I have several great shows coming up, plus a new song to share. This one earned me a few points with my wife, Margo. Come on into the kitchen. I’ll sing it for you.
Tom with some of his favorite people
Amazing Things Arts Center
Save the date! I am ecstatic to tell you that I will be opening for the great David Mallett at Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham on Friday, Nov. 2nd. You can purchase tickets at this link. David is a true American treasure. In the millenium edition of The Bangor Daily News, in his home state, David was named along with Marshall Dodge, Andrew Wyeth, E.B. White, Stephen King, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and others, one of the most memorable â€œMainersâ€ of the twentieth century. David is a master songwriter and superior musician. Please join us on Nov. 2nd so that you can hear for yourself how songs should be written and sung by one of the very best practitioners of the craft.
On October 18th, my friend Rick Gottlieb will release his new album “Waiting for the Train” at Amazing Things Arts Center. I am proud to say that Rick has chosen to include his recording of my song “To a Songwriter” on this album. I can’t wait to hear it.
This Month’s Music
“You, Love and Me”
Lyrics shown in the comments section at the end of this page.
In August, Margo and I celebrated our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary. We were spending some time in Jaffrey, NH at our little cabin in the woods. As usual, I was looking for a suitable anniversary present at the last minute. Nothing seemed right from the little shops we have in that area. So I decided to write a song for her based upon a melody that had come to me earlier in the week. Working late into the night, I barely finished it in time for our anniversary latté that morning.
I have often thought that making music is a good metaphor for the way people come to know and love each other. It can also be the glue that holds a community together. There is something fundamentally human about making music, and it has become increasingly important to me as my daily work becomes more digital and artificial.
In the bridge of my song I borrow the notion of “The Lost Chord” from a favorite old record album, In Search of the Lost Chord, which was released by The Moody Blues in 1968. This is hardly a modern construct as there was a wildly popular 19th century song called The Lost Chord written by Arthur Sullivan in 1877. He is reported to have written the music while sitting at the death bed of his brother, Fred. It was sung by many, including Enrico Caruso and countless families around the parlor piano before the advent of radio. The lyric for the song was written by English poet, Adelaide Anne Procter in 1858. Ms. Procter was a very interesting person in her day. Not only was she an extremely popular poet, but she worked for a number of causes including women’s rights and the homeless.
A Lost Chord
by Adelaide Anne Procter, 1858
Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.
I know not what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then;
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen.
It flooded the crimson twilight,
Like the close of an angel’s psalm,
And it lay on my fevered spirit
With a touch of infinite calm.
It quieted pain and sorrow,
Like love overcoming strife;
It seemed the harmonious echo
From our discordant life.
It linked all perplex’d meanings
Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence
As if it were loth to cease.
I have sought, but I seek it vainly,
That one lost chord divine,
Which came from the soul of the organ,
And entered into mine.
It may be that death’s bright angel
Will speak in that chord again,
It may be that only in Heav’n
I shall hear that grand Amen.
Perhaps we are all seeking some kind of lost chord – “the harmonious echo from our discordant life”. No need to wait until you find it before you make your own music.
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Oct. 20, Saturday, 7:00 pm, Rochester, NY. Tell your Rochester, NY friends that I will be joining the songwriters in the round at the Tango Cafe. Road trip anyone?
Oct. 30, Tuesday, Lexington, MA. Mally Smith and I will split an hour feature at Nourish Restaurant. My talented Canadian friend Nancy Beaudette will do the mini-set. Open mike starts at 6:30. Catch Mally and me at about 8:00 pm.
Nov. 1, Thursday, 7:00 pm, Dedham, MA. I return to the Paradise CafÃ© for First Thursday in Dedham Square. Mally Smith is my special musical guest.
Nov. 2, Friday, 8:00 pm, Framingham, MA. I open the show for the great David Mallet at Amazing Things Arts Center, one of my favorite venues. I am super excited about this one. David is the real deal. Please join us!
Dec. 8, Saturday, 7:30 pm, Wachusett Music Series, Lancaster, MA. I am pumped to share this wonderful stage with my Birch Beer Records family, Dan Cloutier, Kim Jennings, Oen Kennedy and Levi Schmidt. When we got together last spring at Club Passim, we had so much fun and the music was great. This show will have a holiday flair.
Click to view all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-Profit: Guitars in the Classroom
I first learned about Guitars in the Classroom when I participated in a benefit suggested by my songwriting friend Timmy Riordan. “Guitars in the Classroom transforms education by training, equipping and inspiring classroom teachers to play guitar, sing, teach and lead songs, and write lyrics for learning with their preschool through 12th grade students. Infusing academic lessons with music makes learning a more creative, successful and unforgettable experience for students and creates musical access for every child.”
Please join me in supporting Guitars in the Classroom with your tax deductible contribution.