Archive for May, 2009

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Can’t hold a tune to save thier lives.

May 13, 2009

I was driving back to work from lunch today listening to Radio-Canada’s Espace Musique. On came an english song sung by a french Canadian singer named Sheila Graham. The song was Dancing Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin. Nice song.

BUT, what struck me was how well it was sung. Sheila was a good singer. She was clear, perfect pitch just lovely to listen to.
In the bridge, she sang almost by herself, only a small snare drum accompanied her. And she changed key during it! Wow.

In 1954 when the song was recorded there were no fancy electronics to help her, she just sang it with her natural ability. And I’ll bet that when she sang the song live, as she did on many occasions, the song sounded the same as the recording, because she did it in one take. She may have sung the song three or four times in the studio but they took the best one and printed it.

Compare that with the singers today. Seems that if you can’t sing you do better. Or if you over embellish it. Wailing away like a cat in heat. I cannot listen to that crap. And then they put it through 16 filters 12 times to make it sound OK. None of these people can perform live. Lip sync anyone?

I think we have really lost something here. We go for looks over talent, electronics over gift, flash over substance. We are the poorer for it. I’m gonna go listen to Frank sing it His Way now.

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Hold on

May 1, 2009

Boy, we really lived it up didn’t we, but we never could live it down. And when you left with my only son, I knew that I never really could hold on to you. You were like water through my hands.

I watched you leave for California, with you hair flowing in the wind, you never looked back, but you did take my last bottle of gin.

I told you before you left that you have got to hold on. To take may hand because I was standing right here, but you wouldn’t hold on.

I heard your new boyfriend gave you a brand new watch and promised you a diamond ring. I knew you were looking for someone to blame and you found me. But when you shared my life we shared the blame.

I remember when you called the cops. They told me that you don’t meet nice girls in bars.

You told me that you still loved me and I told you that I always would. But life is never that easy and sometimes all we have left is to hold on. So take my hand I said, I’m standing right here, you’ve got to hold on.

I asked God to bless your broken heart, I know this town took it out of you. I can still hear your angel voice, I wish you were still here talking with me. I tried to build us up over the years, you tore it down with a single word and burnt the rest to the ground. Then you said there was nothing left to keep you here. But when you fell down again and I heard you call my name. And I told you to hold on, I am standing right here, hold my hand and hold on.

They found you down by the river. It was ten below and the snow was falling. Right beside where we used to dance under the streetlight, you would close your eyes and sing to the music in your heart.

It will be so hard to dance again, it will always be cold and the music will never play. Our old hometown won’t miss us anyway but when I’m there and hear our song playing I will always remember that you never did hold on even though I was standing right there, you just couldn’t hold on.