September 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 September earworms.

Gloria Estefan – Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

Boxcar Willie – Wabash Cannonball

Bee Gees – How can you mend a broken heart

The Impressions – It’s All Right

Billy Preston – Nothing From Nothing

Electric Light Orchestra – Don’t Bring Me Down

En Vogue – Free Your Mind

Grand Funk Railroad – We’re An American Band

Gladys Knight & The Pips – Midnight Train To Georgia

The Byrds – Ballad of Easy Rider

Sunnyland Slim – Be Careful How You Vote

Tommy Overstreet – Send Me No Roses

CeCe Peniston – Finally

The Marmalade – Reflections Of My Life

Loudon Wainwright III – Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road

Jimmy Reed – Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby

Dee Dee Sharp – Never Pick A Pretty Boy

Pink Floyd – Hey You”

P!nk – F**kin’ Perfect

Mel McDaniel – Baby’s Got Her BlueJeans On

Little Milton – Grits Ain’t Groceries

Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong

Jimmie Rodgers – Waiting for a Train

Don Walser – Rolling Stone From Texas

Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur

The CARS – Let’s go!

Frankie Lymon+The Teenagers – Why Do Fools Fall In Love 

Freddy Weller – Games People Play

The Pretty Things – Don’t Bring Me Down 

George Jones & Tammy Wynette – We Gonna Hold On




This is an aside and not a September earworm, but it came up right after that last video. Watch the body language when George uses Tammy’s name in the song. Brutal. I hope nobody ever makes me sing a duet with my ex. 



Lyrics to shake your head at

There are a lot of songs I enjoyed in my childhood that I now shake my head at. I’m not talking about any musical prowess deficit, it’s usually a revisited lyric that makes me pause.

For instance, I was recently sitting in a dentist’s office and had a horror epiphany listening to Delilah by Tom Jones.

“…She stood there laughing, I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more…”

The song came out in  1968. WTF Tom? How did I ever think this song was catchy? It’s an ode to misogyny and murder. Nice.

I’ve been thinking since then about how music is an indicator of culture. What we hum along with tells us a lot about what what we’ll put up with. Look at the songs below to see why.


Tom WaitsWidow’s Grove (2006)    

“…I hid in the elm and raised the bough, that hung even with your neck, And I chased you and drowned you, there deep in the well, And when your mouth was full and wet, I swallowed all your reckless fate, And with your last breath, you moaned too drunk to wake…” Another murder the narrator cloaks in unrequited love.



BeatlesRun For Your Life (1965)

“…Let this be a sermon, I mean everything I’ve said, Baby, I’m determined, And I’d rather see you dead…” Threats of murder cloaked in unrequited love – albeit at least these lyrics later acknowledge he’s a wicked man.


The PoliceEvery Breath You Take (1983)

“…Every move you make, Every vow you break, Every smile you fake, Every claim you stake,I’ll be watching you…” This song is indisputably about claiming ownership of a lover and feeling justified in rage when they challenge that idea by leaving. Pretty creepy.


Corey HartSunglasses At Night (1984)

“…I wear my sunglasses at night, So I can so I can, Watch you weave then breathe your story lines…” Although to be fair this set of lyrics is a bit more gibberish than menace than Every Breath You Take is.


Def LeppardTwo Steps Behind (1993)

“…Walk away, if you want to, It’s okay, if you need to, You can run but you can never hide, From the shadow that’s creepin’ up beside you…” So gee thanks it’s ok  but I’m not going to let you have any peace of mind because I’m gonna stalk you.


The OffspringSpecial Delivery (2000)

“…Hey now, do you see me down the way? Been watching you every day, In my car on your street is where I stay, I know you better that way, One day, I’ll be meeting you for real, You’ll feel bad like I feel…” Eek. Scary creepy.


The Human LeagueDon’t You Want Me (1981)

“…Now five years later on you’ve got the world at your feet, Success has been so easy for you, But don’t forget, it’s me who put you where you are now, And I can put you back down too…” Again, all about feeling justified in revenge for unrequited affection.



Nick CaveFrom Her To Eternity (1984)

“…Ah read her diary on her sheets, Scrutinizin’ every lil bit of dirt, Tore out a page’n’stufft it inside my shirt, Fled out of the window, And shinning it down the vine, Out of her night-mare, and back into mine, Mine! O Mine!…” All about no boundaries and no respect, to say the least. Then there’s the nightmares.


These are the obviously concerning songs I could think of. I’m sure I’ll come up with more as I trip across old tunes in my head or in my travels. Meanwhile I could write a whole other blog about inappropriate or emotionally immature love songs. In fact I probably will…






She writes the songs – Willow Weep For Me

It can be so hard to find information online about women in music. Unless it’s made explicit, cultural assumptions have tended to credited the creation of music to men. Women were more likely to be given credit performing music than creating it. If you look hard enough there are hidden gems in the popular catalogs.

This is the case with the jazz standard Willow Weep for Me written by Ann Ronell. It was covered by everyone who was anyone, and still is.  I’ve included as many of their versions below as I can find.

Ann Ronell; photo by Walter Albertin.

Rosemary Clooney (with Count Basie) and Dinah Shore both also sang this song but I can’t find links to share with you. Sam Cooke did a version I really like. 

Willow Weep For Me wasn’t a one hit wonder. Ann was an early successful female writer for Hollywood films and theatre. She wrote Rain on the Roof (sung here by Al Bowlly), and Baby’s Birthday Party   (performed here by Nat Shilkret). She co-wrote the song Linda from The Story of G. I. Joe, and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf for Disney. 

Ann was born Ann Rosenblatt, but changed her name. I assume the change was due to the potential double jeopardy of being a woman and a Jew making a living in American popular music.

Find more info on Ann here, at IMDB, the Internet Broadway Database, and in her 1993 obituaries in the LATimes and NYTimes. She also comes up in iTunes searches. 




Baroque September

I have no formal education in music, just a keen interest. Anything I know about classical music I have gleaned myself over time. 

The Baroque era was an early part of that self-lead discovery. Many works of classical music that I encountered early in my adulthood came out of the Late Baroque period.

The Baroque was both a long and significant era in western music.

It’s broken into three parts, conveniently named early (1550–99), middle (1600–49), and late (1650–99), with 50 transitional years on either end to stretch the entire era to 250 yearsModern composition styles that many would most easily identify as classical music, like the concerto, sonata, and symphony, originate in this period. Given the length and influence, I feel like the Baroque deserves it’s own blog series, separate from other classical music.

Below are some September born Baroque era composers whose works I’ve come across.

Early era:

Girolamo Frescobaldi (Sept 13, 1583) was a very important composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods.

Portrait of Henry Purcell by John Closterman

Late era:

Johann Pachelbel (Sept 1, 1653) was one of the most important composers of the Baroque era and is still widely remembered for his Canon in D because it plays in every restaurant at some point. Find an hour of his best here.

Pietro Locatelli (Sept 3, 1695) was a Baroque composer also considered a violin virtuoso.

Carl Heinrich Biber (Sept 4, 1681) was a composer in the late Baroque/Roccoco style.

Henry Purcell (Sept 10, 1659) was an English composer of Baroque music.

Giuseppe Matteo Alberti (Sept 20, 1685) was a Baroque composer and violinist.

Jean-Philippe Rameau (Sept 25, 1683) was a Baroque composer. He is well remembered for his operas.


August 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 August earworms.

Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey – I’ll never smile again

Lynn Anderson – Rocky Top

Swing Out Sister – Breakout


Mighty Hannibal – Hymn No.5

Tex Williams – Smoke Smoke Smoke


Jimmy Dean – Big Bad John 

The Captain & Tenille – Love Will Keep us Together


Timi Yuro – Make The World Go Away

The Knack –  Good Girls Don’t 


Eddie Fisher – Tell Me Why 

Ketty Lester – Love Letters


The American Breed – I’m gonna make you mine

Glen Campbell – Galveston


Bobby Caldwell – What You Won’t Do For Love

Culture Club – Time


Seals and Crofts – Diamond Girl

Bananarama – I Heard A Rumour


The Drifters – Up on the Roof

Stray Cats – Rock This Town


The Alan Parsons Project – Eye in the Sky

Iron Butterfly – In A Gadda Da Vida


The La’s – There she goes

A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran


The McCoys – Hang on Sloopy

Collective Soul – Shine


The Four Pennies – Juliet

Michael Penn – No Myth


Bread – For All We Know

Echo and the Bunnymen – Lips Like Sugar


B.J.Thomas – Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

Traffic – Dear Mr. Fantasy



A musical harvest

The fruits of summertime are here for such a brief time. It’s important to take advantage. I’ve been busy by making cherry clafouis, pear tarts, pumpkin scones, and saskatoon pie.

And of course, I’ve had appropriate music in the background while baking.

Broken down by fruit variety…


Neil Diamond – Cherry, Cherry

The Mills Brothers and Louis Armstrong – Cherry

Bee Gees – Cherry Red

Foghat – Wild Cherry

Lita Ford – Cherry Red

Billy Joe Royal – Cherry Hill Park 

The Runaways – Cherry Bomb



Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill

Prefab Sprout – Blueberry Pies

Ocean Colour Scene – Huckleberry Grove (if you wonder about this one, it’s because huckleberries and blueberries both grow wild in Alberta and they look really similar)



O. C. Smith – Little green apples

Dionne Warwick – As Long As There’s An Apple Tree

The Andrews Sisters – Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree

Connie Francis – I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time



The Secret Sisters – Do You Love An Apple, Do you Love a Pear



Led Zeppelin – The Lemon Song 

Peter, Paul and Mary – Lemon Tree   



Prince – Raspberry Beret

Carole King – Raspberry Jam



The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever

The Collectors – Grass and Wild Strawberries

Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23

Coldplay – Strawberry Swing



Jay & The Techniques – Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie

Crash Test Dummies – The ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead



Seancara – The Gooseberry Bush



Bunny Wailer – Fig Tree

Peter Frampton – Fig Tree Bay

Scott Joplin – Fig Leaf Rag



Classical composers – the August 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 two links to works by composers most of us would know – all artists born in August, whose works I have enjoyed.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Claude Debussy

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor     


  1. Hans Rott     
  2. Arthur Bliss   
  3. Karl Amadeus Hartmann     
  4. Anthony Payne     
  5. Henri Berger      
  6. William Schuman      
  7. Friedrich August Kummer      
  8. James Scott Skinner   
  9. Oskar Merikanto   
  10. Ernesto Lecuona     
  11. Adolf Busch   
  12. Jacques Hétu    

    Salomon Jadassohn
  13. Reynaldo Hahn    
  14. Albert Ketèlbey    
  15.  Alexander Glazunov    
  16. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber     
  17. Salomon Jadassohn
  18.  John Ireland    
  19. Leopold Hofmann     
  20. Jan Koetsier     
  21. Jacques Ibert    
  22. Francesco Canova da Milano      
  23. Ernest MacMillan     
  24. Herman Berlinski     

    George Enescu
  25. George Enescu     
  26. Moritz Moszkowski     
  27. Ernst Krenek     
  28. Constant Lambert    
  29. Stefan Wolpe    
  30. David Maslanka    
  31. Jean-Paul-Égide Martini    

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?) 



June earworm round-up

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 June earworms. Good luck getting them out of your head.

the SweetLittle Willy

SkyhooksWomen In Uniform

Bronski BeatSmalltown Boy

Bay City RollersSaturday Night

.38 SpecialBack where you belong

Shirley & CoShame Shame Shame

Shakespeare’s SisterStay With Me

The SundaysHere’s Where The Story Ends

Paul McCartneySilly Love Songs

Patti Page & Vic DamoneSay Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart

The KinksSuperman

Cyndi LauperShe Bop

The Flamingos – Jump Children

Jimmy JonesHandyman

The RembrandtsI’ll be there for you

Atomic RoosterTomorrow Night

Simply RedSomething Got Me Started

Harry NilssonEverybody’s Talkin’

Billy “Crash” CraddockRuby Baby

Mike & The MechanicsAll I Need Is A Miracle

Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’ Mine

Jerry KellerHere Comes Summer

Rocky BurnetteTired Of Toein’ The Line

Little River BandLonesome Loser

All About EveOur Summer

Three Dog Night – Shambala

The Psychedelic FursHeaven

T.RexGet It On

Little EvaLoco-motion

Depeche ModeJust Can’t Get Enough