Saturday, August 31, 2013

Geneology of a Song

I love music.  No, really.  I don't just enjoy it.  It is the food of my soul.

When I first became conscious of God in my life - that is, the presence of the other, the holy, the numinous - I was about 8 or 9 years old.  Sure, I knew about God through Church: mom dragged me there week after week.  At that point in my life, however, I became aware that something was there...  I'll be honest, it took me a few more years to connect the 'God of Church' to 'the wonderful-other-presnce.'

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is that from that first moment of the awareness of God, my natural response has been to sing, and by extension, when I listen to music, it often awakes in me that great awareness again.  So I love music - it draws me into the presence of God.

This is not necessarily connected to the 'quality' of the music, though I am a great lover of 'classical' music from all periods and cultures.  Even some of the most vacuous pop can touch me if even one element 'connects.'

After becoming a musician myself I also became engrossed in the geneology of songs.  Where did they come from?  Why?  What is at the heart of this song?

So, before you read any further, I want you to set aside some time to journey with me through the geneology of a song.  It will take a while because I want you to watch some YouTube videos.  It should take about 20 minutes.  Come back later if you don't have the time now.

(Disclaimer: Please note that this is NOT a complete geneology and there are good arguments that another song is also woven into the the latest versions....but that's just being picky.  Also, please feel free to skip the Ads that start the later videos.)

The Carter Family, on 10 May 1928 recorded "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone" at Trinity Baptist Church, Camden, New Jersy.

Later, in 1937, Mainers Mountaineers renamed the song, "Miss Me When I'm Gone" and added some verses and changes of their own.

Flash ahead to 2009 and "You're Gonna Miss Me" is recorded by Lulu and the Lampshades.

The song finally finds its most popularized version - now simply called "Cups" -  by Anna Kendrick in the 2012 movie, Pitch Perfect.

Sooooo, after all that, I wanted you to hear my favourite 'take' on a song that's been around almost 100 years.  And, yes, it touched my soul.  Enjoy.

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