Some of the world's best-loved songs have had remarkable origins. Had Robert Burns not heard an old man sing a quavering version of an ancient Scottish country song, we would never have had 'Auld Lang Syne'. Miss Jane Ross wrote down the tune she heard played by a piper at an Irish village fair in 1855. Had she not done so, the rest of the world would not have heard 'Danny Boy'. Marie Antoinette heard a peasant nurse sing an obscure lullaby to her princely son.
The empress's unexpected promotion of the song resulted in its now being listed by The Guinness Book of Records as one of the three most familiar songs in the world. Love Me Tender tells the remarkable stories behind 40 popular and traditional songs. Some evolved from folksongs, some are from musical theatre, while others hit the mark because a particular recording appeared at just the right time.
In some cases, one word made all the difference : Paul McCartney composed a tune but could only think of the words 'scrambled eggs' to fit it, but fortunately he later came up with the perfect solution - 'Yesterday'.
In a book full of surprises and curiosities, Max Cryer reveals stories from all around the world, and from artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Cole Porter. This truly fascinating book makes enthralling reading.
About the Author
Max Cryer is a writer, entertainer and broadcaster. Initially a soloist at Sadlers Wells Opera in London, his music horizons broadened to encompass cabaret and music theatre. He has performed on the opera stages of Vienna and London and in cabaret in Las Vegas and Hollywood. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of popular song, with a special interest in music theatre, and is an avid collector of musical manuscripts. His career has included stints as a teacher, compare, television presenter and quiz-master, but he now devotes most of his time to writing.
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Reviewed by 1 customer
Cryer obviously loves his subject and reading this book is a bit like being collared in a railway carriage by a bloke who knows a lot about something and wants to let you know about it too. It's a pleasant experience though, and you want the journey to last as long as possible... The book doesn't set out to analyse the art of the songwriter with academic rigour, but in the end that is more or less what it does. A song isn't a poem or a symphony, it isn't a novel or a newspaper report, but it has qualities in common with all these art forms; qualities of immediacy, of narrative, and of capturing the moment in a well-turned phrase or crafted rhyme. And unlike a novel, you can whistle it. Times This is an entertaining and engaging book full of surprising facts that will amaze your friends. www.new-classics.co.uk An absorbing little book of mini-essays trying to explain the appeal of 40 of the world's most popular songs! With enough trivia to impress even the most knowledgeable pub quizmaster. Record Collector "If you ever wanted to know about these songs' origin and musical development, then this is an absolute and fascinating must. You'll never listen to them the same way again." -- Knaresborough Bookshop Independent
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st February 2009
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 15.5 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.381