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Mathews' Monthy Musing
July 2017

Click here to download songs that were brought to this meeting.

The Ukesters assembled in the heralded Glowacki Room at St Pius X Church in Mission Kansas on July 10, 2017. Rick Sullivan led the meeting.

For introductions, Rick had each Ukester provide their point of origin and reveal their first favored radio station. There were lots of WHB devotees in the crowd.

Rick set a folk music theme for the evening and encouraged folk songs to be brought.

Rick led us in OKLAHOMA HILLS by Woody Guthrie. It was Woody's fond recollection of growing up in his home state.

Steve was up next with AWAKE, ARISE YOU DROWSY SLEEPER. About a clever miss who tests her lover's fidelity by using her parents as obstructions to their marriage and agreeing to go with him when he accepts her excuses. An older than the hills song device. Traditional.

Rick then led THE LAST THING ON MY MIND by perhaps the best modern folk song composer, Tom Paxton. A beautiful song about a lost love affair. If you wish to be astounded, check out the wikipedia entry for this song to see the large and varied list of celebrities that have covered this song.

Chuck Wood was up next leading us in SHE DON'T LIKE ROSES by singer songwriter Christine Kane about a very individual woman who refuses to be stereotyped. Miss Kane is very involved as a speaker on women's issues, creativity and business.

Rick returned with another Tom Paxton offering, CINDY'S CRYIN' about the desperation
of dealing with a drug addict that you love. Paxton also wrote about the lament of the alcoholic (albeit humorously) in his song, BOTTLE OF WINE which charted in the top 40 back in the 1960's by The Fireballs.

As is their custom, the Ukesters broke at this point.

The July meeting was interesting in that we had a young lady visiting from Italy, a gentleman from the Philippines, a lady from Los Angeles whose been attending to business here for the past year and a woman named Katie who is a big Frank Sinatra fan. (Ken Kelly brought some Sinatra recordings and gave them to any interested parties at the meeting).

Larry Herndon set things rolling in the second half with the story of that hapless horse who won despite the odds, STEWBALL. It is based on a song about a real Irish horse from the 1700's named "Skewball" and the melody was purloined by John Lennon for his song HAPPY XMAS(WAR IS OVER).

Larry continued with a song about an iron horse, THE WRECK OF THE OLD '97 about an obsessed train engineer who is determined to meet his arrival deadline only to lose his life in the process. It was probably written by a man who had just argued with his wife because the epilogue of the song cautions women about having a sharp tongue with their husbands and how bad they'd feel if the husband died without resolving the dispute.

Steve brought Dave Van Ronk's HE NEVER CAME BACK about an incompetent waiter, a rube who was unfamiliar with gas lamps, and an obnoxiously loud neighbor. Similar to the Kingston Trio's CHARLIE ON THE MTA.

Nancy Howell brought SOMEDAY SOON written and first recorded by Ian Tyson (and his wife, Sylvia)  but made famous by Judy Collins. It's about a woman who is hopelessly in love with a rodeo man who will never love her as much as he loves the rodeo.

Rick led us in MY BACK PAGES by Bob Dylan but again made popular by The Byrds. It tells the tale of a man who becomes more open minded and involved as he grows older.

Chuck Wood led us in THE BIRDS WERE SINGING OF YOU by The Carter Family. The singer is grieving over the death of his wife and interprets the sounds of nature, like singing birds, as a tribute to her memory.

Rick brought one of Phil Ochs most touching songs, CHANGES, it was an audience favorite at his concerts (second only to I AIN'T MARCHIN' ANYMORE). While Dylan had the lyrics, Ochs had the melodies. He and Dylan had a love/hate relationship but grudgingly respected each other's talent.

Ken Kelly had us end on a light note, BUFFALO GALS, with harmonica, kazoos and whistles.

David Firman played his superb bass lines, Ken Kelly harmonicazized throughout the evening, and Dr Pat volunteered her famous whistle.

Rick Sullivan came up with an excellent theme of folk music and there was such a great variety of folk music presented. Great job of leading the meeting, Rick!

Many thanks to Jim Donovan who vigilantly supplies the evening's song sheets via e-mail every month. To those who are unable to attend.

There was $76.00 in the donation box tonight. Thanks to the good people of St Pius X Church, and in particular, the admirable Father Ken Kelly, who is most instrumental (get it) in us being able to meet here in the first place. Of course, if one of those dollars was yours, we thank you, too!

The next meeting will be the same time, same place on August 14, 2017. Steve Mathews will lead unless someone else wishes to take it.

REMEMBER: MUSIC SELF-PLAYED IS HAPPINESS SELF-MADE!

Until August I remain re-entrantly yours,
                             Steve