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The sad decline of music: Billy Strayhorn vs. Drake

Inarguably, hip hop (rap) is one of the leading pop music genres; at least, it is one of the loudest. I did not know which hip hop singer to choose (I do not know any), so I queried Billboard magazine and found, at the time of this writing, a man named “Drake” to hold the top spot in that category, indicating his popularity, at least currently. I searched for “Drake lyrics” and was directed to this site (it was first in the listings), where I navigated to the album that came up first on a YouTube search. Feel free to search for other, perhaps superior, lyrics. The one below appears representative.

In our last contest (well, in name: Cole Porter won in a romp), there were ample blows scored by Cole Porter for lyricism; however, the battle never ranged over the staff. We correct the mistake this time. Here are the links for today’s songs. Both should be listened to before commenting.

Warning: I have censored the language below; however, the lyrics are not censored at YouTube.

Strayhorn: Lush Life.

Drake: Best I Ever Had

In my ever-expanding service to humanity, I listed to the Drake song in its entirety. Thanks to the miracle of alcohol, I am now fully recovered. Now, I did not actually see the Four Horseman as I listened to Mr Drake, nor could I hear their hoof beats over the cacophony, but I could feel the ominous vibrations of the ground that surely presaged their arrival. I suggest that now is the time to go on that vacation before it is too late.

Strayhorn did not sing his own song. I chose, perhaps unfairly, The Voice That Is, Johnny Hartman, to fill in for Mr Strayhorn. But if you’re going to war, it’s best to conquer your enemy quickly: this is the doctrine of overwhelming force, and I have used it here. (A commenter at YouTube also recommends—and I concur—that the Sarah Vaughn take on this song should be encountered.) And just listen to all those chord changes!

Prediction: We will see far fewer comments of the stripe, “Many people like Drake; so, Briggs, you are out of your mind.”

Lush Life Best I Ever Had
Billy Strayhorn Drake
 

I used to visit all the very gay places
Those come what may places
Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life
To get the feel of life…
From jazz and cocktails.

 

The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
With distant gay traces
That used to be there you could see where they’d been washed away
By too many through the day…
Twelve o’clock tales.

 

Then you came along with your siren of song
To tempt me to madness!
I thought for a while that your poignant smile was tinged with the sadness
Of a great love for me.

 

Ah yes! I was wrong…
Again,
I was wrong.

 

Life is lonely again,
And only last year everything seemed so sure.
Now life is awful again,
A trough full of hearts could only be a bore.
A week in Paris will ease the bite of it,
All I care is to smile in spite of it.

 

I’ll forget you, I will
While yet you are still burning inside my brain.
Romance is mush,
Stifling those who strive.
I’ll live a lush life in some small dive…
And there I’ll be, while I rot
With the rest of those whose lives are lonely, too.

 

[Intro]:
You know a lot of girls be
Thinkin my songs are about them
This is not to get confused, this one’s for you

 

[Chorus]:
Baby you my everything, you all I ever wanted
We could do it real big, bigger than you ever done it
You be up on everything other hoes ain’t never on it
I want this forever I swear I can spend whatever on it
Cause she hold me down everytime I hit her up
When I get right I promise that we ‘gon live it up
She made me beg for it, till she give it up
And I say the same thing every single time
I say you the f***n best, you the f***n best
You the f***n best, you the f***n best
You the best I ever, best I ever had
Best I ever had, best I ever had
I say you the f***n best

 

[Verse One]:
Know you got a roommate, call me when it’s gone in there
Put the key under the mat and you know I be over there
(Yeah!) I be over there shawty I be over there
I be hittin all the spots that you ain’t even know it’s there
Ha! And you don’t even have to ask twice
You could You could heart or we could share it like the last slice
Always felt like you was so accustomed to the fast life
Have a n***a thinkin he met you in the past life
Sweat pants hair tied chillin with no make up on
That’s when your the prettiest I hope that you don’t take it wrong
You don’t even trip when friends say you ain’t bringin Drake along
You know that I’m workin I’ll be there soon as I make it hooooommmmmmmeeee!!!!!
And she a patient in my waitin room
Never pay attention to the rumors and what they assume
And till them girls prove it
I’m the one that never get confused with cause…

 

[Chorus]:

 

[Verse Two]:
+Sex, Love, Pain+ baby, I be on that Tank shit
Buzz so big, I coul pro’lly sell a blank disc
When my album drop, bitches’ll buy it for the picture
And n***s will buy it too and claim they got it for they sister
Magazine paper girl, the money ain’t the issue
They bring dinner to my room and ask me to initial
She call me the referee, ’cause I be so official
My shirt ain’t got no stripes, but I can make ya p***y whiiiiis-tle
Like the Andy Griffith them song
…And who told you to put them jeans on?
Double cup love, you the one I lean on
Feelin for a fix then you should really get ya fiend on
Yeah, just know my condo is the crack spot
Every single show she out there reppin like a mascot
Get it from the back and make ya f***n bra strap pop
All up in ya slot ’till the n***a hit the jackpot
I’m sayin…

 

[Chorus]

 

[Outro]:
Uh! Ah yeah! See this the type of joint you gotta dedicate to somebody
Just make sure they that special somebody
Young Money, yeah, yeah, you know who you are…

Let the battle commence!

(Your author will be away from the computer today and will not respond to comments until tomorrow.)

Update: Sunday morning. The bell has wrung but Mr Drake has refused to remove from his corner. We’ll let him ponder for yet awhile longer, perhaps until tomorrow, when, if Mr Drake has still not stirred, Mr Strayhorn will win by Mr Drake’s forfeit.

31 thoughts on “The sad decline of music: Billy Strayhorn vs. Drake Leave a comment

  1. Oh great, one anedoctal example cherry picked without any kind of quality control of population screening or anything whatsoever, as evidence that the music world is about to go kaboom.

    Why even bother criticizing it? It’s as futile as trying to kill a dead horse.

  2. Foul!

    As 90% of every thing is crap. The current chart topper in any genre is likely to be crap as well.

    A jazz song has to be pretty damn good to survive 60 years and still be rembered. In 2 months months “The Best I Ever Had” will likely be forgotten.

    I don’t rap, but this just isn’t a fair fight.

  3. Guys, this was never meant to be a “fair fight,” whatever that may be. This is just an elaborate, “Get off my lawn, you kids!”

  4. You’re comparing one of the greatest jazz standards ever written with a rapper that even I, a fairly up-to-date hip-hop listener, don’t know? For shame.

  5. Strayhorn by a TKO before the bell.

    Drake refused to enter the ring.

    That’s just as well, the ref was about to stop the fight before the bell after looking over to Drake’s corner.

  6. They just don’t write songs like they used to!

    Barry Mann and Gerry Goffin – “Who Put The Bomp” and a little Rama Lama Ding Dong, 1961:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIP9Dwzdt3g

    Who put the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp
    Who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong
    Who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop
    Who put the dip in the dip-de-dip-de-dip
    Who was that man, I’d like to shake his hand
    He made my baby fall in love with me (yeah!)
    When my baby heard bomp-bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp-bo-bomp-bomp
    Every word went right into her heart
    And when she heard them singing ram-a-lama-lama-lama-lama-ding-dong
    She said we’d never have to part

    Brings sentimental tears to my eyes…

  7. And just listen to all those chord changes!

    It’s not the quantity of the chord changes, but the quality.

    And that Drake song is horrible. Just awful. I couldn’t listen for more than about 30 seconds. And I like (some) hip-hop.

  8. For rap Matt would pick an “artist” my adolescent grandson considers “his man”. That’s it. His TV goes and so does his web access. He is so busted. I’ll second the Sarah Vaughn suggestion.

  9. Luis,

    You’re right. Drake’s song does smell like a dead horse. (Welcome back!)

    Doug M and Amaretto,

    This is a valid criticism. As I admitted, I did not know whom to pick, so I used current popularity as a guide. I am willing to be educated, however. Have you another name and song to suggest? If you could offer a group, that would be even better, because I’ve got Duke Ellington just itching to jump into the ring.

    On the other hand, while a currently popular song might be unrepresentative, it also might not. Do you offer evidence that it is not? What do both of you think of this particular song? Too, 49erDweet’s grandson knows this musician well. And there is also this: a remix of the original song, done with rap musician Busta Rhymes. I looked him up and he seems fairly well known.

    Matt,

    My dear namesake, you know I love you. But the old man (I’m 44, let’s not forget) yelling “Get off my lawn”, I’m imagining to be Clint Eastwood in the movie Gran Torino.

    Noahpoah,

    There are chords in Mr Drake’s song? Interestingly, I was actually thinking of Mr Strayhorn’s tune: complex chords even before rock’s appearance.

    Dan,

    People never feel like they get their money’s worth in one-round fights.

  10. Briggs,

    How can that decline be measured? Not by chord changes or other technicality. If it were that easy to reduce the expression of the human soul to it’s component parts and reassemble in perfect order, we wouldn’t need composers because someone would write a successful computer programme to satisfy our musical appetite.
    Dissecting a piece of music to show that one is better is to miss the point completely. As Mary Midgely said, to crush a butterfly on a wheel.
    A two-year-old once played on my piano when he could not yet speak. Unprompted, he played the top and bottom notes separately and described them as ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ respectively. I believe we all have an innate sense of how musical sounds can describe our experience and our emotions.

    It is sad that Drake’s raptor world is shallow and selfish. Amusing though, that he worries about offending his girlfriend when he mentions her make up. What sensitivity! How could the girl refuse.

    The muse of fire has gone from most modern music.

    The Lush song,

    That last note is pretentious. It made my toes curl! Do I read too much into it? The subject and the tune seem incongruous. Never heard it before though, maybe it has to grow on you? It does for background music. I expect I am both a heathen and an idiot for daring to say such a thing.

  11. …I meant Mary Midgley.

    Ok, Now I’ve just gone back again and heard the Lush song. Counting all the vertions, that’s about five times. So it grows on you…but he’s still a wrongan with his last note.

  12. “You…as soon as I make it hooooommmmmmmeeee!!!!!”

    5 os, 7 ms, 4 es, 5 exclamation marks (“the sure sign of an insane mind”)!!!!! Briggs did it on purpose… to disturb the flow of the lyrics. ^_^

    I don’t listen to Hip-Hop or Rap, I imagine that the flow and lyrics somehow strike a chord with fans. Whatever genre appeals to your fancy, I say, “go for it.” After all, music is for our I enjoyment. Though I often told my children to turn the radio off when I heard a rap song.

    You have chosen love songs, so how about replacing Drake- Best I Ever Had with Madeleine Peyroux–To Love You All Over Again (2009)?

    A quiet room is what you get, an empty glass, an unmade bed,
    A picture window with a view, and all I think about is you
    To feel so bad, to feel so good, to let it be misunderstood,
    Now I long to lose my senses to love you all over again.

    The shouted words, the tired sighs, the traded kiss of sad goodbyes,
    The living off of our desires, then putting out a thousand fires:
    To feel so bad, to feel so good, to let it be misunderstood,
    Now I’d tear down my defenses to love you all over again.

    To know a place without regret, you make believe you paid your debt
    But in that clean and quiet room you can’t believe it’s over yet.

    Out on a lark, at home asleep, the endings play, the bands retreat
    But in that dumb luck of the few, the consolation comes to you:
    To feel so bad, to feel so good, the verdict’s in? it’s understood
    I will be tried for my offenses and love you all over again.

     

  13. Briggs,

    Why do you insist on promoting tank/rubber-knife contests? I myself would have suggested John Cage’s 4’33” as a more likely contender.

    Ellington tried to make jazz “respectable” but learned the hard way that an “A Train” beat a rhapsody to the bank every time. The trnsplanted Homewood son who wrote “A Train” would more likely be writing hip-hop today. Despite the protests, it’s usually about the money.

  14. DAV,

    Because I will eventually make a, in part, statistical argument, that’s why. Go to a grocery store (from which I have just have come) and you are assaulted by bad music. Go to any bar and it’s worse. Listen to what’s coming out of the speakers of passing cars (unfortunately for me, too easy to do), and worse still.

    This was not the case, say, fifty years ago. When adults went to an adult function, adult music was played. When adults now go to an adult function, pop/rock/rap is played. Even “Take the A Train” is vastly superior to the song (and the songs in the same genre) as that above.

    So, I’m trying to show something with which I think you agree: that the music you likely encounter when you do not choose the selections is awful, and when people do choose the selection, usually their choice is, let us say, not pretty.

    But like I said: I’m willing to be educated. Suggest another hip hop musician and we’ll have at it.

  15. Briggs: “But like I said: I’m willing to be educated. Suggest another hip hop musician and we’ll have at it.”

    Well, I can’t because I don’t like it myself. The sole attraction is rap (as far as I can tell) is (presumably) clever rhyme. The ‘music’ is usually a mind-boring dance beat. How that even qualifies as music is beyond me. At least House has intricate melodic structure over the restrictive dance beat.

    One of the problems with musical taste is familiarity. There’s an expectation involved that defines completeness of phrase. Familiarity is needed see the completion. Because of that expectation, an unfamiliar musical structure is often perceived as unmusical. Jazz (which includes the swing era songs of Strayhorn) was originally perceived as such by those with classical training. Eventually though the syncopations and chord structures percolated through.

    There are many genres which I think you would initially dislike. For example, what Brian Eno calls ambient. Ambient initially seems structureless but does indeed have structure. Like any other form of music, it takes familiarity to anticpate it.

    Are there any forms of music which would be universally recognized as music? A good question. I think there is a theory that all languages have a common base grammar. Something that is inherent in all persons. Does something like this exist for music. I say, probably but it’s hard to find.

  16. Briggs,

    I’ve been doing some thinking about ‘adult’ music. What exactly is that? Billy Strayhorn’s stuff isn’t ‘adult’ music. It’s mostly swing and the roots of swing are in (or at least tied to) the Lindsay Hop. Something roundly decried because of it’s overt sexuality by most adults of the time. IOW: it’s only ‘adult’ music now because the kids that listened to it are now adults. From a previous blog post of yours, apparently the Beatles don’t qualify as ‘adult’ either.

    Part of what is happening today is a result of the baby boom. The post-war boom led to a predominately youth-oriented outlook. Today’s adults were brought up with that attitude and some of it undoubtedly rubbed off. Not to mention the perennial denial of aging. Then, too, many businesses are slow to change models. There are TV networks that aim at the youth market despite the fact that it’s a dwindling market.

    I submit that if everywhere you turn you encounter ‘youth’ music it’s probably because more people listen to it voluntarily than what you classify as ‘adult’ music. Talking about the rolling ghetto blasters, it seems that near me, the largest number of drivers of such are hispanic and most blacks don’t listen to rap at all. Go figure.

    Maybe what you’re experiencing is that you find the music so irritating that it immediately comes to your attention and won’t stop doing so. Like suddenly becoming aware of an itch. Yes, I admit, something that drives itself into your awareness from a half mile away is a bit more than irritating.

  17. DAV,

    I am also dissatisfied with “adult.” I had thought of “serious”, but that doesn’t capture what I mean either. For now, until I have thought of this more, I will stick with “good.” So subtract “adult” and put “good” in its place.

    It isn’t just an itch. You are given music even when you don’t want it. I long to find bars and restaurants that are frightened by silence.

  18. Comments about these songs are well taken. However, it is noteworthy that many young people are studying jazz out of appreciation for works such as “Lush Life” and other jazz repertoire.

    The reason hip hop and other youth music has a bigger share of the listener’s pie is because the music infrastructure has marginalized jazz. Even the young people who are in any one of the more than 1,500 high school and college jazz programs across this country don’t have anything in the commercial landscape or in their own social lives to reinforce their enjoyment and pursuit of jazz. I believe that if many of the other young people who love hip hop and rap were really given the opportunity to hear jazz, they would like it too. Young people are not dumb–they are smart. The problem is the opportunity to enjoy and learn about jazz has been taken away from them through commercial efforts to marginalize jazz.

    Despite that, LUSH LIFE does continue on after sixty years as will other classics. Jazz has not had the chance to “canonize” like European classical music — however, this is the age where that is happening. It may seem to be an “underground” music today but one day it will burst forth as a result of all the seeds that are being planted today.

  19. I hope you’re right, Alyce Claerbaut, I really do.

    You probably agree that even jazz has been dumbed down, cf. any “smooth” jazz radio station. If people accidentally tune in to one of those, they might be forgiven for thinking, “So this is jazz, huh? No wonder why people don’t like it.”

  20. To speak of a decline in music in terms of dumbing down is odd.
    As if it were only the intelligent that can understand any given type of music. What this says to me is that different people look for different qualities in their music. I look for beauty. For this, I need to hear symmetry, clear patterns, discernible without the need to count or calculate as I listen. I want to be entertained, or experience the music not asked to work out a musical puzzle. So, to read that those who don’t want this from their music are dumb is insulting.

    Music has been cheapened over the years, in every sense of that word, and jazz was no exception to this in my observation of music through the ages. It may have kept it’s ‘clever’ musical tricks at an intellectual level, but it lost spirit. I would even question that it did the former.
    This exercise is like proving that God did a better job with Alliums than Arums. Briggs will probably concur that in fact he did!

    Fields of Gold,by Sting.

    You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
    Upon the fields of barley
    You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
    As we walk in fields of gold
    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

    Will you stay with me, will you be my love
    Among the fields of barley?
    We’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
    As we lie in fields of gold
    See the west wind move like a lover so
    Upon the fields of barley
    Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
    Among the fields of gold

    I never made promises lightly
    And there have been some that I’ve broken
    But I swear in the days still left
    We’ll walk in fields of gold
    We’ll walk in fields of gold

    Many years have passed since those summer days
    Among the fields of barley
    See the children run as the sun goes down
    Among the fields of gold
    You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
    Upon the fields of barley
    You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
    When we walked in fields of gold
    When we walked in fields of gold

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJJGBYEHNc4&feature=related

  21. “So, to read that those who don’t want this from their music are dumb is insulting.”

    Joy, I agree, but I don’t think anyone has implied or said so. I have to admit that I’m not good at reading between the lines though.

    My diagnosis is that Briggs is a bit of a jazz snob who probably thinks Jazz is a superior, “mature” genre of music. I know the signs since I have lived with a full-blown jazz snob for more than 20 years. Anyway, we know that beauty is in the eye (ear) of the beholder and that music means different things to different people.

    Briggs might want to throw a dart at me after reading my diagnosis; that’s OK because it will give me the satisfaction of saying “Haha, you’ve missed me!”

  22. Matt, I’m revisiting this post because upon deliberation I’ve found what I think to be is a better, more classic example of the contrast between what Drake performs and what is actually “music”. In the 50’s another popular song was Nina Never Knew, and it was covered by over a dozen artists, including FS. The lyrics by Milton Drake were simple, romantic and effective:

    Girls were made to kiss, but Nina never knew
    Girls are born for this, but Nina never knew
    Sweet surprise filled Nina’s eyes
    She did not understand when I kissed her hand
    Why dreams began to stir deep down inside of her

    When I whispered things that Nina never heard
    Nina’s heart took wings with ev’ry tender word
    Then suddenly she clung to me
    She learned to love somehow
    And I’m so glad that Nina never knew till now.

    One can probably find examples of the music and performances on the net, so I won’t link them here, but my issue is with the CONTRAST in the points of view of the two pieces. I contend that though the societal view of a man-woman relationship in the 50’s may have not been what everyone desired, it held a loftier and more societally sustaining goal than that of your modern example. I liked “Lush”, but “Nina Never Knew” is a better example of how far we as a society have fallen, in my view.

    Bummer

  23. Jh,
    This ranks right up there with my brother chasing me round the house with a spider in his hand until I wept for mercy only to find that it was a piece of black cotton.
    I do think Sir is playing unfair and he knows it. He is looking for a way out, but I have all the doorways covered and a bucket of water.

    Professor Briggins knows I won’t stay cross for long. I can’t wait to hear this “statistical” argument that’s pupating as we speak.
    I wonder how many legs it will have. Will it hatch before August when sir is at his most spectacular?

  24. Joy, JH,

    My spider’s real. And JH, you’ll be surprised to hear me accept that your dart has met it’s target. But you won’t like that it hits you, too.

    Stand by.

  25. From an ex-musician/ex-music teacher, a few ponderments:

    This is a totally rigged contest – Strayhorn, one of the top talents from the golden age of American popular music vs. another-flash-in-the-pan rapper who will probably be forgott within 5 years (if not killed in some parking lot shoot-out).

    Still, it’s hard to disagree that our culture – including its pop music – gets more vulgar by the hour. The question is, when did it begin – with the 60’s counter-culture and us telling our parents and the Dominant Paradigm to hang up their hang-ups; tune-in, drop-in, drop-out? . . . Nah; I remember some of one of my uncles’ scroungy 45’s from the 50’s – “Peanuts; peanuts – get ’em from the Peanut Man . . .” Nothing subtle about those. My vote is post-WWII: affluence, records, radio, TV = a permanent youth culture that will always be pushing the envelope. The culture that tolerates “The Best I Ever Had” and its misogynistic sub-culture didn’t spring up overnight. Tiny steps; lots of tiny steps.

    I don’t like Rap & Hip-Hop, though I admit that there seem to be some very talented people working it. It’s just that even the best of it feels like being harangued by some street corner nut job apocolyptist.

    Joy, I usually enjoy your comments, but to call a note pretentious is just silly (and maybe pretentious). But have you heard Eva Cassidy’s version of Fields of Gold? I like it better than the original.

    Alyce, Jazz wasn’t marginalized by the music industry; it marginalized itself. Seeking respectability, it became hyper-intellectualised after WWII, while willfully forgetting that it was originally juke-joint music – scruffy and danceable (and often lewd). It’s currently stronger compared to the 60’s-80’s, but still nowhere near commercially viable. It survives mostly in Academe, Middle School through College – Jazz Camps, seminars, private lessons, and degree programs. It has most definitely been canonized (and white-ified). A young friend who got his degree from U. Miami was offered a grad-assistantship free-ride to take his Masters in Be-Bop. Good effing grief (he politely declined and is now doing very well as a studio musician in LA). Very few working Jazz musicians today came up through the ranks, they’re coming from the college degree programs.

    Jazz is also in a rut. Go to any Jazz club or concert, and 80% of the tunes will be blues-based in some way, usually not even bothering to break from the standard 12 or 16-bar forms. And the format is almost cast in stone: Lead off with a 16-32 bar head; solo, solo, solo (maybe repeat head in the middle) more solos, repeat head for closing (sometimes w/ some slight variation at the end). Yawn.

    But the Jazz degree programs do provide their graduates with a better shot at a music career (vs a Music Education career) than the traditional “classical” programs, because the Jazz Studies graduates tend to have skills that the music industry needs – composing, arranging, producing, engineering, recording, etc. This is why it’s now rare to find a College music department that doesn’t offer a Jazz Studies program, whereas 30 years ago there weren’t more than a half dozen in the entire country.

    Re: Nina Never Knew. There is a better example, and the subject matter is identical. It’s called “How Long Has This Been Going On?”, and was written by George & Ira Gershwin in 1927.

    Lastly (really!), while the era of the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Billy Strayhorn – gee, there were so many – was without doubt the Golden Age of American Pop – maybe the golden age of all Pop – that doesn’t mean everything else is dross. I believe that the Beatles may have some staying power. More recently, I’ve been listening to Andrew Bird’s new disc, “Noble Beast” and have been really enjoying it. A few weekends ago I pulled out Vartinna’s “Kokko” for the first time in several years because I was working on house projects & needed something upbeat. Several years before that, 12-year-old Aselin Debison recorded Stephan Moccio’s sad, elegant “To Say Goodbye To You”, Sinéad Lohan’s spooky “Out of the Woods”, and other Celtic-tinged pop tunes on her disc, “Sweet is the Melody”; in fact CBC made an eponymous concert video recorded in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Your local library probably has the DVD since it was broadcast in the US by PBS.

    I just pulled a few examples out of my hat, but I hope they’re enough to make my point: With all the crap that’s out there and constantly being shoved in our faces, it’s easy to get permanently pissed-off like poor old Walt Kowalski. But if you do you’ll miss all the great stuff that’s also out there. So try to ignore the garbage and seek out the good (hey – that’s pretty snappy, no? Maybe I could sell it to Hallmark).

    Ciao,
    PJ

  26. Joy

    I agree with PaddikJ. Find a copy of the album”Songbird” by Eva Cassidy, pour a glass of fine wine, sit back, relax and enjoy.

    Rob R

  27. Sue B,
    I liked your version.

    PJ,
    For what it’s worth, it was exactly how that note affected me, very sorry if I offended.
    Yes, I do like Eva Cassidy and coincidentally was singing along to her ‘Over the Rainbow’ today.
    Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’ is my favourite for personal reasons.

    Thank you Rob R, I am!

  28. I can’t stand jazz but know several jazz fanatics (snobs) so that I can recognize one when I see him and that’s why I share JH’s hypothesis .
    I like to think that the invasion of the N.America by the Beatles in the 60ties was a revenge for the invasion of Europe by the jazz after 45 .
    I find jazz boring , amorphous , primary and more often than not on the border of perpetual metallic screeching underlined by a VERY annoying counterbass .
    This of course doesn’t mean that rap (one example of which William friendly offered here) is better .
    Even if it seems hardly possible , it is still worse than jazz and that says something about how I feel about rap .
    So this contest is for me like asking somebody if he prefers to be shot or hanged .
    .
    Discussions about music (or painting) are difficult because both have a non empty intersection with a rational domain like maths and geometry – see f.ex D.Hofstadter’s musing about autoreferential loops , fractal sets and Bach’s fugues .
    But the part what makes it precisely hard is the complementary set to the above defined intersection 🙂
    F.ex what I like are Gregorian Chants , Händel or corsican polyphonics …

  29. I only have one comment on this. You cant have a song you like for its sophistication and put it up against a song you picked at random. Go listen to Real Recognize Real by Lupe Fiasco. It’s an extended metaphor. There are still rappers who have songs where every line is riddled with wordplay metaphors similes and personification. You jus have to know what to listen to.

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