Lately, instead of listening to the radio while I drive various places, I've mostly been listening to my own music [added later: that is to say, music that belongs to me, not music that I wrote; sorry for the ambiguity] from my iPhone. (Which connects to the car stereo.)
And mostly songs that I know well and know I like; haven't been feeling very experimental.
But last night I happened across two songs that I've heard before but hadn't remembered, and that I like quite a lot.
First, Sarah McLachlan's “Ordinary Miracle.” It's from volume two of her Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff, which I found only because I wanted “When She Loved Me” without having to buy the whole Toy Story 2 soundtrack.
Anyway, “Ordinary Miracle” is another one of those finding-the-miraculous-in-the-everyday songs that I'm such a sucker for. “This Island Earth,” “Holy Now,” “Acts of Creation,” “Joyful Noise” and so on. I've now added it to my playlist of spiritual/religious/secular-miracle songs that I love, which I had forgotten I had put together; someday I'll get that list in better shape and post an annotated version of it.
. . . That last-linked song, “Joyful Noise” is by Lui Collins, one of my very favorite singer/songwriters. I have to digress for a moment to note with excitement that all of her albums are now available on the iTunes Store. Of particular note are two of my very favorite songs in the world: “Blessed” and “Wildflower Song.” Also worth mentioning: the incredibly charming “Two Pterodactyls” (lyrics are from a poem by Jane Yolen, iIrc). And about twenty-five other songs of hers that I adore; maybe I'll put together an annotated list of my favorites of hers as well.
Onward to the other song that inspired this entry:
“Lonesome Cowboy's Lament,” by James Gordon. I really like the tune of the refrain (near the beginning of the iTunes clip if you follow that link), and the way the sentence structure goes on across measure boundaries:
Maybe he'll find out listening to that cold Saskatchewan wind whining, like
Some lonesome cowboy's lament.
That song is from the same double album (Mining for Gold; contains a bunch of good songs) as Gordon's gorgeous “Frobisher Bay.” Although, much as I like his rendition of that song, I like the Kallet/Cicone/Epstein version better; stunning harmonies.
And to tie the pieces of this entry together: that K/C/E version of “Frobisher Bay” is on their album Heart Walk, which also includes the abovelinked version of “Holy Now.” Everything is deeply intertwingled. (I mean, given that these are all songs from my music collection, it's not all that much of a coincidence; but the fact that I rediscovered and really liked both “Ordinary Miracle” and “Lonesome Cowboy's Lament”—two very different songs by very different musicians who both happen to be Canadian—on the same evening, and they both connect indirectly and unexpectedly to the same K/C/E album, is at least a minor coincidence.)
While I'm here and digressing, I may as well add that Heart Walk is another good album. Much as I like the two abovelinked songs on it, I think my favorite from that album may be “Farthest Field,” which I've mentioned here before; another spiritual song that really works for me despite its religious underpinnings.