The other morning, i retrieved the paper in the dark, about a half-hour before first light as it is in winter in the Southwest corner. In winter here, Venus is below the horizon. She, the morning star is magical to me, and in other seasons when she is visible, i say good morning to her as i stand on our driveway near the end of the cul-de-sac.
But when she is gone, i turn my attention to Vega, the second brightest star in the northern hemisphere. Vega shines upon me above the airlines flight path to what Lindbergh Field used to be called. She sits in the highest end of the arm of Lyra, as her constellation is called, or lyre. This one was Orpheus’ lyre, which was placed there when he was stoned to death by jealous women, whose clamoring and noise blotted out the music Orpheus made that charmed women and about everything else due to the beautiful music Orpheus played with the original lyre made by Hermes, the “herald” Greek god…or so it goes.
Now, i can’t, nor have ever been able to charm women, especially with my limited musical talent, but i do love music. Vega and Lyra are a good way for me to start the winter morning.
i don’t think Orpheus ever played “Honky Tonk,” although he could have been playing it along with Bill Doggett at the Hazelwood swimming pool in 1956 Lebanon, Tennessee. i was sitting on a blanket in the poolside grass after a dip when it played. It was blaring over the speakers of the rambling recreation structure at the shallow end of the pool.
i moved then to the the guitar and the saxophone just like this morning. Inspired by Lyra, i put it on when i came back into my home office. The door was closed. Maureen was still asleep. i moved again, swaying to the music.
Enchanting? It certainly is to me.
i’ll let you judge for yourself.
If you would like to listen to another splendid version and move some more, i reckon you should look up Jimmy Smith’s version on YouTube. Jimmy, who also ran a Cajun restaurant in San Diego, could make magic out of anything he played.
i’m sure Hermes and Orpheus would be pleased even if there isn’t a lyre in either orchestra.