Blogging Up The Works

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 30

A song I’ve heard from someone else that I like.

I've struggled with this one. Not because I haven't been influenced by other people's suggestions. Most of my girlfriends in my teens introduced me to groups I wouldn't have perhaps listened to if not for them. My brother has also introduced me to stuff. Most notably Banco De Gaia when he bought me their CD, You Are Here, as it had been his record of the year. But that doesn't lend itself to one song. You need to isten to the whole thing as tracks meld from one to another. And in fact if you loop it you would never hear the beginning or end as that runs through too. It's a mix of Trance. Dub, Arabic/Indian influence, a track with a bazouki.... If you like trance and something a little eclectic it is well worth a listen.

So in the end I am going to choose something by an artist I have already chosen. Cat Stevens. My best friend at senior school was Doug McGevor. and we used to skive off in the afternoons and go back to his house. We would ransack his mums larder for tins of strawberries in syrup and listen to either King Crimson or Mr Stevens. His favourite LP was Tea For The Tillerman. I borrowed it and got into it too. And it still has many of my favourite tracks of his. The one I am going for though is Father and Son. And I could kill Westlife for covering it and managing to completely miss the fact it is theroetically a duet.

Cat Stevens - Father and Son

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 29

My all time favourite song.

It's difficult to think of just one song as my favourite. There are many that mean a lot and some of those have already been listed on previous days for different reasons. Wild West Hero by ELO is a very strong contender or maybe The Last Resort by the Eagles which I can't believe hasn't cropped up somewhere and would probably have been my choice up until a few years back when I started listening to Nancy Griffiths. Another singer I came to via Radio London although in this case it was actually before they launched. For the month before going to air they promoted themselves with a song list and amongst those was From A Distance by Nancy. I liked the song enough to find out more about her and then realised I liked a lot of her music. She's what I guess would be New Country by genre.
However, the song I have chosen is a duet with one of her backing band. I have sung it in concert with a friend. And when I picked Galveston for a previous category becaue I'd been there this reminds me of that visit too as I drove this road to get there.

I never tire of hearing this nor singing along.

Gulf Coast Highway - Nancy Griffiths

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June Music Blogathon

My favourite song from the last decade.

My favourite song? I'm not even sure I can think of a song from the last decade. I've been trying to rack my brains as to what CDs I might have bought in the last 10 years and I know I've bought quite a lot but I can't remember them. And I've certainly bought a few here in France, particularly by Renaud, who as far as I can describe is a punk, folk, rock, traditional singer. A bit of an enfant terrible when he started in the late 70s and still popular now.

And whilst writing this I've just realised I bought a cd here the other week. The first by a group I've liked the music to but never bought anything prior. It's from their CD Drone which I guess is a concept album as I think all the tracks follow through in sort of timeline. Shows how little I know about it. There are a number of good tracks but I will go with a single. So here is

Muse - Mercy

Monday, June 27, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 27

A song to listen to at the end of a tough day.

There are probably a few I would think of if I spent the time but one came to mind straight away. It was a song I only came across a few years back with listening to Robert Elms on Radio London. The artist wasn't one i had heard of before that time and I don't think I've heard of him since. I do however find it a good relaxing record, which is what it is all about.

In fact, in a few seconds time I will look for a photo of the artist to post and that will be the first time I have ever seen him. I wonder if he will look as I imagine.

Jeb Loy Nichols - Heaven Right Here



Nope, really nothing like I expected.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June Music Blogathon -

A Song I Would Give My Offspring.

Hands up all those who even for a fleeting moment thought about choosing something by The Offspring. Oh, just me then.

Anyway, I didn't have to think too long about this and I had a few contenders.

First could have been Stan by Eminem. A cautionary tale of what can happen if you get obsessed with something or take entertainment too seriously.

I could have chosen Zombie by The Cranberries. About those who kept, and indeed keep trying, to keep the Irish troubles going.

But I have gone with an anti-war song, though more the former than the latter for me, which shows how everyone believes they are in the right. There have been many versons of this song but I've chosen to go with the songwriters version although it has the lyrics as he can sometimes be a little incoherent. Bob Dylan - With God On Our Side

Saturday, June 25, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 25

A Song From My Childhood

I am of such a vintage that in the days when I was no'but a lad children didn't really listen to pop music, we had our own records and indeed our own little record players. Amongst the records I owned, along with a number of nursery rhymes, were Tubby the Tuba by Danny Kaye, Big Rock Candy Mountain by Burl Ives and Sparky's Magic Piano by I can't remember who. Once we got to 7 or 8 we would listen to Junior Choice, (no, I'm not old enough to remember Uncle Mac!!), and some of those records came up again, but there was another I particularly liked. And in retrospect I can see how partly the appeal comes from it's comedy value and "cleverness" of concept, something I am still impressed with whether it be a full blown song or the putting together of "one song to the tune of another" in I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue".

Today I present for you.....

The Highway Code - The Master Singers



Friday, June 24, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 24

A song that I wish I could play on an instrument.

This is quite a difficult one because my lack of any real instrumental skills mean the answer would theoretically be everything. By the same token the answer is also nothing, because I know there is little chance of me playing it anyway, whatever I chose, so I never even think about it. Had the question been about something I wish I could sing, the list would be endless, mainly with operatic arias.And the one skill I wish I had was to jus sit down at a piano and play, just like they do in the films.

Having thought long and hard, I do have a contender. It's a guitar piece and one of the reasons I wish I could play it is because my younger brother could, and that's bloody annoying as anyone with a younger brother can tell you. I do feel I can claim some credit though for his skills as without me he might never have picked up a guitar. And in particular, my one. My electric one. Which one day I came home to find he had traded in to buy himself a 12 string acoustic. Without a by your leave mind you. Based on the fact that he didn't think I used it much so it might as well be used for something useful for him.

So, I would like to play Classical Gas by Mason Williams.

As long as I can play it better than my brother!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 23

A song that I can play on an instrument.

I'd like to think I am a consumate musician across a number of disciplines but in reality I'm a half decent singer, a passable flautist, simple guitarist and a barely competent pianist, (think about grade 1 to 2).

The only time I pick up an instrument these days tends to be open mic nights and then I accompany myself or the Magnificent M on guitar. I have slowly worked through a number of song but last time I performed I suddenly thought about doing a Cat Stevens number abd discovered the chords required for todays choice were in my competency, as long as I changed the key to something simple like C.

Luckily there is no recording of me playing it so you'll have to put up with the original.

Another Saturday Night - Cat Stevens

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 22


A song that makes me laugh.

Warning. Funny as I might find it to think you'd done it, you probably don't want to have these selections blaring out round the office. And perhaps not in front of children. Although kids today......

My first encounter with Ivor Biggun was his biggest hit, The Winker's Song (Misprint). Many of his song titles are misprints!Beggars Banquet had a record shop on Ealing High Street and this would be played over the external loudspeaker. It was 1978.

I didn't take much notice of him after that although he appeared on television quite a lot but in his other persona as Doc Cox on That's Life.

He reappeared 20 years later when I went to Blackpool with my mate JC in 1998. The club we went to had a favourite track it would play called Anybody Seen My Cock, a tale of a farmer who has a prize cockrel!

It was then I started tracking down some other songs. I could list them all but there are two deserve a special mention.

Hello My Baby, I think possibly his only clean song which is a reworking of an old song. The Magnificent M & I performed this duet in a concert.

My Girl Has Got A Pussy, a song reflecting on his girlfriends cat and what it might have got up to. We would have loved to have done this in concert, that might have woken some of the old dears up in the audience!

In the end I have chosen one that delights me whenever I choose to listen and, in general, very mild for him.
Ivor Biggun - Majorca Song

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 21

A song that I want played at my funeral.

I'm not a great one for messing about with funerals but personalisation is the way to go these days.

I would stick to the traditional funeral hymn of The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended as I think it is a beautiful tune, and obviously the words are apt. Masher has just given me an idea as he has chosen a Queen song that maybe I would have These Were the Days of Our Lives. I always find that song moving, watching Freddie in the video looking so ill. I know from interviews with the other guys in the group they pretty much had to prop him up to get him through it but he insisted on filming it very quickly and intensely. I think it's the bit when he turns to the camera just before the end and speaks the words "I Still Love You". That would seem to be apt so I shall ponder on this further.

I intend to be a burner rather than a burier, but if that should change I would like, for the procession to the grave side to be accompanied by a New Orleans style Jazz Band, playing a sombre tune within the church and then breaking out into a hot jazz march as we come out into the splendid sunshine beating down on us.

Anyway, on to the main course.

I liked this song from the first time I heard it and also knew I wanted it at my funeral. I think it has a hymn-like air to it and the lyrics which are about one person work for me as talking to a collective group. I fancy disappearing off behind the curtain to the fiery furnace whilst this plays.

The only downside I can see is that I won't get to hear it.

Enya - On Your Shore

Monday, June 20, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 20


A song that I want played at my wedding.

Well, having had a wedding, we wanted Stay with Me Baby by Lorraine Ellison for our first dance. It's a great soul song and we both loved it although the content is about a couple splitting up. Maybe we should have considered that at the time as we did split up about 3 years later.

The incredibly camp musical performer in me is desperate to have the wedding procession from Sound of Music. Preferably including nuns.

In the end I have still gone for a piece for in the service, and I think perhaps during the signing of the register. It is from Gounod's opera, Romeo & Juliet. The Epithalamium is sung as Juliet comes down the aisle to be married to Paris. When we performed this opera we never cast for Paris and all his lines were split amongst other soloists. This went well until the Director suddenly realised Juliet was going to walk down the aisle with no intended groom at the altar. They asked me to stand in as Paris and the tenor who was playing Romeo and not on set at that point would sing the part. To cut a long story short, by way of some colluding with said tenor and using him to get permission, I was allowed also to sing the role of Paris in that one section. This is the nearest I have ever got to performing an opera solo as one of the eight soloists who sing outside of the chorus.

This isn't a great recording and I think the soprano is a bit off key at times and the balance isn't right, but this would be something special for the big day although you probably wouldn't know it from this recording.

I should mention at this point Juliet thinks Romeo is dead and comes down the aisle having taken poison and is dead within minutes. On the basis of my previous wedding song choice and outcome, maybe I should choose again!

The Epithalamium from Romeo & Juliet from 2:14:19 to 2:17:58. (See how kind I am to you, not making you listen to the whole opera just to hear that one bit!)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 19

A Song That I Listen To When I’m Sad.

Interestingly, it is always a song that mirrors the mood rather than change it when I choose what to listen to.

This one is no different and is a song that I can wallow in sadness with for a time. It's a break up song. John Denver is probably better known for his country numbers and also Annies Song, written for his first wife. This song is not part of his country ouevre but I am assuming it was written at the time of his break up from his fisrt wife. If not, then I think the experience played a great part in the writing of it.

So, here is my wallowing song. It's a live recording and for reasons he explains at the start, there are a few wrong notes on the piano, but there wasn't a particuarly good studio vrsion available on you tube.

John Denver - Seasons of the Heart



Saturday, June 18, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 18

A Song That I Listen To When I’m Happy.

A song that Brennig so very nearly chose for one of his earlier posts. I like the Manics without owning any of their CDs. Because of that I mainly know their singles, plus the song they wrote for Shirley Bassey. But of all their singles I love Autumnsong the best. I like the intro, I can sing along, it's happy music, it's in my vocal range for singing along at volume. It's... oh, it's just great.

Manic Street Preachers - Autumnsong

Friday, June 17, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 17

A Song That I Listen To When I’m Angry.

I'm quite partial to a bit of Eminem when I'm riled but there is one record that means more to me when angry than any of his.

Back in 1983 I locked horns with my branch manager when I worked for an insurance company in Birmingham. It didn't end well for me, not because I was in the wrong, but in those days the company involved felt it was necesary to back a manager regardless of the circumstances. For a month I was forced to go in and work in a seperate room so I had no contact with the other staff.

To start each day, I would get ready for work, and before leaving it would be on with the headphones, volume up high, and focusing on the day ahead. The song that prepared me for a new days fray was

Anarchy In The UK - The Sex Pistols

Thursday, June 16, 2016

June Blogathon - Day 16

A Song From A Favourite Album.

I have many "favourite" albums. Handfuls. Even more than that. So what to choose?

I've dipped into my Desert Island Discs selection. I've always had an idea that should I ever be asked to take part, (cue hysterical laughter), I would want a selection of different music representing my tastes. One of the chosen artists would be Barbra Streisand. What a wonderful singer. I would have loved to see her live but the last chance I had she was charging £360 for the cheapest ticket which was a little steep for the likes of me.

I have gone for the title track off her album Superman which I spent many a happy hour playing until one day, being the lazy sod that I am, I took it off the gramaphone and left it on top of the night storage heater. By the next morning it was somewhat circular but undulatiing. It did play, but the pitch of each note was matching the undulations of the record itself, which was interesting in it's own right as to why that might be, but ultimately bloody annoying from a listening point of view.

And I know it isn't cool to fancy Barbra but my 20 year old hormones definitely perked up with that cover shot.

Streisand - Superman

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 15

A Song That I Wish I Heard More Often On The Radio

I managed to go see Procul Harum in the 1970s a number of years after Whiter Shade of Pale hit the charts. I'm not sure whether it was a group collective decision or not but Gary Brooker refused to play and sing their biggest hit when playing live. They did however play their two other big songs, Homburg and Salty Dog. I had both those singles. The copy of Homburg I had, got scratched and the line, "leaving ony ash filled ashtrays" then continued shtrays, shtrays, shtrays etc. Hearing it live seemed very weird when they just continued straight on. Salty Dog however remained pristine and is probably somewhere is storage waiting for me to reclaim it.

I think it is a great tune and it does occasionally get played on the radio but I think it could stand a few more hearings.

A Salty Dog - Procul Harum. There is no copy of the original single on You Tube that I can see. This is a live version from 10 years ago and is rather good with added strings, choir and Gary deciding not to be too far up his own backside. It's a also a couple of songs so you don't have to listen to the whole 11 minutes!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 14

A song that I hear too often on the radio.

I have taken the liberty of choosing one I hear too often on UK radio and another that I hear too often on French radio.

My choice for UK radio is two fold. Once because I really don't like the song, maybe this should have been the one for hate, as I really don't like it a great deal. I find the sentiments too twee and also having a particularly boring tune. But more than that it represents a group of songs that I detest. These include, Hi Ho Silver Lining, The Time Warp, Brown Sugar and others that I can't think of at this precise moment. What connect all these songs are that 50 year olds who have had too much to drink think they should get on the dance floor and strut around making fools of themselves. In the case of Imagine they feel it is neccesary to sing along and stare into the distance whilst holding up a lighter, or they would but they gave up smoking a few years back, so instead they hold up their pints.

So my UK choice is Imagine - John Lennon.



My French choice is a record harking back to the singers of the sixties who have now passed on or groups that have broken up. It's by Jane Birkin of Je t'aime (mais non plus) fame. It's still breathy but certainly not sexy. I don't particularly like the song but it is the chorus I can't stand. And for one good reason. She lists a number of 60s artists who died, (although Buddy Holiday died in 1959 but his music was still played obviously during the 60s). and then includes T Rex. No, you stupid bint, T Rex is a group, you mean Marc Bolan. And what's worse, T Rex didn't become that until the seventies. Get your facts right. Tyrannosaurus Rex recorded 3 singles in the 60's before they became T Rex and released their first single 1970. And you still mean Marc Bolan!!!! Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!

I need to lie down in a darkened room!

Ex-Fan Des Sixties - Jane Birkin

Monday, June 13, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 13

A song that I used to love but now hate.

Like others, I think hate might be too strong a word but in my case it is a record that meant one thing and now represents another.

Come December, I would never start to think Christmas was imminent until I heard the first playing of Merry Xmas Everybody. That would usually be after my birthday on the 13th. But over the years in an effort to try and jolly things along and create as much xmas hysteria as early as possible I started to hear it earlier and earlier. By the time we came to France you would get the first hearing by early November if not before. Bloody ridiculous! And so now I don't want to hear it at all because it represents ever more commercialism of Christmas as the first place you will hear it will be a supermarket.

Bah Humbug!

Merry Xmas Everybody


June Music Blogathon - Day 13

So this time I'm on the wrong list, but fear not, as well as this one that I had planned, I shall shortly also post the one that everyone else is posting today.

A Song That Fits My Personality

Well, this is a difficult category. There was a quote I saw the other day - Personality is what you are like when no-one else is looking. Maybe that is your true personality but I think I spend more time with my public persona. Those who read my blog, particularly way back, probably know more of the true me than many of my "real" friends. I know that's the same for many bloggers. There is a sense of security online that you don't have in realworld. That of course can be taken to extremes when Facebook is used to chronicle every little thing because you forget it is in the public domain. However I am getting off topic.

When things are going wrong and you are having a tough time you can't always show it. And for much of my adult life I have worked in sales and you learn, as you do with acting, and there are many parallels, that no matter what happens you switch on the smile when you start working. I have had two occasions when I have been very near to breakdown and had to reach out and ring a doorbell when you aren't sure you can do it. The song I have therefore chosen to day is from the opera I Pagliacci. He plays a man who is a clown in a show. His personal life is falling apart and he is going to pieces but there he is, with all sorts of stuff going on, but it is time to put on the make-up and smile....

The famous aria Vesti La Giubba performed by Jose Carreras

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 12

A Song That No-one Would Expect Me To Love

Most of my friends know I have such an eclectic taste in music that there probably isn't anything that would suprise them so I am picking a track from two different genres that aren't normally associated with me.

Although my faith in their being a deity is a little on the low side, I did grow up in the church choir and became a server. I sometimes go to church and when I di, it is a well known fact that I like traditional hymns and none of this happy clappy rubbish which is meant to appeal to young people. Obviously, not that I am. It's just that I'd rather listen to thrash metal. There have been a couple of "christian" singles in the charts over the years that I've liked, none of which were by Sir Cliff, although I didn't mind his verion of Little Town of Bethlehem. One I can think of is What if God was one of us by Joan Osborne, linked just in case you don't recognise it.

I also like a bit of country music, mainly some of the old stuff but not averse to new as well. But then you knoe that, I just picked Dolly & Kenny yesterday.

So today I am combining the two subjects and coming up with a country hymn based on a gospel song. I discovered it on a country music compilation of lesser known works and singers and I'll normally play it and skip back for another listen and a sing along. It's catchy, foot tapping and sing-a-long happiness.

Why, I almost want to mosey on down to the good Lord's house and have me my fill of his goodness!

Standing on the Promises by Jeanne Pruett

Saturday, June 11, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 11

A Song That Is a Guilty Pleasure

I have a few I could put in for this category which is a bit worrying. The one I have gone for I always enjoy singing along to and is also the Magnificent M and my choice for a Karaoke duet. To admit that I sing along to this record or perform it in public brings looks of increduity, disdain or elicits a bout of laughter implying how anyone liking this could possibly show their face in public. Just for once I have little more to say other then grab a hairbrush and sing along to

Islands In The Stream - Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

And just for the record I sing the Kenny Rogers Part!

Well, most times I do....

Friday, June 10, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 10

A Song From A Band That I Hate

To be fair I'm not sure there are any bands that I hate, although I'll probably think of some after today. But there is one band that I think are incredibly over-rated and I can't stand all the adulation they get.

It's those lovable mop-tops, the Fab Four, in other words, The Beatles.

It doesn't help that I can't stand the Liverpool accent.

The way people go on about them you would think they had invented music. People go on about how they were the first group to do this, that, the other. But just because they might have been the first to do something doesn't mean they were any good.

And what about all the teenagers and twenty-somethings who think the Beatle were the greatest band ever. Why. I've never heard anybody who didn't live through the 60s actually give a reasoned argument, even if I don't agree. My suspicion is that all these youngsters like them due to an outbreak of Emperors New Clothes.

I don't think they were particularly talented. I don't think Paul McCartney really appealed until he started Wings. Ringo is a bit of a non-entity. George did some really interesting stuff post-Beatles and for God's sake don't get me started on John Lennon. He will be appearing in another category later on, and it isn't the "my all time favourite song" one.

When I do music quizzes if there is going to be one big gaping hole, it will be any questions to do with them.

If I got near to enjoying anything they did, it would be Sgt Pepper.

So do I go with one of the songs I hate, or one that I can at least listen to.

I've decided on the latter. So here is what I think is probably their best song from my perspective.

A Day In The Life

I could have gone with She's Leaving Home which I rate about the same level.

If I had to choose second in line it would have been their tribute act, Oasis.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 9

A Song From My Favourite Band.

How do you decide who your favourite band are? It changes virtually from minute to minute and depending on mood. Then, will the next album be better or worse than the average? That's the sort of thing that would have kept me awake all last night if I hadn't been silently singing the song that I gave as an answer some hours ago.

So, I narrowed down the band by thinking of records that have been played often, despite their age. Have I bothered to see them live? Yes, in this case, and possibly the best gig I have ever been to as a spectacle. And then I chose a track that I never tire of listening to.

I have liked the Electric Light Orchestra from the beginning. I remember 10538 Overture being released and the mix of "rock" music and string arrangements, particularly the heavy use of cello, and I was hooked. Jeff Lynne's vocals are always good as are his lyrics. I suppose they are middle of the road in many ways but I don't care. And then, 40 years ago next year, (where the hell did all those years go!), they released the LP, "Out of the Blue". Kenny Everett had a copy on release day and played it through twice, back to back, on his radio programme on Capital. Not something that could happen these days in the era of playlists. And for me, the standout track. Wild West Hero. I saw them live at Wembley in 1978, the picture below from one of the eight nights they sold Wembley Arena out for, the first group ever to do that. And Jeff Lynne is a vastly underrated musician and producer, or at least with the public. Within the trade he is highly thought of.

Three years ago I wrote and directed a revue show for the musical theatre company I was with. It had a wild west theme. One of our group had arranged Mr Blue Sky, from the same album, for a previous concert, as a four part chorus number, so I got her to do the same for Wild West Hero. It was the last song played in the first half and I had one of our young male leads to start and end the song. At the start of the second half we had a silent film I wrote and directed in which he starred as a wild west hero. I doubt I'll get the chance to do something like that again.

Wild West Hero



As we appear to have diverged a bit as there were two differing lists of subjects to follow perhaps I should have chosen this track instead.

Humph!

Having got my music post all ready for today, it turns out the list compiled a couple of months back is in a different order to the one listed just before the start. You will have to wait until this evening for todays offering. Is there a song to fit the personality of someone disgruntled?

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 8

A Song That Makes Me Fall Asleep.

The glib answer would be - pretty much anything by Yes. I tried to get into Prog Rock, and my brother would have Yes playing regularly but I never gelled with it.

The song I have decided to go with might make me go to sleep but I think it is really meant to liven things up in the bedroom department and it would certainly be top, or near the top, of my slow dance choices. I think it might be my age! I find it's like wrapping myself up in a big duvet and stretching out like a well-fed cat. Certainly, if I am having trouble going to sleep, I just run this in my head and I drift off on a fluffy cloud of contentment.

Sometimes I really worry about myself!

Todays Choice?

Move Closer - Phyllis Nelson





Tuesday, June 07, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 7

A Song That I Can Dance To

Once upon a time, in my prime, I would have been able to link to Memphis Soul Stew by King Curtis. My mates and I had a particularly energetic routine based on the moves you see whenever you watch Northern Soul clips. Alas, my ageing knees preclude me from reliving those heady days, the only consolation being that none of those friends can manage it these days either.

My choice therefore has to be something a little more sedate. And it's a song from 23 years ago. Blimey, doesn't time fly! It's by Sannie Charlotte Carlson, although that isn't her stage name. She provided one of those cheesy europop songs that had a group dance to it. And dance I did. And still do when I get the chance.

Saturday Night by Whigfield


Monday, June 06, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 6

A Song That I Know All The Words To

If I have to stand up and perform a chart song, I think the only one I would stand a chance of doing would be Bohemian Rhapsody. Where I do have a bank of songs where I know the words are in shows I have taken part in. One of my favourite is from Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience, their satire on the Aesthetic Movement. Although I didn't sing this song I did learn it as I particularly liked it. I played Major Murgatroyd whom, along with two of his other officer friends, decide to become aesthetes as all the women had gone off military men and taken to swooning over poets and artists. It is dressed in his aesthetic garb that I occasionally appear online on various sites.

However, todays song is sung by Bunthorne, the lead character. Sit back and enjoy the word play of

If You're Anxious For To Shine.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 5

A Song That Reminds Me Of An Event.

The year is 1977. And it's the August Bank Holiday weekend. Me and my girlfriend, Gail, have decided to go away for the weekend to spend our first night together. Not only is it our first night together but another first, to use a phrase which shouldn't frighten the women or horses, a night in which I arrived as a boy and left as a man. It is the only time in my life I have visited Herne Bay. I managed to find a hotel to stay in although it was actually a pub that had rooms to let and it wasn't the world's highest quality resting place, but it's a special place to me.

I married that there Gail in 1979, but for a number of reasons we ended up apart some 3 years later in 1982.

The year is now 1990 and I drive for a living, some 2000 miles a week, so go through vast numbers of cd's borrowed from the librry as I travel around the country. I listened to all sorts of stuff including artists I woud never has chosen if I hadn't had so much listening time on my hands. Amongst the thousands of tracks I ploughed through was this one, by someone I would never expected to listen to, singing about a hotel with the same name as that in Herne Bay and with a sentiment I could relate to.

Todays offering is -

The Railway Hotel by Mike Batt

Mike Batt

Saturday, June 04, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 4

A song that reminds me of somewhere.

Really I should be choosing a song to celebrate it being one year today since we arrived here in Loupia. But as of yet there is no song associated with our new home.

So it's another easy choice, and there isn't a cryptic link between the song and where it reminds me of as the title is the place name.

My Dad got remarried in 1985(?) out in Texas and we went out for the wedding. That's the only time I have ever been to the US. We were based in Houston. We had a hire car and one day we went for a drive down the coast and visited the subject of the song. Everytime I hear it now I remember that journey and the town itself.

Today's Choice is

Galveston - Glenn Campbell



Friday, June 03, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 3

A Song That Reminds Me Of Someone

Well I guess I could have gone with either of yesterdays tunes but I haven't.

Like many people I link certain records to certain girlfriends :

Me & Mrs Jones - Lesley Naylor
Close to You - Carole Lacey
If You Don't Know Me By Now - Cathy Bartellot
Eight Days a Week - Some girl up in Burnt Oak I can't remember the name of.
And others besides...

But in the end I have gone for a record which reminds me of my brother. There were many I could have gone for as he introduced me to Bowie, outside of the singles, and also Led Zeppelin although that never really gelled with me. But this song isn't so much something that reminds me of him for his influence, but a song that reminds me that, although I was desperate for a sister, in the end having a brother was pretty special.

From his first eponymous album I present for you......

The Greatest Discovery











Thursday, June 02, 2016

Junee Music Blogathon Day 2

A Song That Makes Me Sad.

Well this was so much easier that a song that makes me happy. Not sure if a psychologist would have a field day with that.

I had a runner up song. "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen", the famous version being by Cavan O'Connor I think. Kathleen was my maternal Grandmother's name and was the most important figure for me when growing up. She died when I was 15 and I seemed to lose some of my drive, particularly at school, when she had gone. It's a saddish song but made more so for the personal circumstances.

However, as I say, the choice was not going to be difficult.

Les Miserables is my favourite musical. And no, it isn't a connection between sad and miserable! I think it's some of the best theatre music ever written. But despite being a bit of a sad story it is one of the songs in it that can reduce me to tears for my personal circumstances.

On My Own is sung in the show by a girl who has been childhood friends with a local boy and she has held out the hope that they would be together and more than the friends they have been. He, however, falls in love with someone else and she sings of her unrequieted love for him. When I broke up with Linda it was this song that seemed to fit her circumstances and what she wanted deep down. The circumstances being different but the sentiment the same. It came up the first time for me on the day she was admitted to the local mental hospital. Having been her main carer for so many years she entered the doors and for the first time in 30 years we were seperate. That evening I was taking part in a concert which included a medley of Les Mis songs, this being one of them, athough as a chorus member rather than a soloist. Luckily I think my brain cut out a bit and the concert went fine but I would find it difficult to sing this now.

It's been rather hard checking the versions to link to as I find it so hard to listen to.

And in fact I'm linking to it twice.

Lea Salonga took the original role of Epernine. Of the two, she has the more accomplished voice. If you want the vocals then this is the verion for you.

Samantha Barks played Epernine in the film that was released a few years back. (I enjoyed the film as well). Because you see the context and scenery it perhaps detracts from her singing performance but enhances her acting and seems to have more emotion.

I hope you enjoy watching one or both, but I won't be joining you. It's made me sad enough for the time being. And maybe the said psychologist could have a field day analysing the link of music with guilt.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

June Music Blogathon - Day 1

A Song That Makes Me Happy.

Well, this is a difficult start as first of all you have to have a philosophical discussion about what happiness is.....

It was a difficult choice though. There are plenty of songs I like to listen to, but do they make me happy?

There are songs that bring back a time and occasion when you were happy but are they making you happy now or just nostalgic?

I think I have got a song in mind that means a lot of things to me on different levels.

I grew up with Glam Rock, enjoyed my time as a New Romantic in the early 80s, but I have never been jealous of other musical genres to the point that I wished I could be young again to experience it as it should be. Or that was the case until Dance music hit the scene. I like Dance music, understand exactly how the 120 and 140bpm music resonates with the body, and it strikes me as happy music. I suppose that's why there was a sub genre of Happy House. If I was ever going to take drugs it would have been ecstacy, to increase the heart rate to match 120/140bpm. For the first time, I "got" drugs.

But for a short period I was able to be part of that world. When I went to Blackpool for the weekend with my mates, when Dance was at it's peak, I could go clubbing and immerse my self in it. There was one club I would always go to. Heaven and Hell. Heaven played the more commercial chart type dance music whilst Hell was into Trance and Techno. I spent many a happy hour in Hell just being immersed in the beat. Old enough to be wise to the fact I shouldn't actually dance I would just stand there and enjoy being part of the experience.

The song I am choosing reminds me of that time, it could have been played in either part of the club but my favourite memory of it was in Hell, with smoke machines and strobe lighting.

If I hear it now it does make me feel happy and I'm not averse to bouncing along to it as I drive and trying hard not to "throw some shapes" as the younger generation probably never say anymore.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you - Castles In The Sky : Ian Van Dahl

PS - Apologies. I don't have the technical knowhow of how to embed the video and as they will all come off Youtube probably you might have to suffer an advert first. I just hope you don't prefer the adverts to my musical choices!