November

I bet you didn’t expect see me again today, did you? Four days in a row! I’m just getting myself geared up ahead of my Advent Calendar, that’s all. I will be posting every day from 1st to 25th December, which leaves me in a bit of a quandary about my November review: the options were to post twice on the same day (unheard of for me), leave it until after Christmas (by when November would be a distant memory, seen through an alcoholic and food induced haze), not do one at all (and deprive you of my wit), or post it early. Despite the fact that this means I will be omitting an upcoming Tuesday Tunes post, I decided to go for that last one, so here we are.

There have already been fourteen posts this month, and the final total (including this one and Tuesday’s) will be sixteen: a busy month, by my standards. Eight of those posts have been music ones, so I’m starting the review with those. There have, of course, been Tuesday Tunes posts: four to date, with a fifth upcoming. The four so far have been:

Tuesday Tunes 79: Ruth, which marked my younger daughter’s 30th birthday by taking a look at the singles and albums charts from the week she was born. The music came from The Levellers, Dire Straits, Queen, Enya, Marc Cohn, Crowded House, Extreme, R.E.M, and Bryan Adams.

Next up was Tuesday Tunes 80: Monday, in which I took a second shot at songs for a day of the week. The music was provided by The Bangles, The Mamas And The Papas, Ry Cooder, New Order, John Prine, Fleetwood Mac, The Boomtown Rats, and Kate Rusby.

Tuesday Tunes 81: Environment was my way of marking the COP26 conference which had taken place for the previous two weeks in Glasgow (not Edinburgh – CNN please note). The songs were a collection of environmental protest songs, showing that musicians have been expressing their concerns for many years (and certainly for longer than most politicians). They came from Cat Stevens, The Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Jackson Browne, Tom Lehrer, John Prine (again), Joni Mitchell, and Queen (again!).

I took on another day of the week last time with Tuesday Tunes 82: Friday, with songs by The Easybeats, The Darkness, The Cure, The Shires, Lady A, and Kate Rusby (again!). I also added a short selection of tunes for Black Friday, featuring Steely Dan, Rusty Cage, and Weird Al Jankovic.

The final Tuesday Tunes post for this month will be here on Tuesday. What will be in it? That would be telling…

There were also four more music posts this month. The first of these was Bonfire Night Boogie, which celebrated our Guy Fawkes Night custom with a little bit of a history lesson from the Horrible Histories mob, and a selection of ‘fire’ songs from Pat Benatar, The Move, Johnny Cash (another ‘again’), The Rolling Stones, Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Sarah McLachlan, and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

Then came A New Album: Antipodes, in which I tried the experiment of introducing you to an artist I thought would be new to you: Caroline Jones. I shared six tracks from her newly released album: they seem to have been well received so I may repeat the experiment at some point.

Having given you a selection of songs for a particularly British event I thought it only fair to do the same for a (mostly) North American celebration, in Songs for Thanksgiving. This included music loosely related to the theme of ‘thank you’ by Andrew Gold, Fairport Convention, Led Zeppelin, Dido, Rod Stewart, Show Of Hands, Don Henley, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

The remaining musical post this month was yesterday’s piece, A Quick One Under the Covers. This was based around a very poignant song by John Hiatt – who appears to have been unknown to most of you, despite his twenty six albums in a nearly forty year career! The song was Crossing Muddy Waters, which was written about the suicide of his first wife. It is a lovely song, and I gave you a live performance by John himself, plus two beautiful cover versions by I’m With Her and the Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra. As a bonus, I also added in his daughter Lilly Hiatt covering another of John’s songs.

That still leaves six posts – I said it was a busy month! The first of these was last month’s review, October Skies, which appeared on 7th November – meaning that I will have posted two of these reviews in the same month. Oh well, that’s life, I guess. As usual, it gave you clickable links to all of that month’s posts, and a rather lovely song by Mumford And Sons which I borrowed for my title.

Next came my annual homage to the fallen, in On Remembrance Day 2021. This was a collection of poetry, plus an extract from the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony in London: a military brass band performance of Nimrod, from Elgar‘s Enigma Variations. It is a powerful piece of music, very fitting for the occasion.

The other four posts were all revisits to my back catalogue, as most of you won’t have seen them before. I have posted several times about how I hate November, and how I don’t seem to be alone in that, judging by how some poets have seen it. This year’s version was Not Our Favourite Month? – it’s probably as close to ‘proper’ writing as you’ll ever see here, given that most of the words belong to others.

I also gave you two reworkings and re-edits of posts I originally published in 2015, during one of my two attempts at #NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, for the uninitiated). These were Why Do We Do It? and the imaginatively titled Why Do We Do It? – Part Two. Like others, I have written several times about why I blog, and these were a pair of companion pieces that I thought were worth sharing again. As they have been the most viewed and liked posts so far this month, it seems a popular subject!

The remaining post was also from a #NaBloPoMo stint, this time in 2014. To be honest, I had forgotten about this one, but as I have previously attempted to dazzle you with my (very limited) knowledge of art history I thought it worth having another go, as the original post had registered barely a blip on the blogometer. It was about The Scream and this seemed somehow appropriate.

So, apart from Tuesday Tunes 83, yet to be unleashed on you, that was my blogging month. As always, I hope to have entertained and amused you, and possibly even to have got you thinking, on occasion.

I always close these pieces with the song that has given me my title. This month, I went with the simplest option possible, but it is a lovely song, nevertheless:

Go on, tell me you’ve never heard of Gabrielle Aplin! If you live in North America you very probably haven’t, as she has never had any chart success there and I doubt that many of her 1.08m YouTube subscribers come from there, either! This was a track from her debut album, English Rain, which was released in May 2013, and reached #2 in the UK and #10 in Australia. Her two subsequent albums have also been chart hits here. She first came to public notice at Christmas 2012, when her cover version of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood song The Power Of Love was the music which accompanied that year’s John Lewis tv advertisement: it was a #1 hit single here, and also made #5 in Australia. The advert, by the way, is beautiful and probably my favourite of all the ones the company has made: if you want to look it up, you’ll find it here.

So, that was my November. It was busy, but there will be even more posts next month when I take on my marathon. I hope to see you again then, and for Tuesday’s post too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. 😊

30 thoughts on “November

  1. Congratulations, you will be featured on the upcoming Senior Salon Pit Stop post, Monday, Dec 6th, as one of the top three bloggers.
    Thank you for your support and participation. Please invite your fellow bloggers to also come and participate, thanks in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clive, I’ve never heard of Gabrielle Alpin! And my excuse can’t even be that I live on the other side of the Atlantic! Where have I been,I wonder? I love the song and ahhh. …. the John Lewis advert is precious and I vaguely recall this!

    I look forward to your advent posts in December!😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve clearly been MIA, Annika! I’m glad to have given you this belated introduction to Gabrielle, and the reminder of the advert which gave her career a huge kickstart. One of John Lewis’ best, I think.

      I hope you enjoy the Christmas music I’ll be sharing – but don’t expect any Dean Martin, Bing Crosby or Mariah Carey 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clive, I would be very surprised if Dean Martin et al featured next month … can’t wait to see your eclectic seletcion.😀

        I realise I was MIA music-wise for most of 2000s and early 2010 when my son was born and growing up. Since then he has developed an intense interest in music and I enjoy some of the EDM, dubstep and indie music of the likes of Avicii, Illenium, Eden & Porter Robinson (his Nurture is an incredibly beautiful and haunting album).

        Liked by 1 person

      • It will definitely be a mixture!

        I haven’t been following musical trends for many years, but there is still plenty of new music I enjoy – just not chart-related. The only one of those I’ve heard of is Avicii!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. And again, thanks much for sharing, visiting, and commenting on posts at the Senior Salon Pit Stop.
    Pinned to Senior Salon Pit Stop InLinkz Linkup Shares board and tweeted @EsmeSalon #SeniorSalonPitStop
    Will it be 4 in a row?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wonderful summary of such a productive and entertaining month of blog posts. You are correct, I have never heard of Gabrielle, but not too bad. and thanks for that link to the John Lewis ad. I love the British Christmas commercials, and I think I have written about them every year. But this one was from before I started, so it was nice to be made aware of it. I’m looking forward to the new batch this year. I think my favorite was Monty the Penguin…

    I’m also looking forward to your advent calendar of posts…

    I like the quote at the top of this post.

    and by the way, I forgot to mention that I liked the clever title to yesterday’s post. a little bit of clickbait!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jim, I’m glad of your support. I’m a big fan of Gabrielle Aplin – her albums are all lovely and she has enjoyed some good collaborations and cover versions too. She does a nice, gentle take on I’m On Fire.

      John Lewis have for years been at the forefront of our Christmas ads – theirs have been an eagerly awaited event. This year’s isn’t their best: a little black boy sneaking mince pies out to his new friend: an albino alien. She kisses him and then leaves: maybe a metaphor for life? The anti-woke brigade are all over it. The really bad news is that Hafod Hardware have announced they aren’t making one this year – I’ll just have to share the previous four in the Advent Calendar!

      Good quote, isn’t it 😂

      Having got away with misleading people with the first Under The Covers post two years ago it has become a seam to be mined. I’ve probably disappointed a few of the wrong type of readers, though.

      Liked by 1 person

Please leave a reply, I'd like to know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.