Hunting ‘Bambi’

On Sunday’s dog-walk, it was one of those perfect days. A temperature of 21C (70F) made even more pleasant by a gentle easterly breeze, just enough to move the long grass.

With 90% of the area now dry ground, and no need for boots, Ollie and I made a few tours of Beetley Meadows, then twice around Hoe Rough. He only went into the river once to drink, and didn’t seem to be feeling the heat at all.

The whole area was unusually quiet, leading me to suspect that most people had headed to the nearby coastal resorts, or decided to have family time and barbecues in their gardens.

When we got back and started to head for the woodland area, I saw some other dog walkers. A family with a small poodle cross, and a man with a terrier. Then in the middle of the widest path, bold as brass, we all saw a young deer, nibbling happily at something by the edge. It had long, spindly legs and big eyes that made me think of Disney’s Bambi. It surely had no idea about where it was, and showed no fear of me as I approached.

But then all three dogs spotted it, and the hunt was on!

Although the dogs didn’t know each other, pack mentality took over, and they rushed off together barking, yapping, and yelping.

Fortunately for the juvenile deer, instinct kicked in, and it took off bounding gracefully, easily outstripping the three dogs as it jumped the three-bar fence back into the woodland.

We were left with three frustrated and panting dogs, who had participated in a very short and fruitless hunt.

Some songs about the weather

As you know, I write a great deal about weather, and how it affects my life, and my moods, since moving to the countryside. I am not alone in this, and when I recalled the Barry White record about rain recently, it got me thinking about all the other songs that feature references to the weather, in all its forms. Here is a selection, mostly quite old songs, that I can remember. You will have yours in mind, no doubt many of them a great deal more modern. I hope you enjoy them, at least some of them.

Autumn Leaves. Originally a French/Hungarian release from 1945, the English lyrics were added later, by Johnny Mercer. There have been countless versions of this song, made famous by Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole, as well, as a more recent cover from Eva Cassidy. For purely selfish reasons, and as a tribute to the original French song (Dead Leaves) I offer the Edith Piaf version, sung in both English and French. Heartbreak personified.

Rhythm Of The Rain. Once again the subject of many later cover versions, this 1962 song was written and performed by the American vocal group, The Cascades. Here is their original version, now sounding very amateurish to our sophisticated ears!

Windy. Not really about Wind, rather a girl’s name. However, it is quite hard to find songs written about the wind.  (OK I know, Blowing in the Wind- too obvious!) Here is a well-known song from 1967, from US group The Association, who had a much bigger hit with the song ‘Cherish’.

(Call it) Stormy Monday. This song has different versions with the same title. For me, this blues song by T Bone Walker is the one I always think of, so is included here. I have no idea when this live performance was filmed, but the song dates back all the way to 1948.

Good Day Sunshine. This song from The Beatles featured on the 1966 album Revolver. I am not a huge fan of the group, but this song says a lot about being cheerful in the sun.

Walking On Sunshine. Continuing the theme, this massive 1983 hit from Katrina and the Waves, a Canadian band, pours on the feelgood factor.

Ain’t no Sunshine. It might have sunshine in the title, but Bill Withers wasn’t feeling too sunny when he wrote this Grammy Award-winning song, which was a hit in 1971. One of the great love songs, it is still moving more than forty years later, and his voice is simply marvellous.

September In The Rain. I found more than fifty versions of this song, and had a very difficult time choosing a suggestion for this post. Originally written in 1937, it defines the very term ‘Standard’. I have chosen the Dinah Washington version here, but can equally recommend the divine version by Sarah Vaughan.

Stormy Weather. Written in 1933, and first performed at the Cotton Club, this is another song that has seen countless cover versions over the many years since. Billie Holiday’s version is sung from the heart, and you can feel the pain in her voice.

It Might As Well Rain Until September. There must be something about that month. This song from Carole King and Gerry Goffin, written in 1962, is a pop classic of the 1960’s. Despite its sad theme, it has an upbeat feel that never fails to cheer me up. This is Carole’s own version, released as a single. the same year.

Mr Blue Sky. I have featured this 1977 song before, but make no apology for adding it to this list. ELO, an English group, released this in 1977. It is still played all the time in the UK, and is one of my favourite ‘happy’ songs of all time.

Let It Snow. Ending on a seasonal theme, but I just had to. There are many songs about snow, but this cheesy Christmas classic just screamed out to be included. Since it was written in 1945, it has been recorded by almost everyone. Here is the well-known Dean Martin version, the easy-crooning choice. To make it more interesting, I have posted the video showing Disney’s ‘Bambi’ playing in the snow!

It is a big list, twelve songs, but by no means exhaustive. If you have better ‘weather’ songs, please show them in the comments. And I do know that I should have included Crowded House, singing ‘Always Take The Weather With You’ but that would have made it an unlucky thirteen! Best wishes to you all, Pete.