Song 46:365 is Memory from the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats based on T.S. Eliot’s poems. Lloyd Webber was concerned that the melody sounded too similar to Ravel’s Bolero and that the main theme resembled an improvised flute solo from California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & the Papas. However, he asked his father’s opinion who said “it sounds like a million dollars!” – which probably is but a fraction of the royalties he’s earned on this song!
B flat major
For the 45th song of the year I’m playing Ton Bennett’s I Left My Heart in San Francisco, dating from 1953. Tony Bennett said of the song, “that song helped make me a world citizen. It allowed me to live, work and sing in any city on the globe. It changed my whole life.” Since the first recording it has been recorded by hundreds of artists, and it’s worth mentioning comedian Steven Allen’s parody, I Left My Nose in San Diego!
Song 30:365 is my version of clarinettist Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore, dating from 1961. It was originally named Jenny after Bilk’s daughter, but was used as the theme for a 1961 BBC TV series called Stranger on the Shore. This song has literally been to the moon and back: the crew of Apollo 10 took this song on their lunar mission in 1969 and it was played on a cassette tape in the command module of the spacecraft.
Sadly there’s no clarinet involved, but I hope you enjoy my version nonetheless!
I’m staying with Andrew Lloyd Webber for song 17:365 which is Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from the musical Phantom of the Opera. If Past the Point of No Return is the musical’s “eleven o’clock number”, the traditional show-stopping performance towards the end of the second act, then I think Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again must be the 10:45pm number!
The song is sung by Christine and is a lament for her father who died seven years previously. I’ve always liked the way this song goes between the minor verse and major chorus, and the extended section after the second chorus is beautiful: “No more memories, no more silent tears, no more gazing across the wasted years.”
I’ve played a lot of Billy Joel this year, but this song is undoubtedly one of my favourites, and one of the most enjoyable to play! I hope you enjoy my version of Don’t Ask Me Why!
Merry Christmas! Today’s song is the 1985 Shakin’ Stevens’ classic Merry Christmas Everyone. I hope that everyone who enjoys my #365Songs has a wonderful Christmas.
In doing research for my song each day I can normally find information fairly easily about the stories behind the songs. However, there doesn’t seem to be much information about A Cradle In Bethlehem anywhere online other than the fact it was written by Alfred Bryan and Larry Stock! I’ve known this song for years as it was always one of my favourites on the Nat King Cole Christmas album. Having said that I’d never played it until yesterday when I recorded it for my 365Songs project! If you know anything more about the song, please let me know in the comments!
Today’s song was written Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and was first performed in the 1950 film The Lemon Drop Kid by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. The first recorded version of Silver Bells was released in the same year by Bing Crosby.
Apparently it was originally written as “Tinkle Bells”, and it wasn’t until Jay Livingston let his wife hear it that he found out that “tinkle” has another meaning!
Today’s Christmacious song is the lovely carol It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. This song was written in 1849 by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Wayland, Massachusetts. At the time there was news of revolution in Europe and the recent US war with Mexico meant that Sears saw the world full of “sin and strife”, unable to see the Christmas message. I’ve always particularly enjoyed Ella Fitzgerald’s version of this song, and I hope you enjoy my version!
Today’s song is Sia’s Chandelier. While the 2014 song did well in charts worldwide, it was the video featuring 11 year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler which went viral and became YouTube’s seventh most-viewed video of the year and the thirteenth most-viewed video of all time with over a billion views. Chandelier also received a Grammy nomination for Best Video and the Best Video of 2014 award from Rolling Stone magazine.