The Day Today (Sunday Morning Coming Down edition)

This morning’s selection was a real no- brainer; it’s the song which gives the usual Sunday morning series it’s name.

But there’s another reason; the original of this song is one of my Dad’s favourite records, and today marks four weeks since he was admitted to hospital following his fall at home. And four weeks later, that’s where he remains.

Actually, that’s not strictly true, since this week he was transferred to a different hospital where he can receive treatment from a more specialised unit for one of the issues which has been identified. (Obviously, I’m not going to go into details here.)

This is a live version, taken from a recording of a 2013 concert at Union Chapel in North London, one of my favourite venues. Coincidentally, it as also recorded on my birthday, and so I can only assume it was before I joined their mailing list or I would have tried my damndest to have been there.

I haven’t really posted much Kris Kristofferson since his rather underwhelming appearance at Glastonbury a couple of years ago, when he seemed confusedabout where he was, what he was doing there, what song he was supposed to be singing, what the words were to it, each song just sort of tailing off rather than reaching any definite ending.

I went to see Kristofferson play in Bristol a few years before this 2013 gig, and really enjoyed what I saw, although I had to leave early (a long story, which I’ve gone into before on these pages sometime, so won’t bore you with it again). I’d reported back Dad that the gig had been alright, and so, when Kristofferson next came to the UK, off he went, Mum in tow.

I think it was on this 2013 tour that they saw him, but their experience was closer to the disappointing Glastonbury performance than to the one I has been to, however it led to one of Dad’s proudest moments when he called from the audience to prompt Kristofferson with the words “…someone frying chicken!” when he floundered at one particular moment.

Thankfully, although I have no idea how many takes it took, he just about manages to get through it unassisted here:

Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Morning Coming Down (Live)

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Sunday mornings are rapidly turning into a roll call of the deceased.

First Kenny, now the terribly sad news that we’ve lost John Prine too.

So this morning, a couple of Prine cuts which seem kind of appropriate:

John Prine – He Was In Heaven Before He Died

John Prine – Please Don’t Bury Me

And finally, the tune which brought Prine to my attention, by the man I fear is next on the list:

Kris Kristofferson – Jesus Was a Capricorn (Owed to John Prine)

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

It was my honorary Little Sister Hel’s birthday last week, and I couldn’t think of anything to post that was appropriate.

And then I remembered the last night when she and I shared a flat together.

When it became very clear that Hel and Neil were becoming a serious couple, I told Hel that she shouldn’t feel bad about moving out of the flat and leaving me behind, that she had to put her happiness first and foremost, that there would be no hard feeling from me when she did so.

You won’t be surprised to learn that we spent that final night getting horribly drunk together; still less surprised to find out that I had prepared a four hour long playlist to soundtrack the night; and probably even less surprised to learn that I ended the night passed out on the bathroom floor, having necked one (pint of) White Russian too many.

Anyway, this was the first song on the playlist, and as I recall as it began Hel turned to me and said: “Oh God, I’m going to cry all night,aren’t I?”

Yes probably, but don’t worry, I’ll be having a kip in the toilet, so no-one will know.

Kris Kristofferson – For The Good Times

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I should have posted this long ago in my Sunday morning Country series, but whilst it’s undoubtedly a Country record, I don’t think it really sits there.

Rather, if ever there was a song that could make me grimace, mull over my mistakes and weep, it’s this one, a simply told tale of love lost, which makes it much more suited for late night introspection:

folder

Kris Kristofferson – When I Loved Her

Just beautifully sad.

More soon.

 

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Shortly after I’d asked my mate Martin for a suggestion for last week’s post in this series, I came up with one which I decided to postpone until today.

When I was a youngster, the album this was the title track from was often played as the family droveover to visit the grandparents and great-grandparent every Saturday. I would sing along in the back, totally oblivious to what the song was about. It wasn’t til many years later that I actually listened to the words properly and realised that the main character is, to be perfectly blunt, an absolute shagger and a shit.

I had some form in this area, you won’t be surprised to learn. My Dad owned a couple of those Rugby Songs albums which were popular in the 70s, recordings of jock-strap wearing mountains of men singing bawdy songs in pubs, with the most offensive of words (usually) bleeped out to protect the tender ears of any young pup who may have strayed into hearing range.

But that hadn’t stopped me learning the words to an old-time music hall tune which featured on the record, and, as my teacher subsequently reported to my parents, I had been singing it in class…at lunch breaks…at any possible opportunity, basically.

This isn’t the Rugby Songs version, but you get the idea as to what so tickled kindergarden-aged me about it:

smithsonian

Derek Lamb – The Hole in the Elephant’s Bottom

But I digress.

Here’s the song I was originally talking about; it seems appropriate in a perverse kind of way to be posting a song about a devil on Easter Sunday:

folder

Kris Kristofferson – The Silver Tongued Devil And I

More soon.

 

Sunday Morning Coming Down

It’s been a good while since I posted any Kristofferson here, so I think it’s time to rectify that, with a song which I can perform a pretty mean version of; the gravel-voiced growly tenor is right in my range.

And it kind of explains where I’m at right now.

folder

Kris Kristofferson – To Beat The Devil

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Back to some country this morning, and a follow-on tune to the post I did a couple of weeks ago about the reality TV show “Gone to Pot: American Road Trip”.

The link will become obvious, not least because it’s Willie Nelson again.

And this track also features Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson and….Snoop Dogg:

Willie-Nelson-Heroes1

Willie Nelson – Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die (with Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson & Jamey Johnson)

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

A couple of months ago, I wrote that I had heard a rumour that my favourite Country star of all time, Kris Kristofferson, was going to play the Legends Slot on the Sunday at Glastonbury.

Although I didn’t say so at the time, I feared for him a little; when I saw him about ten years ago in Bristol, it was just him and an acoustic guitar, and I felt that were he to perform in the same style at Glasto, with no backing band, he would probably be dwarfed by the occasion.

Factor in his memory loss problems, and you can understand where I’m coming from.

His memory loss is interesting, not just because it gives my Dad the opportunity to tell his story about the time he saw Kristofferson play a few years ago, and had to prompt him with one of the lines to “Sunday Morning Coming Down”. (“Someone frying chicken!” he called from the audience, as the Country star faltered).

See, for years, doctors had been telling Kristofferson that his increasingly debilitating memory loss was due to either Alzheimer’s or to dementia brought on by blows to the head from the boxing, football and rugby of youth.

Then, in 2016, a doctor decided to test Kristofferson for Lyme disease; it came back positive. His wife believes he picked it up from a tick as he crawled around the forest floor in Vermont making a movie.  He gave up his Alzheimer’s and depression pills and went through three weeks of Lyme-disease treatment and now is, well, he may not be perfectly healthy, but his memory is as good as any 80 year old has the right to expect it to be.

As it turned out, the rumours I had heard were incorrect; he is playing Glastonbury but not the Sunday Legend slot. Instead, he’s appearing on the Pyramid Stage on Friday afternoon, right after First Aid Kit. It’s a good slot for a Country star to play: I saw Willie Nelson play at pretty much the same time back in 2010 and he was incredible.

In case you’re interested, The Sunday Legend slot at Glastonbury this year is being filled by Chic (and for that matter, Barry Gibb is on right before them). That, weather permitting, is going to be one heck of a party.

Anyway, back to Kristofferson. Here’s a couple of tracks from a favourite KK album of mine, 1971’s “The Silver Tongued Devil & I”; one I would think you will all know, and one which, much to the delight of some of my regular readers, includes a gravel-voiced spoken word intro:

folder

Kris Kristofferson – The Pilgrim Chapter 33

Kris Kristofferson – Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)

Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to this old chap:

The Man Contented

 

Like father, like son(s).

More soon.

I Am the Voice, Too #2

I wasn’t intending to post anything else under this title, but my post yesterday seems to have caused quite the stir.

I went to a barbeque at one of my mate’s yesterday afternoon, and a couple of friends who read the guff I write here made reference to it. One (hello!) has often commented on my voice, regularly comparing me to Eastenders’ Frank Butcher, asking me to say “Do you think I’m some kind of a doughnut?” to him.

For the record, he has never asked me to stand naked, bar a revolving bow tie. Yet.

There have also been a couple of enquiries via the Comments section as to whether my singing voice has the same deep qualities.

Well. Yes and no. I would never claim to be the greatest singer in the world. I’m no Billy Bragg. But, once I have a few drinks inside me, it’s true that I do like a bit of a sing-song, as anyone who has sat and got drunk with me will doubtless attest (much to their annoyance).

So, here’s a song which, when seven sheets to the wind,  I do love to sing along to (mostly because it’s just talking, for the large part of it); to be clear, I’m not saying that I sound like the great man, but I can give it a bloody good go:

album_large_7839_4e48e6b72e3f6

Kris Kristofferson – To Beat The Devil

When the conversation happened in work on Friday, after the laughter had died down, my boss Kay described my voice as “a higher Barry White”, which I guess makes me a Love Seal rather than a Love Walrus.

More soon.