Aug 082005

Year: 2004

Jason Mraz didn’t learn guitar until he was 18! Kinda like me! Except that I started at 17. His debut album, Waiting For My Rocket to Come hit double platinum, and his current album, Mr. A-Z (haha, very nice wordplay (Note: “Wordplay” is also his first single from the album)), is also doing quite well. I tried to get tickets to his concert last year at the U, but the tickets sold out way too fast. His songs are amazing in the way that they have lyrics comparable to great folk songs and a beat and pronunciation comparable to great rappers. And while his lyrics often fill many pages, they always make sense, or contain tons of puns and jokes in there.

Almost every Jason Mraz song could be a song of the week, but in the light of his new album, I chose this for one reason. Notice in the lyrics that the word “words” is repeated many many times. Now if you took Wally’s English class through Hamlet, or if you saw Branaugh’s Hamlet, you know that Hamlet says “words, words, WORDS!” to Polonius while feigning insanity. Right after that class (or during it, rather), I wondered whether Mraz knew of this Hamlet line when he wrote the song. I just don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the 4th paragraph/stanza, the word “words” is used three times, just like in Hamlet, and the song ends with

And I just can’t resist including this song, too, as a kind of bonus, since the title reminds me of me playing frisbee on the heliconia team. So, I present, “Geek in the Pink” from his album “Mr. A-Z.”

Aug 012005

Origin/Composer: Craig Wiseman, Steve McEwan
Year: 2004
Length: 3:37

I felt this song was appropriate at this time, since I recently found a lot of my old friends from my pre-EP days that I had lost contact with since 5th grade. The power of Thefacebook is amazing. If you are a strong anti-country-music kind of person, you should still listen to this song. Tim McGraw is what originally convinced me that not all country music is bad. I now appreciate country music as just another genre that can be quite good.

The song “My Old Friend” is from the album “Live Like You Were Dying,” released in 2005, reaching #1 in the Billboard Albums Chart, with over 3 million sold. Trivia: Tim McGraw’s real name is Tucker Tim McGraw and his original name was Samuel Timothy Smith. He did not know his true father until he was eleven years old.

Jul 252005

Origin/Composer: Richard Rodgers / Oscar Hammerstein II / The Sound of Music
Year: 1965
Length: 1:52

Often assumed to be the national anthem of Austria, “Edelweiss” was actually composed just for The Sound of Music. It was the last song composed by the prolific duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. In fact, it was the last song composed by Oscar Hammerstein before his death soon after. It is sung twice in the Hollywood movie, the first time with the Captain and Liesl, and the second time with the whole von Trapp family at the Salzburg Festival, which finishes with a rousing chorus sung by the entire audience in defiance against the Nazi Anschluss.

My mother went to the US on an exchange trip in 1985, and when she returned, she returned with a copy of the score of “Edelweiss.” When I was about 5 years old, my father went to the US, a place I’ve never heard of. So my mother took out the piece and sung it to me. I didn’t learn the lyrics until I moved to the US and completed second grade. It was the first English song I’ve heard and learned.