"What happened was that Abner Spector was an electronics nut. He took the girls in the studio on a Friday, and they didn't get out of there until everybody was on the track. Anybody that came in the studio that week, he would put them on. Originally, I think he had about 20 voices on 'Sally.'" The cost of the project alone, Richardson figured was over $60,000..." - Sally, Go Round The Roses (alt) was the first (and only) hit for the Jaynettes in 1963 and a unique and hypnotic studio creation. It's been called "a subtle and transcendental epic in 45rpm form" and there is much speculation on its mysterious lyrics. It has been covered by Donna Summer. Great Society (with Grace Slick) . Fanny. Pentangle. ? And The Mysterians and others.
The Internationale, the anthem of international socialism, has been sung in many different ways. The original French. In Irish - Gaelic. In Russian. Hungarian. Romanian. By Billy Bragg. By Alistair Hulett and Jimmy Gregory. As Disco. As Chinese rock karaoke. As Gypsy guitar.
Tim Minchin is not keen on the Pope. Quite rude. No, actually very rude. And yes, it's a single link to a YouTube video. NSFW.
Im a fan of Songs You Already Know. If you make another, could you please make a song for "Song for when you're overwhelmed"? A nice sweet calmdown song. An audio-hug. A song that huddles around you and whispers "shhhhhhh, calm the fuck down. s'okay".
That's My Uncle Kim "A song about everyone's favourite kooky, incorrigible uncle: Kim Jong-Il" (SLYT) (Previous)
"Broadside was a small underground magazine smuggled out of a New York City housing project in a baby carriage, filled with new songs by artists who were too creative for the folkies and too radical for the establishment." The entire back catalog of this influential magazine - which helped set the visual standard for underground zines until desktop publishing - is now avalable online, in PDF.
"Ian Huntley gets his own jacuzzi and a gym in jail" - SLYT song about everyone's favourite middle-market British tabloid. (via lmg)
For the past 21 years, across the limitless expanse of the North Pacific, a lonely whale has been singing, calling for a response. There has been none, and there never will. [more inside]
We're mostly pretty familiar, I guess, with the ol' rum pa pum pum of the Little Drummer Boy. He shows up every Christmas, marching drum slung round his waist, rat-a-tat-tatting for the Son of God, thanks to that familiar song about him. A catchy little tune it is, too... heck, David Bowie and Bing Crosby think so! Let's keep in mind, though, that back when a certain Holy Infant made his first grand appearance at a stable back in Bethlehem, any little drummer boy that might've serenaded him wouldn't have been playing any paradiddles or ratamacues. Nah, he'd have been laying down beats more like this, or this, or (from actual boys), this. I think the baby Jesus would've dug the groove, too. Merry Christmas, y'all!
cementing the link between beer and creativity cementing the link between beer and creativity, a group of actual grown-ups manage to make music together utilizing only their breath and beer bottles.
Sung in incoherent pseudo-English, Adriano Celentano's Prisencolinensinainciusol (1973) could be thought of as an early example of rap.
Fiddle, accordion, and a singing drummer. Seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of Gypsy music from Ukraine, live in Budapest. The real thing. Totally wailing. Kickass. Técső Banda at Kertem.
The Sad Song (single link Vimeo video)
Churchyard Entertainment. Mad woman interview. Cave song. Three extracts from Book of Days, a 1988 film by composer, singer and choreographer Meredith Monk. Her work was explored by Peter Greenway in his 1983 documentary Four American Composers. [more inside]
Behind them on the stage, a giant watermelon. In their hands, little tiny guitars, which they play like mosquitoes on speed. They scat, they dance, they get halfway through the alphabet. Their percussionist has the coolest little drum kit ever, but that doesn't stop him from playing the stage floor and the walls. Who are they? Why, The Five Racketeers, of course! And who's that lady who storms the stage for a little shimmy at the end of the clip? Well, that's Eunice Wilson, and she stuck around to do another number with the fellows. You want more, right? OK! Then let's head down to the All-Colored Vaudeville Show, for some serious oooold-school entertainment.
You've probably seen (and heard) his version of Alice in Wonderland, but have you seen The King and I, Harry Potter, The Sword in the Stone, or Mary Poppins?
It's Eurovision week, everyone! The last of the semi-finals was last night, and the twenty-five entries are now set for this Saturday's extravaganza in Moscow, the most expensive and flashy yet. After last year's controversy over votes motivated by regional politics and entries that detracted from the, er, dignity of the event, the Eurovision voting mechanism has changed. Western countries in particular have brought in the heavy musical muscle, with Andrew Lloyd Webber writing the UK song, the amazing Patricia Kaas singing for France, and Dita von Teese performing on stage with the German entry. You can't vote from outside of Europe, and you might struggle to watch the contest live from outside Europe. But you can have your very own Mefi Eurovision experience right here! Get some snacks and lots of booze, settle in, view the twenty-five entries here, and decide for yourselves. (MLYT warning) [more inside]
The foot bone connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone connected to the leg bone, the leg bone connected to the knee bone, the knee bone connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone connected to the hip bone, the hip bone connected to the back bone, the back bone connected to the shoulder bone, the shoulder bone connected to the neck bone, the neck bone connected to the head bone, now hear the word of the lord...and be sure to check the hover-overs for link details on all this bony business,
The Nano Song. Teaching the wonders of nanotechnology to puppets. This is one of the submissions to the NanoTube Contest. [Via]
Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
Story From North America. A boy learns to appreciate life in all its forms via song.
This single link youtube post singing about assassination in cartoon form cheered me up. (via itslikespiders.com)
Less Than Three... oh emm gee. [SLYT]
The Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive can be used as a training tool for CPR, because it has a near-perfect rhythm for timing compressions, it's well-known and it has a tendency to get stuck in your head. Unfortunately, another song useful for training, with a similar rhythm, isn't quite so uplifting.
It's the commons, our right of birth
And to you who would own everything all around the Earth
Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who'd sacrifice the public good for your private gain
"So, that’s my long and winding history of a little postcard from the Upper West Side of Manhattan!" Suzanne Vega writes about writing the hit song Tom's Diner, coping with its numerous remixes, and its part in the birth of the MP3 music compression format.
The Jupiter Foundation and the Whalesong Project are both organizations which record humpback whale songs from floating buoys; some of their archived recordings can be found here, here, and here. (Warning, last two may resize your browser.) DOSITS hosts a more comprehensive collection of oceanic sounds, with seals and fish along with its whales and dolphins. It also has a couple of nice sections on how animals use sounds in the ocean. (Previously.) [more inside]
If adventure has a name, it must have an electric violin solo!
Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish of Adam & Joe fame put forward their proposals for the theme tune for the upcoming Bond film Quantum Of Solace
David Byrne writes three thoughtful essays on robots, song, and the uncanny valley on the occasion of the creation of a robot which sings in his voice at a Madrid museum: Visiting the robot factory in Texas, regarding the uncanny valley, on machines and souls.
For those still wondering what the hell Joe Cocker was singing in 1969 at Woodstock in his landmark version of "A Little Help From My Friends", this hilarious video"transcription" (with some visuals added to the footage) should help. For purists, the original unedited version here.
"Happy Birthday to You" is the best-known and most frequently sung song in the world. Many - including Justice Breyer in his dissent in Eldred v. Ashcroft - have portrayed it as an unoriginal work that is hardly worthy of copyright protection, but nonetheless remains under copyright. Yet close historical scrutiny reveals both of those assumptions to be false. [Full pdf here.] [via] [more inside]
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the iconic American folk song The Wabash Cannonball was written as a tribute to an actual train, but in fact, in an interesting case of life-imitates-art, the actual train name was inspired by the song. The Lake Erie, Wabash, and St. Louis Railroad Company was formed in 1852, but there was no train called the “Cannonball” when the song was first sung late in the 19th century. There have been many, many, many wonderful versions through the years, but I think Roy Acuff pretty much owns it, wouldn't you say? [NOTE: See hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
Songs that clearly and directly address or reference economic hardships and injustice in America, not to mention that do so in a bitter, regretful tone, don't often become enormous hits. Matter of fact, it's such a rare phenomenon that you could count such songs on... um, one finger? Yes, Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney's iconic Brother Can You Spare a Dime is that song. Covered by a surprisingly wide range of singers through the years, the song still resonates. [more inside]
Sometimes, when you've had your fill of people basking in the golden light of their self-righteous indignation, you just wanna hear a song about somebody telling those holier-than-thou-ers where to get off. Something like, say, Harper Valley PTA. [more inside]
The best-known version of that joyful ode to getting smashed, Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, would surely be the Jerry Lee Lewis rendition, and Memphis rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette recorded a hopping little version of the tune as well. But the song was written and originally recorded by Stick (aka "Sticks") McGhee, who adapted it from a chant he learned during his stint in the Army. And yes, "spo-dee-o-dee" was a substitute for another word, which, though fine for the Army, wasn't exactly radio friendly. Stick wrote a few other tunes in celebration of the alcoholic beverage, including "Six To Eight" and "Jungle Juice". And as has been pointed out previously, the song title was likely the inspiration for the alcoholic concoction known as the "spodi". Drink up!
Apa Tani bleeding tubes filmed by Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf and Paro, Bhutan in 1936 from Frederick Williamson, are just two of the extraordinary offerings from the Digital Himalaya Project.