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Archive for the ‘music’ Category


It’s been raining cats and dogs since last night and I am glad that I attended an anticipated mass earlier. When I woke up this morning, it was again raining hard, a downpour that  you could do nothing about except to  look out of the window and count the splash brought by some cars braving the heavy downpour.  Yes, a hot cup of coffee would ease the sense of let-down that one feels  but this I guess is also the best time to let your mind wanders. There are things and events that are best remembered on rainy days, memories that give that smile on your face and lit your world like a 100-watt bulb  sans the pain of recalling  the sad times.

Music always brings  that glow of remembrance and the selections at YouTube come in handy when you are reminiscing the good old days. Perhaps you’ll agree with me that the rainy days are the best times to reminisce  or simply put, I may just be growing old. I don’t know but I am having a blast right now listening to Stars on 45  by the Beatles and the Carpenters before that.  And you guess it, my mom used to sing with the Carpenters while making peculiar dance steps alternately with  my baby daughter and her older cousin by a few months.  And you guess it right again, her favorite was Top Of The World 🙂 by Karen Carpenter, the best female vocalist of her time.  That was twenty-nine years ago and my daughter is expecting a son in a few months.  How time really flies!

I am never tempted to watch television on a Sunday, I’d rather catch up on my reading or update my blog, or chat with some friends at our closed group on FB.  So you see, that’s multi-tasking to the max.  I am looking for  more rainy day songs to borrow and upload here at WordPress.  And I remember the other blog I did a year ago, about having LSS when a favorite actor during my high school days added me up in his friend’s list.  So of course here’s first on the list, Rainy Days and Mondays by Karen Carpenter.

And don’t you just love The Cascades?

And this one is the best I think, from the Cascades, one of my favorite groups of the sixties.

And that’s how rainy days and  Sundays go, listening to music and remembering a period in one’s life with fondness.

(Thanks to Vinyl solution, Nelson Wilby  and YouTube for all these great songs)

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Love’s Theme, Somewhere In Time, Theme From Sunflower, Summer of 42, Percy Faith, Mantovani, Mancini, Paul Mauriat.

Or maybe I am an old soul, liking  instrumental music on a rainy night like this. There is something so nostalgic  listening to the music of old.  Last night, I visited my blog at Multiply and played most of the CDs  that I painstakingly uploaded from my collection.  How I’ve missed the  peace and quiet at Multiply, exchanging comments with a few close friends  compared to the hustle and bustle of  Facebook.  It gets to a point where you no longer want to read what a friend is having for lunch or dinner or what places your friends will visit next or the incongruous shout-outs from some online friends. Maybe I am getting old. I’ve just changed the music to You’re So Vain by Carly Simon and tapping my foot to the rhythm of the music.

The other day, I was delighted to receive a CD from a friend in the US. He sent it through his sister via mail. It’s Tony Bennett’s Duets featuring the likes of  Bono, Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Diana Krall, George Michael, Barbra Streisand and other famous artists  from the sixties to the present. When I saw the music list, I was surprised to see the name of  Paul McCartney too and I thought, jazz, ballads and R & B  don’t simply mix in one album but it did. It was a beautiful collection, a celebration of the 80th birthday of Tony Bennett.

Music can make you feel happy, it can make you feel sad, it can make you feel like singing too but as long as the emotion is there, you’re okay. It can fill up the void  of feeling alone at times. Aldous Huxley couldn’t have expressed it better when he said ,”After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

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There were times in my past posts when I would blog about saying goodbye to the receding month and saying hello to the new one. Lately though, life has been a bit muddled so I completely forgot all about it.  April was uneventful except for the time that two more members of my online Apostolate came over to meet me. It was the first time we saw each other after almost two years of exchanging comments at our group.  Carolyn came  home for a two-week vacation and Nestel who works in Angola came over from Bataan just to meet me. These are those times that I truly feel grateful for having friends who show that they care. Lilet  of course has been here  several times already so she knows the place very well.

Ah yes,I almost forgot,  Bobic, my eight-year old niece tagged along when my brother and sis-in-law brought back Mom from  a month stay in the province and we celebrated the latter’s 83rd birthday last Saturday.  My niece was brandishing a new cellphone which is even better than the one I am using. She proudly told us that she got the highest honors in Grade III so my brother bought her a new one. I wonder if this is practical considering her age but she could navigate every gadget she gets her hands on in a matter of minutes, and her texts come with smiley emoticons 🙂  She promised to take a short vacation  here once her advance summer class is through.

Come to think of it, I am listening to some songs in YouTube while typing this blog, humming along with the music, It Must Have Been Love from the movie Pretty Woman. Sometimes, just sometimes, I miss listening to songs  like this, definitely a  I am happy-you-made-my-day kind of feeling, if you know what I mean.  Next in line is Richard Harris’ MacArthur Park, another favorite . Goodness, it’s the thrill of listening to these old, old songs that makes me smile. One thing though that I am always reminded of every time month of May sets in is the song by The Bee Gees, First of May. That completes the nostalgia trip….haha!  I created a new account at Facebook because I am trimming down my contacts exclusively for close friends and will use it as repository for my blogs here on WordPress.  I thought of using  networked blogs, on second thought I don’t want to link every blog I post here.  And I was laughing out loud when a friend made a marathon of reading my links and even had a nostalgia trip reading I Do All My Crying In The Rain because she could relate. We both admire Cocoy Laurel. Those were the days, the days of Lollipops and Roses. 

And in between updating my wall, I am trying to finish Stephen King’s Cell.  This has been with me for the past three years, a book sent by a high school classmate from the US but it’s only now that I got the time to read it. You don’t read Stephen King’s books at night, do you? Because I am sure that if you do, you’ll get a nightmare.

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It’s now 4pm and the sun is still searing hot. This is one of the hottest summers ever. It really makes one feel so lazy and lethargic. I wonder how long we’ll have this hot weather which easily burns the skin and makes one sweat like crazy. You could not even take a siesta, one leisure you used to enjoy a few months back.

Anyway, I tried reading but the words were a blur so I switched on the TV but the noontime shows were of no appeal to me. Then I found this program called Always and Forever….Today (A Tribute to Angelo Castro Jr.) being hosted by one of my favorite DJs of long ago, Long Tall Howard and Tina Monzon Palma on DZMM Teleradyo.  Who would not know the famous broadcast journalist Angelo Castro, Jr. of  The World Tonight fame?  He was the bespectacled guy with the well-modulated voice, he was behind the longest- running newscast in Filipino called TV Patrol. He succumbed to lung cancer almost a month ago at the age of 67.

They were playing famous songs of the 60’s like The Beatles, Everly Brothers, Vicky Carr, Frank Sinatra, and a spattering of the 70’s  Kenny Rankin and James Taylor. It was a good two-hours of listening and viewing pleasures.  Just like the rest who enjoy listening to the Golden Era of Music, I am a Baby boomer. I was eight  when I first heard of The Beatles and the Everly Brothers and a teenager during the 70’s. Gosh, remembering the childhood years, the teen crushes in high school, the guitar-playing schoolmate who had a penchant for singing James Taylor songs and  watching Tina reminiscing about one of my favorite song writers,  poet Rod McKuen made the hot afternoon tolerable. What makes the music of the yesteryears so different from today? It’s the simple melody, the easy recall and the lovely lyrics. And why are songs mostly about love?  Do they really convey the true meaning of the word?

I remember one of my friends who must have been greatly influenced by the group that he named his son after The Beatles, John Paul George and guess  what’s the nickname of the child,  it’s Ringo, of course.  (Paul, if you are reading this, I am sure you are smiling).  During the 70s, Stairway to Heaven was one of those songs that you kept humming wherever you go and  who could forget the Bohemian Rhapsody, a ballad, guitar solo and rock music all rolled into one? I remember my college days when my close friends and I used to watch the yearly concert of the UST Central Seminary.  I remember those seminarians who could belt out the high notes of the song like a pro.  But nothing could beat my most favorite song which still vividly plays on my head time and time again, Absolutely Free, Absolutely Beautiful by Magic.

Always and forever? Do you believe there is really such a thing? Or do they just live in songs and poems?

P.S. from WordPress:

Goal of 890 Posts Completed. Congratulations!

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After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. – Aldous Huxley

Books and Music.  Music and books. Whichever comes first, it doesn’t really matter because I love both.  As I write this, I am listening to the soundtrack of the movie Dying Young. I have uploaded the whole CD album at my Multiply site. I could not count the times that I’ve watched this particular movie even before I found out that I had cancer too. I love the characters of Hillary and Victor and Campbell Scott was so good portraying the role of someone whose days were numbered because of cancer. It’s now even more precious, if you  can call it that because I can definitely relate. Knowing the feeling of being helpless and down, knowing that you are not hundred percent fit definitely makes for a good cry. And it never fails to make me cry. I was lucky enough to find a copy of the book which was written by Marti Leimbach.  I love the book but I love the movie even better.

I was reviewing my Multiply site  a few minutes ago and I just could not believe that in the three years since I started it, I have made around 645 posts, uploaded several pictures in 128 albums, posted 20 CD albums from my collection and maybe about 50 videos . I love music, though nowadays I don’t get to listen to it much since obviously,  I spend a lot of time in front of my PC.  How nice to listen to Dreams, Color My World, Never My Love, Castles in the Air, Summer Breeze, Going in Circles, to name a few. Can you recall a particular song that you can readily relate to because it was a part of your growing up years? I do. Absolutely Free, Absolutely Beautiful has been and always will be my favorite.  It’s one of the most lovely songs that I love listening to over and over again.  It really holds some kind of magic. Alphonse de Lamartine was right in saying  that music is the literature of the heart, it commences where speech ends.

I’ve finally finished reading the sequel to The Hunger Games which is entitled Catching Fire but the ending is kind of disappointing because it’s a trilogy and we have yet to buy the third book Mockingjay. It was released last August 2010 but my daughter is reluctant to buy the hardbound copy since she has  the first two in trade paperback.   And didn’t I promise to make a review of the first two books?  I will, eventually when I’ve read the last one. There are several books still unread but I was looking for something that is easier to finish, possibly in one or two days. I was about to start with Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, but just like his other books, I am really not inclined to read another one of his. Some readers have made so much hype about his first book which was later made into a movie but I didn’t find it that really arresting. There are other thrillers which are better than The Da Vinci Code. I turned my eyes to reading a few lines of  Rod McKuen’s poetry, and it would make my day searching for that one perfect line that would exactly describe how I feel at the moment.

It’s nice sometimes
to open up the heart a little
and let some hurt come in.
It proves you’re still alive.

If nothing else
it says to you–
clear as a high hill air,
uncomfortable
as diving through cold water–

I’m here.
However wretchedly I feel,
I feel.

Why am I teary-eyed again?  His words never fail to make me a little nostalgic.  Remembering, always remembering.

When the evenings, like forever,
started fleeting, going fast
I could see you at some distance
disappearing in the mist.
In the mass of fondled faces
one imagines in a lifetime
yours was there just out of grasp.

We come into the world alone,
we go away the same.
we’re meant to spend
the interlude
between in closeness
or so we tell ourselves,
But it’s a long way from morning to the evening

Words soothe and define one’s feelings, music comforts a lonely soul.  Books and music, music and books, it matters not really, I just wanted to have a good cry.







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About a year ago,  I was tagged by a friend at Multiply to share the songs that have somehow made some marks in my life. These are not really arranged according to the songs I like most (since I have several favorites) but I am posting them as they come to mind and as I remember what they meant to me back then.  The list has changed of course  but I wanted to keep this blog just so I could remember. Somehow in some way, I learned something from this list.

1. The Cradle Hymn(Away in a Manger) – I was in preschool when I learned this poem from my mom. I thought it was just that, a poem  until I heard Johnny Mathis sing it. I love the version of Gunter-Kallmann though. This song made such an impact on me that I also taught my daughter to recite it when she was around four or five years old. It’s a Christmas story and it’s about Jesus’ birth. So touching!

2. Just You– It was the first song that I learned on guitar, no, it’s the only song that I know how to play on guitar. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure now if this is really the title. Fancy those high school crushes. I now find the lyrics a bit tacky.

3. Desiderata–   It’s a Latin word that means “things you desire. “Back in the seventies, this was a sort of mantra for me and my high school friends until the time I reached college. It is not actually a song but the narration goes with the background music. I can still remember some of the lines: Go placidly amidst the noise and haste And remember what piece there may be in silence As far as possible without surrender Be on good terms with all persons Speak your truth quietly and clearly And listen to others Even the dull and ignorant, They too have their story. And it ends up with the lines: With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams It is still a beautiful world.

4. Absolutely Free, Absolutely Beautiful– It was sung by the group Magic. It’s my background music at Friendster. It’s also a seventies song and I simply love the haunting melody.

5. Color My World– I wish I could play the piano. It’s one of the best songs of Chicago and I am in high heavens every time I hear it. Color my world anything you like and I still would be here for you.  High romance. Broken dreams.

6. You’ve Got A Friend – James Taylor with his guitar. One of my high school crushes singing the same song long way back. I’ve always admired people who know how to play musical instruments and know how to read notes. The lyrics just go deeper every time I hear this song. Through thick and thin, you’ve got a friend. It simply touches the heart and uplifts the soul.

7. Bato sa Buhangin – I can still remember the Cinderella version which they recorded in 1976. For some reasons, the words and lyrics of this song never fail to affect me. Can you imagine yourself alone in a seashore, thinking about life in general and about love in particular? It’s an old, old song. And it goes like, ” kapag ang puso’y natutong magmahal, bawat tibok ay may kulay ang buhay.” Need I say more?

8. You Raise Me Up–  Josh Groban. I love his voice, I love the lyrics and melody. It’s that kind of music that you would simply love to listen to all the time. It lifts me up, and I usually feel such a big lump in my throat every time I hear it.  This comes vivid in my mind, the first time I saw the video on my Dad’s funeral, this was one of the background songs  and every time I hear it nowadays, I think of Dad.

9. Two of Us – Who wouldn’t know  the Beatles, most of their songs now are still being revived . I like almost all the songs of the Beatles but I love this most of all. I belong to the era of the baby boomers and they say that the 60’s and the 70’s were the most productive years in the music world. The British Invasion was one such period where you could find a treasure trove of fine music.

10. Misty–  I love the version of Johnny Mathis. In fact, I simply adore Johnny Mathis. It has the most romantic lyrics I’ve ever come across.

11. Seasons in the Sun – I love this song for the simple reason that I love the composer Rod McKuen. He is one of my favorite contemporary poets and I have his book in my collection, with the same title, Seasons in the Sun. I wish I could find some more of his books. I just love the way he writes.

12. All the songs of Dan Fogelberg Love them all especially Longer and Leader of the Band. Too bad, he is now in the great beyond.

13. Right Here Waiting – A very popular song back in the nineties. Richard Marx is a very gifted artist. I remember that one of my friends, a DJ used to play this every night in his regular program. He said that the best written songs were the songs of the 60’s and 70’s – songs that you can’t just forget and love to play in your mind and it’s like oh my – it evokes memories. haha…

14. Fire and Rain–  Another James Taylor hit that catapulted him to fame in 1972. Back then, (I think I was in third year high school) I thought JT was the best guitarist I’ve ever known. JT’s guitar style, like his singing was subtle, distinctive and easygoing. I was in love with his music. I even painstakingly bought and collected Jingle chordbook magazines just to be updated. I was even jealous of Carol King who wrote for him that ‘71 hit You’ve Got A Friend. I had a particular name for him – James D Great – the quirks of a high school kid!

15. Reason to Believe– It was recorded by Rod Stewart. Another song which I tried learning on guitar – simple chords, simple melody. The few lines I remember were “If I listen long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true”. I think Karen Carpenter also recorded this song.

16. Cherish – I love David Cassidy’s version of this song.One of the signature songs  by the group Association but it was the Sundance kid’s version that I liked. David Cassidy – teenybopper singing idol, boy-next-door, crush ng bayan. I looked him up in YouTube a few days ago, he has grown older of course but still has that captivating smile.

17. UST Hymn– Do I hear reactions there? Well, it’s just that this has been a part of my teenage and growing-up years. I spent nine years of my life in UST – the Royal, Pontifical, oldest Catholic University in Asia – The high school years –  we were made to memorize it then we sang it for the last time during our college graduation.  Memories of high school and college life. I am proud to say that I still know every word and line of the UST Hymn.

18. Bahay Kubo–  I think I’ve memorized this even before I learned to write my name. It was the first song that I learned even before I sang other nursery rhymes. I can still remember now, every time we were asked to sing, it was always Bahay Kubo. Come to think of it, Bahay Kubo is really an ideal place – no worries, plenty of fresh vegetables, no pollution, no nagging thoughts about a stressful 9-5 job. It is a representation of a typical Filipino provincial life – rustic and unsophisticated.

There you have it guys – the soundtracks of my life.  You might think they are a bit outdated but they still evoke lovely memories.  The music of the seventies of course are still top on my list and I like to listen the sixties songs now and then.  Hmm, let me see, I love Jason Mraz  too!

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The new ABS CBN Station ID was launched today featuring   Toni Gonzaga, Gary Valenciano and the UST Singers. Yeay, proud to be a Thomasian!

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Some songs just makes you feel happy, some songs just make you feel grateful that everything is good in your world, some songs just make you feel  nostalgic.  I felt the  urge to listen to Dan Fogelberg today and I am sharing one of his songs with you.

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11 September 2010

Our destination is Balanga, Bataan.   Hubby and I left the house at exactly 5:30am and had a pit stop  at 6:40am at Total somewhere in San Simon, Pampanga  for breakfast.  We had to wait for Andy’s family before proceeding to Bataan.  Aside from a previous trip with the kids more than 23  years ago, this is just my first time to really see the place and meet some relatives too who came all the way from Pangasinan to attend  Melissa’s thanksgiving party for passing the nursing  board.

The azure blue sky as always beckons me to take a few shots. I just love the idea of  fresh air and wide spaces.  Great! I am so looking forward to having a  wonderful  time with relatives and bonding with them.  Would love to hear mass at the Cathedral too.  I haven’t had any sleep the last two nights. My mind was simply chaotic. I was literally counting sheep, so to speak.  Hubby suggested that I take a nap on our way there but I told him, “not on your life, I wouldn’t want to miss the scenery“.  I won’t be able to sleep anyway because I am just too excited  to see the place.  We finally reached  it at around  9:30 am  after about an hour of waiting for Andy’s family to arrive at the designated meeting place.  First thing I did was to visit their small grotto in front of the house.

Love their Koi fish, they are so cute and tiny. They were in different colors of orange, yellow and a combination of  brown. Our Koi at home are larger than these , they are around five to six inches now in length  but they are still a joy to watch when they are swimming.

They have Vanda and Dendrobium orchids too.  It is always  easy to  take some shots  when it comes to flowers and plants.  There is a great sense of fulfillment just seeing a bloom .

I used to have this Begonia too, the leaves are quite silky but I lost it during the typhoon last year.  Why does it all boils down to the times before and after the flood. Sad to say, we lost so much during typhoon Ondoy.

We were all laughing out loud when we saw the array of bibingka (rice cake) on the table.  We seemed to have one idea of bringing along the same  thing – from Pangasinan, Cainta and Bulacan.  As they tasted differently, we enjoyed everything. 

We were even joking  and making those taste tests as to which is the yummiest. Of course I’ve missed the one from our province in Pangasinan so that was the first on my plate.  A slice is good paired with a hot green tea.

Lunch was a sumptuous choice of cordon bleu, chicken , lechon, pancit, fresh lumpia, pork and beef.  They have lots of visitors, from lunch to late evening, there were still visitors arriving. 

That lechon head has pride of place at the end of the table.  Wow, lechon! Haven’t tasted this for quite a while and when it comes to good old lechon,  Filipinos serve the best. It has become a trademark when there are important occasions to celebrate, be it weddings, baptismal parties, kids’ graduation, you name it,  it’s never far behind.  And the thing is, when there are left overs, they’re cooked as lechon paksiw which taste even better.

 

And how’s this for dessert?  The sweetest watermelons I have ever tasted, they  are a little crunchy to the bite and so fresh.   Their watermelons are so large that one head would probably weigh more than two kilo .

And to think that they only sell them for around P50  to P60 pesos a piece. Here in Metro Manila, they would probably cost double.  We should have bought more.

Mely introduced me to some of their friends, Fr. Jhoen Buenaventura, Rosie Miranda and some of the choir members of Canticles Music Ministry.   I told the hubby I wanted to hear mass at the Cathedral so we attended the 6pm mass  which was presided by Fr. Jhoen.  I was  in awe of the  Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph.  It is a beautiful church. It was my first time to attend mass here so  I was too excited.

We met Fr. Jhoen before the mass and he asked, “hindi kayo nawala?” I was proud to say, “hindi naman po”, because I had Melissa’s sketch on how to get there from their place.

How beautiful the altar is!  I promised myself I would take a shot or two before we get home.

Here’s the fun part.  We said goodbye to Fr. Jhoen after the mass and proceeded to go home. I was so sure we did the right turn going back to Cataning and even told the hubby to watch the bridge.  Imagine our surprise when we reached the highway without knowing how to get back to Mely’s place. I was frantic, so I asked “this is  the road going back to Manila, right?” I suggested we hire a tricycle  that we could follow so we won’t get lost further but he insisted that we just did  a wrong turn.  I was getting afraid because the road was dark and it was quite hard to locate for a place that you are not familiar with.  After almost twenty minutes of traveling and asking  someone how to get to Cataning, we finally found our way back.  Hubby just said,  it was a learning experience!

After dinner, Mely told me that some members of their choir are coming over to render a few songs! I was excited to meet them.  And the excitement turned into awe and admiration once they started singing their first number,  Bituing Walang Ningning.

What marvelous voices you have guys!  I really enjoyed the evening watching and listening to all of you sing.

 

Tagumpay was followed by Emmanuel . Singing  A Cappella, their voices  soared to high heavens.  It was a touching scene.

Finally, a group shot.  Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart.

From left to right:  Daryl Mateo, Coco La Torre, Jude Flores, Mel Flores, Red Loyola, Nyco Angeles, Mely Flores, Liza Marie Nery, LJ Indemne, Arvee Jenika Mendoza, Johnalyn  Cabana, Jonalyn Cruz, Jerson Barcelona and Amiel Kim.

It’s always a thrill to meet new friends and visit new places.   It was just an overnight stay but I kind of enjoyed  it.  Hopefully, we could go back again to watch and hear you sing.


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Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

There are times when, we long for those days when life was simple and uncomplicated, when one’s idea of bliss was listening to soft, inspiring,  relaxing and calming instrumental music.  Yesterday, last night rather, was one of those  nights spent just remembering. I started  playing the whole album  Ballade Pour Adeline by Richard Clayderman .  Dubbed as the Prince of Romance, he is one of my favorite artists.  I get such a thrill just listening to his music. It evokes a feeling which is kind of sad and happy.   It’s like having a concert right at home.  Nostalgia trip to the max!

La Tendresse is one of the 27 cuts  in the album, written in French.

 

A friend  of mine introduced me to another artist, Kevin Kern.  Kevin Kern is an American pianist, composer and recording artist.    At age 4, he started learning the piano and at age 8, he  began writing music.

I Am Always  Right Here by Kevin Kern

After The Rain by Kevin Kern

(courtesy of NewOcean flower 2008)

Gone by Jim Chappell

(courtesy of rockmaster333)

Jim Chappel  is a smooth jazz  pianist born and raised in Michigan.

Somewhere in Time by Maksim  Mrvica

Maksim Mrvica is a Croatian pianist who plays classic crossover music.  Somewhere in Time, the movie, is one of my favorite movies of all time.  I love watching Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour in this movie.

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