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Old 12-11-2016, 04:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: He lives on Love Street
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Default I Heard It Through The Bookvine

Sometimes a book that is not about music mentions a song or artist. When that happens to me, I briefly wonder what it sounds like, but don't usually follow up on it. Well, thanks to MB and Youtube, that's all gonna change from now on! I'm inviting people to post songs that are mentioned in the books they are reading. A little bit of info about the book and the scene would be interesting too.

I'm sure many of us read books about music, but I'd like the focus of this thread to be the songs mentioned in passing, preferably in non-music related books. I may be reading a biog of Justin Beiber, but I'm not going to mention his songs here. Instead I'm going to start with the following, which hopefully demonstrate how random this list of music could be.
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In John Updike's novel, Couples, a guy living in a rural community 20 miles south of Boston goes into church one Sunday. (I presume the year is the year the novel was written, 1968.) Anyway, he joins in the singing of this hymn, All Hail The Power:-

My verdict: The full-voiced choir give a rousing, robust performance. To me it comes across as both lively and soothing at the same time. Altogether better than I expected, with its "Crown Him" chant pushing the whole thing along. (Contrary to what the composer intended, I couldn't help noticing how much the old-fashioned word "to prostrate" resembles the modern word "prostate." If we'd had to sing this in my old school, I bet me and my classmates would've sung, "Let angels' prostates fall." tee-hee)
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West of Kabul, East of New York is a memoir by Tamin Ansary, an Afghan who emmigrated to the USA. In the 1980s he hung out with his pals in San Francisco, "listening to tapes of Ahmad Zahir, the Elvis Presley of Afghanistan":-

My verdict: This has a little exotic zing and a sing-a-long hook which is a pretty good combination imo. Don't expect any trace of Elvis in this, though at 3:20, Ahmad looks exactly like Van Morrison.
"Am I enjoying this moment? I know of it and perhaps that is enough." - Sybille Bedford, 1953

Last edited by Lisnaholic; 05-29-2021 at 08:18 AM. Reason: replace defunct youtube clip
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