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Old May 4th, 2017, 08:19 AM   #1
Aufgeblassen's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2013
From: Central FL
Posts: 11,029

Little known Facts About Our Greatest Songs

That's neat!

1. The first commercial CD pressed in the United States was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.

2. Bob Marley gave songwriting 
credits on “No Woman No Cry” to 
his childhood friend Vincent Ford, who ran a soup kitchen in Jamaica. Royalties from the hit song helped keep the kitchen running.

3. Simon and Garfunkel bickered nonstop while recording “Bridge over Troubled Water.” Garfunkel wanted Simon to sing it (“I’m sorry 
I didn’t,” Simon has said), and Simon never liked Garfunkel’s closing “Sail on, silver girl” verse.

4. The iconic whistle in “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” was improvised when Otis Redding forgot what he was supposed to sing during the outro.

5. Michael Jackson was so absorbed in writing “Billie Jean” on a ride home from the studio one day that he didn’t even notice his car was on fire. A passing motorcyclist alerted him—saving the King of Pop and 
one of the world’s catchiest tunes.

6. Paul McCartney woke up one morning with the tune to “Yesterday” in his head but not the lyrics. The placeholder words he worked with: “Scrambled eggs … oh, my baby, how I love your legs …”

7. The BBC banned Bing Crosby’s 
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” during World War II, worried its “sickly 
sentimentality” would lower the 
morale of homesick troops.

8. Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs” was written by … someone else (on-again/off-again Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, to be exact).

9. Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” was the most-requested 
radio song of the ’70s. Yet singer/
lyricist Robert Plant once pledged $1,000 to a public radio station that promised to never play it again. (“I’ve heard it before,” he later said.)

10. The dude in Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks like a Lady)” is Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil, whose long blond locks Aerosmith mistook for 
a woman’s at a bar one night.

11. The Caroline in Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” is none other than Caroline Kennedy, whom Neil saw 
in a magazine photo in the ’60s. 
“It was a picture of a little girl dressed 
to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony,” he recalled.

12. The chord that starts Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” is a tritone—known 
as the devil’s interval and banned from some Renaissance church 
music for sounding too evil.

13. Number of songs Elvis Presley 
recorded: more than 800. Number of songs Elvis Presley wrote solo: zero. (He earned a few cowriting credits.)

14. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” 
was written by … a boy. Philadelphia singer Robert Hazard wrote and recorded the original version four years before Cyndi Lauper made it a hit.

15. “Somewhere over the Rainbow” (listed by American Film Institute as the greatest film song ever) is about 
a girl lifting herself up from rural Kansas but also about America rising up from the Great Depression under FDR’s New Deal, of which song cowriter Yip Harburg was a supporter.

16. Queen and David Bowie wrote “Under Pressure” in one night (then got pizza).


Little Known Facts About the Greatest Songs | Reader's Digest

Last edited by Aufgeblassen; May 4th, 2017 at 09:17 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 01:12 PM   #2
numan's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2016
From: Victoria, BC
Posts: 971

Apart from the difficulty of singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" properly, and the militaristic jingoism of its lyrics, its tune is marred by reminding one of its origin in the gin shops and brothels of Old London Town.

I can never hear the last two lines,

O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

wthout the original lines of "To Anacreon in Heav'n" springing to my lips:

And long may the Sons of Anacreon entwine
The myrtle of Venus and Bacchus' vine!

Here are the original words and melody:

To Anacreon in Heav'n

Though the original words may truly express the real spirit of America, they are most unsuitable to the hypocrisy of a puritan nation!

the only anthem I would be willing to sing to my nation is the "Jerusalem" of William Blake, as set to music by Hubert Parry:

*Bring me my bow of burning gold:
********Bring me my arrows of desire:
****Bring me my spear: O clouds, unfold!
********Bring me my chariot of fire!
****I will not cease from mental fight,
********Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
****Till we have built Jerusalem
********In England's green and pleasant land.

"England" could, of course, be replaced by "T'cumseh" or "Ishi" or some such two-syllable icon of Native American culture.

If you don't have a recording of the last night at the Proms, here it is sung:

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