tribute to rivers and birth

today is the birthday of one of my favorite people, and it is also the birthday of one of my favorite composers—my brother, nate and bohemian composer, bedřich smetana respectively.

nate was born forty-four years ago today. smetena was born almost two centuries earlier in 1824. they are both great writers of music.

smetena wrote a piece about a river. you can hear it here. although this particular recording is not one of the best, it is one of my favorite classical pieces. below is a short description of the piece.

"vltava, also known as die moldau {german name}, was composed between 20 november and 8 december 1874 and was premiered on 4 april 1875. it is about 12 minutes long, and is in the key of e minor.

in this piece, smetana uses tone painting to evoke the sounds of one of bohemia's great rivers.

in his own words:
'the composition describes the course of the vltava, starting from the two small springs, the cold and warm vltava, to the unification of both streams into a single current, the course of the vltava through woods and meadows, through landscapes where a farmer's wedding is celebrated, the round dance of the mermaids in the night's moonshine: on the nearby rocks loom proud castles, palaces and ruins aloft. the vltava swirls into the st. john's rapids; then it widens and flows toward prague, past the vyšehrad, and then majestically vanishes into the distance, ending at the labe (or elbe, in german).' "
{from wikipedia}

nate recently wrote a song about a river. of all the hundreds of songs he has written over the years, this is my favorite one. here are the lyrics:

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

run, river {by nate heldman}

someday soon
gonna leave this place
find me a little town
in an open space
maybe some foothills
to break the plane
and a quiet river
that knows my name

i'll find my rythym
maybe a job
as leaves turn over
i might find God
He might not know me
been gone that long
my friends even call me
the prodigal one

it's time for some changes
there's no denying
i'm alive on the outside
but my spirit is dying
so disappointed
in who i've been
maybe that river
can hold my sin

the lords of concrete
have brought me down
nose to the grindstone
and ear to the ground
the sirens sing loudly
the sirens don't stop
they sing to me sweetly
as i crash on the rocks

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

happy birthday, smetena.
happy birthday, nate.


beth said...

OMG....first, happy birthday to your brother and NOW let's get some music to that song as I LOVE IT and want to hear it !!!

Georgia B. said...

Beth, he wrote music as well as the lyrics. and it's beautiful. i heard it in his dining room—just him and the guitar. i cried.

Jamie said...

Awww, how sweet. Really lovely lyrics. I think I'd like to go to that place too.

Char said...

Happy Birthday brother - that is one gorgeous song.

Nate Heldman said...

woot! thanks, jorjah porjah!

btw, smetena called. he wants you to quit putting his and my name in the same sentence...or blog post, as it were. :-)

acharful: not very charful.

Danz said...

Happy birthday to Nate! He's a very talented songwriter :)

Sara said...

WOW I love what your brother wrote!! He is also a few days younger than my mother :D
Happy Birthday, Nate!

~B~ said...

I knew it. YOur WHOLE family is just oozing with artistic talent. Those lyrics make me want to give him a hug. It sounds like it would be really good with just a guitar. Maybe do a recording??? HAPPY Birthday to your brother. Once again you found the best matching picture to what you wrote.

ps. Is it fate telling me to do my dishes? My word verification is dishies.....Eeeww! I do not want to do dihes.

JLBO said...

Your brother writes beautiful, moving lyrics ! And your photography is inspiring.
Though we may be perfect strangers, I'm glad internet exists so that souls that are - somehow - akin can meet beyond the barriers of time, space, language, race and creed.
Langage universel de la musique !

JLBO said...

...and, I should add today, (reading this beautiful verse) "et de la poésie !"

Have a good day.