Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

19.3.12

Two songs about birds.

We haven’t had song of the month for a while, so here are two.

*

His name was Jones and he was my personal favourite British pop singer of the 1960s.

No, not Tom. He was my second favourite. (Have you heard Without Love at full volume lately?)

The other Jones, Paul, had an amazing range and sang - both solo and for Manfred Mann - some of the best songs ever written.

One was Come Tomorrow, a soul masterpiece originally recorded by Marie Knight.

If the song of a song bird could replace my wrong words
Then my dear it’s the song I would borrow
And tonight you would hear the saddest song of the year
And you’d be mine once again come tomorrow


The instrumentation is initially spare, rising to an amazing crescendo built around the keyboard - watch the cut-aways on the YouTube track. Jones’ astoundingly tortured vocals are a match for the piano, revealing the futility of the song’s premise. A stunning performance.

Come Tomorrow peaked at 24 on the Melbourne charts in 1965, and came in at 194 overall for the year (Melbourne Top 40 Research, Thomas J. Guest) Coincidentally, another Manfred Mann ‘bird’ song came in exactly one song below at 195 that year, also peaking at 24. This was Hi-Lili Hi Lo, originally sung by Leslie Caron in the 1950s movie 'Lili'.

On every tree there sits a bird
Singing a song of love


Once again keyboards punctuate the song, seething remnants of sheer-sixties power pop.

3 comments:

Melbourne Girl said...

Crikey he's good. I didn't realise just how good.
Pity about the girl continually touching his leg though, especially when she knew the camera was on her. Lucky they cut to a close up of him.

kitchen hand said...

Yes, MG, he is very good and apparently still recording and touring. The clip is cheesy - I'm glad they had camera two on the keyboard player.

jo said...

We love MMEB around here, singing the dolphins and chicago are Sunday staples. But you had me at Mr Jones. I still crank him with the top down and sing along. Welsh pipes rule.