Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge (26 June 2020)

NewEpicAuthor says that the links to his MM Music posts can go any way we want, and it is just as well. I listened to the MM Music Challenge this week and got to the lyrics. All those “Ah”s and, frankly, it sounded like we were at the dentist!

The Barron Knights were/are? a UK band, who specialised in spoofing serious pop tunes. At the back end of the Seventies, they had some commercial success – the clip I am presenting today was from Top of the Pops, the UK’s main chart show at the time.

In fact, one of my very few claims to fame was that I used to be friends with the daughter of one of the band members. When I came across her a few years ago on Facebook, meeting me had obviously made such a big impression, she had no clue who I was.

Anyway, I think this was their biggest chart hit (but we’re not talking Madonna here, as you’re about to see). Jim’s song today reminded me of that dentist in Birmingham!

Addendum

The three songs that they spoof, by the way, the first in by Boney M, which I’m sure we’ll all know; the second is The Smurf Song, from around that time. I think it was Dutch in origin so travelled internationally, even to get to the UK; the third was a spoof on a song about the Manchester artist L. S. Lowry, who’d only recently died. The original song is a wonderful tune and reached #1 here. It wouldn’t surprise me if it never travelled, if nobody has ever heard of Lowry, but I shall include the link to the proper version below.

And, if you don’t know Money M, they were a brilliant German band from the disco era.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge (12 June 2020)

NewEpicAuthor said a few days ago that he was having eye surgery this week, so I hope it went well, Jim. Putting the rest of us to shame, I see he still had the foresight to schedule his Mindlovemisery Menagerie Music post for today, which is Bill Withers’ brilliant Just the Two of Us.

I’m kinda going to end up in a familiar place, but here’s how I got back there:

  • First off, two of us started me thinking along the lines of pairs. I thought of Two Hearts but that was a bit obvious, not to mention full of cheese.
  • From pairs, I got to thinking of a couple making a team
  • Then the weird link, to sports teams
  • I started thinking of how I could write about a sports team, including trying to think of music by a sports team. I used to love soccer as a boy – I should write about that one day but I figured I’d probably lose you all!
  • Now, it is widely known the whole world over that every sports team that ever tried making a record produced a dud.

Upshot is, I thought I’d present music again, but pretty much the only sporty music I ever liked. It hails from the soccer World Cup in Argentina in 1978, when I was all of ten years old. It also ties with The Smurf Song as the first 45 I ever bought for myself!

This one was not by any particular team, but was the theme of the whole tournament. Before I managed to dig it out today, I had not heard it in years. So I enjoyed it, even if nobody else does!

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge (29 May 2020)

Jim’s prompt this week is Midnight at the Oasis, a song which conjours up all sorts of visions. For me, the very first thought is of the desert, Egypt, the Sphinx. During lockdown I have responded to this prompt, normally with a song of my own, but this week, let’s do something different.

Firstly, apologies to my UK readers, who might well have seen this one on the quiz show Eggheads a few days ago. In fact it was because I was reminded of this question so recently that I post it today for an international audience.

We’ve all heard of the Riddle of the Sphinx, right? The riddle that says What is it that has one voice, and is four-footed and two-footed and three-footed? And we all know that the answer is a person, because the three stages represent the three stages of life?

But did you know that there was a second, less well-known riddle? This one goes along the lines: There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first. Who are the two sisters?

Anybody got any idea what the answer is? Sure, you can look it up, but where’s the fun in that?

If you think you know the answer, post it in a comment and I’ll publish the correct answer, also in a comment, shortly after 6PM my time (GMT + 1), tomorrow.

MindLoveMisery Menagerie Music Challenge (15 May 2020)

I was reading through NewEpicAuthor’s prompt today and it conjured up images of a professonal musician, somebody who plays in a bar, maybe, to entertain the customers. Cocktail music, perhaps.

That image linked to Billy Joel‘s song, Piano Man. Uptown Girl charted when I was a teenager, which got me listening to his back catalog. Joel, of course, was an established artist by then and Piano Man had been released some ten years earlier. In fact it was his first single, which climbed to #4 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, and #25 on the Hot 100. In it, Joel sings from the point of view of a bar pianist, which seemed apt today.

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin

He says, “Son can you play me a memory
I’m not really sure how it goes
But it’s sad and it’s sweet
And I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man’s clothes.”

Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feeling alright

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he’s quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be

He says, “Bill, I believe this is killing me.”
As a smile ran away from his face
“Well, I’m sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place.”

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he’s talking with Davy, who’s still in the Navy
And probably will be for life

And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes they’re sharing a drink they call “Loneliness”
But it’s better than drinking alone

Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feeling alright

It’s a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
‘Cause he knows that it’s me they’ve been coming to see
To forget about life for a while

And the piano it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, “Man, what are you doing here?”

Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feeling alright

written and performed by Billy Joel

Mindlovemisery Menagerie Music Challenge (1 May 2020)

Okay, not my normal music but I thought I’d share this one:

I read the lyrics to today’s MindloveMisery Menagerie’s Music Challenge prompt, he keeps banging on about his intentions are good, and so I thought I’d post this one.

I am spared from posting any lyrics, but about the composer/performer: Sarah Coponat is a little-known French pianist/composer who I discovered a while ago. She’a a current artist, so she can be found on all the usual social media outlets and so on, but I doubt she’s very well-known, even in France! But I like it, what do you think?