May 06, 2008

Song To The Siren

I don't just do crossword puzzles. I promise. :)

I say that only because a commenter some time ago said that my "world was too small". I just to clarify that I do these while at work. I mainly babysit machines that run themselves, but that need attention every now and then.

Anywho, since I haven't blogged anything meaningful in a while, I thought I'd continue that trend by posting a video.

As you know, as siren is a ghost of sorts. She sings a sweet and tempting song that sailors hear and follow, but that only leads to their destruction on a reef.

So here is Song to the Siren. It was originally performed by Tim Buckley many many moons ago, but made "famous" by This Mortal Coil. (This Mortal Coil, by the way, also recorded the definative version of another Tim Buckley song; Morning Glory.

Anywhy, here's This Mortal Coil's version of Song to the Siren. And, just because I affectionately called the singer (Elisabeth Fraser) "Mumbles", the lyric is in the extended entry.

On the floating, shipless oceans
I did all my best to smile
until your singing eyes and fingers
drew me loving to your isle.

And you sang, "Sail to me,
sail to me, let me enfold you.
Here I am,
here I am waiting to hold you."

Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you hare when I was fox?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
broken, lovelorn on your rocks
for you sang, "Touch me not,
Touch me not, come back tomorrow."

Oh, my heart,
oh, my heart shies from the sorrow.

Well, I'm as puzzled as a newborn child.
I'm as riddled as the tide.
Should I stand amid the breakers
or should I lie with Death my bride?

Hear me sing.
Swim to me, swim to me,
let me enfold you.
Here I am,
here I am waiting to hold you.

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December 11, 2007

For Ted

Meet the Zombeatles.

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October 03, 2007


I posted a YES video some time ago. I'm posting another one now.

That is all.

That's Jon Anderson on lead vocal, Steve Howe on guitar, Chris Squire on bass (playing keyboards in the video), Tony Kaye on the keyboards (playing bass in the video), and Bill Bruford on drums. Helluva band.

Actually, that's not the song I wanted to post, but I couldn't find a decent video of the song I wanted to post.

Alas, I may have to record it myself and, then, ye shall have the opportunity to gaze upon my sublime countenance.

Nah. Never happen. YES is all ye get.


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July 31, 2007

Tomorrow is Yesterday

In honor of Tom Snyder, I'd like to finally get around to posting my all-time favorite Tomorrow interview: KISS. Recorded on Halloween, 1979.

I love this because Ace is obviously a little more than a little tipsy; Gene is looking daggers at him and, somewhat humorlessly, trying to keep the "true confession time" in check; Peter is defiantly having a grand ol' time even though he was essentially out of the band by that time; and Paul seems to want to join in the fun, but keeps looking to Gene (the "Mother Superior") for permission.

Part One:

Part Two:

Space bear. I want a space bear! :)

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July 17, 2007

Patti and Bob

I saw Patti Smith and Bob Dylan on tour together back in 1995. Great show!

I thought it was all gone forever, but someone taped their show in Philadelphia. Here they are -- two of my all-time favorite musical heroes -- together at last again.

The song in Dylan's Dark Eyes. This is apparantly the first time they sang it together, and Bob's harmony throws Patti off a bit at first. Still, this performance nearly brought me to tears. Of joy. :)

And if that's not enough Patti for ya, here she is making an appearance on (believe it or not!) Kids Are People, Too in 1979, singing the s#!t out of (get this!) You Light Up My Life.

Oh, the gentlemen are talking
and the midnight moon is on the riverside.
They're drinking up and walking
and it is time for me to slide.
For, I live in another world where life and death are memorized,
where the earth is strung with lovers' pearls,
and all I see are dark eyes.

A cock is crowing far away
and another soldier's deep in prayer.
Some mother's child has gone astray,
she can't find him anywhere.
But I can hear another drum beating for the dead that rise,
whom nature's beast fears as they come,
and all I see are dark eyes.

They tell me to be discreet for all intended purposes.
They tell me revenge is sweet
and from where they stand, I'm sure it is.
But I feel nothing for their game
where beauty goes unrecognized.
All I feel is heat and flame and all I see are dark eyes.

Oh, the French girl, she's in paradise
and a drunken man is at the wheel.
Hunger pays a heavy price
to the falling gods of speed and steel.
Oh, time is short and the days are sweet
and passion rules the arrow that flies.
A million faces at my feet,
but all I see are dark eyes.

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June 01, 2007

Holy Crap

I had no idea that Johnny Thunders ever made a video for this song.

I know that at the time he was coked up on heroin or goofballs or something. But, sheesh...

Great song. Dead artist. Someone wiser than you or I once said that "everyone serves a purpose, even if it's only to give us a warning". That sentiment truely epitomizes a love of the lost.

Johnny was already gone. 20 years before he actually died. Still young. Hard to love. Love him anyway.

Here is Johnny Thunders in 1978:

Johnny sings one thing, but his guitar cries another. No wonder I loved this song as a teenager.

Ooo, and I like the way he turns his back on us at the end, as if to say "I love you too much for my own good". He couldn't even trust his fans. Very cool. Very sad.

UPDATE: And, just to show you who he was, here is Johnny Thunders singing an ode to none other than Sid Vicious called Sad Vacation:

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May 18, 2007

A post for no reason other than I'm working late again and perusing, as of yet, the Great Unblogged

ABBA version:

LEGO version:

Make of it what you will...

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May 15, 2007

"You Are the Sun, I am the Moo---" oh, sorry...!

Okay, okay. I apologize for that Neil Diamond video. I was very sleep-deprived at the time. Hope this makes up for it, Michele!! :)

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April 27, 2007

No, I'll never say good-bye, but...

Nevermind the legal crud I'm dealing with, here's an uplifting tune. And by "uplifting" I mean "devastating".

This is a song written by Mark Knopfler and sung by Mark and Emmylou Harris, and sung live in Sweden.

It was inspired by the cell phone calls of 9-11 victims.

Feel the beauty:

Special note to she who knows whom she is:

I nearly posted this song several months ago. (And it was a much better recording... but it's long gone.) But I didn't, and only because I know that you read this hyar humble blog. But I've changed my mind.

I offer this caveat, mon amie, only because I don't wanna hear any more stories about you laying on a grave in the pouring rain.

With me? :)

Ooookay. We're clear on that.

Since this video is a cell phone recording, the sound of the vocals aren't all that they could be, so the lyric is in the extended entry.

My famous last words are laying around in tatters
sounding absurd
whatever I try.
But, I love you,
and that’s all that really matters
if this is good bye...
If this is good bye

The bright shining sun
would light up the way before me
But, you were the one
who made me feel I could fly
And I love you
-- whatever is waiting for me --
if this is good bye
if this is good bye...

Who knows how long we’ve got?
Or what were made out of?
Who knows if there’s a Plan or not?
There is our love.

I know there is our love.

My famous last words could never tell the story
spinning unheard in the dark of the sky
But, I love you
and this is our Glory if this is good bye,
If this is good bye....

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March 06, 2007

Closing Time

Since no one's complained about the previous post, I'll go ahead and give you the truly sublime opportunity to hear one of my all-time favorite Leonard Cohen songs.

When I first this song -- about 15 years ago -- I very nearly threw my guitar and typewriter into Long Island Sound and vowed never to write a song again.

And, until about an hour ago, I had no idea that a video had ever been made for it.

There are so many ways to hear this song that if I say any more about it I dread that it'll ruin it for you.

So, with both hands off the keyboard and without further ado, here's Leonard Cohen's "Closing Time":

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March 03, 2007


I believe that it was in 1987 that I saw a TV special titled "20 Years of Rolling Stone: What A Long Strange Trip It's Been", hosted by Dennis Hopper. I don't remember much at all about it, but I do remember some footage of an interview with Bob Dylan from about 1978. Pacing the room aggitatedly, Dylan ranted something along the lines of:

But even if we sit here and talk for a while, you don't know me and I don't know you. Y'know people come up to me acting like I'm their long lost brother or something. But at the end of the day they still don't know me and I still don't know them, and I'm still not their brother. I think I can prove that in any court.

But what I remember the most was a part near the very end. Most of the show focussed on the '60s and early '70s, counter-culture, Summer of Love type stuff. The exit question to the various guests of the program was: "Is love all you need?"

Most answered -- as did Abbie Hoffman -- with some variation on: "love is important, but you need to pay the bills, too".

Then the question went to George Harrison. "Is love all you need?". George thought for a moment and nodded emphatically, "Yes. And I can prove it." He then turned to his bookcase and muttered aloud to himself: "...where's that book...?"

A few more answers from other guests and it was back to George who, reading from a book, quoted something along the lines of: "Blah blah blah and with love all things are possible yadda yadda....and love is the divinity itself, for love is God and God is love."

George nodded, looked up and into the camera and said, "I believe that and I'm s-s-s-s-stickin' to it."

It was only a couple of years after that that I first heard Leonard Cohen's song, "Hallelujah". Cohen seems to have taken the belief that "love is God and God is love" and, as a songwriter, gave it it's obvious meaning: that an act of love is a sacrament and that a love song is, thereby, a hymn.

It's certainly not the first time he's done that. Plenty of songs on his first album, including "Suzanne", take the same approach. But with "Hallelujah", it's done in just about the most hymn-like way imaginable.
Take the second verse for example:

Your faith was strong, but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne, she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew a "Hallelujah!"

So, here is a version of Cohen performing this song, apparantly somewhere in Scandinavia -- probably Denmark actually Germany (Thank you, Misha!:)).
(I like the part where the camera pans across the girls on the upper tier. They all look so dang... Danish...)

And speaking of Denmark....

Most people who know this song know it from Jeff Buckley's version. The major differance between the version above and Buckley's version is that Buckley sings the verses as recorded by Cohen on the album, Cohen Live. The differences between the 3rd and 4th verses of the original, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th verses of the second version, are that the second version is, on balance, a much sadder song.

But, of all the versions of this song available on YouTube, the following is my favorite. It's Tina Dickow and Steffen Brandt with a full band playing live and singing the song in Danish. I can't understand Danish, but this is my favorite version, regardless.

While Cohen originally sang four verses and Buckley covered the five-verse second (Cohen Live) version, Dickow and Brandt sing six verses. I don't know for sure which verses they sing as the 3rd, 4th and 5th verses. But, from the way Tina and Steffen deliver them, I'm guessing that they sang the five-verse "Buckley version", then reprised the final verse from the original four-versed Cohen version. (Any Danish speakers out there wanna confirm this for me? Annika? Misha? Beuller?) This returns the song to having a much more uplifting finish, and you can see that on Tina and Steffen's faces -- as well as hear it in the audience's response.

Confused yet? Well, then do what I do and just sit back and enjoy the music.

Lyrics to both versions, in English, are in the extended entry...

Leonard Cohen's original version:

1. Now, I've heard there was a secret chord
that David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do ya?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth,
the minor fall, the major lift;
the baffled king composing "Hallelujah"

2. Your faith was strong, but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair,
she broke your throne, she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the "Hallelujah!"

3. You say I took the name in vain,
but I don't even know the name
But if I did well, really, what's it to ya?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard;
the holy or the broken "Hallelujah"

4. I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel so I tried to touch
I told the truth, I didn't come all this way to fool ya
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
with nothing on my tongue but "Hallelujah!".

Cohen Live/Jeff Buckley version:

[First two verses are the same as above]

3. Baby, I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
Y'see, I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I see your flag on the marble arch
But, love is not a victory march
That's a cold and it's a broken "Hallelujah"

4. There was a time when you let me know
what's really going on below
But now you never show that to me, do ya?
But remember when I moved in you
and the holy dove was moving, too
and every breath we drew was "Hallelujah!"

5. Maybe there's a God above
but all I've ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya
It's not a cry that you hear tonight
and it's not some pilgrim who's seen the light
It's a cold and very broken "Hallelujah".

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:22 PM | Comments (934) | TrackBack
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