Monday, May 12, 2008

Upbeat Tune for the Fogtime Blues

Lady Madonna has to be one of the most buoyant and lively pieces of pop music there is. It's instantly recognizable opening piano notes shout, "come alive"! This is mainly Paul McCartney's composition, musically and lyrically, though John Lennon threw in the line "see how they run". It was released as a single in March, 1968. McCartney, influenced by American blues and pop performers such as Little Richard, was inspired by the boogie-woogie piano sound in the song "Bad Penny Blues" by Englishman, Humphrey Lyttleton, for Lady Madonna. You can hear the influence in the opening part of the song.

Piano is prominent in the song, and saxophones are as well. The original song is interesting for more than just the catchy, high-spirited melody - there is a part in the song, that, for this listener anyway, was hard to determine upon first hearing, whether it was voice or an instrument making the sound. The sound resembles a saxophone, but it's been mentioned on one Beatle "fact" site, that the sound was made by the singers cupping their hands over their mouths and mimicking the sax (in this video, they voice it anyway). In any case, it was trademark Beatle musical creativity, and it had the fingerprints of Paul's typical upbeat style.

Here's the You Tube video, with Paul playing it on a British show hosted by musician Jools Holland. So turn up your sound and get ready to tap your feet.

Whatever your musical preference, You Tube is a great site to search and find live performances, cover versions, and lessons in guitar, piano, or whatever.

1 comment:

Moneybags said...

Yeah, the Beatles no doubt captivated a whole generation with many an upbeat, catchy riff. Yet, as good as they were, you have to admit it's tough to top the master of rock and roll himself, Mr. John Mellencamp.
The Beatles were pretty good, too, though.