Lessons in the "Music" Category

Remembering David Bowie

Today let’s talk about music legend David Bowie. The singer died in New York on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69 following an 18 month battle with liver cancer.

Bowie had kept his illness a secret from his fans; only his family and a few close friends actually knew. He told them that he wanted to be remembered for the good times and his music. Shortly after his death he was secretly cremated in New York without any of his family or friends present ‘without fuss’ – no big show, no fan-fare.

Iranian ‘Happy’ video dancers released, but not director

Recently six dancers were arrested in Iran after creating a tribute video to the Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ video. The group of three men and three unveiled women dance to the number one hit in various Tehran locations*.

The Iranians were accused of making an “obscene” video that “offended the public morals” in Iran. Yet Iran’s President tweets “#Happiness is our people’s right”. The hashtag #FreeHappyIranians went viral on Twitter.

Category: Iran / ‘Happy’ Video / Tribute video

Ding Dong over Anti-Thatcher song

Following Margaret Thatcher’s death, protesters have propelled a song into the downloaded music charts called Ding Dong The Witch is Dead. The song from the movie The Wizard of Oz has caused a storm of protest across Britain; more so in the British press, to the point that the BBC decided at first to ban the song being played!

The BBC says the campaign promoting the song is “distasteful”. They issued a statement: “The BBC finds this campaign distasteful but does not believe the record should be banned. On Sunday, the Radio 1 chart show will contain a news item explaining why it is in the charts. During this a short clip will be played, as it has been in some of our news programmes.”

Category: Music / Songs / Margaret Thatcher

David Bowie at the V & A

Today let’s talk about a new exhibition that you can see at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It features the work of the legendary pop star David Bowie.

The David Bowie exhibition at the V & A features many things about the singer; including original costumes, fashion, handwritten lyrics, music, photography, music videos alongside some of 66-year-old Bowie’s own instruments.

Category: Music / David Bowie / V & A

Viva Forever! Spice Girls reunite for new musical

Recently the Spice Girls reunited at the opening night of a new musical in London called Viva Forever! London’s Piccadilly theatre in the West End hosted the event that featured the music of the Spice Girls.

Ahead of the performance Geri Haliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm walked down the red carpet as a foursome. The fifth member of the girl band Victoria Beckham arrived late with her husband David Beckham and three sons due to traffic. They were joined by many celebrities including Graham Norton, Joan Collins and Cilla Black.

Category: London’s West End / Musicals / Spice Girls

Gangnam Style

Have you seen it? Can you do it? What am I talking about? I’m talking about Gangnam Style. It’s daft, fun, and it’s caught people’s attention around the world. The song, sung by the Korean pop artist PSY, has become an international hit. More importantly, the dance that goes with it, has caught on – big time!

Category: Korean Music / PSY / Gangnam Style

The mystery of Eleanor Rigby revealed

You have all heard the song Eleanor Rigby. But just who was she? Many people have asked that since the track was released by the Beatles on their 1966 Revolver album. It is one of the Beatles most recognisable and unique songs with striking lyrics about loneliness. According to the song Eleanor Rigby died with no one to mourn her.

Paul McCartney claimed previously that the heroine of the poignant song was fictional. However, in the 1980’s a grave of an E. Rigby was discovered in the churchyard of St Peter’s in Woolton, Liverpool.

McCartney met John Lennon nearby at a fete in 1957. The two used to spend time sunbathing at the graveyard. Her tombstone has since become a landmark for Beatles fans to visit to this day. Meanwhile in 1990 an unusual document was received by an Annie Mawson…

Category: Music / Beatles / Eleanor Rigby

Mysterious Slovak words in Yellow Submarine

Now, you have all heard the song Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. We must all have sung it at some point in our lives. But how many of you actually knew that mysterious Slovak words exist in the song? Not many of you I guess.

One has to listen very carefully to find them but as I discovered they are indeed hidden in the depths of the submarine song! Only a few people in Slovakia know this carefully guarded secret. I discovered about it in a pub thanks to a friend who later sent me a link, as I didn’t believe him.

Here in Slovakia the words have become a kind of myth. One has to listen to the song carefully then after about 1 min 40 secs is a single sentence in the Slovak language. Miss it and you have to listen again but then it gets harder to spot as I discovered. The actual words are “Mozte mi vylizat.” The sentence though is not part of the “official” lyrics.

Susan Boyle’s at No 1 – ‘I Dreamed a Dream’

Britain’s Got Talent superstar Susan Boyle, 48, has made history with the release of her new album ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. The album was the fastest selling debut album in history in the UK for a female artist. It sold a staggering 411,820 copies in its first week. In the U.S. it also went straight to the top - selling 701,000 copies in its first week.

The shy spinster from Blackburn in West Lothian, Scotland, captured the heart of millions of people worldwide in 2009 on the British talent show with her singing of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. Miss Boyle is set to be No 1 in the UK and many other countries over Christmas. The album is named after the Les Miserables tune that she sang at her audition.

Miss Boyle, who has a minor learning difficulty, recorded the new album weeks after suffering a breakdown following her overnight success. When news broke of her albums success Miss Boyle released a brief statement through her management company - saying, “It’s fantastic!”

Tragedy at 13th Slovak music festival

Tragedy struck in Slovakia recently at a music festival attended by over 33,000 music lovers. The 13th open air music festival called Bazant Pohoda was being held over the weekend of July 18th-19th at a military airfield near Trencín, Slovakia when the gig was hit by freak weather conditions.

A massive thunderstorm and gales ripped down the main tent that covered the main O2 sponsored arena. The result was that tragically a 29-year-old man from Piestany was killed. 52 people were injured. Another 40 people were hospitalised. At the time the disaster occurred inside the collapsed canopy more than a 1,000 people were watching a concert and sheltering from the storm...