Overjoyed…

I picked today’s song because WordPress tells me that this is my 100th blog post.

If I had been asked to guess how many blog posts I’ve written since I started in 2013, I would have said 30 – 40.

So I am surprised to discover that this is #100.

As loyal readers from the past years can attest, I do not write on a regular schedule.

If I do the math, however, I find that I have averaged one post per month.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay 

I am often happy — and sometimes even overjoyed — to be part of our WordPress writing community.

It is thrilling to check my statistics and find that folks have been reading and listening from different countries around the planet.

THANK YOU to everyone who has read and/or listened to one of my blog posts during the past eight years!

And a special thank you to the folks who have taken the time to leave a comment.

Reading and responding to these comments — and also writing comments after reading other people’s blog posts — is how the WordPress community comes to life!

“Overjoyed” was written by Stevland Hardaway Morris a.k.a Stevie Wonder and first appeared in 1985 on his 20th studio album, In Square Circle.

I am not sure when I first heard it — maybe when he performed it on Saturday Night Live or perhaps when a college friend, Rex Dean, sang it?

It became somewhat of an obsession for me and several of my musical friends…

Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

I finally performed “Overjoyed” in 2006 as part of a program of songs written by people named Steve — which also featured songs by Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Foster, Stephen Sondheim, Cat Stevens, Stephen Flaherty, Steve Schalchlin, and my friend Steve Sweeting (several of whose songs have been highlighted in previous blog posts).

This recording is from a rehearsal at pianist Doug Hammer‘s studio north of Boston, MA, which was attended by a journalist, Joel Brown, who ended up writing a lovely feature story in the Boston Globe to help spread the word before my performance at Scullers Jazz Club.

If you are curious, you can read it on my website (look for “Interviews — Boston Globe June 4, 2006).

This recording also features a wonderful musician, Mike Callahan, playing clarinet.

Photo from MSU Website

I met Mike when he was an undergraduate at Harvard.

He arranged a bunch of songs for me to sing with the Harvard Pops Orchestra — and then later with the Timberlane Pops. You can click here to see him and me in action if you are curious.

He can play just about any instrument (which is very useful when one is arranging a song for an entire orchestra) and is also a delightful human being.

Mike went from Harvard to the Eastman School Of Music, where he earned an MA and a PhD and is now a professor at Michigan State.

If you click here, you can read his bio to learn more details about his outstanding musical life.

Finding strong takes from previously recorded rehearsals and then polishing them with Doug via Zoom has also been a process which has given me much joy during the past year.

And — well-masked — we’ve even started recording a new batch of my original songs in the past month (I take off my mask when I am in the vocal recording booth…)

Hopefully a few of them will turn out well enough for me to share them in future blog posts.

Watching things grow in the planters on my back porch this past summer has also been a quietly joyful pastime.

Photo by Carole Bundy

I started with kale, basil, tomatoes and marigolds.

The tomatoes yielded a small but sublime harvest of vegetable gems.

Mine were yellow, and I did not document them with a photograph because they were so tasty I had to eat them as soon as they became ripe.

But my friend Carole Bundy sent me this lovely photo of HER first two tomatoes.

I’ve also been eating one brilliant green leaf of kale every week or so…

When the tomatoes were done, I replaced them with cut up chunks of a potato which my mother brought to family gathering earlier this summer.

It was one of a batch which she described as being the most delicious potatoes she had eaten in a long time.

I wasn’t sure if the cut up chunks would grow, but they did have many “eyes” on them…

Now I am overjoyed that one of them has sprouted, grown tall, and even flowered!

I was very surprised by the flowers, which are quite pretty and fragrant.

Photo by me

They have also lasted a long time.

Now the soil under the flowering plant is starting to bulge a bit.

I think I may need to pile more dirt on top of what may be one or more baby potatoes growing down below…

The cat in this photo lives with our neighbors upstairs.

I may write about her in a future blog post.

Trixie did something on 9/11/21 which was heart-wrenching (not to her but to me and maybe also to her owner).

But that is a story for another day and another blog post.

Today’s theme is joy and gratitude.

Thank you to the great photographers who share their photos with the world via Pixabay.

I am overjoyed that I can include your photos in my blog posts.

Thank you to all the great songwriters named Steve.

I am overjoyed to sing your songs.

Thank you to Doug and Mike for your musical gifts — and thank you to Doug for your engineering magic, too.

I am overjoyed to be able to make music with you both.

Image by Mircea Ploscar from Pixabay 

Thank you to the plants which have been so patient and cooperative with my humble attempts at gardening — as well as generous with their fruits and leaves and roots!

I am overjoyed that you breath out what I breath in and vice-versa.

I know I thanked my readers earlier in this blog post, but I will now thank you again!

THANK YOU.

It is a pleasure and an honor to be part of this WordPress community.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay 

PS: You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find all sorts of songs.

Or you can find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music and other digital music platforms.

And if you are hungry for more music, you are welcome to listen to a sublime version of “In My Life” which I recorded with Doug Hammer.on a bunch of different digital music platforms.

44 thoughts on “Overjoyed…

  1. Congrats on your 100th post from someone who is nearing his 100th birthday (actually my 85th, but I’m beginning to feel like I’m nearing 100). At any rate, romance never goes out of date….especially when married to the right music. I’ll look forward to your next 100 posts, by which time (at your current rate) I really will be near 100.

  2. What a beautiful and heartfelt post Will. Your joy comes through the song and your gratitude resounds in the post. It’s nice to have so many musical friends to collaborate with. Kudos on your garden and tater sprouts too! Thanks for sharing all your joys and blessings. 🙏🎶

  3. People often question home grown spud growers. But a home grown spud is a taste miracle! (I realise that this is but a minor part of your post. But – just felt the need to express myself on behalf of those who grow spuds at home!

    • Yes. The potato flowers are kind of old-fashioned and quite fragrant. And the few vegetables/fruits that survived on my back porch have been very satisfying to take care of — and then harvest!

    • Yes. Growing food and being in a daily relationship with the plant world — even in a very small way such as the boxes and pots on my back porch — is very rewarding! THANK YOU for reading and listening and commenting from the other side of the world!

  4. This is a joy-filled potpourri that made me very happy, Will. So many big and little delights. Loved your song to your dad.

    Congratulations on your 100th post. May you keep to at least this output for a long time to come.

    And please let us know if that lovely flower yields a potato!

    • I am definitely curious to dig up the two different potato plants which have grown from the chunks I planted mid-summer. If I find anything of interest once the frost has killed the green parts above ground, I will take a photo and share it in a future blog post. Thank you for yet again reading and listening and leaving a comment!

  5. Congratulations Will on your 100th post. You have such in depth posts that reveal your passion for music! Gardening is also a great passion to have. It is very rewarding. The connections around the world on Word Press are so great! I enjoyed your recording of Overjoyed! Keep up the good work.
    Dwight

    • Thanks for reading and listening and commenting, Dwight!!! I have been a more and less active gardener at different points in my life. Today it seems very likely that I’ll (if I am fortunate enough to have access to land and water) be doing a lot more gardening and preserving of food in future years in order to feed myself and family and friends if we human beings continue to respond (or in many cases NOT respond) to the increasing and overlapping catastrophes related to climate change…

    • Yes. Those potato blossoms are one of this summer’s revelations. And now some of the flowers are turning into little green fruits which must contain potato SEEDS (another thing I have never thought about…) I will take more photos for a potential follow-up blog item. THANK YOU for reading and listening and commenting, dear woman!

  6. Have Always loved this song… and wow what a stunning version this is…. Sigh…. Awesome posting here – as usual- overjoyed to read and listen to each of your Works and words of art!

    • THANK YOU for reading and listening and then leaving such an enthusiastic comment, Zola! It continues to be a pleasure to listen to the 20+ years of recorded rehearsals with Doug (and sometimes others, too, like Mike) in order to find some gem takes like this one (which Doug and I can then polish/fix/mix via Zoom). Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

  7. Congratulations!! I’m so glad to have discovered your blog. Thanks for the lovely post and song, dreamy melody. Unfortunately I live in a high place where vegetable gardening is too challenging. I do miss growing what I eat, from younger days at a lower elevation.

    • Gardening keeps us busy and connected to the cycles of life and nature here on planet earth. I think it also reminds us — consciously or unconsciously — how interconnected we are with the plant world (they breathe out what we breathe in and vice versa…) Thank you for reading and listening and commenting!

  8. The joy and gratitude in this post have lifted me up today! Thank you:). And your planters are so neat and tidy. If I showed you my tomato plant, growing into my walkway, you’d gasp with horror.

    • More likely I would gasp with delight. My planters are so neat and tidy because they did not grow very well. I think they may have gotten too much rain this summer (which meant they were too wet much of the time and also that nutrients were washed out of the soil and onto the ground below our porch…) THANK YOU for making time to read and listen to another one of my blog posts.

      • Well mine grew like wild fire. So much so that I can’t even find half the tomatoes that are in the middle of the tangle :-). So I guess we balance each other out.

      • Yes. We balance each other out. I have a friend with a small raised backyard garden devoted entirely to tomatoes. It is now a JUNGLE of vines and fruit (many of them hard to reach…) Sounds like your magnificent plant(s). I forget where you live… will you have a frost at some point? I have made a pact with my friend to visit her garden/jungle one more time right before the first frost and harvest everything — red/orange/yellow/green — still on her vines! Then we will see how long it takes for the final green tomatoes to ripen indoors… Yum!!!

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