Sunday, July 20, 2008

I DO Believe in Fairies (and wolves and witches and sheep and magic horses)!!!

Fairy Tales, Folklore, and Nursery Rhymes!

Yes, my little foundlings, that is the theme of today's entry. For you listening pleasure, I come bearing poppy and psychedelic songs from somewhere beyond the nursery, ranging in emotion from cute and carefree to haunting and transcendental.


The Sham-ettes-(Hey There) Big Bad Wolf

The Sham-ettes were the creation of pop musician Sam the Sham. They were a novelty act who not only backed up Sam during his live revue, but sang their own songs. They released a few (mostly unsuccessful) singles of their own, including this one, a cheeky response to the popular single "Hey There Little Red Riding Hood".

Francois Hardy- Magic Horse

This track is taken from Francois' little-publicized (and very hard to find) 1970 English-language album 1-9-7-0, released only in Italy. A dreamy, floaty, oh-so-seventies song about riding on a magic horse "higher, higher, higher in the sky!"

Sylvie Vartan-Si Je Chante

This song uses a melody originally composed by Mozart, but most of us know it as the familiar tune of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" The lyrics do not translate into the well-known nursery rhyme, but rather a woeful heartbreak song. My French is only so-so, but from what I can tell, the song is about singing for one person, after being separated for 15 years, but being forgotten, and shedding tears. The song's upbeat, dancy feel, however, nearly conceals the lovesick lyrics.

The Continental Co-Ets-Medley of Junk

This surf ditty by the undeniably badass 1960's all-female band is a mash-up of familiar tunes,(including the "Mary Had a Little Lamb" melody used by Sylvie) with shimmy-worthy guitar licks and sweet little drum solos.


Shift the mood from fun pop music to the more dramatic side of fairy tales with two songs from Josephine Foster(formally of the delectable psych-folk duo Born Heller)'s appropriately titled album, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.

Foster's 2006 record is comprised of songs originally composed by Bach, Schubert and others, which she sings the German Lieder tradition. Each track is overshadowed with dark, haunting electric guitar. This is a far cry from Mary's lamb.

An Die Musik starts off almost tranquil, and climaxes with a scary, frenzied electric guitar over the gentle acoustic music and Foster's evocative vocals.
Auf Einer Burg is sweeping, somber, and dare I say...epic! I recommend headphones.

P.S. For one more fairy-tale villan, look for a copy of Yoko Ono's 2007 album Yes, I'm A Witch (a guest-star loaded record in which she breathed new life into some of her best songs) in the comments section. Peaches' re-working of Kiss Kiss is nothing but dance party fun, and Revelations, with Cat Power guesting, is an especially beautiful track.

Until next time, enjoy the music--- and please continue to use your imaginations!!

1 comment:

LSD and Lollipops said...

Yoko's Link: