List by Tosca
"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness."
- Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name
I'm getting old. I know this because earlier today while browsing iTunes I finally found music I recognised lumped under the rather innocuous heading of 'Vocal.' Vocal. What does that even mean? I suspect it's code for 'way too old to even be categorised so let's choose some inane and inoffensive term.' Well WIN if that's the case >.<
In spite of my Cranky McRanty Pants introduction I liked three of the five songs listed. So take *that* iTunes! But detested two of them. Although I have good reason. This post is little more than a listing of the top 5 songs from iTunes 'Vocal' top ten list that are oldies but serious goodies (although two only half-so but that's my personal opinion).
Both sides now by Joni Mitchell
Lyric: I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
Tosca's comment: I need to explain Joni?!? NO. WAY. I've always loved this song and when I heard/saw it in 'Love actually' it seemed even more poignant and sad and reflective than it usually does. If you've seen the movie you'll know what I mean. And if you haven't then shame! Shame on you!
Fields of gold by Eva Cassidy
Lyric: So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold
Tosca's comment: Have you seen Hugh Grant in 'About a boy'? There's a scene where young Marcus and his mother sing 'Killing me softly' and close their eyes and croon together. It's a truly sweet but horrible moment that makes you cringe. Thats exactly what I'm like with Eva Cassidy - I sing along/strum along and close my eyes, too. Sometimes I feel like breaking out the hairbrush as an impromptu mic but the only thing that stops me is the fact that I cannot do all three effectively. One of those at a time is challenging enough. I love Cassidy and as vocalists go she would be my girl crush. Well, she and Janis Joplin. If you've never heard her sing then I envy you that first listen. I truly do. Her voice is husky and rich and smooth and she has this uncanny knack of taking a well known song and making it sound almost brand new. If you don't believe me then try listening to her version of 'Over the rainbow'. 'Fields of gold' was originally recorded by Sting on the album 'Ten summoner's tales but I've always adored Cassidy's version. My mother and I have agreed to disagree on this one.
The rose by Bette Midler
Lyric: Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose
Tosca's comment: I heart Bette but I could never stand this song. Had to sing it at school and it was so slow and long and thoughtful that to my young (and melodramatic) mind it seemed more like a funeral dirge. In fact, this song and 'The streets of laredo' would be my least favorite school songs. Our excitable Russian teacher would make us act out 'The streets of Laredo' complete with singing, acting, recorders (yes, I played recorder in primary), a shootout and a sheet draped body. Ghoulish, much...?
Songbird by Eva Cassidy
Lyric: For you there’ll be no crying
For you the sun will be shining
‘Cause I feel that when I’m with you
It’s alright, I know it’s right
Tosca's comment: My favouritest Eva Cassidy song in the history of Eva Cassidy songs ever ever ever. I've always wanted to be able to play like her - instead I have to settle for plunky-plunk playing where everything I strum sounds like 'Ten guitars' be it 'Ten guitars' or 'Twinkle twinkle little star *disgruntled look*
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
Lyric: Where it began, I can't begin to know when
But then I know it's growing strong
Oh, wasn't the spring, whooo
And spring became the summer
Who'd believe you'd come along
Tosca's comment: Here's a confession that's sure to irritate you all: I can't stand Neil Diamond. Never have done and probably never will do. I always admit that with some trepidation because I've not met another person who agreed with me. And Sweet Caroline? Always thought it was a creepy song BUT it's so horridly infectious I can't help but sing it whenever I hear it playing *shamefaced look* And, while I'm on a roll, here's another confession: I never liked The Beatles (didn't get the hype), Elvis (am a Johnny Cash girl myself) or the Rolling Stones (what is it about them that makes people nuts?).