The Pogues – Fairytale of New York

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Promotional photo used in 1987 – Guns? How times change!

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 York  on 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.)

 

Mozart’s Requiem

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Mozart’s birth house stands over a shopping mall © Southampton Old Lady

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

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Everything in Salzburg revolves around Mozart

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.

Surabaya Johnny – Dagmar Krause

Lost in the Stars - a tribute to Kurt Weill
Lost in the Stars – a tribute to Kurt Weill

For my Music Monday this week click on: Surabaya Johnny sung by Dagmar Krause.  Krause also performed this on the album Lost in the Stars  a tribute to Kurt Weill.

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.

 

 

Punk Wedding: The Rocker Covers

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One of the wedding cakes – I daren’t publish the photo of the other…

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.

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The Rocker Covers are a great band to dance to

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.

El mar (Rafael Alberti)

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Land’s End, Cornwall © Southampton Old Lady

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 desenterraste   Why 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 trajiste   Father, why did you bring
acá?  me here?

Beyond the Sea / La Mer

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 

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Beyond the Sea © Southampton Old Lady
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http://www.dingdongdaddios.com – a swing band from Reading, England.
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Jiving to the Ding Dong Daddios

I went to an event yesterday where the Ding Dong Daddios were 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 Darin in 1959.

The instrumental version of La Mar was recorded by Django Reinhardt in 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.

The sea

The sea,

We see dancing along the shores of clear bays,

Shimmers with silver

The sea

Changing shimmers

Under the rain

 

The sea

With the summer sky

Mix up her white horses

With the angels so pure

The infinite azure shepherdess

Sea

 

Sea

By the ponds

Those big wet reeds

See

Those white birds

And those rusty houses

 

The sea

Has cradled them

Along the shores of clear bays

And with a love song

The sea

Has rocked my heart for life

Music Monday: Volare!

For my Music Monday click on the links for two versions of the popular song Volare!

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Simon and Ted (the Song-a-minute-man)

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-Man Ted 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 Road to record his voice. This is not his song of his playlist – but I love it – it really makes me happy.

Click Here

Somewhere Else – Kafka Tamura

For my Music Monday this week I present:

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.

Click here to see it on YouTube.

Return of Django – The Upsetters

return of DjangoFor 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.

I can still do the moves!