Happy 70th Birthday Bob Dylan! (and my Top 10 Dylan Songs)

Bob Dylan

Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan!

Ah, you were so much older then, you’re younger than that now… and may you stay forever young no matter how much the times, they are a’changin’, you rolling stone you!

Man, can you believe the Bob is 70???

I sure can’t… mostly because my main association with him is through his music, and that’s mostly timeless, never aging, so the icon seems that way to me.

For Bob’s 70th, Rolling Stone magazine did a huge number of features this month on him:

Me, I did a meme tribute on Facebook to share one of my favourite Top 10 Bob Dylan songs each day leading to his birthday today. Here is my list, which was generally presented in no particular order except for the last two being my favourite two Dylan songs. It gets too hard to separate the order of the others for me.

Continue reading

Earth Day Goal 2010 Achieved, What to Pledge for 2011?

Happy Earth Day to you,
Happy Earth Day to you,
Happy Earth Day dear reader,
Happy Earth Day to you!

What are you going to do,
To keep sea and sky blue,
To reduce your C-O-2,
To be green the year through?

HAPPY EARTH DAY, EVERYBODY!

On Earth Day 2010, I pledged to eat “better” as my Earth Day goal for the year from that day.By “better”, I meant more local and more unprocessed foods, though I didn’t start out defining them that way, nor for the green reasons of food miles. Once I researched more and came to conclude food miles was a myth, though, I ate better for the economy and for my health. I’m sure it still has an environmental impact because I didn’t end up eating food grown in green houses here in the Canadian winter, that would have used up tonnes of excessive energy, but without being able to measure it, I couldn’t claim it for certain. One thing I am more certain, though, is that it saved me money not to be eating out so much as before given I don’t eat processed foods like frozen dinners that tend to be on the cheaper side, though I did eat more fast food than I should have.

Continue reading

Guitar and Ukulele Tabs for I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan)

One measure of the popularity of a song over time, and not just on the charts at a given time, is the number of covers it has. Well, there’s no shortage for Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released!

Bob Dylan

With every cover, there’s a little variation on it from the others and from the original. However, for this song, most only differed slightly in the notes sang and tempo. There’s no big rearrangement involved. My tabbed version is no different, with only a high D to emphasize a few important points in the lyrics. It is noted among the notes that come with the tabs.

I Shall Be Released (in C), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in C), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

I Shall Be Released (in F), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in F), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

These tabs all fit on one page to avoid the inconvenience of page turns. However, the letter size tabs (8.5″ x 11″) may be too small for your eyes. If so, you can either enlarge to tabloid size (11″ x 17″) using an automatic enlarge feature on many photocopiers, or download the tabloid sized versions for printing. The tabloid size tabs can be inserted into a typical letter sized binder on the 11″ size, and folded almost in half to fit. You just open each tab to use it.

The chord sequence is fairly easy with G, Am, Bm and back down again with Am and G. Then a D7 separates the next phrase, and it cycles all over again throughout the entire song. You need to Capo 2 this to get it in the key of A that Bob originally wrote it in. I took the chords off The Definitive Bob Dylan Songbook.

If you have trouble playing the Bm on guitar like I do, you might try the version in C, capoing as you need to get it in your voice range. That uses C, Dm, Em and G7. These are a lot easier than that Bm, in my opinion.

The ukulele challenge is also with that Bm, but I tabbed an alternate version in F because the Em (like in the guitar alternate version), is almost like that Bm on guitar, which was what I was trying to avoid. The version in F on the ukulele uses F, Gm, Am and C7, which I find all fairly easy chords to play.

As for trying to find a video close to my tabbed version, the one below from a concert in 1976 matched it best, though not exactly. This was some concert, featuring Bob and an all-star cast like Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr and many other famous musicians! It should serve as a good guide to figuring out the tabs.

The good thing about a “solid” song like this, though, is that the chords are pretty robust to any little variation you might want to put in the melody to “make it your own”. So you don’t have to follow the notes I have. Just sing it the way it feels to you for notes and it will work.

Rhythm is another story, though!  The trickiest part to this song is adjusting from phrase to phrase of when you start in. For some phrases, you strum the opening chord (like G) on the first word. For many phrases, you start in while still on the 7th chord that separates the phrases. Then for the rest, you actually strum that opening chord before you start singing, like with the opening line to the chorus. Figuring out the adjustments from line to line is the hardest part, by far, as far as I’m concerned, to learning this song.

But it just wouldn’t be Bob if it were otherwise! 🙂

Please click here for guitar and ukulele tabs and chords to other songs on this blog.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.7

Most Likely To… The Evolution of a Facebook Tagging Meme

Note: Since this posting, I have evolved Facebook picture tagging memes on my own ideas far beyond this concept I saw. My ideas involve real world and life actions rather than just associating ideas. They are listed under the Action memes category, involving what I call Facebook 2.0 tagging memes.

The pictorial Facebook tagging memes that have been going around in many variations seems to have evolved into that common high school year book feature, the Most Likely To… page. I saw one just hours ago, but it was so poorly done (mostly due to almost unreadable small type) I went and created my own, text, picture compilation and all. Here’s how to get it:

  • Click on the picture below to get it at full size.
  • Right click on that picture and save to your computer.
  • Upload it to your Facebook profile.
  • Tag your friends or let them tag themselves.

Please click here for a complete list of over 100 Facebook picture tagging memes on this site with which you can use for fun with your friends.

In case you don’t recognize some of the people in my new version, they are as follows, left to right:

  • Top: Peyton Manning, Wangari Matthai, Osama bin Laden, Paris Hilton, Jet Li
  • Middle: Pamela Anderson, Bob Dylan, Oprah Winfrey, the current Dalai Lama, Sue Johannson
  • Bottom: Claudia Schiffer, Martha Stewart, Bill Gates, Anna Nicole Smith, Barack Obama

You can Google these people if you want to know more about who they are, and maybe guess why I’ve put labeled each as such.

Share

What’s Your Song of Comfort? (Part 3 of 7 on The World in Six Songs)

Share/Save/Bookmark

.

Book and Theory Background

Daniel J. Levitin wrote an absolutely brilliant book called The World in Six Songs, supported by a great website with the many music samples referenced, among other great related material.

My basic paraphrasing of the concept is this. All the songs in the world could be fit into at least one of six categories providing an evolutionary benefit to humanity, often ultimately tied to our social nature.

The book and website offer far more detailed interpretations, of course, but I will expand on my paraphrasing with each post and the associated topic.

Daniel J. Levitin and The World in Six SongsIn a series of posts, I will describe each of the six categories in brief, one at a time:

  1. Friendship
  2. Joy
  3. Comfort
  4. Knowledge
  5. Religion
  6. Love

I will describe what the categories are about because they are not as limited in scope as the category names suggest. I will then supply one of my choices and ask all readers to do the same if they so wish. In the seventh post of the series, I will offer the chance to put the song choices all together so readers can read the entire set on one post. I do this because it would be a long post to describe all six categories at once, but to have all the answers in one place might be nice.

.

This post focuses on Songs of Comfort

July 30th add-on in italics, from Dan Levitin in a summary article
This category of song provides comfort in times of loneliness, stress or heartbreak, along with the classic comfort song, the lullaby. Music written about loneliness and stress can provide us with comfort by assuring us we are  not alone in our grief or misery, aiding the recovery process. Lullabies mutually calm mother and child, and may release prolactin, while at the same time providing a bond between the two, which is beneficial for the child.

These songs make us feel more comfortable, whether by easing us into more comfort or relieving us of discomfort. Often, it is the latter, and often through letting us know we are not alone in whatever predicament the songs are trying to relieve us of, that we have a place in the greater whole. Sometimes, songs of Comfort may overlap with Friendship / Bonding category, but should only be considered as such if they were also motivating one to bond or forge direct relationship. If one truly wanted to fit a song into only one category, should the encouragement to bond be present, then consider the song a Friendship / Bonding song, not a comfort song. Encouragement to bond in a way related to “love” will be dealt with later but that also trumps the Comfort category if there were two possibilities and one only wanted to fit a song into solely one category.

Sad songs are the most common form of Comfort songs, but so are lullabies and blues. Comfort songs’ benefit to our evolution is that they cause the release of prolactin, a tranquilizing hormone that comforts us, among many other purposes. Obviously, comfort during times of stress, or even just more comfort in good times, benefits our survival.

Audio sample of songs from the Comfort chapter in The World in Six Songs can be found on the website. No direct link was available, but click on the Songs menu option and appropriate page number range link carrying pages 111 to 136. Please note that not all songs are meant as samples of Comfort songs. Some are just referenced material in the book text.

.

Author Daniel Levitin chose

.

My choice for Song of Comfort is

Solitude, as sung by Billie Holiday (lyrics).

Written by Eddie Delange, Irving Mills, Duke Ellington, this bluesy jazz standard talks about a person in solitude longing for her (or his) lover who has left her/him. However, because the singer sings it like it’s happening to her, the listener regards it as someone else going through the same situation. As for my insistence upon the Billie Holiday version, well, let’s just say there’s nobody who knows how to make a song sadder than Billie. She’s got an album titled Lady Sings the Blues, for which she wrote the title track, for a very good reason. I could actually listen to any Billie Holiday song, sad or happy, and I would feel better if I were feeling sad. She’s got that “honest signal” quality in her singing to persuade the listener she knows what she’s talking about rather than faking it. “Honest signal” is discussed by Daniel Levitin in the Love chapter as being regarded as superior to speech because it is more challenging to fake singing an emotion than talking about it.

.

What is your choice for Song of Comfort?

Please leave your choice as a comment.

Lyrics and YouTube/audio link would greatly enhance your answer so readers can know more about your choice. They are not necessary, though, and not possible if no lyrics or version exist.

You can include songs you wrote as a choice, too!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.1