Saturday, May 21, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 45: SONG # 73

Day 45: Apocalyptic Songs

Back in the 60ies, during the Cold War (and some very "hot" wars, too, remember Vietnam) fear of a nuclear power strike led to the emergence of strange religious believes - have there ever been religious believes that do not seem to be a bit strange at least? - like the pre- (or proto)-New-Age UFO-movement. And it has led to a special genre of protest-songs, which imagine a post-war, post-apocalyptic scenaraio where naturalezza has been utterly destroyed and the surviving remnants of the human race lead a life barely reminiscent of what human life on planet earth has once been like in those better days before the bomb.
Tim Rose's classic self-titled recording from 1967 features two songs belonging to that category, "Come Away Melinda" and "Morning Dew". Morning Dew, written by Bonnie Dobson - although Tim Rose has been credtited as co-author on the record - has been interpreted by many artitsts, but Tim Rose's Version was the one to make the song popular (this a similar story as the one pertaining to Kris kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee", which most people credit to Janis Joplin, due to her success in making it a part of popular culture's hymn book). So here is the "original" version by Tim Rose:

Compare it to the very conservatively arranged true original version by the writer of the song:

As one would expect, the lenghtiest versions to be found on u:tube are live renderings of the song by Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. There is even one video showing Billy Corgan performing that song, pretending the smashing pumpkin does a cover of a Grateful Dead song. Here is the 1968 version of the song by the Dead:

Later on, Nazareth have done a version that some fans of them hold to be the original one (as they might also think that Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight" was composed by the 70ies Rockers). No one would think that DEVO had written the song, with respect to their electronic rendering of it (some people hold it to be a "deconstruction" of the dirge):

Last, not least, the German alternative teeniepoppers Einstuerzende Neubauten have done a version that I hold to be one of the more appropriate efforts to take the song out of the framework of the 60ies' country & protest scene. Blixa at his best:

No comments:

Post a Comment