A Day In The Life


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December 31, 2007, 1:32 am
Filed under: Music

It’s midnight again, but tonight I’m rested rather than just having arrived home after a 3-hour drive.  I want to write a bit more about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  For those of you who are tired of hearing about this group, I apologize.  For those of you who are interetsed, read on.

Each Trans-Siberian recording includes a story.  The complete story, in a type of overview form,  is printed in the first pages of the CD insert.  Then, interspersed throughout the lyrics, the same story in a more detailed rhyming verse,  is printed in italics.  Each piece of music, whether a vocal number or instrumental,  is also an integral part of the story.  The fusion of the story and the music is what makes the total TSO experience so meaningful.  It’s magical and beautiful and the message is always one of peace, love and hope for the wounded souls of the characters introduced through the stories. 

It is hard to fit this fusion into a specific genre.  One might call it a rock opera or symphonic rock.  The music simply includes so much; classical, blues, jazz, R&B, opera, Christmas carols.  Somehow it all fits together, blends and makes perfect sense to the listener.  In the live show, a narrator recited the rhyming verses of the story.  Oh, he did more than recite, he breathed life into the written words.  I literally sat in the arena with tears streaming down my face during portions of the concert. 

The light show that accompanied the concert made the whole experience even more breathtaking.  I read somewhere that it takes 15 hours to set up for a TSO concert and I believe it.  There were so many lights in so many colors and forms.  There was even an elevator-type platform at the opposite end of the arena from the stage that, when raised, had huge flames shooting up in the air.  And all the lights and pyrotechnics were perfectly sequenced with the rhythms of the music.  The amount of work that must go into putting a three-hour show like we saw together…..well, it is just mind boggling. 

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is scheduled to release a new CD in 2008 entitled “Night Castle”.  I can’t wait to purchase it.  We heard at least one piece that will be included on the new album which is “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.  The first two hours of the concert program were the live rendition of TSO’s first CD, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories”, released in 1996 which is also the year the group was formed.  The last hour of the concert program included music from “The Christmas Attic”, “The Lost Christmas Eve”, “Beethoven’s Last Night” and “Night Castle”.  We also heard a little Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and a funky performance of “Proud Mary”. 

I have been wanting to see TSO  for about three years, but their Little Rock concerts were always scheduled before Christmas which, as you know, is my busiest time of year.  I was thrilled when I found out their 2007 concert date was December 29.  It was an experience that I will never forget. 

As he flew o’er Sarajevo
There were scars upon the land.
There were scars upon the people.
It was hard to understand.
And the deepest scars of all
Which to humans are unseen
But the angel could see clearly
Were the scars upon the dreams.
Like Belfast and Burundi
Rwanda, Palestine
The only decorations here
Had been awarded for their crimes.
And in gardens where the children played
Now soldiers only trod
And stranger still he heard some say
That they were killing for their God.
Now the angel heard God speak many times
And he had always paid attention
But this killing of one’s neighbor
Was something the Lord had never mentioned.
But as he neared the earth
Of a recent battleground
From among the ruins
He once more heard the sound.
It was single cello playing
A forgotten Christmas song
And even on that battlefield
The song somehow belonged.
And as he flew away
The angel did take note
That where he found this music played
One always could find hope.”

from “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

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6 Comments so far
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You can talk all day to me about TSO. I love them. I get choked up on the story of the young girl trying to get home for Christmas (Old City Bar) and then get inspired by the rest. They are an amazing group. We got to see them in early December. Paul O’Neill, the creator, was walking the aisles with his entourage and gave our young son a very cool jean jacket, embroidered, a signed autograph program and a tee-shirt. We will all never forget that. It’s just a great experience that stirs the soul!

Comment by Nekked Lizard Lady

Oh, thank you for the lyrics! One can always find hope.

Comment by Sandy

Those lyrics were just beautiful. The songs I have by TSO were downloaded from the internet and I had no idea about the stories. I’ll look for the new CD in 2008 and read the stories now.

Have a happy new year!

Comment by Devon

Thank you, Songbird. Although I do not have TSO in my collection I will certainly add them now. Music does bring hope.

Comment by gawilli

Did you know there is a clip of this song on YouTube? If I did this right, here is the link.

Comment by gawilli

you gave me shivers.

Comment by Pamela




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