Random Thoughts

Out of the past

 ... a gentle form of insanity

by Marjorie Burgess

Dear Edna,

Had my teeth cleaned this morning. I do not have an over-supply of my originals but the cost was $60.00. Because I paid cash it came to a mere $48.45. I noticed that on the bill it quoted $10.00 for my dentist to look into my mouth and pronounce it fit. I remember doing housework for the sum of $4.00 for six days' labor and paying my own carfare to work.

Enclosed are copies of works by Herbert and Burgess: "I Thank You, God," "Loving You in Vain," and "The Cockle Burr Man." I haven't been able to locate "Bath Time Bay." I think it was the first time I tried to write music on paper. My early attempts show how little I knew about the technique of music writing. For that matter I am yet unable to hand write in a readable fashion. But I don't care because I have a computer and as the saying goes, "We've come a long way, baby." "Bath Time Bay" is on tape with Frankie singing and then Doris. It sounds delightful. Somewhere there is a tape of my mother's fine voice singing our first masterpiece.

"To Win a Colleen" was written way back on Waverly Street when I had nothing to do while Earl was working on movies for movie producer Jim Pike. The music came first. Because nobody would write the words for me I had to do it. Would you believe forty years later it is to be published by Willis?

"Lullaby" (original and proof enclosed) was written over ten years ago for one of my favorite teachers at Berklee to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Melissa. There are two more pieces that I am anxiously waiting to see, four in all. I hope I will live long enough to see and enjoy their publication.

"Dust Rag" or "Housewife's Rag" was a joint effort to prove that my students could write something. We had a ball. It has been sung many times at numerous affairs with SPIRIT and to the delight of audiences. Alas, no publisher. Enclosed is a copy for women's voices. The words are READABLE. Would you believe I used transfer lettering that I rubbed onto the manuscript paper, the smallest I could find to fit between the notes? Now what does that say of me? A favorite quote "Composing is a gentle form of insanity." (Arthur Honeggar, a famous twentieth century composer.)

Love from your o-l-d p-a-l,


P.S. and a couple of miscellaneous songs for you and your friend to glance over.

November 3, 2,000

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