Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Year Under the Collar

New Year's Eve is traditionally a time to weigh the past year's events and the coming year's anticipations. I hope 2012 brings good tidings (from the Old Norse tithindi, "news of events") to all my loyal readers. The future has the advantage of not having happened yet, so potentialities abound. I'm optimistic that good things will come.

Happy New Year,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Holiday News Beat

P.S.  Procol Harum's "Quite Rightly So," from the album Shine On Brightly (1968), borrowed a bit of musical phrasing from "Auld Lang Syne," a traditional folk song that originally appeared as a poem by Robert Burns (1788). You can hear it especially at the beginning of new verses or during the organ solo.  The song's subject is love lost, according to lyricist Keith Reid, whose American romance at the time fizzled.  My take on the lyrics and music is different; I hear more of a spiritual message.  The hymnal quality of the music supports this perspective.  The album's last track, "In Held 'Twas in I," which is something like 18 minutes long, carries an eastern-oriented spiritual message, although there are plenty of mundane elements (such as the reference to Jimi Hendrix as "Jimi the King" during the circus imagery).  The song's composers said they were just experimenting with different musical and lyrical themes and hadn't intended to create such a lengthy piece; rather, sound engineer Glyn Johns strung all the separate bits together to make it sound like a single-take recording.  Of course, you may hear different meanings altogether.  That's the wonderful thing about lyrical music.  There are ambiguities that allow room for personal interpretation.

P.P.S.  In case you're interested, here's all 17 minutes and 40 seconds of "In Held 'Twas in I," from the Procol Harum album Shine on Brightly (1968).  This song may have inspired Paul McCartney in developing the "ongoing song" format to side two of the Beatles' LP, Abbey Road (1969).

P.P.P.S. Dan Fogelberg (1951-2007) was an incredibly gifted singer/songwriter. "Same Old Lang Syne" appeared on the double-album set, The Innocent Age (1981), which is featured on his official website. "Auld Lang Syne" has become the traditional new year's anthem over the years, and Dan's exploration of its themes was marvelously presented, with keen understanding and heartfelt, personal emotion.


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