This was one of may favourite Lovers’ Rock Reggae hits of the 80s. Honey-voiced Audrey Hall first came to my attention when she performed with legendary Jimmy Cliff on “Give the People What They Want”.
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.)
For my Music Monday this week its this wonderful reggae track from Protoje: Who knows
Simply because it is a great record that my daughter and I were singing to, whilst stuck in traffic. I have been singing it all week: “Who knows, who knows, who knows, who knows? I just go where the Trade Wind blows…”
This year’s John Lewis ad Buster The Boxer features Randy Crawford’s One Day I’ll Fly Away, which has been given an electronica twist by Vaults. You can view this HERE
In Britain everyone looks forward to the best television Christmas commercial. They are usually big-budget, clever, funny and sad, appealing to the whole family, and quite a topic of conversation. In the last 5 years the most popular title has gone to John Lewis department store, with the exception of Sainsbury’s supermarket’s moving WW2 themed ad in 2014. As well as being stunningly visual, they often feature remixes of popular tunes that can get to the top of the charts.
Many have ‘sent-up’ this year’s commercial already with spoof remakes – one features House of Pain‘s Jump Up, Jump Up, Jump Around in the second half of the Dirty Fox Parody
But as the commercial came out the day after the USA Presidential election, the best spoof of the John Lewis 2016 Christmas ad has got to be this one by Joe.co.uk, featuring, Trump, Clinton and The Obamas! – Click HERE
Further to my previous Kurt Weil, Music Monday post. I must mention the Beggars’ Opera. Composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) transformed the sweet old-fashioned operetta forms of their time into sharp political perspectives with sounds of 1920s Berlin dance bands and cabaret.
The show’s opening number, Macky Messer(Mack the Knife) became one of the top popular songs of the 20th Century. Legendary and popular artists such as Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Liberace, Michael Bublé, Robbie Williams have all done their own rendition of this tune, though only Lotte Lenya, the wife of Weil who it was written for, had the menacing voice that could be appropriate to a song about such a horrible serial killer!
It was known in English as The Threepenny Opera. The British/Hollywood film versiondoes not have Mack the Knife as a song and includes Kenneth Williams in a remarkable straight-acting role. The original was first staged at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin in 1928. It eventually became a great success, playing 400 times in the next two years.
Click HERE to listen to a rare recording of Luis Armstrong and Lotte Lenya singing Mack the Knife in english:
I love everything about the film Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee, which also won many ®Oscars in 2012. Here follows a link to the creative opening sequence with music composed by Mychael Dann and written and sung by Bombay Jayashri. The nomination marks the first ever song in the Tamil language to be nominated in the category.
Working on the song, Ang Lee explained to Jayashri the mood and feeling the song should evoke. Jayashri notes in her blog that he told her: “A child sleeps not because he is sleepy, but because he feels safe.”
Click Here for the YouTube link to the Life of Pi opening sequence.
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?