Tag Archives: spokenword

TRR: Episode 37, “Grandfather’s Three Lives”



Clarence Day, Jr. is perhaps most famous for his autobiographical memoir about his family, “Life With Father” (1935). Day passed away before seeing the fame the novel reached, including a Broadway play and the 1947 film starring William Powell.

In his 1921 collection, “The Crow’s Nest,” Day wrote a biography of Sir Charles Dilke. In this episode, we’ll hear Day’s story of Charles Dilke, how he came to power, and subsequently, to ruin.

“Grandfather’s Three Lives” (1921) by Clarence Day, Jr.

The Reader

TRT: 29:15

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 36 “Little Red Riding Hood”



The story of Little Red Riding Hood has been retold many, many times since first being introduced widely by The Brothers Grimm. The tale has many different versions, some tame and others a scary warning against misbehaving. This version is told in rhyme, published anonymously in London in 1857, most likely by poet Richard Trott Fisher.

“Little Red Riding Hood” (1857) by Richard Trott Fisher

The Reader

TRT: 14:05

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 35 “To a Wild Rose”



Edward MacDowell was an American composer, once considered one of the greatest musical geniuses of his time. MacDowell died in 1908, at the mere age of 47 years. By the end of the 1950’s he was all but forgotten, supplanted by the American greats who would follow. In this episode, we share an assessment of his life and work written for the New York Herald shortly before his death.

“An American Composer: The Passing of Edward MacDowell” (1906) by James Huneker

The Reader

TRT: 24:36

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Museopen.org.


TRR: Episode 34, “The Vision of the Fountain”



This week we share with you one of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Twice-Told Tales,” a reverie of young romance. Hawthorne’s two volume collection of “Twice-Told  Tales” were called such because they had been previously published in various periodicals, and a line from Shakespeare: “Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, / Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.”

“The Vision of the Fountain” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Reader

TRT: 20:18

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com, and by Jason Shaw at Audionautix.com.


TRR: Episode 29, “The Velveteen Rabbit”



Just in time for Easter, or any time for that matter, we present for your consideration the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. Elements of the story have been around and incorporated into other stories both before and since Margery Bianco first conceived the tale, including a vague reference to The Blue Fairy in Pinocchio, and later, to the Lion King who ruled over the Island of Misfit Toys in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

“The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real” (1922) by Margery Williams Bianco

The Reader

TRT: 29:49

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 28, “Robin of the Hood”



You may think you know the tales of merry Robin Hood by heart, but his origins are perhaps a bit murkier than you may realize. In this episode, we look back to the wellspring of the Robin Hood legend as we think of it, the book by Howard Pyle. Pyle’s book combined the many Robin Hood legends into a single narrative form, and set the stage for all the Robin Hood stories, films and TV shows that were to follow.

“The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” (1883) by Howard Pyle

The Reader

TRT: 28:22

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com, Archive.org, and Martini from Jamendo.com.


TRR: Episode 27, “The Emerald Isle”



In this episode, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we take a short journey to the Emerald Isle herself, Ireland.

“The Wearing of the Green” by Anonymous
“The Harp” (1840) by Anonymous, from “The Irish Penny Journal”
“Rain Song” and “Irish Idyl” from “Sprays of Shamrock” (1914) by Clinton Scollard
“The Leprechawn” and “The Banshee” from “Irish Wonders” (1888) by D.R. McAnally, Jr.
“The Faires’ Dancing Place” by William Carleton
“The New Life in Ireland” from “Just Irish” (1911) by Charles Battell Loomis
“The Green Little Shamrock of Ireland” by Andrew Curry

The Reader

TRT: 28:19

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org. “Though the Last Glimpse of Erin” performed by Michael J. O’Donnell.


TRR: Episode 26, “The Great White North”



Our neighbor to the North, Canada, is the subject of this week’s show. Specifically, immigration to that proud and native land. Starting in the early 19th Century, a great wave of immigrants made their way to the Dominion to start a new life in a land of promise and opportunity lacking in Britain and Europe. Many guidebooks were available for the new prospective citizen of Canada, from which we share a small selection.

“Pictures of Canadian Life” (1886) by J. Ewing Richie
“The Great Dominion” from “Peeps at Many Lands: Canada” (1909) by J.T Bealby
“Canada and the British Immigrant” (1914) by Emily P. Weaver
“Fifty Below Zero” from “Peeps at Many Lands: Canada” (1909) by J.T Bealby
“O, Canada” (1908) By Robert Stanley Weir

The Reader

TRT: 26:47

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com, Archive.org, and Librivox.org. “O, Canada” performed by Christiane Levesque.


TRR: Episode 24, “Celestial Visitors”



Comets, once poetically (though inaccurately), called “wandering stars,” have had a profound impact upon the history of our world and its civilizations. In this episode, we take a look at early theories of what a comet was made of, where they came from, and their purpose in the minds of people generations before the Rosetta probe and its Philae lander.

“Aether and Gravitation” (1903) by William George Hooper
“Comets and Meteors” (1873) by Daniel Kirkwood
“The Comet” by Irving Sidney Dix
A quotation of Mark Twain (1909)
“The Story of the Solar System” (1895) by George F. Chambers
“Could a Comet Strike the Earth?” from “Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel” (1883) by Ignatius Donnelly
“The Song of a Comet” by Clark Ashton Smith

The Reader
TRT: 28:56

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 23, “Little Arrows”



The penultimate Hallmark Holiday, St. Valentine’s Day, has come ’round yet again. Can you avoid the little winged archer?

“Flower Love” by Marguerite Radclyff-Hall
“A Lover Since Childhood” by Robert Graves
“Topography” by Carolyn Wells
“Time’s Valentine” by Carolyn Wells
“Old Valentines” from “The Lovers’ Baedeker and Guide to Arcady” (1912) by Carolyn Wells
“Cupid and Psyche” from “Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew” (1897) by Josephine Preston Peabody
“How Do I Love Thee?” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Reader
TRT: 38:28

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Jocopo Salvatori.