Monday, January 13, 2014

Music and More

The see-saw of life keeps moving up, down...
Martin has recorded a song I wrote for a Theatre Group way back in the 1980s. It was for a version of The Beggar's Opera, (the original inspiration for Brecht and Weill's Threepenny Opera) a play originally written by John Gay that featured street songs with new lyrics. Brecht and Weill's songs have been recorded by all sorts of people- notably Louis Armstrong in this case, who recorded a swing version of Mack the Knife. But we started from scratch, using one or two of John Gay's streetwise lyrics but adding some new material of our own.
Dave Jago (the Helen and the Horns trombone player) and myself shared out the extra songs and we both wrote new songs for different characters in the play. This song was originally titled I'm in Love for the First Time and was sung by the actor who played Polly Peachum to the actor who played Mack the Knife, and played by our peculiar cobbled-together orchestra that featured some of the Horns, Dubula (from Dub Colossus) and Hammy Lee (from Transglobal Underground). No microphones either- just loud voices and lots of feeling!
The song came to life again in 1990 when I was unexpectedly invited to go to Berlin and given some free recording time and a gig at The Loft. I didn't have many new songs to record so I did an arrangement for this one, by converting the backing vocals that the Theatre Group sang into sax parts; later still, it made its first appearance on a CD, Helen and the Horns Etc, that was released on Near Shore Records. It bounces about a bit, I think; it bounced into Martin's ears and this is his lovely version!

1 comment:

David Stanton said...

Great song, we love it