I have been enjoying our rustic little cabin in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. Now as autumn approaches, it is time to put on my work duds and do some long overdue maintenance before the snow flies. But there is always time to take a break and sing about it! Join me for a reprise of an old song I wrote about glazing windows.
NEWS: Live Shows, Apples & Cheese
THIS MONTH’S MUSIC: “The Jolly Glazier”
FEATURED NON-PROFIT: Planned Parenthood
The cabin porch and friends.
After a very long hiatus, I performed in several live shows this month. Currently I am limiting my live shows to outdoors only, with COVID restrictions in place. My next one is Sunday, Sept. 26th at The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden in Harvard, MA. This is a free concert (optional donations accepted) for this wonderful cancer support center. This is a hybrid show with options to attend live or view it online. Click for details.
There are a few more shows in the planning stage. Stay tuned to my Upcoming Shows page to keep up to date.
My new album “Apples & Cheese” released earlier this year is a collection of “new and used songs for kids and their grownups.” Included on this album are original songs written for each of my grandchildren (ages 1 to 13) plus a few traditional songs that are fun to sing by folks of all ages. It was recorded while in lock-down as a way for my family to feel connected. If you know of someone who might enjoy this fun album, please share this link. It is also available on all major streaming services.
In July, Margo and I took advantage of good virus numbers to spend three weeks with three of our grandchildren in Zurich, Switzerland! It was the very first time meeting our 13 month old twin granddaughters, as COVID prevented travel all last year. It was great to sing some songs from “Apples & Cheese” live to those kids – and I didn’t have to teach them the words!
This Month’s Music: “The Jolly Glazier”
“The Jolly Glazier”
Parody of “Apple Picker’s Reel” by Larry Hanks, used with permission
New lyrics © 2007 Tom Smith
Lyrics in the comments below.
Fall in New England is a glorious time of year – if it weren’t for that nagging voice that tells me all of the things I need to do before winter. There is wood to chop, house trim to paint, preparing the car for freezing weather, yard work, and of course – window glazing!
One fall, I noted how much time it takes to reglaze one window pane. To predict when I would finish, I then counted the number of window panes I still needed to do. There were well over 200 window panes! My prediction had me finishing up long after the snow flies. Argh! Trying to put that out of my mind, I found myself humming Larry Hanks’ great song, “Apple Picker’s Reel“. Larry says his time as an apple picker was a “fresh, joyful exercise”, and the lyrics of his song reflect that. I however, did not consider my task of reglazing windows to be a “fresh, joyful exercise”, as you would guess from this song that I wrote while standing on my ladder. Although I was very tired, I am thankful that I took the time to write down my verses at the end of a long day.
I shared my verses with Larry Hanks, and it gave him a chuckle. He was very kind to allow me to sing and record my parody of his wonderful song. You can hear “The Jolly Glazer” on my 2011 studio album, “Journey Home” at this link.
This was a quick one-take video I did on the cabin porch with my phone. A weather front was coming through so I am sure that you can hear the wind in the trees and the crickets under the porch. It turns out that wind sound is virtually impossible to filter out, but I kind of like the simplicity of this informal recording.
Evicting a Bat from the Window Frame
Here is a little bonus video. While glazing windows at the cabin a couple of years ago, I discovered where those pesky bats were entering our upstairs room. They got in through a tiny hole under the window frame. I dismantled the frame and evicted them with caution. Bats are endangered as many in New England suffer from a fungus known as white-nose syndrome. Bats are important for a healthy ecology. Bats also can carry viruses harmful to people, so they were very unwelcome inside our cabin. I bought a bat house (you can see it mounted on the tree behind me in the video), and I hoped that the bats would move into it. Unfortunately, so far they have chosen to reside elsewhere. Thanks to my daughter Mally Smith for documenting the great adventure. It slowed down the window glazing, but was well worth the effort.
I hope that you are doing whatever it takes to remain safe from COVID – especially if that means getting vaccinated, wearing a mask in public and keeping a safe distance from others. Oh, and don’t forget to maintain a balance between glazing your windows and things that give you pleasure… and if glazing windows gives you pleasure, so much the better!
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Featured Non-profit: Planned Parenthood
In response to a new law in Texas that virtually eliminates the right of women to make important decisions about their own bodies, I choose to support Planned Parenthood. We can expect more states to adopt similar laws.
“At Planned Parenthood our mission is to ensure all people have access to the care and resources they need to make informed decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures. Founded in 1916, Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider, educator, and passionate advocate here in the U.S. as well as a strong partner to health and rights organizations around the world. Each year, Planned Parenthood delivers vital sexual and reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people.”
Please join me in supporting Planned Parenthood.