Significant Songs (79)

Reblogging a post from 2015 about a very old song that I love so much. Apologies to those who have seen it previously.
I was thinking about this song today, and it is in my head.

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Pennies From Heaven

This song originated as the feature track from the 1936 film of the same name. Originally sung by Bing Crosby in that film, it was later recorded by almost every famous singer since. The list of those who covered the song is too long to write here, but it includes Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. For me, this is best heard sung by a ‘crooner’, and the sadness underlying the central message of hope comes over well if it is recorded in a somewhat plaintive tone.

In 1978, the BBC produced a landmark television series of the same title, written by Dennis Potter, and starring Bob Hoskins, Cheryl Campbell, and Gemma Craven. The song featured heavily of course, and the version used was by Arthur Tracy. This was also made into a -best forgotten- Hollywood film adapted by and starring Steve Martin. The TV series…

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Happy Christmas!

(Please sing this very loudly, to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday To You’.)

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, DEAR BLOGGING FRIENDS

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

FOR YOU ARE JOLLY GOOD FOLLOWERS
FOR YOU ARE JOLLY GOOD FOLLOWERS

FOR YOU ARE JOLLY GOOD FOLL-OW-ERS

AND SO SAYS ALL OF ME!

Okay, I know it’s not great. Here’s a much better song instead.

This isn’t me. Honest!

Another Song In My Head

Regular readers will know that I recently had the song ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ stuck in my head. That took over two weeks to go away, and caused problems with concentration, and getting off to sleep too.

Then this morning I woke up with another Disney song playing on a loop, and felt sure it would ruin the Christmas festivities.

So I went to the woods in Beetley, and consulted the Beetley Wizard. After crossing his palm with a £1 coin, he told me what to do.

I had to share the song with exactly 7,047 other people. One of them would get the song transferred into their head instead, and I would be free!

So be warned. Don’t play this clip!

Significant Songs (4)

I am reblogging this 2014 post because other than Jude and Sarah, hardly anyone has ever seen it. I still love this record!

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Woman Trouble

In the year 2000, I was 48 years old. I had just moved to Camden, and was living alone, for the first time in ages. I had a new car, and like many tracks featured in this series, I heard a record on the radio in that car, that I had had not heard before. I couldn’t keep still in my seat, and found myself jiggling around, oblivious to strange stares from other drivers, in the heavy traffic leading out to Brent Cross. I didn’t really catch the name of the song, as I was too busy humming along to it, and car-dancing like a fool, to listen to the announcement at the end. I wanted to listen to it again, straight away, and felt empty when it had ended.

I had to endure the embarrassment of going into a record shop in Central London the next day…

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Lyrically Evocative (31)

From the first time I ever heard an Al Green record, I was hooked on his smooth soul voice, and excellent vocal range. I don’t think he has ever released a song I didn’t like, and some of his recordings have remained favourites of mine throughout my life.

The lyrics of this song have always resonated with me ever since I first heard it at the age of 23. He co-wrote the song, which was released in 1975 as a single from his latest album at the time. Here are the words I always like to hear.

L-O-V-E (Love)

I started to write this song about you
And then I decided that I would write it all about love
And it appeared to me
That you wasn’t happy
And that’s for sure, positively
That’s what the world is made of
So give me more L-O-V-E, love
Love is a walk down Main street (oh love)
Love is an apple that is so sweet (love)
Love is something that can’t be beat (love)
L-O-V-E is strange to me, oh
I can’t explain this feeling
Can’t you see that salvation is freeing
It’s all in the heavens, can’t you see
You can always depend on me
To give you love
Love is a flower in my soul (oh love)
Love is a story that just can’t be told (love)
Can’t you feel it burning more and more (love)
Stop and look at the big wheel roll
I can’t explain this feeling
Can’t you see that salvation is freeing
I would give my life for the glory
Just to be able to tell the story
About love
I didn’t mean to make you mad
A sweet story, I thought I had
But maybe time will bring us together
And I can be such a happy fella
About love
Love is something that is so divine (oh love)
Love is a feeling that’s a friend of mine (love)
It can’t be measured by no sign (love)
In your heart or even in your mind
About love, Love is as bright as the morning sun
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Al Green / Mabon Hodges / Willie Mitchell
L-O-V-E (Love) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

And here is Al singing them.

A Life In Music: Roland Kemp

One of my greatest and oldest friends is Roland Kemp. Photographer, video artist, and musician, he has spent most of his life in one band or another. The first time I met him when I was just 17, it was when a friend took me to see his band play in a small hall in Eltham, South London.

Over fifty-one years ago.

His latest project is this song, called ‘The New Blues’. This is right up my street musically, and comes with an excellent video showcasing the female vocalist, Molly Alro, and many images relevant to the lyrics. If you enjoyed it, please give the video a ‘Like’ on You Tube.

Rise Up! : Sign Language Version

My step-daughter Emma works here in Norfolk in a school for children with special educational needs. Because of Coronavirus, she is currently working from home on teaching projects. She decided to use her sign language skills to help and inspire the kids at the school, many of whom have great problems with communication. She worked hard to create a sign language version of the popular and inspiring song, ‘Rise Up!’

I don’t normally make such requests, but on this occasion I am asking all of you, wherever you live, to share this blog post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on any other social media platform you are a member of.

Sign language is international. and so many people trapped at home during the current lockdown may be thrilled and inspired by Emma’s video. Let them know it will all be over soon, and that one day they will ‘Rise Up’ once again.

Pandemic Parodies ~ Jamiroquai

David Bowie, Jamiroquai, and ‘Let’s Dance’ reworked for Covid-19. I just had to reblog. (And Jay references that line ‘put on your red shoes’ too!)

By Hook Or By Book

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I have to admit I never heard of Jason Kay and Jamiroquai, until I became friends with Pete at https://beetleypete.com. He’s written several entertaining posts about this British band starting with this one: https://beetleypete.com/2016/09/04/whatever-happened-to-jamiroquai 

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I’ve shared a few creative song parodies over the last 2-3 weeks, but when I saw that Jamiroquai had reworked David Bowie’s classic Let’s Dance into a coronavirus anthem called Lockdown, well I knew I had to share it. This is for you Pete!

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Significant Songs (208)

Hey Mickey

There is nothing at all musically significant about this song. But when it was released by Toni Basil in 1981, it became part of the ‘pop video’ craze, started by MTV.

In England, we didn’t have cheerleaders, and hardly anyone had heard of the choreographer who had decided to release her own record. As well as that, she was 38 years old, rather late to make an entry into the mainstream music market at that time.

But it was a massive hit all over the world, including the UK, where it reached number two in 1982. The song was written by Chapman and Chinn, Australian and British songwriters known for coming up with massive chart hits. Toni’s version was a cover of an original 1979 release under the title ‘Hey Kitty’. She changed the name to ‘Mickey’, and choreographed a dance accompaniment that included ‘normal’ women backing her, unlike the usual sex kittens that featured in most pop videos then.

The result was a forgettable pop song that turned out to be unforgettable, because of the accompanying video.

It was played to death on every radio station, and featured heavily on TV music shows.

Toni jumped on the video bandwagon, and brainwashed us all into the bargain.

Here is the official release of that video.