IT IS NOT TUESDAY, BUT....
It's time for another installment of
Each Tuesday, I will try to post a song from my playlist. These are songs that would be on a soundtrack of my life. I hope you enjoy them.
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Loving Cup - Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones - Original Version
Phish - cover version (My favorite)
It's difficult to dispute the fact that The Rolling Stones are one of greatest bands of all time. Their music is loud, cocky, and raucous. In 1972, they released the album Exile On Main Street, which appears on a whole host of Top Albums of All-Time lists. It's gritty, unapologetic and raw. Loving Cup is a stand out song for me. When I hear the opening chords, a smile appears on my face, and it feels like everything is going to be OK. It's simple, but powerful.
(** I am included a second version of this song by the band Phish, another of my favorite bands. Every Halloween, this jam-band has a annual tradition of covering a classic rock album as part of a "musical costume." A few years ago, Phish covered Exile On Main Street. Their version of Loving Cup is a staple at many of their shows and it usually appears as an encore. This cover version has a bit more bounce to it and a gnarly guitar solo at the end! Plus, it contains a horn section. Come on, there's nothing better than a great horn section.)
One of the things that I've always loved about The Stones, and especially this particular album, is the loose and bare sound of their songs. Nothing is over produced, and you can actually hear the core instruments without the clutter of sound effects. The songs have so much power, but not because they're complex. Four-chords, drums and simple lyrics can be more compelling than a symphony. The power comes from simplicity.
I think the same applies in my personal life, and my teaching life. It's easy for me to get bogged down thinking about all the complexities of teaching in the 21st century. I often feel like I have to use a certain author, program or framework to craft my lessons. (e.g. Calkins, Fountas & Pinnell, etc.) If I don't follow a certain author's work to a tee, then I feel like the lesson was not a hit. The audience (my students) somehow missed out on an extravagant learning experience. Perhaps the most powerful lessons are the ones where I break it down to the essential instruments and compose a Loving Cup. Perhaps the power of the lesson comes from its simplicity.