Sunday Morning Coming Down

Calm down, I haven’t forgotten about or dropped your Sunday morning dose of country music.

Truth is, I’ve been lacking a bit of inspiration for this series.

There are many things which trigger something in me and prompt me to post something, but I think without doubt there are two things which are more responsible than most for making me fire up the laptop to write something (Brexit aside, obviously):

a) something someone has posted on Twitter (as evidenced by my post yesterday morning),  and

b) the popular BBC1 tea-time quiz show Pointless.

And it is to the latter I turn this morning.

I love Pointless, but there are many things about it which annoy the tits off me. Hel and I had a text conversation about this many months ago, which I can’t refer back to as I’ve changed phones at least twice since then, otherwise this next list would be a whole lot longer. But here are the edited highlights:

  1. Contestants who clap their own answer (this isn’t confined to Pointless, to be fair)
  2. Contestants who say “I’ve got a few answers in mind, I’m just trying to work out which is the best one.” Of course you are, that’s the whole point of going on a quiz show. Get on with it.
  3. Contestants who say “I was going to give X as my answer (insert answer somebody else just gave which was really good), but now I’ve to got to think of something else…”. You don’t need to think out loud. You don’t need to show your working. This isn’t Eggheads (don’t get me started…). Stop stalling for time, give an answer and let them cut all of the silence and procrastination out in the edit.
  4. Contestants who say “I wasn’t born when most of these records came out”.

Again, to be fair, someone was called out for 3. on a show this week, and they are regularly shown yellow cards for saying 4.

Anyway, this week, one of the rounds on Pointless was “Number One” Records, or rather, records with the number one in the title, which had been a hit in the UK.

One of the answers was One Day at a Time by Lena Martell, a #1 way back in 1979, a record I remember well, partly because it featured on a thoroughly out-of-character compilation of religious songs called Peace in the Valley that my parents owned, partly because I remember the headmaster of the junior school I attended sanctimoniously extolling the virtues of a “proper song with a proper message” being a hit in an assembly one morning, but mostly because…well, it’s a record that was quite a big hit in the late 1970s and my brain is somehow wired to remember that kind of useless crap.

Mental note to self: update dating profile to read: “Handy for pub quizzes (and knowing where the (brackets) go in a song title), useless at putting shelves up, that’s me.”

What I didn’t know was that it’s a song which was co-written by Kris Kristofferson, a country artist regular visitors to this page will know I greatly admire, and who inspired the title of this series.

I literally had no idea that KK had any involvement in this song, so I checked it out on t’internet, and, unless Richard Osman got to the Wikipedia page first (and I wouldn’t put it past him), sure enough, there it is:

“One Day at a Time” is a popular Country and Western-style Christian song written by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson. It has been recorded by over 200 artists and has reached No.1 in several territories.”

Co-written, not written, you idiot, Osman! You really should make that laptop of yours, that you don’t even bother to pretend to refer to, actually work so you can check these things (now I mention it, actually, make a non-working laptop as a prop No. 5 on the list).

Anyway, putting aside my beef with Osman (who I actually quite like: he was once kind enough to respond positively to a Tweet I sent about the reboot of Porridge, which scores immense plus points in my book. See also: the Reverend Richard Coles) and with it being described as Country and Western-style as opposed to just Country (or Country Gospel, if you must), I decided to see if I could track down KK’s version. And as far as I can find, he’s never released his own version of it (citation needed). Which shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, given his early-days reputation as being a songwriter rather than a singer/performer in his own right (I’m talking Kristofferson now, rather than Osman or Coles, by the way).

So instead, here’s Merle Haggard’s not-too-shabby version, lifted from his 1981 album Songs for Mama Who Tried, which it turned out I have a copy of but have never really listened to (I have a lot of records that fall into this category. Which goes some way to explaining why I own an unplayed CD by a group called Fannypack, although I think you can probably work out the main reason for me owning that just from me revealing their name):


Merle Haggard – One Day At A Time

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I try (unsuccesfully, I might add) to avoid knowingly posting the same song twice here, but my lack of knowledge (read: I don’t like them) about tonight’s band demands I do so on this occasion.

I’m going to have to revisit my recent health issues, and particularly the arthritic-type pain I’m getting in my hand and arms.

Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to go to work this week, as I was physically unable to get dressed: I couldn’t do the buttons on my shirt, or tie my shoelaces. It’s a quite a liberal office, but turning up with my belly out and no shoes on would probably be frowned on, I think. Or at the very least generate some rather embarassing YouTube footage.

Because I’ve been away from the office so much recently, I feel terrible about not being there, partly because it puts an added pressure on my colleagues who are there, but also, selfishly, worries about the safety of my job start to arise.

So tonight, I wanted to place on record my thanks to my boss – and friend (and historically it’s not often I say that about fellow employees, let alone bosses) – Kay, who has been typically wonderful, helpful and understanding thoughout all of my recent hardships.

She has not only had to work loads more hours than can reasonably be expected of any normal human being, doing her own extremely cumbersome workload whilst also trying to sort my stuff out whilst I’ve been off, but has also made it very clear to me that she values me as a work colleague and will do as much as she possibly can do to ensure nothing bad employment-wise happens to me.

I only own one tune by this lot, who she loves and I think rather dull, so I hope you’ll forgive this repost. But Kay: I probably don’t say it enough but thank you for everything you’ve done, you have no idea how much it’s appreciated.

This is for you and, if you must, Minelli, your sodding cat that you never shut up about:


The XX – Night Time (Greg Wilson Remix)

More soon.