Category Archives: 1960s

Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand): Ostranenie

An ordinary word sung in an extraordinary way is a treat. A parallel universe frisson of excitement. We pay extra attention when the familiar is made unfamiliar.

Ostranenie works its magic in Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand). The backing singers offer such an unusual version of the word’anyone‘ that they throw the slow honey of Irma Thomas’ voice into reassuring relief. They pronounce anyone as nobody pronounces anyone. Irma’s telling a love story, so she sings anyone as a deep, warm version of itself:

Continue reading Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand): Ostranenie

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Feed the Birds: Serendipity on Sunset Boulevard

Our dad had a secret for writing songs. He said, “You’ve got to have them Simple, Singable and Sincere. And they should have a special sound to them. That’s the only way it’ll work.”

Robert Sherman

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Paul McCartney

If you’re a musician, a songwriter, or simply a lover of music, you’ll find Paul McCartney’s extended interview/Q&A on BBC Radio 4’s “Mastertapes” fascinating.

The longer, downloadable radio version is here.

The video version is edited, with about 10 minutes removed, so, if you like A Day in the Life, find 24:25 minutes into the radio interview. McCartney talks about the shared songwriting with Lennon, about John Cage’s influence on the sound and about George Martin persuading the orchestra to follow unusual musical instructions. Paul says one member of the orchestra walked out in disgust when he was asked to ‘clap on the end of Hey Jude‘.

There’s something for everyone! If you teach music to children,  Paul has suggestions for inspiring lessons here.

© Sing Better English, 2016