Months Of The Year In Song: April, Time for Things to “Open Up”

Thank goodness for this series, as I seem to have lost my blogging momentum. I return with the latest edition a bit earlier than usual this month in the hope it will kickstart things. Watch this space as they say.

We’re now well through the month of April and at last it’s starting to feel quite springlike with record temperatures around here this week. It hit 23 degrees on Tuesday so there was a mad scramble to find some summery clothes. As ever, such unseasonal temperatures are more a cause for concern than joy nowadays, but still nice to see blue skies again after a long winter (of discontent).

Yet again I suspect the naming of the month of April will have something to do with the Romans, as has every other month since I started this series. I haven’t checked yet but let’s have a look. Yep, although the derivation is not certain it is thought to come from the Latin verb aperire, to open, it being the month when trees and flowers begin “to open” for spring. Thankfully my garden is indeed now looking a lot more interesting as trees and shrubs start to flower, making them a lot less stick-like. Roll on summer I say.

My Forsythia shrub now in full bloom

The great thing about these series where we ask for song suggestions is that they almost write themselves. This might not be the series I’ve enjoyed researching the most, but I have really enjoyed making new musical discoveries courtesy of those who drop by the comments boxes with their contributions. As I always say, I couldn’t do this one without you, so thank you.

One of the first suggestions last time came in from Martin and it was April Come She Will by Simon & Garfunkel. Considering they have their own category on my sidebar this was a welcome contribution as I love the music they made around the time of The Graduate film soundtrack which this song was on. Although I re-watched the film recently after carrying out a clearance of old DVDs (The Graduate was definitely a keeper), I wouldn’t have specifically remembered it – but next time I’ll know when to look out for it. The song was written in 1964 when Paul Simon was living in England. The lyrics apparently use the changing nature of the seasons as a metaphor for a girl’s changing moods. Girls…, Changing Moods…, don’t know what you’re talking about Paul.

April Come She Will by Simon & Garfunkel:

As ever there was a fair amount of overlap when it came to suggestions, and Khayem and Rol both came up with these next two songs.

First we have April Skies by The Jesus & Mary Chain. I really should know more about this band as they are Scottish, but somehow they weren’t on my radar in the late ’80s, possibly because they didn’t pop up on shows like TOTP very often. This song seems to have been the one that achieved their highest chart placing, reaching the No. 8 spot in 1987. I did like this comment attached to the clip on the video sharing website. “My hometown band – it can be a bleak and desolate place, but so glad that East Kilbride gifted them to the music world.” A proud fan from Scotland’s first New Town, designated in 1947.

Secondly, we have that musical genius from Minneapolis, Prince, with his song Sometimes It Snows in April. Again it’s from the soundtrack to a film, this time Under the Cherry Moon. I’ll have to admit I’ve never seen this film but it was very much Prince’s baby as he both directed it and starred in it. His character in the film was someone called Christopher Tracy, and deeply affected by the character’s death, the singer expresses their desire to rejoin them in heaven. Understandably it received much attention after Prince’s sudden death in April, 2016. I had only been blogging for a few months and after researching him for a tribute post realised I had totally underestimated his talent over the years – the man could do everything – but burnt out at far too young an age.

Ernie Goggins is another regular contributor to this series and one of his suggestions was April Anne by John Phillips, whom I know better as one of the Papas from the Mamas & the Papas. What a sweet sounding song this is from his first solo album, and although containing none of the harmonies we associate with his former group, it shows us what his solo work was like. Quite country-ish? I’m struggling with the language in the lyrics and sometimes wonder whether I’m just too naïve for the music blogging world, sharing things I sometimes don’t quite understand. Having just checked however, the (April) Ann in the song seems to have been based on a real person, and as I suspected, there are veiled references in there to real people such as Dennis Hopper, Michelle Phillips and Mick Jagger.

Time to mix things up a bit so we’ll now share something by an artist called April. Here is C from Sun Dried Sparrows in her own words:

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…

Indeed C, I won’t forget that one in a hurry, and I quite liked it. Lots of breathy wa wa wa wahs and even naïve little old me knows what April is getting up to.

Now that we’ve moved onto artists with April in their name, time to share another such suggestion. Here are a few words from Bill P:

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.

Thanks Bill P, a Canadian rock band from Novia Scotia it seems. Here is Roller from 1979. Very much of their time and didn’t get the recognition they deserved it seems.

For a total change in tempo here is Bill P’s other suggestion. It’s back to songs with April in the title, and as a fan of Ella & Louis, he tells us, “you can’t miss with April in Paris“.

I’ve never been to Paris in the springtime so maybe something to tick off the bucket list as it sounds as if it would be beautiful. This year the people were revolting on the streets of Paris in the springtime, but that’s their prerogative, and they’re not happy about having their pension age increased. We Brits are not ones for revolting so just take it on the chin, but I’m at the stage of wondering if I’ll ever make it to pension age.

There was an awful lot of overlap with suggestions last time and I hope I’m managing to cover them all but here is a song that both Khayem and Ernie Goggins came up with, April Grove by Chrysalis. Here are Khayem’s words:

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 April Grove.

And here is Ernie’s reply:

Unlike Khayem I have long been familiar with ‘April Grove’ by Chrysalis. I don’t think that makes me cool, just old. (You’re in good company Ernie!)

Rigid Digit arrived a bit too late to the comments boxes this time and two of his suggestions had already gone. First one was the JAMC song but the second was this instrumental from Deep Purple, also suggested by Mr Sun Dried Sparrows who tells us it was the flipside to their Hallelujah single from 1969. Here is April Part 1 (there were also Parts 2 & 3).

Despite his main two suggestions having already gone, RD did wrack his brain, and his hard drive, to come up with these other picks. As he says:

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

His final suggestion was this one by Three Dog Night Pieces Of April. Very pretty indeed despite being quite sad. Thanks RD.

A final bit of mopping up to do with Khayem’s other suggestions (yes, there were even more – he was full of them for April).

Here are a few more for the pot:
April 5th – Talk Talk
April In Portugal – Les Baxter & His Orchestra

As for your Cocteau Twins suggestion KM, I’m going to save that one for May, as a bit of a twofer, but thanks as ever for your contribution. Before I finish I can’t let someone called Les Baxter go by without hearing what he has to offer. April in Portugal – wonder if they revolted there this spring?

Only four months left to go in this series but it does seem to be gaining momentum month on month. As ever, suggestions for May will be gratefully received. I had said recently I was feeling under the cosh having time-sensitive posts to write for series, but the flip side to that is that it gives you the discipline to sit down and put something together when you might otherwise not have got your ass in gear. Maybe I need more series and not less. Will have to revisit some ideas.

Remember her? April Merroney from The Brothers, an early 1970s TV Drama

Until next time…

April Come She Will Lyrics
(Song by Paul Simon)

April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again

June, she’ll change her tune
In restless walks she’ll prowl the night
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight

August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold
September, I’ll remember
A love once new has now grown old

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.

19 thoughts on “Months Of The Year In Song: April, Time for Things to “Open Up””

  1. Thanks for curating and compiling all those suggestons, Alyson. A mammoth task, executed brilliantly.

    A couple of suggestions for May to get the ball rolling. “My Girl The Month Of May” by Dion. It is from the mid 1960s by which time he had given up rock ‘n roll and become a hippy folkie type. The other is The Watersons’ version of the “Swinton May Song”, one of the many traditional ‘May songs’ marking the peak of Spring and the imminent coming of Summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is tricky deciding on the running order with so many overlaps but got there in the end, I think.

      Until starting this blog I only knew of Dion from his rock ‘n’ roll days but several people have pointed out material he did after that – thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I imagine there will be a fair few May Day folkie type songs for next month.


  2. Can I have Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven for the line “it’s just a spring clean for the May Queen”?
    No – how about Robert Plant’s “May Queen” instead then.

    Anything by Brian May ?
    And continuing to push it, the first of May is celebrated with a May Fair.
    So … The Quireboys debut single, Mayfair would fit.
    That’s 3 duff suggestions and one sensible one

    Back to being sensible: The Bee Gees – First Of May

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t ever have many of the suggestions in my collection but I do have everything by the Bee Gees so that’s a definite. As for the rest of your suggestions, I will include the sensible one (and maybe shame you by mentioning the duff ones!).

      Thanks as ever for contributing – you arrived early this time so your picks haven’t been bagsied already.


  3. As Ernie says, thanks for putting this all together so well. No mean feat! And if the discipline helps to keep things going then that’s much appreciated too.
    Regarding May – may I suggest May I?! I mean ‘May I’ by Kevin Ayers and The Whole World. There’s a lovely clip of them performing it on OGWT on youtube. I love Kevin’s rich voice and his quite subtle, arty eccentricity, in my mind anyway I see him in a similar way to Syd Barrett, Julian Cope, Robyn Hitchcock. I know it’s not about the month of May but I do like to bend the rules a little. The lyrics might be seen as either sweet or a bit stalkery nowadays – but I’ll go for sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Time-sensitive series – I’m beginning to realise they have their uses, in more ways than one.

      Of course you can suggest May I – there aren’t any hard and fast rules to this feature. I’ve just listened to him and see what you mean about his voice. We both like these deep voices don’t we – must revisit some of my favourite singers with such voices more often. I’ll have a proper listen to the lyrics before next time to assess them. Rewatching the clip from The Graduate with the S&G song I am now realising Benjamin Braddock was kind of was a stalker there. There should have been no ending to the film, as the police would have been called in early doors!


    1. You certainly can John. I have listened and although I am assuming it’s the same piece of music as the Ella and Louis one shared above, it’s such a different version it’s hard to be sure. Not many big bands like that any more.


  4. Another wonderful post, Alyson, with a great combination of artists/songs I’m familiar with (S&G, Three Dog Night, Deep Purple, April Wine, Ella/Louis, John Phillips) and new discoveries (Chrysalis, April Stevens, Les Baxter). I’m drawing a blank on May suggestions right now but will return if/when songs pop into my head. Previous commenters mentioned Kevin Ayers so I’m adding a thumbs-up for “May I.” As for April, had I not previously suggested this super-catchy late-’90s power-pop gem by Swedish group The Merrymakers? It’s called “April’s Fool.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve looked back and can’t find your suggestion in earlier comments boxes so sorry if it was missed but thanks for including it anyway. The Swedes have had more hits on the US Billboard chart than any other European nation (other than the UK). Very good and am I imagining it or is that a sample of Money Money Money by Abba right at the start? From then on very Beatles-esque.

      Another thumbs up for Kevin Ayers yet I had never heard of him before!


  5. A great post as always, Alyson, though I’ve been a bit tardy with visits and have two to catch up with!

    Please count another thumbs up for Kevin Ayers, I love his early solo albums.

    Just one suggestion from me this time, but it’s from one of my favourite subversive pop bands, Black Box Recorder. May Queen is from their second album, The Facts Of Life, released in 2000. With Luke Haines (The Auteurs) one of the trio, along with John Moore and Sarah Nixey, sublime music and unsettling lyrics and vocals are present and correct.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Khayem – It doesn’t usually work this way but your song choice for next month has popped up already. Not what I was expecting I must admit but I will have to listen to it properly ahead of next month.

      Another thumbs up for Kevin Ayers from you so bound to put in an appearance next time. Much fewer May songs it seems so got to go leftfield again.


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