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. 😊