Another Lunar Foible, Wings and “C Moon”

Since discovering that all full moons have a name (given to them by the Native Americans who kept track of the months by the lunar calendar), I have written about each one as they appear in our skies. To accompany the post I always include one of the numerous songs that have been written about the moon and its many foibles.

Well, I really need to get back onto safer blogging territory where I don’t bare my soul in public and fortunately for me there is to be a full moon in our skies on Monday night. Regulars around here will know that I wrote about every full moon for a whole calendar year (and more) but then put the series into retirement when I thought I had exhausted my list of moon-related songs, and could find no new snippets of information about the moon that had not yet been shared. I was however wrong.

Harvest Moon Rising

Last month I shared a second Harvest Moon song as the Harvest Moon, I erroneously thought, was the only one that could occur in either one of two months (September or October), it being the name given to the full moon that lands closest to the autumnal equinox. Interestingly, the Hunter’s Moon is not tied to a specific month either. The Hunter’s Moon is the name of the full moon that lands directly after the Harvest Moon, which means it may occur in either October or November. The way things have worked out, Monday night’s sky will therefore showcase a Hunter’s Moon as opposed to the alternate used for the month of October, the Travel Moon, Sanguine Moon or Dying Grass Moon.

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As for a song choice, here is one that also missed the cut first time around, but because of all the hoopla of late relating to the anniversary of the release of the last Beatles studio album Abbey Road, perhaps time to share something by Sir Paul McCartney. The song C Moon by Wings was released in 1972 as the B-side to Hi Hi Hi which ended up being banned in Britain. As a result C Moon got all the airplay which meant it reached No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. Paul explained that the song’s title is the opposite of the ’60s expression L-7, meaning a square or an unhip person. A C Moon forms a circle, which is said be cool.

C Moon by Wings:

As for the band Wings, although they never graced the walls of my bedroom in the early ’70s, they were a staple of my teenage years, and I loved pretty much everything they released. The album Band On The Run remains one of my all-time favourites. I had been too young for Beatlemania, but right at the time I was spending most of my free time listening to music, along came Wings, and from the Lennon & McCartney songwriting partnership I was always fondest of the McCartney-led songs anyway (although I only realised that in later life).

I imagine everyone who wanted to, has seen it by now, but I do love the edition of Carpool Karaoke that starred Sir Paul. He may have written a song about people who were “cool” in 1972 but now he is the one who sometimes comes across as a bit “uncool”. He is aged 77 however, and a legend, so I will give him a pass. If you watch until 16:00 you will see the surprise on those pub-goers faces when the curtains pull back – What a day they must have had.

Look out for that full moon on Monday night.

Until next time….

C Moon Lyrics
(Song by Paul McCartney/Linda McCartney)

C Moon C Moon C Moon Is She.
C Moon C Moon C Moon To Me.

How Come No One Older Than Me
Ever Seems To Understand The Things I Wanna To Do?
It Will Be L7 And I’d Never Get To Heaven
If I Filled My Head With Glue
What’s It All To You?

C Moon, C Moon, C Moon Is She
C Moon, C Moon, C Moon To Me

Bobby Lived With Patty
But They Never Told Her Daddy
What Their Love Was All About
She Could Tell Her Lover That He Thought But
She Never Was The Type To Let It Out
What’s It All About?

C Moon, C Moon, Oh C Moon Are We
C Moon, C Moon, C Moon Are We

How Come No One Older Than Me
Ever Seems To Understand The Things I Wanna To Do?
It Will Be L7 And I’d Never Get To Heaven
If I Filled My Head With Glue
What’s It All To You?

C Moon, C Moon, C Moon Is She
C Moon, C Moon, C Moon To Me

SAMCRO, Audra Mae and “Forever Young”

Well, I’ve been residing in the doghouse since last weekend’s rather lengthy moany and whingey post (now heavily edited). Nothing like experiencing the embarrassment of having put your thoughts out there in a public forum however for doghouseyou to see sense, and start counting your blessings. I have many, many things in my life to be grateful for, so in a roundabout way, that post was the kickstart I needed to reinject some positivity into my life. Apologies to those of you who found it in their inbox, as this blog is supposed to simply be where I write about, and share, “the tracks of my years” – Perhaps I need another blog for the ranty stuff, but as I already have another one which is an homage to my favourite Scottish author, it could all get a bit complicated.

Anyway, onward and upward. What have I been listening to this week? I imagine I’m not alone in finding that we are living in a bit of a golden age for television drama – What with streaming and on-demand services, as well as the mainstream channels, the discerning viewer is rarely stuck for something great to watch. I am noticing however that cinema audiences are down (around here anyway), and both our local venues have recently slashed their prices. Good news for those of us who still like the excitement of watching our films on the big screen but probably not good for the art form long-term.

This last year alone we have watched Peaky Blinders, Carnival Row, The Boys, Summer of Rockets, Years and Years, Killing Eve, Black Mirror, Chernobyl, Gentleman Jack and Les Misérables to name but a few. Seems like all I do is watch telly, but no, our habit is to finish up whatever we’re doing by 9pm, after which we reconvene in the “living room” (the least-used room in the house nowadays, so no longer a very apt name) and settle down for our nightly fix of the “goggle-box”, as it used to be called.

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This week we seemed to be all caught up with everything that had been recorded and nothing new to tickle our fancy on Netflix or elsewhere, so we decided to revisit a series we have already watched, Sons of Anarchy, which follows the lives of a close-knit, outlaw motorcycle club (SAMCRO), operating in a fictional town in Northern California. I’ve written about it around here before, as I became really fond of the theme song This Life performed by Curtis Stigers and the Forest Rangers. As I said last time, probably like most fans, I live in law-abiding “nice-world” where the worst crime I ever commit is to park illegally, or perhaps accidentally speed in a built-up area. Our modern day lives are so controlled and safe that it is sometimes necessary to experience something a bit more edgy from the other side of the tracks, albeit from the comfort of our living rooms.

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In the penultimate episode of Season 1, a particularly poignant scene was accompanied by a fine version of the song Forever Young written by Bob Dylan, and I was immediately smitten by it. The singer this time was American Audra Mae, who it seems is a great-niece of Judy Garland which might explain the fine pipes. Here is the non-acapella version of the song, but in the show the alternative version was used.

Forever Young by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers:

Forever Young was originally recorded by Bob Dylan with The Band in November 1973 and first appeared on his album Planet Waves. Dylan had four children between 1966-1969, including his youngest Jakob, and the song was intended as an uplifting message from a parent to a child. The song has endured as one of Dylan’s classics.

As for the show Sons of Anarchy, it took me quite some time to realise that the lead character, played by Charlie Hunnam, was a graduate of British kids telly, first finding his feet on the BBC show Byker Grover along with fellow Geordies Ant & Dec! He next popped up on the award-winning Queer as Folk along with the now seemingly omnipresent Aiden Gillen. Perhaps to those across the pond his accent still has a tinge of Geordie, but he seems to have made the leap from Byker to biker very successfully. I am convinced, and as the anti-hero of the show I have become quite smitten with him, as well as the song featured above.

So, “What’s It All About?” – Again apologies for my rant last time, but hopefully now back on track (no pun intended). Having so much great telly around at the moment means that whenever we want to side-step the real world for a time, it’s right there at our fingertips, and with so many great soundtracks, always something for the discerning music-lover as well.

Until next time…

Forever Young Lyrics
(Song by Bob Dylan)

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

A Moan, A Whinge and A Bit of Cathartic Blogging (with Denis Lavant on Accordion)

For anyone who stumbled upon the original moany and whingey post here, apologies. I need to move on and have now realised that with all that is happening in the world at the moment, we are much more susceptible to negative thinking and it can get out of hand.

It’s late September however, and as Rod Stewart sang back in 1971, “I really should be back at school” (or college in my case). Not to be this year it seems, for several reasons, but hopefully I can pick up where I left off somewhere down the line.

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Maggie May by Rod Stewart:

The great thing about having written the original post was that it helped put everything into perspective – I have now given myself a good talking-to and come to realise that negativity breeds negativity. With all that is happening politically, environmentally and economically at the moment, it’s tough to remain upbeat and optimistic, but we must. To have been born in the latter half of the 20th century (tail end of the baby-boomers), I have had a charmed life. How dare I feel sorry for myself.

Time to draw a line under the moaning and whingeing around here and start again. This blog is supposed to be the place where I revisit the tracks of my years so time to get back to that aim. I am perilously close now to having published 300 posts around here and I want to reach that milestone.

I have a bizarre music clip up my sleeve that I’ve long wanted to share but never had an appropriate time to do so. It was billed “The Interval” and came right in the middle of a French fantasy-drama film called Holy Motors starring Denis Lavant. As this post is in effect my interval before I get back to normal blogging, quite apt really. In case you are wondering, yes that’s Denis Lavant on the accordion. Hope you enjoy it as much as I always do.

Until next time…

Tin Pan Alley, Leon Redbone and “Shine On Harvest Moon”

Since discovering that all full moons have a name (given to them by the Native Americans who kept track of the months by the lunar calendar), I have written about each one as they appear in our skies. To accompany the post I always include one of the numerous songs that have been written about the moon and its many foibles.

Well, I thought I was done with “moon posts” as I had kind of run out of familiar moon-related songs, but we had a beautiful Harvest Moon in our skies this last weekend and it made me want to revisit this series. I wrote about the Harvest Moon last year and shared the Neil Young song of the same name (link here) but I have discovered another relevant song, which I think, deserves to be featured.

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First of all a bit of trivia – The Harvest Moon can occur in either September or October, as it’s the name given to the full moon that lands closest to the autumnal equinox. This year we shall reach the equinox, that pivot point in the year after which we can expect more hours of darkness than light in our days, on Monday the 23rd Sept. If it hadn’t landed that way, the full moon would have been called the Corn Moon. A second foible of this month’s full moon was that it was at apogee, the most distant point in its elliptical orbit around Earth, so was called a “mini moon”.  Apparently it should have seemed a bit dimmer than usual, but when I looked out the back door on Saturday night it seemed anything but. Here is my own picture taken quickly on my phone, so not a brilliant image, but if you were lucky enough to see it in person you will probably agree it was a bobby-dazzler!

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The Harvest Moon

But back to the song, after doing a bit of googling and YouTubing (another new verb), I found this great clip where Leon Redbone, who sadly died earlier on this year, performs Shine On Harvest Moon. Mr Redbone was a new find for me, but I do love his quirky delivery and very unique style. He specialised in jazz, blues and Tin Pan Alley classics such as this one, and his signature style was the panama hat, dark glasses and black tie. Of Armenian origin, he was born in Cyprus but then moved with his family first to London and then Canada where he began performing in public at Toronto nightclubs and folk festivals. After a mention from Bob Dylan in an early ’70s interview, he was featured in Rolling Stone magazine, a full year before he had a recording contract. He died in May this year at the very young (from where I’m sitting) sounding age of 69.

Shine On Harvest Moon by Leon Redbone:

The song Shine On Harvest Moon was written way back in the early 1900s and credited to the married vaudeville team of Nora Hayes and Jack Norworth. It was one of a series of moon-related Tin Pan Alley songs from the era and debuted in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1908 to great acclaim, later becoming a popular standard.

It occurred to me that although I have often heard the term Tin Pan Alley used, I have never really taken the time to investigate whether it is/was an actual place. It seems it was, although not called that in reality, but simply the section of West 28th Street in Manhattan, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, where a number of music publishers set up shop from 1885 onward. Once the phonograph, radio, and motion pictures took over from sheet music as the driving force behind American popular music, Tin Pan Alley lost out in importance, and with the rise of rock & roll, the Brill Building became the new home for music industry offices and studios. Some of the most popular American songs of the late ’50s/early ’60s were written in the Brill Building and it is considered to have been the centre of the American music industry at that time.

So, “What’s It All About?” – Didn’t think I’d return with another “moon-post” but still some new things to discover about our only satellite and still a Corn Moon to write about at some point as that’s the only one to date that has been omitted entirely – All down to the timing of the Autumnal Equinox it seems. With a lunar cycle that is shorter than the average calendar month though, I’ll get there in the end.

As for Leon Redbone, what a fine new discovery to have made, but such a shame it had to be just after his death.

RIP Leon.

Shine On Harvest Moon Lyrics
(Song by Nora Bayes/Jack Norworth)

The night was mighty dark so you could hardly see, cause the moon refused to shine
There’s a couple sittin ‘neath the willow tree, for love, they pine
Little maid was kinda ‘fraid of darkness, so she said I think I’ll go
Boy began to sigh, looked up in the sky and told the moon his little tale of woe, oh

Shine on, shine on harvest moon up in the sky
I ain’t had no lovin’ since January, February, June, or July
Snow time ain’t no time to sit outdoors and spoon
Shine on, shine on harvest moon for me ‘n’ my gal

Shine on harvest moon way up there in the sky
I ain’t had no lovin’ since January, February, June, AND July? Now, looka
Snow Time ain’t time no time to stay outdoors and spoon
So shine on Harvest moon

The night was mighty dark so you could hardly see, cause the moon refused to shine
There’s a couple sittin ‘neath the willow tree, for love, they pine
Little maid was kinda ‘fraid of darkness, so she said I think I’ll go
Boy began to sigh, looked up in the sky and told the moon his little tale of woe, oh

Shine on, shine on harvest moon(shine on, shine on) Up in the sky?
I ain’t had no lovin’ since January, February, June, or July
Snow Time ain’t no time to stay outdoors and spoon
So shine on, shine on harvest moon for me ‘n’ my gal, for me ‘n my gal

Earworm of the Week #3 – Elvis, Doc Pomus and “She’s Not You”

Not sure how this has come about, but for over a week now the slow build-up to She’s Not You by Elvis Presley has been spinning around in my head. He starts way down in his boots with the “her hair is soft” part, and then gradually climbs up the scale by the end of the first verse. I’ve probably described that badly, and yet again I don’t think this part of the song is called “the hook”, but it’s the part that’s formed an earworm that’s for sure.

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I’ve written about Elvis often around here as the very first album bought with my own money (aged 9) was indeed an Elvis one, and although they are oft derided, I did love watching his antics in all those happy-go-lucky movies made during the 1960s, when his manager “Colonel” (a made-up title much like General Tom Thumb) Tom Parker took him off the road, and he became permanently holed up in Hollywood. Had Elvis been a stronger character this would probably never have happened, but he was a polite southern boy who had been brought up to respect his elders, so he did as he was told and pretty much killed his credibility for much of the decade. Fortunately, the triumph that was the ’68 Comeback Special got him out performing in front of live audiences again, and his career entered it’s third stage – The Las Vegas residencies. Again, the Colonel took care of business and as we all now know, this turn of events didn’t end well for our boy, but watching him in this clip he certainly was a fine looking young man.

She’s Not You by Elvis Presley:

As for the song, there’s not a lot I can say about it other than it was one of many Elvis hits to reach the top of the UK Singles Chart, in 1962 in this case. It was however written by Doc Pomus (aka Jerome Solon Felder) in collaboration with Leiber and Stoller who between them were responsible for many of the songs we of a certain age grew up with. Looking at their respective songwriting credits, as well as writing many, many songs for Elvis, they also wrote for The Coasters, Bobby Darin, Dion and the Belmonts, The Drifters, Perry Como and Andy Williams (amongst others).

There is so much that could be written about Elvis but most of it is already well documented (even in this blog), so I won’t bore you, but here is something new I’ve discovered – The name Presley is a common one here in the North of Scotland and Elvis’ family do have roots in Aberdeenshire. The name in our neck of the woods is always pronounced Prez-ley, but apparently the correct pronunciation of Elvis’ name is Press-ley. I think I’ve been getting it wrong my whole life. Also, we know his middle name was Aaron but it turns out he was given the name Elvis Aron at birth to tie in with his stillborn twin brother’s name Jesse Garon. Down the line it was decided to change it to the more biblical Aaron. As I often say around here, every day’s a schoolday.

It occurred to me that the subject matter of this song is not an unusual one. How many times have we had our hearts broken because the boy we really want to dance with, picks another girl? I remember crying all the way home from a local dance when I was a teenager because when it came to the slow dance at the end of the night, the object of my affection danced with someone else and I had to dance with the friend. To quote Elvis, or more specifically Doc Pomus, “he’s not you”. I even wrote a poem about it.

A Saturday Night Tragedy at Age 16

Last dance of the night
Please let him choose me

The band starts to play…
Next few seconds are key

Play it cool, not needy
Eyes to the left, don’t plea

He breaks from his gang
Enters the melee

But tragedy strikes
He approaches Marie!

She knows how I feel
So how can this be

Tears prick my eyes
From the dance floor I flee

And of course this reminds me of another 1962 Elvis song by Doc Pomus, (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame which covered just the same dilemma – How we were ever expected to find “the one” when we all seemed to be dancing with the WRONG people is a mystery, but who knows, maybe at the end of the day, Mr Wrong turns out to be Mr Right.

Until next time….

She’s Not You Lyrics
(Song by Doc Pomus/Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)

Her hair is soft and her eyes are oh so blue
She’s all the things a girl should be,
but she’s not you.

She knows just how to make me laugh when I feel blue
She’s ev’rything a man could want,
but she’s not you.

And when we’re dancing
It almost feels the same
I’ve got to stop myself from
Whisp’ring your name

She even kisses me like you used to do.
And it’s just breaking my heart
’cause she’s not you.

Communing With Nature, Bill Withers and “Lovely Day”

Well, I find myself lost for words, which is not the ideal situation for a blogger to be in. Looking up the phrase “lost for words” in the dictionary of idioms, I find it defined as such:

Unable to speak or articulate a coherent thought, typically because one is in shock.

I’m pretty sure my fellow bloggers here in the UK will know how this mental state has come about and the way things are going it might be some time before anything resembling normality returns. Speaking of normality, I have almost forgotten what that feels like, as for the last few years our successive governments have been in a state of disarray and the chaos has now ramped up to a whole new level. Yes, David Cameron was looking for a quick fix to a particulary nasty itch, and his solution hasn’t done the country any favours. Where is he now, as Danny Dyer asked on Saturday night telly. About to publish his memoirs apparently – It beggars belief.

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The Prorogation Ceremony – A new one on me

Anyway, it’s been too long since I last posted anything, so all the ideas I’ve been mulling over have expired. I still have the long list of “posts pending” to tackle, but they all require a fair bit of research, so for another day. To kick start the blogging juices, it’ll have to be another picture post. It’s been a bit of a wet summer with us but this morning was lovely, both sunny and still, so for the first time this year I had my breakfast outside.

What with next door’s apple tree hovering over me, the second flowering of the patio rose (I’m so suburban, I know) and the pots of begonias (written about here before) giving us their final flush of flowers, I could almost forget about all that is going on in the news. It was last week that I first cottoned on to the calming influence of nature, as I ended up having two early morning forest walks in a row. Unlike this morning those days were not quite so lovely, but rather drizzly and a bit windy – Something bracing though about being out there facing the elements and definitely good for the old mental health.

My final pictures come from our trip down to The Cairngorms this last weekend. Mr WIAA had to return his repaired windsurfing board to the place where it usually resides, and by a stroke of luck, Saturday also turned out to be a “lovely day”. Not sure what came over me but on the way home I developed a craving for some good old fashioned fish ‘n’ chips. Last time I partook of that national delicacy it didn’t end well, but lo and behold, once we hit Aviemore we discovered that the Happy Haggis offered High Tea, complete with mushy peas, bread ‘n’ butter, mugs of tea and ice-cream for afters. We’ve driven past that shop for years never realising it also had a great wee traditional fish ‘n’ chip restaurant. It might be some time before we go again, as I’ve now had my quota of carbs for the year I think, but would thoroughly recommend.

But as I often say around here, this is supposed to be a music blog, so which song should I feature this time. The term “lovely day” has cropped up a fair few times in this post, so what better song to include than Lovely Day by Bill Withers. The most notable aspect of this song is that Bill sustains that note, towards the end, for a full 18 seconds, one of the longest ever recorded in a song. Lovely Day was first released as a single in late 1977, reaching No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1978 but has since been re-released at least twice and appeared in several television commercials.

As for Bill Withers, he is also responsible for one of my all-time favourite songs Ain’t No Sunshine which won him a Grammy in 1971. It was used for that great scene in the romantic comedy Notting Hill where lovesick Hugh Grant encounters all four seasons in the three minutes it takes Bill to sing the song.

Lovely Day by Bill Withers:

So, “What’s It All About?” – Last time I wrote about the band Madness, and how the term Night Boat has passed into cockney rhyming slang as a term for a giro, or unemployment benefit cheque. To use another bit of rhyming slang, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, and at the moment I can’t see the situation improving any time soon.

I remember suffering badly at the time of the 2008 financial crisis, as at one point it did seem as if the big four banks would go under and I anticipated all sorts of fallout. Some of the people I worked with were not in the slightest bit worried however, as they apparently “used another bank”, not realising the far-reaching effects of such an event. Similarly, there are plenty of people going about their daily business at the moment, not interested at all in what is going on in the Westminster bubble, as it “doesn’t affect them”.

As happened in 2008, nothing cataclysmic will probably occur on the 31st of October, and this cliff edge they talk about might turn out to be a gentle slope – At the moment we just don’t know, and there lies the problem. I wish I didn’t absorb all the negativity around at the moment but it’s pretty hard to avoid. What I am realising however is that a bit of communing with nature works wonders, so if you find yourself waking up to a “lovely day”, and you get the chance, I thoroughly recommend getting out and enjoying it. Works for me.

Until next time….

Lovely Day Lyrics
(Song by Bill Withers/Skip Scarborough)

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
… lovely day, lovely day, lovely day …

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day…..

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day……

Madness, “Night Boat To Cairo” and The Nutty Boys, Forty Years On

Three years ago, back in the early days of this blog, I wrote a light-hearted post about the band Madness and the whole 2 Tone movement (link here). It coincided with Glastonbury (where they had just performed), and was supposed to form a bit of respite ahead of all the political upheaval about to come our way after the divisive disaster that was the EU Referendum result. I don’t even think the word Brexit had even been coined yet, and there is nothing I hate more than a stupid-sounding new word created from two other words. In linguistics it’s called a portmanteau, which ironically has a French etymology. Oh how the French must be loving us now!

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But here we are a full three years and more on from that post, and the political upheaval is still with us and has ramped up to a whole new level. Talking of new words, I have just discovered one that has apparently been around forever, but for good reason has never before entered our personal vernacular – Prorogation. Yep, that’s the latest trick up the government’s sleeve, so The Madness continues. Getting back to Madness the band, last Friday they came to our town, and down to a bit of luck I managed to see them.

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Madness – Promotional pic for the 2019 tour

I’ve now hosted 25 sets of guests since acquiring the holiday hideaway so it’s been a busy old summer, and the downside is I haven’t really been able to commit to much, as I’m either greeting people or getting ready for the next set of people. We did have a free evening last Friday however so I persuaded Mr WIAA to head into town with me for a bite to eat. On the way home we swung by our very central Highland Games stadium (yes, we have one), as I knew Madness were going to be playing there that very night. As luck would have it, there were tickets left, so it was a no-brainer we would join all the other locals of a certain age who fancied a trip down memory lane.

Night Boat To Cairo by Madness:

What a great night we had – It was dark, but warm and dry, and Suggs and the boys were in tip-top form, closing the show with a very rousing performance of Night Boat To Cairo (complete with tea towel). If you owned the album “One Step Beyond” back in the day, and played it on repeat as I did, you will always remember Night Boat as being the third track on Side One after the Title Track and My Girl. We just don’t consume our music in that way nowadays so Sides and Track Numbers are largely irrelevant. Bit of trivia, the term Night Boat has passed into cockney rhyming slang as a term for a giro, or unemployment benefit cheque but you’d have to be British to get that one I imagine.

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Last week I wrote nostalgically about the year 1978, but this week it’s all about 1979, as that was the year I discovered Madness. The thing I enjoyed most about the concert however was the comforting thought that despite the political upheaval, and all the changes to how we live over the last 40 years, one constant has been those Nutty Boys from Camden Town. They look older close up, but the songs are the same, the band members are the same (although they are now missing Chas Smash), the clothes are the same, and the saxophone solos are the same. Suggs, aka Graham McPherson, still has that very unique, staccato-style way of speaking, … and moving. Yes, somehow all very comforting, and at the moment I think I would rather have the Nutty Boys run the country than BoJo (another portmanteau?) and Walter from The Dandy.

Until next time….

Night Boat To Cairo Lyrics
(Song by Mike Barson/Graham McPherson)

It’s just gone noon
Half past monsoon
On the banks of the river Nile
Here comes the boat
Only half-afloat
Oarsman grins a toothless smile
Only just one more
To this desolate shore
Last boat along the river Nile
Doesn’t seem to care
No more wind in his hair
As he reaches his last half mile
The oar snaps in his hand
Before he reaches dry land
But the sound doesn’t deafen his smile
Just pokes at wet sand
With an oar in his hand
Floats off down the river Nile
Floats off down the river Nile

(All aboard, night boat to Cairo!)

(Night boat to Cairo!)