AirToob Lightning

Tags  →  vocal music

I have often listened to this lovely song sung in French, and although the sense of it was clear to me I didn't get all of the words - so finally I can listen and read at the same time (apologies to French speakers for any errors I made in editing the available online lyrics).

There are many (poor) translations on the web, but this song simply does not translate into English, even if its words do. Only in French (or some other romance language, perhaps) could one sing about sensuality like this and not sound clunky or vulgar.

The first image above, by the way, is by the Portuguese doctor, surgeon and photographer José António Pascoalinho.

If you click either image you will get a selection of videos of Céline Dion singing this beautiful song.

A beautiful song for troubled times, penned by the Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith and sung here by the lovely Katie Melua.

Click the image if you would like to play it.

She performed another version of this this song for the Titanic Commemoration Concert in 2012, featuring the Irish musician/composer Davy Spillane on low whistle, which you might also really like. You can play it here.

Peia's “Machi”, a beautiful hi-def video from her album Four Great Winds

Peia Luzzi, who currently lives in Portland, Oregon, describes herself as “a vocalist, composer and Sacred Song preserver of traditions that span across the globe.”

Thanks to my younger daughter for this one!

“I Will Always Love You”

An amazing child's cover of the Whitney Houston classic - that kid is awesome!

From the beautiful and uplifting pages of Chaotiqual:

which reminded me of this great song, which I always associate with the movie Sleepless in Seattle:

sung beautifully here by the Russian-born jazz vocalist Sophie Milman:

If you like this:

[Random acts of kindness (links)]
[Pay it forward (from my web page)]

This great photo of one of the Dutch windmills at Kinderdijk (from Wikimedia Commons, click image for source) reminded me of Noel Harrison's version of Michel Legrand's song "Windmills of Your Mind" (“Les Moulins de Mon Coeur”) that appeared in the original 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair.

It wasn't a great movie, I have to say, but it had much to enjoy, notably the sexual chemistry between Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway (including their famously erotic chess game).

If you'd like a nostalgia trip to the 60's, you can watch the movie's glider sequence, which was accompanied by an abridged version of Noel Harrison's song, here (or click the image to the right).

Noel Harrison performs the complete version of his song here.

BTW: The girlfriend watching Thomas Crown gliding is played by the beautiful Dutch fashion model Astrid Heeren (a purely decorative role in this movie).

In searching for videos of Michel Legrand's original, I also came across this very nice video of the instrumental version.

In complete contrast...

Later on, the Muppets produced a gloriously funny interpretation of the same song, which anyone who has suffered from seriously jangled nerves (or is only “calm on the outside”) can relate to... you can watch that here (or click the image to the left).


If you like this...

[Night photo of the Dutch windmills at Kinderdijk]
[Great music and style from the 60's: Claude Lelouch's film Un Homme et une Femme, with music by Francis Lai]

“I will be there”, one of Katie Melua's most beautiful songs (full orchestral version, I like the album version even better)
(If, like me, you are getting problems with the audio on this particular VIMEO video, try here)

“What a wonderful world”, a special duet between Katie Melua...

...and the much-missed Eva Cassidy (as well as a non-performing appearance by the French rock star Johnny Hallyday)

Katie Melua is one of my favourite singer/songwriters. Some years ago I was lucky to see her perform live at Kenwood House, Hampstead on a beautiful summer's evening, hearing several new numbers that were later to appear on her album Piece by Piece.

The Mexican singer Malukah (real name Judith de los Santos) has a beautiful voice, and she has made some very popular cover versions of songs from computer games like Skyrim (among others), as well as music from other kinds of popular entertainment.

I particularly liked this version of the Game of Thrones Theme and “The Children” from the same popular TV series, as well as her recording of “Misty Mountains” from the film The Hobbit.

You can currently download several of her songs for free at her web site, or watch and listen to her here on Youtube.

This is the most charming and delightful video that I have watched in a long time.

Camille Roux writes: “Hello, with my little brother we realized a trumpet-guitar cover of a [female] French singer (we're french) : Joyce Jonathan - Ca ira.”

Enjoy it for the music and the wonderful antics of this lovely pair. Also, I recommend another of Camille's videos, C'est écrit.

If (like me) you have never heard of Joyce Jonathan, try her video Je ne sais pas - you won't be sorry!

Another of Gatorindo's many great shares (click his tag above for a lot more good stuff that I've had from him). Thanks again, David!

The beautiful voice of Cesária Évora, who died a year ago at the age of 70 in her native Cape Verde

One of many great shares by Gatorindo - thanks, David!

Natalie Cole giving a wonderful live performance of "Smile", a song whose music was written by Charlie Chaplin for his 1936 movie Modern Times, the lyrics being added later for Natalie's father Nat King Cole's original recording...

...which you can listen to on this nice video (but I apologise in advance for the probably inappropriate advert that you may have to use the "mute" button for!)

Great stuff...

Thanks to burlm47 (another ex-Stumbler) for this one. If you haven't visited his pages yet, please do!

Music by Jannis Zotos, Lyrics by Maria Polidouri. Maria Simoglou - vocal, Maria Anissegou - cello, Antonis Anissegos - piano. Live at the "B flat", Berlin

A beautiful piece of music, beautifully performed. Thanks to ensemble5 and Gatorindo (David) for this one!

A picture of the American jazz singer-songwriter Melody Gardot from the cover of her second album My One and Only Thrill

I was introduced to Melody (as to so much other good music) by Gatorindo (David), who shared a video of a track from this album called The Rain. If you haven't heard Melody before, try listening to this one.

If you like this...

[My posts on Sophie Milman]
[Gatorindo's jazz favourites - a superb collection]

"Wild Mountainside" by the Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader MBE

One of many, many treasures to be found in Gatorindo's fabulous and wonderfully-documented music collection. Thanks, David!

This is the coolest and funniest Christmas video that I have ever seen. However blue you are feeling, this will cheer you up!

I have posted this in previous years but (as usual) I can't resist doing it again.

The music, by the way, is sung by Clyde McPhatter (Santa) and The Drifters (reindeer). The animation is by Joshua Held.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

"Night and Day", a beautiful cool track by the Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko, from her album
As Day Follows Night

One of many wonderful music shares from my friend Gatorindo (David).

I had never heard of this 1997 film until it was shown recently on UK television. Directed by Clint Eastwood, it stars Kevin Spacey and John Cusack, supported by some other fine actors (and Clint's daughter Alison as the love interest). I was expecting a steamy Southern soap opera, but I was pleasantly surprised - one word to describe it might be "dignified", not a common attribute nowadays. (I'll certainly read the book, which sounds considerably more complex.)

The film opens and closes with an a capella version of "Skylark", sung by k.d. lang. The linked video is only about a minute long, but you can listen to a surprisingly good cover version (including a film clip) here.

The a capella style suits the film, but I still really like "Skylark" by Cleo Laine and James Galway, from their magical album Sometimes When We Touch (one of my treasured possessions from the days of vinyl).

A charming musical version of A.A. Milne's poem from Now We Are Six by singer-songwriter Melanie Safka,
sent to me by my friend Gatorindo (David)

If you like this...

[The Hoose at Pooh's Neuk]

This wonderfully cheerful, bouncy song was sent to me by my friend Gatorindo (David), who wrote:

"Poppy but fun, and you can understand all of the words... note the chick doing the Robot--not a retro Robot, but really doing it... Debbie went on to do great things with that voice..."

If you haven't visited David's great pages, there is no time like the present... and you can see all of my Gatorindo snaffles if you click his tag above.

"Hallelujah" by the (female) Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter k.d. lang - a song that I always associate with the sad parts of that great movie Shrek - thanks again, Elegantlady (Roberta)!

I guess everyone has a "They're playing our song" favourite. This classic by Roberta Flack is mine! In the old days, we attended quite a few dances where the DJ's choice of this song would magically fill the previously sparsely-populated dance floor.

Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris performing live during their tour 'All the roadrunning'.
From the DVD 'Real Live Roadrunning' recorded at Gibson Amphitheatre 2006.

One of my all-time favourite songs, written by Mark Knopfler, and a great version of it.

Neil Diamond is one of the world's great performing artists (the third most successful in the charts after Elton John and Barbra Streisand), still going strong at 70.

In this beautiful track he transforms a catchy but banal pop hit that he wrote for the Monkees into a beautiful ballad. He also performed this version on the same tour in his July 2011 concert at London's huge O2 Arena, televised by BBC4.

"Time to Say Goodbye", one of Andrea Bocelli's most popular songs, on a great site that acts as a themed music-video jukebox (thanks for both the site and the track, Elegantlady (Roberta))

This track in the same sequence comes from a great music DVD called Under the Desert Sky, which I can strongly recommend to all Bocelli lovers.

A sad farewell to Amy Winehouse, who was found dead on 23rd July 2011. A great young talent, tragically lost.

An extraordinary young talent who is thankfully still very much with us...

[Imogen Heap]

If you ever had a special time dancing to this one, then I'm sure you will always remember it.

Thanks again, bluesemotion!

I really like Jesse Cook, and this is a particularly beautiful song with some beautiful images to go with it

[If you like this, try the 'rain' tag above...]

I heard singer-songwriter Clare Maguire recently on BBC's breakfast TV - she's an interesting character with a voice that is well worth listening to. I can see her becoming much better known in the future.

Previously on BBC Breakfast...

[Imogen Heap - a musical experience not to be missed]

"My Muse", a fine performance by the Texan Bluegrass singer and songwriter Sarah Jarosz, found on Comely1's very fine pages

I am delighted to say that Comely1 is now here on Categorian as tobeannounced

Ilse Annoeska de Lange is a Dutch country and pop singer, better known as Ilse DeLange. I saw her recently on the BBC's Breakfast Show, and I suspect that she is going to become much better known internationally than she has been in the past. She has an attractive personality and sings great songs, and like most Dutch people of my acquaintance speaks English perfectly.

Here's a sample of her two styles (click images to play, videos will open in a separate window):

"I'm Not So Tough" (Pop)

"So Incredible" (Country)

Two delights in one here: a beautiful song by Enya, "China Roses", and an equally beautiful video to go with it by the Spanish environmental and peace activist angelsolcito (a lady well worth visiting)

Thanks to Pasatter for this one (I found it on her StumbleUpon pages, but she has now moved to Tumblr where she is Irish Fantasy).

The glorious "Pearl Fishers" duet sung by Andrea Bocelli and Bryn Terfel - performances of it don't get much better than this!

Thanks for the share, Cat!

"Torn", a great track by Natalie Imbruglia (image from here)
Click the image to play

Thanks to Bluesemotion for this find!

"Dusk and the boy" by LensENVY (Jacqueline)

There's a little trail behind this one. It started when my good friend Nancy sent me Bluebird, a great song by the Manchester-based singer/songwriter Chas Rigby.

I searched for more songs by Chas Rigby and one that I really liked was Nightwind.

When I was looking for a "Night Wind" image to accompany this song, I found the beautiful image above.

Thanks, Nancy!

"Rocket Love", a great rainy-day song, sung by the Russian-born jazz vocalist Sophie Milman

I agree with Ray - this is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

Whatever the (excellent and beautiful) video says, though, this has nothing to do with Art Garfunkel, unless I am much mistaken (not an unheard-of occurrence!). It is all about Paul Simon and Kathy Chitty, and it is Paul who is singing.

[Click the music tag at the top of this post for more of my music favourites...]

"Make Someone Happy" (a song that I always associate with that great movie Sleepless in Seattle) sung by the Russian-born jazz vocalist Sophie Milman

If you like this...

[More of the bright side of life...]

Images of Imogen Heap from

Thanks to butterflyZa for this stunning video, and also to Mike who writes:

"Imogen Heap performing live for Indie103.1, spine-tingling stuff. Just the girl herself, sampling and looping her own vocals live on this version of Just For Now."

Imogen is an extraordinarily talented lady, with an amazing command of both technology and music. I saw her once on BBC's Breakfast Show, where (sitting on the sofa, with her various gizmos more or less invisible about her person) she demonstrated how she could harmonize live with herself. Click any of the above images to hear what she can really do in a live performance.

If you haven't met it before...

[More about]

A beautiful song from Secret Garden, and an equally beautiful video from Wintermood (Virgil Beceru)

The song is from Secret Garden's album Once In A Red Moon

Running Bear writes:

Secret Garden's music has been described as a tapestry of Norwegian and Celtic elements. There are classical as well as popular influences. There are traditional as well as contemporary colors in it. But most of all their music is an emotional storytelling style of their own, unable to fit into one category. This is why Secret Garden is recognized in classical radio charts as well as play-listed in popular radio programs, crossing over from New Age charts in USA to Pop charts in Asia. The trademark is its simplicity and haunting melodies, sung by the violin of Fionnuala Sherry, all composed and produced from the heart of Rolf Lovland.

Thanks to Neva for introducing me to this beautiful song.

PS: Secret Garden makes a very nice "Radio Station" on, if you like melodic and relaxing music that you can listen to free on-line.

A singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer who is worth knowing about...

[Ann Hampton Callaway]

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole ("Iz") sadly died of weight-related respiratory illness on June 26, 1997, at the age of 38.

He left behind this absolutely beautiful version of a beautiful song.

"Winter Light" by Linda Ronstadt

"Winter Light" by Linda Ronstadt

This was a nice video of a beautiful song from the end-credits of Agnieszka Holland's film of Frances Hodgson Burnett's book The Secret Garden. The original has gone, but if you click the image you can select a different video with the same track.

I can remember only two film adaptations of classic children's books that (IMO) are virtually perfect. Agnieska Holland's film of The Secret Garden is one, and Lionel Jeffries' film of Edith Nesbit's book The Railway Children is the other. If you know of more, please let me know!

If you liked this...

[Wikipedia's list of classic children's books]
[My books page]

Delightful feel-good jazz, and a delightful feel-good video to go with it, from Inga Swearingen

Thanks to my friend David for sending me this one.

[More of the bright side of life...]

(Original post: June 29th, 2009)

Michael Jackson: Gone Too Soon

This beautiful song is dedicated to Ryan White, a young victim of AIDS who Michael befriended prior to his death. Michael performed this song at the ball for former President Bill Clinton's first inauguration on January 20, 1993, where he highlighted the importance of supporting research for a cure to this disease.

Thanks so much to my friend Sandy for this poignant memory of a great, sad talent.

Sandy also recommended this beautiful video: Michael Jackson: Childhood - if you miss him, it might well make you cry.

Wonderful uplifting music by Eric Bibb.

If you haven't heard Eric before and you like this one, check out his web site where you can hear more of his work.


Here we are
Finally together
Holding close
Never release this feeling
This moment
My dream is now
Loving you

'Cause your beautiful
Something in your eyes
Tells me I have found
Love that never dies
I don't have to dream
Reality is beautiful in you...
Never felt more true

There you are
Finally the answer
Take my hand
Never release
The sweetness
The magic
The happiness
I found in you

'Cause you're beautiful
Something in your eyes
Tells me I have found
Love that never dies
I don't have to dream
Reality is beautiful in you...
Never felt more true

Here we are...

'Cause you're beautiful
Something in your eyes
Tells me I have found
Love that never dies
I don't have to dream
Reality is beautiful in you...
Never felt more true...


A beautiful song by Late Night Alumni, and a beautiful video to go with it.

The song "From Clare To Here" by Ralph McTell, sung by Nanci Griffith, has always been one of my favourites. It's hard to explain why - it's just something about the sad, haunting refrain that grabs me.

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon,
it rolls in from the sea

My voice; a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light,
to carry you to me...

A beautiful duet from singer/songwriters...

Sara Bareilles, and...

Ingrid Michaelson (whose work you may have heard on Grey's Anatomy, among other places)

(Original post: December 15th, 2008)

A pocket-powerhouse performance of Mariah Carey's song "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by 10-year-old Olivia Olson, in the delightful movie Love, Actually. Richard Curtis, the director, explained afterwards that they had get Olivia to dial back the quality of her singing in order for it to be believable to cinema audiences!

Among many other treasures in that movie was what must be one of the coolest small kids on the planet (he's about 5 years older now) Thomas Sangster.

Click either picture to play - the video will open in a separate window.

Samba Saravah is a musical sequence from Claude Lelouch's movie Un Homme Et Une Femme, one of my all-time favourites.

It's hard to believe now that when this film appeared in England in 1966, the censors gave it an X certificate. Times have certainly changed...

It's essential to see this movie in French, with subtitles if necessary. The French language (and this movie) has a rhythm, a style and a soul to it that just doesn't translate into English.

Every time that I hear this music, the words go on dancing in my head for hours afterwards:

“…Mais quelque soit le sentiment qu’elle exprime,
Elle est blanche de formes et de rimes.
Blanche de formes et de rimes,
Elle est nègre, bien nègre dans son coeur…”

You will find all the words of this song (with a translation) here. Click the picture above to play the video - it will open in a separate window.

I had to add a couple of pictures of the beautiful Anouk Aimée...

If you like this, you'll find more on this movie here:

[My movies page]

The Rose

Some say love
It is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love
It is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love
It is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love
It is a flower
And you its only seed

It's the heart
Afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It's the dream
Afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It's the one
Who won't be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul
Afraid of dying
That never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember
In the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed
That with the sun's love
In the spring
Becomes the rose

This beautiful song was written by Amanda McBroom, who describes how this song came to be written here.

Click the picture (which I found here) to bring up a selection of Bette Midler's performances of this song, which will open in a separate window.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt
(On the side of a hill in the deep forest green)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground)
Without no seams nor needlework
(Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain)
Then she'll be a true love of mine
(Sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

Tell her to find me an acre of land
(On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Washed is the ground with so many tears)
Between the salt water and the sea strand
(A soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
Then she'll be a true love of mine

Tell her to reap it in a sickle of leather
(War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Generals order their soldiers to kill)
And to gather it all in a bunch of heather
(And to fight for a cause they have long ago forgotten)
Then she'll be a true love of mine

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

A truly magical intertwining of poetic lyrics and harmony, from a combination of talents the like of which we may never be lucky enough to experience again.

Click the picture to play - it will open in a separate window.

"Fragile" by Sting

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are

Karen Carpenter
March 2nd, 1950 - February 4th, 1983

Requiem in Pace

When Karen died in 1983, the world lost both a lovely woman and one of the most beautiful voices on the planet.
Karen lives on in memories and in many wonderful recordings.
The words of this song have always seemed to me to be a fitting epitaph.

A Song For You

I've been so many places in my life and time
I've sung a lot of songs, I've made some bad rhyme
I've acted out my love in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I've treated you unkindly but darling can't you see
There's no one more important to me
Darling can't you please see through me
'Cos we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you

You taught me precious secrets of the truth witholding nothing
You came out in front and I was hiding
But now I'm so much better and if my words don't come together
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding

I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song for you

You taught me precious secrets of the truth witholding nothing
You came out in front and I was hiding
But now I'm so much better and if my words don't come together
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding

I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song for you

We were alone and I was singing this song for you.

Click the picture to play the video.

Karen Carpenter (Wikipedia Article)

More on Karen Carpenter's story...

Here's a suggestion for a really enjoyable and inexpensive evening:

Buy this outstanding DVD (it's a keeper). Evict kids or other non-sympatico noise-makers. Choose your favourite companion (human or otherwise). Turn off unnecessary lights and replace with candles, lay out a snack supper, pour some nice wine, and settle down for over 2 hours of romantic ballads and bossa novas from the beautiful and very talented Canadian jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall.

This concert, recorded at the Paris Olympia, features tracks from her album The Look Of Love and the full set from her 2001 world tour. She is accompanied by the Orchestre Symphonique Européen & Paris Jazz Big Band, as well as her own recording jazz band members flown in especially from LA. You have the best seats in the house, and if you have the equipment, you also have the benefit of excellent 5.1 surround sound. And don't miss the bonus videos on the DVD, either, especially the first one!

Diana Krall, when performing live, makes the endless parade of celebrity bimbos seem positively sexless. She sits at her piano, very calm and poised, not making a big deal about how great she is, and the only adequate word to describe her is "smokin'".You don't often get a chance to listen to and watch the very best. This one is definitely up there.

River Man

Betty came by on her way

Said she had a word to say
About things today
And fallen leaves.

Said she hadn't heard the news
Hadn't had the time to choose
A way to lose
But she believes.

Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the plan
For lilac time.

If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
And all night shows
In summertime.

Betty said she prayed today
For the sky to blow away
Or maybe stay
She wasn't sure.

For when she thought of summer rain
Calling for her mind again
She lost the pain
And stayed for more.

Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the ban
On feeling free.

If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
I don't suppose
It's meant for me.

Oh, how they come and go
Oh, how they come and go.

A haunting, beautiful, autumnal song in 5/4 time by Nick Drake, from the album Five Leaves Left.

Nick died young in 1974; I wish I'd heard his music earlier. More on his story here, and on the song itself here.

The images in the video, I understand, are extracts from a BBC documentary on Nick Drake.

"For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her"

What a dream I had
Pressed in organdie
Clothed in crinoline of smoky burgundy
Softer than the rain
I wandered empty streets down
Passed the shop displays
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alley ways
As I walked on

And when you ran to me
Your cheeks flushed with the night
We walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamp-light
I held your hand
And when I awoke and felt you warm and near
I kissed your honey hair with my grateful tears
Oh I love you girl
Oh I love you

I think that these are some of the most lovely lyrics that Paul Simon ever wrote. Click the picture to listen to the song being performed by a unique combination of talents...