Today is the last day of September, in case you hadn’t noticed, and it felt right to give you my monthly review. Now that I’ve added Sundays to Tuesdays as regular posting days, and as I don’t as a rule post on successive days, I either had to do this now or wait until the end of next week – that seemed too far into October so you’re getting this today! By my standards this has been a busy month: including this one I’ve landed on you thirteen times, so strap yourself in for the ride as I scoot through them all.
As usual (though October will be different, of course) I began with the previous month’s review. In a moment of extremely inspired imagination I titled this August. It was the usual round up of everything I’d inflicted on you, with a title song from Taylor Swift. Anyone with a phenomenal memory may have recalled that I played that song last year as one of two songs I gave you for the August 2021 review, but that time it was the album version while this year in was the one recorded for Taylor’s Disney+ documentary. They are both great, though.
All bar one of the other posts were music-based. Let’s start with a Tuesday Tunes recap. There were four of these, beginning with Tuesday Tunes 120: Help, which was my reaction to the anointing of our new Prime Minister. Judging by how she is doing so far, I think I was right to be worried! In a more positive vein, the music I played was from The Beatles (where else could I start?), The Spencer Davis Group, The Cowboy Junkies, The Beach Boys, Elles Bailey (amazing, you should check her out), Crosby Stills and Nash, Joe Cocker, and Blackberry Smoke.
The following week saw something different. We had been shocked at the news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and, as she had been the only monarch in my lifetime and had been a constant throughout, I wanted to pay a little musical tribute to her. So I gave you Tuesday Tunes 121: 👑ER II👑, in which I played the charming video of Her Majesty and Paddington Bear, which included a song by Queen, and also saw the post out with Brian May playing our national anthem from the roof of Buckingham Palace. In between I shared with you several pieces that had been played at ER II’s coronation in June 1953, which were from Holst, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and two by Händel. I was pleased that this departure from my norm was so well received – thank you.
It was back to normal the following week with Tuesday Tunes 122: Celebrate, which marked both my recent birthday and that of my good blogging chum Jim, which just happened to fall on that Tuesday. Actually, Jim hasn’t posted or commented on any blogs for more than a week now, as far as I can tell, so I hope I didn’t scare him off! The music that week came from the Playing For Change organisation, with a version full of happiness of the old Kool and the Gang song, Faun (the closest I’ve ever managed to an adult-rated music video), Survivor, The Beatles (too good to leave out), The Black Eyed Peas (an age-restricted video for some reason, though it was nowhere near as ‘entertaining’ as the Faun one), Ingrid Michaelson, Imagine Dragons, and Great Big Sea. A pretty mixed bag, even by my standards!
I closed the month with another theme provided by our government: different set of Conservative clowns, same crass stupidity and ineptitude. This came in the form of Tuesday Tunes 123: Money, in which I played music by Dire Straits, ABBA, Steve ‘n’ Seagulls (an AC/DC cover), Steve Earle, Pink Floyd, Gerry Rafferty, The Flying Lizards, and Cyndi Lauper. Somehow I managed to resist the temptation to play The Beatles song that would have been a good fit for the title!
I also continued throughout the month with posts for the Song Lyric Sunday challenge. I don’t do many of these challenges, as I fear that I could swamp you with posts if I did, and in any case I’d have to think and I need to keep control of the remaining little grey cells that I possess. This one appealed to me when I first saw it, though, and I’ve now completed four months of it. The first one for September was to play a song about ‘sounds, voice, talk, words’ and my offering was Song Lyric Sunday: Voices In The Sky, a track from the Moody Blues album In Search Of The Lost Chord – both the song and the album are longstanding favourites of mine.
The following week we were invited to play a novelty song. In my eyes, ‘novelty’ is usually, in musical terms, a synonym for ‘total crap,’ so I did my best to fit that bill. I gave you Song Lyric Sunday: Star Trekkin’, which I think more than matched the brief. It is actually quite a fun song, with some clever – if simplistic – lyrics. If you haven’t seen it, do take a look: you’ll never know what you missed if you don’t!
Thankfully I managed to come back down to earth for the next Sunday, in which the task was to play a song from Australia. Resisting the obvious temptation to play Down Under, the only song I know with the word ‘chunder’ in its lyrics, I played Song Lyric Sunday: Beds Are Burning, by the excellent Midnight Oil. It is a song that makes a strong, very valid political point, whilst having an insanely catchy chorus. Another one that I’ve always loved.
For the final September Sunday we were asked to play a song about ‘Sweet, Honey, Sugar, Candy, Chocolate.’ My choice for this was Song Lyric Sunday: Sugar And Spice, a song all the way back from 1963 by The Searchers, one of the huge number of bands to come out of Liverpool in the wake of The Beatles. That was the band’s second big UK hit of the year and as the first one, Sweets For My Sweet, also qualified for the topic I played that one too as a bonus. I was brought up to learn that we should share our sweets around!
Two of the three remaining posts were also about music. The first of these was Listen To The Band: Warren Zevon, in which I brought back one of my occasional series after a rest of more than a year. This was to mark the nineteenth anniversary of the passing of one of my favourites, who was taken from us at the age of just 54, but left a body of work which has probably gone under the radar for many. He was well respected by his peers, many of whom covered his songs, and he seemed a suitable subject for me to bring the series back. It went down well so I think there may be more of this to come.
The other music post of the month was Keeping A Promise. This came out of a comments chat with Jill, who really needs to do a proper About Me page! She posts a song each day, and I challenged her to play AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie. To my amazement she did, and invited me to play some Stevie Wonder (her favourite) or Lionel Richie on my blog. I’m no Lionel Richie fan, so I got him out of the way quickly with the one song of his that I quite like – it has a joyous video, too, which helps. But I do like Stevie, particularly the run of albums he made in the Seventies, so it wasn’t hard to fulfil my side of the bargain. It was a fun post to do.
That just leaves one more. This was 69, which may have attracted some for the wrong reasons, but was actually a reworked version a piece I have shared before. The title referred to my newly acquired age, and the post was a selection of clips from 1953, the year of my birth. It was a pretty big year for news, but there were also a few smaller stories in there to give you a feel for what life was like back then. Another fun one for me to do.
So, that was my September. All that remains is for me to share the song which gave me my title for today. I actually cut it down a little, as the full thing is Wake Me Up When September Ends, but somehow that just didn’t feel quite right! You may recognise the title as being a song by Green Day, on their great album American Idiot, but I’m not playing you their version. This is by one of my favourite cover bands, who are always excellent to hear:
First To Eleven are prolific in their video releases, and you may recall my playing them before. I have nothing against the Green Day original of this song, I just prefer Audra Miller’s voice to Billie Joe Armstrong’s. Simples, really.
That’s it for now. I’ll see you again soon 😊