BOTTLE OF WINE, FRUIT OF THE VINE – Marilyn Armstrong

Tom Paxton – “Bottle of Wine”


I’ve been a Tom Paxton fan forever. He may be one of the greatest writers and singers of folks songs. Ever. He is 80 now, still performing, still living on Long Island in New York.

May you live forever, Tom Paxton! You bring my youth back to me!

MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS – MARIA MULDAUR – Marilyn Armstrong

MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS


Lyrics: Midnight at the Oasis

Sung by:  Maria Muldaur

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows painting our faces
Traces of romance in our heads
Heaven’s holding a half-moon
Shining just for us
Let’s slip off to a sand dune, real soon
And kick up a little dust
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
‘Til the evening ends
You don’t have to answer
There’s no need to speak
I’ll be your belly dancer, prancer
And you can be my sheik
I know your daddy’s a sultan
A nomad known to all
With fifty girls to attend him, they all send him
Jump at his beck and call
But you won’t need no harem, honey
When I’m by your side
And you won’t need no camel, no no
When I take you for a ride
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
‘Til the evening ends
Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Got shadows painting our faces
And traces of romance in our heads
Oh come on, oh come on
Woo hoo hoo, yeah, oh yeah
Oh oh, yeah, yeah

Songwriters: David Nichtern


In answer to “Whatever happened to Maria Muldaur”? I asked that many times, always wondering why her magical voice was never a big hit somewhere.

Her first — only — album was brilliant. She had such a wonderful, flexible, joyous voice … yet after that album, she essentially seemed to vanish from the music scene. It wasn’t lack of talent (obviously) and surely, with the numbers she racked up with her album, she had more than enough offers to do more.

The answer was simpler than I expected and I think it offers a good example of what “performing” means — both to those who make it “big” and those who say “no, thanks.” There are more who say “no” than you might expect.

She did continue to perform, both on her own and with the Grateful Dead and other groups. Solo performance wasn’t her favorite thing. She enjoyed writing songs, singing songs, singing backup with other groups and singers, but performing solo wasn’t “her.”

I asked a few people who knew her personally what happened and the answers were always the same. She wasn’t a driven performer. She loved music and singing, but she didn’t have the passion for fame.

She had a long career. I don’t know if she still performs. but she would be 80 now, so she may have retired. She was around and with us for all these years, but rarely as lead singer. She did not seek it.

Not everyone wants to be a star. Even when you can do it, it doesn’t mean you really want it. For all of us who are good at something but do not compete, the ability and the drive don’t always come as a pair.

“Midnight at the Oasis” was her big number and from a listener’s point of view, I wish she had done more. But I understand — because I don’t like performing either.

TANTALIZING TO THE MOST SEQUACIOUS – Marilyn Armstrong

I dressed in my most alluring, tantalizing gown — a deep red taffeta item. Its intent was to lure the most sequacious of my followers. I speak of those who knew nothing of me but the colors I wore, the perfume that wafted from my dusky skin.

Ah, those fools, forever creeping after me, wanting something, yet forever too fearful to ask. Nor would it have mattered. Worthless chits.

I might add that the more sequacious they were, the more dull-witted they seemed. I was hot, but even my flame could be squelched by these dreary males. So instead, I sang for them.

I can still sing, though I am perhaps a bit long in the tooth for the torch songs of by earlier years.

FOWC with Fandango — Tantalizing

RDP: Sunday – SEQUACIOUS

SoCS — ROUND AND ROUND, PERRY COMO – REBLOG – FANDANGO

Can two minds thing MORE alike? I remember this song because I had it on a 45 RPM. Remember then? I had a little record player and a pile of records in every color of the spectrum. I always like Perry Como, though I never understood how come he could sing with his teeth apparently clenched.

FOWC with Fandango — Highway
(ROUND & ROUND)


 

This, That, and The Other

When I saw Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, which is to “use the word ‘round’ as a word by itself or find a word that contains it,” the first thing that came to mind was “a round tuit,” as in “I’ll get around to it.” But then I realized that I already wrote a post about round tuits. In fact, that post, which you can read here, was written for one of Linda’s One-Liner Wednesday prompts. So there goes that idea.

The next thing that came to mind was the saying, “What goes around comes around.” But guess what? I wrote this post for a Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt. Sheesh! Another idea down the drain.

So now what? Think, Fandango. Oh wait, I got it! And I bet only those of you out there who are as old as I am will relate to my SoCS…

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GIRLFRIEND OF THE WHIRLING DERVISH – Marilyn Armstrong

I always thought this goofy song was made up for a Looney Tunes cartoon. I vaguely remembered it as Daffy Duck, but it turned to be Porky Pig. Moreover, it’s a real song, written by Johnny Mercer et al. It has been performed by a variety of artists, including Bette Midler.

Why did this come up? Well, we were watching baseball and some dumb commentator referred to a player as “The Whirling Dervish.” And I started humming “She was the girlfriend of the whirling dervish …” and then, I simply had to find that cartoon.

After which, I had to find the song and the lyrics. It is still — even not as a cartoon — a silly song.



The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish

Song by Bette Midler

Lyrics:

One fine day, I chanced to stray
On a little side street in old Bombay
And met a sentimental oriental
She saw me and I saw she
Had a manner too bold and much too free
Her eyes were positively detrimental
When I asked about this gay coquette
I discovered much to my regret

She’s the girl friend of the whirling dervish
She’s the sweetest one he’s found
But ev’ry night, in the mellow moonlight
When he’s out dervishing with all his might
She gives him the run-around
All the boy friends of the whirling dervish
Are his best friends to his face
But there’s no doubt, when he isn’t about

They all come hurrying to take her out
She leads him a dizzy pace
He dreams of a Hindu honeymoon
He doesn’t dream that ev’ry night when he goes out
To make an honest rupee
She steps out to make a lotta whoopee
Oh, the love song of the whirling dervish
Has a sweet and tender sound

But will he burn if he ever should learn
That while he’s doing her a real good turn
She gives him the runaround
She’s got a nervish, throwin’ him a curvish
Which, of course, he doesn’t deservish
Poor old whirling dervish!


Songwriters: Johnny Mercer / Al Dubin / Harry Warren

The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish lyrics
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc


So I decided to do it as a post. Because it’s silly and totally pointless and it makes me laugh.

These days, a laugh is about the only thing that really makes me feel better. It’s also the only thing that keeps me sane.

ARE YOU GOING TO SCARBOROUGH FAIR? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP# Tuesday prompt: Fair


From commenter named LARRY to whom I would give proper credit if only I knew who to credit!

Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. The “Scarborough Fair” was a popular gathering in Medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th. In the 1600s, mineral waters were found in Scarborough and it became a resort town. Today, Scarborough is a quiet town with a rich history. (thanks, Sheryl – Seal Rock, OR)
In Medieval England, this became a popular folk song as Bards would sing it when they traveled from town to town. The author of the song is unknown, and many different versions exist. The traditional version has many more lyrics.

Paul Simon learned about this song when he was on tour in England, where he heard a version by a popular folk singer named Martin Carthy. When Carthy heard Simon & Garfunkel’s rendition, he accused Simon of stealing his arrangement. Carthy and Simon did not speak until 2000, when Simon asked Carthy to perform this with him at a show in London. Carthy put his differences aside and did the show.

Martin Carthy learned the song from a Ewan MacColl songbook, and had recorded it on his first album, according to BBC’s Patrick Hamphries.

Paul Simon admitted to the July 2011 edition of Mojo magazine: “The version I was playing was definitely what I could remember of Martin’s version, but he didn’t teach it to me. Really, it was just naivety on my part that we didn’t credit it as his arrangement of a traditional tune. I didn’t know you had to do that. Then later on, Martin’s publisher contacted me and we made a pretty substantial monetary settlement that he was supposed to split with Martin, But unbeknown to me, Martin got nothing.”\

The lyrics are about a man trying to attain his true love. In Medieval times, the herbs mentioned in the song represented virtues that were important to the lyrics. Parsley was comfort, sage was strength, rosemary was love, and thyme was courage.

This was not released as a single until 1968, when it was used in the Dustin Hoffman movie The Graduate. It is on the soundtrack.
Before Simon & Garfunkel got to it, Bob Dylan used the lines, “Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine” in his 1963 song “Girl From The North Country.”

“Scarborough Fair” and “Canticle” are 2 songs that are sung simultaneously to create this piece. The first and last verses are “Scarborough Fair,” but lines from “Canticle” alternate after the first line of the other verses, so “On the side of a hill in a deep forest green” and “Tracing of sparrow on snow-crested ground” are from “Canticle.”

This song is often listed as “Scarborough Fair/Canticle.”

On The Paul Simon Songbook, a little known 1965 UK album of Simon-solo demos, there is a song called “The Side Of a Hill.” “The Side Of a Hill” was reworked into the Canticle part of “Scarborough Fair.” (thanks, Jesse – Roanoke, VA)

With its implicit anti-Vietnam War message, this was used in The Wonder Years TV series in a scene where Kevin Arnold embraces Winnie Cooper while the song was played at the end of the episode. In the show, Winnie’s brother had been killed in Vietnam.

(Thanks, Marciliano – Fortaleza, Brazil)

BRIO CON ATTABOY IN THREE MOVEMENTS – Marilyn Armstrong

Brio, frisky in music or maybe lively? All my Italian I learned playing the piano, but brio always meant lively and energetic to Mrs. Nelson and she was my forever piano teacher.

She helped me love music beyond my capabilities. She believed in me with a wholeheartedness no one else ever did. She was always sure I could do it, even when it was obvious I could play it, but I would never play it well.

Dr. Herb Deutsch

No one else ever believed in me like she did. She was sure I could be great. The truth was, I could be good, but not great. Unless I wanted to work terribly hard to be a lounge performer, great was beyond my grasp.

Nonetheless, I so much wanted to not disappoint her that she attaboyed me right into a university music major in college. She was sure I could be The One.

As the years marched on, I enjoyed studying music, but I was never fully immersed in it. I remember the day I had a long, kindly conversation with one of my professors. He was a great guy, one of the two men who invented the Moog synthesizer (that’s a “by the way”) – Dr. Herb Deutsch. He also wrote a special piece for Owen when he was born.

He sat me down under a tree on the main quad and he said: “You can’t do this because you want to make your piano teacher happy, you know.”

How did he know that? Maybe I wasn’t the only one? “You have to want it, need it, not be able to live without it. You’re doing well. You pass everything. But I don’t think your heart is in it. Music is an all or nothing engagement. Either get fully into it, or find out where your really want to go.”

He was right.

I hated that he was right. I loved that he was right.

And I didn’t have far to travel to know what I really wanted because writing was always it. As soon as I could form words, I knew writing was me.

I never stopped loving music, but I changed to a Social Science major where a lot of writing was part of the job. Had the college been more flexible, I would probably have gone on for a masters or more and possible stayed academic. It was too early for that degree of collegiate flexibility. Flexibility would arrive ten years later, long after I had graduated.

But in the meantime, a huge thanks to Mrs. Nelson and Dr. Herb Deutsch who pushed me until I became what I needed to be.

I hope every kid finds a couple of teachers who know just how and when to give them the attaboy they need … and a pushy little brio to help them step lively into the world.

THE INSIDE STORY: Herbert Deutsch and MIND & MACHINE

RDP #86: BRIO
FOWC with Fandango: Attaboy