Friday, October 21, 2011

Bad music night: cod gaelic

It's Friday and bad music is with us again!!!  This week, cods scots and cod irish music.  Plenty to choose from, but we'll start with Killarney, by Michael William Balfe (1808-1870), sung by John McCormack.  Of Balfe, the wonderful Oxford Companion to Music rather back-handedly says he had "an instinct for easy-flowing melody, unembarrassed by any subtleties of harmony or orchestration".  See what you think.  I think it's absolutely hideous, as is Roamin' in the Gloamin', in this version by Harry Lauder.  Billy Connolly is very rude about this ('singing shortbread tins'), somewhat unfairly given that Lauder really was Scots, although he soon moved to London (and lived in our road for a bit) to make his fortune.  (Also what is this thing about 'the Blue Misty Hills of Tyree?' at 1:30? A Google search reveals only Connolly's version. Was there ever really such a song?)

Nor must we omit the awful and hideous Donald where's your troosers.  And finally, something slightly (but only slightly) more authentic, some Jimmy Shand.  I saw a pile of Jimmy Shand 78s in a junk shop years ago, and always regret not buying them.

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