LENA HORNE – A Tribute
The performance from the 1943 film starring Lena Horne, which is her signature song from a career that spanned decades through what we now call ‘extreme weather’, must be listened to, heard fully, and played again to appreciate the heights she reached. It is a spiritual outcry, a prayer, as well as a testimonial to the travails of life. I wish the video showed the dance number that comes after, worth getting the movie if you can. Share with others to lift and deepen the heart’s understanding and compassion, for the terrible History this country carries still to date and one woman’s fragile yet fearless humanity in dealing with it. Above all, as Lena’s voice taught us, never lose the heart connection that pours out love.
Ms. Horne cannot be categorized, although many try. Her range was beyond identity (which doesn’t govern who we are at all), and it was her challenge to transcend the racial divide of her time against ignorance that ruled. Amazingly, these issues still rankle into the 21st Century, with “Old School” demographic, younger gens are in the flow of community and look upon it as old school ignorance.
Some Americans were shocked when seeing this stunning Actress’s photos in revealing clothing worn back then. Nowadays, we think nothing of it, this dress is beautifully elegant. I recall the first time seeing the magnificent LENA HORNE, who died last week and passed into the Spirit Hall Of Fame (the only one there really is), at the physical age of 93. Â She sang — and, it took my breath away. I was riveted by her profound presence as well as her voice, this was someone highly tuned. And those eyes! Lena’s eyes glistened. They held promises of a far greater mystery then her voice or lyrics would ever reveal about her, the brilliant Artist she was. People called her Ms. Horne, not Lena, out of the deep respect she invoked.
Among other things, she was the quintessential embodiment of “all woman”, deep courage and passion, delicate looking but fearlessly proud, and something more, ephemeral, beyond description. I was too young to understand racial issues and the political storm brewing to ‘extreme weather’ levels when I first heard that voice. All I knew, and felt with every fiber of my being, was that she was a Queen, a Cosmic woman ahead of her time, presenting the Human Voice. Art, knows no gender, no race or time, no limits. Ms. Horne will be greatly missed, but her resonance remains eternal.
Alicia Keyes will play Lena Horne in a movie about the movie legend, a tuff challenge despite Ms. Keyes formidable talent. TIP – What we need to remember above all, is one of her famous quotes: “it’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” — Lena Horne
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