Showing posts with label Lennon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lennon. Show all posts

Sunday 21 May 2017


Vienna Peace Museum
On my trip to Vienna the Danube flowed with the stirring of violins strings and the operatic mounting songs of drama and hope. There were grand palaces, the sound of horse and carriage on cobbled byways and the red images of Mozart! And there was the symbolism of words and art.

One message stood out too among the many colours and sounds and images – a message of unity and of peace – from the Picasso’s Dove of peace image, the artists Sciele’s experience of WW1 - and the Vienna Peace museum we stumbled upon when we stopped for coffee and cake in the lane near Mozarthaus.

Picasso's Dove of Peace
What did you do for peace today?

In Vienna old town , near MozartHaus, we sat for a coffee and cake. Oddly we were talking about peace in Ireland and how no-one wants a hard border there with Brexit, but will the south want a united Ireland and all the problems? 
After we noticed a small cobbled alleyway and posters of Lennon, Mandela, Mahatma Gandi, and Vienna's Bertha von Suttner. discovered this was the Vienna Peace Museum Windows, the first in the world. Beside this there was a narrow stairway to the Austrian Journalist Club (OJC) – the Vienna International Press Centre.  Oddly we were talking about peace in Ireland and that no one wants a hard border again after this foolish Brexit. 

Austrian painter Egon Schiele,Russians wanted war to end as much as we did.’

Looking for peace when night fell….

Windows for Peace lies in the very center of Vienna, beside Stephansdom and Mozarthaus Vienna - and includes the streets: Schulergasse, Grünangergasse, Blutgasse, Franziskanerplatz, Domgasse, Stroblgasse and Singerstrasse, situated in the center of the Vienna.

Austria was once at the heart of imperial struggles and empires. Today the grand palaces are showcases of a past that is remembered and respected – but not about today's world. The European project is alive and well here and has brought 70 years of peace in our life times – why should we throw this away on a foolish UK Brexit?

We stand on the brink of turbulent times today.
VOTE for peace!

As I flew home, I thought of the ease of travel today and how, I hope, ‘otherness’ is not as it once was…./

We must never forget the horrors of war and the needless sacrifice…

Egon Schiele

Sunday 16 March 2014

McCartney’s Songs

He writes enduring songs that capture with their simplicity.
I am not sure why I’ve not done a blog on Paul when he wrote some of my top ever songs
My small cassette playlists back in the days used to start with his piano songs - The Long and Winding Road and Let It Be.

More than any other songwriter his songs speak of the heart. He has written some of the most loved and best ever real and poignant melodies. I’m a big fan anyway of piano singer songwriters as I play myself and McCartney comes top of my list. I feel quite emotional even thinking about what Paul’s songs mean for me. His writing with John Lennon became a dynamic partnership and their rivalry spurred them on to greater heights.

McCartney’s notable songs with the Beatles are Yesterday (most covered sons ever),  Another Day, Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby (mostly written by Paul) and Hey Jude. As well as other songs I love - plus his co-writes with John Lennon when they played together with the Beatles.  

McCartney's Songs
Blackbird (1968) - McCartney explained,  Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road, 2005, that the guitar accompaniment for "Blackbird" was inspired by J.S.Bach’s Bouree in E minor, a well known lute piece, often played on the classical guitar.
Long and Winding Road (1969 ) – Some claim was written about his drive to Mull,  Paul said was about the dissolution of The Beatles. .
Let It Be (1969)  - In a dream Paul’s mother spoke to him. 'Mother Mary come to me, singing words of wisdom let it be.
Hey Jude (1968) – Paul wrote about Lennon’s song Julian.
Yesterday – Most covered song ever. Paul woke with the simple melody in his head - at first the lyrics were Scrambled eggs! 
Live at Hampden!. I saw McCartney live in Glasgow at Hampden in June 2010 and it was a truly wonderful concert and memory....  his coming on stage and thinking what his songs mean for me.  All those memories of those unforgettable songs that meant so much in my youth. When you’ve been a fan of someone since your teens it’s not easy to describe the thrill to see him live. My Review here -

His collaborations include most famously the Lennon/ McCartney songs written during The Beatles few years of fame. 

"He provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the dischords, the bluesy notes", John Lennon explained in his 1980 Playboy interviews.

Lennon and McCartney agreed together in their teens that all their songs would have co-written credits. Clearly early on they realized the sparks they both brought to each others writing. It is slightly hard therefore to distinguish who had the strongest song writing credit on the Beatles songs. It's a strange thing too, because I'm afraid that since the Beatles break up I'm not as keen on Paul's output and his songs with his band Wings - so what happened? Did Paul need Lennon's input and drive? While I am more impressed with his latest 2013 album titled New.
Lennon also wrote some of The Beatles top songs – Strawberry Fields, A Day in the life, Lucy in the Sky, Day Tripper, more…
The mod suits, the mop top hair, the fun energy, The Beatles Help movie, all those age defining and so unforgettable number one songs, and of course those album covers. 
It is hard for me to write on McCartney without getting over sentimental and it is hard if not impossible to describe what the Beatles meant back then - and especially Paul. Of course it was the combination of the Beatles special magic – but then McCartney wrote those piano melodies…... 

Quote John Lennon' in "How Do You Sleep" - "The only thing you done was Yesterday, and since you've gone you're just Another Day"

Monday 30 April 2012

*Greatest Covers

John Lennon- Stand By Me

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind

Dick Gaughan - Both Sides The Tweed

Rab Noakes - Moonlight and Gold

Adele -   Make You Feel My Love

Chrissie Hyde - Angel of the Morning

Rolling Stones - Like A Rolling Stone

Frank Sinatra - Send in the Clowns

Greatest Singers (for me)
Oddly the above! 
I might add Dylan - for his questioning voice. 

I enjoy voices that are real and have substance.
Listen to some of the greatest recorded singers – singers that use the magnetism, the tones, and the soft and harder edged subtleties of voice...Billie Holliday, Sinatra, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, Buckley, Lennon – and one thing is clear, great art is about character.

The voice is one of the best instruments when used well, while beautiful songs matter too….
Mostly I love the voices of singer songwriters and the passion and edge in singers like Otis Redding or Dylan. It is not simply about perfect technique of voice. Some use inspired phrasing and subtle tones and interpretations of the song. A hypnotic voice means you can be lost in the moment. Some voices simply grab our attention with a magnetism of voice – they make it all seem effortless yet full of passions, moving edge and depth.

QUOTES Jeff Buckley -
‘Music comes from a primal place…
I’ve always felt that the quality of the voice is where the real content of a song lies. Words only suggest an experience, but the voice is that experience.’