Tuesday, October 23, 2007

now playing: The Best of Friends

The Best of Friends

A book, this time, rather than a recording, though we’ll get to the music in minute. Ginger Mauney is a film maker who lives in Africa; Sara James is a news correspondent who lives in New York. They met when they were twelve, in Virginia, but their paths diverged, time and time again over the more than thirty years they’ve known it each other. This book is a shared chronicle -- they alternate writing chapters of their lives and bits and pieces of how having that friendship has been vital to them both. It’s more narrative than philosophy, a story of the individual circumstances of two friends who trusted and accepted their friendship even when they couldn’t or didn’t see each other for long stretches of time. It’s a story of the grace of friendship, really.

What does this have to to with music? All of us who make, follow, and trust music end up on the road a lot, with best friends in far flung places, friends who, like James and Mauney, may not be there always for the big or small events that people generally think of as building and maintaining friendship, but who continue as friends in practical ways as well as friends of soul and spirit. This book is a fine reminder to be thankful for that grace, and to nurture it.

music for these ideas:

Carrie Newcomer has a good song with a vivid image of friends called Three Women, which was first released on her recording called Angel on My Shoulder and is also on Betty's Diner.

Tommy Sands’ song There Were Roses, recorded by both Sean Keane and Cara Dillon, sets the troubles in Ireland in the context of friendship.

Cathie Ryan’s Coaineadh na d’Tri Muire. Lament of the Three Marys, on her The Music of What Happens CD, is about mother and son -- Christ and his mother Mary, actually -- but holds good insights on connection.

Follow On, written by Paul Brady and recorded by Danu on When All Is Said and Done, is another good look at the lasting power of friendship even when faith is all that’s there to keep it going.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger pamela hitchins said...

Well, Kerry, I'm trying to NOT spend any money right now! ;-) I love this review, though, and passed it along to some of my best cyber friends. Love your sensibilities, Kerry.

5:44 PM  
Blogger kerry dexter said...

thanks, Pam. I'd be interested to hear what your friends think about the book -- and the music of course -- when they have a chance to check it all out.

5:58 PM  

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