Friday, February 12, 2010

It is a good thing to have a room waiting for us

The other day I blogged about the gospel tune, We'll Understand It Better By and By. It was a hymn recorded by Thelonious Monk. The biography I am reading stressed these lyrics...
We are often destitute
of the things that life demands,
Want of food and want of shelter,
thirsty hills and barren lands.

The point being made was to reference the history Monk had emerged from. I emerged from some suffering in my youth, but I have never experienced a want for food. Mosaic Woman and I did go through a year in Oregon when we were both graduate students. I look at what our earnings were that year and I wonder how we did not want... loans, part-time jobs, and frugality.

Monk did not record any of his music until he was 30. And at that time he still lived at home, or at least had a room in his mother's house. It was in that room where he crammed a piano and then a sextet, which prepared for that first recording. If it wasn't for that room, Monk would not have been able to stick to his dream to be himself first and foremost when he played piano.

My parents have always had a room for me. They have in the past in good times and in bad like when my first attempt at college was not quite a success. Years later, Mosaic Woman and I would return to Pennsylvania after 8 years of roaming about the US, and that return was made a lot easier by the room provided us. The other night, I searched and searched for an unknown version of We'll Understand It Better By and By. Nothing met what I wanted. One of the first I found was a bluegrass version. They skip the verse mentioned above, then skip some others, and add one not found in the lyrics I had found. But this guy made it into my grandparent's LP collection and then into mine...


  1. Bill Monroe was well known, I believe, for his version of "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and, while I was never a devoted fan, I was raised with such banjo/mandolin/fiddle songs feedng me from the radio. The nasal twang still feeds me on occasion, the intrumentals any time I encounter it......

  2. Whoa, it's way too early in the morning for that kind of chipper (the Bill Monroe version I mean). I think I need something more in waltz time right about now.

    It is good to have a room waiting. Interesting to hear about Monk.


  3. Jim--- jazz and bluegrass both allow the players a chance to show their stuff... you got to be able to play to be in the band

    Daisy--- sorry about the rude awakening.


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