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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Steps and Staircases is hosting Poetry Friday this week. Join us HERE for all of this week’s kidlit poetry posts.

Dear friends, when I’m feeling down I often turn to an old friend to help me settle my worries: George Harrison, fellow Pisces and my very favorite member of the Beatles.

My favorite albums are Let It Roll, Songs of George Harrison and Concert for George.

For Poetry Friday, I’m sharing one of George Harrison’s solo songs. The news out of Washington, DC and California has been so stressful. I’ve been sitting with the message of these lyrics today.

“All Things Must Pass”
George Harrison

Sunrise doesn’t last all morning
A cloudburst doesn’t last all day
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning
But it’s not always going
To be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

Sunset doesn’t last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this my love is up
And must be leaving
But it’s not always going
To be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

All things must pass
None of life’s strings can last
So I must be on my way
And face another day

Read the rest here.

If you’ve never seen Martin Scorcese’s documentary about George Harrison’s life, Living in the Material World, it is phenomenal. Here is George’s demo for the song, from Scorcese’s film.

One more George recommendation! My favorite biography of George Harrison is HERE COMES THE SUN: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison. Find it on Amazon.

Who is your favorite Beatle? And whose music is like a good friend holding your hand when you’re feeling down?

20 responses to “Poetry Friday: All Things Must Pass”

  1. Hi Laura, thanks for the lovely George Harrison song–melancholic yet hopeful–we sure need more of that! Great surreal image of him in the water too. Music soothes the soul in so many ways. I can’t pick a favorite Beetle, they are all up there for me. Sending a message for the clouds to move on their way, xo.

  2. Donna Smith says:

    George was always my favorite Beatle, too.
    Thanks for the trip today.

  3. Laura Salas says:

    Gorgeous lyrics! I don’t have a favorite Beatle, but several fav songs, inc Long and Winding Road and Imagine.

  4. Tabatha says:

    I can’t pick a favorite Beatle, either. My mom had a crush on Paul and my dad’s favorite was John. “Here Comes The Sun” is a lovely uplifting song. I recently shared a classical composition that I found soothing. We need it!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I’ll look for that, Tabatha. “Here Comes the Sun” is another favorite of mine. It always cheers me.

  5. jama says:

    Thanks for the George fix, today, Laura. Really needed it. I’ve been listening to Paul the last few days — somehow I go to Beatles songs for comfort and solace. I think it reminds me of a time when it felt all things were possible, and I like remembering the innocent teenage me who loved them with an all-out crazy love. Beatles forever!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Exactly, Jama. Your comment reminds me of George’s song about the Beatles — written after John Lennon’s death, “All Those Years Ago.”

  6. Kay McGriff says:

    This is a lovely song to hold close during these turbulent days. I don’t think I can pick a favorite Beatle or song–it changes depending on the mood I’m in.

  7. Laura Shovan says:

    My friend, poet Ned Balbo, gifted me with this George song today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=84&v=sJjFzQHDA0k

  8. Tara Smith says:

    George Harrison, my Beatle of choice. “If Not For You” has a very special place in my heart, Laura. Thanks for this reminder!

  9. Linda Baie says:

    Before we moved to Colorado, my husband managed a rock station in Kansas City, MO. I’ve met some of the rock stars because of that, including the Beatles, but only briefly before their concerts. I love the Beatles’ songs, but John is my favorite. When I want some happy songs, though, I play an old cd of Louis Armstrong’s. “What A Wonderful Day” is on it, makes me happy! Thanks for this by George, Laura. Each one has left us all wonderful songs.

  10. Brenda says:

    None of life’s strings can last, now that is a line that hit me extra powerfully now that three of my kids play strings. When all the strings fail, the bridges come down. Great poem. Are you down? I hope your love is bringing you back up. And warm-chocolate-chip-cookie thanks for your help to me. I was able to finish and enjoy my weekend with my kids. One final run through the whole book, and it will be ready for a workshop. I really want it to shine because it was the first book where I let my characters talk for themselves, and I tried to get out of the way. I have had such fun with it. Thanks again.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Brenda. I *was* down, but my dear husband and I watched a recording of the Broadway revival of “She Loves Me” this weekend. That cheered me up. It’s such a sweet show. Keep me posted about your book project!

  11. Lisa says:

    Laura,
    How true that music helps get us through the hard times! Thank you for sharing this song by George Harrison. No answer for favorite Beatle, but I do enjoy The Beatles. “Here Comes the Sun” exudes warmth and comfort.

    As far as music that helps when feeling down–I like an old-fashioned mix, curated old school. I miss the mix tape days! Each year, for the last 7 years or so, I’ve chosen a song (or two) to serve as my motivational/emotional support song for the year. One year it was “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder. It’s funny when you choose a song for the year, and you end up hearing it at times you least expect. I listen to the radio in the car, and was surprised to hear a song like this resurface! Before then, I hadn’t heard it at all–it just popped into my mind to choose since my word for the year was “Stride” : )

    • Laura Shovan says:

      That’s so true about songs, Lisa. What you mention about “Break My Stride” — that was my experience with “Here Comes the Sun” a few years ago.

      I agree with you about mix-tapes. Lin Manuel Miranda says old-school mix-tapes were his first step in learning how to construct the emotional pacing of a Broadway show. How cool is that?

  12. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    My favorite piece of music for calming down and re-centering is “Spiegel im Spiegel.” I can match the rhythm of the music with my breathing and it never fails to give me peace.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZe3mXlnfNc

  13. Very late to this post, Laura, but I wanted to thank you for the beautiful song, and for the links to the the documentary and book. I’ll definitely be checking those out.

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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