Sunday, March 02, 2008

A review or two

Or maybe even three.

Anne Murray Duets — friends and legends

I mentioned the Anne Murray CD in an earlier post specifically about A Little Good News. As I said after listening to the words it is sad that so little has changed. This is especially true in light of the recent events in the Middle East. You can read more about in the Post.

But this is a review about the album itself. It is very impressive. I've been a fan of Anne Murray for a long time. So almost all of the songs are familiar. Yet at the same time they are totally different. The orchestrations have been changed and of course the most obvious difference is that Murray is singing the song with another person. The range of artists Murray sings with is amazing. Olivia Newton-John, k.d. Lang, Indigo Girls, Sarah Brightman, Nelly Furtado to name just a few.

As to my favorite songs here's a quick list Daydream Believer with Nelly Furtado, Time Don't Run Out on Me with Carole King, A Love Song with k.d. Lang, A Little Good News with the Indigo Girls, When I Fall in Love with Celine Dion and probably the best song on the CD You Needed Me with Shania Twain. This is a kick ass album and I highly recommend it.

And through the joys of YouTube here are a couple of the songs.

Here she's with Celine Dion. I have to say I make a great deal of fun of Celine at work because one of my co-workers really like her. I will say I think Murray and Dion's voice really work well on this song.

This is You Needed Me. The best song on the CD.

The Perils of Peace by Thomas Fleming

This is a great book which I got for Christmas. It is about the Revolutionary War from the Battle of Yorktown to the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty. It is an area that is usually covered in a couple of paragraphs in most books. Yorktown took place in October of 1781 the peace treaty was signed in September of 1783. This book traces the ups and downs and political intrigue that took place in England, France and the United States during those two years. The tireless efforts of Washington to keep the county focused on the fact that the war was not over and his attempts to have his army properly provisioned and paid. It is a riveting account. It points out that things could have ended a great deal differently then they did and not to the benefit of the U.S.

Here's a little excerpt from the book. Washington is in Annapolis, Maryland where the Continental Congress is in session. Washington is about to resign his commission as commander in chief of America forces:

This was—is—the most important moment in American history. The man who could have been King George I of America, or President fro Life after dispersing a feckless Congress and obtaining for himself and his officers riches worthy of their courage, was renouncing absolute power to become a private citizen, at the mercy of politicians over whom he had no control. This visible incontrovertible act did more to affirm America's faith in the government of the people than a thousand declarations by legislatures and treatises by philosophers.

If you are interested in the history of the Revolution, this is a must read.

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