Tuesday Tunes — Hamilton: The Musical

Hi and Happy Tuesday.  I cannot believe it has been a week since I wrote last time.  I have been so busy.  I did, however, want to write today about my favorite recent musical — Hamilton.

I have the CD of the original cast recording and love to listen to it.  My son and I have been singing along with our favorites and having a great time.  The writing is amazing, the music is great, and it is all so easy to sing along with.

There are so many varieties of amazing music — rap, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, jazz, and more.  Clearly not for everyone, but we love it.  The cast was and still is super talented and brings amazing life into each nuance of the characters and the songs.  And better still, it is all based on our nation’s history.

As a writer, I have been so impressed with the lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  He is amazingly talented and crams so much into each verse or line of a song.  So much content and a great history lesson.

My sister and her family got to see the original cast production on Broadway.  They bought tickets before they became too expensive and are so glad they did.  All of them loved the show and were so happy to be there.  I so wish I could have gone with them.

Several of my sister’s friends have also seen the show as have mine.  Each of them have said the show is amazing, or phenomenal, or well worth the hype.  I think this musical is most deserving of the multiple Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and much more accolades the show and cast have received.

For my birthday, I received the original cast album (two CDs of 23 songs each), and a book about the making of the show, the writing of the show, and the people who were both on stage and backstage.  Not having seen the show, this was a great way to enjoy the entire experience.  I do still want to see the musical and hope that I can one day.

For now, I love singing with Ian on our favorite songs — My Shot, Alexander Hamilton, Yorktown, You’ll Be Back, What’d I Miss, One Last Time, The Room Where It Happens, Satisfied, and Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story.

Actually, we like every single song for different reasons.  Each stirs up happiness or sadness, a look into flawed people who fought for freedom, the importance of each life and contributions, the impact we make on others, and so much more.

The original Hamilton had quite a life.  This musical gave a voice to all that he did for our country.  I am so glad that Lin-Manual Miranda read that book on vacation.  Imagine if he hadn’t.  What would we have missed?

I am also glad to have been introduced to and/or seen more of the amazing talented original cast — Lin-Manuel Miranda, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom Jr., Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff,  Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onoadowan, the ensemble, and the understudies.

I give it two thumbs up!  Great show and great fun.  Have you seen the musical?  Have you listened to the music?  If so, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.  (The images are from Power Point clip art.)

Tuesday Tunes — The Bee Gees

Hi and Happy Tuesday. I wanted to write something for Tuesday Tunes, which I haven’t done in quite a while.  This one is on the Bee Gees, one of my all-time favorite groups.

This image is from Power Point clip art and is how I remember these three men. I am pleased to have their greatest hits album that I like to sing and dance to.

On Sunday night, we watched a great Grammy special in their honor on CBS.  Many artists performed and discussed the impact of the Brothers Gibb.  At the end, the remaining member of the group Barry Gibb performed with his band and with the other artists.  It was great and brought back so many wonderful memories.

I had forgotten how much amazing music they wrote and performed.  I liked every single song that was performed and there were a lot of them.  So many great old photos of Barry, Maurice, and Robin, as well as Andy.  The three Gibb brothers who have died were gone too soon.  Lovely tributes were made for them.  Also, John Travolta was there with Barry Gibb and his family.

The performers were: Katherine McPhee, Celine Dion, Panic at the Disco, Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, Andra Day, DNCE, Stevie Wonder and John Legend, Little Big Town, Joe Jonas, Pentatonix, Tori Kelly, Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett, Demi Lovato, Jason Derulo and Tavares, and finally Barry Gibb.  These are not in order of performance.

Here are a just a few of the songs that I love by the Bee Gees. These were all performed during the special.  There were only two that I was not familiar with — Massachusetts and Love So Right.

  • Stayin Alive
  • You Should Be Dancing
  • Jive Talkin
  • Night Fever
  • Immortality
  • Tragedy
  • To Love Somebody
  • If I Can’t Have You
  • Too Much Heaven
  • I Just Want To Be Your Everything
  • How Can You Mend A Broken Heart
  • How Deep Is Your Love
  • Emotion
  • More Than A Woman
  • Islands In The Stream
  • Lonely Days

Amazingly, these are just some of their hits.  Hope you were able to watch these performances and tribute to this terrific band.  I for one enjoyed it very much!  Since I should be dancing, I better get to it!  Cheers!!

Five Minute Friday – Empty

Hi and Happy Good Friday.  Today’s Five Minute Friday word is empty, just right for Good Friday.  I haven’t written one of these in a long time.  But, here goes. This image is from Power Point’s clip art.

Empty – our lives can be empty if we have no purpose, no one to care about, don’t love ourselves, or have no support. My hope and prayer is that we all have people to laugh with us during the good times and to be there in the times of sadness, hurt, and struggle. And that we can learn to love ourselves and realize that we are worthy of love, acceptance and caring.

I also think about people who are hungry and have no regular source of food. And those with no clean and safe source of water.  May we help them so they don’t have empty bellies. May we help them so they do not thirst, but instead can safely be nourished and fed.

Empty is also what was found at the tomb on Easter morning — three days after the death of Jesus.  Imagine what that must have been like.  I can picture them thinking, what happened and where did he go?  Did someone steal him?  I imagine they were very puzzled yet amazed at the miracle.

Today is the day we remember the suffering and death that our Lord endured.  He became human and felt all the feelings that we do and learned how we feel in times of happiness, struggle, pain, and loss.  He suffered a brutal death for us.

On Sunday, we celebrate His resurrection and that empty tomb.  The stone was rolled away and He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!  This is what our faith is all about.

Okay times up.  That five minutes went by fast.  I have a few things to add.

No matter what you believe or celebrate, please remember that you are loved, you are valued, you are important, and you don’t have to be or feel empty.  There are those who will care for you and be there for you.

May you  have a blessed Easter weekend.  For those celebrating Passover, may you be blessed as well.  And, may we never feel empty.  God’s blessings to you!

Our Favorite Words

Yesterday, Ian and I were talking about our favorite words. I don’t know how we got on this particular subject, but we did. And, I have to say, he has some great favorite words.

His list includes these five that he spelled and wrote on paper for me:

  1. astronomical
  2. telescopic
  3. telescope
  4. astronomy
  5. cosmology

His interests currently have to do with space, planets, the solar system, and science. So, this is a great and perfect list from him. They are great words and I am thrilled that he likes all of them.  Perhaps a future scientist in our family.

I then started to think about my favorite words and it was a very different list. My words weren’t so much about a subject or two that I am interested in, but instead words that mean something special to me.

Here are my top 20:

  1. family
  2. friends
  3. love
  4. peace
  5. respect
  6. hope
  7. faith
  8. kindness
  9. compassion
  10. joy
  11. honor
  12. forgiveness
  13. wonder
  14. beach
  15. rainbows
  16. music
  17. books
  18. writing
  19. ocean
  20. Brigadoon

These were the first that came to mind for me. I have a feeling on a different day, the list could change. In light of today’s world, many of these words have more resonance with me than they used to. I have really stopped to think about them and how to put them into action. Others are subjects of interest to me and some fond memories.

What are your favorite words?  Please share.

Holy Week Events

This week is known on the Christian calendar as Holy Week. This was a Blog that I posted a few years ago and wanted to again.

This is the week when Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, celebrated Holy Communion with his disciples, was crucified, died, was buried, and then rose again.

It is a week of celebration and sadness, a week of the best and the worst, and is the most important time of year to me as a Christian.

  • Palm Sunday“The people who walked ahead of Jesus, and those who followed him, began to shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” – Matthew 21: 8-9

On Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday.  We waved palm frons as we sang the hymns.  It was a lovely service.

During the Children’s Chat, Pastor told the children that Christ has the red carpet in our hearts.  During the sermon, Ian drew a picture of his heart with a red carpet on the floor.  It really touched the pastor and me as well.

  • Maundy Thursday“Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.”– Luke 7: 19-20

Then we have Maundy Thursday which celebrates the Lord’s Last Supper.  He shared bread and wine with his disciples, including the man who betrayed him. Prior to that meal, he washed their feet.

He shared with them some of what was to come in the next few days.  Can you even imagine being there for that meal?  Or can you imagine having your feet be washed by a man who you have so much respect for?

  • Good Friday“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” – Matthew 27:50

Good Friday follows.  I have always wondered why that was the name chosen.  After all, this is the day that our Lord was crucified, beaten, nailed to a cross, and died.

During the service, we listen to the last 7 Words of Christ and watch the lights turn off as a book is dropped, signifying the closing of the tomb.  We then leave in silence.  This service is a challenge with a 5-year-old who loves to talk but is truly meaningful.   We are reminded of what the Lord did for us.

  • Easter“Simon Peter said, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” – Luke 24:34

It is an amazing contrast to Easter morning.  Easter is when we say, “He is Risen.  He is Risen Indeed.”  I love that my church has a sunrise service at the local marina.  It is hard to get up early enough for it but is the truly most meaningful service for me.

Watching the sunrise over the lake as we sing, “Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluia” nearly moves me to happy tears.  I hope that we can make it to this service.  But, we’ll have to wait and see.

Also on Easter will be a breakfast at church, an Easter Egg hunt and then another service — often with the glorious organ and full orchestra.  It is a day to celebrate.

After church we will gather at my parent’s house for lunch with the family – including extended family — and maybe have a family egg hunt.

I hope that you too will have a very blessed and meaningful Holy Week!

I wonder if I can truly appreciate all that Lord has done for me?  I know that it will be demonstrated this week.