Back we go then, to last week’s unfinished business, interrupted as we were by “technical issues”.
And in what I’d love to take credit for as entirely planned, but which is actually utterly coincidental and fortunate, this morning’s song is one which was written by one of the three co-writers of yesterday’s tune. Nope, not Phil Spector, nor Jeff “Not John” Barry: I speak of the wonderful Ellie Greenwich.
Between 1963 and 1967, Greenwich and Barry were responsible for an impressive array of classics. Check this list out: The Crystals’ Da Doo Ron Ron and Then He Kissed Me; The Ronettes’ Be My Baby and Baby, I Love You; Darlene Love’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home); The Exciters’ (more famously covered by Manfred Mann) Do-Wah-Diddy; The Dixie Cups’ Chapel of Love; and The Shangri-La’s Leader of the Pack.
That’s not a bad list of credits, right?
This morning’s tune was bumped from the summery playlist I recently prepared for JC’s site time and space reasons; I wanted it to be around the hour mark, and something just had to go to keep the length there or thereabouts.
Plus, I couldn’t quite make up my mind which rendition of it I’d include.
So in a homage to Hong Kong Phooey, I thought I’d post all three versions I own and which were in contention, and you can make your own mind up.
(And in case that reference goes over your head, here:)
Would it be Elkie Brook’s version, which was first a single in 1977 and appeared on her Two Day Away album, but which I first encountered via the former Vinegar Joe lead singer’s wonderful, if M.O.R., 1981 album of (mostly) covers, Pearls:
Firstly, my apologies that there was no New Mood on Monday post this morning.
There were two reasons for this:
Firstly, on returning from a long weekend visiting my parents, where at least one of the weekend’s posts got written, I couldn’t find the cable which linked to my external hard drive (where all my tunes live), but which has since been located, to my immense relief.
Secondly, as a comment on the booing that our #CrimeMinister received from the blue rinse brigade on arriving at St Paul’s Cathedral to attend the service to mark Queen Lizzy’s 70 years, I had intended to post this:
Now, here’s some footage of him arriving (and it should be noted, this footage is from The Telegraph’s website):
Ordinarily, one would expect, at the very least, a cheery wave to the crowd, but no – he heard the boos and wanted to seek sanctuary inside as quickly as possible, practically dragging the current Mrs Johnson up the steps.
Inside, it would seem the reality sunk in: a crowd of royal revellers, who one would expect to be supportive of the Government and all it stands for, had made it clear what they thought of him.
Here’s a pictorial summary of the contrast: first, a picture of a happy bunny:
And now one of an unhappy one, who is either reflecting on the boos, or perhaps wondering why his current wife is wearing a hat which prevents her from accidentally seeing him:
Thing is, he was booed again as he left the service:
And that was from The Daily Mail – like The Telegraph, not renowned for their critical stance on the Conservative governmnt.
Now, had the stars not been aligned then that would have been the end of my post this morning. But things move on at a pace, and it turns out that sufficient numbers of Conservative MPs, having stuck their fingers in the air and finally seen which way the wind is blowing, have submitted enough letters to the 1922 Committee as to force a vote of Confidence in our #CrimeMinister, which will be taking place around about now.
The result, in terms of who voted for and against, will not be revealed to us plebs, which gives all Conservative MPs a blank canvas: they can tell their constituents that they submitted a letter, then vote in support of our philandering PM, and nobody will be any the wiser.
If he were to lose the vote, I doubt he will go anyway.
But if he did, then that would spark a Tory leadership battle, and whoever replaces him would doubtless want to scrub the floors clean and get rid of all those who have profited from his tenure. And for sure, all the ones that you’ve heard of – Patel, Dorries, Sunak, Truss, Raaaaaaaab – have all come out in support for him, because they all know that the moment Johnson falls, so do they.
Or rather, as I would describe it: they’re more concerned with what is best for them, than what is best for the country.
People are – finally – seeing him for what he is: a habitual liar (fired from two of his previous jobs for lying).
I can’t post this enough (it’s particularly revealing around the 08:30 mark, in case you cant be arsed to watch the whole thing):
So: lies. This is a leader who signed us up to an “oven-ready” Brexit withdrawal agreement which is damaging to our economy and to the Good Friday Agreement, just so that he could announce he had “got Brexit done” and storm to the majority he holds in Parliament currently. A withdrawal agreement he now wants to back out of because he didn’t expect the EU to implement what was agreed. A withdrawal agreement that he either read and didn’t understand, or just simply didn’t read: it fulfilled a purpose – to get him to be the Prime Minister.
And that’s before I’ve even touched upon the porkies he’s told about Partygate.
This is the problem with voting in those with a sense of entitlement just because of who they are and where they were schooled. If his tenure as London Mayor wasn’t enough of a warning sign (clue: having endured him as Mayor for two terms, the Conservative party did not win many London seats in the last general election), then surely a letter from Eton College to his parents from 1982 should have been enough:
For the record, I expect him to survive the vote, but even if he does, then his position is going to be severely weakened.
Hoorah! It’s not here yet, but the end is in sight:
Tuesday’s Short Song post featuring The Box Top’s The Letter prompted a comment from long-time reader and Chain Gang contributor George who said:
“Have you heard Al Green’s version? I think it’s tremendous. Some might disagree (they are of course wrong).”
I hadn’t, but this seemed a most serendipitous suggestion, given the Rev. Green also featured here on Saturday night, and so I decided to investigate.
He’s not wrong you know:
I’ll be honest, before The Box Top’s version ended up in the Short Song series, I had been flirting with the idea of including it in this series anyway, but not with The Rev. Green’s version as the alternative. There are so many versions to choose from, but one that I really love is by Ellie Greenwich.
You know Ellie Greenwich. No you do, I promise you. She either wrote or co-wrote such indisputable classics as The Ronettes’ Be My Baby, The Crystals’ Da Doo Ron Ron, The Shangri-La’s’ Leader of the Pack, Manfred Mann’s Do Wah Diddy Diddy (itself a cover version, but we’ll save that for another time, I think), and Ike & Tina Turner’s River Deep, Mountain High…I could go on.
But in 1968 she released an album entitled, Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces and Sings; a slightly disingenuous title given that she didn’t do any of these things on the original version. I’m probably doing her a dis-service there, for the style is very different to The Box Tops’ version, even more so than Al Green’s version, and so she may have either recomposed and/or produced this version, which she definitely sings on.
It couldn’t sound any more like it was auditioning for an Austin Powers movie if it tried, could it?
(Disclaimer: I have never seen any of the Austin Powers movies.)