Friday, February 22, 2008


Rummaging through a box of CDs, and found my Chieftains CDs. Several years ago I heard a beautiful, haunting piece on the radio the announcer called "Napoleon's Retreat" by The Chieftains. Much more flush with cash then than I am now, I bought, online, every Chieftain's CD I could find in's catalogue. The song wasn't on any of them, and I promptly stored the CDs away, never to be played again, until now, when I was looking through that box for something else and found them, instead. I burned them onto my Zune, and am playing them now, and what do you know? I like that kind of music. And remembering the song itself, I just did another search, and think I found the album it's on, which I've just ordered. If the song turns out to be on that album, it will be one bit of unfinished business I've actually managed to finish.

Some other CDs in that box: Foreigner's Agent Provocateur; 90125 by Yes (the first CD I ever bought), and a few other titles I'd as soon not type out, along with a bunch of classical and jazz stuff I don't listen to anymore. Memory from youth: listening to the first movement of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto over and over and over. I realized then, and still know now that there was genius in that music that comes along once a generation, if that often, that Beethoven had cut his way to the very soul of at least part of what it is to be human in a way that maybe a handful of people throughout all of history have been able to. And yet I haven't listened to it myself in over a year, and then only because it played on the radio.