an organ-grinder
...Thoreau's Journal: 27-May-1851

I saw an organ-grinder this morning before a rich man’s house, thrilling the street with harmony, loosening the very paving stones and tearing the routine of life to rags and tatters, when the lady of the house shoved up a window and in a semiphilanthropic tone inquired if he wanted anything to eat. But he, very properly it seemed to me, kept on grinding and paid no attention to her question, feeding her ears with melody unasked for. So the world shoves up its window and interrogates the poet, and sets him to gauging ale casks in return. It seemed to me that the music suggested that the recompense should be as fine as the gift. It would be much nobler to enjoy the music, though you paid no money for it, than to presume always a beggarly relation. It is after all, perhaps, the best instrumental music that we have.


michael jameson said...

to give the gift of music is one of the greatest gifts of all!, those that have no talent to play have the luxury to listen! and if one plays and asks for nothing in return just wishes to make you happy! the world should be filled with music like nature is, there would be more harmony and less anger!.

michael jameson said...

to Vanjulio i too have always been stirred emotionally by music and it can provoke me in so many ways!. i was talking in general, it is inherent in women as a protection defense and they have better hearing on average, and emotions are very primary with females for mothering!,i consider them lucky indeed!!. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com