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The word Journey came to mind the other day. As I contemplated what it meant to me, I thought about a musical journey and even the journey of GPDA.

My first thought was how many songs are about Journeys and have Journey in the title. The first song that came to mind was “Sentimental Journey”. It was first published in 1944 by Les Brown and made famous by Doris Day. It is a journey of the heart or emotions.

Then I googled Journey in the title of songs to see what else I could find. “Journey of the Angels” is a Christmas Carol from 2008 and recorded by Enya. The lyrics mentions angels the newborn King and the journey they had during the night. She has very different type music, but it is relaxing, and this is a very lovely tune. She had another journey song named “Long Long Journey” which depicts her travels from humble beginnings to her rise to rock legend.

I think the most surprising tune I found was “Your Long Journey”. It was originally sung by Doc Watson and written by his wife Rosa Lee. I found a video of Allison Kraus and Robert Plant singing the tune in harmony accompanied by an autoharp and banjo playing. I had no idea Robert Plant played this type of music. Gee, he was a Rock star with Led Zeppelin one of my all-time favorites rock bands. The song is about love and loss and is really beautiful. Talk about “Stair Way to Heaven”, now that’s a journey.

Then there are tunes describing journeys such as “Take Me Home Country Road” by John Denver. This is almost more of a metaphor of reminiscing of home and not so much traveling on a road to home. John had a couple of collaborators help him write it in 1971. One of his very biggest hits and he was on the road when it came together. Journeys help create songs.

How about “500 Miles Away from Home”? I used to sing that when I traveled from Colorado back to Wichita to visit and it was almost exactly 500 miles. It was written by Hedy West in 1961 and became popular in the 1960’s folk revival. It’s about a traveler far from home, out of money, and too ashamed to return home. Sad journey indeed.

Now I wonder what pieces in our packet might be about a journey and do we even know any of the lyrics? As we progress with our journey of playing more music from the packet maybe we need to look at the lyrics too? This would make our connection to the music more personable and could be a way to make it more memorable too.

Future pieces for our monthly meeting could include lyrics. Sing-a-longs are always fun anyway and more engaging with whomever we play for.

A last note on journeys. GPDA has had many journeys over the years. Members come and go, but we do have many long-term members too. It would be great to get some new members to join us and help the club with events and the journey going forward. How will we evolve? Can we get out there and play more in public to find those really interested in carrying the music forward? Add them to our journey?

On that note we have solidified the Wichita Art Museum gig and sent out the details to everyone. We have a playlist, and the tab and notation sheets will be sent to everyone by Richard via Groups io. We will practice the music during our March meeting to prepare anyone and everyone to participate.

Let’s continue our Journey together for the common cause of sharing our love of the instruments and music.

Keep the Music in the Air! Your VP NancyJ


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