Musical coincidences # 203

March 22, 2012

This coincidence is tiny, tiny, tiny, but it involves my favourite band of the 21st century, Field Music – and any excuse I can find to play you some Field Music I’ll pounce on.

The coincidence contains no more than a four-note melody:

The rhythm of the melody is slightly different in each song, but the notes are the same. How about I stop trying to explain it and just let you hear them?

Field Music – “Alternating Current” (2002) (excerpt)

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John Lennon – “Jealous Guy (1971) (excerpt)

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I know all of that is vaguely incidental at best, but whenever I hear that part of the Field Music song it reminds me of that bit in “Jealous Guy”. So that’s why it’s here.

Here are the full versions:

Field Music – “Alternating Current” (2002)

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John Lennon – “Jealous Guy (1971)

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Be warned: the next coincidence in this series will also involved Field Music, and it will also be a small one – but, as with today’s coincidence, it gives me an excuse to play you a Field Music song.

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Musical coincidences # 167

January 5, 2012

Today’s coincidence has a nice Lennon/McCartney connection.

Here’s a bit of the Paul-penned / Ringo-recorded “Six O’Clock”:

Ringo Starr – “Six O’Clock (1973) (extended version) (excerpt)

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And from a year later:

John Lennon – “#9 Dream (1974) (excerpt)

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I like how both songs were recorded only a year apart. It just adds to the Lennon/McCarney-ness.

Here are the full versions:

Ringo Starr – “Six O’Clock (1973) (extended version)

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John Lennon – “#9 Dream (1974)

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Musical coincidences # 126

September 16, 2011

A few days ago I posted a song by American musician Jeremy Messersmith called “Lazy Bones”. After hearing it one more time, I noticed something I missed the first six times I heard it*. In a part of the song’s chorus Jeremy sings a background vocal in the left channel. He sings “You’re working so hard”:

Jeremy Messersmith – “Lazy Bones” (2010) (excerpt)

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I don’t know why I hadn’t notice it before, but the melody in that backing vocal reminds me of the violin backing in a part of John Lennon‘s “#9 Dream“:

John Lennon – “#9 Dream (1974) (excerpt)

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I know it’s a pretty small coincidence, and probably not worth mentioning at all, but it gave me an excuse to play you Monsignor Lennon’s “#9 Dream” which I sometimes think is my all-time favourite John Lennon song (if I’m not thinking about “Across The Universe“).

Here are the full versions:

Jeremy Messersmith – “Lazy Bones” (2010)

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John Lennon – “#9 Dream (1974)

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(*I just noticed how egocentric that sentence is, containing not one but three instances of “I”. Ay Yi Yi! What a fat head I’m getting.)


Musical coincidences # 119

July 12, 2011

Sometimes it’s frustrating when you’re nowhere near as clever as you think.

I thought I’d made a startling discovery with today’s coincidence, but no. It’s all fully documented on Wikipedia.

Here’s the sequence of events:

1. I was listening to The Hollies‘ mammoth (6-CD) compilation, Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies April 1963 – October 1968, enjoying it, and being reminded that this was indeed the trebliest band ever recorded.

2. Track 14 on CD 3 was a song of theirs I’d never heard before. It’s called “Stewball”. The main vocal melody sounds like this:

The Hollies – “Stewball” (1965) (excerpt)

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3. I couldn’t believe I was hearing that melody, because I know it as:

John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir – “Happy Xmas (War is Over) (1971) (excerpt)

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4. I thought, “This is magnificent. What an amazing thing for John Lennon to have done. And nobody seems to have noticed. Wow. What a discovery.”

5. I went off to my one-stop shop for knowledge, Wikipedia, to see if anyone else had noticed the similarity. And there it was:

“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”: Composition
The melody and chord structure are from the folk standard “Stewball”, about a race-horse.

6. Oh.

7. I thought that The Hollies’ “Stewball” was an original song by them. But as that Wikipedia snippet mentioned, the song is an old folk standard. Well whaddaya know?

Now that I’ve been brought back down to Earth (Reminder to self: you’re nowhere near as clever as you think you are, Smarty Pants), I’ll just sit quietly and continue listening to that Hollies compilation.

Here are the full versions:

The Hollies – “Stewball” (1965)

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John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir – “Happy Xmas (War is Over) (1971)

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