‘Dedicated to the one I Love.’
March 2015. Reissued October 2019.
A continuation of my musical reminiscences, following  ‘All I want is Music, Music, Music, Music!’
More songs that I have loved and remembered, more or less in alphabetical order.
29. House of the Rising Sun – The Animals (1964)
A traditional folk song about a tragic life in New Orleans, which became a classic pop tune of its time.
There is a house in New Orleans; They call the Rising Sun;
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy; And God I know I’m one …
Oh mother tell your children; Not to do what I have done;
Spend your lives in sin and misery; In the House of the Rising Sun …
30. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles (1962)
Because: Ray Charles was a great soul singer, one of the few totally blind singers to make a major impact in the world of Music. Another one is Stevie Wonder, known as Little Stevie Wonder when he was young!
Because: It reminds me of my father.
Wikipedia says that this is a popular American song from 1918. It is also popular with the fans of West Ham United Football Club. West Ham was not far from being our nearest football club. My father never mentioned any football allegiance, but one of my very earliest memories is of him singing this to me. (The link is to West Ham at Wembley Stadium.)
[I was surprised, when looking at this song again on Wikipedia, to discover that it is actually a song with two or three verses. All we ever sing now is the chorus.]
32. I’m not in Love – 10 cc (1975)
Because: I absolutely love it. Another love song I just can’t leave out, even though it’s 1975!
33. In Dreams – Roy Orbison (1963)
I keep wanting to use the word ‘haunting’ for the songs I pick, meaning sad and evocative. Wikipedia uses the words ‘dark, emotional’ for Roy Orbison. He was a singer songwriter, with a powerful voice, always seen with trademark sunglasses. This is the best known of his darkly emotional ballads. (Or perhaps, ‘Crying,’ just as powerful, just as emotional.)
34. In the Mood – The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Beause: It’s a very early memory. Trombonist Glenn Miller led this orchestra, which entertained the troops through the Second War. Their tunes continued to be played after his death (Missing in Action in 1944.)
35. In the Year 2525 – Zager and Evans (1969)
Because: It was another classic, with prophetic words – more science fiction than pop. It topped the charts in America for six weeks. I suspect that he will be proved a bit inaccurate in his dates:
In the year 2525; if man is still alive; If woman can survive, they may find.
In the year 3535; Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie; Everything you think, do and say; Is in the pill you took today
In the year 4545; You ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes; You won’t find a thing to chew; Nobody’s gonna look at you.
In the year 5555; Your arms hangin’ limp at your sides; Your legs got nothin’ to do; Some machine’s doin’ that for you
In the year 6565; Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife; You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too; From the bottom of a long glass tube.
In the year 7510; If God’s a-coming, He oughta make it by then; Maybe He’ll look around Himself and say; “Guess it’s time for the Judgement Day.”
In the year 8510; God is gonna shake His mighty head; He’ll either say, “I’m pleased where man has been;” Or tear it down, and start again.
In the year 9595; I’m kinda wonderin’ if man is gonna be alive; He’s taken everything this old earth can give; And he ain’t put back nothing.
Now it’s been ten thousand years, man has cried a billion tears; For what, he never knew, now man’s reign is through; But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight; So very far away, maybe it’s only yesterday.
36. Judy – Elvis Presley (1961) and …
37. Judy, Judy, Judy – Johnny Tillotson (1963)
Just Because …
38. Lady Madonna – The Beatles (1968)
Because: I had to pick one by The Beatles. Nothing by the Beatles could be typical, so I just picked one.
39. Laughing Policeman – Charles Jolly (Charles Penrose) 1926
OK, this is the exception. I remember this as a children’s song, mostly from Two-Way Family Favourites. I hadn’t realized it was quite so old. Wikipedia describes it as a Music Hall song. (I am not old enough to remember Music Hall, but I do remember The Good Old Days on television.) I hated it then and I still do!
40. Little Drummer Boy – Beverley Sisters (1959)
See:  Bedecked with Bay and Rosemary
41. Locomotion – Little Eva
One of those pop songs from the era when every new song could have its own dance.
42. Look Through Any Window – The Hollies (1965)
Because: I am a great fan of the Hollies. It was hard to pick one of the Hollies’ hits. They had several, continuing into the seventies.
43. Major-General (‘Modern Major-general’s Song’ from The Pirates of Penzance) – Gilbert and Sullivan
44. Maria Elena – Los Indios Tabajaras
Because: Los Indios Tabajaras were two brothers, native to Brazil, who sang to their own guitar playing as early as 1943. They found success with just one record. It was given to me as a birthday present in 1963 and I love it. I still have it. The ‘B’ side, Jungle Dream is just as good.
45. Mary’s Boy Child – Harry Belafonte (1956)
46. Mikado (‘A More Humane Mikado’ from The Mikado) – Gilbert and Sullivan
47. Miserere – Allegri
Because: It’s a great piece of choral music. This one would come in my Desert Island six. I sneaked it in. There is absolutely no association with the fifties.
(Written in 1514. For three hundred years it was performed every year in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, but the music could not be written down, on pain of excommunication – so it was never sung elsewhere. Mozart at fourteen transcribed the nine-part harmony from memory! The Pope complimented the young Mozart and withdrew the ban.)
48. Muffin the Mule – Annette Mills
Because: my earliest memories of television come from this programme, which ran from 1946 to 1955, with its familiar signature tune. (For Children’s television, see:  ‘ Was it Bill or was it Ben?’ coming soon.)
49. My Old Man’s a Dustman – Lonnie Donnegan
Because: St Andrew’s Church and its choir [coming later] were part of my early life so I have to include a hymn. I enjoyed singing them and still do. This is my favourite.
‘… Love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be …’
51. The National Anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Because: This used to be much more part of daily life, played at the end of theatre and cinema performances, and on closedown of BBC radio stations at night. (24-hour television and radio are relatively new.) In the early days, people would stand for it, even when played on the radio. [US readers will recognize the tune as: ‘My Country, ‘tis of Thee.’]
It has no official status as an anthem and use of additional verses is not standardized. Until the recent trend towards devolution, it was always accepted as the National Anthem at sporting events where teams represented England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, but various alternatives have emerged for these divisions of the UK.
52. Nellie the Elephant – Mandy Miller
A children’s song, familiar probably from Two-Way Family Favourites.
53. New York Mining Disaster 1941 – The Bee Gees (1967)
When the record was released, many people thought it was by The Beatles. It’s a disaster record, a bit like Ellen Vannin, written as if by the trapped miners, possibly inspired by the 1966 disaster in Aberfan.
54. Nights in White Satin – The Moody Blues (1967)
Because: I love the music of Justin Hayward and the Moody Blues. I don’t always follow the words of songs in full. This is obviously a love song with the drawn out cries of: “Cause I love you; Yes, I love you; Oh, how, I love you; Oh, how, I love you.”
I have to admit that until I wrote this blog post I always thought it was: Knights in White Satin! I led a sheltered life!
55. Nut Rocker – B Bumble and the Stingers. (1962)
One of the first two records I bought. A ‘jazzed up’ version of Tchaikovsky.
An example of the songs we sang at school in Music lessons.
57. Old Shep – Elvis Presley (1956)
Because: I’m a softy for sad tales. One of the saddest songs ever written. (See also Two Little Boys.)
58. Orange Blossom Special – The Spotnicks (1963)
Because: At the time, its recording methods were revolutionary. Fast moving, instrumental. At a time when other electric guitars were connected to their amplifiers by cables, the Spotnicks used small radio transmitters. It gave their tunes an unusual tone.
59. Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Buddy Holly’s life as a singer was very short but after his death recordings kept coming regularly for years. Peggy Sue was a classic, but he had several others.
To end this post:
60. Dedicated to the One I Love – The Mamas and the Papas (1967)
Reminiscent of several groups from the sixties and seventies, it reminds me of America, but mostly
Because: I like it, and because: This is Dedicated to the One I Love.