Saturday, November 6, 2010


I often try to explain certain great innovators in the arts to my son by say playing him what a jazz sax solo sounded like before Charlie Parker and one afterwards. The great geniuses of innovation always impress with their originality, doing something like it's never been done before.

But there's another category of innovation which is basically just reinterpretation rather than reinvention ala Bird. And a recent link sent to me by the poet and Traditional Irish Music creator Terence Winch, reminded me of that.

This is an old song which Terence says was often done in a "schmaltzy" way, or played in the waltz tempo according to his brother Jesse, another trad Irish musician, but never like this to my knowledge or theirs. It perfectly illustrates how something familiar and over-sentimentalized in a cheesy way can be reinterpreted and made into a perfect and perfectly subdued and thereby more powerful work of art. The genuine article.


Anonymous said...

Dear M:

I'm glad this one caught your attention. She really does transform the song. When we were kids we made fun of this song, whose words seemed to comprise a kind of fund-raising guilt trip.

Lally said...

Thanks for hipping me to it.