Bruce Almighty: “Jesus and his teachings inform every song…”

A writer over at Christianity Today has been listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen — and his new album — and finds unmistakable religious themes: As far as I know, Springsteen does not claim to be a Christian. He grew up in the Catholic Church, left it in his teens, and never looked back. [Read More…]

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RIP, Robert Sherman

You may not know his name, but you know his music.  It’s inescapable.  “It’s A Small World” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” are just two of his enduring songs, penned with his brother, Richard.  (In the photo above, that’s Robert on the left and Richard on the right.  You know who those other two are.) If memory serves, [Read More…]

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RIP, Davy Jones

The teen heartthrob from the 1960s, and lead vocalist for “The Monkees,” died of a heart attack this morning.  He was 66. Read more here. A classic flashback from my youth, below. [Read more…]

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And the winner for Best Song…

…is right here: this hilarious tribute to self-awareness, “Am I A Man or A Muppet?” from “The Muppets.” If Mother Dolores Hart didn’t have her moment on the Oscar stage, I’m glad that the Muppets did.  And I was cheered to hear the composer thank the late, great Jim Henson.   [Read more…]

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“Long have I waited for your coming home to me…”

I’m sure I’ll hear this Ash Wednesday staple sung multiple times at our parish’s Masses today. Here, a beautiful rendition of a beautiful hymn (written by Gregory Norbet), performed by John Michael Talbot. [Read more…]

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Did they sing this at your parish today?

Given the readings, “Here I Am, Lord” is a natural.  We sang this at my place.  How about you? Here’s one of the prettiest versions I’ve heard, from a boys choir. [Read more…]

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An airplane trip of note

A Thursday palate-cleanser for you, to help spread a little harmony! The YouTube notation says: “It took all of us by surprise while waiting on a maintenence check to be performed on the aircraft. Best surprise ever!! …Thanks to Indiana Wesleyan University Chorale…” H/T Aggie Catholics [Read more…]

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It’s still Christmas, so let’s keep the carols going…

One of my favorites, from an old PBS special.  (The CD of this is a holiday perennial around our house.)  Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Staade and “Gesu Bambino,” conducted by Andre Previn. Has anyone ever done this better?  I don’t think so. [Read more…]

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A Christmas flash mob featuring…Jesus Christ?

‘Tis the season, so why not? The spirit here — and the unabashed proclamation of faith in the public square — is just wonderful.  Stay with it to the end.  You won’t be disappointed.  (H/T to the Concord Pastor and that merry God Googler, Mike Hayes).   [Read more…]

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“Don’t let the light go out…”

For our Jewish neighbors, a favorite of The Bench: a seasonal chestnut from Peter, Paul and Mary and their classic 1988 TV special on PBS.   Happy Hanukkah! [Read more…]

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