Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 92. The Beauty of the Black, Female Voice (SOLD)

Back in February, I had planned to spend each day documenting something that I loved.  Well, you know the saying, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray."*

So, let me just sprinkle into March one of my greatest loves, the beauty of the black, female voice.  Spend a little time with me; I've been fairly quiet on the verbal front, but it's changing on this post! (-;

Since I was just talking about the movie version of the play "Rock of Ages" (Day 90, "Feeling Awful, Have a Falafel"), let's start there.

O.K., so here's Julianne Hough singing Quarterflash's "Harden My Heart."**  She does a good job, but pay attention after she kneels down to the ground in the rain, and that gorgeous, soulful voice of Mary J. Blige kicks in (1:19)...there's just no comparison!  She reaches down deep and delivers!***

I mean, what would rock 'n' roll, the blues, soul be without those beautiful voices?  Whether they're singing the lead or back-up, they touch deep down and deliver depths of emotion of joy, sadness, euphoria.  I am eternally grateful.

Here are a few other songs that just couldn't exist without their presence:

"Tumbling Dice"  Rolling Stones:

"Gimme Shelter"  Rolling Stones -- Merry Clayton throughout, but especially starting at 2:42.

HEAVY use of black back-up singers on David Bowie's entire album--and one of my ALL-TIME favorites--"Young Americans"  (except, "John, I'm Only Dancing"--ugh)  Especially am enamored of the title track, "Fascination," "Right," and bonus track "It's Gonna Be Me.")  Listening to this, I think, who am I kidding?  Love all of them.  And here's another realization, I love the saxophone with female, black singers, um, and a piano--a REAL piano.  Oh, yeah, and I just simply LOVE music!  Shocker!

I had this one on my FB page not long ago.  "Slippery People" Talking Heads.  Dancing and Singing fun.

By the way, there ARE a few white, female singers who deliver the same soul--seriously, Christina Aguilera, Susan Tedeschi, Janis Joplin, Linda Ronstadt, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga on some, (no particular order there), and Clare Torry.  WHO, you ask?  See immediately below!

Blue-eyed (Clare Torry) and brown-eyed soul:  Pink Floyd's, "The Great Gig in the Sky"--UPDATE:
**MONTHS later, I find my original post was removed--saying the video was no longer available in this country, so let's try this one instead: Sam Brown provides amazing white soul and brown-eyed heart-pouring belongs to Durga McBroom and Claudia Fontaine:


*For those of you who would like to join me, let's go on a little meandering journey here.  The line ("Best Laid Plans...") comes from the Robert Burns' Scots (Scots language poem), "To A Mouse" from 1785.

Burns originalStandard English translation
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With argumentative chatter!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startle
At me, your poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!
I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.
Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!
You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.
That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

**The original Quarterflash video of "Harden My Heart."  1980's strangeness!

***Just another aside:  Somehow Mary J. Blige low humming at the beginning of her part (in "Harden My Heart") reminds me of Thelma Houston at the beginning of "Don't Leave Me This Way."

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