Eldorado

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’

‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’
~Edgar Allan Poe

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The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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The motor running in the background of today’s recording is Pooka the kitten purring into the microphone.

Thomas Greene Wiggins

Buzzfeed, usually home to inane quizzes and lists, has just posted a shockingly good article about Thomas Greene Wiggins, also known as Blind Tom.

Discovering “Blind Tom,” The Slave Turned Civil War-Era Pop Star

The story of Thomas Greene Wiggins is haunting – and the lack of any recordings of his performances only enhances his sad mystique. Luckily, some pianists are still playing his tone poems so we can get at least an idea of what people like Mark Twain were raving about. Here is John Davis performing Thomas’ legendary piece, “The Rainstorm”:

And here is, “Battle of Manassas”:

Learn more about Tom and check out some sheet music of his compositions at http://www.blindtom.org/