Wednesday, March 06, 2019


Our word for today is "band" - it has many meanings. The first to come to mind is music - the camaraderie of music. People coming together to play instruments, sing, express joy. I'm not good enough to play my piano in a band, but my writing partner plays the flute and has joined a community band. I'm always amazed at the ingenuity of people who constantly create opportunities for anyone and everyone to continue doing what they love. In this case it's music.

I play very simple music on my piano. One of my favourite pieces is an old Irish folk song, The Black Velvet Band, with the lovely line, "Her hair hung over her shoulders tied up with a black velvet band." Here band is an adornment, a statement perhaps, maybe even an entrapment. I couldn't help thinking of another line from another song/poem, The Highwayman. It's a sad story, unfortunately much of what endures is sad. It is also a love story with a ghostly ending. It tells the tale of young woman who killed herself to save her lover, the highwayman. Her ghost still pines for him, as it plaits a dark red love knot (band) into its long black hair.

We mark "things" with bands - thin strips that allow us to identify or track items. We band birds, for example, even delicate insects to learn more about them. These creatures, in turn, have their own bands, stripes of colour that distinguish them from others of the same variety. We wear coloured bands on our wrists to make statements - bands of gold brand us as married. Electronic bands now measure our vital signs - heartbeat, pulse rate, kinetic activity. In groups, we band together to protest, to march for what we believe in, to pressure for change or to prevent changes we fear.

"Band" may seem like a simple word, however, it is a very powerful concept, loaded with meaning and subtext. Use it wisely!

The pictures? Bands from the archives.

Have a together day!

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