“Barbara Ann,” Written by Fred Fassert, and Performed by The Regents

The Regents

The Regents

This morning, listening to our Youngest say; “Bah bah bah Da da da,” I was reminded of a bit of musical history from my youth. It was the song “Barbara Ann,” written by Fred Fassert, performed by The Regents in 1961. I had originally mistakenly thought Sha Na Na preformed the song. But that’s memory for you. Hard to remember things that happened to you when on part of you had volunteered to enlist in the Army and was in Việt Nam, and the other part was still in high school in Kansas City, Kansas.

But it is of course The Beach Boys that really made the song popular with their remake of the song in 1965.

Eventually, I got together with myself in 1966, at Ottawa University in Kansas. My father heard to Ottawa University Choir on a USO tour in Việt Nam and figured that was a good enough reason to apply to Ottawa University. He was planning on being a Music Minister, but married a PK instead, on the condition that he wouldn’t be a minister. So it goes. But, I’ve always found it rather interesting that but for a University Choir that had the courage, honour, and dignity to visit soldiers in Việt Nam, I wouldn’t exist. Not as both bits of me anyway. Or at least, the odds would have been against it. So in the midst of of a horrible war there was one bright moment, for me anyway. It’s important to remember those bright moments. It is what makes us different from the animals, even when we are being more brutal than any animal going.

Anyway, here is the first version by The Regents, followed by The Beach Boys:

Barbara Ann – The Regents (1961)

The Beach Boys Barbara Ann Live,” with a cameo appearance from Jack Benny:

“The A Team,” by Ed Sheeran

So for the first time in I can’t remember how long, I heard a song on the FM radio that I actually liked. Admittedly, it’s got a lot to do with my massive disappointment with the Radio One death grip on the FM waves and their relentless promotion of crap. That and I’m usually plugged into an audiobook. Currently “Cold Days,” by Jim Butcher, which gets my left thumb up for carefully lain out mythology, and my right thumb down for pulling that altered memory gag again.

But anyway, Ed Sheeran has pulled off a good one with “The A Team.” It has, for me anyway, echoes of Elvis Costello, particularly the “Tramp the Dirt Down” song from the “Spike” album.

While “The A Team” is not inherently political, it’s hard to emerge from the November 2012 elections and all the hyperpartisan rhetoric about “makers” and “takes,” and not think about the political dynamics of poverty. Who knows, maybe it’s just me. But I think that Ed Sheeran might be one to keep an ear on. Let’s only hope that he doesn’t get steam-rolled into becoming just another vanilla pop star.

The A Team,” by Ed Sheeran:


Tramp the Dirt Down,” by Elvis Costello:

The Immortal Incantation of the Voice of God

Today, while waiting in the car pool line to pick-up Thing IV, Thing II and I investigated the Voice of God in Its immortal incantation of Harriet Wheeler. I was very happy that Thing II tried to sing along with my favourite song.

Here’s Where The Story Ends

The lyrics can be found here: Continue reading “The Immortal Incantation of the Voice of God”