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Date Posted: 14:56:45 01/05/11 Wed
Author: Esther
Subject: Thanks for posting this LadyM! It's been awhile since I've dived into the word pool. Kinda sad in a way that I let something I love be the victim of time. But I do believe I'm ready to see if I still know how to swim. *G*
In reply to: Lady Morilka 's message, "Homework. I thought I'd use the time for posting this instead of replying down below. I'll do that some other time." on 17:35:57 01/04/11 Tue

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[> My musical interlude -- Debi, 11:20:27 01/15/11 Sat

This is the wrap-up of the Roark family Thanksgiving tradition of singing until they can't any more. Daniel is the observer here, and the song can be heard here: http://youtu.be/q4egb2gpIg4
This song never fails to give me chills.

Excerpt from Old Dogs, copyright 2010-2011, by Debi Matlack, all rights reserved. Posted for sharing only, does not consitute publication.
They played for hours, participants coming and going, taking breaks as needed, everyone singing along if they knew the words but the core performers stayed the same. The styles of music were as varied as they could be; everything from country tunes to folk to rock standards to jazz. Vic teased Valerie into singing Nina Simone’s “Forbidden Fruit” which led into a breathtaking a capella rendition of “Seven Bridges Road.” The hour grew late, Vic stopped getting request calls and guests were departing in small groups until there were only about fifteen people left. The night had gotten very chilly; Nessa and Alan sat together on a log near the low-burning fire, sharing a blanket; Valerie was nursing a cup of tea and wrapped in an afghan. Taser had collapsed at her feet. Blinking with weariness, she looked at Vic and smiled.

“Is it time?”

He looked around at the remaining performers and audience and nodded. “I think so. What time is it?” He rooted his watch out from under his sleeve, turning it toward the fire, trying to see the dial. Daniel called out in a quiet voice, “One-fifteen.”

“Holy crap, we’ve played for six hours.” Valerie slugged down the last of her tea and nodded at Vic. “Let’s take it home, then.”

He played a note on his guitar and sang. His voice, rough with hours of singing, was still mellow and true.

“Of all the money that e’er I had, I spent it in good company.
And of all the harm that e’er I've done, alas was done to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit, to memory now I cannot recall.
So fill to me the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all.”

Valerie sang with him on the next verse as he picked out a counterpoint accompaniment on his guitar.

“Of all the comrades that e’er I had, they're sorry for my going away,
And of all the sweethearts that e’er I had, they wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot that I should rise while you should not,
I will gently rise and I'll softly call, "Goodnight and joy be with you all!"”

Valerie sang alone on the last verse, her eyes closed, arms tucked deep in her wrappings, singing with abandon, as if she were the only person on earth.

“Oh, if I had money enough to spend and leisure time to sit awhile,
There is a fellow in this town that surely has my heart beguiled
His raven hair and rosy cheeks, he alone has my heart in thrall.
So fill to me the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all.”

Daniel had heard the song before and he was reasonably sure the last verse had been about a girl, not a man. He wondered at the significance of the alterations, a little swell of emotion coming with the speculation. A smattering of applause rose from those left assembled, then, a few at a time, they got up and drifted away into the night.

Parents carried sleeping children, spouses and sweethearts walked leaning into one another. Daniel watched Alan and Nessa go into the lake house; Vic and his children gathered their instruments, bidding Valerie good night. Fresh wood smoke rose from the chimney.

Daniel got to his feet and went to make his goodbyes.

Valerie still stood where she’d sung her heart out; he was surprised to see tears streaming down her face.

He stopped beside her, draping his arm over her shoulders and drawing her close. “What’s wrong?”

Opening her eyes, she leaned into his embrace with a sigh. “Nothing. I’d forgotten how sweet it is to be with people I love, doing something I love… I just…” Her voice failed with a sniff and she shook her head.

“Shh…” he soothed, planting a kiss into her hair. The depth of her emotions was fathomless, but he couldn’t think of a better sentiment to end the evening. Tugging her to come with him, they strolled back to the house to the accompaniment of fading car engines, the rush of a cold breeze through the trees and the slap of waves against the bulkhead.

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[> [> Awww! What a wonderful tradition. >>> -- Esther, 09:39:14 01/21/11 Fri

This had a terrific mood to it, you set the scene perfectly. Even I relaxed a bit. *G* Heck, more than that, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.

I loved how she changed the words and how Daniel picked up on it. And the perfect way to end it was having them stroll back to their house.

Thanks for the glimpse of Valerie and Daniel. They are a great couple.



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[> [> [> A tradition I wish my family shared...;-) -- Debi, 20:38:43 01/21/11 Fri

Thank you for the lovely comments, Esther! I too love this couple and I enjoy the things they have to tell me. I should open up the file for the next part and see if they're talking tonight...

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[> [> Love this song. I have it on CD with Shane McGowen. Nicely captured moment -- Fi, 12:59:19 02/04/11 Fri

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