Quiet Desperation

Name that tune, and win a chance to be quoted without compensation


“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

That’s what German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, and he didn’t even have a chance to hear Pink Floyd.

Or Philip Glass, This Mortal Coil, the Shirelles, John Lee Hooker, or Mazzy Star.

But you have, and this is an invitation to identify a musical selection, like Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1,” or Nina Simone’s version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” and briefly explain why it means something to you.

It might even be a song you can’t stand: like “Nights in White Satin.”

But “Chances Are” there’s a song that always makes you reminisce or that lifts you away from, well, this mortal coil, and its mud and mayhem.

If you were to walk into my home at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m., you would hear music. Most of the time it’s classical, and I prefer Mozart and Beethoven, but I always look forward to Arvo Pärt. But who doesn’t?

If you are unfamiliar with him, try, “Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten.”

Once a week, I listen to “Doo Wop Sunday Night” on KEZW. The program goes beyond the predictable “oldies” and plays gems like “Trickle Trickle” by the Videos and “Tell Me Why” by the Rob Roys.

I remember where I was the first time I heard “A Day in the Life.”

You have until 11:59 p.m., Oct. 18 to submit a musical selection. Please include your full name and location. Email me at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.

I have space limitations; therefore, if you write a treatise about “Free Bird,” you will be doing it for the two of us, because I will have to edit it down to a sentence or two.

Please exclude anything that would be considered offensive, and that does not mean “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” It means Iggy Azalea, whom you may not be able to live without. But this publication can.

Also: Please refer to a specific version. Simone recorded “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” but so did The Animals.

Billie Holiday recorded “Summertime.” So did Janis Joplin. And the Zombies.

Maybe your song is a “Guilty” pleasure.

“Guilty” is on the soundtrack of the century’s best movie, “Amelie.”

I’d be surprised to hear that your selection was a patriotic song. But try watching “Casablanca” and not be moved by the impromptu singing of “La Marseillaise.”

Or maybe it’s “As Time Goes By” in the same film.

“Unchained Melody” was a hit record by Al Hibbler, and later by the Righteous Brothers.

It’s the title song of “Unchained,” a prison film that starred Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch.

I used to think the job of being a disc jockey would be great. Now they just get in the way of the music. The exceptions are on KVOD and KVOQ.

And I am always impressed by Brett Saunders, the morning host on KBCO, who knows more about music than anyone in Colorado.

I still have the first album I ever purchased: “Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits.” Horton, like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent, died young.

Yes, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby is the best-selling song of all time, but “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets is in the top 10.

Just give me music, music, music.

The Sensations’ version of “Music, Music, Music” is better than Teresa Brewer’s version.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.


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