Thursday, September 4, 2008


Alix Dobkin's Living with Lesbians album, Meg Christian and Cris Williamson, and Holly Near's Simply Love (Women's Music pioneers: Alix Dobkin's Living with Lesbians, cover photo by Ginger Legato; Meg Christian and Cris Williamson, photo by JEB (Joan E. Biren); and Holly Near's Simply Love, cover photo by Mike Rogers)

Myra plays music often in her study. I've taken the liberty of raiding the songs she plays more frequently and copying them into a file so you, too, can listen to what Ginny hears from around the wall. Click on this Myra's Faves link and choose your song to play.

The selections include (click on images to enlarge, though not all will enlarge much):

"Sweet Lullaby" by Deep Forest -- sung by an old Solomon Islands woman, the lyrics are part of an essential myth from their culture about the nature of death, sung by an older sister to her younger brother

A Lesbian Portrait album by Linda Shear "Family of Woman" by Linda Shear, originally on her Lesbian Portrait album, but this version from High Risk, a benefit album of performance by Chicago women for the Lesbian Resource Cancer Center

High Risk album "The Old Woman Song" written and performed by Michal Brody (this was released in the 1970's by Linda Shear on her Lesbian Portrait album, but this version was sung by Michal for High Risk, a benefit album of performance by Chicago women for the Lesbian Resource Cancer Center)

"Summertime" by Janis Joplin (written by George Gershwin)

Holly Near photo by Pat Hunt "Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida" by Holly Near, with Adrienne Torf on piano and Enrique Cruz on zambona

"This Is To Mother You" by Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt from the Western Wall/Tucson Sessions album (written by Sinead Oconnor)

"Western Wall" by Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt from the Western Wall/Tucson Sessions album

Therese Edell's From Women's Faces album Betsy Lippitt, photo from Queer Music Heritage

"Having Been Touched/Emma" performed by Holly Near; "Having Been Touched" was originally written and performed by Margie Adam, a women's music pioneer, and "Emma" was made famous by Therese Edell and Betsy Lippitt, but I don't have those versions available and this cover is excellent, with Adrienne Torf on piano and Nina Gerber on guitar

"Here Comes The Sun" by Nina Simone

"Get Right With God" by Lucinda Williams
Margie Adam playing piano, photo by JEB in 1970s

"Show Some Emotion" by Joan Armatrading

Joan Armatrading "I'm Lucky" by Joan Armatrading

Alix Dobkin, 1980, photo by Carol Newhouse "The Woman In Your Life is You" -- this was written by Alix Dobkin and used by Liza Cowan as a theme song on her WBAI radio show, but I don't have that version in MP3 format, so I'm using the Holly Near cover of it, with Nina Gerber on guitar

Ferron's album Testimony "Testimony" sung by Holly Near, although it was Ferron who made it famous, a women's music classic

"Down to the River" by Allison Krauss (this brings up Myra's childhood religious memories in a good way; Ginny just rolls her eyes when this comes on)

Cris Williamson's album The Changer and the Changed "Waterfall" written and originally performed by Cris Williamson on the biggest-selling women's music album of all time, The Changer and the Changed -- I don't have an MP3 of that, so I'm using the cover performed by Holly Near live at the 1985 Michigan Women's music Festival, with Rhiannon adding her vocals, Adrienne Torf on piano and Carrie Barton on bass

"Russian Song/Ode to Joy" by Pete Seeger (Myra is attached to the "Ode to Joy" version done by Pete)

"How Can I Keep From Singing" by Pete Seeger (this is often sung at Quaker Meeting)

Therese Edell and Holly Near at 1986 Michigan Women's Music Festival "Mountain Song/Kentucky Woman" by Holly Near -- the "mountain song" lyrics were a staple not just in women's music but as rhetoric in the movement itself; Meg Christian on guitars, Barbara Cobb on bass

"Old Blue" performed here by Cisco Johnson, but Myra prefers to sing this very slowly and mournfully as that's how she heard it growing up

Sweet Honey in the Rock "On Children" by Sweet Honey in the Rock

"Little Potato" performed by Metamora, written by Malcolm Dalglish (Myra sung this to both her children when they were babies)

Alix Dobkin from 1978 issue of Paid My Dues, photo by Toni Armstrong Jr "A Woman's Love" by Alix Dobkin (originally on Lavender Jane Loves Women -- written about and for our own Liza Cowan)

"Gulf Coast Highway" written by Nanci Griffith, performed by her and Willie Nelson (this song reminds Myra so much of her parents' marriage, it always makes her cry)

Woody Simmons' album Oregon Mountains "Oregon Mountains" by Woody Simmons (huge women's music hit in the 1970s when dykes were forming land collectives all over Oregon)

"Love Is All Around" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (otherwise known as the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song)

Meg Christian in the 1970s, photo by JEB "The Road I Took To You" written and sung by Barbara Keith, but it was the Meg Christian version on one of the first women's music albums ever which Myra and Ginny sang to one another in the Arboretum which helped launch and define their relationship

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