I was mulling over some favorite tunes, and decided to make me a list. It soon grew faster than a politician's spending. Herewith, said list, If anyone can find the commonality around which these songs cluster, they are welcome to try. I tried to keep it down to one tune per songwriter, but all you have to do is say "Dylan," and you see how impossible that is.
In no particular order. (The tunes constitute an unorderable set,)
- Scott Joplin. Maple Leaf Rag. New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. Bonus link: Digital recording by Joplin himself!
- Porter Steele (et seq. Alphonse Picou) High Society. New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. Jelly-Roll Morton's version is here.
- Bob Dylan. A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall. But also Like a Rolling Stone although I am not the biggest fan of his put-down songs. Then there is the quirky Xmas song: Must Be Santa.
- Tom Paxton. Outward Bound. Which sounds to my ear like a song about marriage. Back in the day, being a natural contrarian, when everybody was gaga over Dylan, I took a special interest in Paxton. So, I like too many of Paxton songs to list. Just a few: Leaving London.and his classic The Last Thing on my Mind.
Are you going away with no word of farewell?
Will there be not a trace left behind?
- If you ever find yiurself in Munich... O München, Mein München.
- Staying with the Germanic theme: Ein schoenes Fleckchen Erde.
- Orange Blossom Special played by Earl Scruggs & Foggy Mth Boys or Charlie Daniels Band:
- Beach Boys. Sloop John B. Great polyphony!
- Moore's beautiful Irish song. Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms (I could not find Treasa Ni Chathain's version on-line.)
the heart which has truly loved never forgets
But as truly loves on to the close
- Billy Joel. Just the Way You Are, which is Joel's take on the same sentiments just expressed by Moore, Technically, this was the Incomparable Marge's favorite song, but how could I leave it off?
- Simon & Garfunkle. Sounds of Silence. Paul Simon is another one of those who could have had multiple entries up here. "The Boxer," "Goin Home," "I Am a Rock," etc. But I am weary of looking up links.
- Preservation Hall. O Maryland, My Maryland. But I could have put "Gettysburg March" here instead.
- Wolfe Tones. We can't have a list like this without a few rebel songs. The Boys of the Old Brigade or The Broad Black Brimmer. Not that I'm partial to the IRA in either it s Marxist (official) or its nationalist (provo) forms.
- Finbar Furey. Madame Bonaparte. The Irish Pipes have three sets of pipes. The chanter, the regulators (which play chords with the wrist) and the drones. Listen closely to this set dance and you can hear how Furey brings each one in in sequential stanzas.
- Turlough O Carolan. As long as we're talking about real Irish music, try Carolan's Concerto or Fanny Power. by the last of the great blind Irish harpers.
- Theodore Bikel. Katyushka or At Volgi na Dona. for nyemnogo Russiya music.
Bruce Daigrepont. Laisses Faire or La Valse de la Riviere Rouge. because why leave out the French?
- East Side Dave. My Pennsylvania Home.
- Michael Cooney. John Henry played on a twelve string guitar.
- Tommy Makem/Liam Clancy. The Rambles of Spring.
Here's a health to one and allI left off longer pieces, like Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and the Act I Finale to Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan, which at one point has seven distinct voices doing their own thing, yet blending into a great whole. I also left off hymns and anthems like Alleluia, Alleluia, Let the Holy Anthem Rise. or Columbia, Gem of the Ocean, with its great line:
To the big and to the small
To the rich and poor alike, and foe and friends
Thy banners make tyranny tremble.If only, right?