SotD: What a Wonderful World · That’s al­l, folk­s. Wel­come to the last Song of the Day. I knew pret­ty ear­ly what I want­ed it to be, be­cause ev­ery ex­tend­ed en­deav­or should en­deav­or to end on a high note. And What a Won­der­ful World fit­s, al­beit in­di­rect­ly, in­to the ex­it the­me, wor­ship and rev­er­ence ...
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SotD: It’ll Shine When It Shines · At the end of the day, the pur­suit of the di­vine is sup­posed to of­fer up wis­dom and, prac­ti­cal­ly speak­ing, teach you how to live life bet­ter. But for me, the sa­cred scrip­tures are songs; not that I lis­ten to them look­ing for life lesson­s, but some­times they’re there any­way. It’ll Shine When It Shines is by the Ozark Moun­tain Dare­dev­ils, and it’s up-front about its mes­sage; one that I feel good about pass­ing along ...
 
SotD: The Return · I in­tro­duced Fer­ron to the Song of the Day a cou­ple weeks back with Belly­bowl, and I’d like to use her beau­ti­ful The Re­turn in this clos­ing focused-on-the-divine se­quence, to help talk about my own ex­pe­ri­ence of wor­ship ...
 
SotD: Graceland · In case it wasn’t ob­vi­ous from yesterday’s piece, Grace­land  —  the re­al one I mean, Elvis’ man­sion in Mem­phis  —  is a place of wor­ship. The vis­i­tors are serene, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing be­lief not faith; a lot of them saw Elvis on TV or even in the flesh. They know that, as Paul Si­mon sings, in his love­ly, love­ly song al­so called Grace­land, that there’s rea­son to be­lieve that they’ll all be re­ceived there. And al­so just the name “Graceland” is the pret­ti­est word imag­in­able ...
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SotD: So High · More mu­sic on the sub­ject of God (and Heav­en too); a tra­di­tion­al spir­i­tu­al ar­ranged by Elvis Pres­ley for his 1967 Gospel al­bum How Great Thou Art, which was a triple-platinum hit and won the 1967 Gram­my for Best Sa­cred Per­for­mance. So High is a fine, rous­ing tune with a good ar­range­men­t, and just ter­rif­ic singing ...
 
SotD: O vis aeternitatis · Ladies, gen­tle­men, and oth­er­s, wel­come to the 2018 Song of the Day clos­ing se­quence. This has been a lot of work and I thought I should try to end it with more than just a set of ran­dom tunes, so I picked a the­me: Wor­ship, the sa­cred, and the di­vine. To start, from Hilde­gard von Bin­gen, the old­est song to ap­pear, first sung some­time in the years around 1150: O vis ae­ter­ni­tatis means “The Pow­er of Eternity” ...
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SotD: Live at Leeds · I love rock mu­sic, and I love live al­bum­s, and this might be the best live rock&roll record­ing ev­er. I’m not claim­ing the whole album’s a Song of the Day (and any­how, there’s been a baf­fling pa­rade of re-issues and re­mas­ters and so on). But I am go­ing to dou­ble up and rec­om­mend two songs: I Can’t Ex­plain and the My Gen­er­a­tion Med­ley. The first be­cause it’s a pure pop gem, the sec­ond, even though it’s way long, be­cause in­hab­its the joy­ful heart of the mu­sic I love ...
 
SotD: Subcode · By ap­pear­ing twice in this se­ries Jah Wob­ble joins lu­mi­nar­ies like Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. I’m not go­ing to claim that he looms as large on the mu­si­cal land­scape; just that he writes and plays nice tunes fea­tur­ing di­vine­ly great bass lines. And, well, I just can’t say no to that. Sub­code is a slith­ery, icy-cool riv­er of funk ...
 
SotD: One More Cup of Coffee · This is my fa­vorite Bob Dy­lan song, by a mile. Maybe it’s Scar­let Rivera’s vi­o­lin that grabs me. Maybe it’s Em­my­lou Harris’ har­monies. Maybe it’s the fear­some chord hook when he sings “To the val­ley below”. It’s just great ...
 
SotD: I’m Not Afraid · If this se­ries brings one or two of you one or two re­al­ly hot rock-n-roll tunes you nev­er know ex­ist­ed, then I can go home hap­py. Maybe this is one: I’m Not Afraid is by Flem­ing and John, a husband-and-wife tune who have nev­er been big stars or any­thing like that, but should go down in his­to­ry for this song ...
 
SotD: Steady, As She Goes · This is off Bro­ken Boy Soldiers by the The Ra­con­teurs, bet­ter known as “Back when Jack White did a cou­ple of records with Bren­dan Ben­son.” Steady, As She Goes (why that com­ma?) was the big sin­gle on that record, co-written by White & Ben­son, and is just an out­stand­ing pop tune, al­though Jack has his own ideas about where to take it ...
 
SotD: Bellybowl · At one point in my life, I found my­self mar­ried to a les­bian. It’s a long sto­ry, not ter­ri­bly hap­py. This ar­range­ment had im­por­tant dis­ad­van­tages, but a pret­ty big up­side: I dis­cov­ered women’s mu­sic. It’s not ac­tu­al­ly a gen­re, it’s just that the per­form­ers are most­ly les­bian and the au­di­ences are most­ly, wom­en (although men were per­fect­ly wel­come; I have yet to en­counter any class of mu­si­cian who ob­ject­ed to any class of per­son en­joy­ing their mu­sic, and (e­spe­cial­ly) pay­ing for it. If you’re won­der­ing what kind of mu­sic I’m talk­ing about, lis­ten to Belly­bowl by Fer­ron, and you’ll know; most­ly, ex­cel­len­t ...
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SotD: Crazy Fingers · I’m sad that I nev­er saw the Grate­ful Dead live; they’ve left marks on the col­lec­tive mu­si­cal con­scious­ness that will be there as long as such a thing ex­ist­s. But Blues For Al­lah is my fa­vorite of their stu­dio record­ings, and Crazy Fingers by a wide mar­gin the best song there ...
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SotD: High · High by Sir Sly (cool name) will be the last 2018 Song Of The Day in the current-hit cat­e­go­ry. The usu­al thing: I heard it on the car ra­dio and it sound­ed good and then kept sound­ing good even on heavy ro­ta­tion. While there’s a se­ri­ous prob­lem with this work, it’s still a mas­ter­ful piece of song­writ­ing ...
 
SotD: “Little” Fugue by Stokowski · What hap­pened was, in the time of J.S. Bach there were no big or­ches­tras, so most of his mu­sic em­pha­sizes that bor­ing stuff like in­ner de­tail and emo­tion­al ten­sion and shift­ing sound­scapes. When he want­ed to write Big Loud Mu­sic, he wrote or­gan mu­sic. Which left mod­ern or­ches­tra con­duc­tors who re­al­ly liked Bach with not much to play. So Leopold Stokows­ki (1882-1977) solved that prob­lem by ar­rang­ing lots of Bach com­po­si­tions  —  mostly or­gan pieces  —  for big mod­ern or­ches­tras. This hor­ri­fied a lot of Bach purist­s, but the ar­range­ments are most­ly pret­ty great, and that Fugue, prop­er­ly called BWV 578, is a fine ex­am­ple ...
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SotD: Somnambule · I’d ev­er heard of Cœur de pi­rate un­til she popped up on my ra­dio a few weeks ago. She’s from Québéc and I think the name best trans­lates as “Pirate’s Heart”, but she’s bilin­gual and at one point re­ferred to her­self as “Her Pi­rate Heart”, which is cool too. Any­how, the singing is in French and is very beau­ti­ful, and al­so an oa­sis of peace in among all the loud male mu­sic I’ve been host­ing here re­cent­ly ...
 
SotD: Badlands · I was nev­er that huge a Spring­steen fan, right through Born to Run; I think I was just too much of a head-banger at the time. But when Dark­ness on the Edge of Town came out I snapped it right up and went and saw the tour in Toron­to. A lot of his songs over the years just go right by me. But Dark­ness is a hell of a col­lec­tion of songs, and that tour… OMG ...
 
SotD: Heart To Hang Onto · Heart To Hang On­to is a song by Pete Town­shend and Ron­nie Lane on their 1977 al­bum Rough Mix. This piece is re­al­ly a rec­om­men­da­tion for the whole al­bum, which is an out­stand­ing col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful songs beau­ti­ful­ly per­formed; it’s been played as of­ten as any­thing in my col­lec­tion, over the years. Heart To Hang On­to is one of Pete Townshend’s finest com­po­si­tion­s, which is a strong state­men­t ...
 
SotD: Little Wing · Yes­ter­day I quot­ed Dvořák say­ing (in 1893) “I am con­vinced that the fu­ture mu­sic of this coun­try must be found­ed on what are called Ne­gro melodies. Th­ese can be the foun­da­tion of a se­ri­ous and orig­i­nal school of com­po­si­tion, to be de­vel­oped in the Unit­ed States. Th­ese beau­ti­ful and var­ied themes are the prod­uct of the soil. They are the folk songs of Amer­i­ca and your com­posers must turn to them.” Some­how he failed to pre­dict that America’s com­posers would be what they called “Negros” back then. I want to rec­om­mend one piece by such a com­poser: Lit­tle Wing, by Ji­mi Hen­drix ...
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SotD: Dvořák Symphony No. 9 · On the ti­tle page of his 9th Sym­pho­ny manuscrip­t, Antonín Dvořák wrote „Z Nového světa“ „From the new world“; it’s thus be­come pop­u­lar­ly known as the New World Sym­pho­ny. And by “popularly” I mean re­al­ly, right up there among the most-played clas­si­cal work­s. I can pret­ty well guar­an­tee that al­most ev­ery­one will have heard, and re­mem­ber, the big swooshy melody at the front of the 2nd move­men­t ...
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