Having given several hours of a Saturday morning to answering that questionnaire, a music-themed one, I was, er, rather put out. Okay, the fact that my work, though of value to no one but me, could evaporate in a mere second (and due undoubtedly to a random, accidental keystroke on my part) felt like nothing less than evidence of the Problem of Evil.
Step aside, Job: philosophymom lost her Friday Five post.
I tried to reconstruct it a couple days later, but I didn't have the energy to finish the task, so the new partial draft has just sat there on my desktop, blocking me from any other blogging. But now I have decided that if I am ever going to resume anything like even infrequent use of this journal, not to mention ever do a Friday Five again, I need to roll up my sleeves and complete & post that old thing. So that's what I'm doing.
Friday 5 for September 13: dd/mm/yyyy
|[Sept. 15, 2019: I'd painstakingly compiled an answer to this week's Friday Five, and I was just putting the finishing touches on it, when suddenly, with one rogue keystroke (I'm not even sure what I did), it was all gone, gone, gone -- dissolved forever into the ether. Reader, I'll confess that I shed a tear or three. Today, I'm dusting myself off and coming back to the keyboard to ... well, begin a semi-recollection of the post's high points, which I hope eventually to put up in memory of the hours I spent on the original. Enjoy.]|
(Links to YouTube videos are in red.)
1. What's a good song with a time of day in its title?
There were too many terrific candidates, so I've settled on four that would make for a quick "round the clock" trip.
- "Good Morning Starshine" comes from 1967's Hair, and the 1969 single was a huge hit for (whatever-happened-to) folk-y tenor Oliver. But it's Bob McGrath's Muppet-assisted cover, also from 1969 and debuting on the third episode of Sesame Street that, IMO, best captures the piece's "Glibby glop gloopy, nibby nabby noopy" vibe.
- "Lazy Afternoon" is a standard that deserves more love, as this near-definitive version by Lucy Reed (with Bill Evans) ought to convince you. The song originated in the 1954 B'way show The Golden Apple, a musical based on Iliad & Odyssey and featuring (wait for it) Kaye Ballard (!) as Helen. Here's her rendition.
- "Some Enchanted Evening," from Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, almost makes one believe -- for the approximately three minutes it takes to sing, that is -- in love at first sight. My go-to recording of the romantic anthem had been the divine Bryn Terfel's, but then I happened upon the video of Brian Stokes Mitchell singing it in a semi-staged concert version of the show, and ... well, lets just say I was enchanted! (But I do wonder exactly how they portrayed Nellie's racism in that production.)
- "Midnight at the Oasis" came out when I was twelve, so I didn't exactly get that it was mainly about sex. Never mind; I thought the Maria Muldaur hit was cool then, and I still think so now.
2. What's a good song with a day of the week in its title?
I'm afraid that all of my pop-music answers are going to skew late-'60s/early-'70s -- viz., the prime of my childhood, and the only period when top-40 pop music was the main musical backdrop of my world. Here are a pair of typically mellow hit tunes from those days:
- "Come Saturday Morning" is from the soundtrack of The Sterile Cuckoo, a film I've never seen but would probably watch just to see where the song comes in. The Sandpipers recorded it, and this video has the least wobbly and warped-sounding reproduction I could locate.
- "Rainy Days and Mondays" was an early Paul Williams credit and huge hit for the Carpenters. Karen's singing overcomes the material's borderline soppiness, and I still hum this song any time it rains on a Monday.
3. What's a good song with a month in its title?
- "When October Goes" is a song I'm pretty sure made my list the last time the Five asked for seasonal songs (it was Autumn). Barry Manilow set the unfinished Johnny Mercer lyric after the latter composer's death, and performances by both Barry himself and Rosemary Clooney make a good case for the ersatz standard.
- "September Song," from Kurt Weill & Maxwell Anderson's Knickerbocker Holiday (1938), is a piece that I'm not sure I've ever heard a bad rendition of; I offer this as a testament to how good it is, but it probably just means I've been lucky. Here's a slightly unusual version -- in that it adds narration -- by Eddie Albert.
- "April in Paris" was also written for B'way in the '30s, but I tend to associate it with jazz and the '50s. The Count Basie Orchestra played it coolest (IMO), but if you want lyrics, here are Ella & Louis.
4. What's a good song with a year in its title?
- "In the Year 2525" is surely the most striking, IMO. The Latin flourishes! The Huxley-esque dystopianism! The modulations! And I was an impressionable seven years old when the Zagar & Evans (who?) hit came out, so it's stayed in my head. (The song is trippy enough, but here's a cool video matching it to visuals from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.)
- "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" is probably the catchiest. The Four Seasons classic, in all of its unmistakable 1975 glory, is somehow a favorite of my 18-year-old.
- 1941: Finally, in the spot of honor, is the one song I will actually embed in this post, because I'm guessing you don't know it, and I want you to be more tempted to click. It's an early, semi-(quasi-?)autobiographical effort by philosophymom favorite Harry Nilsson:
5. What's a good song with the word "time" in its title?
There are a ton of qualifying songs, and I really like a lot of them, so listing only a couple feels super-arbitrary. Still, this post is way too long, so here are the winners:
- Time in a Bottle, of course, was the one that popped immediately into my head. Jim Croce's beautiful song became especially poignant when he was killed in a plane crash in 1973, the year after its initial release. (Here's a surprisingly sweet Muppet Show cover, with a mad scientist as the singer. Worth a click.)
- Maybe This Time. Come on, we had to end on a show tune, didn't we? Actually, Kander & Ebb originally wrote the piece, in the voice of an improbably hopeful woman who's been unlucky in love, for Kaye Ballard; however, Liza Minnelli recorded it in 1964 and then again in 1972 when it was incorporated into the movie version of Cabaret. I think of the latter recording as the classic rendition. (But check out the YouTubes for more: you'd be surprised at the number of singers who've tried it. Many have the voice -- heaps more voice than Minnelli, to be honest -- but few have the combination of vulnerability and stubbornness to pull it off the way she does.)