Oh …those romantic ballads, those songs of empowerment, those songs of freedom and heartbreak. Ladyjustice did have her many years of fame in “show biz” as a as performer/vocalist with Another Octave- Connecticut Women’s Chorus. She truly misses this experience… but the physical aspects of performing, scaling those bleachers or stages, learning the music is something that can be enjoyable but also taxing on an aging body… and time consuming when you are trying to create a new career, move across country and continue to advocate for others, still do justice to needy clients and still collect a paycheck in state government.
Another Octave performs all types of music around a theme associated with empowerment of women, a particular culture, an issue, a musical play, a cabaret collection, songs of coming out etc. In fact, scouring YouTube for particular musical samples, LJ could find no better quality music and vocals of particular songs than on the CD (of which LJ was a small part) than their “Never Turning Back” CD, Year, 2002. Please visit their website: http://www.anotheroctave.org/ and purchase this CD. There’ is no better example of women’s music on earth! Musical samples at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/anotheroctave.
The following musical samples are songs that touch the heart in some way shape or form or may have a twist of crime by implication….or LJ’s interpretation.
1) Harriet Tubman: Musical Sample Performed by Another Octave: Connecticut Women’s Chorus: Press Tubman song link and listen at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/anotheroctave. (3 min, 25 secs)
Harriet Tubman’s Life in Slavery; Harriet Ross was born into slavery in 1819 or 1820, in Dorchester County, Maryland. Given the names of her two parents, both held in slavery, she was of purely African ancestry. She was raised under harsh conditions, and subjected to whippings even as a small child. At the age of 12 she was seriously injured by a blow to the head, inflicted by a white overseer for refusing to assist in tying up a man who had attempted escape. At the age of 25, she married John Tubman, a free African American. Five years later, fearing she would be sold south, she made her escape.
Her Escape to Freedom in Canada
Tubman was given a piece of paper by a white neighbor with two names, and told how to find the first house on her path to freedom. At the first house she was put into a wagon, covered with a sack, and driven to her next destination. Following the route to Pennsylvania, she initially settled in Philadelphia, where she met William Still, the Philadelphia Stationmaster on the Underground Railroad. With the assistance of Still, and other members of the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society, she learned about the workings of the UGRR.
In 1851 she began relocating members of her family to St. Catharine’s, (Ontario) Canada West. North Street in St. Catharine’s remained her base of operations until 1857. While there she worked at various activities to save to finance her activities as a Conductor on the UGRR, and attended the Salem Chapel BME Church on Geneva Street.
Her Role in the Underground Railroad
After freeing herself from slavery, Harriet Tubman returned to Maryland to rescue other members of her family. In all she is believed to have conducted approximately 300 persons to freedom in the North. The tales of her exploits reveal her highly spiritual nature, as well as a grim determination to protect her charges and those who aided them. She always expressed confidence that God would aid her efforts, and threatened to shoot any of her charges who thought to turn back.
2) Peter Paul and Mary: “Blowin’ in the Wind”; “Give Peace a Chance”
How can we possibly describe the influence these three pioneers had on folk music, human rights and the empowerment of oppressed groups? One of the best…and earliest is the Washington Peace March in 1971.
[LJ was so fortunate to know her best friend, Barbara and have the opportunity to spend time with Mary and family backstage at her final concert at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford shortly before her death. We love and miss you Mary! ]
Listen at Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8U6Oh9uSY8. (6 min, 43 secs)
3) “If I Had a Hammer” Eradication or abuse? It depends on who is holding the hammer…. Intimate partners emit danger …..warnings …… Abusers don’t care what time of day or not it is… They abuse anytime they like! They hammer out others too…. Not just wives or husbands, but brother, sisters, grandmothers and other relatives who “get in the way.”
If I had a hammer,
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening,
All over this land
I’d hammer out danger,
I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
If I had a bell,
I’d ring it in the morning,
I’d ring it in the evening,
All over this land
I’d ring out danger,
I’d ring out a warning etc….
Listen at link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUKB3PxG-0E&feature=related
(2 min, 8 secs)
3) “You Don’t Own Me” Leslie Gore and…. “The First Wives Club Movie”
Ladyjustice would love to claim Leslie as her sister, but not so. This song was definitely ahead of its time…and remains timeless.
This movie, starring Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn represents empowerment of women in a tragic, comedic way after all three former college roommates are divorced or in the process with their “former identities” shattered.
They re-group with trials and tribulations in between, coming out stronger and wiser “on the other side.” “You Don’t Own Me” sends a clear message for those in dating relationships and those in dysfunctional marriages that, in fact, you don’t own me…. no way! They put them in their place and caution against possessiveness, putting them on display, not treating them like a toy etc.
This version is a hip and charming sequence that is hopeful and uplifting. “If only” such a song were fair warning to abusers! If only watching an empowerment video would work its magic and banish all abuse…. If only!
Listen at Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJmRAieU9AI; (2 min, 30 secs)
Leslie Gore Version performing at the “Legend of Rock N Roll: You rock Leslie!!!
Listen at Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ8r1iJEVYg&feature=related
(2 min 48 secs)
4) “He Touched Me” by Barbra Streisand
He touched me…as I definitely good touch… not the “bad touch” we teach our children about! There is something magical about Barbra Streisand and “other musical instruments. In her rendition of this song…especially performed in Central Park at such a tender age. It’s that giving yourself permission that this is possibly a new path I want to walk- rightly or wrongly. Oh… such a feel good song!
[LJ- On this topic please read listen to recent “Fairy Tales -Anita Baker blog https://donnagore.com/2011/09/22/“fairy-tales”-failed-relationships-gone-terribly-wrong…-the-prophetic-words-of-anita-baker.
Listen to Barbra at her 1968 Concert at link: (3min; 18 secs)
5) The Man that Got Away” by Judy Garland
Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention… (Ooops… that’s Ol’ Blue Eyes”) But, Judy’s ballad is about regret, dreams gone astray… in a mixed method sort of way. She, along with Barbra is bar none are the most talented performers/singers ever, in LJ’s opinion! She made it look effortless!
Co-dependence plus…… Get rid of him and move on….
The night is bitter,
The stars have lost their glitter;
The winds grow colder
And suddenly you’re older –
And all because of the man that got away.
No more his eager call,
The writing’s on the wall;
The dreams you dreamed have all
The man that won you
Has gone off and undone you.
That great beginning
Has seen the final inning.
Don’t know what happened. It’s all a crazy game!
No more that all-time thrill,
For you’ve been through the mill –
And never a new love will
Be the same.
Good riddance, good-bye!
Ev’ry trick of his you’re on to.
But, fools will be fools –
And where’s he gone to?
The road gets rougher,
It’s lonelier and tougher.
With hope you burn up –
Tomorrow he may turn up.
There’s just no letup the live-long night and day!
Ever since this world began
There is nothing sadder than
A one-man woman looking for
The man that got away…
The man that got away.
Listen to this classy version from the “Judy Garland Show.” at; (4 min, 49 secs)
6) “Amen” from Lilies of the Field with Sidney Poitier:
This 1963 movie exudes a charm not often seen. It illustrates that class, race, religion and cultural differences can be overcome when you have a common goal. That of building a church and the opportunity to earn a living wage! Poitier teaches the sisters a thing or two about tolerance and difference. And… he’s a decent singer too as well as a wonderful actor!
Listen at link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn6w255CGkk (3 min & secs)