Autumn, Pantomimes and “5 Colours In Her Hair”

Well I don’t know what it’s like where you live at the moment, but up here in the North of Scotland it is looking absolutely beautiful. I wrote about the coming of autumn back on the 1st of September but that was meteorologically speaking because the trees were pretty much all still green and we were having some of the best weather of the year. By the autumnal equinox on the 21st of September the leaves were starting to change, but now that we are into November, everywhere I look there are 5 colours of tree. Like many people, I work in a large, glass office-building in a business park but thankfully the landscapers planted plenty of trees so as you look out the window there are swathes of orange, red, yellow, brown and green – wonderful stuff!

I’ve mentioned before that I live next to a forest but down the hill there is also a canal and a bit beyond that the river with a few islands that have lovely paths for walks. Again, everywhere I go there are 5 colours of tree. This being the case, guess what song came to mind on the way home this afternoon? Yes, McFly with their catchy pop song 5 Colours In Her Hair. If nature is female which is highly likely, it being called “Mother Nature” an’ all, the trees are her crowning glory, and at this time of year they most definitely come in 5 colours.

5 Colours In Her Hair by McFly:

As it turns out I would probably not even know this McFly song from March 2004 had it not featured in the pantomime my daughter appeared in that year. Yes, on top of living 5 minutes from the forest, the canal and the river, 5 minutes in the other direction we have a fantastic Theatre and Arts Centre. 5 things all within 5 minutes!

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Our local Theatre and Arts Centre

But back to the song. Over the Christmas 2004 period, the big pantomime to be staged at the theatre was Cinderella. As well as the usual stars from Scottish soaps, local DJs and a few lesser known professional stage performers, you always need plenty of kids for such a show and that year our daughter, aged only 8, decided she wanted to audition. It was a long-drawn out process and took all day but she ended up being one of the lucky ones to get a place in one of the two “teams”. Being kids they could only appear in one show a day so sometimes it was the matinee and other days it was the evening show, but whatever it was there was an awful lot of running back and forth and French-pleating of hair! It was however a wonderful seven weeks as the kids all bonded really well, the “stars” spoilt them rotten and I made some great new friends amongst the other mums. Sadly however, we have no permanent record of her on stage as that of course is “not allowed” and trying to take photos of kids nowadays in any guise involves a quagmire of red tape. No matter, I will never forget the many shows we went to see and the song performed by the full cast that year was 5 Colours In Her Hair by McFly. There are always a few of the year’s mainstream pop hits threaded into a pantomime and the lyrics from that song were perfect for Cinderella.

Everybody wants to know her name,
I threw a house party and she came
Everyone asked me
Who the hell is she?

The song had spent twelve weeks in the UK Singles Chart and was also nominated for 2004 Record of the Year but finished in second place behind the winner Thunderbirds by Busted. Both Busted and McFly very much appealed to the young kids of the new millennium. For about 10 years the pop landscape had been awash with boy and girl bands but now we were back to guitar bands who actually wrote their own songs. Their main influences were The Beatles and The Beach Boys which came through in the video clip above. Busted were short-lived due to Charlie Simpson deciding that being a teen idol was not for him, but McFly have really stood the test of time and in their midst, we also have winners of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! The remaining members of Busted have since teamed up with McFly and created a hybrid band called McBusted. Very apt as it turns out as James from Busted co-wrote 5 Colours In Her Hair and many of the Busted songs were written by members of McFly. Having just delved into all this a bit more, it seems that Busted actually reformed this year, released an album and toured – How did that pass a middle-aged woman by?

At the moment, the kids of 2016 will be getting ready to rehearse for this year’s pantomime extravaganza – A successful season, with full houses at each show, pretty much subsidises the rest of the year and it makes the staging of lesser known plays and shows by niche artists possible. As for me, I know we are not supposed to live vicariously through our children but that year I was just as excited about the seven week run of shows as darling daughter. Where I came from there were no large theatres therefore no opportunities for such board-treading as a kid. I would have loved it but just had to content myself with whatever opportunities arose locally – A bit of showboating on nights out down the local nightspot in later years and even now, as I recounted recently, at wedding dances (still cringing about that one).

It’s Bonfire Night tonight but it will be dark by then, so in the meantime, I think I’ll have one last walk amongst all those gorgeous trees before winter sets in and they shed their leaves entirely. All being well however we will have a dry spell, and there will be lots of “scrunching” to be done. The fun just never stops around here!

5 Colours In Her Hair Lyrics
(Song by James Bourne/Tom Fletcher/Danny Jones)

She’s got a lip ring and 5 colours in her hair,
Not into fashion but I love the clothes she wears,
Her tattoo’s always hidden by her underwear.
She don’t care.

Everybody wants to know her name,
I threw a house party and she came
Everyone asked me
Who the hell is she?
That weirdo with 5 colours in her hair.

She’s just a loner with a sexy attitude,
I’d like to phone her cos she puts me in the mood.
The rumours spreading round that she cooks in the nude.
But she don’t care, she don’t care.

Everybody wants to know her name,
How does she cope with her new found fame?
Everyone asks me,
Who the hell is she?
That weirdo with 5 colours in her hair.

She was all I thought about,
The girl I couldn’t live without.
But then she went insane,
She couldn’t take the fame
She said I was to blame
She’d had enough
And shaved five colours off
And now she’s just a weirdo with no name.

Everybody wants to know her name.
How does she cope with her new found fame?
Everyone asks me,
Who the hell is she,
That weirdo with 5 colours in her hair.

Lorne, Geekdom and “It’s Not Easy Being Green”

On Saturday night at around 11pm I decided to alphabetise my CD collection – Odd timing you may think, but not really for me. After having failed big time on trying to use file-sharing sites I have taken to adding the audio file directly to my posts. All very well but not all the songs I think of writing about are stored digitally on my computer and I end up having to buy tracks I know perfectly well are already on a CD, somewhere in the house…….., if only I could find them…….., but where?

Now I know that all you serious music bloggers out there will have carefully catalogued, alphabetised collections but here at “What’s It All About?” the song is usually just the inspiration to go on and write about other things, so not quite as organised. As hubby had just headed off to bed, I had the living room floor to myself so I raided the cupboards, shelves and drawers where all those flat, square-shaped boxes were sneakily hiding, and duly laid them out on the carpet. Not having had an actual workaday CD player for some time now, having moved onto docking stations and bluetooth speakers, there were some interesting and long-forgotten finds.

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The first dilemma however was whether to amalgamate everything I found, which included my daughters childhood CDs (Disney, Pop Party 1 to 7, The Jonas Brothers etc), the CDs my 81-year-old mother disposed of when I got her an iPod (although she hasn’t quite cracked how to use it yet so I tend to just leave it on shuffle for her), hubby’s very “cool” collection (what the heck is he doing being married to me) and the three large crates full of classical music CDs left to us by my late father-in-law (if anyone has any practical suggestion on what we could do with them please feel free to let me know).

A dilemma indeed but in the end I went with amalgamating everything except the classical CDs, the freebies that used to come regularly with the Sunday newspapers, and the karaoke CDs. I’m sure anyone who has ever worked in a record shop would know exactly what to do with the compilations (Jack Black in High Fidelity?) but not I job I’ve ever done, so just had to go with what I thought would work for me. And so, I ended up at 1.30am in the morning with a fully alphabetised collection snaking across the room. Sadly, whilst very quietly carrying them back to their disparate homes in sections, I accidentally turned some of the piles upside down and will have to go back and correct the fact that David Gray now comes right before Shawn Mullins and the aforementioned Jonas Brothers come right after Chick Flicks (The Ultimate Soundtrack).

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Whilst happily occupying myself with all of this when most people my age were getting their beauty sleep, it occurred to me that it’s great fun being a geek! You can never, ever be bored as there is always something to catalogue, list or plan. We may walk the earth incognito, as reliable employees and pillars of the local community, but behind that respectable exterior there is a secret life of Eurovision, Buffy Conventions, Pop Quizzes, “Blogging and Cataloguing” (has a nice ring to it). It doesn’t even have to be restricted to music and film, as earlier in the day we specifically had lunch at a restaurant starting with the letter M, all because I decided that it would be fun this year to work our way alphabetically through the restaurants in town – At the moment we know we’re going to get stuck at Q and X but you just never know, something new may open up!

But anyway, whilst working my way through the CDs, I found the Soundtrack to the television show Angel – If like us you became somewhat drawn into the wonderful alternate reality of the Buffyverse, this was the excellent spinoff show starring David Boreanaz. (Anyone who pokes fun at the show, or its premise, obviously hasn’t given it enough attention as it’s creator Joss Whedon received numerous awards and it was lauded for its influential themes and impact on popular culture – Just saying.)

One of my favourite characters from that show was Lorne (played by Andy Hallett), the proprietor of an underground LA karaoke bar. He was a music-loving soul and had arrived from another dimension, specifically Pylea where music didn’t exist, in order to indulge his passion (wouldn’t we all). His name was really Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan and the in-joke of course was that because his “clan” had green-coloured skin, he was Lorne Greene (but you have to be of a certain age to get that one I suspect). One of the songs he sang on the show was very appropriately It’s Not Easy Being Green made famous by that very personable frog puppet, Kermit.

It’s Not Easy Being Green by Andy Hallett
:

So, “What’s It All About?” – It may not be that easy being green but although initially lamenting his green colouration, by the end of the song, Lorne remembers all the positive associations with the colour, and ends up accepting and embracing his greenness. Likewise, it may not always be easy being a geek but tonight I have decided to embrace my “geekness” – It is turning out to be a fine life and one which I hope will continue for some time!

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The lovely Patrick Harvie – It’s not always easy!

It’s Not Easy Being Green Lyrics
(Song by Joe Raposo)

It’s not that easy being green,
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-
or something much more colorful like that.

It’s not easy being green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re not standing out
like flashy sparkles in the water-or stars in the sky.

But green’s the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like the ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.
When green is all there is to be

It could make you wonder why,
but why wonder?
Why Wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful!
And I think it’s what I want to be.

Postscript:

And in case anyone has forgotten it, here is the original performed by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog. Unbelievably it was covered by Frank Sinatra the following year, 1971. Strange times and a strange post I now realise, so back to business as usual for next time I think!

Katie Melua, Mike Batt and “Nine Million Bicycles”

Last time I wrote about the great punk-rock beauty Debbie Harry. Roll forward to the mid noughties and another rare beauty came along in the form of Katie Melua. Although born in Georgia (the former Soviet Republic one) she had moved to Northern Ireland with her family as a child, before heading across to London to attend the BRIT school in her late teens. She has been one of its most successful attendees along with the late Amy Winehouse and of course Adele.

Unlike Debbie Harry however, Katie did not give us punk attitude, instead she gave us…… Really annoying lyrics! I have written before about songs that I had hitherto quite enjoyed because I had never really listened to the lyrics properly (Rupert Holmes’ Pina Colada song – grrr) but it didn’t take long at all for some of Katie’s songs to really grate.

Exhibit A – Nine Million Bicycles which charted in September 2005. I know I am probably being pedantic here but every time I heard her sing about “the fact”, “the thing we just couldn’t deny” (those nine million bicycles traversing the streets of Beijing), I kind of had to say to myself – Really? Could it not possibly be nine and a half million, or perhaps a bit less than nine million now that car ownership has risen? But no, Katie was emphatic in her song that nine million was the exact number.

Nine Million Bicycles by Katie Melua:

Of course we then get on to the next verse and now she tells us that “we are twelve billion light years from the edge” but that “it was a guess and no-one could ever say if that was true”. As it turns out they could, and no, it wasn’t true. Cosmologist Simon Singh took to writing an article for the Guardian pointing out that scientists had pretty much worked out after much research and careful measurement that the universe was actually 13.7 billion years old. A playful spat ensued with Katie re-recording the song with this new information contained within – Needless to say it wasn’t a howling success and both parties had a bit of a laugh about it and agreed that a modicum of poetic license was needed for the song to work, but just shows how hot under the collar we can get when faced with incorrect facts.

I put it all down to the “fact” that the song was written by Mike Batt who despite massive success in many different strands of the music industry will, for me, always be “Head Womble”. There can be no-one of my age who will not have occasionally dipped into an episode of The Wombles on television after coming home from school in the afternoon. They were way ahead of their time with all their recycling, now part of our modern day lives, but back in the 1970s a bit of a novelty and a cue for entertainment.

When Mike Batt got the job of writing the theme song for the animated show, rather than accept a flat fee he chose to acquire the character rights for The Wombles and formed a pop group, releasing a string of top-selling singles and albums between 1973 and 1975. Must have been very hot work “Wombling Free” around BBC Television Centre but quite liberating, as the costumes could be worn by whoever was available on the day. It turns out this was often members of Steeleye Span or the guitarist Chris Spedding (he of Motor Bikin’ fame) whom Mike worked with frequently.

So when Mike discovered Katie in the mid noughties, I think he was so thrown by her amazing beauty that his old Wombling song-writing skills momentarily left him and he put together odd lyrics juxtaposing “facts about love” with erroneous “scientific facts”.

Just one more bone of contention however about a line from the song before I move on – Katie sang about how she would “never tire of the love she would be given every night”. Written by a man indeed as I don’t know of any of my female friends, however happy with their other halves, who would not tire of being given love every night! Sometimes a mug of cocoa and a good book is all that is required – Just sayin’…..

Nine Million Bicycles Lyrics
(Song by Mike Batt)

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
That’s a fact,
It’s a thing we can’t deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die.

We are twelve billion light years from the edge,
That’s a guess,
No-one can ever say it’s true
But I know that I will always be with you.

I’m warmed by the fire of your love everyday
So don’t call me a liar,
Just believe everything that I say

There are six billion people in the world
More or less
and it makes me feel quite small
But you’re the one I love the most of all

We’re high on the wire
With the world in our sight
And I’ll never tire,
Of the love that you give me every night

Postscipt:

And in case anyone can’t remember how much fun it was to be a Womble in 1974, here is a clip from Top Of The Pops to remind you (just try to avert your eyes from Noel Edmonds’ revealing shirt and medallion during the introduction). All members present and correct I think – Orinoco, Madame Cholet, Great Uncle Bulgaria, Wellington and Tobermory. Didn’t even have to look it up, such is the power of a childhood memory.

Alabama 3, Curtis Stigers and Great Theme Songs

After writing about music from both film and television crime dramas in my last post it got me thinking about some other outstanding theme songs. The Sopranos was first aired in 1999 and followed the life of one, Tony Soprano, the head of a New Jersey, Italian-American, crime family. This was a mafia show unlike any other in that it not only depicted the (seemingly very realistic) goings-on of his cosa nostra family but also centred around his home life and the relationships he had with his wife, children, mother, sister and therapist – A normal family guy you warmed to and identified with in some scenes but then were reminded in no uncertain terms in other scenes that no, this guy and his colleagues had to be sociopaths. It was a brilliantly written series with excellent acting and direction and very deservedly won many awards during its 7-year run.

I think it was first shown on British television around the time we moved to our current house, and from the first episode I was hooked. It was however an HBO show which “from the beginning and throughout” covered scenes of a sexual nature, violence, drug-taking and bad language (the first time I ever heard the “c” word uttered on television). It was my favourite show of the week, but it had to be aired after 11pm at night. With ad breaks it went on until around 12.15am – Not great for a work and school night but I just had to watch it. Before it came on I made sure I was all prepared for the next day, in pyjamas, teeth brushed and ready for bed as soon as it finished – A guilty pleasure but not exactly sleep-inducing.

I think there is an element of voyeurism in the watching of such shows. Like probably most of the people who were fans, I live in law-abiding, “nice-world” where the worst crime I have ever committed is parking illegally or accidentally speeding in a built-up area. To witness the lives of these characters is to open a window onto a world you would never experience in real life. 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 safety of our living rooms.

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But back to the reason for this post, the opening sequence featured the journey made by Tony from New York back to his home in suburban New Jersey. He is seen emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel and passes through the tollbooth for the New Jersey Turnpike. Numerous landmarks are shown passing by as Tony drives down the highway. The theme played during this sequence was the excellent Woke Up This Morning written by, and performed by, British band Alabama 3. It took me some time to work out that this band was indeed from London as they sounded so American, but that would have been because the music they made at that time fused country, blues, rock and acid house. An unusual mix but as mentioned last time when I wrote about the opening sequence to Pulp Fiction, the audience were left in no doubt as to what kind of show they were about to watch.

Woke Up This Morning by Alabama 3:

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Alabama 3 (from Brixton, London)

Yet another crime drama that we’ve just finished watching is Sons of Anarchy about the life and times of a gun-running motor-cycle club based in Northern California. It took nine months to get through all seven seasons and at one point the graphic violence became so relentless that I had to take a sabbatical from watching it. Again though, it was a window onto a world I had no idea existed and there were parallels to the mafia-based show I had watched ten years earlier, it was just that this time the protagonists were West Coast rather than East Coast based, dressed in biker kuttes rather than sharp suits and preferred Harleys to expensive SUVs. Also, like with The Sopranos, you warmed to the main characters as they exhibited strong emotional bonds to their families, and to each other, but in nearly episode there was a very violent reality check reminding you that they were in essence outlaws and criminals. The scenery, clothing and shoot-outs made you think of the old Wild West – They were just substituting Harleys for horses.

But yet again I digress – The opening sequence to Sons of Anarchy, like The Sopranos, featured a great theme song called This Life performed by Curtis Stigers and the Forest Rangers. It is probably not the kind of song I would have taken much heed of had I heard it on the radio, but after listening to it 92 times as I must have done watching the show, you form an attachment, as you form an attachment to the characters.

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So, another post about music from award-winning crime dramas. Time to move on I think to another topic for next time, back in “nice-world”. Will ponder on what it will be over the next few days but yet again I am realising that the “tracks of my years” in later life are often associated with films and television. We now binge-watch boxsets which means you form a close relationship with the characters in favourite dramas. Yes it is make-belief but so was the relationship you had with your teen-idols back in the day. It does sound a bit wrong I know, but there are times when the cavewoman in me must come out and I wish I had a Tony Soprano or a Jax Teller there to fight my corner. I used to fantasise about trips to the cinema with Donny Osmond, now I fantasise about having one of the Sons of Anarchy as a minder when I’m feeling harassed – I would get all the best parking spaces and be able to jump queues. But no, although I don’t exactly live in Stepford, that just can’t happen, but nice to dream……and listen to all that great music!

Woke Up This Morning Lyrics
(Song by Jake Black/Rob Spragg)

You woke up this morning
Got yourself a gun,
Mama always said you’d be
The Chosen One.

She said: You’re one in a million
You’ve got to burn to shine,
But you were born under a bad sign
With a blue moon in your eyes

You woke up this morning
All that love had gone
Your Papa never told you
About right and wrong

But you’re looking good, baby
I believe you’re feeling fine,(shame about it)
Born under a bad sign
With a blue moon in your eyes

You woke up this morning
Got a blue moon in your eyes
You woke up this morning
Got a blue moon in your eyes

You woke up this morning
The world turned upside down
Lord above, thing’s ain’t been the same
Since the blues walked into town

But you’re one in a million
You’ve got that shotgun shine (shame about it)
Born under a bad sign
With a blue moon in your eyes

When you woke up this morning everything was gone
By half past ten your head was going ding-dong
Ringing like a bell from your head down to your toes
Like a voice trying to tell you there’s something you should know
Last night you were flying but today you’re so low
Ain’t it times like these that make you wonder if
You’ll ever know the meaning of things as they appear to the others;
Wives, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers
Don’t you wish you didn’t function, don’t you wish you
Didn’t think beyond the next paycheck and the next little drink?
Well you do so make up your mind to go on, cos
When you woke up this morning everything you had was gone

Woke up this morning
Woke up this morning
Woke up this morning
You want to be the Chosen One

Woke up this morning
Woke up this morning
Woke up this morning
You got yourself a gun

Robbie Williams, Formula One and “Supreme”

I seem to have all but abandoned the idea of writing randomly as each song I write about seems to lead straight onto another one – Just the way the brain works I suppose. Inevitably therefore, after mentioning Robbie Williams last time, I would end up thinking about all those other great songs and videos he made at the end of the ’90s/early 2000s. For the video to accompany Millennium he played the role of James Bond but for the video to accompany the year 2000 song Supreme he played “Bob Williams”, a fictitious rival to Jackie Stewart at the height of his Formula One career. The video was edited using the split screen technique often seen in films from the ’60s and they cleverly wove together new footage of Bob Williams with the original 35mm celluloid footage of Jackie Stewart.

As I have said before, there was a real worry in the early ’80s that video would kill the aural-only music experience (as per the lyrics to Radio Ga Ga) but that never really came to pass. I must admit however that I did enjoy Robbie’s videos at this time immensely and they definitely added to the appeal of the songs. He seemed to be having the time of his life and who could blame him – Cocktails with Nicole Kidman and horse-riding with Daryl Hannah for goodness sake.

I am conscious of the fact that since starting this blog I have hardly written about any songs from the 2000s (only Tears Dry On Their Own) and this one just creeps into that decade and no more. When you are a working parent of a 5 to 15 year old as I was throughout that decade, you have very little time for yourself and the music I ended up consuming was my daughter’s choice of pure pop, Disney soundtracks, the songs from television shows (yes we were fans of Pop Idol and The X-Factor in the early days) and older stuff caught on the radio. If we ever visited friends who didn’t have children, the CDs lying around were all by Nora Jones and the sophisticated bands of the day whereas in our house it was S Club 7, Busted and Avril Lavigne. I might be exaggerating a little here but it is kind of true – The importance of what is No. 1 in the charts is not really an issue when you perhaps have a poorly child and a work deadline to meet. There are those lovely moments however when something comes on the car radio and your small child gives you a big smile and lets you know that your favourite song by “Robbie Michaels” has just come on!

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But back to Robbie and Supreme, I think I especially loved the video for that song because I have a fondness for all those old films about the world of motor-racing. As I said last time, I particularly love the Sean Connery Bond era (the garish colour, the glamorous locations, the beautiful clothes) and another ’60s film that covered all those bases was Grand Prix starring, amongst others, James Garner and Eva Marie Saint. Like with Robbie’s video, the use of footage from the real world of Formula One was incorporated and even our own Graham Hill had a cameo role as one of the drivers. It must be something about the long Scottish winters but when colour came to our television screens in the early ’70s and we were able to watch these films properly for the first time, we couldn’t get enough of them. I do blame my mother however for not pointing out until I was around ten, that Grand Prix was not pronounced phonetically (embarrassed myself a few times with that one I think).

As well as the film Grand Prix there was also the excellent film Le Mans starring Steve McQueen, and more recently Rush starring Chris Hemsworth which was about the ’70s rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. I remember that era well and used to love watching interviews with Hunt, a firm favourite on television chat shows. The film recreated it all really well.

Robbie Williams has continued to have an amazing career and even rejoined Take That for one album and a tour (didn’t ever expect that to happen but glad he and Gary made up in the end). Something that does bother me however is that he has had long bouts of depression over the years. He is the consummate entertainer and can sing, dance and play the fool on stage, but like so many before him the pressure of keeping us entertained has taken its toll. I have written before about the flamboyant artists who are incredibly shy in private and create a stage character or alter-ego. Robbie isn’t shy but he finds it hard to be serious, always resorting to the funny one-liner or comedy moment (even at the end of the video for Supreme). There have been numerous studies on the link between creativity and mental illness and sadly there does seem to be one – The phenomenon of the sad clown. I hope now that he has a family, he can rid himself of the black dog.

Before I finish I’d like to mention that Robbie’s career started with a stint playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver! (exclamation mark part of that musical’s title, not shock on my part). I have already written about Davy Jones of The Monkees who also shot to stardom after a similar stint on Broadway and it is part of pop folklore that Phil Collins also started out that way. There are no doubt many others out there I don’t know about but it makes me wonder – If your son is currently treading the boards in that role, it could be the first step on the ladder to global stardom. Just saying……

robbie.jpgSupreme Lyrics
(Song by Robbie Williams/Guy Chambers)

Oh it seemed forever stopped today
All the lonely hearts in London
Caught a plane and flew away
And all the best women are married
All the handsome men are gay
You feel deprived

Yeah are you questioning your size?
Is there a tumour in your humour,
Are there bags under your eyes?
Do you leave dents where you sit,
Are you getting on a bit?
Will you survive
You must survive

When there’s no love in town
This new century keeps bringing you down
All the places you have been
Trying to find a love supreme
A love supreme

Oh what are you really looking for?
Another partner in your life to
abuse and to adore?
Is it lovey dovey stuff,
Do you need a bit of rough?
Get on your knees

Yeah turn down the love songs that you hear
‘Cause you can’t avoid the sentiment
That echoes in your ear
Saying love will stop the pain
Saying love will kill the fear
Do you believe
You must believe

I spy with my little eye
Something beginning with (ah)
Got my back up
And now she’s screaming
So I’ve got to turn the track up
Sit back and watch the royalties stack up
I know this girl she likes to switch teams
And I’m a fiend but I’m living for a love supreme

Come and live a love supreme
Don’t let it get you down
Everybody lives for love

Amy Winehouse, Beehives and “Tears Dry On Their Own”

Last time I wrote about Ed Sheerin and of his success at this year’s Grammy awards. Back in 2008 it was Amy Winehouse who swept the board at the awards winning a total of six. Sadly just over three years later she was dead.

When writing earlier this year about David Bowie’s sad passing, and all the media outpouring it caused, I had momentarily forgotten what a massive news story it had been when poor Amy was found dead, at home, on a July afternoon in 2011. It was no big shock however as we had seen her life played out over the years on television and in the newspapers. After the massive success of her album “Back to Black”, her life seemed to descend into chaos – Don’t want to go into the detail here but she did appear to have serious addiction issues, relationship issues, an eating disorder and so it goes on. Were we all partly to blame? The press and paparazzi couldn’t seem to get enough of her and although her family seemed to be really supportive, in some ways they seemed to add to the feeding frenzy.

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I had seen Amy on television many times over the previous few years as she started out as a soulful, jazz-influenced singer who did really well with her first album “Frank”. For “Back to Black” however she had morphed into a 21st century version of a 1960s, American girl-group member (think Ronnie Ronette with tatoos and piercings). Every time we saw her, the beehive had got bigger and the eye make-up even more extreme but sadly, she also seemed to be getting thinner and more erratic in her behaviour. I remember watching the 2008 BRIT awards with great trepidation as she was due to perform Valerie with Mark Ronson. It actually went well but she did look “unworldly” and kept pulling at her short skirt and hair throughout the performance. We all hoped that she would get the help she so obviously needed as her talent was immense, and she had so much more to give.

My favourite song from Back to Black was Tears Dry On Their Own. Watching the video again however just reminds me of the chaotic and extreme world she seemed to be living in at that time which ultimately proved just too much for her.

Tears Dry On Their Own by Amy Winehouse:

It was at the end of 2009 that we moved our entire record collection to our new Apple Mac computer. All the CDs and downloads were now in one place which was great as personal playlists of favourites could be compiled by each member of the family. My playlists generally included an Amy Winehouse track and invariably it was this song. Very sad when you listen to it now knowing that she died aged only 27. I have written a lot about icons who have passed away since starting this blog but none were young like poor Amy and I have a feeling that for some, it is only a matter of good luck that they got through their “crazy period” intact. Wasn’t to be the case for this talented lady – RIP Amy.

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Tears Dry On Their Own Lyrics
(Song by Amy Winehouse)

All I can ever be to you
Is the darkness that we knew,
And this regret I’ve got accustomed to.
Once it was so right,
When we were at our high,
Waiting for you in the hotel at night.

I knew I hadn’t met my match,
But every moment we could snatch,
I don’t know why I got so attached.
It’s my responsibility,
And you don’t owe nothing to me,
But to walk away I have no capacity.

He walks away,
The sun goes down,
He takes the day
But I’m grown,
And in your way,
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own.

I don’t understand
Why do I stress a man
When there’s so many bigger things at hand.
We coulda never had it all,
We had to hit a wall,
So this is inevitable withdrawal.

Even if I stop wanting you,

A perspective pushes through,
I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon.
I shouldn’t play myself again,

I should just be my own best friend,
Not fuck myself in the head with stupid men.

So we are history,
Your shadow covers me
The sky above,
A blaze.

I wish I could say no regrets,
And no emotional debts,
‘Cause as we kiss goodbye the sun sets

So we are history,
The shadow covers me,
The sky above,
A blaze that only lovers see,