‘Heaven Help Us All’ by Claire Daly, at Blues Alley, 2013

(Claire Daly,more known as a bass clarinet side person than leader, composer or singer, sang this same song, originally recorded by Stevie Wonder, at Art 21 Gallery, on the corner of Hamilton and Alma, very near the tracks, in summer, 2007, part of a music series I produced there. I name-checked the song following the lead of Michele Dauber, who quoted some Whitman, on today’s Palo Alto Weekly dialogue board and web site).

and1: it’s actually by Ron Miller, written for Stevie in 1970 and among other covers is by Joan Baez:
Heaven help the child who never had a home,
Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone
Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall,
Heaven help us all.

andand: I admit it took me this long to go back and read Michele Dauber’s suggestion, of a Whitman group of verses, from 1899. And I admit I cannot wrap my brain around it, the Wonder comes much easier. I took these verses, as a dose, a potion not a poison, as Paracelsus would have:

We mourn the old, the young untimely drawn to thee,
The fair, the strong, the good, the capable,
The household wreck’d, the husband and the wife, the engulfed forger
in his forge,
The corpses in the whelming waters and the mud,

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About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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One Response to ‘Heaven Help Us All’ by Claire Daly, at Blues Alley, 2013

  1. Check it out:

    From Vancouver, mostly solo piano, booked by Tom Windish, press by Matt Hanks, coming to Brick and Mortar in SF April 3 good get, Doc. But you cheated, right? Scout hipped you to this, eh?

    And you probably wouldn’t be able to suss out the context that this was a reaction to a teen suicide, 15-year-old stepped in front of the train, the fourth such event here in a year, arguably part of a cluster of 10 (!) or so in recent times, not all by train but many are. Michele is a mom, law professor and wife of a newly elected school board member, Ken, who made a lot of his political nut by his hard work on this issue, teen stress. This post was mostly backing up things that I, following Michele’s lead, had posted on the popular local news website. And Claire Daly once asked me about a modified version of this song, I either sang into her voice mail (!) or merely sent in an email, wishing blessings on a group of New York musicians I knew we both knew. Listening to a succession of young people trying to express their angst and fear and frustration at a meeting weeks ago, I kept thinking that maybe song is more remedial than policy. As is my bent. But not like playing fiddle while Rome burns.

    Also, Whitman is source of a sense that all our words, all our deeds matter.

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