The Month Of January

We’re now a month into 2022, and if I’m honest it doesn’t really feel any different. But some things go on, including my round up of the previous month’s posts on my blog, and here we are again.

After December’s twenty-seven post bonanza, January was a fairly quiet month for me: just the eight posts, all but one of which were music offerings. The odd one out was Last Year, my review of the blog in 2021. I’ve taken to doing these in recent years: it is interesting for me, and I hope also for you, to look back on what were the most popular posts of the previous twelve months, and to put these into the context of overall performance. Those old work habits of performance reviews die hard, even after retirement, though it does feel like I’m marking my own homework. If the PM can do it…

Of the other seven posts, four were my regular Tuesday Tunes sets. These were:

Tuesday Tunes 85: New Beginnings, which was my attempt at offering a ‘new year looking ahead’ perspective in songs by John Lennon, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Tim McGraw, David Bowie, The Chicks, The Hound And The Fox (a lovely Ed Sheeran cover), and closed with Richard And Linda Thompson.

Tuesday Tunes 86: Saturday, in which I continued my occasional look at the days of the week with probably the easiest of them all. The music for this one came from the cast of the Rocketman movie, Sam Cooke, Tom Waits, Bon Jovi, David Bowie (again!), Brad Paisley, Bowling For Soup, and The Drifters.

Tuesday Tunes 87: Food, which was prompted by a comments chat I’d had with Esme, who runs the Senior Salon in which I participate each week. The foodie tunes were by The Rolling Stones, UB40, Weird Al Yankovic, Crowded House, Little Feat, Alison Krauss And Union Station, Maddy Prior And Tim Hart, and the cast of the musical movie Oliver!

I rounded off the month’s Tuesdays with Tuesday Tunes 88: Fat, which was actually prompted by bingo callers in the UK calling ball 88 ‘two fat ladies,’ and wasn’t intended as a comment on the previous week’s post! It gave me a theme which allowed me to share a selection of songs which were all positive, and included a fair few fat shaming messages. The tunes were by Queen, Weird Al Yankovic (again, with another Michael Jackson parody), Mika, Meghan Trainor, Colbie Caillat, Elton John (as himself, this time), Ashley McBryde, and AC/DC.

One of the other music posts was actually where my blogging month began. On New Year’s Day I posted the second of a two-parter (the first part was on New Year’s Eve). This was New Year Songs – Part Two, which featured music by Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Rescues, Gretchen Peters, U2, Otis Redding And Carla Thomas, Al Stewart, Bon Jovi, plus an encore from the annual New Year concert in Vienna – this time, it was the 1987 vintage that I shared.

January saw the passing of one of my musical favourites, the incomparable Marvin Lee Aday, better known as Meat Loaf. I marked this with a special piece, R.I.P. Mr Loaf. It is always sad for me when a favourite passes, but by listening to their music again it reminds me of why I liked them.

Last month’s final piece was one of my occasional reworkings of an oldie, as most of you wouldn’t have seen it before. This was A #SaturdaySong Revisit – A Little Late For December, which was based on a beautiful song by Beth Nielsen Chapman (with harmony vocals by John Prine), and shared my memories of what the song means for me.

That seemed a good point at which to end the month’s music. All that remains is for me to share the song which gives this post its title. I’m betting that this will be a new one for you:

https://embed.music.apple.com/gb/album/the-month-of-january/1617411939?i=1617411944

That is a traditional song, which is claimed by musicians from both England and Ireland to be part of their heritage. It doesn’t matter to me which it is: I suspect it was widely shared in both countries, and its theme of a young girl wronged by a man, and left holding the baby – literally, in this case – is a fairly standard part of folk music history. There are many recordings of this one, most of which go down the traditional, unaccompanied route, but I rather like this version. Blair Dunlop is an English folk singer: he is the son of Ashley Hutchings, who was a founder member of both Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. Larkin Poe are sisters Megan and Rebecca Lovell, who play roots/Americana music and are very good. Their name derives from that of their great, great, great, great grandfather, Larkin Poe, a Civil War wagon driver and historian, and a cousin of Edgar Allan Poe. It’s a rather lovely performance, and I hope you enjoyed it.

That’s all for this recap. I’ll see you again for the next monthly instalment, and hopefully for all of the posts in between. Take care and stay safe.