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…”
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.
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.
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.
For Music Monday this week I present a track that moved us from Punk to New Wave (originally labelled post-punk).
Love Will Tear Us Apart(click on title for YouTube video) is a song by English band Joy Division. It was written in August 1979, and first performed in November 1979 when the band were backing the Buzzcocks. Fans, like myself, could relate to sensitive lyrics by Ian Curtis, which reflected the problems in his marriage, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his tragic suicide in May 1980.
We were shocked. Following new wave sounds remained very dark – everyone seemed to wear black in the early 80s. Ian’s wife Deborah Curtis had the phrase: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” inscribed on Ian’s memorial stone. His stone was stolen and had to be replaced later.
When routine bites hard And ambitions are low And resentment rides high But emotions won’t grow And we’re changing our ways, taking different roads
Then love, love will tear us apart again Love, love will tear us apart again
Why is the bedroom so cold? You’ve turned away on your side Is my timing that flawed? Our respect runs so dry Yet there’s still this appeal That we’ve kept through our lives
But love, love will tear us apart again Love, love will tear us apart again
You cry out in your sleep All my failings exposed And there’s a taste in my mouth As desperation takes hold Just that something so good just can’t function no more
But love, love will tear us apart again Love, love will tear us apart again
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.