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The Answer My Friend

Yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s Blowing in the Wind (but that’s for later!), but there is more than one answer, my fellow Trillers:

Answer: it’s in the regular homework.

By practising a little each day (rather than a long review the night before we meet), it will help build up the memory muscle and the notes (once learned) and nuances (marked with your pencil on your music scores) will become embedded in your brain and you will sing and perform naturally.

Answer: it’s always watching Eamonn.

Getting that professional sound, it is important we are all singing the same rhythms and start and end at the same time.

This can only be done by watching Eamonn, especially for the cut off points (and the famous Eamonn dunce holes) and dramatic endings.

If you see Eamonn give a Big Nod it means SHUT UP!

The hard work we have been doing at rehearsal and at home is paying off.

Going through Slow Train (with Jan now promoted from Station Announcer to Station Mistress) and The Impossible Dream, we now know our respective tunes and can now concentrate on annunciating the words, leaning into the diction and telling the story.

Altos be brave and sing out as if you are fighting for a cause in The Impossible Dream

Now we have arrived at Blowing in the Wind – a song previously sung at our concert in 2019.

Eamonn has changed his arrangement slightly for 2023, by adding a bass line and changing the Tenor line.

Although this song was written over 60 years ago, the words are true today as the day it was written.

Blowin' in the Wind is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1962. It was released as a single and included on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963. It has been described as a protest song and poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war, and freedom. The refrain "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind" has been described as "impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind".

Dylan originally wrote and performed a two-verse version of the song; its first public performance, at Gerde's Folk City on April 16, 1962, was recorded and circulated among Dylan collectors. Shortly after this performance, he added the middle verse to the song. Some published versions of the lyrics reverse the order of the second and third verses, apparently because Dylan simply appended the middle verse to his original manuscript, rather than writing out a new copy with the verses in proper order.

The theme may have been taken from a passage in Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Bound for Glory, in which Guthrie compared his political sensibility to newspapers blowing in the winds of New York City streets and alleys. Dylan was certainly familiar with Guthrie's work; his reading of it had been a major turning point in his intellectual and political development.

Dylan's comments:

“There ain't too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind. It ain't in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group. Man, it's in the wind – and it's blowing in the wind. Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but oh, I won't believe that. I still say it's in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it's got to come down some ...

But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know ... and then it flies away.

I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it's wrong.

I'm only 21 years old and I know that there's been too many wars ... You people over 21, you're older and smarter”.

Blowing in the Wind contains ‘scotch snaps’ which are syncopated musical rhythms in which short, accented notes are followed by longer ones. This reverses the pattern normally associated with dotted notes or notes inégales, in which the longer value precedes the shorter.

It certainly gives it an interesting sound rather than just a regular rhythm which would be boring.

Lean through ‘friend’ when singing “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind” and DO NOT take a breath!

Sopranos and Basses, of course, are on the tune. However, making the distinction in the verses and emphasising certain phrases are important. Do not be complacent.

The Tenors are the trumpet section and with the Altos have triadic lines that go up and down around the linear lines of the Sopranos and Basses as the song builds from the quiet gentle Soprano start to a glorious harmonious middle and end until the very last three notes where the Sopranos finish quietly “in the wind”

The concert on 12 July is going to themed around songs from the 60s.

Will we be concert ready?

The answer, my friend, is in your hands (or voices).

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