Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Thanks to a new pal, I was reminded of the trend toward modal music that was spurred by Richard and Mimi Farina in the sixties.  I tease 'modern' mountain dulcimer players about their damned 'extra' frets because Richard never had them and certainly the inspiration for all of us, Jean Ritchie, never had them either.. The diatonic tuning of the traditional mountain dulcimer .. modified with extra strings.. of which I, of course, approve.. is an open chord that makes music making available to practically anyone.  

Being reminded of Richard and Mimi's Reflections in a Crystal Wind, combined with the deaths recently of Bud Ford II, sweet Ursula Voigt and Rod Gully.. all friends from important phases of my life.. I wanted to comfort Bud's wife, Donna and his daughter, Erin.. I sent them a note but did not include the lyrics of the song.  

Change is constant whether I like it or not.  Death is part of that.. and these terrible fires here in the LA area are a reminder of impermanence ..  We move on.. Hopefully..  We move. ...  on.

If you know the tune, this is a wonderful example of Richard's songwriting.. and his mountain dulcimer accompaniment .. 


If there's a way to say I'm sorry
Perhaps I'll stay another evening beside your door
And watch the moon rise inside your window
Where jewels are falling, and flowers weeping, and strangers laughing
Because you're grieving that I have gone.

And if I don't know why I am going
Perhaps I'll wait beside the pathway where no-one's coming
And count the questions I turned away from, or closed my eyes to
Or had no time for, or passed right over
Because the answers would shame my pride.

I've heard them say the word forever
But I don't know if words have meaning when they are promised
In fear of losing what can't be borrowed
Or lent in blindness, or blessed by pageantry, or sold by preachers
While you're still walking your separate way.

Sometimes we bind ourselves together
And seldom know the harm in binding 
the only feeling that cries for freedom
And needs unfolding and understanding
And time for holding a simple mirror
The one reflection to call your own.

If there's an end to all our dreaming
Perhaps I'll go while you're still standing beside your door
And I'll remember your hands encircling 
a bowl of moonstones
A lamp of childhood, a robe of roses
Because your sorrows were still unborn.


and on the note of sad current affairs..

Thankfully, the news media is using the terms "inappropriate" and "unacceptable" behavior instead of 'harassemet' or 'abuse' in our ongoing #me too issues.  

michael sheehan
december 6, 2017

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