Months Of The Year In Song: March, Time to “Spring Forward”

I return with another edition of this series and thankfully we’re now heading toward the home straight as over half way through now. As I said last time, the story behind the naming of months hasn’t been as interesting as I had hoped, but let’s see if March can surprise us. Well, it seems despite March being the third month in our current calendar, in the Roman calendar it was the first, and was named after Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars was important to the people of Rome because he supposedly fathered Romulus and Remus whose story tells of the events that led to the founding of the city. Ok, a bit more interesting this time and I can see how they thought it would be a fitting name for their first month.  

I also said last time that I’d quite enjoyed February, as it had felt quite Spring-like. Sadly March has been a bit of a letdown, it having been so cold and wet (where I live anyway), but with the Vernal Equinox now behind us and the fact the clocks spring forward tonight into BST, I’m sure things will improve soon.

What I was hoping for…
What I got!

But enough of the etymology and onto the main event, the songs. Despite there being a dearth of songs that refer to the month of March, yet again you did not let me down and we have plenty to share from last month’s comments boxes. Not all refer to the month to be fair, but in this instance that’s just fine.

First up we had Neil who came up with Julie London’s Melancholy March. Julie’s Calendar Girl album has been invaluable for this series as it contains a song for each month, most quite sad sounding like this one although perhaps her style of vocals just makes everything sound melancholy. Anyway one to get the ball rolling and an added bit of info from Neil was that it had been written by Dory Langdon, who later married André Previn. The most famous Mrs Previn was probably Mia Farrow but having just checked it seems André had five wives in total and 10 children! Lots of alimony payments there I suspect.

Melancholy March by Julie London:

Next suggestions came in from Jez, who despite having been very ill returned to blogging for a while last month. If he drops by this post, I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re all rooting for you to get fully well again soon. Here are his own words:

Marching On by The Alarm, and two versions of the same song (The Marching Song Of The Covert Battalions) by Billy Bragg: firstly, the original which is on The Internationale EP, but secondly (and for my money, a much better) live version from a gig at the Mountain Stage where he was supporting R.E.M. which was broadcast both here and in the US. After his set, the US radio announcer had to state that Billy’s views did not reflect those of the US station it was broadcast on; when R.E.M. took the stage bassist Mike Mills said “The views of Billy Bragg very much reflect the views of R.E.M.”. Broadcast over here on Radio 1, I’ve posted it over at my place at least once or twice, it’s a brilliant example of a) how Billy connects with his audience and b) how he changes the words to suit current times.

Thanks Jez for the tangential suggestions and for providing the music clips.

Marching On by The Alarm:

The Marching Song of the Covert Battalions by Billy Bragg:

Over the months Khayem has been a great source of suggestions for this series and as ever he didn’t disappoint, despite it being a tricky month to find songs/instrumentals for. Here are three of them: Ides Of March by John Cale & Terry Riley from 1971, followed on by March 9th by My Life Story and March Violets by Andrew Weatherall. Thanks Khayem, all of these totally new to this blog, that’s for sure.

The most common suggestion when it came to a band for this month’s edition was The Ides Of March. In fact four of you, C, Rol, Rich and Ernie all mentioned the band and their song Vehicle. Before I go on to share the clip I’m realising I don’t exactly know what the Ides of March refers to, so time to find out.

Ok, so apparently the Romans (yes them again) didn’t number each day of the month as we do but counted back from three fixed points: the Nones, the Ides and the Kalends. The Ides always fell around the 15th day and in the month of March, the 15th was the date by which you had to settle your taxes. It was also the date of Julius Caesar’s assassination so probably why it has entered into our vernacular to such an extent.

Anyway, here are The Ides Of March, a band formed in Illinois way back in 1964 and still going strong. What a great sounding song, although as Rol reminded us, “Don’t accept lifts from strange men, ladies.”

Vehicle by The Ides Of March:

Rigid Digit dropped by again with his tuppence worth and here is what he had to say:

March songs seem harder to come by than other months, but I do have to offer:
Winds Of March (quite like a bit of Journey in small doses, and Neal Schon is a pretty decent guitarist). Other than that … Iron MaidenIdes Of March and HelloweenTime Marches On (not about the month, but it does have “March” in the title).

Thanks RD. I always think of Journey as being an ’80s band but it seems they were around for most of the ’70s too and this song is from 1978.

Ernie Goggins has been mentioned already but for completion’s sake, here are his other March suggestions:

Unusually for me I have something chirpy to offer this month – Rosa Passos with Águas de Março, which as George will tell you means ‘Waters of March’ in Portuguese. Slightly less chirpy but nowhere near as miserable as last month’s offerings I can also suggest March Rain by Michael Chapman, from his excellent album ‘Fully Qualified Survivor’.

Thanks Ernie, let’s hear what they both sound like.

Well that’s just about it for this month although I did have a late submission from The Swede. Here are his own words:

Here’s a very short offering for next month’s challenge. I’ve written about local favourites Christina Alden & Alex Patterson several times over at my place. They are absolutely lovely and if they tip up in your neck of the woods anytime, I can guarantee a splendid evening’s entertainment. March is a brief instrumental interlude from their terrific 2021 ‘Hunter’ album.

(The tune doesn’t appear to be on YouTube, but you should be able to embed it from their Bandcamp page: )

Sadly WordPress won’t let me do that TS but I’ve left the link. Here is a picture of the duo in their very interesting looking front room.

Christina Alden & Alex Patterson

Roll on April, that’s what I say, because I need some warmer weather to offset the heating bill hikes. I may also have to dig up my garden and “grow my own” this Spring to offset the food shop hikes. Where will it all end? Who knows but in the meantime we’ll always have an eclectic mix of music (this post a case in point) to raise our spirits. Suggestions for April songs gratefully accepted.

Until next time…

Vehicle Lyrics
(Song by Jim Peterik)

Hey, well, I’m the friendly stranger in the black sedan
Woncha hop inside my car
I got pictures, I got candy, I’m a lovable man
And I can take you to the nearest star

I’m your vehicle, baby
I can take you anywhere you wanna go
I’m your vehicle woman
By that I’m sure you know

I love ya (love ya)
I need ya (need ya)
I wants ya gots to have you child
Great God in heaven, you know I love you
(Oh you know I do)

Well, if you wants to be a movie star
I canna take-a you to Hollywood
But if you wanna stay just like you are
You know, I think you really should

I’m your vehicle, baby
I can take you anywhere you wanna go
I’m your vehicle woman
By that I’m sure you know

I love ya (love ya)
I need ya (need ya)
I wants ya gots to have you child
Great God in heaven, you know I love you
(Oh you know I do)

Well I’m the friendly stranger in the black sedan
Oh woncha hop inside my car
I got pictures, candy, I’m a lovable man
And I can take you to the nearest star

I’m your vehicle, baby
I can take you anywhere you wanna go
I’m your vehicle woman
By that I’m sure you know

I love ya (love ya)
I need ya (need ya)
I wants ya gots to have you child
Great God in heaven, you know I love you
(Oh you know I do)

I’m your vehicle, baby
Y’know I love you (love ya)
I Needs ya (need ya)
I wantcha gots to have you child
Great God in heaven you know I love you

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. 57 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 by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

18 thoughts on “Months Of The Year In Song: March, Time to “Spring Forward””

  1. Another hugely enjoyable selection, Alyson. Apart from The Alarm and Billy Bragg, most of these are new to me, which has been a real treat of this monthly posts. I’m not a huge fan of winter here in the UK for the simple reason that I need as many daylight hours as I can get! ‘Losing’ an hour’s sleep aside, the clocks changing last night at least offer the promise of spring and longer days in the light…

    April’s a pretty fertile month for themed songs as well. I’m hoping someone will jump in with Cocteau Twins and The Jesus & Mary Chain’s offerings on the subject. Here are a few more for the pot:
    April 5th: Talk Talk
    April In Portugal: Les Baxter & His Orchestra
    April Grove: Chrysalis
    (I’d like to pretend I’m so cool that I knew about it first, but it was Martina Topley-Bird’s excellent cover version that alerted me to the song
    and last but not least
    Sometimes It Snows In April: Prince & The Revolution
    It was only when looking at the comments for this link that I discovered that Prince originally recorded this song on 21st April 1985…and died 31 years later, on 21st April 2016. Fascinating and incredibly sad at the same time.

    Good luck with ‘growing your own’…my past efforts have been underwhelming so I may be sticking with herbs this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As you can imagine from my usual selections, ALL of these were new to me! That’s the beauty of these series where you ask for suggestions – gives you the opportunity to listen to music you might not normally listen to. Personally, my favourite from this selection is the Vehicle song by The Ides Of March – it could be a contender for best “new, old discovery” of the year, but probably no surprise to regulars around here. It was definitely familiar but I wouldn’t have known anything about it.

      Thanks for these April suggestions – I will listen to them all and then pare it down probably but it all depends on how many other suggestions come in.

      As for ‘growing my own’, it won’t probably happen as there would have to be a lot of investment in creating raised beds etc as our garden gets very waterlogged (type of soil I think). My dad used to grow most of our vege, potatoes and soft fruit when I was growing up but he was an expert gardener. I’m ok at planting borders and potting up planters but anything else will probably be a bridge too far. Herbs though, great idea – could probably do that.


    1. The Cale-Riley piece seems to be going down well. Personally I quite liked the Rosa Passos track but I like Brazilian music from the 60s and it reminded me a bit of that – makes sense.


    1. Considering S&G have their own category on my sidebar a definite for inclusion next time. Having listened to it, not quite The Sound of Silence but it has a very pleasant vibe to it. Thank you.


  2. I don’t have anything obscure to offer this month, though I second the mentions of April Skies by the Jesus & Mary Chain and April Come She Will.

    Other than that, I offer Sometimes It Snows In April, by Prince. Seems to be more accurate nowadays than it was when he wrote it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s more than one mention for all your suggestions, so guaranteed to put in an appearance next time.

      It certainly does sometimes snow in April although I’m guessing in this case it’s metaphorical snow, or maybe not.


  3. What a great eclectic selection for March – and already for April too – the power of collective thought!
    I’m going slightly leftfield here but the first song thing that came to mind for me was ‘Teach Me Tiger’ by April Stevens – if you’ll permit the bending of the rules there. It’s so kitsch you just gotta love it and once heard, never forgotten…
    I brought Mr SDS in on this one too and he suggested an early Deep Purple number, ‘April Part 1’, the flipside to their ‘Hallelujah’ single from 1969.

    We woke up to bright Spring sunshine and lovely fresh blue skies at last here this morning. It’s actually, sadly, the anniversary of my mum’s death today, so of course therefore a day I remember very vividly, but I can safely say it was just the same kind of weather on this day in 1999 as it is all these years later. The sunshine really helped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You certainly do end up with an eclectic mix when suggestions come in from all corners. I’ve fallen in love with Vehicle by The Ides of March. It was familiar but I would never have known who it was by before.

      Yes, plenty of bending of the rules this time so happy to do it again for the April edition. Thanks too for the suggestions from Mr SDS.

      Sorry to hear you had a sad anniversary this week but hope it helped that you could enjoy the sunshine and blue skies. It was the same up here but today unfortunately it’s been wet and miserable.


  4. Many thanks Alyson and contributors for an excellent selection.

    Not much to add to what has already been suggested for next month apart from ‘April Anne’ by John Phillips out of the Mamas & Papas:

    Unlike Khayem I have long been familiar with ‘April Grove’ by Chrysalis. I don’t think that makes me cool, just old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that suggestion by John Phillips Ernie. I mentioned in a previous comment that Simon & Garfunkel have their own category on my sidebar, but so do the Mamas & the Papas much of it down to John Phillips fine songwriting.

      Will listen to April Grove ahead of next time – I got confused as when I think of Chrysalis I think of a record label but also a band it seems.


  5. All my original choices are gone (JAMC and Deep Purple), so …
    Must be something to do with the month perhaps, but none of these choices could be described as “upbeat”
    Real Estate – April’s Song
    Ron Sexsmith – April After All
    Rufus Wainwright – April Fools
    Three Dog Night – Pieces Of April

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks RD for dropping by with another 4 suggestions. I would have thought with the warmer weather and the arrival of Spring (in the northern hemisphere) the songs would have been quite perky, but musicians never see months in those terms I imagine.


  6. Hi Alyson,
    Been a while since I’ve dropped by. Thought I’d join this conversation with a few things I didn’t see in the post (forgive me if they were mentioned in earlier posts). Your featured song, “Vehicle” by Ides of March, was written by Jim Peterik. He’s the guy in glasses singing the tune too and he later went on to have much more chart success as part of the band Survivor (usually keyboards). He co-wrote just about all their major hits including “Eye of the Tiger”, “The Search is Over”, etc. He’s also written songs for a bunch of other major bands, so I thought that might be interesting.

    As for April, since you chose the band name to carry March, I could offer April Wine as the band name for this month. They weren’t super famous, but they did have a few songs that charted rather high. Of course, as a fan of Ella & Louis, you can’t miss with “April in Paris.”

    Hope the weather is warming for you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bill P – thanks for dropping by. Yes I really enjoyed that Ides of March song and when I looked into the band a bit more discovered the singer also found fame with Survivor. Ides of March quite short-lived it seems. I always want to call him Jim Peternick though and had to correct my typing a couple of times!

      Thanks for the suggestions for April – yes we are being a bit leftfield now and using the month for band names too.

      Nope – the weather not warming one bit, but hope that changes soon.


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