I’ve decided to have a bit of an Italian weekend on 365 Songs. I first heard this song in an Italian restaurant in London and thought it was a brilliant pop song, complete with a harmonica solo! I’ve not included the harmonica solo in my version. Bambino Nel Tempo was recorded by Italian pop king Eros Ramazzotti and the lyrics are about the nostalgia felt by adults when they think back to their youth. Here’s a video of Ramazzotti performing the song live if you’re interested.
Today’s song is the 1989 song Nothing Ever Happens by Scottish band Del Amitri. It’s an anthem to the banality of everyday life and about how we’re mostly oblivious to the world around us: “the Martians could land in the car park and no-one would care”. This is my antidote to the cheesiness of the past few days’ Eurovision numbers!
I’m in Spain today, starting off a new video project, and I was thinking of a Spanish language song to play. I’ve ended up choosing not a Spanish song, but a US/Cuban song by Gloria Estefan, Con Los Años Que Me Quedan, “with the years I have left”. It’s a beautiful song in the bolero style with some fantastic chord progressions, and I hope I’ve done it justice. Here’s a live performance of Gloria Estefan singing the song if you’re interested. Her version is better than mine, of course!
Today’s song, Everything I Own, was written by David Gates and was originally recorded by his band Bread in 1972. There have been various covers, perhaps most famously by Boy George in 1987. I hope you enjoy this song today.
And we’re back to Billy! Today’s song is Billy Joel’s duet with Ray Charles, Baby Grand, which was released as the fourth single from The Bridge album in 1986. When Ray Charles found out that Billy had named his daughter, Alexa Ray, after him, he contacted Billy and offered to record a duet, “providing the song was right”. Billy then came up with the Georgia on my mind-inspired song which tells of the relationship between a pianist and his piano.
There are more Billy Joel songs in my Piano Man album and this year’s Billy Joel songs are here. If it’s your first time on the site, find out more about the 365 Songs project or see all of my May songs here.
I’m returning to the classics, and more specifically to opera today with Musetta’s Waltz from Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It’s sung by Musetta in the company of her bohemian friends, in an attempt to make Marcello jealous. I hope you enjoy this lovely piece of music today.
Today’s song is one of my favourite Billy Joel songs: Summer, Highland Falls. Written in 1977, according to Billy himself this song is about a certain stage reached in a relationship:
I lived, actually, in a town–upstate New York, right on the Hudson, just below West Point–and it’s called Highland Falls. And I lived there, and it was at a time when I was in a relationship where the bloom was off the rose, the honeymoon was over. And, you realize how disappointing it can be when you love somebody so much and then you’re mean to each other and you do hurtful things to each other. It’s all out of love, but it’s that first understanding that all is not right. You either accept it and say, ‘maybe we’re not as perfect as we thought we were’ – there’s a certain disappointment, but there’s also an acceptance. I was looking for one of those yin-yang kind of things.”
I think that it’s a beautiful song from a musical point of view: it’s a ballad, but the melody is underpinned by the fast semiquavers of the accompaniment, and the rise and fall of the melody line seems to mirror the rise and fall of the relationship. I hope you enjoy this one.
There are more Billy Joel songs in my Piano Man album and this year’s Billy Joel songs are here. If it’s your first time on the site, find out more about the 365 Songs project or see all of my April songs here.
This is a simple arrangement of a beautiful piece of music, the Andante from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467. It was famously used in the 1967 Swedish film Elvira Madigan which tells the tale of the tragic love affair between a Danish circus performer and her married Swedish cavalry officer lover. While researching this piece I discovered that Neil Diamond’s 1972 song Song Sung Blue is based on a theme from this piece. I know the song, but I’d never realised the connection!
First time on the site? Find out more about the 365 Songs project or see all of my April songs here, and if you enjoy listening to my classical pieces, you can find them here, including some more Mozart.
Made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra, Strangers in the Night was originally written by Bert Kaempfert … or not! There are claims that the song was actually called Stranci u Noći and was written by Croatian singer Ivo Robić. And in 1967 French composer Michel Philippe-Gérard claimed that the song was strikingly similar to his piece Magic Tango, and the royalties to Kaempfert were frozen until a Paris court in ruled against plagiarism in 1971. I hope you enjoy my version!
Like An Angel Passing Through My Room is a fascinating Abba song. It went through a variety of styles and lyrics from nursery rhyme, through piano ballad to disco anthem, before it ended up as the haunting version on The Visitors album. Benny apparently feels it is one of the best songs he and Björn wrote in their Abba years. You can hear a special remix of these different versions on the remaster of The Visitors album. It’s interesting to note just how produced all of these demos versions were, and how much experimentation went into finding the right sound. It’s also another example of how a good melody can work in many different styles. Anyway, here’s my version which is more in the style of the version we know.