owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 12:13pm on 07/04/2015 under
I currently know of two songs which play on the way women are often described using childish language in songs, revealing only at the end that the song is about an actual child.

Are there any others?

"Save your kisses for me" (Brotherhood of Man) was the first one I encountered; its refrain is used as a regular element in a children-focused music group we attend.
Kisses for me... )

"The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" (Ames Brothers) was mentioned to me by my father once I told him about "Kisses for me".
Naughty Lady... )
owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 04:38pm on 22/10/2013 under ,
Hickory Dickory Dock
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down
Hickory Dickory Dock.

[Poll #1939966]

I'm not used to this song having additional verses, but that's how it's sung at local playgroups. Is this a recent development? A UK thing? A local thing?
owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 03:58pm on 21/04/2013 under , ,
One major downside to "Row, row, row your boat" having verses in recent British usage is that it isn't ever sung as a round in local baby groups.

On the other hand, the emphasis just generally with most these song/rhyme groups is in teaching children from an early age to have common cultural capital, rather than actual musicality or an interest in music. The sort of thing that might (should the song ever come up, which it thus far hasn't) lead them to understand why the "Old Lady" in Little Inferno is subtitled "Perhaps she'll die."
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 09:47pm on 01/04/2012 under ,
Way back when I was an undergraduate, [livejournal.com profile] maxineofarc introduced me to a band called Cordelia's Dad. I went to a number of their concerts over my years in Western Mass, not always with her. Their lead singer, musician, and composer was named Tim Eriksen, scholar of early American songs, sacred harp singer, and accomplished folk musician. In terms of accomplishments, he's only added more instruments to his repertoire over the intervening years.

This weekend, he played in Notting Hill as part of the Tabernacle Folk Festival. It was my first time at the venue, a friendly mix of café/restaurant, art gallery, dance studio, and performance space in a sensibly divided-up ex-church. As part of the festival, there were two concerts - we only attended the first, which was mostly Tim Eriksen, but with a sponsored older and young musician collaboration in the middle, and a first-time public collaboration between Eriksen and Eliza Carthy for the last section.

He began with "Farewell to Old Bedford", one of only two songs he performed which I knew from his Cordelia's Dad days. He continued through a largely late eighteenth-century set, with fiddle, bajo sexto, guitar, and banjo. The last song was banjo, an utterly extraordinary performance of virtuoso fingerpicking, which ended with playing off of the resonances between strings, frame, and his deep, rich voice, resonating the instrument beyond his last plucking from behind its soundboard. The bajo sexto was the only instrument he'd traveled with from the US: thanks to luggage restrictions, it was much easier to borrow on arrival.

The set with Eliza Carthy was a fun, somewhat haphazard one, with some prepared songs, and some improvised from common knowledge, including several sacred harp ones. My favorite was a song for which he knew an upbeat version, and she knew a downbeat one, but when her tune was transposed to major, they played nicely off of each other: an ultimately perky song about winter, death, and time to think of the poor.

I'm delighted we were able to go!
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 02:59pm on 14/11/2011 under
There's a reason I almost never join in with mp3 player memes. I've done this one just to demonstrate. While you're welcome to guess, there aren't more than half of these, at most, I have any real expectation of other people getting.

[P.S. Not because I think my musical tastes are obscure, but because they're somewhat internationally eclectic + I have various ongoing sampler sources which often means I haven't even heard lots of it since I don't listen to recorded music as often as I could.]

You have no idea how lucky you are, only getting first lines in so very few different languages. Also, that there were only four of these songs that I had never heard before. The question mark is for a bit of lyric I could neither decipher nor find online; I was pretty sure about enough of the rest of the opening line that I included it anyways.

From [livejournal.com profile] oursin...
1. Open up your music player. Hit shuffle.
2. Record the first few lines of the first 20 songs that come up that do not give away the name of the song. Skip instrumentals, but don't skip the embarrassing ones.
3. Make hapless LJ denizens guess the song names and artists. Google is cheating. For musical songs, the name of the musical is acceptable in place of the artist.
4. Least hapless LJ denizen wins admiration.

Song lines... )
owlfish: (Out of Cheese Error)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 05:39pm on 14/12/2010 under , , , ,
Soup and Cheese news
The latest in historical soup news: bone soup from the Warring States period.

Last week's cheese in space was not the first cheese in space, although it probably was the first gruyère. Last year, a piece of cheddar went into space with a weather balloon. I thought you should know. I wonder what kind of cheese will be next?

Filk and Eurovision news
For Heather Dale fans: she will be performing in the UK in February.

Were you thinking, however transiently, of attending the Eurovision finals in 2011, especially now that Italy is back in the competition? Tough luck. All 32,000 sold out in a few hours on Sunday. A few more small blocks of 1000 will be released in the coming weeks, and the semis go on sale in January.
owlfish: (Feast)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 11:51am on 18/11/2010 under ,
Songs of toast* and butter.**

* OK Go video animated using laser-cut toast.
** A rapped advertisement for butter.
The phrasing came so easily because I've been reading lots of discussion about the new Martin and Dozois short story collection, Songs of Love and Death. Not critical reviews - early days yet - but first impressions from the Linnea Sinclair mailing list.
owlfish: (Laptop with wireless mouse)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 01:01pm on 24/12/2008 under
For those of you who aren't on nearly as many Amazon mailing lists as I am (three country's worth...thank goodness for rules which sort them all into their own folder so they don't clog up my inbox), the company is giving away DRM-free mp3s in the US and in the UK.

US: 25 holiday songs, one released each day until the 25th (For people with US billing addresses only)

UK: 3 pounds-worth of mp3s (your choice!) on December 25th and 26th only. Use the code "FREEMP3S" at checkout. Can also be used as three pounds off downloading mp3s worth more than that. (For UK customers only.)

Amazon's mp3 download service has finally gotten me to readily consider buying mp3s as an alternative to buying CDs. iTunes didn't do it since DRM-free files cost extra (although I still download their single-of-the-week). My fuzzy awareness of other DRM-free music download sites was that they required subscriptions, with which I couldn't be bothered. Amazon's a company I know, so much as they're already getting too much of my spending on other purchases, it was very natural to extend that customer relationship to music once the downloads became available.
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 04:10pm on 05/12/2008 under
I'd read the advanced notices, bought my ticket, showed up at the concert, listened to the pre-concert talk, but it wasn't until I sat down to read the program that I realized I own an album recorded by the Gabrieli Consort, and I'd last listened to it only a week earlier. This is yet another sad reminder of how sloppy my memory can be with the names of singers (and actors and musicians).

The concert itself, a re-creation of how Matins might have been sung on Christmas Eve in Venice, was lovely. Beautiful multi-part music, performed by talented singers and instrumentalists, made good use of the space in Christ Church, Spitalfields, singing from the balcony as well as in permutations at the front of the church. In places, it was sumptuous.

Matins on Christmas Eve? Yes, you read that correctly. Venice apparently received special papal dispensation to celebrate Christmas early. On the afternoon of the day before Christmas, the service at S. Marco preceded directly from Vespers to Compline to Matins before it concluded mid-evening.

The introductory talk was accessible and sound-bitish, good for context, but implying many sloppy things in its details. At the end of the hour-and-a-half of singing, after a rousing bout of "allelujah"s, the audience was silent. Logically, it was a good place to end, but, not having been following along the program, I didn't want to assume. The choir started to look awkward. Nearly 20 seconds later, the applause began, and then continued in earnest for quite a while to compensate. Afterwards, prosecco was provided for all, which was thoughtful.
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 10:48am on 14/11/2008 under
The ENO put on a silly production of a ridiculous opera, and it was so much fun. We laughed a lot. Handel was an immensely prolific opera writer; sure, he did a certain amount of recycling among all his productions, but the music - and the cast's ability to perform it - was glorious nevertheless.

Partenope's setting is the court of the titular queen, where all present at the court (mostly princes of other places) are in love with her. She's a flirtatious woman, but has fallen in love crush with Arsace. The plot is that a man, Eurimene, who has "lost" all his papers and luggage, comes to court pretending to be one of Partenope's suitors. In reality, he's the cross-dressing Rosmira, Arsace's first love, whom he ficklely gave up to pursue Partenope. Wacky hijinks ensure.

Doing the Charleston, 1730s style... )

I would recommend you go see it, but I saw the last of the ENO's six productions for the year, so you're out of luck.

Cast and crew... )


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