Hello friends,

 

Here's our new plan - shorter newsletters, more frequent - let's see if we can do it!? I worked in the garden and yard all day Saturday and am still paying for it - muscles I forgot about. But we've got a couple of new beehives, and the garage is somewhat cleaner. (Except for the piano my son Dylan parked there temporarily eight months ago - anyone want a piano?)

 

Bill with new hive

Bill with new hive

 
 
 
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My version of "Jack and the Beanstalk"
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Bill and Paul at work

 

This past week I've been working on the text for an orchestral version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I've gone back and read as many versions of the old story as I could find. Weird versions. During the late nineteenth century, some folks had qualms about Jack stealing all that stuff - a number of versions have a beautiful woman explaining to Jack that the castle really belonged to his father, who was killed by the giant, and therefore he has a right to everything in it. Does that sound corny to you?

It's been fun trying to figure out how to bring an old story to life and finding traditional songs and melodies that will represent the different characters and places in the story. And it will be even more fun to see what my friend Paul Phillips comes up with in the composing and arranging.  We'll let you know.

 
The piece will premier with the Allentown Symphony in April of 2012....if you are close I hope you will come!
   
A Rules of the Universe revisited A
 

I spent a couple of days in a wonderful school in Needham, MA at the end of April. We did assemblies, workshops with 5th graders and a teacher workshop about using story in classrooms - it was a blast. In today's mail I received a package of letters from the kids. They looked at my website and wrote their own rules of the universe and philosophy on life. Below are some of them and we'll post more on the website or my Facebook page- they are all so great - I wish I could post them all....you could try this at your dinner table - or in your classroom!?

Assorted Rules of the Universe

    1. Work hard, laugh harder.
    2. Friendship is the only boat that never sinks.
    3. Everyone likes you better in a good mood
    4. Patience takes patience and if you're not patient you need to practice.
    5. The more you laugh the longer you'll live.
    6. You will never succeed if you don't learn to fail.
    7. Chocolate fixes everything.
    8. Everyone has a special talent, find yours.
    9. Don't eat by yourself.
    10. Don't let your teacher do a handstand.
    11. There's a difference between want and need.
    12. Don't waste time cleaning your room.
    13. People with complicated names will get nicknames.
    14. Family and friends are more important than careers and jobs.
    15. Sleep is like a restart button.
    16. Trouble isn't always bad.      

Philosophy on Life - excerpts

Everyone is blamed for being different. We aren't different. We are just special in our own way. We all are special and we should all be heard. White or Black. Girl or Boy.

People nowadays don't just go out and have fun. They worry that people will make fun of them.  Why do you care what they think? Your life is about you (that isn't an excuse to be selfish). Just right now, go. Live your life, go out and have fun.

If you pretend to be "perfect" then people won't know the true you.

 

Never give up on your dreams, there is always hope no matter what people tell you.  Think before you act, it does help. I believe in order to be happy you can't be worried or nervous.  You have to be proud and kind.

 
   
  Books, Music   
 

I'm reading The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram, and some James Lee Burke mysteries.

And, I've been listening to the new Paul Simon album So Beautiful or So What and Lucinda Williams' latest, Blessed.

 

(from Debbie...) - I just finished and loved Sara Gruen's new book, Ape House: A Novel, and based on a recommendation from a friend have just started The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow - it's pretty wonderful.   

 

Keep singing. And talking. And listening.

All the best,

 
   
 
From the Office
   
  May's Free Download  
 

May's free download is "Black Socks" from Bill's first album Monsters in the Bathroom.

Why, you ask. Because we have recently discovered two overlooked holidays in the month of May: the 8th is No Socks Day and the 9th is Lost Sock Memorial Day - we can't help but think that one caused the other.

So celebrate your missing socks with this silly ditty - one of Bill's most popular and most memorable:

Black socks, they never get dirty

The longer you wear them, the stronger they get

Sometimes I think I should wash them

But something inside me keeps saying Not yet, not yet, not yet, not yet  

Visit the Monsters in the Bathroom page in our online store and check out all of the tracks!

If you have any problems or issues downloading the song please contact the office by calling 800-682-9522 or email Michele@billharley.com

Good until the end of May.

 
   
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