And here’s the original:
When I was trying to think what song to play you today, I had a brainwave: I’d let today’s date guide me.
Where I live (i.e., in the Southern Hemisphere), it’s the 1st of May*.
Although Australia (i.e., the part of the Southern Hemisphere in which I live) doesn’t have a terribly strong tradition of doing things in honour of the 1st of May, in other parts of the world it’s May Day.
I know remarkably little about May Day (see above about Australian lack of May Day tradition), so I consulted the all-knowing Wikipedia for some more information. Wikipedia told me a few things about May Day, including one of its traditions being the crowning of the May Queen.
That sounded promising as an idea for a song: “May Queen”. Excellent. I then asked myself: “Hmmm – what songs talk about May Queens?”.
Unfortunately, there was only one song I could think of that mentioned a May Queen, and when I thought of it I told myself: “Er, no – not that one.”
How’s this for freaky? According to the Wikipedia, this happens in France on May Day:
“On May 1, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1.”
And the name of the track that was the flip-side of the “Now I’m Here” single?
(*Or May 1, if you want to get all American about it.)
As with all the coincidences this week, today’s comes to you courtesy of Mr. Fabulous.
Here are two pieces of music that share a bit more than just the same key signature:
I wonder if that is coincidental, or if Brian May (composer of “I Want It All”) had heard and decided to rework it a tad (or maybe even a smidgeon).
Here are the full versions:
(*Is it a verse? Does this song have verses?)
Paul McCartney – “Man We Was Lonely” (1970) (excerpt)
Unless “Bohemian Rhapsody”‘s author Freddie Mercury was a huge fan of Paul’s first solo album (unlikely), I reckon it’s a coincidence (likely).
Incidentally, in “Man We Was Lonely” Paul sings the following:
I used to ride on my fast city line
Singing songs that I thought were mine alone
Not any more, Paul, not any more.
Anyway, here are the full versions:
Paul McCartney – “Man We Was Lonely” (1970)
Just in case you wanted to know how:
Although I have a sneaking suspicion that the process of transcribing “Bohemian Rhapsody” for classical guitar is ultimately a pointless exercise, I’m amazed at how well he reproduced the voicings with so few notes and chords (you gotta admire skill like that).
Compare and contrast…