MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas


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Opera – the OG Mash-up*

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

The Magic Flute

What is the attraction to opera?

It is symphony and brass band, plus more.

It is ballet and passionate couples, but still more. 

It is theater with murder and lust and gentle creatures, and yet much, much more.

I saw my first opera at the age of 10, it was a travelling company performing a snippet of the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart opera “The Magic Flute.” It was loud and boisterous.

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La LLorona – the weeping woman (revisited)

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

la llorona, marsearth,

Natalia Lafourcade

There is a legendary tale in Mexico (and the American southwest) about a beautiful woman who weeps in anguish and sheds many tears.
She is a woman whose children died.

It is said that her ghost haunts the rivers and streams and waterways because her children drowned.
And she drowned them herself – in anger against her husband’s unfaithfulness.

Among the stories told and re-told in families with Hispanic traditions,
the tale of “La LLorona” (lah yore-RONE-nah) is probably the scariest.

I have heard versions in English and in Spanish,
and with a very few embellishment, the haunting cries of this distraught woman give chills to this day.

(Thanks to my Tío Andrés, our Spanish folktale story teller.)

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 1

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Eric Clapton

Can you believe we have reached the Top Spot?
Thank you for following this blog and sharing it with your friends and family.
I always appreciate your interest and comments.
And now, “The next voice you hear . . . “
This song, the saddest of rock and roll,  expresses the ultimate experience
a person could ever engage in

for the sake of a perceived want or for the sake of love. 
For the loser, the loss cannot be calculated.
For the hurt, the despair is of a depth which can never be plumbed.
When we ourselves decide there is no other way to secure a valued relationship,
we – without question – cross a line . . .

Historically, forbidden love is exciting. But even the modern day seeker of forbidden love must follow rules, especially when a sweetheart belongs to another. How far have men gone to give a passionate embrace to another woman? King David made that bad choice. How far would a woman go to get the man she thinks is her soul mate? Well, let’s see. We have infamously stained dresses and a very high divorce rate among Los Angeles and New York actors for infidelity. Just the same, there has been no female version of “Say Anything.” Let’s not hold our breath for a woman so single-minded. What does a lovelorn man do when the object of his desire and passion is already taken?

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Billy Graham – not gone, just moving on ahead as promised

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

William “Billy” Franklin Graham Jr. KBE was born November 7, 1918 and died February 21, 2018. Billy was an American evangelist, a significant evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He is still considered one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century. His evangelical revivals are re-broadcast into the 21st century.

Be of Good Cheer
” ‘Jesus said, I have overcome the world.’ Now, Jesus made this statement just before he went to Gethsemane and just before he went to Calvary. He warned the disciples in that upper room. He said, ‘As the world hated me, it will hate you, too.’

“He used the word COSMOS, the world SYSTEM. Not the Earth. Not the trees. Not the Nature, but the WORLD SYSTEM. And, the Bible teaches that this WORLD SYSTEM is dominated by EVIL. Satanic cosmic principles of force and greed and selfishness and ambition and pleasure seem to be in control most of the time. Continue reading


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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 6

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

A common expression we hear not only in team sports but also in relationships is “She/ he seemed to  hit a wall.” This could mean a physical obstacle such as endurance or not seeing the “big picture.” However, in a relationship it can mean that the people involved could not make it work or even reach some sort of a compromise. When there are problems just getting along it can be very frustrating.  A psychological professional might look for a way the people involved acknowledge the problem and then take responsibility for their own (lack of) contribution. We can and should depend on our friends for acknowledgement, sociability, and communications. At best we hope that the other person understands our setbacks and failures. At worst our friendships can be more like, to use a phrase, “misery loves company.”

Chad Gray frontman for the Dallas, Texas, metal band HELLYEAH, writes songs that reach the very hearts of metal music fans. In 2006 Chad was fronting his first band, Mudvayne, while developing a project with former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, bassist Kyle Sanders, former Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul, with guitarist Christian Brady.  Chad has said in interviews that most people who like rock music want some kind of outlet to express  feelings and emotions associated with lost love.  Maybe because this is a common human experience.  Relationships that end – for good or bad – are a kind of parting and it is these broken ties which make us who we are.

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 8

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

For hundreds of years there have been people who for one reason or another needed to avoid a king’s authority. Maybe they were thieves. It could have been that they broke some posted or some obscure rule or order. Of course, they may have been in opposition to the crown because religion or family ties. However, when it comes to the laws of love we have so many reasons to be in it, even when it may be forbidden because of another person who is supposed to be receiving our affections. There are so many complications attached to a new romance when we are in the middle of an established one. This drive is usually what causes the deceptions and fibs associated with an affair. There are only a handful of books and websites that teach us how to spot someone being untruthful. It seems that only a few errant lovers have the ability to hide in plain sight.

For a southern California band that began covering rock standards, writing songs about people with a love agenda was a strength for the band known as the EAGLES.  They had formed in 1971. A year later they debuted their self-titled work which caught the attention of rock, folk and country music fans in America and around the world.  The band is ranked #75 on the Rolling Stone magazine list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. EAGLES band members Glenn FreyDon Henley, Bernie LeadonDon Felder, Randy Meisner and  Jim Ed Norman had relationship problems themselves.

By 1975 Bernie was replaced by Joe Walsh, a  legitimate rock star in his own right. Don and Glenn over the years had developed such a contentious relationship that by the 1990s they were overheard threatening each other on stage between songs. Glenn eventually had Don fired from the band business, Eagles Ltd. Soon after Don sued the corporation for breach of contract. If we had ever seen them in concert, we would have never known they were struggling inside. It seemed like that these two artists rarely saw eye to eye on their business matters the way did with their compositions.

While the band was producing Top 40 hits and touring, they were hiding their betrayals in plain sight. They smiled at the crowds and produced memorable arrangements, then sang the most beautiful of harmonies. The sweet lyrics on their 1974 iconic hit, “Best of my love,” insists that the singer is a devoted lover. But the band members’ issues were not in any lack of effort, rather they were in a lack of forgiveness and compassion from the heart. By 1975 the band finally expressed in music the way to tell how someone who says I love you is not being honest about their feelings. Have we ever been the person who caused heartbreak for another? Is it very easy to hide our feelings from the person who believes in the growth of our relationship when we have virtually given up on that same promise?

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 9

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Woulda, shoulda coulda are the words we sometimes say when looking back at a situation that did go our way or work out favorably. We feel worse when a relationship we have problems with quickly comes to an end. Then what makes us more upset is seeing our Ex do well with someone else. This kind of realization can make us long for the way things used to be.

For the Canadian heavy metal band KITTIE, writing songs about busted relationships and bad vibes between lovers seems to be the main theme of their fourth album “Funeral for Yesterday,” The band spent Year 2006 designing the music and writing the lyrics for this work. The album consisted of 14 tracks, an incredible effort for a metal band, which at the time was less than 10 years active and having two brand new memebrs. KITTIE band members on this album were Morgan Lander vocals, Mercedes Lander drummer, Tara McLeod guitar, and Trish Doan on bass. As a metal band their song themes regularly touch on angst, separation, pain and disillusionment.

For KITTIE when things did not go right with their record label, they took matters into their own hands. They decided to release  “Funeral for Yesterday” on their own label ‘X of Infamy Records.’ The album was distributed through EMI Records. It debuted at #101 on the Billboard 200 Album charts in 2007.

We can take a page from their book when dealing with one-sided associations. Despite how comforting it may be to play it safe, and just let life wash over us, we could take matters into our own hands. There is always a risk that if we are not careful, we just might not get what we want when stepping out solo. What should we ignore and what should we hold onto when we know that a relationship is over?

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