Old folk at lunch

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Songs of yesteryear

Anne remarked recently that a lot of the songs we enjoy listening to would be unknown to the young people of today and we both thought what a pity that was.

I decided that I could at least introduce Paul and Susan to such songs so that at least they would have some of the pleasure that we oldies find in the songs that we have grown to treasure over the years.

So I arranged one of my "educational" nights again -- this time not devoted to anything serious but simply to playing some old favourite songs which Paul and Susan mostly had not heard.

We started off with a curry dinner on the verandah as usual and then adjourned to my computer for 10 minutes so I could play us two videos: George Formby singing "When I'm cleaning winders" and Joni Mitchell singing "Both sides now". Formby is still a very funny man and Joni's phrasing of her own song makes it a great work of art.

After that we moved to the sitting room for music off CDs. We started off with the incomparable Paul Robeson singing Ol' Man River and went on from there -- not forgetting Peter Dawson's brilliant rendition of The Floral Dance.

Some other songs that we played were Men of Harlech, the Holy City, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and How Great Thou Art. So it got a bit religious but I am a great fan of religious music. The fact that I was once very religious myself no doubt plays some part in that. And as William Booth said: "Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?"

At Anne's request I put on the hilarious "Blue Bird of Happiness". It is actually a quite wise song but lugubriously overstated. I was pleased to see that Susan had a smile on her face for a lot of it. She obviously saw the funny side of it.

Susan also provided an impressive confection for dessert, as she usually does, so that rounded off a very pleasant evening.

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