Sunday, 20 January 2013
ELDER MUSIC: Week Days
This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.
Here are some songs about the days of the week. I’m starting and ending with Sunday just because I can. I’ll also throw in a couple of extra songs to make up the numbers.
Okay, Sunday. There’s a fine tune by TOM RUSH called Rockport Sunday.
This is an instrumental that Tom recorded on his “Circle Game” album, one of his best. I thought of using that one but decided to give you two for the price of one.
Tom recently released an instructional DVD to show us how to play a number of his tunes. Naturally I got that. However, when I watched it and saw how Tom did it, I left my guitar in its case for months.
There’s no way I could do it. Besides demonstrating his technique, Tom also played the tunes all the way through. In this case, he performed both No Regrets - probably his best and most famous song - and Rockport Sunday as a single piece.
It really surprised me that Monday had the best songs. I would have thought that Friday or Saturday would have them, but no, Monday it is.
There were half a dozen or more I could have chosen but I have to reduce the number, so it’s down to two. The pick of them, and the quirkiest, is by the BOOMTOWN RATS.
This group is the one in which Bob Geldof first came to prominence. It has been said that the song, I Don't Like Mondays, is the catchiest murder ballad ever. It’s also a bit of an earworm.
When he was in California once, Bob heard a radio interview with a sixteen-year-old girl who had shot several people at her school as well as a policeman. When asked why she had done it she replied, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” In spite of that, it’s a good song.
THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS’ Monday song expresses what most of us feel about Monday, or at least when we worked. I imagine a considerable number of readers don’t perform paid work anymore. I certainly don’t.
I remember this coming out while I was at university so I wasn’t working then either, but I still had to turn up on Monday morning so it resonated with me at the time. Even now, with Monday blues a thing of the past, there is still some lingering problem with Monday.
Let’s hear what they have to say with Monday Monday.
Just missing the Monday cut are three great songs, Stormy Monday, Come Monday and Blue Monday, as well as several other pretty good ones.
Given the choice of songs, Tuesday is a bit of a nothing day. There were only two I’d consider and just one of those has been included. I give you the ROLLING STONES.
It should be pretty obvious which song it is and you’re correct, Ruby Tuesday.
JOE CAMILLERI is one of the most important Australian musicians for the last 40 years.
He deserves a column of his own and surprise, surprise, one is in the works. Joe has been responsible for some of the best bands this country has produced – Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, The Black Sorrows, The Revelators, Bakelite Radio and others. Several of those he has going simultaneously.
Besides that he produces records and runs his own recording studio. Here is Joe (as part of Bakelite Radio) with Wednesday’s Child.
Thursday’s song has a similar title to the previous day’s one. Yes, it’s called Thursday's Child and the singer is TANITA TIKARAM.
Tanita may not be a household name in many parts but she’s a fine singer and deserves to be better known. She is multi-culturalism writ large – her parents are Fijian and Malay, she was born in Germany and lives in Britain. Tanita has been recording for more than 20 years and I regret to say, I’ve only fairly recently discovered her.
It’s never too late to find musical talent.
THE EASYBEATS were one of the two most successful Australian groups in the sixties. The other is The Seekers, but they’re not relevant to today’s column.
In the second half of the sixties, The Easybeats had the same rapturous devotion in this country that greeted The Beatles earlier on. Wherever they went they were swarmed by fans.
They went to England (as that’s where the music was happening at the time) and it was there that they recorded Friday on My Mind. It was a huge hit all over the world. They split in 1969 due to the usual reasons that rock groups split back then.
I would have thought there’d be a lot of good Saturday songs but I was wrong. There is certainly a lot of songs but few good ones. Sam Cooke was in there as were The Drifters. However, from out of left field I give you TOM WAITS.
This is from his second album back when he had something vaguely resembling a singing voice. The Heart of Saturday Night from the album of the same name.
Back to Sunday, and we’re coming down after a week of songs, and that’s a bit of a clue to this song. An even bigger clue is if I mention KRIS KRISTOFFERSON.
Back in the early seventies, Kris was writing some of the best songs around; everyone wanted to record them. He also developed into a pretty good actor. Not to mention hanging out with Willie, Waylon and Johnny.
Here he performs Sunday Morning Coming Down, possibly the best song written about Sunday.
Well, that’s eight days in that week and if that’s not a bleeding obvious cue for a song, I’ve never heard one. Here are THE BEATLES with Eight Days a Week.