Saturday, March 20, 2010

CHIMPS AND MUSIC

Bill Moyers again tonight provided me with a wonderful conversation with Jane Goodall, you know the woman who lived with the chimpanzees in Tanzania, Africa and studied them and intrigued the world with the knowledge that these animals have a great deal in common with us humans. What a wonderful lady she is. She now devotes her time to going around the world talking to young people about the environment and what they can do to preserve it. They treat her like a rock star and really honor her where ever she goes.
She talked about the extinction of her beloved Chimpanzees and elephants as well and admits there have been extinctions like the dinosaurs and many other species that have gradually disappeared. But she maintains that the industrial revolution and our human impact on the planet has had a tremendously damaging effect. Many people say that it is just a trend and that it is just happening. But she believes each and every one of us can do something to stem the tide. And that these young people can do whatever they set their minds to just as she did. She was a girl - wrong sex--but her mother fostered her interest in animals and in science. Makes you wonder what each one of us can do as well.

Afterward, Wisconsin Public Television showed The Great American Songbook. It told our history during the middle of the century--the 30's. the 40's, and the 50's with examples of the music America produced then. Music started in this time with sheet music that was passed from one to another with singers like Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. And then Edison invented the phonograph and a way of spreading the music to everyone. Soon we imported some writers from Europe and we had George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and others writing musicals and music we all were humming like As Time Goes By, Night and Day, In the Mood---many many great songs. We were in WW II with all the big bands and singers and big productions out of Hollywood and the sad songs like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and White Cliffs of Dover, and Sentimental Journey. And Bill's and my favorite song, I Only Have Eyes For You.

When the local station came on with its spiel about donations to the station etc. this one volunteer said how much she had been enthralled by this music even though she had not been born yet. It gave me a new feeling that I have never felt before. I felt grateful for the fact that I had been there. That I had lived during all those times. Except for the 30's music, I could sing along and knew all the words to all of them. And I thought that so many times when we are older, we don't appreciate the fact that we lived through that history. We were there. And it was a privilege to have been there. We may envy the young, but we have something they will never have . Memories of a part of the history of this country.

25 comments:

yaya said...

You're thoughts mirror my Mom's. My generation had it's war (Vietnam) but chose to use it's music to voice anger. I so admire your generation and the strong will to overcome so much and give me and my children all the opportunities that we have. Thanks! I love our country and whether we use music for sentiment or to voice our need for change, it's great to be free!

Wander to the Wayside said...

I've always driven my family crazy making them listen to those 'oldies' on occasion, telling them that it's music that will be around long after I am gone, and that I want them to be able to introduce it to THEIR kids. It's music that you can actually hear the words to, sing along with, dream with, dance to, make memories with. And the sentiments never die.

Great idea for a post, Bernie.

Bernie said...

There is something to be said about living through the history our grandchildren are now being taught....they have to study so hard, memorize even when all we have to do is remember. They were the worst of times and the best of times and you know what Bernie, I wouldn't change anything about my life including when I was born, it is fine just the way it was and is. Life is good, isn't it. We are all very blessed......:-) Hugs

Abigail Wise said...

I loved this post! I adore Jane Goodall. I used to want to be her when I grew up!

Von said...

Great Post Bernie. love those chimps.
I too feel grateful for being born when I was, living through the 70's and all.

Happy Frog and I said...

Great post as ever. Memories are so important no matter how old or what country you come from. No camera or blog post or diary can ever really capture the moment like your own brain can. x

Joey said...

I loved this post.

I'm watching old movies while I crochet scarves, and right now I've got the 40's and 50's recorded. The music and the clothing... all of is so wonderful.

I was born in 1959, but raised out in the middle of no-where by Pop and Grandma. I treasure the fact that I'm more like her than anyone else in the family.

Thank you, for all of the information. I love coming here. It's like coming home.

Joey

Fragrant Liar said...

Hey, Bernie, lovely post. I too admire Jane Goodall. Not only is she the expert on the chimps, she has something else that I noticed whenever I see her -- she's relaxing! Her voice and mannerisms all make me feel comfortable, as if I know her personally.

When I was growing up, my parents always played instruments and sang, so we grew up very musically inclined. The sheet music we had was enough to fill an entire shed. Dad still plays his organ from sheet music.

June said...

A delicious post.
The last time I saw Jane G. on television I was shocked to see that she was no longer the thirty-year-old that I think of when I hear her name. How has she gotten so old while I have not aged at all?

And oh...the music, and how it reflects the times when it was made.
My dad was a great Glenn Miller fan, played his 78rpm records a lot, and I often break into song whenever somebody says they're "in the mood..." dadadaDATDATdadadedadedadadada! DedadeDATDAT!
I must have been about thirteen when my aunt took me to a series of old Nelson Eddy/Jeannette MacDonald movies. "I'll be calling yooooo-ooooo-oooooooooooooo...."
Time collapses on itself when I think about those tunes. When I was born, World War II had been over only six years...
...and those "old Eddy/MacDonald movies" were only twenty years old...no older than 1980s movies are now.
Weird, iddent it?

Wanda said...

I have tried all evening to leave the following comment, but blogger just won't take it, so I thought I would e-mail it to you Bernie.
Enjoyed your post so very much Bernie. I once helped my granddaughter do an in depth report on Jane Goodall, it was very interesting to do...She got an A+. Then when each of my grandkids entered the 10th grade they had to interview a grandparent and ask them about the history of their time. I had to do that 5 times. Born in 1945, there was lots to tell!
...Wanda...Moments of Mine

My Aimless Infatuation said...

Jane Goodall and Beautiful Music..........I love it when someone else shares my memories.

LaraAnn said...

I agree with you about music. I'm 40 years old and really don't like alot of the music from the past 20 years. I'd much rather hear Doris Day,Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Sometimes I wish that I could time travel so I could see them perform live.I too appreciate when people my age like this music and when younger people like music from when I was a kid.

May Barclay said...

You have lived through some amazing times. I wonder how many of us remember to record the moments we are living in right now for the benefit of our decendants. Every so often I save a fashion magazine, or a newspaper, or theatre tickets - even train tickets, because I think when my children, or maybe grandchildren, will get a kick out of looking at them later on. Of course, they will have all information at their fingertips on the internet, but I think it is special to have real, tangible pieces of history, even if they just seem like junk now.

May Barclay said...

You have lived through some amazing times. I wonder how many of us remember to record the moments we are living in right now for the benefit of our descendants. Every so often I save a fashion magazine, or a newspaper, or theatre tickets - even train tickets, because I think one day my children, or maybe grandchildren, will get a kick out of looking at them. Of course, they will have all information at their fingertips on the internet, but I think it is special to have real, tangible pieces of history, even if they just seem like junk now.

Andre said...

Without knowing that you posted something about chimps, I actually penned down a funny story about my wife and Gorillas in Africa. Just to show that more education is needed...lol
check it out on http://cornelisfunnies.blogspot.com/

Ashleigh said...

How neat!!!

Colleen said...

Music is so powerful. Just the other day I heard a gentleman whistling "Moon River" beneath my window and it made me feel wistful. How fortunate we are to encounter artists and scientists- both famous and unknown- in our lives.

Anita said...

I love watching TV shows about animals and history...PBS type stuff - although, while my kids are still young and "needy," I don't get the chance that much. But sometimes, we'll all sit ans watch together.
I'm glad you have an appreciation of these things...keeps life interesting. :)

Deb Shucka said...

There's a lovely synchronicity to this piece. The need to honor our planet with intention and paying attention and the gifts of history. A very enjoyable read, as always.

Nezzy said...

I too am retired, Special Ed. in fact. This chick read every book on Jane Goodall I could get my little fingers around when I was a young'en.

I just wanted to thank ya for droppin' over with your sweet comment and hoppin' on my blog.

God bless and in the words of that silly old Granny Clampett, ya'll come back now,ya hear!!!" :o)

bazza said...

My daughter is in her thirties and grew up loving the music of the sixties (when I grew up)especially the Beatles and very especially John Lennon. She has often said she wishes she was born earlier.
I think we are both very lucky!

Kaloula said...

Your writing is beautiful and I'm so glad blogger chose to feature you! I look forward to hearing more of your stories!
Karina
http://onepersonmakingadifference.blogspot.com

Mmm said...

84?!! Wow, I am so impressed th atyou take the time to blog for us all and share you wisdom and years here. nice to meet you. Way to go!!

Ana said...

Bernie,
I like Jane Goodall and her commitment to the study of social life and family of chimpanzees.

I loved this post.

Have a nice day.

Ana

sanjeet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails