Going For A Song: ‘I send my love to you’

Palace Brothers – I send my love to you

I’ve returned to this Palace Brothers’ recording a lot this week. It’s a song that demonstrates song’s ability to take a simple, perhaps overused, sentiment; one you might struggle to use outside of song, and forge it into something authentic to the moment.

Going For A Song: ‘Lola’

Nicky Thomas – Lola

There’s a record shop on Lee High Road, Lewisham High Street end, about twenty minutes from where I currently live. It’s small but filled top to bottom with records, VHS videos, books and old music magazines. Walking in you usually find the owner on the left, behind the counter on which the store’s record player sits. On occasion the owner’s position is taken by a customer going through a pile of 7″ singles. The last time I popped in, a man was stood there working his way – listening to only a small excerpt of each song – through about thirty reggae singles. One of them, this version of the Kink’s ‘Lola’ by Nicky Thomas, caught my ear. I didn’t know it was by Nicky Thomas then. And perhaps I wouldn’t have ever found out if it wasn’t for the owner, his interest also piqued, appearing from the backroom asking, who’s that?

Going For A Song: ‘Hungry Heart’

In Bruce Springsteen’s recent interview for Desert Island Discs he tells interviewer Kirsty Young how the E-Street band’s snare drum sound was based on the snare sound on Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’. If you compare the snare drums on ‘Hungry Heart’ and ‘Hound Dog’ you discover he isn’t being disingenuous.

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Going For A Song: ’22nd Century’

Nina Simone – 22nd Century

To lament that we shall not be alive a hundred years hence, is the same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago – Michel de Montaigne

Nina Simone didn’t live – nor did she expect to – to see the twenty-second century. I don’t think it concerned her. I won’t live to see it either and I’m ok with that as well. Her song ‘22nd Century’ sounds improvised. Over a few acoustic guitar chords, scattered percussion, Nina Simone takes us from the twenty-second century, to the twenty-first, to the twentieth (”the dawn”). She uses the verses to sing a list of tragedies, progressions, achievements and failures; and the chorus to always remind us, from her position of authority, how fast they all appear and then disappear to history:

Tomorrow will be the 22nd Century, believe me. It will be. It will be. It will be.

Going For A Song: ‘So Much Wine, Merry Christmas’

Andrew Bird – ‘So Much Wine, Merry Christmas’

So from their earliest years carols have always been the music of the people first and the church second. Which begs the question what are the contemporary carols? Are they just the hymns we sing in church each Christmas or do pop songs count as well? Is White Christmas a carol, and what about Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody?

Alexandra Coghlan, Author of Carol’s From King’s

and what about ‘So Much Wine, Merry Christmas’?