Archive for Music - page 6

Music Friday – My Most Obscure Offering Edition

Music Friday – My Most Obscure Offering Edition

If you are old enough to have been self aware in 1963, you may remember this song, since it reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in December of that year.  It is one of a relative few US chart topping songs to be recorded in a language other than English, and as far as I know it is the only one to be written and recorded by a member of a religious order.  The artist is Jeanine Deckers, also known as Sister Luc-Gabrielle O.P., also known as The Singing Nun.  Deckers was a Nun in the Order of Preachers (O.P.), more commonly known as The Dominicans since the order was founded in the year 1217 by Saint Dominic.

The song “Dominique” is, unsurprisingly, a ballad about Saint Dominic:

The song was so popular that a movie starring Debbie Reynolds as Sister Luc-Gabrielle was made in 1965, though the subject of the film herself dismissed it as “fiction”.  Here from the film is Reynolds in character as “Sister Anne” (Hollywood changed the title character’s name) performing  a version of the song in English.  Note: the English lyrics sung in the movie are not a translation of the original song’s lyrics, rather a version composed for the movie.  Follow this link to see the English translation of the original song (along with the original lyrics in French).

In 1965, Deckers left the Convent, though remained a Lay Member of the Dominican Order.  Apparently her first love was music, as she made several unsuccessful attempts at continuing her musical career.  These efforts were hampered by the fact that the recording company owned not only the rights to the song, but also the rights to the names “The Singing Nun”  and “Sister Smile” (which was another name she was known by) and refused her permission to record under those names.  Now suffering from lack of promotion and name recognition, her subsequent recordings were commercial failures.  In addition to that, the Belgian Government claimed she owed $63,000 in back taxes on royalties from the song.  On a note of black irony, she committed suicide in 1985 and her suicide note cited this ongoing financial strife as one of the reasons for her taking her own life.

Final note: Saint Dominic (1170-1221) is credited with promoting the Catholic Devotion of The Rosary.  He is also the Patron Saint of Astronomers.


Time for me to Mellow your Harsh

Time for me to Mellow your Harsh

I’m always interested in learning about what makes people tick and the reasons why we are such strange critters.  So after a discussion today about why certain people seem to like having an adversarial relationship with one another, I came across an article at and now feel compelled to share.

Here’s the article: “The Science of Sex: 4 Harsh Truths About Dating and Mating”

The article is based on some “research” posted at a website called Barking Up The Wrong Tree, so the “science” may be total bullshit, but the 4 truths are generally accepted stereotypes they claim are supported by research.  Well, they’re stereotypes, so they must be true at least part of the time or they would not have become stereotypes.  I won’t go into the supporting information, you can go to the link if you want that.  I just want to cover the harsh truths.  This is after all a search for the truth no matter how harsh.  So here goes.

Harsh Truth #1: Those things we say we hate about people actually make us more attracted to them.  Based on surveys of women who were most attracted to men that they were told might like them either a lot or not very much.  They were more attacted to them than to men who they were told liked them a lot.  Related: surveys found that “playing hard to get” works.  Just don’t play “too hard to get”.  Also, Narcissistic traits make a person more attractive.

Harsh Truth #2:  Guys are pretty shallow.  Most male behavior is all about getting laid.  Guys are more likely to be attracted to women with large breasts.  Guys will go to greater lengths and expense to impress younger women.

Harsh Truth #3:  Women are no angels, either.  Women find “bad boys” more attractive, and “happiness” was found to be the least attractive emotion in a man.  Women are attracted to men of status (translation: Money).

Harsh Truth #4: Harsh truths #1 – #3 do not change over time (as we age).  They also hold true across different cultures.  Men focus on looks, women focus on status.  Even in nursing homes.

Well they may be harsh but calling them truths goes too far.  They certainly are stereotypes, but stereotypes are not absolute.  In this case, the claim of “truths” is alleged to be backed up by science.  But even that holds that the “truths” are valid only for “x” percentage of the respondents.  So they are “mostly” truths or “sometimes” truths.  Thank God.

Some of these are partially true for me, others don’t apply to me at all.  I’ll let you guess which.  So all we can glean from this is that there are a wide variety of things that motivate people in regard to physical attraction.

Oh and…*ahem*…sex.

So, as I like to say, different strokes for different folks.  Now that is a truth.  And not too harsh!

Now this:

Music Friday – just under the wire edition

Music Friday – just under the wire edition

This week featuring…The Animals!  AKA Eric Burdon and The Animals.  The original incarnation was formed in England in 1962 or 1963.  As part of the British Invasion of the early 60s they had a few hit songs and some commercial success.  In one of my earlier Music Friday posts I gave them a mention because they recorded the song “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” which was the first record that I actually owned, that didn’t belong to one of my older siblings.  Here it is – give a listen:

Probably their most successful song is a traditional folk song, written by an unknown author on an unknown date.  Recorded by the group in 1964, it’s a song that still gets a lot of airplay on oldies and classic rock stations.  Here is “The House of the Rising Sun”:

Like most of the groups that were part of the British Invasion their roots were in American Rythm and Blues, which you will hear in this number, “It’s My Life”:

What were they thinking?  I dunno – maybe you should ask them.  Most of them are still around.  Thanks for listening!


Music Friday On A Monday Related To The Previous Post Edition

Music Friday On A Monday Related To The Previous Post Edition

On a related note (as is most everything I think or say or do), I have a song for you from Dusty Springfield who I mentioned in the previous post.  She is related to The Seekers in that her brother and producer wrote some of the Seekers’ hit songs.  Her smoky voice and singing style made her one of the first artists of the “blue-eyed soul” genre.  Perhaps I will devote a full fledged Music Friday post to her soon.  For today, here is her first hit song from 1963.

Dusty Springfield died of breast cancer in 1999.  RIP.

Music Friday – Special Music Monday Edition

Music Friday – Special Music Monday Edition

Since I was off the grid and I missed last Music Friday, here’s your Music Monday.  Actually isn’t every day music day?

Since we are all seekers to one degree or another, I thought it appropriate to feature The Seekers as our guests today.  Humans of my vintage may remember The Seekers, as they had a few hit songs back in the mid to late 1960’s.

In the last seven days or so I have been spending time among people who have needed comfort after losing a loved one.  To that end, I offer this:

I am praying for your (and all of our) peace, comfort and strength.

The next offering is maybe the most recognizable song done by the group, since it charted at #1 in the UK and #4 in the US in 1965, a song written by Tom Springfield who was the brother of Dusty Springfield:

Finally, another Tom Springfield compostion which charted at #20 that same year:

Final note:  The Seekers were Australian, not British.  So, as they say down under, “Good on ya!”




Music Friday – Palate Cleanser Edition

Music Friday – Palate Cleanser Edition

You probably need a palate cleanser after that smorgsbord, right?  Here something a little more mainstream, the Doobie Brothers featuring ‘Blue Eyed Soul Man” Michael McDonald.  Before he became known as “White Lighting” after , you know, his hair turned white.  Enjoy:

Thanks for reading…err…watching.  Wait… no.  Listening!  Thanks for listening!

Music Friday – Smorgasbord of Meaning Edition

Music Friday – Smorgasbord of Meaning Edition

How do you like that? Smorgasbord of Meaning.  Great name for a band.  Anyhoo, due to the constraints of time this week you get to imagine your own commentary to these three Donald Fagen / Steely Dan tunes.  (As you may or may not know, remember or care, Walter Becker, Donald Fagen and their creation Steely Dan form a major part of my musical…uh…persona).

First: it means whatever you want it to mean.

Next: It feels soooo good.

Finally: Thanks for calling.

Next post:  Palate cleanser.  Bye!

Music Friday – Going Round and Round Edition

Music Friday – Going Round and Round Edition

When I was doing the last post and said that the world goes round and round it reminded me of this song.  It’s an awesome song – actually a love song – by a band with an even more awesome name: Ratt.  There’s definitely a slim chance you’ve heard this before, since it charted at #14 in 1984.  Unless you are what we call a “Young Person”, which is someone under the age of 40.  So here – have a Ratt attack:

With Love we’ll find a way, just give it time.

Music Friday – Depressing Future Edition

Music Friday – Depressing Future Edition

I got the idea for this Music Friday post when I was dazzling (yes, dazzling! *eyeroll*) some people with my vast music knowledge by remembering the name of the artists that recorded this song in 1969.  That is, it was recorded in 1969 not that I remembered it in 1969.  Anyhoo…the song charted at #1 in the US and the UK in 1969.  It was their only song to break the top 100 in either country, so I suppose you could call them a one hit wonder.  The artist’s name that I remembered?  Zager and Evans.  And the song in question  is In The Year 2525.  1969 was not neccessarily the happiest of times – there was an unpopular war ongoing in Viet Nam, Environmentalism was becoming a thing and among the youth and the popular culture there was a feeling that Mankind was a scourge on the earth and was in a self-destructive spiral.  So it was an attitude of cynicism and despair that spawned this upbeat little ditty:


Is this world just a big treadmill?  I does go round and round.  God: (as if teaching us our multiplication tables) You will keep doing this until you get it right!

“He’ll either say ‘I’m pleased where man has been’ or tear it down and start again”

Yet… there seems to be little ray of hope at the end.  Then after it’s finished, it starts all over again.  Maybe it was  just a dream.   A nightmare?  We made it what it was.  And we can decide what it will be.

Music Friday – John Lennon Edition

Music Friday – John Lennon Edition

A few weeks ago I did a Happy Birthday post featuring Paul McCartney, and have been listening to Beatles tunes since.  So I figured why not do a couple songs from the other half of the dynamic duo?  Not Batman and Robin – Lennon and McCartney.  That is, John Lennon.  Lennon’s solo work is not as ubiquitous as McCartney’s, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t  just as good.  In my mind, McCartney was much more prolific and his music had more of a pop quality, while Lennon’s seemed more deliberative, introspective and artlike.  No judgement, just an observation.  Anyhoo… I picked a couple of my favorites here:

First up: “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” (with Elton John):

Whatever gets you to the light indeed.  Next I give you “Watching the Wheels”

Finally, “Nobody Told Me”:

Most peculiar, Mama.  Which may sum up the whole story, sad ending and all.  Final fun fact:  Lennon’s middle name is Winston, after the other famous British Winston – Churchill.  RIP and THANKS!


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