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The Band: Whispering Pines

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Hi Everyone,

I was listening to the radio the other day and they played the song "Whispering Pines" by the band. Hadn't heard it in a long time. It was written in ~1968 by Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson. On this youtube clip from their, hmm, what's the word?, eponymous album (whatever - it's their Brown album), it is sung by Richard and Levon Helm (I think - it might be Rick Danko, not sure).

It's a stunningly beautiful song. The lyrics are so full of loss and heartbreak. But there seems to be a positive, uplifting aspect to it as well.

"With you in sight, the lost are found"


The chord changes are interesting and not a normal I IV V progression. Cmaj7 to Em to Am with a descending bass line of G to F (which makes it an Fmaj7) then this really cool Bb to G7. Who knew that Bb to G7 could have a feeling of such resolution?

Then this really cool run up with Eb to Abmaj7 (what key is that?) down to a Cm and then a gorgeous lift to Cmaj7. It's almost classical. And that lift of the minor to the major is sooo beautiful.

The Band was pretty cool - if you haven't seen it, you have to watch "The Last Waltz". It was (ostensibly) their final concert. It had Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Dr John, Ringo, Emmy-lou Harris, Muddy Waters, etc. The best rock movie ever made. In the finale, everyone is on stage and they are singing Dylan's "I will be released". There's this really awkward moment when no-one knows who is going to sing the next verse, when this haunting falsetto voice starts to sing. It's Richard Manuel and he's hidden behind everyone. Martin Scorcese's camera man tries in vane to find the singer. I think it epitomizes Richard Manuel.

Anyway, beautiful song...


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"the Last Waltz" is a must view for any musician i say ;)

i gave my dvd to my mother to watch, but the disc snapped when getting taken from the box cover :( ...........not my mothers' fault

i will need to get a replacement......

"the Band" is the only name for these guys as a collective - amazing

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