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Found 10 results

  1. Neal, I listened to "When the World's on Fire," and it's absolutely amazing - Woody didn't do much at all with this one, did he. That said, I still don't know if he was proud or ashamed to be an American - I can see it both ways, which is probably the point. Although I didn't quite understand all the words (I'm sure I could find them on the internet), there's a certain innocence to The Carter Family's song that I find sweet and charming. Trivia: June Carter is a distant cousin of President Jimmy Carter (!)
  2. I was reading about "This Land Is Your Land," and didn't realize that Woody Guthrie had sarcastically written it in 1940 because he was tired of hearing Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" - instead of the lyrics, "This land was made for you and me," the article implies that the lyrics were originally, "God blessed America for me" (which has the same number of syllables and the same cadence). I suspect that many of today's younger Americans are more familiar with the terrifically wonderful parody, "This Land," released in 2004 by the company, Jib-Jab. Read on after the video for some surprising detail about the "real" song by Guthrie; in the meantime, take a stroll down memory lane and enjoy this fantastic piece of work: Now that you've been grinning from ear-to-ear, let me tell you something interesting about Guthrie's song: There is a fascinating and controversial stanza in the original, 1940 version, which Guthrie sings below: Was a high wall there that tried to stop me A sign was painted said: Private Property, But on the back side it didn't say nothing — God blessed America for me. [This land was made for you and me.] And the final stanza of the 1940 version which changes the song's entire fabric - this is a shocking and sobering set of words, which is not included in the 1944 version. The true, original meaning of this song was most certainly not unbridled, rah-rah patriotism - I've never heard Guthrie actually sing the version which included these lyrics: One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple By the Relief Office I saw my people — As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me. [This land was made for you and me.] This is Guthrie singing his 1944 version:
  3. My wife has been a fan of Glen Hansard for maybe the last half dozen years or so. My first impressions were that he was overwrought. A little too moody for me. Not inventive. Songs sounded too similar. Meh. But....I love my wife. And she's indulged me in my fascination with metal. And besides, I generally love Scottish and Irish music. I'm a huge Silly Wizard fan, for example. So when she suggested we see Glen Hansard at The Anthem, while I initially was not wild about it, I remembered these things and remembered that she's also turned me on to many bands and other performers that I loe dearly so, of course, we set the plans in motion. This concert was a week or two ago. It was GREAT. Tremendous performer and band. A storyteller. Inclusive. Infectious. And clearly I had been doing things wrong. Many songs, while unfamiliar to me absolutely were great. I need to listen to his stuff MORE LOUDLY. And some blew me away. Like this absolute gem. I think they stretched this to about 9 minutes. To say I was elated to see this performed by folks at the top of their game is an understatement.
  4. Júníus Meyvant (real name Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson) is an Icelandic singer-songwriter from the Westman Islands with folk/pop/Northern Soul (Arctic soul?) influences. He has released one album, the excellent Floating Harmonies. But he is best heard live with his 7-piece band on this recording from the Kex Hostel in Reykjavik from 2015.
  5. Awhile back, I wrote a humorous post about a Zip Code commercial that I remembered from my early childhood, performed by a group called "The Swingin' Six." I thought (when I was old enough to think about such things) that it was simply a group put together for this commercial, and maybe it was (sort of like "The Monkees"), but The Swingin' Six was actually a real band - with a 1967 album called "For the First Time" (having an album in those days was something akin to having a book published - it established credibility). Anyway, The Swingin' Six actually existed outside of that one commercial (which is well-worth fifteen minutes of your time to watch - it's a great slice of early 1960s pop-Americana, and I hate to say it, but the tune is catchy as all-get-out). One day, I dream of clicking on an obscure tag (like "Pat Lanigan," for example), and having it appear in multiple threads. Who knows? If we have enough threads such as this, one day we may learn some obscure trivia about people, places, or things, just by linking the tags together. (Not that he's obscure, but click on any Alfred Hitchcock tag as an example.) As for The Swingin' Six, they're very similar to The Mamas & The Papas on "Pack Your Bag" (the lead song on the album, "For the First Time," which could have probably also been titled, "For the Last Time," since I'm pretty sure it was their only album). I can picture Cass Elliot (née Ellen Naomi Cohen, and born in Baltimore) in her vinyl, knee-high boots when I hear this song. I can honestly say that when I founded this communitry on Apr 15, 2005, I never thought I'd be starting a thread about The Swingin' Six. Yes, bearded hipsters with your Chuck Taylors and $10 glasses of IPA, fifty years from now, people will be looking back at you with this exact same type of reminiscent fondness. When you're 80-years-old, and your grandchildren are seeing pictures and videos of you in utter disbelief and absolute horror ("Grandpa, why is everybody white?"), you're going to be cringing. I'd say, "It's not too late," but it is too late.
  6. I notice there isn't a thread on one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century - Townes Van Zandt. Unlike some other "songwriter's songwriters," I always always prefer Townes' versions of his own songs over the covers. As the (also) great Steve Earle said, "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." "Pancho and Lefty" "Waiting Around to Die" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDymc0CJ6pQ And my favorite of all time: "If I Needed You"
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