“Fatherly Influence” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day

Musical Journal:

I probably should have done this closer to Father’s Day but this post is more the result of reflection on my father the last couple weeks. I can count my mother’s influence on my musical tastes in a couple things – classical and choir arrangements.   My father, on the other hand, was eclectic in his music tastes. That rubbed off on me.

The family story goes that dad tried to buy a car but the guy said he had no credit rating so no dice. Dad then figured out the quickest way to get a credit rating.  He bought a record player on credit and paid it off in six months.  He then had the credit rating to get a car.  I don’t know what happened to the car.  But the record player was in my room as a teenager and I used it to play a lot of things. Including some metal if your wondering.

The result of this was a record collection which was part my mom ( a whole collection of classical music and some choir stuff) and part my dad. Later it would be part me. For my dad’s part, he was all over the place. Below are a few selections and some of my thoughts still regarding them. mostly though I picked up my eclectic, ‘if it sounds good to me I like it’ attitude from dad.

Personal Significance:

“Good Night Sweetheart” – Sha Na Na

I know it is hard to believe but when I was a teenager they had a show dedicated to the 1950s music and culture called Sha Na Na.  I suppose this song which is shortened for the purpose of the show represents a lot of doo-wop which my day was a big fan.  Dad never missed this show and mom liked it too.  I was kind of interested as doo-wop is still something I like to listen to on occasion.  I like this one because Bowser as a bass singer was top notch.

“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash 

Probably the greatest thing dad ever did for me was expose me to Johnny Cash.  legendary song by a legendary artist in a legendary place.  To me Cash defies classification.  Is the country? Rockabilly? Rock-n-roll?  The answer is yes and no.

“Good Woman Blues” – Mel Tillis

Dad loved Mel mostly because he was fascinated by the fact that the man should sing like an angel but he could not talk straight because he stuttered. He always reminded me that just because people struggle in one area it does not mean they will be extraordinary in another.  This is also a good representation of the country music my dad was a fan of.

“Allentown” – Billy Joel

I used to have a paper route.  In the winter dad would drive me around to deliver and he would play the radio.  One of the songs at the time was this one and given my dad liked it.  He didn’t really like Billy Joel as a person much or even the message of the song completely.  having been a former union man and later on against them feeling a good boss and being a good human being was better than the antagonism of union vs. management. But he liked the song.

“In a Gadda Da Vida” – Iron Butterfly

The story goes that dad was putting together his next stereo and the guy at the shop said if he wanted to test the sound quality he should buy this song, sit between the two speakers and if he could tell him something interesting about the drummer’s playing then he had the sound right.  What it was is if you had it right the dri=ummer sounds like he is moving around you.  It works I tried it myself. This album stayed on dad’s record shelf until his death. He actually seemed to like the psychedelic 60s stuff.

Play List: 

“Good Night Sweetheart” – Sha Na Na

“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash

“Good Woman Blues” – Mel Tillis

“Allentown” – Billy Joel

“In a Gadda Da Vida” – Iron Butterfly

Bonus Tracks:

Two Bonus Tracks today.  One more a representative of the doo-wop songs my dad had in his collection and something that I think was dad’s celebrity crush. Janis Joplin.  I think it was her voice.  I know to me, her voice is sexy as hell. Enjoy.

“Blue Moon” – The Marcels

“Piece of My Heart” – Janis Joplin

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Covers Better Than the Orignal” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day 

Musical Journal:

Cover Songs are something  I like to hear from time to time.  It is what causes me to remember that music is something that can connect with other people other than the original artist that did the song.  It also reveals from time to time that the emotions that the cover performer has are more closely connected to the song than the original artist.  When that happens the cover is often ‘better’ than the original. It is better in the sense that it speaks louder than original in terms of the strength and power of the message.

I have to say that a few covers have meant a little more to me than the original. So today’s List is cover songs that I find better than the original for the reasons outlined above.

Personal Significance:

Hurt – Johnny Cash: (Original – Nine Inch Nails)

You know a cover is better than the original when the original artist basically says: “That song is a Johnny Cash song now.”  For me, the whole idea of a man who has lost all that is really important to him but still has the other stuff, ‘my empire of dirt”, is a powerful metaphor.  One that I try very hard to remember.

Am I Evil – Metallica: (Original – Diamond Head)

I doubt very much people look up this song to hear Diamond Head play it.  It’s the live performances Metallica did when they were in their prime that people like to listen to.  you might even refer to the live performance of the big four of metal as well, but it is Metallica’s performance of this cover that makes my day these days.

The Sound of Silence – Disturbed: (Original – Simon and Garfunkel)

Now, I am not diminishing Simon an Garfunkel’s performance at all.  It is very haunting and wonderful and is one of those songs that you can’t get it out of your head.  What Disturbed does to this song si give it grit and power on top of all that.  They don’t take away from its wonderful quality, they add to it.

I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Original – The Arrows)

Yeah, nobody has ever heard of the Arrows.  Joan Jett takes this to a new height of performance.  You believe her when she says it and it was a 1980s anthem.

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (Original – Dolly Parton)

Dolly’s performance is memorable.  Whineys is unforgettable and it is her one of a kind voice that does it.  Yes, I know this song made the list last week, but that is just how good this cover is compared to the original.

Playlist:

The playlist this week is a little different in that each song will first have the original and then the cover.  You can listen for yourself.

Hurt:

Original – Nine Inch Nails:

Cover – Johnny Cash:

Am I Evil:

Original – Diamond Head:

Cover – Metallica:

The Sound of Silence:

Original – Simon and Garfunkel:

Cover – Disturbed: 

I Love Rock and Roll:

Original – The Arrows:

Cover – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts:

I Will Always Love You:

Original – Dolly Parton:

Cover – Whitney Houston:

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!