Monday, December 13, 2010

"The North Wind doth blow/And we shall have snow/And what will the robin do then, poor thing?"

The Song: "The North Wind," Elizabeth Mitchell. Words & music traditional. Track 14 of You Are My Little Bird, 2006.
How/when acquired: Gift CD, 2007
Listen here.

We're having very strange weather here, but not in the way that the rest of the country seems to be. In fact, for once Maine is Oppositeland (or maybe we usually are). Our current temperature is a freakishly warm 53F. It's pouring rain, and as windy as a tropical storm. It's washed all the snow away, and I had to bring the snow shovel in off the deck last night so it wouldn't become a flying projectile.

The idea that weather reflects human emotion is the definition of the pathetic fallacy, but it didn't (and doesn't) feel far wrong this weekend. On Saturday I was sure I was coming down with flu: headache, earache, sinuses clogged, so tired I could barely move. Yesterday was better, but still fragile. Today I am awake again and nearly frenzied at the thought of everything that didn't get done over the weekend.

It's a tricky time of year. The dark unquestionably gets to me. This might be the year I invest in a light-therapy box. It's money I can't really spare, but if the alternative is a winter-related malaise that interferes with my work and my life, it'll pay for itself. Does anyone out there have one, or have any experience with one? Suggestions, recommendations?

This song is a lovely short track off a CD that is theoretically for children but should be in any good collection of folk music. Elizabeth Mitchell, who also plays as part of the wonderful indie band Ida, put the record together for her own daughter, who sings on several tracks. My sister Peggy gave me the CD for my birthday, and I've since given it to a couple of friends.

I was especially pleased to find this song, which I'd been unfamiliar with before stage-managing a production of The Mousetrap in 2006. An eccentric character sings this particular snatch of song at a tense moment. Fortunately, our director knew the tune; none of the rest of us had heard it. I'm glad to have the recording as a memory of that play, and will never hear it without Lynette's and Peter's voices in my head, too.

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