Orion redux

In late December of 2005, I made passing reference to a song called “Orion,” which I’d sung during music class in sixth grade. As soon as I mentioned the lyrics, traffic to my fledgling blog picked up, with most of the new readers surfing in via Google searches for the phrase “Orion is a-rising” — the first line of the song.

Like me, these readers remembered the song from childhood. Some just remembered a line or two and wanted to flesh out the rest of the lyrics; others were looking for sheet music or a recording of the song so they could teach it to their own kids.

At the time, no one was sure who wrote “Orion,” when it was recorded, or how one would go about finding either sheet music or a recording. But people kept coming and posting comments about the song and the memories they associated with it. One conversation led to another.

A guy involved in the second conversation mentioned it to his mom … who contacted his music teacher … who gave her the name of the music textbook publishing company … which provided the guy’s mom with the name of the composer … which the guy posted … which led to the composer himself stumbling across this blog while Googling his own name a couple of years ago.

Upon discovering that people remembered his song and were still interested in hearing it, the composer made a new recording of the song, which he sent to me, and which I posted here.

One thing led to another, and this fall, the composer, Jim Zimmerman, recorded an entire CD of his music as a fundraiser for the Nature Conservancy. I got my copy in late October and meant to post something about it at the time, but between trig class and school activities, I couldn’t seem to work a hand free.

The CD, Plugged, is a collection of 10 original songs, including (of course!) “Orion.” It sounds sort of like what you’d get if James Taylor were hired as the producer on a Grateful Dead album. In addition to being a nice treat for Deadheads and James Taylor fans, Plugged is an easy way to put a little piece of your childhood on your iPod.

To order a copy, either send a check or money order for $15 to Jim Zimmerman, 45 Knollwood Rd., Elmsford, NY, 10523, or order online by e-mailing jkzim@verizon.net. You can submit payment through Paypal; the ID is “doczee.” All proceeds from the sale of the album benefit the Nature Conservancy and will be doubled through a corporate match.

Emily