Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Passion Party #336 - Eulogy

Billy Strayhorn was one of the most accomplished composers in the history of American Music. He worked in the shadows of Duke Ellington. As a gay black man in the 30's, 40's and 50's, Billy was happy to live in the background in New York City, and let Duke get all the glory and do all the touring. Billy wrote over 150 recorded songs and 15 Suites during his 51 years on earth, including "Take The A Train", "Lush Life" and "Something To Live For".

At his funeral in 1967, Duke Ellington read the eulogy. He said, "(Billy) demanded freedom of expression and lived in what we consider the most important and moral of freedoms:
1) freedom from hate, unconditionally
2)freedom from self-pity (even throughout all the pain and bad news)
3)freedom from fear of possibly doing something that might help another more than it might himself, and
4) freedom from the kind of pride that could make a man feel he was better than his brother or neighbor."

Four freedoms, still worth remembering and living by.

No comments:

Post a Comment