Footprints on the Sands of Time Adapted from “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow New Year’s Day is always a moment during which many of us reflect on the passage of time. This year we have also been constantly reminded of our own mortality. So, it’s particularly appropriate that I present this song to you today, as it was something I wrote earlier during the pandemic. ‘Footprints on the Sands of Time’ is a phrase from “A Psalm of Life” by Longfellow, describing the legacy that individuals leave behind after they pass away. The poem attempts to describe nothing less than the purpose of life. In Longfellow’s optimistic view, though our body dies, the soul remains immortal. When we strive to lead ethical and moral lives of consequence, we will leave behind ‘footprints’ that others can follow as they pursue their own exceptional lives. Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year! Enjoy, Dr. Weiss “Music is the language spoken by angels.” Longfellow
Many of you have asked me “What’s with all the music, Dr. Weiss?” Well, as I’ve told some of you:
I personally call every surgery patient on the evening of surgery just to make sure they are doing well and have no questions that need answering. Occasionally, I would be at the piano and play a song that we had listened to that day. I gradually realized that I wanted to go through all the music that I had played during my life and at least start making a list of the songs that I had recently played.
Well, there are now about 600 songs on the list and I realized that it in a way it represented the ‘soundtrack of my life’! And that’s how I got the idea to record these songs and share them with my patients, friends and family. After I record them they will reside here, for easy access.
Music is truth. It’s honest. It’s really the first social media, where in a way, people could share their souls directly. And isn’t that what the purpose of social media is and why it’s so popular - trying to share who you really are, as completely and directly as possible?
Finally, it has been (and will continue to be) a genuine pleasure sharing these different songs with you and I really appreciate all of your positive feedback!!
June 1, 2022
Russian Children (they look like our children, don’t they?) ‘I Hope the Russians Love Their Children Too’ On this day (June 1) 42 years ago, Sting released this song on his first solo album. Sting wrote the lyrics to this 1985 song but borrowed the central theme from the second movement (‘Romance’) of Serge Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kijé Suite,” which begins at the 4:20 mark of this orchestral recording. Sting reharmonized Prokofiev’s theme by adding a short but profoundly unique bass line (in addition to creating a powerful original but thematically similar melody.) Prokofiev himself is said to have taken the theme from an old Russian folk song called “The Little Grey Dove is Cooing.” [In playing this song, I’ve further discovered another possible source. Try singing the Christmas carol ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ (originating in the 1650s) over Sting’s lyrics.] With the current invasion of Ukraine, Prokofiev’s song is especially remarkable. In one of life’s extraordinary coincidences, Prokofiev was born in Sontsivka in 1891, in the Donetsk Oblast (region or state) of Ukraine – the very center of the area in eastern Ukraine that Putin is claiming to protect and liberate in 2022! It’s just 50 miles north of Mariupol, where the greatest […]
Paint It Black
August 25, 2021
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts (Press arrow to play) Paint It Black Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts passed away today at the age of 80. Thanks for all the good vibrations Charlie! Dr. Weiss
All I Want To Do Is Dream
August 22, 2021
The Everly Brothers: Phil and Don (Press arrow to play) Don Everly passed away today at age 84. They were slightly before my time, but I sure loved this song. A lot of other people did also, because this 1958 song is ranked No. 141 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Thanks for the memories of all of the times that I’ve enjoyed listening to it. Rest in peace, guys. Dr. Weiss
Help! John Lennon’s cri de couer
July 19, 2021
Help! Dear family of patients, On this summer day July 19, 1965 – 56 years ago, the Beatles released the single “Help!” (now ranked at number 29 on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.) I remember listening to it over and over again with my brother in his room on our portable 45 rpm record player. I also remember wrestling with my brother while listening to the B-side “I’m Down” (OK, I was 12 and my brother was 10.) I sent you this song as an Earth Day video a few months ago, but looking back, I now feel that the importance of the Earth Day message as well as the accompanying visuals (not to mention my amateur vocals) detracted from simply enjoying the beautiful sound of this arrangement and instrumentation (Bösendorfer Grand piano sample on the Yamaha Clavinova.) I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the aural quality and chord changes alone, sans lyrics, seem to express all the existential angst of our current global pandemic moment, while improbably being strangely soothing at the same time. Lennon said that Help! was one of his favorite Beatles songs and “one of the only true songs he ever wrote.” I’ve chosen […]