We at NYFOS know Jean Ritchie as the author of “Now Is The Cool Of The Day”, a song we’ve performed many times. It’s a great song that reminds us we are in control of our planet. And that the day of reckoning is at hand. Did we keep the grasses green and the water pure? But Jean Ritchie was known more as a folk singer and dulcimer player. Here she is in an old American tune. If you know Benjamin Britten’s folk tunes, you may recognize this as his setting of “Wally Wally”. Jean Ritchies version seems to predate the Britten. I find that the tuning and purity of her slight soprano bring a sad wisdom to the song.
Jean Ritchie sings O Love Is Teasin’
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Michael Barrett is the co-founder and associate artistic director of New York Festival of Song, as well as the co-founder and music director of the Moab Music Festival in Utah. A conductor and a pianist, Michael was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein and serves as music advisor to the Leonard Bernstein Estate.