Song 33:365 is one of my favourite songs to play: Sun and Moon from the musical Miss Saigon. It’s a duet performed by American GI Chris as he falls in love with Vietnamese bargirl Kim and the orchestration of this song from the show is wonderfully ethnic with pentatonic overtones. I’ve tried to capture this in my performance.
Song 31:365, the final song of January, is the beautiful song Caledonia written by Dougie MacLean in 1977. He apparently wrote the song in less than 10 minutes on a beach in Brittany, France. He’d been busking with some Irish friends and was feeling homesick. He wrote the song and took it back to the youth hostel where they were staying. Having shared the song with his friends and realised the feeling of being homesick was mutual: by the next day they were heading home.
I think this is one of the best Scottish songs of modern times and whenever I’m away from home it’s one song which always makes me homesick. I may even have been known to line up versions of the song performed by different artists on Spotify…
My original 2010 version included my accordion, but I thought I’d rerecord this today, mainly because I wanted to play the song again. I’ll include both versions below – let me know which one you prefer!
Here’s Caledonia 2017 version:
And here’s the original 2010 recording with accordion:
For song 29:365 I’m posting my performance of one of my favourite songs of all time, Billy Joel’s She’s Always A Woman. First released in 1977 as a double A-side with Just the Way You Are. Fyfe Dangerfield, lead singer of the band The Guillemots, recorded a version of the song in 2010 for a John Lewis advertising campaign, and his version reached #7 in the UK charts. Billy’s recording was rereleased around the same time and reached #29. A travesty, if you ask me!
I’ve seen Billy Joel perform this song live many times and it’s always one of the highlights of the concert with cigarette lighters (or, more recently, phones…) held high as the crowd sings every word in unison.
Continuing my retrospective posting of 2010 piano songs, here’s my version of Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind. This has always been one of my favourite songs to play. It originally appeared on the 1976 Turnstiles album, and was never a hit in its own right, but took on something of a new meaning when Billy performed it at the Concert for New York City in October 2001 in honour of those affected by the events of 9/11.