Category Archives: 31 Songs in May

And to finish…

May 31st: Rolling Home.

An appropriate one to finish on, and another one I always thought was traditional – I’d only heard it sung by this man for a long while, (which brings us back full circle, if you look at the photo links for the first of May) then I found out it was written by John Tams in 1987, for a play of ‘Cider With Rosie’. This is another reason to include it today, because today was the first meeting of my book club, and we had to bring our top 5 books, I think number 6 on my list would have been Cider with Rosie. I love this song, it would probably make my top 5 songs, but songs are even more difficult to rate than books. Maybe I’ll start a song club… maybe not.

Nearly there…

In homage to the glorious weather…

May 30th: Climbing Up the Sunshine Mountain.

There are lyrics to this on the internet, but all differ slightly (or quite a lot) from the one I learned from Dr Sunshine and Wingnut at Bromyard festival, which went something like this…

We’re climbing up the sunshine mountain

Where the pretty breezes blow

We’re climbing up the sunshine mountain

Faces all aglow

We’re gonna’ turn our backs on sorrow

Reach up to the sky

We’re climbing up the sunshine mountain

You and I… you and I… You and I.

There were extra verses about different types of mountains like the echo mountain…tain…ain…in…n too, but a great song if your end purpose is to get everyone in the room standing on chairs or tables.

I’m not sure of the end purpose of this slide presentation, aside from teaching economics students about indifference analysis by using pears, oranges and sunshine mountains. I was either amused, or possibly just bemused, I’ll leave you to decide.

Bye

“Does anybody know where the toilet is..?”

May 29th: The Young Ones.

It seems so strange these days that anything like this would ever get in the charts, (or the ‘hit parade’ as I believe it was then called). I’m not sure why but I kinda like it, I even sat through the film once. The tv show was better, and before you say that that was nothing to do with Cliff, I’d thank you to remember this.

It seems more young ones on the way, as a friend has just officially announced her pregnancy. I’m now resigned to being ‘Auntie Lemly’ for a while, as kids can never manage to pronounce my real name. Although the originator of ‘Lemly’, Soo’s eldest now calls me ‘Nemerly’, even though she can say ‘Emily’ perfectly well now. My favourite was a kid that called me ‘Happily’ for years, but I’m not sure I ever corrected him!

Music for the Soul

Those of you that have met me, and have discussed music with me may have noticed that there has up to now in this themed month of Lemly’s wiblog been an absence of the output of a certain singer-songwriter-guitarist-demi-god. Today is the day to address this discrepancy.

May 27th: Oops, I Did it Again.

And for those of you expecting a Richard Thompson song, you’ll be well advised to catch him in concert as he promotes his ‘1000 years of popular music’ CD (available here – I won’t go into the details of how the CD came about, it’s all there too). That’s right – a scary prospect if ever there was one Richard Thompson sings Britney Spears.

And I’m guessing there’s some of you that haven’t heard of Mr Thompson either. At risk of tuning this into ’31 songs in a day’, highlights for me include:

Galway To Graceland a beautiful song that inspired a radio play back in 1998ish.

1952 Vincent Black Lightening a motorbike ballad, a tune that grabs you by the waist and carries you along, the lyrics never tire.

End of The Rainbow in some ways a truly depressing song, but the tune and the passion behind it provide reason enough to move on. Very cleverly written.

God Loves a Drunk lyrically fantastic, covered by Norma Waterson on her first solo album.

Tear Stained Letter this one establishes Richard Thompson’s ‘rock god’ status. Not many songs get me dancing, Tear Stained Letter does.

Dimming of the Day an antithesis to the likes of Tear Stained Letter in style and mood, yet as perfectly formed.

She Said it was Destiny my favourite track from Richard Thompson’s latest album ‘The Old Kit Bag’, a twist around every corner, with a great tune to boot.

Beeswing a beautiful love song, so sad, it metions the Gower too.

Cold Kisses the tune in this one captures the mood so well of knowing what you shouldn’t. Sung with a wry smile.

Waltzing’s for Dreamers… and losers in love. Covered, not surprisingly, by June Tabor. I much prefer the original.

How Will I Ever be Simple Again? The effects of war brought out in stark contrast to the simplicity of young love.

I was asked a while ago why I like the clever lyrics in Richard Thompson’s songs, yet back away from similarly obtuse references in the songs of for example Elvis Costello, and The Beautiful South. Richard Thompson songs are generally appreciable on more than one level, and I have to like a song on a superficial first listen before I want to explore it any deeper. In my opinion, Elvis Costello and Paul Heaton miss this superficial level. They also tend not to notice the importance of the tune. It should not be just good enough, it should be perfect.

I realise that the comparative success of Richard Thompson in Britain shows that I’m probably in the minority in my views, and that’s a sad thought. There is good music out there that is meaningful to all of us.

I’m not going to try and describe this man any more, lest he find out where I live and break my legs for saying the wrong thing. If you’ve not listened before, do so. If you have, do so again. Thank you for your time.

Only 6 days to go, must be time for another depressing murder ballad

May 26th: Where The Wild Roses Grow.

I’ve always been a Kylie fan – from the days when she was better known as ‘Charlene’, and would argue that those early albums are still worthy of a listen. (I also now have the power to delete the comments of anyone who says different.) Her latest album is still great, and although she had a bit of a bad patch, I have generally liked what she has done. So, just because I’m choosing the most folky thing she’s ever likely to do doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the rest of it. Well anyway, Where The Wild Roses Grow is a brilliant piece, to be found on Nick Cave’s ‘Murder Ballads’ album. It was possibly inspired by this song, but mainly inspired by Kylie, and Mr Cave wanting to write for her. Can’t blame him really, it worked really well and, well we can only hope for similar in the future… Meanwhile, here’s a clip to listen to. (If you scroll down and click the right song…)

Typing quickly to avoid a wib-pumpkin (or something)

May 25th: At the Name of Jesus.

This song is being included today for one sole reason. There is a part in the tune of this song – well, as it is played here – that makes you want to voice the “bum-bum-bum-bum-bum-bum-bum-bum” between each verse, well it makes me want to anyway. And obviously someone else in our church too – someone whose mouth was too close to a microphone at that point in the morning service today – I think you can guess the rest, but it was funny. A small amount of research on this song revealed a couple of other vaguely amusing bits connected with it. Firstly it was written by Caroline Maria Noel, who seems to have included it in her wonderfully titled: The Name of Jesus and Other Verses for the Sick and Lonely (Later editions were titled The Name of Jesus and Other Poems.) Also, a congregation singing it fairly badly. Well, must go before the date on this doesn’t match the date on top of the page, ‘cos that would be wrong. bye.

Especially for Andy (no, really this time)

May 24th: Harvey The Wonder Hamster.

OK, I was a few short on songs, as it’s getting near the end of the month. Basically this is a short song about : a hamster by Weird Al Yankovic. My very good friend Andy has animated it.

In other news, we had a visit from some friends and their brand new Mini this morning, I was still in bed when they came round, having stayed up to watch Big Brother last night – not sure why. Also if anyone from my church knows what time deacons are generally supposed to be there on a Sunday morning, please let me know. Ta.

For Andy ;- )

I’ve been a bit bad at not updating this very early in the morning (bit of a clue there), so here is the first pre-lunch entry for… oooh… days.

May 23rd: Stairway to Heaven.

Apologies to all you serious music fans out there (it must be terrible) – this is the Rolf version. It all came about through a show in Australia called ‘The Money or the Gun’ which seemed to want for some reason to record as many different versions of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as possible by Australian artists, or something. Here’s the track list of the CD they made to prove it (note the name Barry Crocker – he sang the original Neighbours theme tune, fact fans). Rolf had never heard the original, so was able to do a fantasticly bizarre take on it from the sheet music – very Rolf. His daughter later played him the Led Zep version and he was totally blown away. If you’re wondering whether the feeling was mutual, it has been reported that one Cropredy Festival they played Rolf’s ‘Stairway’ in an intermission between bands on stage, and who should be dancing away with the rest of the crowd, but Robert Plant. This evidence is purely anecdotal, but I can confirm that Mr Plant is a regular attender at Cropredy, and that it would not surprise me in the least if this were true.

I’ve always felt an affinity with Rolf Harris, this is mainly because he looks like my dad (Check for yourself – here in 1973, third from right, and then again last year, on the left).

Finally, anyone still reading this who is quite bored may want to check this out. Bye.