The Summing Up, Matt Monro and “Born Free”

Well, as this is my 7th post, it seems I’ve achieved my goal of writing “Seven in Seven”. This was a self-imposed challenge (ahead of applying for a college course) to find out if I actually had the free time and the discipline to do it, and I’ve not been found wanting. Did I enjoy it however? – Not so much.

7For me at this stage in my blogging career, it’s the feedback and discussion part that I enjoy as much as the actual writing. Over the last week I didn’t want regular visitors to feel under pressure to leave comments, but now that I’ve done about two months worth of blogging in nine days (it actually turned out to be “Eight in Nine”), it’s back to business as usual – Feel free to leave comments, and as you all know by now, I always reply! By checking out my stats for the last week I’m guessing posts about weddings, and gardening, are not top of the pops, so that’s good to know going forward.


Now that I’ve kind of caught up with the “posts pending” in my blogging notebook (it’s a thing), I’m going to throw down the gauntlet and hand over to you guys, the people who visit this place. I’m always up for a challenge so if you have any ideas of your own for a blog post that could include a featured song, feel free to let me know via the comments boxes, or indeed the Contact Me page. You perhaps don’t always enjoy doing the research, but I do, so as long as it involves a song or artist that I’m likely to have heard of, I’m up for it. (And to the person who contacted me recently about writing a fan fiction story involving David Cassidy and a Princess, not usually my thing, but I promise to give it some serious thought.)

But what to include song-wise, in this, the seventh and final post in the series? Well I didn’t really want to admit it, but for me it seems that blogging has become an alternative form of social media. I have kind of put the more mainstream platforms behind me of late (that would be Facebook then), as anything remotely insightful was always met with a tumbleweed moment, whereas a cute cat video could go viral. Whilst in the car yesterday, Matt Monro’s version of the song Born Free came on the radio, so as an homage to all forms of mainstream social media (and to try and entice back my followers), I too am going to share a cute cat video.

Born Free by Matt Monro:

Born Free was of course written for the 1966 film of the same name and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It starred the real life couple Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, and the making of the film was a life-changing experience for both of them, as they became animal rights activists and were instrumental in creating the Born Free Foundation. If you’ve never watched the film, I urge you to seek it out, but it’s a real tear-jerker in places and I did shed a tear just watching this short trailer yesterday (although a lot to do with the fact that Virginia McKenna reminds me of my late mother-in-law…., scarily so).

As for the song, it’s a firm favourite in our house along with another Matt Monro classic from the movies, On Days Like These. If ever he’s feeling a bit blue, Mr WIAA takes himself off to watch our copy of The Italian Job where the song is played during the opening titles. Lyricist Don Black managed British singer Matt Monro at the time, and made him the film industry’s go-to guy when it came to recording soundtrack themes. The producer of these themes was always, not surprisingly, George Martin.

R-5906845-1406016734-2141So, “What’s It All About?” – My Seven in Seven challenge is now done and dusted so back to business as usual (which is probably around one published post per week). I’ve learnt a lot though, about my ability to put in the hours and about the kind of blogging I enjoy most. Note to self however – Music bloggers are not too keen on wedding, or gardening posts. If the gauntlet is indeed picked up, not expecting any songs covering those themes to pop up (although I do have a good Billy Idol/White Wedding anecdote).

Until next time….

Born Free Lyrics
(Song by Don Black/John Barry)

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

Stay free where no walls divide you
You’re free as the roaring tide
So there’s no need to hide

Born free and life is worth living
But only worth living
‘Cause you’re born free

Stay free where no walls divide you
You’re free as the roaring tide
So there’s no need to hide

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

15 thoughts on “The Summing Up, Matt Monro and “Born Free””

  1. Well done on the seven in seven series Alyson.
    You can see why I usually go for no more than a dozen or so lines and precious little research!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. You know, I’ve seen book bloggers who post reviews three or four or more times a week. It’s incredible enough that they read that many books. And on top of that they have the time and ability to promptly analyze what they read.

    Not exactly sure why I brought that up. I guess it’s because I’m impressed by your recent output.

    Adios for now —

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are speed readers, and do it for a job! I’m afraid my reading quota has gone right down since I took up blogging – Pleased I managed to achieve my goal though, but probably a case of quantity over quality.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey. Writing a personal daily blog with 500 words of fresh, interesting and humorous copy is a hard trick to pull off; the ones I read invariably aren’t – cutting and pasting stuff that already exists on the web and moving it over to your place is not creative writing, nor is it blogging. Bringing something new to the table every time someone lands upon your site; it’s not easy is it? I couldn’t do it.

    That said, I think you just about pulled it off! But could you keep it going for another 358 days? No, of course you couldn’t. And why would you. Your readers (of which you have many) would then have nothing to look forward to – it would just land in their inbox every 24 hours, good, bad or indifferent. It’s like a good steak. Once in a while is great. But *every* day?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – In my first month of blogging I posted daily, but back then I had no followers and was writing primarily for myself so not a problem. I soon had to cut down however, as also had to fit in boring old things like paid work, and chores. Of late one post per week seems to be my average and that suits me fine. I must admit to having done a tiny bit of cut and pasting from older posts for this challenge, but on the whole it was all new material. Could I keep it going for another 358 days? Most definitely not and I do feel a bit bad for having bombarded my email followers’ inboxes over the last week, but all now back to normal – A “Moon” post towards the end of the month I think should get me back in everyone’s good books. (None of this of course means that I am not still in awe of what the daily bloggers do, but of course they have a very different style, so it works well for them. It’s comforting to drop by their places and if they miss a day, well, we worry.)

      Speaking of Moon posts, I did buy that Moondust book you recommended, but will have to finish the (frankly disturbing) thriller I’m currently reading. Next on the “playlist”.


  4. OK Alyson, I will pick up your gauntlet – listen to ‘Woozy With Cider’ by James Yorkston and give me 500 words of concise, witty copy!
    Come on, what are you waiting for?! J x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crikey, the BCR challenge was a bit easier than this, but I’ll give it some thought – The proviso was that it had to be something I was likely to have heard of, and as you probably suspected this was new to me, but very beautiful all the same and full of wonderful imagery that I think I could work with. Concise and witty though? – No pressure.

      Thanks for sharing it – A fellow Scot so I feel as if I should know of James Yorkston, but the “tracks of my years” tend to be littered with more mainstream Top 40 fodder as I am most definitely not a muso, just a fan of the popular music of the last 50 years. (That’s my excuse if I make a b**ls of it!)


  5. Huge congrats on succeeding in this personal challenge. And you kept it interesting and varied and still had plenty to say; each of these posts would have worked just as satisfyingly as a ‘normal’ less frequent post too, with your usual meticulous research – very impressive. Not sure I can pick up your thrown down gauntlet (although I do love that ancient phrase, so would be happy if you ever wanted to write about the origin of such sayings!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – Yes I certainly succeeded in bombarding everyone’s inboxes with new posts so sorry about that, but with a blog, which is very public, I think you are more likely to put in the hours and have the discipline to finish something to a reasonable standard. Not having been at work for a while, wasn’t sure if I still had it in me!

      The thrown down gauntlet – Yes something from the days of knights in shining armour but we still use it don’t we, metaphorically speaking. Fortunately we don’t have to take part in duels nowadays, just take on little challenges, like writing David Cassidy/Princess fan fiction (he could be a Knight throwing down his gauntlet) or writing about getting woozy on cider!


  6. “By checking out my stats for the last week I’m guessing posts about weddings, and gardening, are not top of the pops, so that’s good to know going forward.” This made me laugh. I have had quite a few of these discoveries on my blog too. Congratulations to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yes I’m constantly amazed at how a throwaway post that took very little time to write ends up being really popular, whereas other posts, sometimes about cult artists, get very little traffic – A lot to do with how the net/search engines work I think. My third most popular post ever, which get views every single day, is about the song Jessie by Joshua Kadison – Didn’t expect that when I wrote it!


  7. Congratulations on successfully completing your 7 in 7 posts Alyson! I committed myself to that 55 From 55 series a few years ago without any forethought or planning – a BIG mistake, but I just about scraped through. Never again though. Like you, I am awestruck at the output of the daily bloggers, but one or two short posts per week is all I can realistically muster just at the moment. I have a couple of more in depth things in mind that I’d like to have a go at writing about at some point (one of which came back to haunt me in a rather disturbing way earlier today, coincidentally), but they’ll have to wait.
    Oh and Born Free? Wonderful film, wonderful song. 1966? Really? Unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations to you for getting through all 7 in 7 TS – I hadn’t expected people to check in every day so that was fine but here you are having binge read/commented in two sessions. Thanks.

      I was inspired by your 55 from 55 series so attempted to do a 7 in 7 for my birthday last year – One post for every decade (I included the 50s as had my parents not met back then I wouldn’t exist!). Fell at the first hurdle though. Managed a 7 in 7 this year but not relevant to the decades as still not sure I want to include permanent pictures of myself here. The odd Swedey McSwedeface is ok though so happy to stick with that at the moment.


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