Last year, when I did the Hallowe’en M4 post, I said that I was tempted to point out that Hallowe’en is short for “All Hallow’s Eve,” the day before All Saints Day, the day Christians in general and Catholics in particular celebrate the lives of the saints, those holy people who demonstrated heroic faith in their lives. Well, this year, I’m going to do it. Tomorrow is the Feast of All Saints, so here are ten songs with “saint” in the title.
- Louis Armstrong, “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In” I played Fats Domino’s version of this a couple of days ago, so here’s Satchmo’s. It’s a Christian hymn that gets done by jazz musicians a lot.
- John Parr, “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” Theme song from the ultra-popular mid-Eighties Brat Pack coming-of-age film, it reached #1 for two weeks in September 1985.
- Cab Calloway, “St. James Infirmary Blues” Xmas Dolly will like this one, as it’s from the animated feature Betty Boop’s Snow White. As I said a few weeks ago, Max Fleischer was a genius. That’s Koko the Clown that looks like he’s singing it, and the dog character sitting on Betty’s casket is Bimbo.
- Eartha Kitt, “St. Louis Blues” The person who created this video added a scene from Ms. Kitt’s first appearance as Catwoman on Batman, but it didn’t detract from her vocal performance, taken from the 1958 biopic of W. C. Handy, which starred her and Nat King Cole. And yes, Billy Preston played Handy as a boy.
- Aly Bain with Jerry Douglas and Russ Barenberg, “St. Anne’s Reel” According to this, no one is quite sure where this tune came from, or when it was written, but here’s it’s played by Scottish fiddler Bain, who makes it sound like an Irish reel. It’s also popular among bluegrass players.
- David Bowie, “All Saints” From the 1991 release of David’s 1977 album Low, this wasn’t on the original album, but was a bonus track. Sounds like a synthesizer solo by producer Brian Eno.
- Chris DeBurgh, “St. Peter’s Gate” From his 1999 album Quiet Revolution. Chris has a pretty amazing catalog of albums, and the only thing I can remember hearing by him was “The Lady In Red.”
- Metallica, “Saint Anger” Title track from their 2003 album. I knew someone would suggest it, and added it in advance.
- The Rolling Stones, “Saint Of Me” From their 1997 album Bridges To Babylon, it reached #26 in the UK but only #94 in the US. Wikipedia notes that Keith Richards was noticeably absent for this session.
- Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, “For All The Saints” I classify this as a Catholic drinking song, even though it was written by William Walsham How, Anglican bishop of Wakefield. The melody is by Vaughan Williams, who called it “Sine Nomine,” literally “Without Name.” The whole song is eleven verses, and can be found on Wikipedia.
Have any more suggestions?
That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 30, 2017.
Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.
Before we get started, an admission: I don’t get into Hallowe’en. Really never did. I never got into anything that required I knock on strangers’ doors and asked them for anything. That includes Hallowe’en and anytime I had to sell anything for school, and thank God there was only once that I had to do that. And costumes? Forget it.
But that’s just me. If it’s the highlight of your year, by all means, have a happy one.
Anyway, I had a little trouble putting this list together until I thought about that which really, really scared me, and it was this…
Not the symbol itself, although when it would pop up on TV when a station was running its EBS test, it would freak me out. But what it stood for in the mid-20th century USA: nuclear disaster. Granted, Civil Defense did a lot more than coordinate evacuations while ICBM’s from Russia were in the air, but that was the thing I associated with it.
Anyway, my playlist this week includes a few songs I generally associate with Hallowe’en, as well as a few spoken-word goodies that were recorded during the Cold War. The list of songs follows the video.
- Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett: I had to throw this in, although the one I really wanted was the one done by Boris Karloff himself. I know it’s out there somewhere…
- Experiment in Terror – Henry Mancini: Ominous-sounding music that once was the theme song for WGN’s Creature Features, their Saturday night screamfest.
- Civil Defense PSA – Boris Karloff: Not especially scary (he almost sounds like he’s reading a bedtime story), but the idea that your house might not survive a nuclear war made you sit up and take notice.
- I Put A Spell On You – Creedence Clearwater Revival: This song was a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ hit song, but I like this version better than the original.
- Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Öyster Cult: A somewhat ominous-sounding song that was popular in the mid-1970’s. It could really use more cowbell…
- Superstition – Beck, Bogert, and Appice: Evidently Stevie Wonder wrote the song for them, and they were going to release it as a single, but Stevie beat them to it. Too bad, because I like their vesion better.
- Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix: From his 1968 Electric Ladyland album, some fine blues playing. Here’s Buddy Guy’s impression of Jimi, in case you’re interested.
- Civil Defense Radio Recordings – WCCO, Minneapolis: Back in 1961, WCCO radio (830 kHz AM) had staff announcers Howard Viken and Dick Chapman record these announcements to be used in the event of a possible or actual nuclear attack. Probably a good idea to do them before they needed them, because I don’t know how calm things would be if they were trying to make these announcements live. At the end, there’s an announcement from Minnesota Governor Elmer L. Andersen (no one names their kid Elmer anymore, have you noticed?).
- CONELRAD Radio Alert – WBEN, Buffalo: An announcement that lets listeners know that WBEN (930 kHz AM) is leaving the air and to tune their radio receivers to 640 kc if they live in Erie County, and to 1240 kc if they live in Niagara County, for news and official information or instructions. The announcement is preceded by a 15-second 960 Hz tone, the standard for CONELRAD.
- Watching Joey Glow – Steve Goodman: The late Chicago-based folksinger included this on his last album, 1984’s Affordable Art. He died of leukemia in September of that year at the age of 36.
That’s the Hallowe’en edition of Monday’s Music Moves Me. Next week, movie theme songs! Join us then!