Salvador Sobral, “Amar Pelos Dois” and Harking Back to Simpler Times

A short post compared to my usual tomes but last week I had a bit of a meltdown, where the very thought of looking at my home computer screen induced the collywobbles. ‘Tis all the fault of this new-fangled, hot desking, paperless office I have to turn up to every day – It’s not for me I’ve decided and Mr WIAA and I have been having very serious talks about what is to be done.

In the meantime, as this is in effect my web-diary, I want to record the fact that a very simple jazz ballad sung by a chap with a dicky ticker won last weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest for Portugal. It was written by his sister and after being announced as the winner, the pair got up on stage to perform the song together.

salvador

I am a fan of Eurovision and over the last 12 years we have watched it with the same set of friends who again came round for Saturday night’s show. I had intended to do a series of posts last week about the “Wacky World of Eurovision” (which is why some of you saw that title appear on your sidebar), but after the meltdown, that didn’t come to pass. Also I think I possibly had a bit of a wobble about ruining any music-blogging credibility I may have left!

In the end however, amidst a sea of the usual weird and wonderful big production numbers, it was a simple love song that came out on top. We all scored it in our top three and it seems the rest of Europe agreed. Reassuringly, our own UK entry sung by Lucie Jones also did pretty well (relatively speaking) and here I was thinking that after all the “triggering” that’s been going on around here recently, we would end up at the bottom of the pile.

And so I give you the winning song, Amar Pelos Dois, written by Luisa Sobral and sung by her brother Salvador Sobral. The lyrics were performed in Portuguese but somehow we could still tell that it was the story of a lost love and of the singer’s continuous search to find her.

Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral:

So, “What’s It All About?” – I love what all this new technology can do for us but having just worked out that some days I will now perhaps spend 16 hours in front of a bank of computer screens, something will have to be done. Mr Sobral above has given up all social media and the backdrop for his song was not pyrotechnics but calming scenes from nature. Why did his song win? It was beautiful indeed but I also think that those of us with addled brains found it a real solace to listen to, and for me, it harked back to simpler times. In the short-term I think I’ll have to battle on, but for the longer-term, the life of a robot is not for me – Thank you Salvador for reminding me of that on Saturday night and please, please look after that dicky ticker because I want you, and your sweet songs, to be around for some time to come.

Amar Pelos Dois Lyrics
(Song by Luisa Sobral)

If one day someone asks about me
Tell them I lived to love you
Before you, I only existed
Tired and with nothing to give

My dear, listen to my prayers
I beg you to return, to want me again
I know that one can’t love alone
Maybe slowly you might learn again

My dear, listen to my prayers
I beg you to return, to want me again
I know that one can’t love alone
Maybe slowly you might learn again

If your heart doesn’t wish to give in
Not to feel passion, not to suffer
Without making plans of what will come after
My heart can love for the both of us

Postscript:

Although I initially thought that Salvador’s win at Eurovision was purely down to the simplicity of his song there was most definitely another factor at play – The big winner at this year’s Oscars was the film La La Land (although we have to remind ourselves it didn’t actually win the award for Best Film despite having been announced as such by Warren Beatty on the night). It also harked back in style to the romantic musicals of the ’40s and ’50s, and the musical numbers were simple, jazz influenced, piano-accompanied delights. The “halo effect” is definitely a thing, and one I am always highly influenced by, so it is likely that those of us who enjoyed Salvador’s song subconsciously associated it with the music from La La Land. In case you’re not aware of any of the songs from its soundtrack, here is my favourite, City Of Stars sung by its two stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

City of Stars by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone:

Sunday Dinners, “Super Troupers” and ABBA

Haven’t written a brand new post for over a fortnight now so here is something slightly different for me – “Tipsy blogging”!

I did feel after 91 posts and 100 featured songs that I had perhaps neglected my “real world” family and friends this year but it turns out that in order to cope with the real world, a dip into the “virtual world” of blogging is sometimes just what is needed – Who knew when we were teenagers that once we reached 50-something, we would end up being what is classed nowadays as the sandwich generation. For the first time in years I had wine with the Sunday dinner I had cooked (shock horror), and everyone is having opoplexy. I am always the sensible one who picks up Granny and Grandad and then takes them home, but tonight I decided that it was my turn to unwind on a Sunday night. It doesn’t take much nowadays so after a couple of wines I felt really quite tiddly and you know what, I think it is just what was needed after a weekend of chores, paperwork and playing taxi service to our daughter and her friends.

14-RoastDinner-Rex.jpg
What I serve up every Sunday!

So, looking through my iTunes library tonight what jumps out as being just what I want to listen to? Too tiddly to get very far so good that right at the top of Songs listed alphabetically by Artist, is Super Trouper by ABBA. Why? – Because I think we ladies of a certain age are the unsung “Super Troupers” of the new millenium and are often unwittingly taken forgranted. Most of us now still have full-time jobs, look after the house and garden, support adult children still living at home and take care of our “old-folk”. Not complaining, just sayin’….

Super Trouper by ABBA:

There can be no-one over a certain age (on the planet) who will not have heard of ABBA, that Swedish supergroup who burst onto the scene after their Eurovision triumph in a little theatre in Brighton in 1974. The song they won with that year was Waterloo and when watching that particular show I still remember being mighty impressed with those bright blue, satin knicker-bockers that Agnetha wore on the night. Those on-trend trousers with a pair of silver platform boots would have been heaven to own at age 14 but of course they were not deemed suitable by my parents – “You could fall over and break a leg in those!”

 

Despite being one of the most commercially successful bands ever, with around 500 million records sold, there was always something a bit “uncool” about ABBA. Maybe it was the outfits or maybe just by being Scandinavian and a bit different, they couldn’t be pigeon-holed like so many other bands from that era. Whatever it was I think the passage of time has rendered that judgement obsolete and the jukebox musical Mama Mia! is one of the most successful stage shows ever, so I imagine they no longer care.

Super Trouper was Abba’s ninth and final No 1 in the UK Singles Chart hitting the top spot in November 1980. By this time of course the marriages between the two couples in the band had fallen apart so it was increasingly difficult to keep working together. Their last single to make the top 10 in the UK was One Of Us in December 1981 and as one of their less-familiar songs, now one of my favourites I think.

One Of Us by ABBA:

There was of course news this week that Simon Fuller (erstwhile manager of The Spice Girls) is masterminding an ABBA reunion where the power of hollograms and large screens will bring the Swedish Fab Four back together again “virtually” in concert. Not sure about this at all as I think I prefer to remember these great bands as they were in their heyday and not as they are now – Septuagenarians all of them (bar Agnetha who is a mere 66). We’ll see what happens but if it does come off we’ll no doubt need a second mortgage to pay for a ticket, therefore it’s a no from me I’m afraid.

So, “What’s It All About?” – It turns out that tipsy blogging is a thing, so I might try it out again sometime (I may b mistken but I dn’t think my speling and gramar has suffered unjulie). I have missed writing new posts over the last fortnight so will try and pick up the pace again now that I have realised that the real world is hard work sometimes and the virtual world can be a very nice diversion for a short portion of the day. Key word here is “short” as I think most of us can find ourselves spending way more time than is healthy in this fascinating place. Until next time…..

Super Trouper Lyrics
(Song by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus)

Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
Like I always do
‘Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you

I was sick and tired of everything
When I called you last night from Glasgow
All I do is eat and sleep and sing
Wishing every show was the last show
(Wishing every show was the last show)
So imagine I was glad to hear you’re coming
(Glad to hear you’re coming)
Suddenly I feel all right
(And suddenly it’s gonna be)
And it’s gonna be so different
When I’m on the stage tonight

Tonight the
Super Trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
‘Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you

Facing twenty thousand of your friends
How can anyone be so lonely
Part of a success that never ends
Still I’m thinking about you only
(Still I’m thinking about you only)
There are moments when I think I’m going crazy
(Think I’m going crazy)
But it’s gonna be alright
(You’ll soon be changing everything)
Everything will be so different
When I’m on the stage tonight

Tonight the
Super Trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
‘Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you

So I’ll be there when you arrive
The sight of you will prove to me I’m still alive
And when you take me in your arms
And hold me tight
I know it’s gonna mean so much tonight

Tonight the
Super Trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
‘Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you