Sunday Song: Timshel

I’m adding a couple of fun things onto the blog that have been percolating.

The first is a Goodreads sidebar, inspired by Clix. As you all know, the key to robust independent reading for kids is an equally robust classroom/school library; so I’ve been looking for ways to consistently review and archive my YA reading for myself and other readers without taking up post space.  Turned out nicely, don’t you think?

Second is the Sunday Song, a blogging segment I am ripping off  my colleague Joe Henderson, with thanks.

Somewhere in late 2009 or early 2010, NPR profiled the band Mumford and Sons, and I fell hard. They were recommended again recently in my Facebook circle, which prompted me to burn their album to CD and listen to it incessantly all week.

They have an old-time, folk-roots feel which I love, as well as always looking endearingly like they’ve all been up all night. Marcus Mumford’s  I-work-in-a-salt-mine-for-my-day-job vocals also lend the ring of truth to raw lyrics that might otherwise get dismissed as maudlin– speaking  of truth, passion, love, calling, and freedom. Call it the Braveheart effect.

But mainly, English language lovers, this is your band. As Marcus, the front man, admits here, half the songs on their first and only album are literature-based. The title song and lyrics are drawn from Shakespeare’s _Much Ado About Nothing_; other songs reference _Macbeth_ and long-loved Protestant hymns;  and two are inspired directly by the work of John Steinbeck.

“Timshel” is from this passage in Steinbeck’s _East of Eden_, a book which lives with about four others in the center of my heart.

Books and music make me happy. They’re part of the reason I teach– to share good brain food with young people. Getting them represented fully on the blog, and hearing reader response to them, makes me happy too.

5 thoughts on “Sunday Song: Timshel

  1. Dina,
    Thanks for sharing Mumford and Sons – I will have to check them out.
    I don’t see the Goodreads sidebar, not sure if it is on my end?
    Have a great week.

  2. Troth: I didn’t see the Goodreads sidebar when I clicked over from GReader. Then I checked out the front page and found it. Decided it lives there and not on the post pages.

    Dina: I haven’t fallen for Mumford and Sons as much as I expected when I first heard them. (The Cave came on the radio and I was in love. Went to the website and it didn’t pan out.) But you’re the second friend in the past month to recommend them. I’ve got a few of their concerts cued up on NPR and MPR.

  3. Welcome, Troth! I’m always like a little kid when I see comments from new people. Check back with your impressions when you’ve had a listen.

    Sarah: I recommend full immersion: get the album and play it at all times in the car. Worked for me.

    Sidebar does indeed live on the front page– all that means is that instead of going directly to the entry from GReader by clicking on the post title, you click on the “The Line” main feed instead.

  4. Kelly: I KNOW. It’s been a long time since I felt like I would walk ten thousand miles to see a band, and, if I let myself go, actually write a sappy fan letter. It’s embarrassing.

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