November earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Sometimes they fade quickly, other times they last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can never figure out what triggered them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Below is a roundup of my November earworms.

  1. My iPod, in the opera playlist.
    My iPod, in the opera playlist.

    This is my favourite version of my favourite aria. The difficulty of this song and the mastery of this artist never fails to impress me. Others might direct a you to Diana Damerau, (and yes, her version  is good) but in my uneducated and humble opinion Lucia Popp owns Die Holle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen – the Queen of the Night’s aria from Mozart’s Magic Flute.

  2. Lyle Lovett’s That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas is pretty catchy, you must admit.
  3. Bill Anderson Po’ Folks is unbelievably kitschy.
  4. I have loved Lulu’s To Sir With Love ever since I first saw the wonderful Sidney Poitier in that fabulous movie with on late night TV as a tween babysitter.
  5. I have Johnny Rivers singing Memphis Tennessee on an LP. It sounds better for the scratches.
  6. Patti Page’s Tennessee Waltz is one of my favourite songs for humming to myself.
  7. My mother's record collection, now mine.
    My mother’s old record collection, now mine.

    My favourite Bonnie Raitt song is Love Me Like a man – and I was thrilled when she sang it at the Edmonton Folk Festival, but it’s Something To Talk About that always ends up as an earworm for me.

  8. Minnie Ripperton Lovin’ You might be the most difficult of all earworms to dislodge.
  9. Ricki Lee Jones Chuck E’s in Love is super catchy and an earworm I actually enjoy.
  10. Peter Paul and Mary’s Puff The Magic Dragon is my favourite childhood earworm.
  11. It’s possible that all of CCR‘s hits have been among earworms at one point, Bad Moon Rising is the most recent.
  12. LaVern Baker Tweedlee Dee has the catchiest chorus, right?
  13. Of all the wonderful Neil Young songs Only Love Can Break Your Heart is the only one that gets stuck in my head.
  14. My mom had Petula Clark’s Downtown on a compilation record of British hits.
  15. In my music collection.
    In my music collection.

    As a Canadaian I am obliged to have a Gordon Lightfoot song earworm at least one time per year. Rainy Day People

  16. Tommy Dorsey’s On The Sunny Side of The Street isn’t a common earworm. I think it was triggered because I heard it in a cafe.
  17. Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Way reminds me of highschool.
  18. Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer is a classic earworm. It’s repetition makes it really super sticky too.
  19. Percy Sledge’s When A Man Loves A Woman is overplayed on oldies radio, and honestly overplayed in my head too.
  20. Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got To Do With It is so defiant it’s impossible not to love.
  21. Eddie Rabbit’s I Love A Rainy Night got a lot of air play when I was a kid. Now it get a lot of time as an earworm.
  22. Admit it, you love The Pointer Sisters I’m So Excited.
  23. Billy Idol Mony Mony reminds me of time wasted in my youth.







Beautiful loser, good-bye

2016 was not kind to the devoted music lover.

BowiePrince, and now Leonard Cohen. Very different as artists, but similar in the breadth of influence.

(Photo By Roland Godefroy - click image for source)
(Photo By Roland Godefroy – click image for source)

Sometimes I have felt that, as a Canadian, I am contractually obligated to like Leonard Cohen and so omit him as a refusal to appear too obedient.

If you’ve asked me what great songwriting poets I love, I’ve said Tom Waits for his dystopian, sober, shadow world hidden in a song. Or Bob Dylan for the way he lays plain the path behind us and the path before.

But I should list Leonard Cohen. For the sweet melancholy of his lyrics. For the unremorseful introspection. For the inward facing mirror on the human condition that he spun out in simple melody.

It has usually been when other artists cover his songs that I have realized their beauty. And they are beautiful. Beautiful enough to list.

Good-bye, Leonard.

The Partisan

In My Secret Life

First We Take Manhattan


I’m Your Man

Bird On A Wire

Chelsea Hotel

Famous Blue Raincoat

I Can’t Forget

Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye

One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong

So long Marianne

You know who I am



Women classical composers – the November edition

Like most things historical, women are underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them, a few women wrote some exceptional classical music that survives to the present day. They deserve more exposure. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below is a female classical composer I have on my iPod right now, with song links for three songs.


Fanny Mendelssohn
Fanny Mendelssohn (source)

Fanny Mendelssohn (Nov 14, 1805) was a pianist and composed of over 450 pieces of music.

She is part of an accomplished family; sister of composer Felix Mendelssohn, granddaughter of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. married to painter Wilhelm Hensel, and grandmother of philosopher Paul Hensel and mathematician Kurt Hensel.

Piano Sonata G minor – Allegro molto agitato

Notturno in G minor

Das Jahr











Classical composers – the November edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I stumbled upon by accident. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music. And that’s a shame. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are 30 works of classical music composed by artists born in November whose works I have enjoyed – one for each day of the month.


Johan Wagenaar - By Unknown - [1], Public Domain,
Johan Wagenaar (source)
Johan Wagenaar (Nov 1, 1862)

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (Nov 2, 1739)

Emīls Dārziņš (Nov 3, 1875)

Vadim Nikolayevich Salmanov (Nov 4, 1912)

Louis-Gabriel Guillemain (Nov 5, 1705)

Arnold Bax (source)
Arnold Bax (source)


György Cziffra (Nov 5, 1921)

Jean-Baptiste Bréval (Nov 6, 1753)

Arnold Bax (Nov 8, 1883)

Henri Rabaud (10 November 1873)

Edward Joseph Collins (Nov 10, 1886)

Leopold Mozart
Leopold Mozart (source)

Andrea Zani (Nov 11, 1696)

Leopold Mozart (Nov 14, 1719) Father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel (Nov 14, 1778)

William Herschel (Nov 15, 1738)

Ignacy Jan Paderewski By Anonymous -, Public Domain,
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (source)



Paul Hindemith (Nov 16, 1895)

Ignacy Jan Paderewski (Nov 18, 1860)

Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (Nov 19, 1859)

Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (Nov 21, 1718)

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach By Dr. Martin Falck-Leipzig : C. F. Kahnt Nachfolger, c1913. Printed in Leipzig by C. F. Kahnt (Publisher). A front page has a 1913 copyright notice and a 1919 printing year. The image is credited to P. Guelle taken from the original in the Royal Library, Berlin. - HathiTrust record for their copy of the book. Image is on front pages of book with no page number given.Perma Link to HathiTrust copy of book., PD-US,
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (source)


Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (Nov 22, 1710) Second child of J S Bach.

Howard A. Brockway (Nov 22, 1870)

Joaquín Rodrigo (Nov 22, 1901)

Fikret Amirov (Nov 22, 1922)

Manuel de Falla (Nov 23M, 1876) Spain put his image on the 1970 100-peseta.

Manuel de Falla on the Spanish Peseta
Manuel de Falla on the Spanish Peseta (source)
Franz Krommer
Franz Krommer (source)


Johan de Meij (Nov 23, 1953)

Ludovico Einaudi (Nov 23, 1955)

Virgil Thomson (Nov 25, 1896)

Franz Krommer (Nov 27, 1759)

Sir Julius Benedict
Sir Julius Benedict (source)


Julius Benedict (Nov 27, 1804)

Anton Rubinstein (Nov 28 1829)

Charles-Valentin Alkan (Nov 30, 1813)