Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ga Ga... Gu Gu.... The Lady Is A Tramp...

Ga Ga... Radio Ga Ga... in 1984 became an absolute Rock Anthem with Queen.

But the expression Ga Ga took on a new meaning in 2008 with the entry into the music scene of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta with her Poker Face.

Lady Gaga just loves to dance and make everyone dance as well... so go on Just Dance.

The E! gossip recently mentioned that Lady Gaga is in a new relationship... Just hope and pray it's no Bad Romance.

Lady Gaga is best known for her flamboyant fashion statements... you probably may say This Lady Is A Tramp.

I just love this avatar of her as a jazz singer... and this Frank Sinatra standard that was my anthem - in fact one of my most successful songs as well on the inter-college scene - New York New York

Well, she's has had a fantastic start to 2017 with the Superbowl and being signed up to headline the 2017 Coachella Music and Arts Festival over two weekends in April. She's recently released her album Joanne and the most popular song from there at the moment is Million Reasons.


She's just 31 today... The Best Is Yet To Come

Monday, March 27, 2017

Magical Mariah - The Queen of the 90s

It was the year 1990... and Whitney Houston's ballads were on everyone's lips... especially those of my younger sister,  Priya... And suddenly there was this young soothing voice that broke through the sound barrier... a voice that could scale new heights... and if you closed your eyes... you'd see a vision... The Vision of Love.

Mariah Carey was the find of the year, winning the Grammy Award for the Best New Artist in 1991 in addition to the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. 

From Pop to R&B, this diva went on to a Grammy nomination in 1993 for the Best R&B Vocal Performance for a Duo or Group along with Trey Lorenz for their version of the Jacksons classic - I'll Be There.

Another memorable cover for Mariah Carey has been the legendary love song originally performed by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. It has to be Endless Love (with Luther Vandross).

Didn't realise that the still here was of Luther and not Mariah Carey... Flashback to the 1980s ad that featured Karan Kapoor (the younger son of Shashi Kapoor) who featured on an ad for Bombay Dyeing featuring a Bobby Darin song. Mariah has a song with the same name in a funky style - Dreamlover.

Mariah Carey has the distinction of having a song that has spent the longest time at #1 in the Billboard 100 (16 weeks)... not a solo... One Sweet Day with the Boyz II Men.

I mentioned her at the beginning of the blog... Whitney Houston and Mariah were good friends who teamed up for the 1998 Dreamworks musical animated feature The Prince of Egypt with When You Believe.

Mariah Carey was indeed the leading woman of the 1990s with 14 chart-topping tracks including this Christmas 1993 #1 - Hero.

She's indeed the Hero (rather Heroine) of the day today... celebrating her 47th Birthday today....



PS. Vision of Love was also featured in my blog post on World Sight Day last year - Eyes Wide Open...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Whistling 'Round The World - Roger That

Was working on the blog post If I Were A Rich Man... just yesterday, not realising that I'd need to refer to the phrase (no the song again) so soon. Just three years after being part of the soundtrack of Fiddler On the Roof, the song was recorded by Roger Whittaker who celebrates his 81st birthday today...

If he were a rich man, he would probably rule the world... Or surely make a New World In The Morning.

And if he could have it his way, it would've been a Whistling World - because he just loved to whistle like Swaggy in Australia.

And here's how they do it in Ireland - Irish Whistler

Moving to Finland for the Finnish Whistler

Moving across the Atlantic with the Mexican Whistler

You want to learn to whistle? Try the Changelip...

I'm sure you all know this waltz - Greensleeves, something to try your whistle at.


PS. Also check out one of my favorite songs by Roger Whittaker - a devotion to Momma Mary in my blogpost Happy Birthday Momma Mary or more recently Women of Strength.

It's World Water Day.... Never Let The Water Run

It's World Water Day... and this year (2017) the theme is Why Wastewater? - which is committed to reducing and reusing (or rather recycling) waste water - maybe I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water.

I wouldn't like to wash my hands in muddy water... just as much as we dislike being splashed with the muddy waters during the rains. 

Yes, there's so much water and more (even time) that we've Wasted On The Way.

And what would happen if we continued wasting water the way we do... We would all become Pyaasi.

How can we waste less water?  UN Water suggests taking these simple steps –

1. Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth

2. Turn off the tap while washing up or scrubbing vegetables.

3. Put rubbish, oils, chemicals and food in the bin, not down the drain. The dirtier your wastewater, the more energy and money it costs to treat it.

4. Collect used water from your kitchen sink or bath and use it to water your plants

5. You cans also collect and use this water to wash your bike or car.

And make sure your leaks in your taps are plugged immediately, and fix that Hole In The Bucket.

The Cracked Pot: A Story For Anyone Who's Not Quite Perfect And let's wind up this post with an interesting water story... The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots. Each hung on an end of the same pole, which he carried across his shoulders. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house.

The cracked pot arrived only half full.

For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one-and-a-half pots of water to his master’s house. Of course, the uncracked pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

One day at the stream, after two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house.

Because of my flaws, you do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer smiled, and in his wisdom said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill the cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

This story helps us remember that each of us has our own unique flaws – we are all cracked pots. But if we recognize it, we can use our flaws to bless others and ourselves. Nothing goes to waste. So, don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them and you, too, can be the cause of beauty.

In our weaknesses we find our strength!

 PS. For more on World Water Day, read my post from 2016 - World Water Day 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

If I Were A Rich Man...

Who doesn't want to be rich! How rich do you want to be?

Lets throwback to the year 1855, with a 16-year-old bookkeeper from Cleveland - Ohio whose greatest ambitions were to earn $100,000 and to live 100 years. While he fell about 25 months short of the 100 years, he made 1000 times as much money to become the first billionaire in 1916 making his name synonomous with MONEY - Mr. John D. Rockefeller. 

Soon after came The Great Depression of the 1920s and the Rockefellers were inspiration to all. They even got mentions in songs of the time including this one by Irving Berlin in 1927 - Putting On A Ritz.

Not much later in 1930 came this jazz standard which I've sung fifty to sixty years later - On The Sunny Side Of The Street.

From the Manhattan skyline to the Gulf Coast, the impact of the Rockefeller family is hard to miss - the University of Chicago, founded by John D. Sr., to the Rockefeller Center constructed by John D. Jr.

The most famous of the Rockefellers in recent times has been David Rockefeller who surpassed his grandfathers age ambition having lived to 101. Less than twenty-four hours ago, David Rockefeller passed away at his home at Pocantico Hills in New York.

The former CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase) has also been known for his contribution to philantrophic contributions. He was also a confidant of world leaders, from Deng Xiaoping in China to Nelson Mandela in South Africa, from the shah of Iran to Henry Kissinger. The world will miss this Rockefeller


(with inputs from Forbes.com - The Rockefellers: The Legacy Of History's Richest Man - Carl O'Donnell)

Monday, March 20, 2017

The CENTURY Singer

If you live anywhere near Dover, you may not see bluebirds today... but you're likely to see this Birthday wish on the White Cliffs of Dover.

Dame Vera Lynn is known as sweetheart of The Forces' for the entertainment she provided to boost the morale of troops during World War II. She's just broken her own record of being the OLDEST LIVING PERSON TO RELEASE AN ALBUM... having released her latest album, just three days ago titled, Vera Lynn 100.

There's a common birthday song we sing that goes... "Its a hap-hap-happy birthday. May you live to be a hundred-and-three". She's already a hundred and wish her a lot more years ahead of sweet music.

PS. For more on Vera Lynn and her songs do check out my post from last year - Some Birthdays, a Wedding and a Funeral - This Day in Music


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rock n Roll Music - Goodbye Godfather


Since early today, Rock n Roll music has been trending... right after the announcement of the sad demise of Chuck Berry, a founding legend of Rock n Roll Music... 

He's called the godfather of Rock n Roll... and made a legendary contribution to Rock n Roll back in the 50s... making even Beethoven roll over.... Roll Over Beethoven.

Did you see Chuck Berry do the Duck Walk out there. Or did you spot a Ding-A-Ling.

I'd featured that song on my Facebook page wishing him on his birthday. I also featured him on a blogpost right here on the day with a wish to my niece who shares the same birthday... Sweet Little Sixteen.

To Chuck Berry, health was the most important thing in life... that's possibly what got him to the age of 90 With No Particular Place to Go,

Some thirty years ago on his 60th birthday, he got together with another legend in her own right, Etta James to do what he did best.... Rock n Roll Music.

That's what they probably singing up there together... 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Ides of March

It's the month of March... the time for season change. Just a few days ago we celebrated the Holi festival, the festival of colour that marks the beginning of spring. In a few weeks, schools in India will be closed for summer vacations... and many people will get out of their to go and explore the world... and Crowded House advises all travelers to take the Weather With You.

Did you hear a familiar name in that song? The name of a Roman Emperor... If you missed it, maybe you may catch the name in this song by the Bee Gees - She Keeps On Coming.

Julius Caesar - did you hear his name in those songs. Those of you born in July possibly know that your birth month is named after him. 

But today is the 15th of March - also called the Ides of March - or the middle day of March... and it is marked a dark day... thanks to the memory of Julius Caesar. Those of you who know your history would know that on this date, Julius Caesar was assassinated by his friend Brutus (did I say 'brutally'). And Caesars last words, were supposed  'Et tu, Brute?' - which in English would read, Even You Brutus (Red Hot Chilli Peppers).

For those wondering, what hurt Caesar the most... Rod Stewart (and before him, Cat Stevens) have the answer... The First Cut is the Deepest...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women of Strength

It's International Women's Day... and the internet has been raging with articles, most good - some not...

My parish at OLPS Chembur regularly participates in the Vacation Bible Joy program  - a bible camp created by the Archdiocese of Bombay for our school children during the vacations. A couple of years ago the theme of the VBJ was Biblical Women of Strength, which showcased most of the strong women who were part of the Women's Day post on the Archdiocese of Bombay Facebook Page this morning.

Where's the music?

Right about here... Whom should I start with? 

How about the great-grandmother of King David?

Ruth (around 1100 B.C) 

One of the favorite songs at weddings for many years has been the Song of Ruth

However, this song is not a romantic song sung by a wife to her husband, but is actually a song by the Ruth to her also widowed mother-in-law Naomi when Naomi decided to return to Judea from Moab. Ruth followed her mother-in-laws guidance and marries a distant family member Boaz (The entire account pans out in the biblical Book of Ruth).

Esther (around 400 B.C) 


Esther was the Jewish bride of the Persian king Xerxes, who protected the Israelites living in the kingdom with the wisdom and guidance of God... (The Book of Esther).

Hannah (maybe around 1200 B.C)

Hannah's importance in the Bible is in reiterating the POWER of prayer. She yearned for a son, and thanks to her persistence in faith was blessed with Samuel, who she dedicated to the temple as she had promised before his birth. He went to be the last of the Judges, a prophet and the anointer of the Kings to come. Here's Hannah's Prayer in song.


Mother Mary

The most powerful of all Biblical Women is by far, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Even today people throng to pay devotions to Mother Mary in Fatima, Lourdes and closer to home for novenas at Mahim, and to a lesser extent, Chembur. Among the many songs devoted to her, I have a special attachment to Momma Mary, a song I first heard sung by Fr. Robyn Selwyn S.J.

There are many more inspiring women that we can learn from - in the Bible and in the life of the Saints. Do check out my favorite resource on Saints at www.franciscanmedia.org 

Meanwhile, registrations are currently open for the next round of VBJ in Chembur. Do register your kids.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Calypso at 90

Was celebration time in the Pinto family... as my Dad's younger brother scored 70. While I could not make it to the party due to prior commitments, social media (WhatsApp, in particular) ensured that we were updated with the significant happenings of the day. One thing there was plenty of at the party, was jamming up. The music clips that I received included some of the favorite Pinto songs from down the years... and some new ones as well. I spotted guitars, the ukelele and the cahon there as well. 

And among the various songs that played, I'd guess there would've been at least one, if not more, Caribbean (or should I say, Calyso) song that played at the party. Let go down to the Island In The Sun with the King of Calypso - Harry Belafonte.

Harry Belafonte celebrated his 90th birthday on March 1st. And his Calypso album was possibly the first million selling LP (long playing record) by a single artiste. And his possibly most popular song of all is about my favorite fruit... The Banana Boat Song...

Did you hear about the teacher who asked a student to spell 'banana'? The little girl stood up and responded, B-A-N-A-N-A-N-A-N-A-N-A-N-A..... The teacher interrupted her and asked her what she was doing. The little girl's reply was: "Teacher, I know the spelling... but I don't know when to stop!"

Do you know what the girl's name was... I think she was Matilda.

Or was it Angelina?

Among all the islands in the Caribbean, the best known is possibly Jamaica... One of the Harry Belafonte songs I sung in my childhood days was Jamaican Farewell.

Whether in the Caribbean or right here in Mumbai... the drink that keeps us cool is coconut water... Well, here in Mumbai, I haven't really seen any Coconut Woman.

Possibly the best tribute to the 90-year old Harry Belafonte is this compilation The Caribbean Disco Show by Lobo.

The Calypso Medley has been a staple at all our parties and even jam sessions at college and even the choir especially picnics... The dad had a special version of the song with a funny ending... and he'd have everyone in splits with this song... Man Smart, Woman Smarter...



We hope you make it to a hundred and three...

PS. By the way, there is a singer who celebrates her 100th birthday this month... Do you know who?

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