Sunday, 13 February 2011

This Musical Life, from The Clash to Piaf via Martha Wainwright

Three-year-old Philou's musical education continues on our commute to the day-care each morning and he can now sing along to the chorus of "Rock the Casbah". Musically it's one of The Clash's best hooks, and lyrically it's the perfect accompaniment to the recent events in Cairo. Perhaps Joe Strummer and Mick Jones were very prescient, or maybe not much has changed in the Arab world in thirty years. Mubarak had already been in office for one year when the song was released.
The Sharif don't like it.
Rock the Casbah, Rock the Casbah
My own musical education continues too. Thanks to "Concert on Demand" on CBC Radio I've just discovered Martha Wainwright's recording of Piaf songs "Sans fusils, ni souliers, à Paris" and it's quite exquisite. The songs are beautiful of course in that melancholic French way and she brings a fresh and vibrant sensibility to them. The old Piaf recordings are wonderful too but sound dated and historical now; Martha Wainwright's are full of vitality while just as moving. I'd love to see her perform these live.

Martha Wainwright's Piaf Record promo video from Martha Wainwright on Vimeo.

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