A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 26, 2017

Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue (1967)

Paul Mauriat (1925-2006) was born in Marseille, France. He began playing music at the age of four and, by his twenties, began a dance band that toured throughout Europe during World War II. In the 1950s, Mauriat was the musical director for Charles Aznavour and Maruice Chevalier, whom he toured with, separately. He released his first album in 1957 and would release well over one hundred more in his lifetime. Interestingly, depending on the motif of his most-current album, he would choose a pseudonym to release the album under which he felt most matched the music. Examples of pseudonyms he used include Richard Audrey, Nico Papadopoulos, Eduardo Ruo, and Willy Twist. Using the pseudonym “Del Roma,” Mauriat co-composed the song “Chariot” which would later be adapted to English and taken to number one spot on the charts in 1963 as “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March.

Seeing another artist take one of his songs to the top of the charts wasn’t the only time Mauriat would find himself in the number one spot. In 1967, Mauriat recorded and released a cover of André Popp’s “L'amour est bleu,” heard below. The song spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968, the first instrumental to achieve the number one spot since The Tornados' “Telstar” in 1962. The only instrumental to hold the top spot of the Hot 100 longer was Percy Faith’s “Theme from a Summer Place.”

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Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue (1967)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

May 22, 2017

The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (1965)

In George Harrison’s autobiography, I Me Mine, Harrison mentions that although he played the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” adding the sitar to the song was more of an after-thought and the song hadn’t really been written with the sitar in mind. Regardless, the inclusion of the sitar (and The Beatles’ immense, global popularity at the time) resulted in widely introducing Indian instruments to all of Western society. After “Norwegian Wood” had been released on The Beatles’ Rubber Soul in 1965, Indian and other Eastern instruments soon started appearing in music by other mainstream acts such as The Byrds, The Rolling Stones, and Donovan. By the following year, “raga rock” was common and the inclusion of Eastern instruments remained popular until it eventually faded out of popularity in the very late 1960s.

The song below was credited to Lennon-McCartney, but the majority of the song is believed to have been written by John Lennon. The lyrics tell an autobiographical story of Lennon having an extra-marital affair behind the back of his then-wife Cynthia Lennon née Powell. When Paul McCartney was asked for his interpretation of the lyrics, he said that the Norwegian wood mentioned in the song was the wood paneling found on the walls of homes, which was popular at the time, and that the last line, “So, I lit a fire // Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?” indicated that the singer set the house on fire as an act of revenge.

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The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (1965)

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Lyrics:

I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me?
She showed me her room
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay
And she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around
And I noticed there wasn't a chair

I sat on a rug, biding my time
Drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said
“It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked in the morning
And started to laugh
I told her I didn't
And crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

May 16, 2017

Patrick Sky - Luang Prabang (1971)

In our previous post to feature this artist, it was mentioned how Patrick Sky’s political point of view had become more radical toward the end of the 1960s as the American involvement in Vietnam escalated. Naturally, the more radical Sky’s views became, the more radical his lyrics became. When Sky finished recording tracks in March 1971 for his forthcoming album, Songs That Made America Famous, the radical lyrics within lead to rejection from several record labels who refused to pick up the album for distribution. Eventually, in 1973, Sky decided to release the album on his own record label, Rainbow Collection, and eventually got it picked up by Adelphi Records. With its radical lyrics and limited promotion, the album didn’t sell as well as it could have in a more lenient market, such as today’s.

Written by Dave Van Ronk (and eventually recorded/released by him in 1994), the first recording and release of the song was the version recorded by Patrick Sky in 1971 and heard below. Initially, Vank Ronk was intended to appear with Sky on the song, but for reasons not mentioned, it never happened. There’s a live version of the song which features both Van Ronk and Sky from a tour they did together in 1973, but the version heard below is the original featuring only Patrick Sky and released on his 1973 album, Songs That Made America Famous.

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Patrick Sky - Luang Prabang (1971)

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Lyrics:

When I came back from Luang Prabang
I didn’t have a thing where my balls used to hang
But I got a wooden medal and a fine harangue
And now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

And now the boys all envy me
I fought for Christian Democracy
With nothing but air where my balls used to be
But now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

One and twenty cannon thunder
Into the bloody, wild, blue yonder
For a patriotic ball-less wonder
Now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

In Luang Prabang there is a spot
Where the corpses of your brothers rot
And every corpse is a patriot
And every corpse is a hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me