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.
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.
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.
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