Songs of Hope 4
Friendship. In these times when the political and social world seems to be tilting in ways unexpected, keeping the light of friendship and encouragement burning with people you know and trust is a subject upon which to reflect, and reflect again.
Kathy Mattea has said that she likes to find songs which keep teaching her lessons, and that she has found that this one does. Not the most cheerful way to suggest that you think about friendship, perhaps, but it is a place to begin. Mattea has recorded the song on her album Lonesome Standard Time. Bill Cooley, who plays with Mattea in this video, has a n excellent album of guitar music out called In Search of Home.
Carrie Newcomer says that she was thinking about all the times someone has encouraged her when she was in a hard place when she wrote the song You Can Do This Hard Thing. As she often does when writing songs, poems, or essays, Newcomer draws on her personal experiences to make her points. From them she creates ideas and images that become universal. Newcomer has recorded the song on her album The Beautiful Not Yet.
As she makes her life as a professional musician, Cathie Ryan well knows about leave taking, and about trusting that you will see friends again and you will keep in touch with each other though time and distance may separate you. She often chooses this song, So Here’s to You, to bring her live performances to a close -- well, almost.
As she does in this clip from a show at the Great Lakes Folk Festival, she often pairs it with the witty song Johnny Be Fair and a set of reels and jigs to send her listeners home in a light hearted manner. That’s also an act of friendship shared from performer to audience. Ryan has recorded So Here’s to You on her album Somewhere Along the Road. You’ll find Johnny Be Fair and the tune set on her recording Through Wind and Rain.
You’ll enjoy other music from these artists as well. Here are stories I’ve written about some of that
Cathie Ryan: Through Wind and Rain
Kathy Mattea: Calling Me Home
Music & Mystery: Conversation with Carrie Newcomer Continues
This story is part of a series on music for these times. Here's another in the series Songs of Hope 3
Fire photograph by Kerry Dexter. Thank you for respecting copyright.