No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Five Boroughs Music Festival

Upcoming Birthday Boy Walt Whitman simply looms too large to appear only one day this week. But for our final post, we’ve selected not a Whitman text, but a Whitman tribute. “Walt Whitman in 1989”, a breathtaking poem by Perry Brass, imagines Whitman, who had visited and volunteered in hospitals during the Civil War, doing the same at the height of AIDS Crisis.




 |  nyfos

Every five years or so, we at 5BMF like to go all out and commission twenty composers to write a new song each about this wild, wonderful, gritty, overwhelming city we call our home. For our Five Borough Songbook, Vol. II we were delighted to have the amazing Laura Kaminsky on the roster




 |  Five Boroughs Music Festival

This week’s Song of the Day is hosted by Jesse Blumberg and Donna Breitzer, the Artistic Director and Executive Director, respectively, of Five Boroughs Music Festival. A drag song!  There had to be one, and Steve B. sure picked a winner.  Much to my regret, I had never heard of John Wallowitch until Steve introduced […]




 |  Five Boroughs Music Festival

“Amid the din of the ball” was one of the first songs I learned after my first lessons in Russian diction at CCM with Ken Griffiths. I was drawn to its dreamlike waltz feel, its incredibly vivid images from strophe to strophe, and the way Tchaikovsky spins his gorgeous melodic gifts from a noisy ballroom into a solitary bedroom.




 |  Elaine Sexton

This ecstatic song needs no introduction. The text for “Happy” is itself an irrepressible extended metaphor for the title, a song built on similes “like a room without a roof”.  “Happy” sold 6.45 million copies in the U.S., alone, in the year after its release in 2013, at the top of the Billboard’s hot 100 […]




 |  Elaine Sexton

“This poet ruined my life,” Leonard Cohen said of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Cohen, a singer/songwriter and poet, himself, took great liberty with the original text of the haunting poem it is based on,”Pequeño vals vienés” (Little Viennese Waltz).




 |  Elaine Sexton

When commissioned to compose a sequence of poems to be set to music to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising the song “I’ll Take You There,” from the same era, was among the first that came to mind. A kind of anthem first performed and recorded in 1972 by The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There” was a protest song that reflected a kind of optimism, an instant and uplifting hit.