Every great city needs its own song -- and Rochester, New York is a GREAT city! New York, Chicago, San Francisco all have their own anthems, but as far as I can tell, Rochester, doesn't really have a tune it can call its own. Wichita has one, El Paso has one, so why not Rochester? I am sure songs have been written about Rochester over the years, but for the life of me I can't think of one. Can you? If so, why don't we ever sing it? Why don't we every hear it?
Maybe "Rochester, My Home" is the solution. Although it is undeniably folksy and sounds like it was written before the opening of the Erie Canal, I believe it has all the elements of a song our community can sing with pride, like Texans singing " The Yellow Rose of Texas" or southerners singing "Dixie". Many of the songs associated with the cities mentioned above are really just too difficult for the average Joe or Josephine to sing. "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" for example is a beautiful song that conjures up romantic images of cable cars and twinkling stars, but only Tony Bennett and a few other professional crooners are able to get through it. Similarly,I doubt New Yorkers returning home from family vacation are able to sing more than two lines of "New York, New York". It's just too hard to sing. The lyrics and melody for "Rochester, My Home" are so simple, on the other hand, that anyone can sing it! It even lends itself to harmony, in my opinion.
Whether or not "Rochester, My Home" becomes our anthem, I think a song that we can call our own would add a great deal to our sense of community. Let's show our love for Rochester, and start singing about it!
"Les Feuilles mortes"/ Montage of Rochester-Area Sculptures
Montage of Rochester-Area Sculptures
The video on the left was supposed to be a little different. I had some pretty good footage of falling leaves taken during our windstorm last fall. Unfortunately when I got around to recording the music, I couldn't find the files on my hard drive. As an alternative I used photos of various sculptures taken in or near our city. I hope you find them entertaining. At any rate, this is a good tune to end up the year.
"Autumn Leaves" is a much-recorded popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song "Les feuilles mortes" (literally "The Dead Leaves") with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert, and the Hungarian title is "Hulló levelek" (Falling Leaves). Yves Montand (with Irène Joachim) introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in 1946 in the film Les Portes de la Nuit.
Les feuilles mortes
Oh ! je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Des jours heureux où nous étions amis.
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle,
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu'aujourd'hui.
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle.
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié...
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle,
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Et le vent du nord les emporte
Dans la nuit froide de l'oubli.
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié
La chanson que tu me chantais.
C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble.
Toi, tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Et nous vivions tous les deux ensemble,
Toi qui m'aimais, moi qui t'aimais.
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment,
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
les pas des amants désunis.
Oh I would like you so much to remember
The joyful days when we were friends.
At that time, life was more beautiful
And the sun burned more than it does today.
Fallen leaves can be picked up by the shovelful.
You see, I have not forgotten...
Fallen leaves can be picked up by the shovelful,
So can memories and regrets.
And the north wind takes them
Into the cold night of oblivion.
You see, I have not forgotten
The song you used to sing me.
This song is like us.
You used to love me and I used to love you
And we used to live together,
You loving me, me loving you.
But life separates lovers,
Slowly, without a sound,
And the sea erases the footprints on the sand
Of lovers living apart.
As of September 30, 2015 RocCam is no longer available for public viewing.