Thursday, May 8, 2008


There's been a great thread going on the past day or two over at Dykes To Watch Out For concerning music that rocks our worlds. It's an eclectic bunch, and tonight I followed up on some of the recommendations others made, as well as my own. I found almost all of them on You Tube, and decided to share the videos here with you.

People were comparing versions of "Gracias a la Vida" (written by Violeta Parra), and here's the three mentioned:

Violeta Parra singing "Gracias a la Vida" (audio and stills only)

Mercedes Sosa singing "Gracias a la Vida"

Joan Baez singing "Gracias a la Vida" (audio and stills only)

Folks were also weighing different versions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelejah", and again, here's the three mentioned:

Jeff Buckley singing "Hallelujah" (audio only -- I have to say, this is by far my favorite)

John Cale singing "Hallelujah"

k.d. Lang singing "Hallelujah"

Speaking of k.d. Lang, someone recommended this:

k.d. Lang singing "Crying" live in Sydney

Someone else recommended Walela, which is Rita Coolidge, her sister Priscilla Coolidge and Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield

Walela singing "Cherokee Morning Song" (cheesy stills but good audio; )

Milton Nascimento got raves, and here's one of his songs mentioned:

Milton Nascimento singing "Travessia"

Another rave was for this:

Ruben Blades and Jerry Garcia singing "Muevete"

Of course, I had to jump in and start talking about Doris Day, whom I am rather desperately hung up on. Picture, if you will, a room full of revolutionary San Francisco dykes organizing against the police in the early 1980s, young, furious, androgynously dressed. They stop during a long, contentious meeting to take a break, and relax by singing various uplifting things like "Joe Hill", "El Pueblo Unido" and "Amazon ABC". But one of their favorites is "Secret Love", which they are convinced is a coded lesbian ballad when performed by Doris Day. Yep, really happened. Listen and imagine:

Doris Day singing "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane

Doris Day singing "Sentimental Journey" from the Big Band era (this was my parent's "song")

I also grew up with a passion for Rosemary Clooney. All of her nephew George's dreaminess, smooth demeanor, big sensual eye-rolls and self-deprecating smiles originated with Rosemary. Not to mention a voice from heaven. Check her out in the following:

Rosemary Clooney and Jo Stafford singing autumn songs

Rosemary Clooney does Gershwin -- "A Foggy Day"

And, the ultimate Rosemary doing Gershwin: The brothers Ira and George were extremely close all their lives. When George died suddenly at age 38, he had written the music for a final song but Ira had not yet begun the lyrics. Ira finished the song as a tribute to George, and it completely changes your read of the lyrics when you learn that. (I wrote about this in my post last year A Word After A Word After A Word.) You can hear it here:

Rosemary Clooney singing "Our Love Is Here To Stay" (in 1993 at the Newport Jazz Festival)


shadocat said...

thanks for the Doris fix, Maggie;neede that now more than ever.

Liza Cowan said...

oops, i put my music comment in the ginny section. sorry.

letsdance said...

Have you heard "Hallelujah" on k.d. lang's 49th Parallel cd? It is my very favorite. (the live version doesn't come close)

Your interests span the universe, Maggie!