Something in music: origin
One evening at a hot, trendy L.A. nightclub on a rare solo outing, yours truly found himself standing alone at the bar preparing to review the upcoming act. Before he had taken more than a few notes, however, he was bookended by a pair of vivacious vixens who insisted on engaging your rockin’ writer in cozy conversation. Strangely, the subject of “marriage” arose.
One of the young ladies noted that when a gal is about to get hitched she needs “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Your provocative penman was immediately inspired. After all, those very same terms could be applied to music too: “Something old” or classic, “something new” or recently released, “something borrowed”, a cover, and “something blue”, a blues song or a song with “blue” in the title. The rest is history.
‘Something’ in Music 185
Our “something old” this edition is the classic cut “Fire and Water” recorded by the English rock group Free. The song was co-written by band members Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers. It is the title track from the band’s third LP Fire and Water, which dropped in 1970.
Our “something new” here is the new single “Nightingale (соловейко) – Bootleg for Peace” by American singer-songwriter and musician Anya Hinkle. In a recent email, Hinkle discussed the song’s inspiration. She said she was “saddened by the events in Ukraine.”
She added: “Although the war feels very remote here in the States, I think that in Europe, people feel a real chill in their bones. The old wars linger heavily—the shadows over the generations, the scars on the landscape. As I prepare to visit, I want to bring my new single ‘Nightingale’ with me [on the upcoming tour] to try to help in some small way.” All proceeds from this single will go to benefit the Ukrainian relief project, Guardians of Hope.
Our “something borrowed” this time is the song “Stayin’ Alive” written and recorded by the Bee Gees for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack which dropped in 1977. This clever cover is by the Washington, D.C.-based Americana, roots and bluegrass band known as Justin Trawick and The Common Good. It was recorded live in Alexandria, Virginia in 2020 and was officially released earlier this month.
Finally, our “something blue” this edition is the song “Shave ‘Em Dry II” recorded by American blues singer-songwriter Lucille Bogan. The first version of the song was recorded by “Ma” Rainey in 1924. Bogan recorded multiple re-worked versions of the song between 1933 and 1935 including this one. The most explicit version appears on the 1991 compilation disc, Raunchy Business: Hot Nuts & Lollypops.