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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shepherd's Song

Ten days ago an old friend died. He was 61 years old. When we were young, he looked a lot like the great composer, Joseph Canteloube. I have drawn a picture of Joseph Canteloube in my sketchbook. I took two turns at it.

The first muddied to where it looked like a cantaloupe, so I labeled it and left it beside the more successful likeness. That way I can always consult them when I need to tell the difference. The housefinch above both portraits was part of a flock visiting my yard last month and claims to have nothing to do with anything.

The song that helped describe what I felt is Canteloube's "Bailero", which is one of the folk tunes he collected from the Auvergne region in France. My poor translation: "Bailero, you're having a hard time; so am I. The stream runs between us and I can't cross it." That's a close description of loss.

I'm appending a recording of Madeleine Grey doing a lively version and you can make your own translation, which may easily differ from mine. But the melody nails pretty much everything all by itself.


  1. What a marvelous personal eulogy! I took the liberty of forwarding this to Warner in case you hadn't....

  2. Thanks, It was Warner who alerted me to the Madeleine Grey recording. It has not the technical advantages of the Von Stade version I sent you, but it's folk roots feel closer.

  3. I am loving the addition of pics and video clips!

  4. Glad you like it, Annie B. As technological savvy goes on the information highway I am still driving the jackwagon. Only recently learned to upload pics and vids!


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