December 20, 2020 – Song Lyric Sunday. Circle/Polygon/Square/Triangle

Jim Adams

Hi it’s Sunday again and time for Jim Adams Song Lyric Sunday. This week Jim has gone all geometric on us . So I have dug deep and found some oldies that I am glad for a chance to give them an airing. So I chose Sitting in Circles by Electric Flags. You’re so Square by Joni Mitchell, The Auld Triangle by The Dubliners and finally Crystalline by Björk.

The Electric Flag was an Americanbluesrocksoul group, led by guitaristMike Bloomfield, keyboardist Barry Goldberg and drummer Buddy Miles, and featuring other musicians such as vocalist Nick Gravenites and bassist Harvey Brooks. Bloomfield formed the Electric Flag in 1967, following his stint with the Butterfield Blues Band. The band reached its peak with the 1968 release, A Long Time Comin’, a fusion of rock, jazz, and R&B styles that charted well in the BillboardPop Albumschart. Their initial recording was a soundtrack for The Trip, a movie about an LSD experience by Peter Fonda, written by Jack Nicholson and directed by Roger Corman.This song came out the year I met hubby. *****

Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell (née Anderson; born November 7, 1943) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell’s songs often reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy. She has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Rolling Stone called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever”, and AllMusic has stated, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century”.

Elvis Presley’s version, one of the few songs in which he plays the electric bass, was recorded on May 3, with the vocal track added on May 9, 1957 and released on his Jailhouse Rock EP. It reached number fourteen on the R&B charts. It later become a minor pop standard, with notable versions being performed by Buddy Holly, who included the song on his self-titled second album, and his version made the British singles chart in 1961, reaching no. 12. A 1983 re-release of the Elvis Presley version reached no. 61 on the UK singles chart.

The song’s narrator addresses the object of their affection, and points out all the ways that the addressee is square, how they’re out of touch with modern trends in music and romance. Then the narrator tells the subject of the song that they love them in spite of, and maybe because of this. I am not keen on Elvis so it was a no brained to pick one my favourite singer songwriter Joni. *****

The Auld Triangle” is a song, usually attributed to Brendan Behan, which he made famous when he included it in his 1954 play The Quare Fellow. He first performed it publicly in 1952 on the RTE radio programme ‘The Ballad Maker’s Saturday Night’, produced by Mícheál Ó hAodha. Behan’s biographer, Michael O’Sullivan, recorded, ‘It has been believed for many years that Brendan wrote that famous prison song but Mícheál Ó hAodha says he never laid claim to authorship. Indeed he asked him to send a copyright to another Dubliner, Dick Shannon.’ When he recorded the song for Brendan Behan Sings Irish Folksongs and Ballads (Spoken Arts 1960), Behan introduced it with these words: ‘This song was written by a person who will never hear it recorded, because he’s not in possession of a gramophone. He’s…he’s… pretty much of a tramp.’

Shannon’s authorship was asserted by his relatives in discussions on the Mudcat Cafe folksong forum. Here, Deasún ÓSeanáin, his nephew, recorded: ‘My father Thomas Shannon told me as far back as the 1950s that Dickey had written it. Dickey is buried in Manchester. It would be nice to see a plaque erected indicating him as the author.’ Shannon’s grandson Tom Neary posted: ‘I can confirm that it was indeed Dicky Shannon who penned the song for Behan. Brendan and Dicky were very close pals, as well as drinking mates….I have many stories of their escapades together….Brendan always credited Dicky for the song because they were great pals, however, I can verify that Dicky never received a penny in royalties and neither did his family…I must also point out that grandad was not in fact a tramp, but was a highly articulate man with a very dry sense of humour, which could cut you to the quick without degrading you. He was also a very tough man who had literally fought his way through life in the Liberties.

The first commercial recording was by Brendan’s brother Dominic Behan on his 1958 Topic album, Irish Songs. On the liner notes, he wrote, ‘The Old Triangle is a song of Mountjoy Prison and was made popular in the play “The Quare Fella” by Brendan Behan of Dublin.’

The song was later made famous by Luke KellyRonnie Drew and The Dubliners in the late 1960s, and was revived for a new audience by Irish rock band the Pogues on their 1984 album Red Roses for Me. The Dubliners, my heritage… I love them .

Crystalline” is a song by Icelandic artist Björk, released as the lead single from her eighth album Biophilia. The song was released as a single on 28 June 2011[2][3] accompanied by an iPad app developed exclusively for the song. It was afterward released as part of The Crystalline Series alongside the second single from the album, “Cosmogony“.[4]

Björk love her too, my youngest son introduced me to her music 💜

Information about the song on this post is from Wikipedia.

Happy Sunday Everyone.

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