Soothe the beast with free music from Freegal, thanks to the library

  • Thursday, July 18, 2013

“Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,

To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.”

So begins the poem “The Mourning Bride” by William Congreve, written in 1697.

Even back then, music could soothe, smooth away the rough patches and straighten the path to a better mood. And they didn’t even have iTunes.

I don’t have iTunes, either, but I have something that’s almost as good – Freegal.

Freegal is a downloadable music service provided by the Charleston County Public Library. Each week for the past year and a half, I have been downloading three songs onto my computer – for free – which I then transfer to my MP3 player (because I’m pretty much the last person in the Charleston area who doesn’t have an iPod) or burn to a CD.

They’re mine forever. For free.

My songs have helped me reach back to my younger self with Tommy Roe’s “Dizzy,” Juice Newton’s “Break It to Me Gently,” Petula Clark’s “Downtown” and Donovan’s “Jennifer Juniper.”

I have tapped my feet to country classics like “Jambalaya” by Hank Williams, “Anytime” by Eddy Arnold, “Wolverton Mountain” by Claude King and “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Hank Snow.

There are instrumentals such as “Holiday for Strings,” “Sleepwalk,” Ernest Gold’s “Theme from Exodus” and “Wipeout” by the Surfaris.

I have connected with my spiritual side with “Oh, Happy Day” by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” sung by the Imperials and “Climbin’ Up the Mountain, Children” by the York College Concert Choir.

Last Christmas, because I’m always looking for undiscovered holiday songs and for alternate versions of my favorite holiday tunes, I came up with two new holiday CDs made up of downloads I made from September to November.

Lest you think Freegal is filled with only old-fashioned stuff, I have also downloaded “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, “The Cave” by Mumford and Sons, “Best I Ever Had” by Gavin DeGraw and “Try” by Pink. And I play Brandi Carlile’s beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” over and over again.

The range of songs available is pretty impressive. The entire Sony catalog is available – about 3,000,000 songs, on 10,000 music labels.

I have had so much fun, and you can, too. All you need is your library card and a computer. Go to ccpl.org, click on “Downloadable Media” and then “Freegal.”

Log in with your card number and start searching.

Oh, and while you’re at that “Downloadable Media” page, check out our newest downloadable service – magazines from Zinio.

There are 150 titles available, just waiting for you to log in with your library card and download them to your computer or other electronic device.

If you need any help, please call the Mount Pleasant Regional Library at 843-849-6161, and we’ll be glad to help.

Library programs

Teen Summer Movie (grades 6-12)

Wednesday, July 17 at 2 p.m.

“Rise of the Guardians” Rated PG; 97 minutes.

Van Doren Magic Show (ages 6 – 11)

Thursday, July 18 at 4 p.m

Dig into the world of magic through this interactive performance. Tickets given out 30 minutes before program.

PLAY: STAR Therapy Dogs (all ages)

Saturday, July 20 from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Dig into reading, and share books with a furry friend.

Monday Matinée (all ages)

Monday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m.

“The Princess and the Frog” Rated G; 97 minutes.

Teen Summer Movie (grades 6-12)

Wednesday, July 24 at 2 p.m.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Rated PG-13; 169 minutes.

Diggin’ Dinosaurs (ages 6 – 11)

Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Read stories, sing songs and discover interesting facts about dinosaurs. Tickets given out 30 minutes before program. Limited to 50 participants.

Susan Frohnsdorff is Assistant Manager at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road. If you hear her singing at the reference desk, you’ll know why.

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