Alibris Secondhand Books Standard

Monday, May 11, 2009

monday music: habitat for humanity celebration

It's not really a music video. Habitat for Humanity was started by Millard Fuller in 1976 on one premise: Everybody deserves a simple, decent place to live. 300,000 houses later, Habitat continues to change the world, one family at a time.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

monday music

I was first introduced to the classical harmonica of Robert Bonfiglio back in the mid 1990s when he was a guest on the Jim Bohannon show. I'm still amazed that anyone can make a harmonica sound like this.


Monday, April 27, 2009

monday music: wake up

This tune, from the 2004 album Funeral by the Quebecan indie rock band Arcade Fire, has been given new life.

The song has been remixed for the trailer of the upcoming Where the Wild Things Are movie, coming in October.


Monday, April 20, 2009

monday music: outside of a small circle of friends

Inspired by the story of Kitty Genovese, who was murdered outside her apartment while dozens of other residents watched, this social commentary by Phil Ochs looks at the apathy that infects American life. Over forty years later, this song is more relevant than ever.


Monday, April 13, 2009

monday music: shaving cream

On the lighter side...


Monday, April 06, 2009

monday music: amazing grace

…by Pete Seeger and friends. And if that's not your thing, the video also includes Sailing Up, Sailing Down.


Monday, March 30, 2009

monday music: from the broken heart of gaza

In the U.S., all we hear about Gaza is news reports of violence and bloodshed. Here's a reminder that the people of that war-torn land are just as human as we are.


Monday, March 23, 2009

monday music: the christians and the pagans

Sometimes the bonds of family are strong enough to overcome our differences...


Monday, March 16, 2009

monday music: galaxy song

And now for something completely different, just to put things in perspective.


Monday, March 09, 2009

monday music: great american novel

Nearly forty years after its release, this song remains as relevant as ever.


Monday, March 02, 2009

monday music: this land is your land

I can remember learning this song in grade school, but I don't remember it being so radical.


Monday, February 23, 2009

monday music: the river and the highway

A haunting tale of two very different people who manage to connect, if ever so briefly.


Monday, February 16, 2009

monday music: where have all the flowers gone?

When will we ever learn?


Monday, February 09, 2009

monday music: brother can you spare a dime

In honor of the current global financial climate.


Monday, February 02, 2009

monday music: rivers of babylon

Boney M incongruously blends the gloomy words of Psalm 137 with a bouncy Jamaican beat. Granted, the images of partying on the beach don't blend with the words, "We wept when we remembered Zion" and "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" But at least they were smart enough to leave out the verse about dashing infants against the rocks. Nevertheless, I like this song. I was about nine or ten years old when it was released, and I spent many Saturdays at the local skating rink. The songs that played while we skated are still some of my all-time favorites.


Monday, January 26, 2009

monday music: simple gifts

From last week's inauguration:


Monday, January 19, 2009

monday music: stand like steel

Taking a stand in the face of oppression is never easy; sometimes it is fatal. But because of the sacrifices of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Steve Biko, we can all enjoy more freedom today.


Monday, January 12, 2009

monday music: between the wars

Because peace is such a fleeting thing…


Monday, January 05, 2009

monday music: white winter hymnal

Seattle-based Fleet Foxes released this, their debut single, in the middle of the summer, but any time of year is a great time to listen to this song. I don't even know half the lyrics, but that doesn't matter. This song is about vocal harmony, and there are very few who can do harmony like Fleet Foxes.


Monday, December 29, 2008

monday music: busindre reel

When four-year-old José Ángel Hevia Velasco saw a bagpipe player in a procession, the unity between the player and his instrument seemed to have a magical quality. Since then Hevia has spent a lifetime mastering this instrument, teaching others to play it, and managing a factory where the instruments are made.

Here he creates his own bagpipe magic in his best-known composition, Busindre Reel.

Note: Publication of this post was delayed due to a family emergency, but I've kept the Monday 12:01 date/time for the sake of consistency.


Monday, December 22, 2008

monday music: silent night / 7 o'clock news

This brilliant juxtaposition of the serene Christmas anthem with the headlines of the day shows how wide is the gap between the Kingdom of God and the world in which we live. The song was recorded in 1966, before music videos, but several YouTube members have provided their own video interpretations. This one, which uses magazine covers from then till now, shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same.


Monday, December 15, 2008

monday music: hurt

The late, great Johnny Cash took this Nine Inch Nails song and made it his own. Cash filled the lyrics with a new meaning.

Upon seeing this video Trent Reznor said, "Wow. I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore."


Monday, December 08, 2008

monday music: one more parade

This is an anti-war song by folksinger Phil Ochs, whose genius was never fully appreciated during his tragically short life.


Monday, December 01, 2008

monday music: pescador de hombres

This Central American hymn is also known as "Tú Has Venido a la Orilla" (or in English as "Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore"). In February 2000 I was in the Ixil village of San Juan Cotzal, in the Guatemalan highlands, working with a team of Volunteers In Mission to help rebuild a church that had been destroyed in that country's civil war. On Thursday evening of that week, we attended a worship service in the partially-built church, and we sang this song. The VIM team began in English, and as the locals recognized the melody they joined us, singing in Spanish and Ixil. That worship service gave me one of the most profound experiences of the presence of God that I've ever had.

Here's the song done all formal and proper:

Here's a rock version:

And the English translation of the lyrics:

1. Lord, you have come to the lakeshore
looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones.
You only asked me to follow humbly.

Refrain: O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me,
and while smiling, have spoken my name.
Now my boat's left on the shoreline behind me;
by your side I will seek other seas.

2. You know so well my possessions;
my boat carries no gold and no weapons;
But nets and fishes -- my daily labor.

3. You need my hands, full of caring,
through my labors to give others rest,
and constant love that keeps on loving.

4. You, who have fished other oceans
ever longed-for by souls who are waiting,
my loving friend, as thus you call me.


Monday, November 24, 2008

monday music: until the end of the world

This song, from U2's Achtung Baby album, tells the story of Jesus' last days from Judas' perspective. The dark lyrics end with a message of hope, imagining Judas asking for forgiveness as his life ebbs away, and finding that Jesus' grace really is big enough for everybody.


Monday, November 17, 2008

monday music: study war no more

The great Mahalia Jackson sings words of hope from the prophet Amos.


Monday, November 10, 2008

monday music: the magdalene laundries

My two favorite kinds of music are Celtic and Folk. This ballad, a collaboration between folk legend Joni Mitchell and Celtic legends the Chieftains, is a cautionary tale about a charity gone wrong in 19th and 20th century Ireland.


Monday, November 03, 2008

monday music: if everyone cared

Just a reminder on U.S. Election Eve that it's not always the political powers who change the world.


Monday, October 27, 2008

monday music: amazing grace

I'm going to try something new. Every Monday I'm going to post a video from YouTube. We'll see how long this lasts.

This week's pick is a work of pure genius: The Blind Boys of Alabama sing "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun". The haunting melody strips away the familiarity of this hymn, and re-emphasizes the dark past alluded to in the lyrics.