I’m just managing to squeeze this one in between yesterday’s Tuesday Tunes piece and the start of my Advent Calendar tomorrow. Add in Sunday’s post and that means that by Christmas Day I will have posted 28 times in 29 days – aren’t you thrilled at that prospect? But I wanted to get this one in as it is my last Monthly Review of the year: there really isn’t much point doing one for my December!
November was one of my busier months: including this one I’ve now hit your inbox fifteen times, so there is a fair amount to cover in this review. As usual, most were music pieces, though there was one oddity that stood out amongst them.
As is my usual habit an early post, though not the first of the month, was my review of October, which was called, rather imaginatively I thought, October. You can tell that a lot of effort went into that, can’t you? It was the usual run through of the previous month, complete with handy clickable links, plus the song whose title had inspired mine – a little number from an early U2 album, which I have always rather liked.
The month had actually started with the first of November’s five Tuesday Tunes pieces – there were a lot of Tuesdays last month. This one was Tuesday Tunes 128: All Hallows, in which I got in my usual nod towards Halloween a day late. I blame the calendar! The musical delights were provided by Warren Zevon, the Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett, Black Widow, The Hound + The Fox, Michael Jackson, Screaming Jay Hawkins, and Faun. A fairly eclectic mix!
Ahead of Remembrance Sunday I gave you Tuesday Tunes 129: Peace. This just seemed right. The music came from Cat Stevens, Big Country, Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jessie Buckley (a real beauty, this one), Merry Hell, George Harrison, and Mungo Jerry.
For the following week I paid a return visit to a list I had created, with Tuesday Tunes 130: A Few More Favourites. If you recall, I had made myself a list of songs and bands which have become favourites for me over the many years I have enjoyed music, and this set – the third of these – gave you tunes by Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, World Party, The Waterboys, Crosby Stills & Nash on a return visit, Sandy Denny, and Chris Rea.
Next up was Tuesday Tunes 131: Stupid Fool, in which I took my ‘inspiration’ from something which had happened to me and which I had written about (coming later). I exorcised a few demons in this one, with the help of The Who, Whitesnake, Joni Mitchell (again), Steely Dan, Bryan Ferry, Richard Thompson, Shania Twain, and Keith Urban in his rock music guise.
Last month’s final set was yesterday’s Tuesday Tunes 132: Rainbow 🌈, which was my way of supporting those who suffer discrimination and possibly worse in Qatar, where the World Cup is currently taking place. The music was by Rainbow, The Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Nirvana (not THAT one), Love Affair, Molly Tuttle, and another return appearance, this time from World Party.
As has become my habit I took part in Song Lyric Sunday each week. The first of these was Song Lyric Sunday: July, which invited us to play a song by someone with famous musical parents. I featured a beautiful song by Noah Cyrus, and added in a bonus to this, another of her songs about a month. The post took off! It has already had sufficient likes to reach my top ten all time list. Funny how that sometimes happens, isn’t it?
The following week we were invited to play a song by someone who had appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. I went back to their very first issue, which featured John Lennon, in Song Lyric Sunday: Imagine. This was posted on Remembrance Sunday, and seemed to me to be a perfect fit for the day.
The next one was a theme for which Jim kindly gave me the credit, though I still think he has an assist for it. The idea was to play a song with a recognisable intro, and for me there was only ever one possible choice, which I played in Song Lyric Sunday: The Boss. If you don’t know who that is, or what the song was, you only have to click the link to find out!
The final SLS for the month asked us to play a Motown song. This could have been difficult to trim down, but one song from their Sixties heyday has always stood out for me, so I played it in Song Lyric Sunday: Smokey. If you don’t know which one I chose, you know what to do…
There were a motley crew of other posts last month. The first of these was Songs For Bonfire Night Revisited which, as its title suggests, was a reworking of previous years’ pieces marking our annual celebration of the fact that a plot to blow up Parliament failed. I think nowadays some might celebrate more if it succeeded! This was a bit of a mixture: some history, for those who might not know it, three songs with fire in their title, by The Doors, Billy Joel, and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, and a clip from the excellent Horrible Histories tv series.
In the run up to Remembrance Sunday I gave you a piece on the actual Remembrance Day, called simply Remembrance 2022. This developed on my tradition of sharing some poetry about the futility of war by playing you three songs from an album by a fabulous English folk music band, Show Of Hands, from an album they issued in 1914 to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. The album was called Centenary: Words & Music of the Great War, and their music was blended with narrations by two fine actors – Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton – of poems written at that time, to give a very moving experience. I had some problems withe the availability of these videos outside the UK, but found some alternative uploading of the same pieces which did actually work. I was glad about this, as this was an important post for me. I also included in it a wonderful song by another great English folk musician, Ralph McTell, and a clip of the brass band playing Elgar’s Nimrod at the Cenotaph in London.
That leaves one other music post to be reviewed. I had accepted an invitation from Bernadette, a blogging friend, to provide a playlist for her seasonal celebrations. I chose to do this to mark the US’ big day, Thanksgiving, with a selection of songs which for me share the importance of having people we love and care about around us, and of the memories this can give us. I called the piece Giving Thanks, and played music from Andrew Gold, Led Zeppelin, Dido, Show Of Hands (again!), Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Miranda Lambert, and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and I couldn’t resist adding in a short clip from the Muppet Show to raise a smile.
Just one other post to complete the set for November. An unusual one for me, and one which I hope never to have to repeat! This was Be A Lert, in which I shared the tale of how I had fallen victim to some scammers who had taken a large sum from me. I posted the story not so much to show how gullible I had been, but to act as a warning to others that, no matter how bright and careful we might think we are, we might just fall for it. From the responses I’ve had to this, I think that might not have been a wasted effort! And as I said earlier, the whole sorry saga did give me a Tuesday Tunes theme.
That was November, then. All that remains is for me to play the song from which I borrowed today’s title. I’ve played The Waterboys a couple of times recently, and this is another good one:
That’s a laid back treat, isn’t it? The song was included on The Waterboys’ album Modern Blues, which was issued in January 2015, and reached #14 on the UK Albums chart, #2 on our Independent Albums listing, and #36 on the US equivalent of that. It feels like a good way to close this review, and give us a little relaxation before the hurly burly of my Advent Calendar begins tomorrow. I hope to see you then 😊