I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers 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.
I am a lover of all things arts. They are the happiness I pursue. So when any of the arts intersect it makes me very happy, I suppose that’s because it makes my pursuit of happiness a little bit easier.
For example music and the visual arts find inspiration in one another.
Probably the most well known example is Don McLean’s song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), which I did my first Arts Intersecting blog about, but the song Pablo Picasso by Jonathan Richman is the crossover arts song that I am most likely to play on my iPod. I love that it successfully rhymes Pablo Picasso with the word asshole.
Well some people try to pick up girls And get called assholes This never happened to Pablo Picasso He could walk down your street And girls could not resist his stare and So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Well the girls would turn the color Of the avocado when he would drive Down their street in his El Dorado He could walk down you street And girls could not resist his stare Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole Not like you Alright
Well he was only 5’3″ But girls could not resist his stare Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole Not in New York
Oh well be not schmuck, be not abnoxious Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole Remember the story of Pablo Picasso He could walk down your street And girls could not resist his stare Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole Alright this is it
Some people try to pick up girls And they get called an asshole This never happened to Pablo Picasso He could walk down your street And girls could not resist his stare and so Pablo Picasso was never called…
This is may be my favourite, but it’s not the only song inspired by Picasso.
David Bowie incorporated part of the Johnathan Richman song into his own song called Pablo Picasso.
The lyrics for Picasso’s Last Words by Paul McCartney & Wings mention a grand old painter, but only the title references Picasso specifically.
Bulletproof Picasso by Train doesn’t really talk about the artist but talks about the artistic character in a generic sort of way.
Citizen Cope also has a song named for Pablo Picasso. Why it’s named Pablo Picasso I don’t know because it never mentions the artist in the lyrics, but it’s the thought that counts.
Blue Period Picasso by Peter Bjorn and John is interesting.
There is a song by Jay-Z too, but I don’t like it so I won’t include it. It’s my blog after all.
When it comes to western holidays Christmas wins the pop culture game. Easter runs a distant second. Easter is seen either as a day only for kids, or as a solemn religious celebration with not a lot in between for us secular types. I’m not religious, and I don’t need more chocolate, but I have found some music that I go to every year in early spring.
See the music and pop culture clips below.
Gene Autry – Peter Cottontail – Gene Autry
Judy Garland – In Your Easter Bonnet (From the movie Easter Parade)
Here Comes Peter Cottontail – by Rankin/Bass Productions
The Tale Of The Bunny Picnic – with Jim Henson’s Muppets
I Want an Easter Egg – Bugs Bunny
Everything’s Alright – from Jesus Christ Superstar
And finally, because as I said above, Easter is for kids:
As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.
Below are four female classical composers whose works I enjoy, with links to songs for each of them.
Elisabetta Brusa (April 3, 1954) is an Italian composer. She started writing piano pieces as a child.
I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. This is by accident rather than design. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I have luckily stumbled upon while on other paths. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music, and that’s a shame. I feel like it’s a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.
Below are links to 31 works of classical music composed by artists born in April whose works I have enjoyed plus a link to composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, who I think most of us should recognize.