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A great melody first, then lyrics,(only) THEN 'vocals'

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  • I was thinking tonight -- while listening to other peoples' versions of the two great Christmas songs that Bing Crosby introduced -- I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS and WHITE CHRISTMAS -- that neither song has a "bridge." Yet the melodies are so strong . . . you don't notice!



    It was just in time for Christmas of '43, at the height of WWII, Crosby got to introduce I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. On the label of the original 78 rpm recording, two song writers were credited

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    • Barenaked Ladies (who played to a happy crowd last night at Winnipeg's

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      • We are not very Christmassy sort of people, but we have Maddy Prior and the CarnivalBand album of carols.

        We are old Steeleye Span fans.






        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC5Ixae8ezo
        'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
        CHARLIE PARKER

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        • There are also the lesser-known carols from an earlier time. Coventry Carol is one from the 16th Century, yet many artists have recorded it.

          From Wiki :



          The "Coventry Carol" is a Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. The carol was performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew. The carol refers to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed. The lyrics of this haunting carol represent a mother's lament for her doomed child. It is the only carol that has survived from this play.

          It is notable as a well-known example of a Picardy third. The author is unknown. The oldest known text was written down by Robert Croo in 1534, and the oldest known printing of the melody dates from 1591.[1] The carol is traditionally sung a cappella. There is an alternative setting of the carol by Kenneth Leighton.



          Many performers have recorded the song, including Charlotte Church, Elisabeth Schumann, Anthony Newley, Sting, Annie Lennox, Christine McVie, Suzanne Vega, Medi
          'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
          CHARLIE PARKER

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          • Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band. I see (at Wiki) they've recorded no fewer than five Christmas albums! beginning in 1986, with

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            • Funny that you should post that informed Wiki reference to that early harmonic device, the

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              • Satellite radio is playing Natalie Cole's version of LIKE A LOVER

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                • From a distance,

                  the world sings

                  'Silent Night'

                  like a soft, embracing psalm;

                  from a distance,

                  the words sound, sweet and clear,

                  and all is bright and calm.




                  -- Bette Midler, Robbie Buchanan, Jay Landers (2006)



                  A moment ago a Winnipeg FM-radio morning show host [on our lone

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                  • Listening just now to Natalie Cole singing one of Peggy Lee's best songs (for which she wrote the words) WHERE CAN I GO WITHOUT YOU? -- it reminded me of how many great composers got lyrics from Ms Lee: Her on-line biography lists the most important beginning with her guitarist-hubby Dave Barbour (with whom she wrote a couple of No. 1 chart records) as well as Victor Young (her collaborator on WHERE CAN I GO), Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Cy Coleman, Johnny Mandel, Dave Grusin, Robert Farnon [!] Sonny Burke, Marion McPartland, Lalo Schifrin, Michel Legrand (and a dozen others). Peggy wrote WHERE CAN I GO WITHOUT YOU on 'short notice' at the request of film composer Victor Young (in 1954 -- one of half a dozen songs they wrote together to drop into films).



                    As I type this satellite radio is playing my all-time favorite version of this song -- by Natalie Cole, whose Daddy had the biggest hit recording; Natalie's lovely recording has never been uploaded to YouTube, but her father's original is there (set to a single slide of a 'spaceman' working high above earth, as if to provide a literal answer to Ms Lee's rhetorical question!).






                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQPMqcM4tG0







                    I went to Londontown

                    to clear up my mind;

                    then on to Paris

                    for the fun I could find.

                    I found, I couldn't leave my memories behind.

                    Where can I go without you?



                    Tried seeing Singapore,

                    but that wouldn't do;

                    went to Vienna,

                    but I found you there, too.

                    Even in Switzerland, your mem'ry came through.

                    Where can I go without you?




                    [bridge]



                    I wanted travel, I wanted romance.

                    I chased that rainbow across the sea.

                    I'm tired of faces, and quaint old places,

                    if you can't be there with me.



                    Back on the boat again,

                    and farewell to France.

                    Farewell to Londontown,

                    (they haven't a chance!)

                    I'll trade the sights I've seen

                    For one loving glance.

                    Where can I go without you?

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                    • Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blackburn
                      View Post

                      I went to Londontown

                      to clear up my mind;

                      then on to Paris

                      for the fun I could find.

                      I found, I couldn't leave my memories behind.

                      Where can I go without you?



                      Tried seeing Singapore,

                      but that wouldn't do;

                      went to Vienna,

                      but I found you there, too.

                      Even in Switzerland, your mem'ry came through.

                      Where can I go without you?




                      [bridge]



                      I wanted travel, I wanted romance.

                      I chased that rainbow across the sea.

                      I'm tired of faces, and quaint old places,

                      if you can't be there with me.



                      Back on the boat again,

                      and farewell to France.

                      Farewell to Londontown,

                      (they haven't a chance!)

                      I'll trade the sights I've seen

                      For one loving glance.

                      Where can I go without you?




                      As I was finishing reading this lyric, I was reminded of another.

                      Sometimes certain sentiments are recycled over and over but in different ways.

                      Perhaps there is a collective sub-conscious after all.



                      Spanish boots of Spanish leather



                      Oh I'm sailin' away my own true love

                      I'm sailin' away in the morning

                      Is there something I can send you from across the sea

                      From the place that I'll be landing ?



                      No, there's nothin' you can send me, my own true love

                      There's nothin' I wish to be ownin'

                      Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled

                      From across that lonesome ocean.



                      Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine

                      Made of silver or of golden

                      Either from the mountains of Madrid

                      Or from the coast of Barcelona ?



                      Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night

                      And the diamonds from the deepest ocean

                      I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss

                      For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'.



                      That I might be gone a long time

                      And it's only that I'm askin'

                      Is there something I can send you to remember me by

                      To make your time more easy passin' ?



                      Oh, how can, how can you ask me again

                      It only brings me sorrow

                      The same thing I would want today

                      I would want again tomorrow.



                      I got a letter on a lonesome day

                      It was from her ship a-sailin'

                      Saying I don't know when I'll be comin' back again

                      It depends on how I'm a-feelin'.



                      Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way

                      I'm sure your mind is roamin'

                      I'm sure your thoughts are not with me

                      But with the country to where you're goin'.



                      So take heed, take heed of the western wind

                      Take heed of the stormy weather

                      And yes, there's something you can send back to me

                      Spanish boots of Spanish leather.
                      'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
                      CHARLIE PARKER

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                      • I'm no expert on folk music, "Old Git Brit" and I had to google to learn that was a very early Bob Dylan song, with a melody that (to my ears) was borrowed from Elizabethan England. In turn it reminded me of Dylan's GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY -- with a very similar, slightly stronger melody, again with simple chords borrowed from earlier times.



                        Now why did I come here? Oh yes. Something I loved enough to write about, a decade ago, I stumbled upon just now, in the "free online encyclopedia".



                        ----



                        One of the nice things about writing an Amazon.com review

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                        • "Better Than Anything," sung by Al Jarreau.






                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzSw0hibEf0
                          “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

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                          • Question: What's the most-played 'seasonal song' this Christmas 2012? (according to recent surveys of radio playlists).



                            Hint: It's the oldest of all the seasonal popular songs

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                            • Like most of you I'm sure, I haven't been able to think much about music these past few days.



                              Last night, throughout President Obama's address to the 'vigil' gathering in a Newtown auditorium, you could hear a lone baby crying. Those present said you could hear quiet

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                              • I love it that Oscar-winning composer Johnny Mandel -- the 'dean' of living orchestrators -- is still with us, to enjoy his 87th Christmas . . . and still composing and conducting beautiful arrangements for the likes of Diana Krall and Paul McCartney (for Sir Paul's Grammy-worthy, 2012 album

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