Eva / Louis: What a wonderful world

My favorite rendition of this classic of 1967/68 is Eva Cassidy’s last performance at the Bayou. Did you know the message was political? I was thinking of her music this past weekend, when we had the second half of our intercultural train the trainer course with Judith Mader and Rudi Camerer of ELC, and I presented the local culture of Washington, DC featuring Eva Cassidy and Chuck Brown.

What A Wonderful World
by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss
first recorded by Louis Armstrong, released 1967

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, clouds of white
Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying, how do you do
They’re really saying, I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colors of a rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are there on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying, how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

songs

Space Oddity/ Chris Hadfield

Commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut, returned home on 14 May. He rerecorded David Bowie’s Space Oddity in flight… and describes the landing.


David Bowie
(and Chris Hadfield’s changes)

Ground control to Major Tom
Ground control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills (lock your Soyuz hatch) and put your helmet on
Ground control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition (Detach from station) and may God’s love be with you

This is ground control to Major Tom, you’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave (guide) the capsule if you dare

This is major Tom to ground control, I’m stepping through the door (I’ve left forever more)
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
Here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do (left to do)

Though I’m past (I’ve flown) one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
(and before too long I know it’s time to go)
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
(a commander comes back to Earth and knows)
Ground control to Major Tom,
your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
(the time is near, it’s not too long)
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you…
Here am I sitting in my tin can far above the Moon (a last glimpse of the world)
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do (left to do)

Herbie Hancock: Watermellon Man

I love, love, love how Herbie Hancock tells the story of how he composed Watermellon Man.

Merz: The Starlight Night

The lyrics of this marvelous song by Merz (1999), are by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844–89, an English Jesuit and innovative poet who experimented with metre and developed what he called ‘sprung rhythm’, anticipating free verse.

The Starlight Night
Written Feb. 24, 1877. Published 1918

LOOK at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!
Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves’-eyes!
The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies!
Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare!
Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!—
Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.
Buy then! bid then!—What?—Prayer, patience, aims, vows.
Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!
Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow sallows!
These are indeed the barn; withindoors house
The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse
Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows.

Margaret Thatcher – Elvis Costello: Tramp the Dirt Down

The death of Margaret Thatcher has led to an outburst of celebration in the UK that has been absolutely astonishing to someone like myself, on the outside looking in. I had no idea that her policies could excite anything like these emotions so many years later. What I want to know is: Where does the energy for all the spitefulness come from?

The Guardian has put together an excellent report.

In the late 1980s, Elvis Costello wrote a brilliant and  bitter song about her, Tramp the Dirt Down.

Elvis Costello: Tramp the Dirt Down

I saw a newspaper picture from the political campaign
A woman was kissing a child, who was obviously in pain
She spills with compassion, as that young childs
Face in her hands she grips
Can you imagine all that greed and avarice
Coming down on that childs lips

Well I hope I don’t die too soon
I pray the lord my soul to save
Oh I’ll be a good boy, Im trying so hard to behave
Because there’s one thing I know, I’d like to live
Long enough to savour
That’s when they finally put you in the ground
Ill stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down

When england was the whore of the world
Margeret was her madam
And the future looked as bright and as clear as
The black tarmacadam
Well I hope that she sleeps well at night, isnt
Haunted by every tiny detail
Cos when she held that lovely face in her hands
All she thought of was betrayal

And now the cynical ones say that it all ends the same in the long run
Try telling that to the desperate father who just squeezed the life from his only son
And how it’s only voices in your head and dreams you never dreamt
Try telling him the subtle difference between justice and contempt
Try telling me she isn’t angry with this pitiful discontent
When they flaunt it in your face as you line up for punishment
And then expect you to say thank you straighten up, look proud and pleased
Because youve only got the symptoms, you haven’t got the whole disease
Just like a schoolboy, whose heads like a tin-can
Filled up with dreams then poured down the drain
Try telling that to the boys on both sides, being blown to bits or beaten and maimed
Who takes all the glory and none of the shame

Well I hope you live long now, I pray the lord your soul to keep
I think I’ll be going before we fold our arms and start to weep
I never thought for a moment that human life could be so cheap
Cos when they finally put you in the ground
They’ll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down

Come, wanton spring!

This has been the coldest spring on record. They say temperatures are going up to 9 degrees this week. Come, wanton spring!

Talk Talk – April 5th

from The Colour of Spring, 1985/6

Here she comes
Silence in her sound
Here she comes
Fresh upon the ground
Come gentle spring
Come at winter’s end
Gone is the pallor from a promise that’s nature’s gift
Waiting for the colour of spring
Let me breathe
Let me breathe the colour of spring
Here she comes
Laughter in her kiss
Here she comes
Shame upon her lips
Come wanton spring
Come for birth you live
Youth takes its bow before the summer the seasons bring
Waiting for the colour of spring
Let me
Let me breathe
Let me breathe you
Let me breathe
Let me breathe you
Let me breathe

Songs

Kishi Bashi

Wow. Kishi Bashi. I hadn’t seen the ads, instead discovering him through Paste Magazine. All that attention to detail, craftsmanship and polish. Animal Collective meets Andrew Bird and classical Japanese music.

They are hosting a video-based riddle contest for idioms like

  • wearing _ _ _ _ h _ _ _ _  _ _  your  _ _ _ _ _ _”
  • “x” _ _ _ _ _ the  _  _ _ _
  • _ _ _ ‘ s knees
  • _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ driver

You’ll find the gap-fill here and the video here:

Some answers and associations:

to be framed, It’s all Greek to me, paint it black, the elephant in the room, be the spitting image, back seat driver, ride shotgun, eye candy, free ticket, it costs an arm and a leg, give me a hand, buy a lemon, throw someone a bone, he’s got your number, bite the bullet, (the) truth is written all over his face, (it’s the) bee’s knees, bird’s eye view, hell in a basket, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, break a leg, birds of a feather flock together, kill two birds with one stone, X marks the spot, kick the bucket,  a penny for your thoughts, piece of cake, icing on the cake, have your cake and eat it too, (have) a bone to chew, when pigs fly, key to my heart, once in a blue moon…

To use in class, here are many of the idioms on cards:

Concert on KEXP: