Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Fourth of July

Just yesterday my son was asking me for suggestions for patriotic hymns. The only one I could think of was 'Rise India'. But on the Fourth of July - Independence Day in America , I thought I'd use this blog  to share all the American Patriotic songs that I know and love. 

What better way to start the blogpost than with the National Anthem - The Star Sprangled Banner.

For the music trivia lover, the most famous version of that track would be unmistakably the Jimi Hendrix performance at Woodstock in 1970. 

During the one trip I made to the USA nine years ago, I recall attending Church on Sunday when the choir began to sing this song - America The Beautiful.

Back home in Mumbai, I remember singing the next song as a child of 7 or 8. Never knew at the time that it was an American Patriotic Song - Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Another song I remember as a child, and possibly heard among the family medleys was this classic - This Land Is Your Land.

So whether your a native American or one of my many Indian friends who live there, here's wishing you a Happy Fourth of July. Yes, Happy Independence Day. God Bless America.

While looking for videos for these songs, I chanced upon an interesting compilation of the Top Ten Most Patriotic Songs from Watchmojo.com

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Purple Train or Purple Rain

Have you ever seen a Purple Train? 

Mumbai has got a lot of colour nowadays... and its going to get even more in the coming years... with the Mumbai metro proceeding in to develop the next phase really fast... though one wonders when the Monorail will be extended to the proposed network. I'm sure we'll also see some purple trains...

While we have to wait and see how things move ahead, yesterday was a Purple Train day at the North Shore Scenic Railroad in Minnesota, US - the reason? Celebrating a musical birthday. The birthday of Prince - who gave us Purple Rain.

I shared this post last year on #PrinceDay, the invitation to locals to wear purple...

While most conversation about Prince tends to be about his Purple Reign, I can't help but notice one more colour (or actually a non-colour) on his palette. Have you come across Cream.

What's colour can you spot on of the background of the video screenshot above? That's a rhetoric question....

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Colours in Life.... 100 years of Dean

Do you know any song with your name in it?

If you're name is Maria... then you probably find it difficult to keep track of the songs with your name. My sister Priya had songs in Hindi with her name in them.

Though I have a common name - you'd find two or three Sunil's in any gathering, no matter how small. But I have the privilege to hear my surname in this one song. 

Nel blu di pinto di blu is literally translated from Italian to 'In the blue that is painted blue'. So I guess the Pinto in the song is a conjugation of the verb that has something to do with paint. And speaking of blue, there a lot more blue in my name. Never knew the meaning of my name till one baby names guide translated Sunil to 'Deep Dark Blue'.

And while we are in the blue, you probably heard the phrase “once in a blue moon”. Do you know what it means... As far as I know, the 'blue moon' refers to the second occurence of the moon in a calendar month... but I look forward to this Blue Moon.

Actually had a jumpy version of that song for a while sung by The Marcels. While blue in music often refers to sadness, the Blue Moon here had a wonderful sense of Amore.

That's a whole lot of love going around... and we all know that Everybody Loves Somebody sometime.

If you've been following this blog over any part of the past two years, you possibly would've guessed that this post is a tribute to Dean Martin... oh yes, it is. I still remember finding a cassette (you may not know what that is anymore) of his songs at home and really enjoyed these oldies. And of course my Dad enjoyed singing a lot of these songs including Buona Sera.

An on this wonderful evening we recall the wonderful music that Dean Martin gave us during his lifetime that started A Hundred Years From Now.

This tribute to a great singer would be incomplete without the wish for a Pink (read happy) life - La Vie En Rose.

We've been from Blue to Pink... which colour comes next?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

And I Love You So

Just wrote a blogpost about a famous birthday... the birthday of a modern saint canonized as recently as 2014... maybe you know Giovanni Paolo... Read more about him at Walking With Jesus...

While Saint John Paul II spend over 26 years as head of the Catholic Church, another famous person who shares his birthday enjoyed a musical career spanning over 50 years. That's Perry Como. And my favorite song on his list is this one my dad used to sing... And I Love You So...

Perry Como would have been 105 today. He passed away just about a week before his 89th birthday in 2001. 

While they have gone ahead before here's a living legend of Country Music - George Strait at 65 today... right in the Heartland.

Nearly midnight in Mumbai... Stay tuned for more on #AMusicalTwistToLife

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Two Years of #AMusicalTwist

Was a pleasant Sunday afternoon and I had just been introduced to blogging at the Digital Marketing course I was attending at Don Bosco Centre of Learning. And an idea lit up... What does it take to create one? That's how it began... this blog, #AMusicalTwistToLife... with a quick chat on Music and Math.

This blog has had quite a journey over the past twenty-four months finding the musical twist in almost everything in life. And of course it has been quite a journey for me. On this second anniversary, I thought I'd revisit some of the special moments I've cherished creating and writing this blog...

Less than a month after starting this blog, I was invited to go Back To School - not one but two - the first invitation was back at my basic school where I spent twelve precious years of learning - Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Chembur - where I was called on to help the Secondary Choir prepare for the school feast. 

The second invitation was to my Business School - Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS Mumbai) - where I took on the prestigious role of Guest Faculty teaching Digital Marketing. And almost at the same time, I took on another Guest Faculty assignment teaching CRM at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications (SIMC Pune) - Music, Digital Marketing, CRM ... all rolled in one.

Happy Friendship Day in August connected me to friends from school, college, business school, work colleagues, and friends from absolutely everywhere. The warm response and the connections inspired me to pick up the pace on this blog. Besides Independence Day, Teachers Day, Mothers Day, etc... we celebrated many happy days, and paid tributes on some sad ones...

2015 was a year for new beginnings - this blog being only one of the new things that began for me. 

Things moved at a rapid pace through 2016 with more than a hundred posts for the year... 130 to be precise. Rewind 2016 highlighted the special moments on the blog while celebrating the top posts of the year on diverse topics including films, travel and even animals - enough reason to do the TWIST.

At this two-year mark, I've put up a total of 230 posts and nearing 20,000 pageviews on this blog. 

During this year like in others, we've celebrated Birthdays - of musicians famous and not so famous - my favorite birthday post being that of my son going eight a couple of weeks ago. He's Eight Today - This Musical Little Boy

Weddings were memorable - and so were anniversaries especially those of loved ones. Bees Saal Baad being extremely special. 

Whether the music is nostalgic like the Ventures or contemporary and glamourous like Lady Gaga, I'm glad that you all have been enjoying the posts.

Thanks again to one and all for reading and listening to #AMusicalTwistToLife

Friday, May 5, 2017

Let's Sing With The Cartoons

It's Summertime!!! And the schools are on vacation!!! Yes! Summertime.

Flashback to our summer holidays back in the 80's. We'd have a real fantastic time at the local summer camp... and when we were not playing, singing, dancing or acting... we'd devour books or better still comic books... my favorite being The Archies.

Did you know there was a real place called Riverdale in New York State... Passed the station when we were travelling by train from Toronto to Penn Station, NY. Back to The Archies, did you ever wonder why everytime they took the stage, they'd always sing Sugar Sugar? That's because this song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for a full four weeks. 

There was another band in from Riverdale High... comprising all girls and they had some fancy cat costumes... Remember Josie and The Pussycats... Stop, Look and Listen...

From the late 1960s and early 1970s, we go back in time a further 10 years to a song from 1959... that became popular in 2007 with the release of Alvin and The Chipmunks.

And from the big screen to the small screen with Phineas and Ferb - Gitchi Gitchi Goo (Means That I Love You).

And for those wondering why I pulled out this lot of music, there a very good reason... Today is World Cartoonist Day and I decided to celebrate these cartoon bands... Also celebrating all the cartoonists who've made us smile and laugh. 

Back in the 80s and 90s, we all woke up to a daily dose of satire in the Times of India with R.K. Laxman's You Said It. And nowadays I get my daily dose of cartoons and sports on a Facebook feed on Austin Coutinho's Cartoon Page

And finally, did you hear about a music group called Cartoons.

A picture is worth a thousand words... 
A cartoon, countless...


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Best of Country

My eldest sister celebrated 25 years of marriage earlier this year. The first wedding in our family - it was a real union of families, especially considering that both the families had strong music roots. Our choice of music was mainstream pop, a little rock and some pop jazz, and a lot of oldies. But now, we had a new musical influence in our family... an introduction to the world of Country Music... and the country music has gone down (in two senses) really well. Down as in to the next generation... and also down geographically to New Zealand. Apparently there is a flourishing interest in Country Music in New Zealand, and it is a proud moment for our family that my nephew Keith Pereira is making waves in the Country Music scene there by being the overall winner at the Auckland Country Music Awards.... 

Keith has recently launched his YouTube channel - The Country Coffee Club where he posts some of his excellent covers for all to hear. And one of the artists that I've heard thanks to Keith's dad has been Randy Travis - who celebrates his 58th birthday today. While Randy Travis has many #1's on the Country Music charts, this song has been his highest scoring hit on the Billboard Hot 100 - Three Wooden Crosses.

That song also hit an emotional string of my heart for many reasons actually - one of them on the spiritual note. The song also fitted well with a post I wrote on a new blog I've created to share my experience of Walking With Jesus

While on the spiritual level, today is also the birthday of a Grammy winning Contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter and worship leader, Chris Tomlin. Over the past three years in Mumbai, I've been fortunate to have involved in the music ministry in our local Catholic Charismatic Renewal Group... and being called on to play music at some of the retreats they've organised. Also been called upon to share the Lord's Word through teaching Catechism to children and youth in the parish. Our God is good, he is great... Here's one of the songs of praise that I've sung and played to - How Great Is Our God.

And as I wind up, I must thank all you wonderful people for your support on this blog... I just had one of my best days yesterday... with more than 350 viewing my celebration of the music by my little son Kendall in the post - He's Eight Today... This Musical Little Boy. Thank God for him. 
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