music: an old love revisited

I had a most enjoyable middle-of-the-day with my daughters today.  After Curious J awoke from her (too short) nap, we all headed off to our local farmer’s market.  However, with Hurrican Ike on my mind, I thought I’d better fill up our minivan with gas first.  While at the gas station, I got to observe an irate CA driver, who was upset that the car in front of him was moving so slowly.  In his defense, the car WAS moving slowly, but that car was also hemmed in by other cars.  I was just glad he wasn’t irate at me!

At the Farmer’s Market, I found all manner of delicious food items.  Today we came home with green & yellow zucchini (Packer colors!), O’Henry peaches (so sweet!), raisin grapes (tiny soft-skinned grapes that I can feed whole to Curious J), carrots, strawberries, a big head of red lettuce, sugar snap peas, and even a 3-pack of blackberries and raspberries (Lyd’s and my favorite!).  I discovered to my delight that Curious J now likes raspberries, too.  About two months ago, when she was starting to get into more textured foods, I gave her raspberries, and she didn’t like them.  Today, however, she was shoveling them in as fast as I could put them on her tray.

But, the best thing about the Farmer’s Market today was that my favorite folk singer was there!  The Farmer’s Market always has some kind of folk singer/guitar player/banjo player/some-kind-of-music-maker playing.  Most of the time they’re nothing to write home about, although I do like the banjo player.  But about 3 years ago, I first heard Fred McCarty play, and my musician ears picked up right away on the fact that this guy was different, and could actually make real music.  Lyd was young at the time, so I bought McCarty’s “Songs for Children” CD, as it had Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Rubber Ducky, and Zip-a-dee-doo-dah on it, along with more sensitive songs, like The House at Pooh Corner and Inch By Inch.  It quickly became a favorite, and I also used it often as bumper music for my Music Together classes.  I saw him a few more times at Farmer’s Markets after that, and each time I picked up a few more CD’s.  Now I own his “Songs of Ireland” CD and a “Songs of the Old West” CD, both of which have some GREAT tracks on them, with songs I knew and songs that I didn’t know.  I also own a CD of him playing Spanish Guitar-style music, with no singing, and a CD called “Standard Time” that has some great classic tunes on them, most of them songs that I knew, but a few that I didn’t.

But, McCarty’s not been at the Farmer’s Market as much lately, plus I haven’t been able to get there as often either.  It had been over a year since I’d seen him last and been able to request the song I always request: “Cockles and Mussles” from his Irish music CD.  So, it was with great excitement that I heard him singing at the Market today!  I bought his new CD, “Market Songs #4”, and I told him how much I still enjoyed his CD’s.  There is one song on his Irish CD that I use one time every session with my classes.  It’s a rollicking Irish jig that’s just the right length for my classes; I even used it when I did my Cert 1 class to get my next level of Music Together teacher certification.  The Master Music Together teacher who critiqued me thought it was a perfect song for an MT class as well.

And, I asked him to sing “Cockles and Mussles” for me.  As he sang, I sang along to my girls: J in the stroller, and my arm around Lyd.  It was a good mommy moment on a beautiful day.  I won’t forget that anytime soon!

Fred McCarty has a website at .  If you’re interested, check him out!

In another musical note, tonight as I was practicing organ for church tomorrow, I realized that I didn’t have any music on the communion hymn.  I felt that I needed something for that slot, and so, on a whim, I decided to start improvising.  Well, I am proud to say that I composed something simple that fit the bill just perfectly.  Unfortunately, I did not write it down; it’s recorded into the computer on the organ.  All I have to do tomorrow morning is hit “start” on the organ box, and the organ will play my music, just the same as if I were sitting there.  I didn’t want to take a chance that I would forget my song before tomorrow!  So, for those of you fellow church-goers who are in church tomorrow morning, that communion music you heard — I wrote that!  🙂