Wednesday, May 26

Bought It...Lost It...Bought It Again

In the world of consumerism, we buy, we buy, and buy more. We each have certain things for which our pocketbook is weak. One of mine is CD's. I know, I am so 1998, but I just don't want to upgrade my life to downloading music. So impersonal and thefty. I still enjoy the sweet sensation of walking into a dark store, judging CD's by their cover, picking a few new musicians, then heading to the usual artists CD's that rarely disappoint. Often I will listen to the new CD's for several weeks, perhaps a month, then file them into categorized, genre labeled boxes, all ready for me when a particular mood suites. My collection is lovely.

Despite the acknowledgment of my addiction and knowing the consumerism does not make me happy, when I found out I had lost one of them, one that I adore, one that will withstand the cooling heat of popularity, my pocketbook repurchased it. Perhaps it was due to the Canadian flavour of the selection; very much the artist whose powerful and sultry voice I wish projected out of my throat when my mouth opened; or maybe it the small crush I have on her or her voice, I can't tell which.

A collection of 11 songs written by Canadians and all sung by kd lang, titled Hymns of the 49th Parallel.

All with the illustrious voice of kd, the songs include:

1 - After the Gold Rush - Neil Young
2 - Simple - Lang, David Pilch
3 - Helpless - Neil Young
4 - A Case of You - Joni Mitchell
5 - The Valley -  Jane Siberry
6 - Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
7 - One Day I Walk - Bruce Cockburn
8 - Fallen - Ron Sexsmith
9 - Jericho - Mitchell
10 - Bird on a Wire - Leonard Cohen
11 - Love is Everything - Jane Siberry

With lyrics such as:
"You're in my blood like holy wine. Your so bitter baby and so sweet. I could drink a case of you...and still I'd be on my feet." - A Case of You, Joni Mitchell

"Maybe there's a God above, but all I've every learned from love is how to shoot someone who outdrew ya." - Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen

"First I turn to you. Then I turn away. So you try to hurt me back, ah it breaks your body down. So you try to love, bigger, better still, but's too late." - Love Is Everything, Jane Siberry

"One day I walk in flowers. One day I walk on stone. One day I walk in hours. One day I shall be home." - One Day I Will Walk, Bruce Cockburn
"And though you trust the light towards which you wend your way. Sometimes it feels all that you wanted has been taken away. You will walk. You will walk. You will walk in good company." - The Valley, Jane Siberry

(Click here to listen to kd lang sing 'Hallelujah' at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics while you read. Turn it up!) 

In 2008 I was able to see her in concert in Calgary and it was one of the most peaceful, delight-some, and moving evenings I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Considering I have been to 3 - 5 music concerts per year since 1984, this marvelous evening of music was truly one of the best. She sang the song 'Hallelujah' during the evening, written by Leonard Cohen, and her sonorous voice filled the recital hall and touched the audience so deeply that the only sound was kd lang's voice reverberating off the walls. We were frozen in time; a moment of flow for all in attendance. As she finished singing the last few Hallelujah's, one by one we listeners rose to our feet with cheers and claps of joy. The concert was by no means over, but her ability to stir the soul with this song was undeniable, and she may not have written the song but divine intervention helped us all realize that it was unintentionally written for her voice. An unforgettable moment.

(Click here to listen to her sing 'Love is Everything'.")

'Love is Everything' was the second most impressive performance in her concert and on the CD. It is a powerful reflection on a relationship that is ending, through the eyes of the person leaving. "So take the a lesson from the strangeness you feel, and know you'll never be the same. And find it in your heart to kneel down and say, I gave my love didn't I, and I gave it big sometimes, and I gave it in my own sweet time, I'm just leaving." Hits you in the gut and you listen to it again and again.

This CD is really a journey, a journey through a short history of Canadian song writing. A journey through the development of a woman whose identity has changed from a hyper country singing cowgirl to a melodious adult contemporary voice of Canadian beauty. A journey of emotions. If I lose it again, I shall purchase it a third time. It will always be in the box labeled 'Women' in my home.

(Copied from

PS. Who doesn't want to be Ms. Chatelaine?!? If you have not read the real magazine lately, here it is Chatelaine.

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