My Music Monday this week is a song that many might be sick of hearing by now. I cannot believe that it was 30 years ago that I first watched the Pogues perform The Fairytale of New Yorkon the BBC’s Top Of The Pops. It featured a duet with Shane Macgowan and Kirsty Maccoll and was unlike any other Christmas song I had heard. The song, in the style of an Irish ballad, became so much part of every Christmas that followed – I remember how shocked everyone was when Kirsty died in a boating accident in December 2000 – it turned from a happy dancing song to a very sad song (which it is really if you take in what they are singing about.)
I love Mozart to the point that I went with my husband to Salzburg last year to visit his birth house and family house. Everything in Salzburg evolves around Mozart.
Last night, we went to listen to over 150 people performing Mozart’s Requiem at Southampton’s Guildhall – by the Southampton Philharmonic Choir. It is wonderful to listen to such events like this in my city and to be able to support live music.
My husband tells me he would like part of Mozart’s Requiem played at his funeral – Dies Irae. Most people like the Lacrimosa but my favourite parts are Rex, but mainly Confutatis
Unfortunately I have no video or images of the Southampton Philharmonic Choir but you can click on this excellent YouTube link.
There is so much written about Mozart and his Requiem that if you are interested you can do an online search. I wish to commend the 1984 American period drama film Amadeus directed by Miloš Forman, adapted by Peter Shaefer from his stage play of the same name, for reviving peoples interest in Mozart.
As a fan of Kurt Weill, this is one of my favourite albums, with contributions from artistes around the world including British ones such as Sting and Marianne Faithful.
This song is from the three-act musical comedy Happy End by Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht. The trio wrote this after their success of The Threepenny Opera, which were both performed during the late 1920s, just before the depression at the Theatre am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin.
Dagmar Krause a German singer, has a unique voice, which lends itself to the type of tragic ballads sung in Berlin Cabaret.
My husband’s Nephew/Godson got married and we went to his wedding reception at the weekend. Johnny, in his early 50s, has been a punk-rocker since I could remember and we wondered what sort of entertainment could be provided for his extended family of roman catholics of Irish extraction. With it looking more like a Halloween party – complete with skull decorations, black and red themed balloons and two wedding cakes – one black, the other white with iced with expletives – we held our breath.
Their friends The Rocker Covers provided the answer. A talented trio who perform rock-a-billy-style covers of popular songs from the 50s to the present day. They are a serious band with albums and a contract with Greystone Records.
So for my Music Monday this week: click on The Rocker Covers’ track ‘American Idiot’ (revved-up) to hear some cool sounds.
My husband who is 80, outdid all the youngsters with The Twist – his era was rock’n’roll. I was brought up on music from the 60s to the 80s, where you shuffled next to someone and did your thing rather than hold on to your partner. So we have invented our own way of dancing with each other – a sort of rock’n’roll / reggae, with a bit of lambada and salsa thrown in from having mixed with Brazilians and Spanish when we lived abroad. He circles me around while I pogo and wiggle my back-side. People think we are professional dancers – but when I am asked to dance by anyone else – they realise that I don’t know any of the formal dance steps.
So we had a great time – and I noticed that the over 50s tended to dance while the younger ones headed towards the room with the bar.
Further to last week’s Music Monday about the sea, I also lived by the sea in Southern Spain and fell in love with the flamenco culture of the region. Here is part of a poem (with an approximate translation) by Rafael Alberti. He is one of my favourite poets who was born by the sea in Puerto de Santa Maria in the province of Cádiz, Spain, but moved with his family in order to live in Madrid,the capital city, when he was fifteen. Here he expresses his saudade or homesickness for the sea.
Click here too for the words sung in flamenco by Lady Hagua
El mar. La mar.The sea (m). The sea (f). El mar. ¡Sólo la mar!The sea (m). Only the sea! ¿Por qué me trajiste, padre,Why did you bring me, father, a la ciudad?to the town? ¿Por qué me desenterrasteWhy did you unearth me del mar?from the sea? En sueños la marejada In a dream, the swell me tira del corazón; is drawing my heart; se lo quisiera llevar. It would like to carry me off. Padre, ¿por qué me trajisteFather, why did you bring acá?me here?
For my Music Monday this week are the music and words of La Mer and how it became Beyond the Sea. Click on each of the names to hear their version
I went to an event yesterday where the Ding Dong Daddioswere playing. I had heard them before at Goodwood Revival. They did one of my favourite songs Beyond the Sea.
Perhaps it is because I live near the sea that I love songs about the sea, but Jack Lawrence took the original french song La Mar, written by Charles Trenet and turned the words into a romantic love song: Beyond the Sea
The most popular version was recorded by Bobby Darinin 1959.
The instrumental version of La Marwas recorded by Django Reinhardtin January 1949, but not released until 1961 after his death.
A better translation into English from the french poem would be these words, which I prefer.
For my Music Monday click on the links for two versions of the popular song Volare!
Domenico Modugno should have won the Eurovision song contest for Italy in 1958 with the first ever rendition of this song that has become a cult classic. That year it was won by France with the unmemorable “Dors, mon amour”. Italy stopped taking part in the Eurovision song contest.
Volare! chorus i Italian and English:
Volare, oh oh…Flying, oh oh…
Cantare, ohohoho… Singing, ohohoho…
Nel blu degli occhi tuoi blu In the blue of your blue eyes
Felice di stare quaggiù Happy to be down here
There have been too many cover versions of Volare! to mention, but my favourite has to be by Dean Martin. A more recent cover is by the Song-a-Minute-ManTed McDermott with his carpool karaoke version with his son Simon. 80 year-old Ted, who used to be a Butlins red-coat in England, suffers with dementia. He remembers all the words to so many songs which keeps him in company with others, and their carpool posts on YouTube have gone viral. Now Ted has a contract with Abby Roadto record his voice. This is not his song of his playlist – but I love it – it really makes me happy.
Kafka Tamura, the Indie pop trio which formed in Southampton, England.
Their influences are British, Austrian and Japanese. The band’s name comes from the protagonist of Kafka on the Shore by Surrealist Japanese writer Hanuki Murakami.
Kafka Tamura have been making a big name for themselves since touring Europe.
It is difficult to choose my favourite track from their album Nothing to Everyone, but Somewhere Else has to be my favourite of their videos – made in Southampton and filmed along the South coast of England.
For my Music Monday: click here for Return of Django by The Upsetters, a rock-steady track recorded on Trojan Records in 1969.
It has its roots in reggae and was the fore-runner of ska music – popular in Britain in the 1970s.
It reminds me of NAAFI discos in Netheravon, Brighton beach, fairgrounds, Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut, feather-cut hair, mini-skirts and hotpants, bovver boots.