Sunday, May 1, 2011

The May Top 10

This being May, the month of our Mother, I wore blue Zumba pants to class this morning.

I could not help noticing that there was a preponderance of blue at Zumba class. Surely we were all on the same wavelength!

The weather is not exactly great but I am in the spirit. I am going to pay tribute to May and to the BVM by listing my Top 10 May songs. That is an abbreviation I love, BVM! It is Blessed Virgin Mary. I am sure there are some songs I forgot but here goes.

1. On This Day. I am laughing and laughing at this video. I love the little pumpkin standing there with the book as big as she is. The photographer likes her too because he keeps zeroing in on her. The Blessed Mother business is always especially big among girls and women because she is one of us.

2. 'This the Month of Our Mother. This is a kind of robotic, goody-goody video but it was the only one I could find of this song. My whole life long, this will bring back being a little kid.

3. "Bring Flowers of the Fairest." Here it is, the biggest May classic of all! This is funny but I find myself singing this to myself a lot throughout the year as I am driving in the car, getting dressed for work, whatever. I love the Irish accent of the singer in this video. The Irish have such a great singing tradition. I wonder now that I am listening to this if this is an Irish song. The graceful leaps in the melody make me think it is. "Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May." Come on, lapsed Catholics, get back with the program, get to a May crowning this May. Buzz me. We'll go together.

4. "Hail Holy Queen." The video is Asian but this hymn is German, with its fine solid melody. "This is what Catholic church music is supposed to be: devout and robust." Devout and robust! That is classic. And true! This choir really goes at it. I love it.

I hope everyone appreciates the effort I am putting in, finding the finest Mary videos! Where else would you find this? Let's continue ...

5.) "Immaculate Mary." The French have scored a huge classic with this one, the Lourdes hymn. I once played it on the organ in France! But that is a long story. Hahahaaa.. I am addicted to YouTube comments and there is this really sweet comment on this hymn from a girl who is apparently Presbyterian and is saying she is going to become Catholic the minute she turns 18. Do her parents know about this? Bet not!

6.) "Daily, Daily, Sing to Mary." This old German song was such an old chestnut when I was growing up that I do not even know the words. It was too old for us to sing in the hip 1970s. But I love the melody and apparently I am not the only one. Beautiful melody. Beautiful.

7.) "Ave Maria, Oh Maiden, Oh Mother." This is not the famous "Ave Maria." It is the Star of the Sea song. "Sinless and beautiful star of the sea." I have an idea this is Polish but I am not sure. Anyway a beautiful square old song, the best kind. And a square old video, the only one I could find. Someone soared like an eagle and recorded it at Mass.

8.) "Sing of Mary." I always loved playing this back in my church organ days. This is an American, Appalachian hymn. I like its lovely, weaving melody. Someone made this piano version of it that brings out its simplicity. Here is another modern artistic version. People really get into making these videos! They do a beautiful job. This one is a little kitschy but under the circumstances that is allowed.

Two more slots and we can have the Mary Top 10! What am I missing?

9.) Schubert's "Ave Maria," we have to get this in here somewhere. Here it is with the Roger Wagner Chorale, who were on Capitol Records at the same time Leonard Pennario was. And you were wondering how I would work Pennario into this! This is how.

10.) We are offroading now from traditional songs we all know but here is a rocking "Regina Coeli" by Mozart. Regina Coeli means Queen of Heaven. As long as we were at it here is another, earlier "Regina Coeli" by Mozart. He must have liked this prayer. This early version is so sweet. It is such quintessential early Mozart.

I would say I have kicked this May off to a good start!

Now if the weather would only cooperate.

"Be the fairest of seasons, sweet May."

Hint, hint!

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