Remembrance of Things Past

Mostly about growing up the 1950s in Ilford, Essex.

[34] ‘Everything I Do …’


My tour round the music which reminded me of the fifties and sixties started with [26] ‘All I want is Music, Music, Music, Music!’ And [32] ‘Dedicated to the One I Love’. This post completes the alphabet and completes the series of initial reminiscences. Please let me know if any of the links fail.

Peter_paul_and_mary_publicity_photo61.  Puff, the Magic DragonPeter, Paul and Mary (1963)

Because: I like it and it was typical of several other folk singers and groups in the sixties – Joan Baez, Julie Felix, The Seekers, the New Seekers, … Sometimes they did children’s songs. I could have picked ‘Going to the Zoo.’

62.  Reach Out (I’ll be There)The Four Tops (1966)

Because: it was on one of my first LPs, bought for my first record-player. More Motown.

63.  River Deep, Mountain HighIke and Tina Turner (1966)

A Phil Spector production, with his ‘Wall of Sound’ method, using large numbers of backing instruments and vocalists. Re-released and covered several times. The voice of Ike Turner was not used in the recording.

64.  Rock Around the ClockBill Hailey and the Comets (1954)

Because: It started Rock ‘n Roll in Britain. This has to go in.

65.  Robin Hood (Theme Tune)

See: [17] ‘Feared by the BBC, Loved by the ITV’

66.  RunawayDel Shannon (1961)

Because: It represents many similar songs about young love. I could have picked Bobby Vee or Bobby Darin.

67.  The Sound of SilenceSimon and Garfunkel (1964)

At the risk of repeating myself, I couldn’t possibly leave out … Simon and Garfunkel – a great pair of singer/songwriters, both of whom were just as great after they separated. Almost unaccompanied, with a little guitar. Of course, I could have picked: Bridge over Troubled Water, or many others.

68.  Stranger in Paradise – from Kismet (1955)

Because: I think this was one of my mother’s favourites so it has to go in. The tune is copied from the Polovtsian Dances by Borodin, from the opera, Prince Igor.

69.  Stranger on the ShoreAcker Bilk (1962)

Because: it’s a haunting melody, the kind of tune I like.

In 1961, the BBC ran a five part serial called Stranger on the Shore, about a French teenager visiting England as an au pair. Its signature tune, played on a clarinet by Acker Bilk, was renamed as Stranger on the Shore and issued as a single. It was the best selling record in Britain of 1962 and stayed in the weekly pop charts for over a year. It was also the first British single to top the US charts. For most of his career, Acker Bilk led and played with the Paramount Jazz Band.

70.  A Summer Place (Theme Tune) – (1959)

Because: It’s a great tune – a timeless, slow orchestral classic – what we used to call ‘easy listening.’ I never saw the film but the tune was often played on its own.

71.  TelstarThe Tornados (1962)

Because: I chose to buy it. My other first purchase, with Nut Rocker. Both were big hits. This one was very early electronic music.

It is important to know that Telstar, launched in 1962, was one of the first artificial satellites put into orbit round the Earth, giving us instantaneous transatlantic telephony and television (before the Internet). Now we call them just satellites. There are thousands of them. Part of the fame of this record came from its choice of name.

72.  Thank You for the MusicABBA (1977)

Because: I can’t leave out ABBA, even though they first appeared in 1973.

73.  There’s a Hole in My Bucket!Harry Belafonte and Odetta (1959)

A sort of children’s song, a bit like ‘I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.’

The attraction of this song is its cyclic nature. As a child, you need to know how it will end to appreciate the build-up. Taking out the repetitions:

There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza; There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

With what shall I mend it, dear Liza, dear Liza? …

With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

But the straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza, …

Cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza? ….

With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

The axe is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza, …

Sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza? ….

On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

But the stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza, …

Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza? …

Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, dear Liza? ….

In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, …

There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, …

74.  Two Little BoysRolf Harris (1969)

Whatever else is true of Rolf Harris, he was a great painter and a great singer. Some of his songs were unusual – Tie me Kangaroo Down, Jake the Peg. As a lover of sad songs, I cannot forget this song and the wonderful story it tells.

UnchainedMelodySingle75.  Unchained melodyRighteous Brothers (1965)

The 1955 Prison film, Unchained, is almost unknown, but its theme tune was a great success for the Righteous Brothers and others (including Jimmy Young, the well-known DJ). The only song to have sold over a million copies from three separate acts – this version, Robson and Jerome (1995), and Gareth Gates (2002).

Its powerful words talk of love and separation without hope of meeting again;

Oh, my love, my darling; I’ve hungered for your touch; A long, lonely time.

Time goes by so slowly; And time can do so much; Are you still mine?

I need your love; I need your love; God speed your love to me.

I know I have said this before, but I couldn’t possibly leave this one out. (I may say it again later.)

76.  Walkin’ Back to HappinessHelen Shapiro (1961)

I could have chosen Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers or Millie as examples of very young, solo artists. She was fourteen when this was recorded.

77.  We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn (1943)

Because: We grew up not long after the War, near enough to hear and see references to it. Vera Lynn was still a fond memory to many people. I could have picked ‘The White Cliffs of Dover.’

78.  When I fall in LoveNat King Cole (1956)

Because it’s a fantastic love song, and because I couldn’t possibly leave out Nat King Cole.

79.  When I Leave the World BehindTeresa Brewer (1957)

Because: It reminds me of my grandmother. I don’t know where it came from but she had a record of this when she lived with us. And it’s a fantastic song. Super words:

I know a millionaire; Who’s burdened down with care; A load is on his mind.

He’s thinking of the day; When he must pass away; And leave his wealth behind.

I haven’t any gold; To leave when I grow old; Somehow it passed me by.

I’m very poor, but still; I’ll leave a precious will; When I must say goodbye.


I’ll leave the sunshine to the flowers; I’ll leave the springtime to the trees;

And to the old folks I’ll leave the mem’ries;  Of a baby upon their knees.

I’ll leave the nighttime to the dreamers; I’ll leave the songbirds to the blind;

I’ll leave the moon above; To those in love

When I leave the world behind; When I leave the world behind.

To be honest, the need to blog about music arises from the need to include this one. You can play it at my funeral.

80.  Whiter Shade of PaleProcul Harum (1967)

Because: It was a classic from the sixties, massively popular. One of the few records that emerged with meaningless words – but they sound poetic enough to almost mean something. Everyone had their own theories.

81.  Who Would True Valour SeeJohn Bunyan

See: [15] “Who would true Valour See …”

82.  Who’s Sorry Now? – Connie Francis (1958)

Because: I used to love Connie Francis, who was popular through the fifties and sixties. Representing many female singers from earlier days – Doris Day, Alma Cogan and others.  Che Sera Sera was another possibility.

83.  William Tell OvertureRossini

Because: It was the signature tune to The Lone Ranger. From 1957, televised pop music was the Six Five Special every Saturday evening at … 6:05 pm, just after the Lone Ranger.

84.  With a Song in My Heart

This is a late addition. I have so many references to Two-Way Family Favourites, so I looked up its signature tune. An essential part of Sunday lunchtime on The Light Programme, later BBC Radio Two – not forgetting the Billy Cotton Band Show. (Maybe in another post …)

85.  Ying Tong SongThe Goons (1956)

See: [25] ‘I know a Dark, Secluded Place.’

On the ‘B’ side: ‘I’m Walking Backwards to Christmas.’

86.  You don’t have to Say You Love MeDusty Springfield (1965)

Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien came from a folk group who called themselves The Springfields. She went solo in the late sixties and had several hits. Famous for her long, blonde hair and make-up, featuring heavy eye-shadow.

87.  You were made for MeFreddie and the Dreamers (1963)

Because: it is typical of its era. Also representing Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and others. Not quite boy bands!

88.  Young LoveTab Hunter (1957)

Because: it was one of about six that came with the record-player by brother was given. Typical very early pop, not Rock ‘n Roll. The first pop music to be heard regularly in our house.

I have to end with two, which are too late for the fifties and sixties. You will have seen already tunes that remind me of my mother, my father and my grandmother. Here is another one that reminds me of someone in my life.

89.  Bright EyesArt Garfunkel

From the film ‘Watership Down’ in 1978. A sort of requiem.

And finally:

90.  Everything I do, (I do it for you) – Bryan Adams

From the film, ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’, (1991) over the closing credits.

Just Because … Because everything I do …


This blog (all three parts,) has involved a lot of work. I could have put in hundreds more. Please let me know if any of the links are wrong!

There may be more music in another post …

Author: Alan

Retired, currently living in Cheltenham.

4 thoughts on “[34] ‘Everything I Do …’

  1. Pingback: [69] Elizabeth Martha | Remembrance of Things Past

  2. Pingback: [88] Christmas Comes but Once a Year | Remembrance of Things Past

  3. Pingback: [92] “To Boldly Go …” | Remembrance of Things Past

  4. Pingback: [98] ‘Evening, All’ | Remembrance of Things Past

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