Got Something to Say

This song started out in version 1 as a rowdy and ruckus song about my opinionated self, for all the opinionated people out there. However, something happened on the way to finishing it over about 4.5 years and 5 versions. I got reflective and basically doubled the length of the song while halving its tempo to end up with a hippie sing-along that might well be good for kindergarten to teach children some good behaviour in life. 🙂

The song started down Positively 4th Street and ended up Where Have All the Flowers Gone, to put it bluntly.

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Great Love Songs #22 to #29 for February Facebook Meme

In late January, I proposed a Facebook meme to share a love song a day for February that contains Valentine’s Day.

Here were the firstsecond and third sets of seven songs I had shared.

Below is the fourth and final set of seven great love songs I shared, with some short commentary for each. Actually, for the Februaries with 29 days, I’ve included a bonus song.

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Best Songs I Heard for the First Time in 2010

Most people do not hear most of the songs they know for the first time in the year the song was released. If anyone did, I would feel very sorry for them for missing out on all the great songs of the past from before they were born, or even great songs each year they lived they would have missed.

What most people don’t do is reflect each year on the best songs they heard for the first time that year. I’ve blogged some of mine, but not all so this is my entire collection for 2010 which could fit on a CD if I made one.

After several years of discovering a ton of jazz and older music, then tunes from musicals, so that they made up most of the songs in my list for recent years , I am back with an eclectic set that reflects my true musical tastes and philanderings across genres. I even have not only one song from the current year, but two! A song from the year of the list was something I didn’t have for several years. I did find newly released songs I liked a lot in those years, but they didn’t compare to a variety of jazz and musicals standards I discovered in those years.

But before I share my list, let me ask you the same question as I answered to write this post. What were the best songs you heard for the first time in 2010?

I’d love to know so please do leave a comment. I can add the links to videos so people can hear what you’re talking about, if you would like. But if you don’t want to do it here, maybe write a blog post like this if you have a blog, or a Facebook note or something like that on a social media platform account you have. It might just be one of the more thoughtful notes to your friends all year.

Here is my list, in no particular order of preference, with videos streaming the songs. You will need to click on the YouTube link for some videos with some weird copyright condition that only allow them to be viewed on YouTube. I hate that’s become a wussie and lost all its edge.

Happy New Year!
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Favourite Songs I Heard for the First Time in 2009

What were your favourite pieces of music that you heard for the first time last year?

I don’t necessarily mean music that came out last year, just that you heard it for the first time last year because it was new to you. If you care to share, you can put it in the comments following the post. I’d love to know to expand my musical horizons.

Below are a list of favourite songs I heard for the first time in 2009, enough that would fit on CD were I to have made one. Most were from musicals as I really got into them in 2009 after my classic jazz year in 2008. A few were one-off takes on television events, though, so I’ll start with one that was both. It was available on YouTube like most of my selections so I have included the videos to have the music right here for you. I also linked the songs to blog posts I did inspired by them, where I did one.

Someone Like You

from Jekyll & Hyde
Linda Eder & Frank Wildhorn on 2000 PBS Special
Linda Eder delivers a loving performance of this gorgeous song with touching lyrics, accompanied by husband Frank Wildhorn, who had composed the song. (blog post)

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If You Were Gay

from Avenue Q
Rick Lyon and John Tartaglia

Love and humour, not just in song but also video spoof. (blog post)

The Internet is for Porn

from Avenue Q
Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Rick Lyon & the Guys
Possibly the funniest song I have ever heard! (blog post)

Mix Tape

from Avenue Q
Stephanie D’Abruzzo and John Tartaglia

A song that dragged my emotions up and down, enhanced by Stephanie’s nuances of acting while singing this song. (blog post)

As Long as You’re Mine

from Wicked
Idina Menzel and Norbert Leo Butz
An often overlooked song from Wicked that I only heard once I saw the musical, rather than hearing the more popular songs from it. However, I loved it immediately, especially the soft-spoken ending.

Academy Awards 2009 Introduction

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway
This number was both brilliant and unexpected in being clever, funny and spectacularly performed. My intro to the full talents of Hugh Jackman. (blog post)

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Monologue Song

from Saturday Night Live November 7, 2009
Taylor Swift

How to trash everybody you want to with class and humour while being really cute about it. (blog post)

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Dark Eyes

by Bob Dylan
Judy Collins
Judy Collins gives this sad Dylan song a haunting rendition. (blog post)

Better Angels

Lesley Gore
The original It’s My Party girl seriously grows up with this beautiful tune I first heard on CSI Miami (compilation video of episode shown below).

I Got a Feeling

Black Eyed Peas
Just an awesome dance song, ’nuff said cause I’m getting dancing! Best 2009 song in my opinion. (I chose the flash mob version shown on Oprah for the video cause it’s also so awesome!)

Wake-up

The Arcade Fire
I heard this song via the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are and thought they had made a pretty good choice for a theme song.

The Closest Thing to Crazy

by Mike Batt
Katie Melua
Pretty much describes what feeling in love feels like to me. (blog post)

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Gayla Peevey
I heard it on a Telus commercial and loved it immediately, a bit surprised I had never heard this 1950s seasonal classic until now. (blog post)

You’ve Gotta Have a Gimmick

from There’s No Business Like Show Business
Bernadette Peters, Julia McKenzie, Ruthie Henshall
This is probably the ultimate example of my claim that girls have all the fun songs in musicals, and the video only emphasizes the point.

Married

from Cabaret
Ron Rifkin, Michelle Pawk
A charming little song about marriage. A compact version is shown below.

Mystery

performed on the show Inside the Actor’s Studio
Hugh Laurie
A hilarious and charming example of how lyric writing sometimes feels like to me, trying to find desperate rhymes and more desperate words that conform with desperate rhymes. (blog post)

Love, Look in my Window

from Hello Dolly!
Ethel Merman

There isn’t a video for this one but the piece was written for Ethel Merman when she joined Hello Dolly! If you hear her perform it with the emotions she does, you’ll know why it was written for her. I can hardly keep from crying at points in it. Probably good I don’t have the music for that reason!

What’s Your Song of Friendship? (Part 1 of 7 on the World in Six Songs)

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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.

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This post focuses on Songs of Friendship

July 30th add-on in italics, from Dan Levitin in a summary article
Friendship songs centre around group cohesion, whether it be for war, or the bonding of different cliques in high school. For example, in prehistoric warfare, attackers would sometimes ambush another tribe using loud instruments (especially drums) to surprise the targets while they were still sleeping. Countertactics employing the use of singing may also have been used as a signal that the group was awake.  These songs serve to protect a tribe/group or succeed in the takeover of another. In the context of social groups, they provide a sense of community and belonging, bringing people together.

These songs serve the purpose of bringing people together to promote cooperation in one form or another in order to survive, or at least make life more tolerable. Applied to various situations, cooperation could promote any of these situations:

  • Working together
  • Attacking/defending together
  • Supporting each other
  • Friendship
  • Averting conflict
  • Forging group identity (maybe not formally but like a bonding anthem for a group of “outcasts”)
  • Others

The evolutionary value is that humans interact socially, whether in friendly or destructive ways. If we can avoid the latter, like in wars, we are more likely to survive and thrive as a species. Our social bonds are essential to our well-being, and we do survive and thrive better in groups, so anything that helps us in these causes are beneficial to our evolution as a species.

Audio sample of songs from the Friendship 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 41 to 82. Please note that not all songs are meant as samples of Friendship songs. Some are just referenced material in the book text.

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Author Daniel Levitin chose

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My choice for Song of Friendship is

You’ve Got a Friend by Carole King (lyrics).

It fits into the Friendship subcategory of various bonding purposes, but I do believe that true friends ultimately help each other. There isn’t any other song I know and feel tells someone they’ve got a true friend better than this Carole King song. Nobody sings it better, either!

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What is your choice for Song of Friendship?

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: 10.5