Sometimes the sacred books dovetail together nicely and "Turn, Turn, Turn (to Everything There is a Season)," from the Book of Ecclesiastes, is something of the Judeo/Christian tradition that recalls the Tao, Confucius, fundamental Buddhist texts, the great classicists and more.
In other words, it brings the real.
The Byrds had a big surprise hit with "Turn, Turn, Turn" in 1965. Here is a lovely rendition by Judy Collins, accompanied by the man who wrote the melodic adaptation, Pete Seeger, from his TV shadow in the mid-60s.
Listen closely to the notes played just before they begin - I'm hearing a bit of "Here Comes the Sun" - 3, 4, 5 notes at most, but a shared melody/progression if my ear is serving me right.
Finally, if you'd like to learn to play this lovely song yourself, here is Roger McGuinn, in a solo performance, filmed by someone who knows what guitar players, and true music fans, want to see: the artist's fingering and picking, McGuinn on his signature 12-string Rickenbacher, showing how it's done, with soul, spirit, and a clarity of playing par excellence.
And a little bit of history, courtesy of Wikipedia:
The song was first released by the folk group The Limeliters on their 1962 album Folk Matinee, under the title "To Everything There Is a Season". The Limeliters' version predated the release of Seeger's own version by several months. One of The Limeliter's backing musicians at this time was Jim McGuinn (aka Roger McGuinn), who would later work with folk singer Judy Collins, rearranging the song for her 1963 album, Judy Collins 3. Collins' recording of the song was retitled as "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)", a title that would be used intermittently by McGuinn's later band The Byrds, when they released a cover of the song in 1965.
Sometimes serendipity just gets right up in your face even though you, stupid old you, try looking every which way but where you should be looking. I know, cause I'm talking about me. In any case, this poem, from issue #128, just jumped right out, being the first poem of the issue. Since the way I select these poems every week is one per issue working my way up (last week was #127, the week before etc.), this is true serendipity.
Now it's in your face. Enjoy.
The first Christmas after:
an orange bristling with cloves,
the mandrill faces
in walnut halves left untouched—
the background, snowbanks
blank as absence
J. D. Smith
a new year--
the same nonsense
piled on nonsense
translated by David G. Lanoue
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