cause vibrations in the soul.”
Wassily Kandinsky

Music of The Night

A neighbor of mine, I haven’t met yet, plays the piano. Not just Chopsticks, but this person is no doubt a classical pianist. When they play, I find myself opening up my windows wider, listening in awe of this pianist talent to be able to play with such ease and effortlessness; never once hitting a bad note.

I’ve been hoping to run into this neighbor. So that I can tell them how much I enjoy their music and tell them how I especially enjoy when they end the evening playing, The Music of the Night.

Shine On

Yesterday Once More

“People never think of entertainers as being human.
When you walk out on stage, the audience think,
‘Nothing can go wrong with them.’ We get sick and
we have headaches just like they do.
When we are cut, we bleed.”
Karen Carpenter

One of my fellow bloggers, Erika Kind posted The Carpenters song Yesterday Once More, which reminded me how much I enjoyed this song back in the 1970s.

So, after spending all day at the Ukulele festival yesterday, I was inspired to learn how to play some of my favorite songs.

Here’s a beautiful ukulele rendition I hope to learn of Yesterday Once More.

Shine On

Shut Up and Dance

“The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music,
and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable.
Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”
Charles Baudelaire

I’m sure most of you have seen this on YouTube.
But, if you missed it, I thought I’d share this
well-edited dance video. It’s a compilation of
some great movie dance scenes to the ever
popular song, Shut Up and Dance.

Shine On

Uke Music Moment

“Every song is like a painting.”
Dick Dale

Ukulele Musical Moments

With my recent interest in the ukulele, I’ve been downloading iTunes ukulele music. One of the song’s I’m really enjoying is Misirlou. This song gained popularity in 1962 when Dick Dale performed it as an American surf rock version.

The version I like is performed by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. I’m sure all of you are familiar with this song performed by The Beach Boys and Dick Dale and his Del-Tones version in the movie, Pulp Fiction. But you may not of heard it played by a ukulele orchestra.

Hope you enjoy this uke music moment:

Shine On

Sweet Little Ukulele

“I love the ukulele. It’s got a beautiful, melodic tone to it.
There’s something innocent and romantic, and
it’s just a grand instrument to play.”
Pierce Brosnan

Sweet Little Ukulele

When I went shopping for my ukulele, I was just going to get the simplest one I could find. However, I didn’t realize there would be such a variety to choose from.

After hearing the sounds from different models at my local music store, I decided on a Kala concert ukulele.

My little ukulele is  Kala’s ultra thin body uke. It features a 1-1/2″ archback depth and is made of spruce and mahogany with a Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. It also came with a beautiful embroidered padded ukulele bag, plus I bought a clip-on digital tuner.

The sound and the light feel of this ukulele is what I like most. I probably shouldn’t be playing until my lessons, but I can’t keep my hands off this sweet little ukulele.

Shine On

The Next Dawn Ho

“If everyone played the ukulele,
the world would be a better place.”
Jake Shimabukuro

Dawn Ho

A few months back I put together some music for my husband that I knew he’d enjoy.

There’s one song in particular that he enjoys and it’s one of my favorites as well. The song is Izzy’s rendition of, Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Growing up, we both enjoyed listening to the ukulele. Don Ho was very popular four decades ago and was famous for his big hit, Tiny Bubbles. The only other ukulele players I remember were Elvis and Tiny Tim.

When my husband came home from the hospital last week, he asked me if I would do him a big favor. He asked me if I would learn to play the ukulele. “The ukulele?” I asked. “Why do you want me to learn the ukulele?”

He told me he had been looking through our local “Adult Classes” brochure and saw that a ukulele aficionado was teaching a class for beginner ukulele players. I didn’t realize how much he enjoyed the ukulele.

What can say, I love my husband, and if learning to play the ukulele will make him happy, I guess I can learn to play. I’m actually looking forward to learning to play this cool little fretted instrument. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the next, Dawn Ho.

Shine On

Yip Harburg

“Words make you think a thought.
Music makes you feel a feeling.
A song makes you feel a thought.”
E. Y. Harburg

Yip Harburg

E.Y. Harburg, April 8, 1896 to March 5, 1981

Do you recognize this man? Most of us under the age of 60 don’t recognize or even know his name and what he meant to music and literature.

His name is Edgar Yip Harburg and today Mr. Harburg would have been 119 years young.

His career spanned over fifty years from the 1920s to 1981. He was known as a master lyricist, poet and book writer but also was dedicated to social justice.

Writing the words to over 600 songs including the well – known Brother, Can You Spare a Dime; he wrote one of my favorite songs, Over the Rainbow, and all the lyrics in the 1939 motion picture classic The Wizard of Oz. His Over the Rainbow song was voted Number 1 song of the 20th century by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Recording Institute of America.

Do you have a famous or non-famous person you wish you could meet and sit and talk with? I have numerous people I wish I could have met. And one of them is Mr. Yip Harburg.

Shine On


“Occasionally when I’m procrastinating writing,
I’ll while away the hours on iTunes. You can just keep going
forever and find these bands you’d never normally hear of.”
Marisha Pessl

Listening to music has become so much easier since the introduction of iTunes.

My son introduced me to iTunes over a decade ago. This is when I got my first iPod. Believe me, I waited and put up quite a fight to give up my CDs, but iTunes is a work of pure genius that we all take for granted.

Back in the 1970s when 8-track tapes were all the rage, I hated 8-tracks! You’d be listening to a great piece of music and the damn track would just end in the middle of a song. This made listening to music entirely unenjoyable.

So, I bought a small cassette recorder/player and bought all my music in cassette format. I can remember listening to music in my car using the portable cassette player. Then the technology went to CD players. I held out for quite a few years before I bought my first CD player.

When I began using iTunes, I decided to sell my 100s of CDs. I created a Craigslist account, posted the CD’s for sale, and as soon as I hit that post button, I instantly received several calls from people wanting to buy the entire collection. I sold the CD collection within one hour of posting them for sale. I haven’t looked back since.

With iTunes I can organize my music with Playlists. I have music to write by, music to create with, music for banjo playing. Then I have my Pop Music to walk and workout to, as well as my classical music to do my Ballet Beautiful workout and to chill out to, all in different Playlists with easy access. But what I really think is cool, is that my iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro all have the exact music I want on each device.

Thanks Steve Jobs. You really were a genius when it came to technology. Thanks Jeff Robbin, Bill Kincaid, and Dave Heller for developing iTunes. A thousand years from now, you guys will be the Benjamin Franklin’s of the next new millennium because of your development of iTunes.

Shine On

Fond Unfaded Memories

“Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories.
And the longer a song has existed in our lives,
the more memories we have of it.”
Stevie Wonder

Jackie Evancho

Singer Jackie Evancho’s album, “Songs from the Silver Screen”. She was just twelve years old when she produced this album in 2012.

Music has always been a part of my life. Particular songs will conjure up good and bad memories of a time, a place, a feeling and even memories of a scent.

My taste in music ranges anywhere from classic singers such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and music from classical, rock, country western as well as blue grass.

There is one genre that I haven’t been familiar with. Opera. The closest to opera music I experienced was when I saw a performance of Phantom of the Opera, twice I might add back in the 1990s. But you can’t really count that as true opera music.

However, that all changed on August 10, 2010 while watching, America’s Got Talent. That evening a 10 year old singer named Jackie Evancho sang the song, O mio babbino caro. I didn’t understand a word of the Italian lyrics but that didn’t matter. Her performance not only gave me goose bumps but also brought me to tears.

Her album, “Songs From the Silver Screen” is pure perfection. This young girl’s voice is magnificent, along with her choice of songs.

You can be sure that the music of Jackie Evancho will give fond memories to millions of people. Because, fond  memories of music is so powerful they never fade.

As for this Jackie Evancho fan, her music will always be fond unfaded memories.

Shine On