July earworm roundup

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.

Here’s a roundup of my July earworms.

Petula Clark – Kiss Me Goodbye

Alicia Bridges – I Love The Nightlife

Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug

Carmen Lombardo & Grady Martin – Coquette

Johnny Cash – Camptown Races

Manic Street Preachers – Suicide Alley

Kay Starr – Rock and Roll Waltz

Blue Oyster Cult – Godzilla

Dobie Gray – The In Crowd

Spooky Tooth – That was only yesterday

Buddy Knox – Party Doll

The Spencer Davis Group – Keep on Running

Dr Feelgood – Riot In Cell Block No 9

Phoebe Snow – Poetry Man  

Suzanne Vega – Toms Diner

Huey Lewis And The News – I Want A New Drug

The Monks – Drugs in my Pocket

Village People – Go West

Little Feat – Willin 

Heatwave – The Groove Line

Poly Styrene – Virtual Boyfriend

Ratt – Round And Round  (I almost went insane for these few hours)

John Waite – Missing You

Lifehouse – Broken

Joan Osborne – One Of Us

The Champs – Tequila

The Champs – Beatnik

Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville – Don’t Know Much

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

Triumph – Follow Your Heart

Kim Mitchell – Go For Soda


They’re playing our song – two national anthems

Both Canada and the US threw parties in the first week of July. National anthems were a big part of those patriotic celebrations. The anthems were written and chosen purposefully to tell a story, so here’s my little blog about the anthems and the story they tell. 


July 1 – Canada Day

July 1 marks marks Canadian confederation – the creation of the nascent dominion of Canada. It’s like a birthday, or maybe a wedding. It marks a becoming, and a coming together.

Interestingly, it was not called Canada Day until 1982. Until then it was called Dominion Day.

The Canadian national anthem – O Canada – was written by Calixa Lavallée. It wasn’t officially our anthem until 1980 but it had been performed and sung as an anthem for decades. It had some early competition in the songs The Maple Leaf Forever by Alexander Muir, and God Save the Queen.


July 4 – Independence Day

Americans celebrate their independence day on July 4th. It is a celebration of becoming autonomous from the British Crown. It’s a coming of age party. It marks a becoming, and a breaking of old ties.

The American national anthem is The Star-Spangled Banner, which uses the tune of a popular British song called To Anacreon in Heaven written by John Stafford Smith (is that ironic? maybe? declaring independence from Britain but always celebrating it by singing a British song?) 



Women classical composers – the July edition

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 some female classical composers whose works I have encountered, with links to music samples for each of them.


Ruth Crawford Seeger

1) Ruth Crawford Seeger (July 3, 1901 – Nov 18, 1953) (née Ruth Porter Crawford) was a modernist composer and later composed folk music.





Pauline Viardot

2) Pauline Viardot (July 18, 1821 – May 18, 1910) (née García)  was a soprano who began composing when she was young.





3) Marianna Auenbrugger (July 19, 1759 – Aug 25, 1782) was a well regarded Viennese pianist and composer.



Sophie Menter, painted by Ilya Repin.

4) Sophie Menter (July 29, 1846 — Feb 23, 1918) was a piano virtuoso and composer.




5) Suzanne Giraud (born 31 July 1958) is a contemporary French composer.



Sansan Chien, photo by
Wen-Chung Chiang

6) Sansan Chien (July 1, 1967 – Oct 24, 2011) Taiwanese composer. (I used google translate for the song titles so if they’re not perfect I apologize)



7) Julia Tsenova (July 30, 1948 – April 11, 2010) was a Bulgarian pianist and composer. 




Classical composers – the July edition

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 by composers you’ll find on my iPod, and one link to works by a composer most of us would know – all artists born in June, whose works I have enjoyed.

Gustav Mahler


Gustav Mahler 



  1. László Lajtha 
  2. Hans Werner Henze 
  3. Leoš Janáček  
  4. Hans Werner Henze

    Stephan Krehl  

  5. Jan Kubelík 
  6. Émile Jaques-Dalcroze 
  7. Toivo Kuula  
  8. Percy Grainger 
  9. Ottorino Respighi  
  10. David Diamond  
  11. Leonard Pennario 
  12. Henryk Wieniawski 
  13. Anton Arensky  
  14. Anton Arensky

    Gerald Finzi  

  15. Eugène Ysaÿe  
  16. Niccolò Castiglioni 
  17. Giovanni Bononcini  
  18. Vilém Tauský  
  19. Franz Berwald 
  20. Francesco Cilea  
  21. Edward Gregson  
  22. Alfredo Casella  
  23. John Field 
  24. Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart 
  25. Serge Koussevitzky

    Jāzeps Vītols 

  26. Serge Koussevitzky  
  27. Ernő Dohnányi 
  28. Otar Taktakishvili 
  29. Kimmo Hakola 
  30. Rued Langgaard 
  31. Ignacio Cervantes