Thursday, 26 November 2009

Mining the Soul

I've developed a habit in recent years of treating myself to a concert sometime in November. A birthday present for myself, if you will. The most memorable concert to date was Julio Iglesias in 2006. Be still my beating heart!Tonight, I went to see Rita MacNeil and The Men of the Deeps. It was memorable too.Rita MacNeil is about four feet nothing tall, wears very sensible shoes, and is both polite and soft-spoken. She walked onto the stage at 7:00 pm precisely without any build up or announcement. The set was very simple ... a half dozen lighted Christmas trees and a comfy chair centre stage. I thought the sound system was a little off ... kind of echo-ish ... but maybe it was because I was sitting 5 rows away from centre stage. Rita MacNeil's talent really shone when she did a couple of old gospel songs ... Peace in the Valley for one. Made me wish my Dad was there just to hear that one.To be perfectly honest, I probably would not have paid to just see Rita MacNeil. These are the dudes I really wanted to see ... The Men of the Deeps, the Coal Miners. I have a special soft spot in my heart for underground miners and I've been fascinated by this particular choir since ... I don't know, thirty years or so. They marched through the darkened arena and onto the stage with their miners' lamps on as Rita MacNeil sang. It was magical. Rita left the stage and they did a few numbers as well as a story and a poem on their own, and I was totally impressed. They were great!

After the intermission, Rita came back and did a few more songs with them, including one of my favorites, Emigrant Eyes.

I had the amazing experience of going 9.4 kilometers underground once. When the locomotive that we traveled on was shut down, the ONLY sound was water dripping and our own breathing, and the ONLY light was our miners lamps. A person cannot comprehend the true meaning of DARKNESS until that kind of experience. Consequently, the song Working Man has a very profound effect on me. (In other words, it makes me cry like a baby every damned time I hear it!)

Fortunately for me, they saved Working Man for their final encore. In case you've never experienced Working Man, check out YouTube. There are several videos of Rita and the coal miners doing this song together. Hang in there until you see the miners turn on their lamps.
In other news, I have a new (old) coffee table. It's not the beautiful beetle-kill pine wood that I wanted (coveted), but it's price was right. I decided to "DO SOMETHING" unique with it. Stay tuned ... I think it's looking pretty good.


sheri said...

Great treat for yourself. I have certain songs that always make me cry..
You sure are crafty. Can't wait to see it finished:)
Have a great week,

Mary Mac said...

hey there, I did not know you were a blogger! I was at the concert last night and blogged about it too!