Thursday, 12 February 2009

Lincoln and Darwin birthdays

Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin share Feb 12 as a birthday. Lincoln of course was a giant among men in every way. Here he is with ex slave and campaigner, Sojourner Truth. Apparently Darwin's family were abolitionists, too.

Walt Whitman's poem on Lincoln's death was set by Paul Hindemith when Roosevelt passed away. Horribly difficult lines to set.

"When lilacs last in the door yard bloom'd,
And the great star early drop'd
in the western sky at night,
I mourn'd - and yet shall mourn
with ever-returning spring".

Offhand I can't think of any songs that commemorate Darwin. But John Updike's worth remembering, too. Brian Holmes's Science Songs are based on Updike's poems. These songs are becoming quite a cult on the song circuit as they are lively, witty and fun to sing. Great in recital. Brian is a physicist and brass player, all round interesting person. To hear clips of his Science Songs, follow this link about halfway down the page:

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