On Stage

FULL EPISODE

Emily Youngdahl Wright

Emily Youngdahl Wright and members of the Ukulele Drive and NE Triangle bands with special guest Allen Buchanan perform an eclectic mix of original music on the Historic Opera House stage.

AIRED: August 20, 2015 | 0:28:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

- [Voiceover] The following program

is a production of Pioneer Public Television.

(soft music)

(upbeat music)

My name is Emily Youngdahl Wright

and I perform with Ukelele Drive and Northeast Triangle.

I had a dream that I was standing in a farm field

after it had been harvested,

but the corn was still up a little bit,

and it was very windy.

And these horses came running up,

these wild horses, and they were swirling around me,

and I was really scared.

Then these four horsemen came up

and the captain said things are gonna get bad,

I'm gonna leave one of these guys here to take care of you.

And then they all left.

Shortly after that,

some of the kids I was working with

in a program that I ran for the county died.

And I almost died.

Things got pretty hard.

So, as I was recovering from all of that,

I remembered this dream

and I wrote the song about the dream.

(folk music)

¶ Make music

¶ With the dying

¶ Make music

¶ With the dead

¶ Make music

¶ With the dying

¶ Make music

¶ With the dead

¶ Let your heart break

¶ On the stones

¶ Tell the story

¶ With your bones

¶ Make music

¶ With the dying

¶ Make music

¶ With the Dead

¶ Things are gonna get hard

¶ And they're already bad

¶ Things are gonna get worse

¶ Trouble like you never had

¶ So you better pray

¶ Night and day

¶ For better times

¶ To come our way

¶ In this helpless

¶ Hopeless time

¶ Take a deep breath

¶ And close your eyes

¶ And as the dust storm

¶ Swirls around you

¶ God sends horseman

¶ to watch over you

¶ Things are gonna get hard

¶ And they're already bad

¶ Things are gonna get worse

¶ Trouble like you never had

¶ So you better pray

¶ Work night and day

¶ For better times

¶ To come our way

(folk music)

¶ Things are gonna get hard

¶ And they're already bad

¶ Things are gonna get worse

¶ Trouble like you never had

¶ So you better pray

¶ Work night and day

¶ For better times

¶ To come our way

¶ And as the dust

¶ swirls around

¶ God sends horsemen

¶ To watch over you

¶ So, make music

¶ With the dying

¶ Make music

¶ With the dead

¶ Make music

¶ With the dying

¶ Make music

¶ With the dead ¶

- I wrote half of the sky as an assignment

for a choir that I was working with in Holland.

And I wrote the song to the words

of a Native American poet.

It's about a woman and her role in the world.

And she supports half of the world,

in other words she holds up half of the sky.

It was originally written for four voices,

four choral voices.

We adapted it to the instruments

and because I'm a jazz singer, we like to add

a lot of improvisational parts in it.

(playful singing)

¶ I am woman

¶ I hold up half of the sky

¶ I am woman

¶ I nourish half of the earth

¶ I am woman

¶ The rainbow touches my shoulders

¶ All the universe

¶ encircles my eyes

¶ I am woman

¶ I hold up half of the sky

¶ I am woman

¶ I nourish half of the earth

(folk music)

(playful singing)

(playful singing)

¶ I am woman

¶ I hold up half of the sky

¶ I am woman

¶ I nourish half of the earth

¶ I am woman

¶ The rainbow touches my shoulder

¶ All the universe

¶ Encircles my eyes

(playful singing)

- [Emily] Such joy I wrote out of just pure gratitude

for being here on this earth.

And for my friends and my family

who have helped me

be here, and be happy, and be healthy,

and have just showered me with love.

It's a poem I co-wrote with a dead poet

named Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

So, she wrote most of the words.

¶ Such joy

¶ That came to me

¶ Such joy

¶ That came to me

¶ Such joy

¶ That came to me

¶ Came from you

¶ And your tender heart

¶ Such peace

¶ That came to me

¶ Such peace

¶ That came to me

¶ Such peace

¶ That came to me

¶ Came from you

¶ And your tender heart

¶ How do I love love thee

¶ Let me count the ways

¶ I love thee to the depth

¶ And breadth and height

¶ My soul can reach

¶ I love to thee to the level

¶ Of every day's most quiet need

¶ By sun and by candlelight

¶ Such love

¶ It came to me

¶ Such love

¶ It came to me

¶ Such love

¶ It came to me

¶ Came from you

¶ And your tender heart

¶ I love thee with a passion

¶ put to use in my old grief

¶ I love thee with a love

¶ I seemed to lose

¶ With my lost saints

¶ I love thee with a breath

¶Smiles and tears

¶ Of all my life

¶ And if God choose

¶ I shall but love thee

¶ Better after death

¶ And if God choose

¶ I shall but love thee

¶ Better after death

¶ So Love

¶ Come to me

¶ Oh, Love

¶ Come to me

¶ Oh, Love

¶ Come to me

¶ Cradle Me

¶ In your tender heart ¶

- I wrote Farewell after I was doing

some genealogy research into my family,

and I was thinking about my relatives

who stayed behind in Sweden and Ireland,

and how when my family left, that came to the United States,

those folks never saw them again.

So, I wrote that for them to sing to us.

To sing across the ocean to the people in the United States.

¶ Farewell to the friends

¶ Who are gone from us

¶ Farewell, farewell

¶ Away cross the ocean

¶ You flew from us

¶ Farewell, farewell

¶ Remember the songs

¶ That we used to sing

¶ Farewell, farewell

¶ The stories we shared will be memories

¶ Farewell, farewell

¶ Farewell to the friends

¶ Who are gone from us

¶ Farewell, farewell

¶ Away cross the ocean

¶ You flew from us

¶ Farewell, farewell

¶ Farewell, farewell,

¶ farewell

- [Emily] So Bolt the Door is a traditional Irish jig

that's been performed for hundreds of years, I suppose.

("Bolt The Door")

- [Emily] Way Out West I co-wrote with Bob Berg,

who plays guitar in our band.

When I was 21, I lived on the

Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota,

and living there really changed my life

and really made me realize there was just a ton

about the world that I had no idea about.

I learned to listen.

There are very few trees out there,

and there's just this huge wide open sky,

and there's this place where the horizon

really meets the land.

And I had never seen that before,

growing up in the midwest, I had never seen that before.

I loved living out there, and I loved those people,

and I loved that place.

(harmonica playing)

¶ Way out west

¶ Where the wild men are

¶ And the only thing to guide 'em is the evening star

¶ There's a man, who walks alone

¶ And he don't care about the clothes he wears

¶ The way he talks, or combs his hair

¶ He's a man who walks alone

¶ He is searching there for something

¶ He can't see

¶ But he feels it in the shadow

¶ Of a lonely tree

¶ Such a long, long way from Tennessee

¶ He left home when he was 21

¶ To see the place where the west was won

¶ And he never once looked back

¶ South Dakota called his name with an urgency

¶ That he couldn't deny even in his dreams

¶ So he packed on the bus

¶ To Wounded Knee

¶ He saw where women and children had died

¶ With the men who loved them fighting bravely

¶ By their sides

¶ Such a long, long way from Tenessee

¶ Ooohhh

¶ Ooohhh

¶ Now he sits with his back up against a tree

¶ In a place where the wind is like a raging sea

¶ And a man is free to dream

¶ It took him ten years of wandering to find

¶ The only place where the horizon meets

¶ The open sky

¶ Such a long, long way

¶ It took him ten years of wandering to find

¶ The only place where the horizon

¶ Meets the open sky

¶ Such a long, long way

¶ Such a long, long way

¶ Such a long, long way

¶ From Tennessee

- [Emily] Star is another song I co-wrote with Bob Berg.

It's a song with sort of a double purpose a song.

It's a song about faith.

I'm a member of the Bahá'í Faith

and it's one of the guiding stars in my life,

is being a person of faith.

And it's also about love and being nurtured

and having love in my life that helps me find my way.

So it's about both those things.

¶ You know that I

¶ Wouldn't be here at all

¶ If it wasn't for you in my life

¶ I couldn't make it at all

¶ And I don't know why

¶ I waited so long

¶ To finally realize

¶ That you make me strong

¶ You are the star

¶ Guiding my way

¶ You bring me hope

¶ You bring me hope

¶ Love lights my day

¶ Once in a while

¶ A true light

¶ Shines

¶ I knew I had found you

¶ By the look in your eyes

¶ You are the star

¶ Guiding my way

¶ You bring me hope

¶ You bring me hope

¶ Love lights my day

¶ If I knew the words

¶ All the poets wrote

¶ I would whisper them

¶ From the highest heights

¶ Of the highest hills

¶ They'd be echoing

¶ Ooohh

¶ Ooohh

¶ You know that I

¶ Wouldn't be here now

¶ If it wasn't for you in my life

¶ I couldn't make it at all

¶ Cause you are the star

¶ Guiding my way

¶ You bring me hope

¶ You bring me hope

¶ Love lights my day

¶ You are a star, you are a star

¶ Guiding my way ¶

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