2020: the year of the rat, and other stuff.

Even without the coming U.S. presidential election, 2020 would still be a very quirky year.

For starters, it’s a leap year. Check your calendar for 2020 and you’ll find it includes a February 29th. That only happens once every four years. Second, it is the year of the rat, the beginning of the cycle in the Chinese zodiac, and a year that is supposed to bring ingenuity and renewal. That only happens once every 12 years. Third, 2020 is a double-date year, where the first two digits are the same as the last two as in 1919, 1818, or 1717. That only happens once a century.

But more to point, we are only a little more than halfway into this tumultuous year, and it seems like there’s already been enough societal turbulence to fill a decade. So far this year, we have seen the outbreak of the corona virus, the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani triggering open hostilities with Iran, the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 killing all 176 souls on board, Harry and Megan’s dramatic exit stage right from the British Royal Family, the death of more than one billion animals and the extinction of several endangered species in the Australian brush fires, Brexit in the U.K., the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump and the horrific death of George Floyd unleashing widespread protest throughout United States.

But as we all know, there is at least one more big news story on the agenda for 2020. It is the cherry on top of this Pandora’s box of horrors: the U.S. Presidential Election, the outcome of which will have huge ramifications, not just for America, but for the entire world. It will determine, I think, the direction of our humanity for decades to come.

Even though the election is likely to affect every living person and organism on this planet, only Americans get to vote, and rightly so. It is, after all, their election. However, I think it’s okay for the rest of us to at least express an opinion, and it is in that spirit that I offer up this short movie chronicling events of 2020 in song and photographs.

Song and video by Donald Glenn

Mother’s Day

I lost my Mom years ago, but I still think of her every Mother’s Day, and on lots of the days in between. She was such a great mom. She had this way of always knowing exactly how I was feeling, especially if I was upset about something. Growing up, I was your typical stoic male—always keeping my feelings hidden. The only time I really opened up was when I was playing a song. I guess I’m still like that a little.

scan0016My mom had a way of knowing when I was upset about something, and she had a way of drawing it out of me that always made me feel better. After I moved out, we kept in touch by phone, and sometimes the conversations would go on for an hour or more. We always talked about me. I was pretty self-absorbed in those days, even more so than today. Also, that was her style. Whenever she talked to anyone, she always made the other person the focus of the conversation.

There was one Mother’s Day when I was in my twenties that I forgot completely. I didn’t send a card or flowers. I didn’t even call. I guess my Mom was pretty upset, and my Step Father called me and chewed me out pretty good. My immediate reaction was anger. What right did this guy have to speak to me like that? I told him to “f— himself” and slammed down the phone, but the moment the receiver hit the cradle, I knew he was right. How could I have been so inconsiderate after all she had done for me? I never forgot another Mother’s Day after that.

When my Mother died, I was the last of her three children to come and see her and say goodbye. I knew she would die if I came, and I wasn’t ready to let her go. But I also knew I couldn’t let her go without seeing her one last time. I went to her straight from the airport. I told her I loved her, I thanked her for being my Mom, and I said goodbye. She couldn’t talk, but I could tell from her eyes that she understood everything I said. A few minutes later, she passed. That was almost 15 years ago. I wrote a song about it a few months ago, and I called it Away You Go Flying because it didn’t seem to me like she died. It seemed like she just left.

 

A day like this…

It’s days like this that make me really appreciate my home here on the Sunshine Coast where nature is literally right outside your front door. I took a bike ride up Inlet Highway with my daughter, Paige. We stopped at Burnett Falls on the way home, and I made this little movie. I actually enjoy the stream below the falls more than the falls itself. I love the sound of it. Happy Earth Day everybody.

Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 12.29.15 PM

Click to play

Some Sad Songs for Staying Home

Hi Guys. Since a lot of us are sitting at home these days surfing the net or chatting with friends on social media, I thought I’d send you out this Spotify Playlist. It’s called Sad Songs to Stir the Soul, and full disclosure, the songs are pretty sad. But I find a sad song is just what I want sometimes when I’m feeling a little low.

The list is free to play if you have a Spotify account. It’s also free if you don’t have an account, but you may hear an ad between songs now and then. Enjoy!

Getting the Band Back Together… Part 2

Hi guys. So sorry, but I guess I spoke a little too soon about getting the band back together. The Bowie part of Millar-Bowie has decided to opt out of our date on Saturday at the Gibsons Public Market. Paula has a sore throat, and they have decided to avoid public events for the next while because of the coronavirus. I totally understand and respect their decision.

Jim's EyesI’m going ahead with the event and will be performing two 45-minute sets as a solo performer as I’ve done in my last two appearances there.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but just as a reminder…

  • avoid public events if you’re not feeling well
  • maintain a distance of two arm’s lengths from others, especially if they are sneezing or coughing
  • wash your hands frequently and keep scrubbing for 10 seconds, which is about the time it takes to sing happy birthday. I like to insert the word “corona” for the name while I’m scrubbing, although for the virus, it’s the opposite of a birthday.

Stay well everybody, much love…

Glenn.

Donald Glenn and His Musical Friends

Mystic Journeys

Getting the Band Back Together

I’m really looking forward to getting the Millar-Bowie Band back together this weekend. We’ll be playing a 45-minute set in the atrium at the Gibsons Public Market on Saturday, March 14th. The show starts at 2:30 p.m. with a solo set by yours truly, and then Jim and Paula Bowie will join in for a second set at about 3:45 p.m. We’ll also have Jack Polesser with us on drums.

Jim's EyesI’ve been playing as a solo performer quite a bit the last little while. It certainly has some advantages: You get to win all the arguments, and you don’t have to share any of the money. But there’s nothing quite as satisfying as joining with other musicians to weave a nice, tight tapestry of sound that connects with an audience. Hopefully, that’s what we’ll be doing on Saturday. Please drop by if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Donald Glenn and His Musical Friends

Mystic Journeys

Thanks for your views…

Hi guys. I just wanted to say thanks for all your views, likes, comments etc. related to my recent YouTube video: A Valentine for Carole. There was a time when I used to smirk at the social-media obsessed that had to check their daily scores on all platforms to tally up their self worth. And now, it turns out that I am one them, just as bad if not worse.

YouTube ViewsThere is, however, another less self-centric reason that I am pleased with the attention the video garnered. It is clear from the comments received that it was Carole and our love for each other that resonated with people. In our modern world, where hate seems to capture more and more of our attention, it was encouraging to me that our story—essentially a love story—was able to capture people’s attention and give them a moment of pleasure on a day that’s supposed to be devoted to love.

Here are a few of my favourite comments:

  •  Arwen E. MacDogooder, Facebook: “Oh my God. That’s so freaking adorable.”
  •  Paula Bowie, Facebook: “She is a beautiful catch!”
  • Gemma Cowan, Facebook: “What a lovely expression of your love and life together.”
  • Shirley Jones, Facebook: “Amazing. What a superb valentine gift. Thank you for sharing. Made my day.”
  • Donetta Byrd, Twitter: “Sweet video and catchy tune! What did she think?” Reply: She said, “That’s so sweet. I hope it doesn’t go viral.”
  • Isabella, Twitter: “Love the song !!!”
  • Demian Pettman, You Tube: “Great tune! Very catchy and sweet. Nice vocals Paula 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day Carol ❤ Thanks for sharing a bit of your life!”