Wednesday, July 24, 2013

...when you're singing a song...

(I have to go into blogger edit to make these videos viewable on mobile devices, but I haven't yet. At some point I will.)
No gloom or profundity for today, just a favourite collection for you to consider. My mother was a professional singer all her life, with a beautiful and rich alto voice. She also had a brilliant memory for remembering songs. It wouldn't matter where or when, she could immediately offer up all the verses of a song she knew, and she knew thousands, in perfect pitch.

As a result, although my songstress skills are nothing like hers, I have always had a tendency to collect songs that I try to know all the words to, so that driving in my car or cleaning house or just bopping down the sidewalk, I'll have a song. Some are fun, some are classics, some are lifesavers. But I have them IN me, and they just bubble up, and I can heartily recommend that you learn some songs all the way thru, and can sing them without benefit of iPod or radio. That way, you'll always have a way to entertain a child, look foolish in public or just keep yourself entertained on a slow day.

The first came up this morning on Facebook, when the screen jerked and I didn't, resulting in an awkward misplaced comment. Sometimes they don't even have to hear you to embarrass yourself, but you do have to get up in the morning, so this one is a fav for getting a body in motion first thing:

Irving Berlin, Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning

The next is a John Prine tune about his grandpa, who seems to have been the same generation as my Pop. When I first heard this song, the line about "put a penny in a burned out fuse" sent me back years to when I first saw Pop do the same thing. The better version is on Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Vol 2 (a collaboration album with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.)

John Prine, Grandpa Was a Carpenter

Next up, because every woman should know at least one Patsy Cline song by heart, here's one that will not break your heart, regardless of lyric content. Something about the tune and the jazzy little piano riffs always make me want to dance. Of course, this one needs a partner to dance with, one who can spin you out and bring you close again, so you might get a little bluesy after all.

Patsy Cline, Walking After Midnight

Are you with someone whinging about how impossible something is, how they will NEVER... fill in the blank? Start singing this and Really make them mad. It's fun!

Rosemary Clooney, It Could Happen to You

I was a big Linda Ronstadt fan in my teens, convinced those love songs were the sorrow filled truth. Forget that trash, she also taught me those cowboy songs were worth keeping. The first old cowboy classic:

Linda Ronstadt, Old Paint

This one will make you laugh for miles down the highway and it brings up that old and fine talent - yodeling! Truly, get Suzy Bogguss' first big album, Somewhere Between, and learn every song. The title track is a great interpretation and every song is for singing along with.

Suzy Bogguss, I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart

Well, it seems I favor the golden oldies, but that might be the trick, seeing as how they were written to sing. I haven't even scratched the surface of all the songs I'd care to recommend, so I'll do this again sometime. I'll sign off with with a direct link to another of Suzy's best and one of my theme songs - "Handyman's Dream" (This video is an awesome collection of country ladies singing, if that's your fancy.)

Remember, get you some songs to sing when it's just you by yourself. Not everything has to be perfect to be thoroughly delightful.

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