Harmonica_header

Ave Maria (Cavalleria Rusticana)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

By: P. Mascagni
Key: F
Time: 3/4

-3 4 -2 -3 -1 -5 4 -3* -2 -3 3
Moth-er see my tears, see my tears are fall-ing
-3* -1 -34-2 -3 3 -2
Thou hast al-so sor-row known
-5 -5 4 -3* -2 -3 3
Life, ah, it is so drear-y
-3* -3* -3 3 -1 -2 2
My heart it is so wea-ry
-2 3 -3 -3* -56 -6
Ah, leave me not a-lone
-6 6 -5 -3 4 2 2 -2
O moth-er hear me in the light
-6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6
Look down on me, my com-fort be
-6 6 -5 -3 4 2 -2
And guide my steps a-right
-6 6 -5 -3 4 2 2 -2
Oh moth-er hear me where thou art
2 -2 3 -3 -2 -3 -5 -5
And guard and guide my ach-ing heart
-3* -5 -6 -6
My ach-ing heart

Lyrics


Comes A Time [Live Rust ]

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

intro ;

5 6 5.. 5 6 -6sb…..

.-6sb 6 6 -6 6 6 -5 5 4.4 4 4

5 6 -6 6 5 6 7 -6sb…

.-6sb.. 6 6 -6 6 5 4 -5 5 5 5

solo 01.58; * nb; bracketed are chords

-> means slide across to note/ chord

[56] -6sb_b 6 5

6 -6 6 5

5 6 -6sb.. 6->5->4 -5 5 5 5 -4 4

[567] [678] -[567] [567] -[567] [567]
[56]7 [678] -[567] [567]

-5sb.b.b 5>4>5 -5 5 5.5 5 -4 4

Lyrics


Don’t Trust Me

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

-4 5
Black dress,
-4 4 -4 5 -4 4
with the tights un-der-neath.
-4 -4 4 -4 -4
I’ve got the breath of
4 -4 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4
a last ci-ga-rette on my teeth.
3 3 3 -4 5
And she’s an ac-tress,
-4 4 -4 5 -4 4
but she ain’t got no need.
-4 4 -4 4 -4 4
She’s got mo-ney from her
-4 4 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4
pa-rents in a trust fund back east.

3 3 3 3
T-t-t-tongues,
-4 4 -4 -4 -4 4
al-ways pressed to your cheeks.
-4 4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 4
While my tongue is on the in-side
-4 4 -4 5 -4 4
of some o-ther girl’s teeth.
3 3 3 -4 5
You tell your boy-friend,
-4 4 -4 5 -4 4
if he says he’s got beef.
4 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4 4
That I’m a ve-ge-ta-ri-an
4 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4 4
and I ain’t fu-cking scared of him.

7 7 -6 7 -6 8 -8
She wants to touch me, woo hoo.
7 7 -6 7 -6 8 -8
She wants to love me, woo hoo.
7 7 -6 7 -6 8 -8
She’ll ne-ver leave me, woo-hoo.
8 -8 7 7 -6
Woo-hoo, ooh ooh ooh.
5 -4 4 4
Don’t trust a ho,
5 5 -4 4 4
ne-ver trust a ho.
5 -4 4 4
Won’t trust a ho.
3 3 4 3
Don’t trust m-e.

Lyrics


Diamonds and Rust

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

This song is in the key of F#, but I don’t like playing it on such a
high-pitched harp. I couldn’t tab it an octave lower, and did not
want to tab it for a chromatic, so I just play it on a lower-pitched
harp as since the proper key is not important for private playing.

On other verses, you’ll just have to match the syllables best you
can.

Verse:
6 -7 -7 -7
Well I’ll be damned

-8 8 -9 8 -7 -7
Here comes your ghost a-gain

-7 -7 7 -7 7 6 6
But that’s not un-us-u-al

6 6 -6 7 6 -5 -5
It’s just that the moon is full

-4 4 -4 4 -3 4
And you hap-pened to call

6 -7 -7 -7
And here I sit

-8 8 -9 8 -7 -7
Hand on the te-le-phone

-7 7 -7 7 6 6
Hear-ing a voice I’d known

6 6 -6 7 6 -5 5 -5
A coup- le of light years a-go

-4 4 -4 4 -3 4
Head-ing straight for a fall

6 -7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -7
As I re-mem-ber your eyes

-7 -8 8 -9 8 -7 -7
Were blu-er than rob-in’s eggs

-7 -7 -6 -7 -7 -6 -5 -5 -5
My poet-ry was lou-sy you said

6 -6 7 6 -5 -5
Where are you cal-ling from?

4 -5 4 4 4 4
A booth in the mid-west

-7 -7 -7 -7
Ten years a-go

-7 -8 8 -9 8 -7
I bought you some cuff-links

-7 -6 -6 -6 6
You brought me some-thing

6 6 -6 7 6 -5 -5 -5
We both know what mem-‘ries can bring

4 -4 5 -4 -3 4
They bring dia-monds and rust

Verse:
Well you burst on the scene
Already a legend
The unwashed phenomenon
The original vagabond
You strayed into my arms
And there you stayed
Temporarily lost at sea
The Madonna was yours for free
Yes the girl on the half-shell
Would keep you unharmed

Bridge:
7 7 -8 -8 -8 -8
Now I see you stand-ing

-8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8
With brown leaves fall-ing a-round

-8 -8 7 -7 7
And snow in your hair

-7 8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8
Now you’re smil-ing out the win-dow

-8 -8 -8 7 -7 7
Of that crum-my ho-tel

-8 -8 -8 7 -7 7
O-ver Wash-ing-ton Square

7 7 -7 -7 -7 -7
Our breath comes out white clouds

-7 -7 -7 -7 7 -6 7
Ming-les and hangs in the air

7 7 -7 -7 -7 -7
Speak-ing strict-ly for me

-7 -7 -7 -7 -7 7 -6 7
We both could have died then and there

Verse:
Now you’re telling me
You’re not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
Because I need some of that vagueness now
It’s all come back too clearly
Yes I loved you dearly
And if you’re offering me diamonds and rust
I’ve already paid

Lyrics


Intermezzo (Cavalleria Rusticana)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

-7 -8 +6 -7 +5 +8 -8 +7 +6 -7

-6 +7 +5 -7 -8 +6 -7 -6 +6

Lyrics


I Will Trust in My Lord (tremolo)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

This is tabbed for a 24 hole Echo Celeste tremolo

I WILL TRUST IN MY LORD (PSALM 56)

Chorus:
6 -6 7 7 7 7
I will trust in my God,
-7 -7 -7 -7
Trust in my God,
-8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
Through whom my life is restored.
6 -6 7 7 7 7
I will trust in my God,
-7 -7 -7 -7
Trust in my God.
-8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
Trust in the Word of my Lord.

Verse 1:
-8 -7 7 8 -7
When I’m afraid, Lord,
-7 7 7 -7 7 6
Still, I know You are true.
-5 6 5
You are true.
5 5 -5 6 7 7
With You at my side, Lord,
7 -5 -5 6 -5 5
What can mortal men do?

(Chorus)

Verse 2:
God my Redeemer!
God, You’re with me in strife,
There in strife.
So shall I walk with You:
The Light of my life.

Lyrics


I Will Trust in My Lord

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Chorus:
5 -5 6 6 6 6
I will trust in my God,
-6 -6 -6 -6
Trust in my God,
-7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6
Through whom my life is restored.
5 -5 6 6 6 6
I will trust in my God,
-6 -6 -6 -6
Trust in my God.
-7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6
Trust in the Word of my Lord.

Verse 1:
-7 -6 6 7 -6
When I’m afraid, Lord,
-6 6 6 -6 6 5
Still, I know You are true.
-4 5 4
You are true.
4 4 -4 5 6 6
With You at my side, Lord,
6 -4 -4 5 -4 4
What can mortal men do?

(Chorus)

Verse 2:
God my Redeemer!
God, You’re with me in strife,
There in strife.
So shall I walk with You:
The Light of my life.

Lyrics


I Trust In God

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

3 4 4 -4 5 3 4 4 -4
In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust:
5 6 -5 5 5 -4 4 4
O let me ne’er be put to shame.
3 4 4 -4 5 3 4 4 -4
Deliver me in Thy righteousness.
5 6 -5 5 5 -4 4 4
Lord, save me for sake of Thy name!
5 -5 -5 -5 5 -4 4 5 -4
For You are my rock and my refuge.
-4 5 -5 -5 5 -4 4 6 -5 5 -4
Unto You, O Lord, I commit my soul!
3 4 3 4
I trust in You.
4 -4 5 4 -3” 3
My life’s in Your hands.
4 -5 6 5 -6 6
Through Your love I’m saved!
6 -6 5 -6 6
Your face shone on me,
5 6 -5 5 -4 4 -3”
And smote my en-e-my.
3 4 3 4 4 -4 5 4 -3” 3
Praise be to God for such wonderful love:
5 -5 6 5 -6 6
Be strong and take heart!
6 -6 5 -6 6
For God heard my plea,
5 -5 5 -4 4 -3 -3”
And shed His care on me.

Verse 2:
Have mercy on me, O God, I pray.
My life has become agony!
My soul and body grieve thru the day.
I’m broken by my enemy!
Held in contempt by my neighbors.
My friends avoid me, but Lord, my Lord!—
I trust in You.
My life’s in Your hands.
Through Your love I’m saved!
Your face shone on me, and smote my enemy.
Praise be to God for such wonderful love:
be strong and take heart!
For God heard my plea,
and shed His care on me.

3 4
God Saves!

Lyrics


I Trust In God (tremolo)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

This is tabbed for a 24 hole Echo Celeste tremolo

I TRUST IN GOD (PSALM 31/71)

4 5 5 -5 6 4 5 5 -5
In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust:
6 7 -6 6 6 -5 5 5
O let me ne’er be put to shame.
4 5 5 -5 6 4 5 5 -5
Deliver me in Thy righteousness.
6 7 -6 6 6 -5 5 5
Lord, save me for sake of Thy name!
6 -6 -6 -6 6 -5 5 6 -5
For You are my rock and my refuge.
-5 6 -6 -6 6 -5 5 7 -6 6 -5
Unto You, O Lord, I commit my soul!
4 5 4 5
I trust in You.
5 -5 6 5 -3 4
My life’s in Your hands.
5 -6 7 6 -7 7
Through Your love I’m saved!
7 -7 6 -7 7
Your face shone on me,
6 7 -6 6 -5 5 -3
And smote my en-e-my.
4 5 4 5 5 -5 6 5 -3 4
Praise be to God for such wonderful love:
6 -6 7 6 -7 7
Be strong and take heart!
7 -7 6 -7 7
For God heard my plea,
6 -6 6 -5 5 -4 -3
And shed His care on me.

Verse 2:
Have mercy on me, O God, I pray.
My life has become agony!
My soul and body grieve thru the day.
I’m broken by my enemy!
Held in contempt by my neighbors.
My friends avoid me, but Lord, my Lord!—
I trust in You.
My life’s in Your hands.
Through Your love I’m saved!
Your face shone on me, and smote my enemy.
Praise be to God for such wonderful love:
be strong and take heart!
For God heard my plea,
and shed His care on me.

4 5
God Saves!

Lyrics


Lovely Rustic Beauty (chrom)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Trad. folk
Key: D
Time: 3/4

-1 -2* -2* -2* -3
A long time to come
3 2 2 -1 -1 -1
I re-mem-ber it well
-1 -1 -1 -2*-2* -5 -5
All a-lone in the work-house
-5 4* -3 -3 -3
This beau-ty did dwell
-3 -3 -5 -5 -5 4* -3
With her fa-ther and moth-er
-2* 3 -3 -4 -3
She dwelt all se-rene
3 -2* -2* -2* -3
Her hair it was red
3 2 2 -1 -1 -1
And her age was nine-teen

Lyrics


Lovely Rustic Beauty (hi-lo)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Trad. folk
Key: D
Time: 3/4

1 2 2 2 3
4 5 5 5 6
A long time to come

-2″-1-1 1 1 1
-5-4 -4 4 4 4
I re-mem-ber it well

1 1 1 2 2 4 4
4 4 4 5 5 7 7
All a-lone in the work-house

4 -3 3 3 3
7 -7 6 6 6
This beau-ty did dwell

3 3 4 4 4 -3 3
6 6 7 7 7 -7 6
With her fa-ther and moth-er

1 -2″ 3 -3″ 3
5 -5 6 -6 6
She dwelt all se-rene

-2″ 2 2 2 3
-5 5 5 5 6
Her hair it was red

-2″ -1 -1 1 1 1
-5 -4 -4 4 4 4
And her age was nine-teen

Lyrics


Rusty Cage

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

-6 -6 6 -5 6 -5 6

Ohh, you wired me awake

-5 6 -5 6 -5 -6 -6 6 6 -5

And hit me with a hand of broken nails

-6 -6 -6 -5 6 -6 6 -5 6

Yeah, you tied my lead and pulled my chain

-5 6 -5 -6 -6 6 6 -5

To watch my blood begin to boil

-6 7 7 -6 7

But I’m gonna break

7 7 -6 7 -8 7 -8

I’m gonna break myyy

7 7 -6 7 7 -6’ 6 -5 -4 -4

I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run

-6 7 7 -6 7

Yeah I’m gonna break

7 7 -6 7 -8 7 -8

I’m gonna break myyy

-4 -4 4 -4 -4 -5 -6 7 -6 6

I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run

-6 -6 -6 6 -5 6

Too cold to start a fire

-5 6 -5 6 -5 6 -5 -6 -6 6 -5

I’m burning diesel burning dinosaur bones

-6 -6 -6 -5 6 -5 6 -5 6 -5 6

Yeah, I’ll take the river down to still water

-5 -6 -6 6 6 -5

And ride a pack of dogs

-6 7 7 -6 7

But I’m gonna break

7 7 -6 7 -8 7 -8

I’m gonna break myyy

7 7 -6 7 7 -6’ 6 -5 -4 -4

I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run

-6 7 7 -6 7

Yeah I’m gonna break

7 7 -6 7 -8 7 -8

I’m gonna break myyy

-4 -4 4 -4 -4 -5 -6 7 -6 6 -5

I’m gonna break my rusty cage and ru-n

-3” -2 -2” -2 -2” -2

Hits like a Phillips head

-2” 3 -3” -2 -2”

Into my bra-in

-3” -2 -2” -2 -2” -2

It’s gonna be too dark

-2” 3 -3” -2 -2”

To sleep a-ga-in

-3” -2 -2” -2 -2” -2

Cutting my teeth on bars

-2” 3 -3” -2 -2”

And rusty cha-ins,

-4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -5 -6 7 -6 6 -5

I’m gonna break my rusty cage and ru-n

7 -6 7 7 7

When the forest burns

7 -8 -8 -8 7

Along the ro-ad

7 7 7 7 -8 -8 7 -8

Like God’s eyes in my head-li-ghts

7 7 -6 7 7 7 7 -8 -8 -8 7 -8

And when the dogs are looking for their bo-o-ones

7 -6 7 7 7 7 7 -8 -8 -8 7

And it’s raining icepicks on your steel sho-re

-6 7 7 -6 7

Well I’m gonna break

7 7 -6 7 -8 7 -8

I’m gonna break myyy

7 7 -6 7 7 -6 6 -5 -4 -4

I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run

7 7 -6 7 7

Well I’m gonna break

7 7 -6 7 -8 7 -8

I’m gonna break myyy

-4 -4 4 -4 -4 -5 -6 7 -6 6 -5

I’m gonna break my rusty cage and ru-n

Lyrics


Sugar Mountain (Live Rust Version)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

— indicates a bend

4 5 6 -6 6 -6 –6 5 5 -5 5 -4 4 -4
5 6 6 -6 6 5 -4 4 -4
5 -5 5 -4 4 5 4

Lyrics


Trusted

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

5 5 5 -4 5
It’s fun-ny I know

5 5 5 5 5 4 -4 5
But I’m dis-ap-poin-ted in you

5 5 5 -4 -4 4 5
I thought you could read my mind

4 5 5 5 -4 5
But I came home ear-ly

5 5 5 5 5 4 -4 5
And saw that a drawer’d been o-pened

5 5 5 -4 -4 -4 4 5 -5b -4 -4
Looks like you’ve been read-ing my dia-ry in-stead

(VERSE 2)

5 -5 7 -7 7 -6b 5 -5
How does it feel to re-al-ize

5 -5 7 -7 7 -6b 5 -5
You’re all a-lone be-hind your eyes?

5 5 -5b 5 -4 -4 4 -4
It seems to me if you can’t trust

4 -4 5 -5b 5
You can’t be trust-ed

(VERSE 3)

5 5 -4 5
Caught in a dream

5 5 5 5 4 5 5
Pick-ing up ast-ral sig-nals

5 5 5 5 -4 -4 -4 4
Some of them psy-chic, you’d bet-ter

5 -5b 5 5
watch what you think

5 5 5 5 4 -4 5 5 5 5 4
Hap-pens to be that ev-ry-bod-y els-e’s

-4 5 5 5 5 5
dreams are Freu-di-an clues

-4 -4 4 5 -5b 5 -4
You’d bet-ter watch what you dream

(CHORUS SAME AS VERSE 2)

7 -6 -6b -5 -5 -5b -5 -6b -6 7 -6b
Did you know that we’re as close as we can be?

-4 5 5 -4 5
The sun’s com-ing up

5 5 5 5 -6b -6b -6 7
She’s pulled all the blan-kets o-ver

7 7 7 7
Curled in a ball

7 7 7 -7 -8 -8 8
Like she’s hid-ing from me and

-8 -8 -7 -8
That’s when I know

7+8 7+8 78 78 7+8 7+8 -67 7+8 7+8
She’s gon-na be pissed when she wakes up

7+8 7+8 78 7+8 7+8 -7 -7 7 -8 8 -7 -7
For ter-ri-ble things I did to her in her dreams

(BRIDGE)

(CHORUS)

7 -6 -6b -5 -5 -5b -5 -6b -6 7 -6b
Did you know that we’re as close as we can be?

5 -5
Hel-lo

ENJOY!!!

Lyrics


Trust Me

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

5 5 5 -5 5 -6b 5 -4 4
Look-ing for some-thing I’ve nev-er seen

4 5 -5b 5 -4 4 4
A-lone and I’m in bet-ween

4 5 5 -5b -5
The place that I’m from,

5 5 -6b -4 -4 4
And the place that I’m in,

4 5 -5b 5 -4 4 4 5 5 5 -5 5
A ci-ty I’ve nev-er been I found a friend or,

-5 -6b 5 -4 4
Should I say a foe

4 5 -5b 5 -4 5 -4 4
Said there’s a few things you should know,

5 -5b -5 5 -5b -5 -5 -6b 5 -4 4
We don’t want you to see, we come and we go.

4 -4 5 -5b 5 -4 4
Here to-day, gone to-mor-row.

(Chorus)

-5 5 -5 4 -4 -5b -6b -5 -5b 5
We’re on-ly tak-ing turns hold-ing this world.

-5 5 -5 4 -4 -5b
It’s how its al-ways been,

4 -5b 5 -4 4 5 -4 4
When you’re old-er you’ll un-der-stand.

Verse 2

5 -5b -5 5 -5b -5 5 -6b 5 -4 4
If I say who I know it just goes to show.

4 5 5 -5b 5 -4 4 4
You need me less than I need you.

4 5 -5b 5 -5 5
But take it from me, we

-5 -6b 5 -4 4
Don’t give sym-path-y.

4 -4 5 -5b 5 -4 5 4
You can trust me, trust no-bod-y.

5 -5b -5 5 5 -5
But I said you and me.

5 -5 -6b 5 -4 4
We don’t have hon-es-ty.

4 5 -5b 5 -4 5 4 5
The things we don’t want to speak and

-5b -5 5 -5b -5 5 -6b 5 -4 4
I’ll try to get out, but I nev-er will.

5 -5b 5 -4 5 -4 4
Traf-fic is per-fect-ly still.

(Chorus)

-6b -6 -6b -6 -5 -6b -6 -7
And then a-gain, may-be you don’t.

-6b -6 -6b -6 -5 -6b -6 -7
And then a-gain, may-be you won’t.

4 -5b 5 -4 4 -5b 5 -4 4
When you’re old-er, you might un-der-stand.

4 -5b 5 -4 4 -5b 5 -4 4
When you’re old-er, you might un-der-stand

ENJOY!!!

Lyrics


Trust in the Lord, Be Good (tremolo)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

This is tabbed for a 24 hole Echo Celeste tremolo

TRUST IN THE LORD, BE GOOD (PSALM 37)

-3 -3 -3 -3 5 -4
Trust in the Lord, Be Good.
5 5 5 5 6 -5 -4 -4 -5
Dwell in His land, enjoy good pasture.
-3 -3 -3 -3 5 -4
Trust in the Lord, Be Good.
5 5 5 5 6 -5 -4 -4 -5
Follow the Way, for God is faithful.

Verse 1:
5 -3 5 -4 -4 -3 4 -3
Your righteousness will shine as dawn;
-3 5 -3 -4 -4 -3 4 -3
The just cause, like the noonday sun.
-3 -4 5 -5 -5 -5 6 6 -5 5
Refrain from anger, and wait patiently.
-3 -4 5 5 -3 -3 -3
Your salvation shall be won.

(Chorus)

Verse 2:
Why do the wicked seem to win?
Such forces of darkness they invoke!
Yet God sustains us, the enemy shall pass,
And vanish like the smoke.

(Chorus)

Verse 3:
Salvation comes but from the Lord:
Our stronghold in trouble and despair.
Be patient and true,
And God will save you:
God’s our refuge, hope and prayer.

Lyrics


Trust in the Lord, Be Good

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

-3” -3” -3” -3” 4 -3
Trust in the Lord, Be Good.
4 4 4 4 5 -4 -3 -3 -4
Dwell in His land, enjoy good pasture.
-3” -3” -3” -3” 4 -3
Trust in the Lord, Be Good.
4 4 4 4 5 -4 -3 -3 -4
Follow the Way, for God is faithful.

Verse 1:
4 -3” 4 -3 -3 -3” 3 -3”
Your righteousness will shine as dawn;
-3” 4 -3” -3 -3 -3” 3 -3”
The just cause, like the noonday sun.
-3” -3 4 -4 -4 -4 5 5 -4 4
Refrain from anger, and wait patiently.
-3” -3 4 4 -3” -3” -3”
Your salvation shall be won.

(Chorus)

Verse 2:
Why do the wicked seem to win?
Such forces of darkness they invoke!
Yet God sustains us, the enemy shall pass,
And vanish like the smoke.

(Chorus)

Verse 3:
Salvation comes but from the Lord:
Our stronghold in trouble and despair.
Be patient and true,
And God will save you:
God’s our refuge, hope and prayer.

Lyrics


Trust in Me, Jungle Book chromatic

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

-6 7 -7 <7 7 -6 Trust in me, just in me 6 -5 <5 <5 -5 6 -6 Shut your eyes and trust in me 7 <7 -7 <7 7 -6 You can sleep, safe and sound 6 -5 <5 -5 6 -5 knowing I am around 6 -5<5 <-4 <5 6 6 Slip into silent slumber 6 -5 <5 <-4<5 -5 sail on a silver mist -5 5 <-3 -5 6 -6 <7 -6 6 -7 -6 6 6 Slowly and surely, your senses will cease to resist -6 7 -7 <7 7 -6 Just relax, be at rest 6 -5 <5 -5 6 -6 like a bird, in a nest 7 <7 -7 <7 7 -6 Trust in me, just in me 6 -5 <5 <5 -5 6 -5 Shut your eyes and trust in me

Lyrics


Trust and Obey (TABS & video link)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

4 -4 5 5 -4 4
When we walk with the Lord
4 5 6 6 -5 5
In the light of His Word,
5 5 -5 -6 -5 5 6 5 -4
What a glor-y He sheds on our way!
4 -4 5 5 -4 4
While we do His good will,
4 5 6 6 -5 5
He a-bides with us still,
5 5 -5 -6 -5 5 4 -4 4
And with all who will trust and o-bey.

chorus
6 -4 6 5 5 5 -6 5 6 -5
Trust and o-bey, for there’s no oth-er way
-5 -5 -5 5 -4 5 6 4 -4 5 4 -4 4
To be hap-py in Je-sus but to trust and o-bey.

Lyrics


Trust and Obey

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

4 -4 5 5 -4 4
When we walk with the Lord

4 5 6 6 -5 5
In the light of His word,

5 5 -5 -6 -5 5 6 5 -4
What a glory he sheds on our way!

4 -4 5 5 -4 4
While we do His good will,

4 5 6 6 -5 5
He a-bides with us still,

5 5 -5 -6 -5 5 4 -4 4
And with all who will trust and o–bey.

CHORUS

6 -4 6 5
Trust and o-bey,

5 5 -6 5 6 -5
For there’s no o-ther way,

-5 -5 -5 5 -4 5 6
To be happy in Jesus,

4 -4 5 4 -4 4
But to trust and o–bey.

Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil he doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

REPEAT CHORUS

But we never can prove
The delights of his love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor he shows,
For the joy he bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

REPEAT CHORUS

Then in fellowship sweet,
We will sit at his feet,
Or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
What he says we will do,
Where he sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

REPEAT CHORUS

Lyrics


Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Melody Maker

5 -4 4 -3 3 4 3-2
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

4 5 6 5 -4 4 -4
Just to take Him at His Word;

5 -4 4 -3 3 4 3 -2
Just to rest upon His promise,

4 5 3 -4 4 -3 4
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

chorus
5 6 6 5 -4 4 5 -4
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

5 6 6 5 -4 4 -4
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;

5-4 4-2 -5 3 3-2
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

4 5 3 -4 4 -3 4
O, for grace to trust Him more!

verse 2
Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

verse 3
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

verse 4
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Lyrics


Can I Trust You With My Heart

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

4 -4 -4 5 5 -4
When you meet that cer tain

-4 4 -4 5 -5 -5 6 4 4
some-one you’ve been sear-chin’ hard to find

4 -4 5 5 5 -4 -4 4
It’s a new love full of pas-sion

4 4 5 -4 -4 4 5
that can some-times make you blind

5 -5 6 -6 5 6 5 5
I don’t mind be-in’ swept a-way

-4 5 -5 -5 5 4 4
if I know right from the start

4 -4 5 5 5 5 -5 5 4 3
So be-fore we go much fur-ther girl_

-4 5 -5 5 -4 -4 4
can I trust you with my heart?

5 -5 6 6 6 5 6 5
In the time we’ve spent to-ge-ther

4 5 -5 -5 5 4 4
I have learned to trust in you

5 5 5 5 5 -4 4
So man-y things you’ve giv-en

4 4 5 -4 -4 -4 5 -4
be-fore I ev-en asked you to

-5 -5 6 6-6 5 6 -6
But re-al-i-ty and ro-mance

-4 -5 -5 5 4 4
are some-times far a-part

4 4 -4 -4 5 5 -5 -5 5 4 3
So what I real-ly need to know is____

4 5 -5 5 -4 -4 4
can I trust you with my heart?

5 6 -6 -6 -6 -7 7 7
Can I cast my cares up-on you?

-7 -6 -6 6 6 6 5
can you stand a heav-y load?

4 -4 5 4 -6 6 6 5
Can I count on you to walk me

5 5 -4 -4 -4 5 -4
down that long and wind-ing road?

-4 6 -6 -6 -6 -7 -7 7 -7
If you pro-mise me these sim-ple things,

-6 5 6 6 6 5
I can guar-an-ty__

4 5 -5 5 4 5 -4
You can al-ways count on me.

-6 5 6 7 -7 -6 -7 -6
Yeah,_ Yeah, Woh__________

5 6 -6 -6 -6 -7 7 7
Can I cast my cares up-on you?

-8 7 8 7 7 -6 6
can you stand a heav-y load?

6 6 -6 7 -8 8 -9 8
Can I count on you to walk me

8 8 -9 -8 -8 -8 -7 -6 6
down that long and wind-ing road_____?

5 -5 6 6 6 5 6 5
When two hearts sole-ly sur-ren-der

-4 5 -5 -5 5 4 4
and are sworn to un-der-stand

5 5 5 5 5 5 -4 4
It com-pletes a per-fect un-ion

4 4 5 -4 -4 -4 5 -4
be-tween a wo-man and a man

-5 -5 6 6 -6 5 6 -6
So please don’t mis-un-der-stand me

-4 -4 -5 -5 5 4 4
I don’t want to go too far

4 -4 -4 5 5 -5 -5 5 4 3
With-out know-ing just one an-swer____

4 5 -5 5 -4 -4 4
can I trust you with my heart?

7 -6 6 6 6 -6 6 5 -4 4
Please girl give me just one an-swer____

4 5 -5 5 -4 -4 5 -4 4
can I trust you with my heart____?

Lyrics


After The Gold Rush Solo (Live Rust)

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

6 -5 5 4
5 5 -5 5 4 4
5 5 -5 5 6 -5 5 4 -4 4 4 5 -4
5 6 -6 6 -6 6 5 -4 4 -4 5 -5 5 4 4
6 7 7 -6 6 -6 6 6 -6 6 5 4 4

This is the harp solo pretty much as played by Neil Young on his Live
Rust album. It should be noted that unlike the album After The Gold
Rush’s copy of the After The Gold Rush (the title song), the Live Rust
version (a live performance) is played down one full step on the piano
and has a harp solo instead of a horn solo. So use a C harmonica and
play the piano down a step from the normal tabs you’d see online.
Also, being a solo the harp part can be adjusted to your liking but
this is how Young played it at this recorded concert.

Lyrics


Diatonic Harmonica Buying Guide

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Diatonic Harmonica Buying Guide – If you don’t know how to select a good diatonic harmonica to play, this article is Your guide to buying a Diatonic Harmonica.

The diatonic harmonica, or blues harmonica as it is often called, does not have easy access to all or any the possible notes like the chromatic harmonica, but lots of the notes that aren’t naturally found can be had by “bending” certain attract (inhale) and blow (exhale) notes. It’s the ‘bending audio’ of the diatonic harmonica which draws in most visitors to it.

Blues harp, mix harp, gob iron and blues harmonica are terms that differing people could use when discussing diatonic harmonicas. The titles may vary but the kind of harmonica is the same.

The key of the diatonic harmonica will be printed on its side/end, also on some diatonic harmonicas the next position is also printed on its side/end. Diatonic harmonicas can be purchased in all major, small secrets. eg. a C diatonic harmonica will only have the notes of the key of C, a G diatonic harmonica is only going to have the records of the main element of G etc.

Here we’ve given you some Q&A’s to help expand assist your diatonic harmonica buying decision.

Diatonic Harmonica Buying Guide

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Diatonic Harmonica Buying Guide

Diatonic harmonicas

The most frequent kind of harmonica you’ll encounter in pop, blues and folk music-diatonic harmonicas are made to play in a particular key. Having said that, overblowing and note-bending techniques plus taking part in alternative “positions” can help you play a diatonic in secrets and modes apart from its “standard” key. Several players, Howard Levy and Carlos Del Junco, are suffering from an overblowing technique with that they play chromatically utilizing a humble 10-gap diatonic harp.

Blues harp players usually perform in what’s called “mix harp” or “second position.” This calls for playing a harmonica that’s tuned to a perfect 4th below the main element the music’s written in. If a track is in the key of C, an F harmonica will be utilized. Most blues use the notes of the pentatonic size, and playing a G-tuned harp provides you usage of notes that match the pentatonic C range, especially on attract notes-those which you inhale to create those wailing “bent” records that are a cornerstone of blues harp technique.

There are a variety of other positions that skilled harp players use to mesh with other instruments and create various effects. Cupping the hands round the harp and making use of your tongue to stop and unblock openings are a few of the ways to produce rhythmic chordal results and shades. You’ll find numerous online language resources as well as harmonica books and tutorials that clarify these techniques at length. We’ll make several suggestions on excellent harp lessons below.

A diatonic harmonica’s simplicity helps it be a fantastic choice for the beginner. Most harmonica educators recommend getting started with a 10-hole diatonic harmonica tuned to the main element of C.

FAQs to buy diatonic harmonica

Q. I am not used to the diatonic or blues harmonica,which will i buy?

A: As both a Music Shop and very long time players we’ve been through this decision ourselves.The most popular harmonica for an entire beginner is a 10 hole harmonica in the main element of C. Most starter tuition books are along with a CD for the reason that same key (C) with music and instruction that you should play along to.

Q. I want to play the blues and bend notes. What should I buy?

A: We’ve too much to chose from. You may hear notes being ‘bent’ when you pay attention in particular tell a blues player.

You may get that very expressive bluesy sound on all diatonic harmonicas. It’s a method that may be put on even the standard basic level harmonica. A number of the better built harmonicas are simpler to flex than others because they are more airtight therefore more responsive so take less work to play.

Q. Should I buy a solid wood combed harmonica or a guy made comb?

A: The comb is the framework that the harmonica is made around. Typically it is constructed of solid wood but other materials are being utilized nowadays like plastic,steel and bamboo.The comb can make a notable difference to the sound, feel and weight of the harmonica.

Q. What are typically the most popular keys?

A: As a tough guide they are the most popular tips in this order….C A G D E F Bb Eb
Standard diatonic harmonicas go from the cheapest in pitch-G to the best in pitch-F#.

Q. What are ‘Low’ keys?

A: Low keyed harmonicas are usually keys that are less than G. Eg Low C or Low F. Lower records on the 10 opening diatonic are easier to play than higher ones. The reduced keyed harmonicas employ a warm and easy sound that suits some music flawlessly. They often aren’t played too much though as the reeds are much longer and move slower.

Q. Does it change lives the actual reeds are constructed of?

A: Reeds are what produce the notice/sound of a harmonica. Reeds are produced from brass, bronze or stainless. Brass is the most typical material to make reeds. Stainless steel reeds are available on higher prices devices. Brass is a smooth materials and produces a nice shade. Bronze reeds create a brighter build than brass reeds.Stainless reeds are more powerful than brass and bronze reeds and also have a longer life time, harmonicas fixed with these reeds also tend to be expensive because of the longer life. Reeds are ‘tuned’ during manufacture and in some instances can be re-tuned.

Q. MUST I buy a valved harmonica? What exactly are windsavers?

A: A good question. The bottom line is they can make harmonicas simpler to play. On harmonicas, ‘valves’ are flaps mounted on the reed dish at the rivet on the slot machine reverse the reed. They are created out of the thin plastic remove, or couple of strips. They stop the environment stream during an attract from getting into through the blow reeds (and vice versa for attract reeds) so less air is necessary overall to try out a reed thus they save blowing wind. Not all diatonic harmonicas can be found with valves.

Q. I wish to play traditional Irish or Scottish Dance music. What must i buy?

A: To try out reels, jigs etc. it can help if you come with an airtight, reactive, well-tuned harp. The very best available ‘off-the-shelf’ models have the plastic or metal comb (the little bit in the centre!). Models we recommend are: Seydel, Mix Harp, Meisterclass, Golden Melody, Suzuki Pro Grasp, Lee Oskar by Tombo and Hering Blues & Dark Blues.

Q. I want to play the harmonica whilst taking part in acoustic guitar/mandolin/ukulele etc. How do you do that?

A: You’ll need a throat brace. They sit down around your throat, are adjustable and clamp the harmonica and that means you can play them ‘hands free’ departing you to play your other device. There are many different styles from different manufacturers. Not absolutely all harmonicas will easily fit into all neck brackets. We stock models like the professional quality Hohner flexirack and the K&M deluxe throat braces that are amongst typically the most popular. Please call to check on for even more advice. Neck braces aren’t normally used for chromatic harmonicas but can be utilized on tremolo harmonicas.

Q. MAY I buy a fresh group of reed-plates?

A: Yes. We bring a variety of alternative reed-plates for some harmonicas. If you’re fairly ‘useful’ it is something that you can do. Remember you may influence any guarantee if you make any adjustments to a harmonica.
Q I’ve a beard. Will that have an effect on my selection of buying harmonicas?

A: It really is a valid question. Some harmonicas are believed beard friendly. Whiskers will often catch in the region between your cover plates and your body causing just a little pain!! The greater ergonomic and limited fitted the harmonica the smoother the exterior playing surface is.

Q. I wish to play via an amplifier, what do I want?

A: There are a few dedicated ‘electric’ harmonicas on the marketplace but it is more prevalent to try out into a microphone and hook up to an amplifier. Amazon Music Shop offers various solutions in amplification. The Micro Vox system is trusted for harmonica and also check out dedicated harmonica microphones like the Hohner Blues-Blaster.

Q. I play the diatonic and want to try the chromatic. Which do I go for?

A: We stock plenty of chromatic harmonicas for the novice to the professional. Typically the most popular choice is the 12 gap chromatic in C. On the other hand you can test a single tuned diatonic like the Seydel Orchestra. They are just like a mini chromatic harmonicas.

Whilst the techniques are extremely similar in playing most harmonicas the note layout is somewhat different. The Chromatic harmonicas has more range than the diatonic and it is bigger in proportions. Chromatics vary in cost quite a bit depending on quality. An excellent quality starter chromatic can range between £50 upwards.

Lyrics


What key harmonica is best for beginners

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

What key harmonica is best for beginners

What key harmonica is best for beginners

What key harmonica is best for beginners? – Many novice players ask us for advice about which keys of harmonicas they should start out with. To determine which keys will be best for you to buy, ask yourself these two questions:

1) Will you be playing solo, or with others?

Seeking intend to play solo, or simply for your own personal satisfaction, then any key can be used. Some other words, any song can be played in any key, regardless of what key the original composer, or artist, may have purchased.

However, if you for you to play with someone else, such as a duo or group, or perform along with a favorite recording, your key selection would be governed by those situations.

2) What kind of music do you want to play?

That you just can to know which keys of harmonicas to buy, it is necessary to first determine which style of playing you will be using, 1st Position or 2nd position.

If you want to play simple melodies and folk music, you will most likely be playing in 1st Get ranking. This means you would begin at the blow, accenting the blow notes and blow chords. You would use a C harp to play in C.

If you want more expression for playing Blues, Rock, Country and Pop music, you will most likely be playing in 2nd Position. This means you would originate from the draw, accenting draw notes and draw chords, and bending. You would use a C harp to play in W.

90% of today’s players use 2nd Position for Blues, Rock, Country and Pop music. Click on 1st Postion / 2nd Position or Basic Chords and Bending to uncover more about these topics.

It’s important to understand that although the note layout for each key of Major Diatonic will be different, the PATTERN of notes, chords and bends will be the related. This means that once you learn to play Jingle Bells on a C Major harp, you can play Jingle Bells on any key of Major harp (G, A, Bb, Low F, etc.) using create same blow/draw patterns.

C Harmonica – Why a Harmonica in the Key of C?

Most beginning players are advised to get a harmonica in the key of C. Those new to music may ask why a C harmonica is needed, rather than kind. Others may ask what is supposed any key of C harmonica. These questions are reasonable, this page answer individuals.

You need a C harmonica would harmonica instruction books will assume in order to have one, so that you can to with the playalong Cd blank disc. The 81 harmonica lessons at my teaching site Harmonica Academy can (almost) all be created by using an only a click C harmonica.

Your music shop get buying harmonica. These types of have the letter C on the box, as shown suitable here. The music shop may only have harmonicas in B and E (these are the keys usually do not get bought). Don’t if you buy one of these, can not follow your lessons.

The C harmonica scale and music keys

To understand what is meant by a key of C harmonica, a (very) small amount of music theory will help. Listen to this:

It is the C major scale, played on a C harmonica. It should sound familiar, and is the “do re me fa so la ti do” which many learnt at school. Music notes are indicated by the alphabet letters A through to G. So the C major scale has C as the first note, and is therefore in the key of C.

Now listen to this scale:

It sounds the same as the previous one, except a little higher. Listen to both scales, one after the other. Can you hear the difference?

The second scale is a D major scale, played on a D harmonica. This scale has D as the first note, and so is in the key of D. Music is often played in different keys. For example, a female will usually sing a partiuclar song in a different key than a male, as their voices need different starting notes (usually higher for the female).

So that’s what a key of C harmonica means…

Seeing that music keys have (hopefully) been explained, we revisit the harmonica. The common 10 hole harmonica is really a diatonic instrument, meaning that it is designed to play in one key (C for a C harmonica). This also means that some notes are incomplete. For example, if you compare a C harmonica with a piano, the C harmonica can play the white key notes only.

Actually there is a technique called bending, which recovers these missing notes. However bending is for a later date.

So, what things harmonica players do any song is played in the different significant? Simple. They just lift another harmonica, tuned to your key of this new record. Harmonica players therefore have a set of instruments several keys, like those shown above.

As a newbie you typically manage your lessons along with a single harmonica in informed of E. However when you start playing to musicians (hopefully you will), then harmonicas in different keys are needed. I remember the pride and anticipation while i bought very first set of harmonica, having newly learnt about music keys.

As a developing player you will receive opportunities to play with other musicians. Ensure that possess to a harmonica in accurate key before join in, otherwise chaos will soon follow. People plays as key of C.

Which harmonica keys should I get?

When you are just stating, the C harmonica will be fine. As you progress, then buy others. In the event you join in with guitarists (most people do begin with), then the following 5 harmonica keys touches on most situations: C, D, F, G, A.

As your music progresses you will get harmonicas in other keys as well.

A final twist… second position

Many beginning harmonica players want to play blues. As always, you need a harmonica which matches the key of each blues song you choose.

However, most blues harmonica is played in second position, where the harmonica key is dissimilar to the key of the song.

Details about second position blues harmonica are in the teachings at my Harmonica Academy site. However for now, the table below will show which key harmonica to use when playing second position blues.

Music key —- Harmonica key

A —————– D
Bb —————– Eb
B —————– E
C —————– F
C# —————– F#
D —————– G
Eb —————– Ab
E —————– A
F —————– Bb
F# —————– B
G —————– C
Ab —————– Db

You will soon learn which harmonica to use. In the meantime, write this table on to a business card, and keep it with your harmonicas.

When I first started I knew nothing of music keys, and was hence unable to push and pull on others (my harmonica was always in the wrong key). This frustrated me no end, and Experienced about to quit. Then, at a festival in New Zealand, someone explained music keys, second position, and the need to have harmonicas in different secrets.

Incredibly, they loaned me their instruments to try out brand new strain idea. I was immediately jamming with some musicians and singers. The festival had a stage through open mike, we tucked there. I was hooked.

I remain forever grateful to the person who explained music keys if you. Hopefully this page will provide similar assistance to other new players.

Lyrics


Care and Maintenance of a harmonica

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Basic Harmonica Maintenance – Care and Maintenance of a harmonica

Maintaining your own harps can give you longer lasting harps that play and sound better.  Just as guitar players have to change their strings and constantly tune, or sax players have to work with their mouthpiece, harmonica players should be able to set up their instruments to sound good and play well. 

Maintenance of a harp most often centers around the reeds, as shown in this picture.  The rivets attach the reeds to the reed plates, and the reeds vibrate through slots in the reed plates to generate the sound.  The action of the reeds depends on the gap between the reed and its slot in the reed plate.

Harmonica Maintenance
Diatonic Harmonica Reeds

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Tuning

Tuning reeds is done by either removing (normally) or adding (infrequently) metal from/to the reeds.  Here’s how it works

  • To raise the pitch of a reed, remove metal from near the reed tip (see above picture).  This lightens the tip of the reed, allowing it to vibrate faster, which raises the pitch.
  • To lower the pitch of a reed, remove metal from near the reed base (see above picture).  This weakens the reed and makes its tip heavier relative to its base, which slows the vibration and lowers the pitch.
  • Alternately, to lower the pitch of a reed add lead-free solder to the tip of the reed to increase the weight at the tip and cause the reed to vibrate more slowly.  It is also possible to increase the weight near the base of the reed to raise the pitch.

You are removing metal from the flat surface of the reed, not at the edges, which would increase the air gap around the reed and cause air loss in the chamber.  Various tools can be used for removing metal from the reeds, and different people have their own preferences.

  • Small jeweler file
  • Small chisel
  • Wet-dry emery type (usually black) fine grained sandpaper
  • Dremel-type rotary tool
  • Fish-hook sharpener
  • Sandpaper pencil

I prefer a Dremel-type rotary tool with a hard rubber disk, which results in a smooth surface, and doesn’t remove material as fast as a stone or burr.  The Lee Oskar tool kit (around $30) has all the tools you need for tuning reeds, including a small chisel. 

Some people feel that filing a reed (i.e. using a file) can cause striations in the reed that can shorten its life, but manufacturers like Hohner file the reeds to tune them at the factory.  I suggest removing small amounts of metal from a large area, minimizing any gouging or scratching or the reeds.

Before attempting to remove metal from a reed, you need to support the reed so you don’t push it through the slot.  A thin shim like a .003 spark plug feeler gauge works well, as does a razor blade.  You can even use a business card–anything small and thin will do.

Be careful not to push the reed sideways in its slot, or the reed won’t vibrate freely.  Also, be careful about filing the reed edges, which can cause burrs that catch on the slot-edges as the reed vibrates through the slot.  If you get a burr you can shave it off gently with a razor blade, or carefully file it off.  Support the other side of the reed so you don’t get it misaligned when you apply pressure to the reed’s edge with the blade or file.

You need to use a chromatic tuner to check the pitch of the note.  You may notice small pitch differences between a note played with the cover off and when the cover is in place.  As you get experience doing it you’ll be able to judge how to read your tuner and end up with the right note.  A popular tuner for harp is the Seiko Chromatic AutoTuner model ST-1000. 

There are lots of others, both more and less expensive, and even software tuners that use a microphone plugged into your sound card.  Many small digital tuners have a mic input, which provides a better signal to the tuner and can help stabilize a “dancing needle” type problem. 

If you seldom tune your harps, an inexpensive model is probably just fine, but if you tune a lot it’s no good being frustrated by a poor tool.  No matter what tuner you use, don’t forget to use your ears.  Your ears are the final judge as to whether a note is properly in tune…  if the tuner says it’s perfect but it sounds off to you, you’ll probably be happier if you make it sound right to you.

Harmonica reeds often go flat, and sometimes you can tune the reed back up to pitch.  However, if the reed has gone flat by a semitone or more, it is probably fractured, and tuning the reed may not work.  In fact, it may stress the reed enough to cause it to break–but don’t worry, it was broken already.

Many harp players do not tune their harps often enough.  With a little practice you’ll know just how much metal to remove, and where, and it won’t take long at all to get your harp all tuned up.

Caution: be sure to check the tuning with a chromatic tuner first to see what the reference ptich frequency is.  Historically, the frequency of an A note is used as the reference frequency, but not everywhere uses the same reference! 

A=440 cycles per second is very common, but harps are often tuned to A=441 or 442 or even higher, because harps are often played slightly flat, so tuning them sharp makes the resultant note fit better with other instruments.

If you tune each note exactly to pitch according to your tuner, the result will be in so-called equal temperament.  Equal temperament is common on many models of harps, such as the Lee Oskar Major Diatonic and the Hohner Golden Melody.  This tuning is optimized for playing single notes and melodies, but the chords will sound a bit out. 

To make certain chords sound better, many harps are tuned to a justified (or just) intonation.  Just intonation involves modifying the pitch of certain notes to make some chords sound better–but melody notes may sound flat or off key.  Various compromised intonations that aren’t quite just intonation and aren’t equal temperament have been devised to try to work as well as possible for both melody notes and chords.

In addition to keeping your harp in tune, various special tunings can be done to provide different notes (without requiring special bending or overbending techniques) and different chords.  Examples include the Natural Minor, country tuning, and Lee Oskar’s Melody Maker tuning.  Using the above procedures, it is relatively easy to build your own specially tuned harps.  Pat Missin’s web page contains his “Altered States” document, which contains hundreds of different tunings for both the diatonic and chromatic harps.

Just Intonation

Just intonation is a modification to equal temperament that makes chords blend together and sound better. There are many variations to just intonation and an extensive discussion is beyond the scope of these pages. For an extensive discussion of tunings and temperaments, see Pat Missin’s web page at: http://patmissin.com/tunings.html.

The following table shows one tuning alteration that produces a just intonation. The values are cents deviations from equal temperament (the raw readings of your chromatic tuner) where negative values mean cents flat and positive values mean cents sharp.

Scale Degree Root Third Fifth flat Seven Ninth
Cents Adjustment 0 -14 +2 -32 +4

Adjustment from Equal Temperament for Just Intonation

Notice how much flatter the dominant (flat) 7 (5 draw) note is-almost half a semitone. That?s pretty flat and can sound off when playing melodies instead of chords. There are lots of ways to compromise between pure equal temperament and just intonation.

The idea is to achieve a compromise tuning that sounds good for melodies without rough sounding chords, or analogously, sounds good for chords without melody notes sounding out of tune. Here?s one such compromise:

Scale Degree Root Third Fifth flat Seven Ninth
Cents Adjustment 0 -8 0 -8 0

Adjustment from Equal Temperament for Compromise Tuning

For the draw reeds, the thirds are 3 and 7, the fifths are 4 and 8, the flat 7ths are 5 and 9, and the ninths are 6 and 10. (The root notes have no adjustments.)

Reed Gapping

A reed gap is the gap between the reed and the slot in the reed plate (see the picture above).  The gap height (and shape, or profile) greatly influences how the reed plays: how the harp responds to your breath.  A wider gap requires more playing pressure to make the reed sound, and allows more aggressive play before the reed sticks or chokes. 

If you attack notes hard, a relatively wide gap can help keep the reed from missing or refusing to sound.  A narrower gap allows less air to activate the reed.  If you play softly, a relatively small gap will help the reed activate with a soft attack. 

If the gap is too small, for instance with the reed tip inside the slot, the reed will refuse to play.  Since the reed gaps are so important to the harp action, each player should learn to set the gaps for his/her own style of play.

The reed gaps need to be wider for longer reeds than shorter ones for consistent action.  In other words, the low notes should have slightly more gap between the reed and the reed plate than the high notes. 

In order for the harmonica to play smoothly and uniformly, the response must be consistent for every reed, with the slight gap differences applied for different length reeds. The nominal adjustment is for the gap of the reed tip above the slot to be about the same as the thickness of the reed.  Fine tune the gap adjustments from there.

The reed’s gap is really the totality of it’s distance above the slot along its entire length.  This is the area that lets the air flow under the reed and start its vibration.  Every bit of the reed should be above the slot in the reed plate, and the distance between the reed and the slot (the gap) should continually increase from the base of the reed to the tip. 

If any of the reed dips into the slot, or if the reed arches up and then back down it will not respond properly.  If the shape of a reed is wrong, correcting the problem is more difficult and requires more care than the normal setting of the height of the reed tip.  You can use small tools to support the reed at different points and work through the slot when necessary to gently bend the reed to make it as flat as you can. 

The best shape for the reed is probably as flat as you can get it, though some players prefer a very slight arc up toward the tip.  You should be pretty well practiced at gapping your reeds at the tip before you try to work on the reed shape–and as always, it’s a good idea to practice on junk harps.  Never throw out a broken harmonica.. they’re great for practicing gapping and tuning, and they can be used to provide parts you need to fix other harps later.

Harmonica reeds are essentially just brass springs that vibrate through slots in the reed plates to chop the air stream, which produces the sound. To adjust the reed gaps, just use your fingernails or a small tool to gently press the reed down, to close the gap, or up to increase the gap. 

After an adjustment is made, flick the tip of the reed a few times to get the reed to settle to its rest position–if you don’t you can get fooled by the reed position.  It can look one way, but revert back to where it was after you play a little–remember, it’s a spring. 

Flicking the reed tip a few times is a good way to get the reed to settle so you can correctly determine its gap.  It’s best to bend the reed in very small increments, and not make over adjustments.  Slight over adjustments are inevitable, but repeated bending one way, then the other, will weaken the reed and could even cause it to break.  The more you do it the more familiar you will become with the characteristics of the brass, and the easier it will be to set the gaps quickly.

By the way, when you go to increase the gap you may want to slide something thin under the reed tip to get hold of the reed.  Be careful not to slide anything too far back toward the rivet.  If you lift the base of the reed out of the slot you’ll probably end up making the reed pitch flat.  It is always a good idea to make sure your harps are in tune, and after gapping is a good time to check since you’ve got the harp open anyway.

Gapping is easy, safe, and a basic requirement for making a harp play well.  Factory reeds are set to some average beginner gap, and are usually too wide–and most often inconsistent across the harp.  I strongly recommend re-gapping your harps according to your personal playing style and needs.

For overblows, the reeds should be gapped close to the reed plate, i.e. with a small or tight gap.   This can be crucial for getting the overblow to sound!  An improperly gapped reed will simply refuse to overblow, or at the very least make the overblow difficult and temperamental. 

I recommend setting the gap as tight as possible without causing the reed to feel “sticky” (slow to respond) when attacked moderately hard.  There is a trade-off between overblow ease and reed action for fast loud play, and you need to find the gap that works best for you.  There is no visible difference between a gap that seems perfect and one that just doesn’t quite work, so you pretty much have to experiment–gap and try, gap and try.

Misaligned Reeds

Misaligned reeds are not straight along the length of their slot, causing part of the reed to catch on the slot, preventing the reed from vibrating properly.  You need to get the reed centered in its slot along its entire length, and there is very little clearance.  Trying to use a tool to torque the reed back into place can be tricky since the tolerances are so tight, and sideways twisting can easily damage the reed. 

A small piece of cigarette paper (or a feeler guage about the same thickness) can be slid between the side of the reed and the edge of the slot to gently nudge the reed back into place.  I feel that a very thin piece of paper like that is more likely to break than the reed if something goes wrong, so its less risky than using a tool.  You can hold the reed plate up to a light to try to peek at the location of the misalignment.

Embossing Reed Slots

Harmonica Maintenance - Embossing

Embossing a reed slot is a narrowing of the slot in order to reduce the air loss around the sides of the reed. This can make the harp more air tight and increase the responsiveness of the reed. It can also help overblows to respond better.

Embossing is relatively simple. Use a smooth round item harder than brass as a tool (like a socket, the round end of a tuning fork or silverware, or even a penny) and run it along the edges of the reed-side of the reed slots a few times.

If you happen to get the slot too tight so the reed won’t vibrate freely or buzzes, run a small “exacto”-type knife or screwdriver blade along the inside of the slot to open it back up a little. Be careful not to mis-align the reed or you’ll have to adjust it back so it’s centered. A thin shim (0.002″) can be used to straighten the reed in the slot and also remove any small burrs that the embossing may have created.

Reed Replacement

This section has been graciously provided by master harmonica customizer Bill Romel.
“I find it troublesome that any harmonica tech or instrument modifier would present information that discourages players from performing simple maintenance on their own instruments. Replacing a reed on a diatonic or chromatic harmonica is a relatively simple technique and it does not require any sophisticated equipment.

Equipment can be obtained from most any hardware store or can be purchased for a few dollars from persons technically competent to make the tools.

  • A bar of steel about 2 inches wide and perhaps an inch thick with a hole drilled the size of the rivet head will suffice.
  • Two pins made of steel, one with a sharp point and one with a flat head will work very well.
  • A small ball peen hammer and some spare reed plates,

or today you can purchase new reeds from your Hohner district office. All Hohner reed plates use reeds that are the same in width, that eliminates one problem. Hering has reeds that are within a fraction of a thousandth of fitting on a Hohner plate if necessary. Run a small diamond file along the slide of the reed just once on both sides and you have a replacement reed from a Hering.

I advocate the rivet reed replacement method. Nine out of 10 times it works perfectly. The tenth time there is usually a problem with reed alignment but you can solve that problem with a screw.

The key to the rivet method is removing the reed used as a replacement from a spare reed plate without removing the rivet. Not a problem. Set the rivet head in the hole in the metal block and tap the rivet on the opposite side gently with your ball peen hammer a few times. The rivet will move. Turn the plate over and grasp the head of the rivet with a needle nose pliers and gently twist back and forth a few times and the rivet will release with the reed attached. It works every time.

Once you have obtained the reed you required, remove the old reed that is fractured or broken from your working reed plate.

To install the replacement reed, place the reed plate on the metal block and place the sharp pointed pin into the receiving hole and tap it once with the hammer. Why? It will spread the sides of the rivet hole outward just a very small amount without distorting the hole and allow you to start the new reed and rivet into the hole in the plate. You may be all fingers at this point.

Once the rivet has been started in the hole slide a thin shim under the reed so it will not fall into the slot and will remain relatively straight while you tap the rivet into the plate with the flat head steel pin and your trusty ball peen hammer. The reed will be loose in the hole.

Next is to set the rivet as my machinist friend use to say. Turn the plate over and place it on the flat surface of the metal block so the rivet head is flat on the surface. If the shaft of the rivet is protruding in the opposite side of the plate, then we must flatten it out with the flat head steel pin.

Turn the plate over and lay the head of the rivet on the metal block. Hold the plate steady and with the flat head pin resting on the protruding rivet body strike the pin a few times until the rivet is flat.

Now we will set the rivet with the sharp pointed pin. Place the point of the steel pin on the rear end of the rivet as close to the center as you can. Secure the reed plate and steel pin with one hand and strike the sharp pointed steel pin about two to three times with the hammer. This will cause the body of the rivet to expand sufficiently to be tight in the hole. Check the reed to ascertain that it is secure and tight. You may have to align the reed with a reed wrench and generally you will have to do some touch up tuning.

Thirty years of experience and trying all methods has convinced me that this is still the best method of reed replacement. Granted there will be times when a screw is necessary due to misalignment but it is the rare occurrence. I like the 0-80 Phillips Round Head stainless steels screws for this problem. Just tap the plate and drill out the reed. It is done in a few minutes.
Regards,
Bill”

Valves

Basic Harmonica Maintenance

On harmonicas, “valves” are flaps attached to the reed plate at the rivet over the slot opposite the reed.  See the picture above.  They are made out of a thin plastic strip, or pair of strips, though they used to be made of other materials such as leather.

Valves are most often found on chromatic harmonicas, on which they are usually called windsavers. They do indeed function as valves, blocking the air stream during a draw from entering through the blow reeds (and vice versa for draw reeds) while allowing the air stream during a blow to exit via the blow-reed slot (again vice versa for draw reeds).

And since they block the air stream from the opposite reed, less air is required overall to play a reed–thus they save wind, which is important on most chromatics because their mouthpieces and slide assemblies typically leak substantial amounts of air.  Windsavers on chromatic are normally present for every reed, sometimes with the exception of the very highest notes.

Such is not the case on diatonics, which are generally much more air tight than their chromatic cousins. The valves on diatonics are not used as windsavers. They are used to facilitate valved bends.

A valved-bend is simply a bend on a reed whose paired-reed (i.e. in the same chamber) is valved.  On the diatonic, not all reeds are valved. The valves are used to obtain bends not normally available on the diatonic harp.  Normal bends are draw bends on holes 1 through 6, and blow bends on holes 7 through 10.  A valved diatonic allows all the regular bends, plus blow bends on holds 1 through 6, and draw bends on holes 7 through 10.  So, when valving a diatonic harp, the flaps are placed as follows:

  • Over the slots opposite the draw reeds on holes 1-6
  • Over the slots opposite the blow reeds on holes 7-10.

The valves for holes 1-6 are inside the reed chambers, so the bottom reed plate must be removed before the valves can be installed.

Installation is simply a matter of using super glue to attach the plastic flaps to the reed plate at the rivet point on the other side of the plate from where the reed is attached.  Only a tiny amount of super glue should be applied to the valve, and care must be taken not to get glue on the reeds! 

A small amount of glue should be put on a small slip of paper or plastic, and the end of valve should be dipped into the glue in order to control the amount of glue applied and make sure you don?t get too much.  If you try to squeeze the glue out of a tube onto the reed plate, you’re sure to get too much and have problems!

There are both single layer and double layer valves. Double layer valves have a slightly shorter, stiffer, usually clear plastic “spring” to help keep the actual valve layer flat over the slot. The double-layer valves are installed stiff side up. A good tip is to put a small kink about one third the way back from the tip of the stiff plastic layer so that the tip bends in to push harder on the actual flap layer, holding it down tighter so it lies flatter.

Some single layer valves have one side textured and one side smooth. The textured side goes toward the reed plate to help keep the valve from sticking to the plate. If there a dimple in one end of the valve, that sits over the rivet to help put the valve as close to the reed plate as possible.

You can buy valves from Hohner, Bill Romel, John Infande, and probably other harp customizers, or you can make your own.  In some sense, valves have not been perfected, and they frequently can rattle or buzz.  One of the best materials to use for valving is a thin (0.003) mylar covered with 3M Micropore tape.  The tape side goes down, toward the plate, which helps reduce sticking, popping, buzzing, etc. The valves should be trimmed to just barely cover the slot they’re on top of.

Take care when reassembling the harmonica that the comb does not interfere with the free operation of the valves.  If the comb keeps the valve from lifting during play, the reed won’t sound, or won’t sound right.

Valved bends are a little different than normal diatonic bends. During a normal bend, both reeds in the chamber can participate to produce the characteristic gutsy sound. These dual-reed bends tend to “snap” into place at the lowest note available.  Valved bends are more delicate and require more control to execute cleanly and clearly on pitch.  Only one reed participates in the generation of the sound, since the other reed is blocked by the valve.  It is especially important not to attack the bend hard when you initiate it, otherwise it will choke off and not sound.  It is also very important to bend “from your diaphragm” using resonance for valved bends.  A pinching of the lips will not produce a good valved bend. Valved bends can be done on the chromatic, as well as a valved diatonic.

The only commercially available valved diatonic at this time is the valved Suzuki ProMaster (or the semi-chromatic Hohner Slide Harp). But, with a little practice valving your own harp will only take 5 or 10 minutes.

Valve Problems

Valve can stick, buzz, rattle, and generally be a nuisance. Cleaning harps with valves takes extra care to avoid knocking off the flaps. Many valve problems are caused by twisted, curled, or bent flaps that don?t lie flat. Many times replacing the valve is the only way to fix a problem. Be careful when you install new valves that any textured side is toward the reed plate, and that the flap is as flat as possible. If it is a 2-layer valve, the stiff plastic goes on top to act as a spring to return the softer flap so it lies flat over the slot.

If the valve is sticking (possibly making a popping sound) there are a couple of things to try. First, tear a small piece of newspaper, moisten it, and slide it between the valve and the reed plate. Sometimes dried saliva is causing the flap to stick, and the wet rough paper can dissolve the “glue” and clean the flap without pulling it off. It sometimes seems to help to make small scratches in the reed plate where the valve hits it to break up the smooth surface to help prevent sticking due to “suction” (surface tension).

Since many sticking problems are due to moisture condensation of your warm breath on the cool harp, it greatly helps to warm up the harmonica before you play it. There are many ways to do that, including wrapping your harp in a warm heating pad for 10 or 15 minutes before you play, or even setting the harp on a warm stereo or TV monitor for a few minutes.

Harp Setup for Chromatic Play Using Valves And Overblows

Overblows and overdraws (overbends) work by choking the reed that normally plays for the airflow direction (blow or draw) and activating the other reed to play as an opening reed.  For overblows, this means the blow reed is choked so as not to sound, and the draw reed is activated to produce the sound.  Using overblows and overdraws it is possible to get full chromatic capability out of a diatonic harp, just as with valved bends.

Valves interfere with overbends.  For example, if a draw reed has been valved, an overblow is not possible in that chamber because the airflow cannot reach the draw reed during a blow.  The bottom line is that you can’t play valved bends and overbends in the same chamber.

Valving the draw reeds in holes 1, 2, 3, and the blow reed in hole 8, is the optimal way to valve a harp while still allowing full chromatic play without losing the most useful overblows.

Storage

Your harps should be stored so that they dry out thoroughly after being played.  It is a good idea to tap the harp on the palm of your hand first, to get out as much moisture as you can before putting the harp away.  Don’t store your harps in unvented plastic boxes, which unfortunately some of them come in.  This keeps them from drying out quickly and can lead to corrosion and reed fatigue.  If you store them with the holes down the moisture will be able to run down out of the harp instead of drying inside it.  Dried saliva is the primary culprit in gunked-up harps, and can keep the harp from playing right and sounding its best.

Cleaning

Occasionally it is a good idea to clean your harps since gunk (the official name..) builds up inside the holes and on the reeds and reed plates.  Saliva is sticky stuff, but fortunately it’s water based and so is best dissolved in water.  You don’t need to use alcohol or harsh chemicals to clean your harp, and you certainly shouldn’t use anything you wouldn’t want anywhere near your mouth–just use water to clean your harps.

I don’t think how you clean your harp is particularly critical, or recommend any specific period of time between cleanings.  Each person’s playing habits, body chemistry, and tolerance for gunk is different.  Obviously, if something is interfering with the way the harp plays you need to take care of it.  If that means some fuzz is lodged in there causing a reed not to respond you need to remove the foreign material.  If you use a brush, make sure to stroke in the direction of the reeds so you don’t cause them to be misaligned by pushing them sideways (not along the slot length).  An electric-shaver type brush works well for brushing out the dried gunk from inside the harp holes, but even a toothpick can be used pluck out any offending material.

Caution: wood comb harps (mainly the Hohner Marine Band) are not good to get wet, certainly not for very long.  Some people swear by soaking their wood comb harps , and others swear at it–bottom line, the comb will swell and dry out, and upon drying be more inclined to crack, split, or warp.  The swelling sometimes will push the comb teeth out beyond the mouthpiece making it very uncomfortable to play.  A swollen comb probably eliminates some air leaks, but once soaked you pretty much have to soak it every time or it won’t be playable, and the life of the harp is greatly reduced. I recommend against soaking wood comb harps.

Soaking plastic or metal comb harps presents no such problems, since neither the plastic nor metal absorb moisture, swell, or shrink.  Prolonged or very frequent soaking can increase corrosion on the reeds and may reduce their overall life, but periodic cleanings shouldn’t cause problems.  Some people report good success putting their harps (not wood!) in a dishwasher for a short time, say 5 minutes or so, using only a small amount of dishwasher detergent (like a tablespoon).  I’ve found that a quick soak in some denture cleaning solution does a pretty good job.  Be sure to shake the excess water out of harp when you’re done.

Sharp Edges

Some harps have reed plates that extend slightly beyond the comb and covers, and sometimes these plates have sharp edges that bother people’s lips.  The outside parts of the harp are not that delicate.. if there’s a sharp edge, file it smooth or sand it with fine grained emery type wet/dry paper.  If a corner feels too sharp or rough you can safely sand it down or round it out by pressing it firmly onto a hard surface.

Lyrics


Cole Porter

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. Many of his songs became standards noted for their witty, urbane lyrics, and many of his scores found success on Broadway and in film.

Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, Porter defied his grandfather’s wishes and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn to musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike many successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs. After a serious horseback riding accident in 1937, Porter was left disabled and in constant pain, but he continued to work. His shows of the early 1940s did not contain the lasting hits of his best work of the 1920s and 1930s, but in 1948 he made a triumphant comeback with his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate. It won the first Tony Award for Best Musical.

Porter’s other musicals include Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady, Anything Goes, Can-Can and Silk Stockings. His numerous hit songs include “Night and Day”, “Begin the Beguine”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “Well, Did You Evah!”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” and “You’re the Top”. He also composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Born to Dance (1936), which featured the song “You’d Be So Easy to Love”; Rosalie (1937), which featured “In the Still of the Night”; High Society (1956), which included “True Love”; and Les Girls (1957).

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Life and career

Early years

Porter was born in Peru, Indiana, the only surviving child of a wealthy family. His father, Samuel Fenwick Porter, was a druggist by trade. His mother, Kate, was the indulged daughter of James Omar “J. O.” Cole, “the richest man in Indiana”, a coal and timber speculator who dominated the family.   J. O. Cole built the couple a house on his Peru-area property, known as Westleigh Farms. After high school, Porter returned to his childhood home only for occasional visits.

Porter’s strong-willed mother doted on him and began his musical training at an early age. He learned the violin at age six, the piano at eight, and wrote his first operetta (with help from his mother) at ten. She falsified his recorded birth year, changing it from 1891 to 1893 to make him appear more precocious. His father, a shy and unassertive man, played a lesser role in Porter’s upbringing, although as an amateur poet, he may have influenced his son’s gifts for rhyme and meter. Porter’s father was also a talented singer and pianist, but the father-son relationship was not close.

J. O. Cole wanted his grandson to become a lawyer, and with that in mind, sent him to Worcester Academy in Massachusetts in 1905. Porter brought an upright piano with him to school and found that music, and his ability to entertain, made it easy for him to make friends. Porter did well in school and rarely came home to visit. He became class valedictorian and was rewarded by his grandfather with a tour of France, Switzerland and Germany. Entering Yale College in 1909, Porter majored in English, minored in music, and also studied French. He was a member of Scroll and Key and Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and contributed to campus humor magazine The Yale Record. He was an early member of the Whiffenpoofs a cappella singing group and participated in several other music clubs; in his senior year, he was elected president of the Yale Glee Club and was its principal soloist.

Porter wrote 300 songs while at Yale,[ including student songs such as the football fight songs “Bulldog”  and “Bingo Eli Yale” (aka “Bingo, That’s The Lingo!”) that are still played at Yale. During college, Porter became acquainted with New York City’s vibrant nightlife, taking the train there for dinner, theater, and nights on the town with his classmates, before returning to New Haven, Connecticut, early in the morning. He also wrote musical comedy scores for his fraternity, the Yale Dramatic Association, and as a student at Harvard – Cora (1911), And the Villain Still Pursued Her (1912), The Pot of Gold (1912), The Kaleidoscope (1913) and Paranoia (1914) – which helped prepare him for a career as a Broadway and Hollywood composer and lyricist. After graduating from Yale, Porter enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1913. He soon felt that he was not destined to be a lawyer, and, at the suggestion of the dean of the law school, switched to Harvard’s music department, where he studied harmony and counterpoint with Pietro Yon. His mother did not object to this move, but it was kept secret from J. O. Cole.

In 1915, Porter’s first song on Broadway, “Esmeralda”, appeared in the revue Hands Up. The quick success was immediately followed by failure: his first Broadway production, in 1916, See America First, a “patriotic comic opera” modeled on Gilbert and Sullivan, with a book by T. Lawrason Riggs, was a flop, closing after two weeks. Porter spent the next year in New York City before going overseas during World War I.

Paris and marriage

In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, Porter moved to Paris to work with the Duryea Relief organization. Some writers have been skeptical about Porter’s claim to have served in the French Foreign Legion, but the Legion lists Porter as one of its soldiers and displays his portrait at its museum in Aubagne. By some accounts, he served in North Africa and was transferred to the French Officers School at Fontainebleau, teaching gunnery to American soldiers. An obituary notice in The New York Times stated that, while in the Legion, “he had a specially constructed portable piano made for him so that he could carry it on his back and entertain the troops in their bivouacs.” Another account, given by Porter, is that he joined the recruiting department of the American Aviation Headquarters, but, according to his biographer Stephen Citron, there is no record of his joining this or any other branch of the forces.

Porter maintained a luxury apartment in Paris, where he entertained lavishly. His parties were extravagant and scandalous, with “much gay and bisexual activity, Italian nobility, cross-dressing, international musicians and a large surplus of recreational drugs”. In 1918, he met Linda Lee Thomas, a rich, Louisville, Kentucky-born divorcée eight years his senior. She was beautiful and well-connected socially; the couple shared mutual interests, including a love of travel, and she became Porter’s confidante and companion. The couple married the following year. She was in no doubt about Porter’s homosexuality, but it was mutually advantageous for them to marry. For Linda, it offered continued social status and a partner who was the antithesis of her abusive first husband. For Porter, it brought a respectable heterosexual front in an era when homosexuality was not publicly acknowledged. They were, moreover, genuinely devoted to each other and remained married from December 19, 1919, until her death in 1954. Linda remained protective of her social position and, believing that classical music might be a more prestigious outlet than Broadway for her husband’s talents, tried to use her connections to find him suitable teachers, including Igor Stravinsky, but was unsuccessful. Finally, Porter enrolled at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he studied orchestration and counterpoint with Vincent d’Indy. Meanwhile, Porter’s first big hit was the song “Old-Fashioned Garden” from the revue Hitchy-Koo in 1919. In 1920, he contributed the music of several songs to the musical A Night Out.

Marriage did not diminish Porter’s taste for extravagant luxury. The Porter home on the rue Monsieur near Les Invalides was a palatial house with platinum wallpaper and chairs upholstered in zebra skin. In 1923, Porter came into an inheritance from his grandfather, and the Porters began living in rented palaces in Venice. He once hired the entire Ballets Russes to entertain his guests, and for a party at Ca’ Rezzonico, which he rented for $4,000 a month ($60,000 in current value), he hired 50 gondoliers to act as footmen and had a troupe of tightrope walkers perform in a blaze of lights. In the midst of this extravagant lifestyle, Porter continued to write songs with his wife’s encouragement.

Porter received few commissions for songs in the years immediately after his marriage. He had the occasional number interpolated into other writers’ revues in Britain and the U.S. For a C. B. Cochran show in 1921, he had two successes with the comedy numbers “The Blue Boy Blues” and “Olga, Come Back to the Volga”. In 1923, in collaboration with Gerald Murphy, he composed a short ballet, originally titled Landed and then Within the Quota, satirically depicting the adventures of an immigrant to America who becomes a film star. The work, written for the Ballets suédois, lasts about 16 minutes. It was orchestrated by Charles Koechlin and shared the same opening night as Milhaud’s La création du monde. Porter’s work was one of the earliest symphonic jazz-based compositions, predating George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue by four months, and was well received by both French and American reviewers after its premiere at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in October 1923.

After a successful New York performance the following month, the Ballets suédois toured the work in the U.S., performing it 69 times. A year later the company disbanded, and the score was lost until it was reconstructed from Porter’s and Koechlin’s manuscripts between 1966 and 1990, with help from Milhaud and others. Porter had less success with his work on The Greenwich Village Follies (1924). He wrote most of the original score, but his songs were gradually dropped during the Broadway run, and by the time of the post-Broadway tour in 1925, all his numbers had been deleted. Frustrated by the public response to most of his work, Porter nearly gave up songwriting as a career, although he continued to compose songs for friends and perform at private parties.

Broadway and West End success

At the age of 36, Porter reintroduced himself to Broadway in 1928 with the musical Paris, his first hit. It was commissioned by E. Ray Goetz at the instigation of Goetz’s wife and the show’s star, Irène Bordoni. She had wanted Rodgers and Hart to write the songs, but they were unavailable, and Porter’s agent persuaded Goetz to hire Porter instead. In August 1928, Porter’s work on the show was interrupted by the death of his father. He hurried back to Indiana to comfort his mother before returning to work. The songs for the show included “Let’s Misbehave” and one of his best-known list songs, “Let’s Do It”, which was introduced by Bordoni and Arthur Margetson. The show opened on Broadway on October 8, 1928. The Porters did not attend the first night because Porter was in Paris supervising another show for which he had been commissioned, La Revue, at a nightclub. This was also a success, and, in Citron’s phrase, Porter was finally “accepted into the upper echelon of Broadway songwriters”. Cochran now wanted more from Porter than isolated extra songs; he planned a West End extravaganza similar to Ziegfeld’s shows, with a Porter score and a large international cast led by Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale and Tilly Losch. The revue, Wake Up and Dream, ran for 263 performances in London, after which Cochran transferred it to New York in 1929. On Broadway, business was badly affected by the 1929 Wall Street crash, and the production ran for only 136 performances. From Porter’s point of view, it was nonetheless a success, as his song “What Is This Thing Called Love?” became immensely popular.

Porter’s new fame brought him offers from Hollywood, but because his score for Paramount’s The Battle of Paris was undistinguished, and its star, Gertrude Lawrence, was miscast, the film was not a success. Citron expresses the view that Porter was not interested in cinema and “noticeably wrote down for the movies.” Still on a Gallic theme, Porter’s last Broadway show of the 1920s was Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929), for which he wrote 28 numbers, including “You Do Something to Me”, “You’ve Got That Thing” and “The Tale of the Oyster”. The show received mixed notices. One critic wrote, “the lyrics alone are enough to drive anyone but P. G. Wodehouse into retirement”, but others dismissed the songs as “pleasant” and “not an outstanding hit song in the show”. As it was a lavish and expensive production, nothing less than full houses would suffice, and after only three weeks, the producers announced that they would close it. Irving Berlin, who admired and championed Porter, took out a paid press advertisement calling the show “The best musical comedy I’ve heard in years. … One of the best collections of song numbers I have ever listened to”. This saved the show, which ran for 254 performances, considered a successful run at the time.

1930s

Ray Goetz, producer of Paris and Fifty Million Frenchmen, the success of which had kept him solvent when other producers were bankrupted by the post-crash slump in Broadway business, invited Porter to write a musical show about the other city that he knew and loved: New York. Goetz offered the team with whom Porter had last worked: Herbert Fields writing the book and Porter’s old friend Monty Woolley directing. The New Yorkers (1930) acquired instant notoriety for including a song about a streetwalker, “Love for Sale”. Originally performed by Kathryn Crawford in a street setting, critical disapproval led Goetz to reassign the number to Elisabeth Welch in a nightclub scene. The lyric was considered too explicit for radio at the time, though it was recorded and aired as an instrumental and rapidly became a standard. Porter often referred to it as his favorite of his songs. The New Yorkers also included the hit “I Happen to Like New York”.

Next came Fred Astaire’s last stage show, Gay Divorce (1932). It featured a hit that became Porter’s best-known song, “Night and Day”. Despite mixed press (some critics were reluctant to accept Astaire without his previous partner, his sister Adele), the show ran for a profitable 248 performances, and the rights to the film, retitled The Gay Divorcee, were sold to RKO Pictures.[n 10] Porter followed this with a West End show for Gertrude Lawrence, Nymph Errant (1933), presented by Cochran at the Adelphi Theatre, where it ran for 154 performances. Among the hit songs Porter composed for the show were “Experiment” and “The Physician” for Lawrence, and “Solomon” for Elisabeth Welch.

In 1934, producer Vinton Freedley came up with a new approach to producing musicals. Instead of commissioning book, music and lyrics and then casting the show, Freedley sought to create an ideal musical with stars and writers all engaged from the outset. The stars he wanted were Ethel Merman, William Gaxton and comedian Victor Moore. He planned a story about a shipwreck and a desert island, and for the book he turned to P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton. For the songs, he decided on Porter. By telling each of these that he had already signed the others, Freedley gathered his ideal team together.[n 11] A drastic last-minute rewrite was necessitated by a major shipping accident that dominated the news and made Bolton and Wodehouse’s book seem tasteless. Nevertheless, the show, Anything Goes, was an immediate hit. Porter wrote what many consider his greatest score of this period. The New Yorker magazine’s review said, “Mr. Porter is in class by himself”, and Porter subsequently called it one of his two perfect shows, along with the later Kiss Me, Kate. Its songs include “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “All Through the Night”, “You’re the Top” (one of his best-known list songs), and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow”, as well as the title number. The show ran for 420 performances in New York (a particularly long run in the 1930s) and 261 in London. Porter, despite his lessons in orchestration from d’Indy, did not orchestrate his musicals. Anything Goes was orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett and Hans Spialek. Now at the height of his success, Porter was able to enjoy the opening night of his musicals; he made grand entrances and sat in front, apparently relishing the show as much as any audience member. Russel Crouse commented “Cole’s opening-night behaviour is as indecent as that of a bridegroom who has a good time at his own wedding.”

Anything Goes was the first of five Porter shows featuring Merman. He loved her loud, brassy voice and wrote many numbers that displayed her strengths. Jubilee (1935), written with Moss Hart while on a cruise around the world, was not a major hit, running for only 169 performances, but it featured two songs that have since become standards, “Begin the Beguine” and “Just One of Those Things”. Red, Hot and Blue (1936), featuring Merman, Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope, ran for 183 performances and introduced “It’s De-Lovely”, “Down in the Depths (on the Ninetieth Floor)”, and “Ridin’ High”. The relative failure of these shows convinced Porter that his songs did not appeal to a broad enough audience. In an interview, he said “Sophisticated allusions are good for about six weeks … more fun, but only for myself and about eighteen other people, all of whom are first-nighters anyway. Polished, urbane and adult playwriting in the musical field is strictly a creative luxury.”

Porter also wrote for Hollywood in the mid-1930s. His scores include those for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films Born to Dance (1936), with James Stewart, featuring “You’d Be So Easy to Love” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, and Rosalie (1937), featuring “In the Still of the Night”. He wrote the score of the short film Paree, Paree, in 1935, using some of the songs from Fifty Million Frenchmen. Porter also composed the cowboy song “Don’t Fence Me In” for Adios, Argentina, an unproduced movie, in 1934, but it did not become a hit until Roy Rogers sang it in the 1944 film Hollywood Canteen. Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and other artists also popularized it in the 1940s. The Porters moved to Hollywood in December 1935, but Porter’s wife did not like the movie environment, and Porter’s homosexual peccadillos, formerly very discreet, became less so; she retreated to their Paris house. When his film assignment on Rosalie was finished in 1937, Porter hastened to Paris to make peace with Linda, but she remained cool. After a walking tour of Europe with his friends, Porter returned to New York in October 1937 without her. They were soon reunited by an accident Porter suffered.

On October 24, 1937, Porter was riding with Countess Edith di Zoppola and Duke Fulco di Verdura at Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, New York, when his horse rolled on him and crushed his legs, leaving him substantially crippled and in constant pain for the rest of his life. Though doctors told Porter’s wife and mother that his right leg would have to be amputated, and possibly the left one as well, he refused to have the procedure. Linda rushed from Paris to be with him, and supported him in his refusal of amputation. He remained in the hospital for seven months before being allowed to go home to his apartment at the Waldorf Towers. He resumed work as soon as he could, finding it took his mind off his perpetual pain.

Porter’s first show after his accident was not a success. You Never Know (1938), starring Clifton Webb, Lupe Vélez and Libby Holman, ran for only 78 performances. The score included the songs “From Alpha to Omega” and “At Long Last Love”.[78] He returned to success with Leave It to Me! (1938); the show introduced Mary Martin, singing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”, and other numbers included “Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love” and “From Now On”. Porter’s last show of the 1930s was DuBarry Was a Lady (1939), a particularly risqué show starring Merman and Bert Lahr. After a pre-Broadway tour, during which it ran into trouble with Boston censors, it achieved 408 performances, beginning at the 46th Street Theatre. The score included “But in the Morning, No” (which was banned from the airwaves), “Do I Love You?”, “Well, Did You Evah!”, “Katie Went to Haiti” and another of Porter’s up-tempo list songs, “Friendship”. At the end of 1939, Porter contributed six songs to the film Broadway Melody of 1940 for Fred Astaire, George Murphy and Eleanor Powell.

Meanwhile, as political unrest increased in Europe, Porter’s wife closed their Paris house in 1939, and the next year bought a country home in the Berkshire mountains, near Williamstown, Massachusetts, which she decorated with elegant furnishings from their Paris home. Porter spent time in Hollywood, New York and Williamstown.

1940s and postwar

Panama Hattie (1940) was Porter’s longest-running hit so far, running in New York for 501 performances despite the absence of any enduring Porter songs. It starred Merman, Arthur Treacher and Betty Hutton. Let’s Face It! (1941), starring Danny Kaye, had an even better run, with 547 performances in New York.[87] This, too, lacked any numbers that became standards, and Porter always counted it among his lesser efforts.[88] Something for the Boys (1943), starring Merman, ran for 422 performances, and Mexican Hayride (1944), starring Bobby Clark, with June Havoc, ran for 481 performances. These shows, too, are short of Porter standards. The critics did not pull their punches, complaining about the lack of hit tunes and the generally low standard of the scores. After two flops, Seven Lively Arts (1944) (which featured the standard “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”) and Around the World (1946), many thought that Porter’s best period was over.

Between Broadway musicals, Porter continued to write for Hollywood. His film scores of this period were You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) with Astaire and Rita Hayworth, Something to Shout About (1943) with Don Ameche, Janet Blair and William Gaxton, and Mississippi Belle (1943–44), which was abandoned before filming began. He also cooperated in the making of the film Night and Day (1946), a largely fictional biography of Porter, with Cary Grant implausibly cast in the lead. The critics scoffed, but the film was a huge success, chiefly because of the wealth of vintage Porter numbers in it. The biopic’s success contrasted starkly with the failure of Vincente Minnelli’s film The Pirate (1948), with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, in which five new Porter songs received little attention.

From this low spot, Porter made a conspicuous comeback in 1948 with Kiss Me, Kate. It was by far his most successful show, running for 1,077 performances in New York and 400 in London. The production won the Tony Award for Best Musical (the first Tony awarded in that category), and Porter won for best composer and lyricist. The score includes “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”, “Wunderbar”, “So In Love”, “We Open in Venice”, “Tom, Dick or Harry”, “I’ve Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua”, “Too Darn Hot”, “Always True to You (in My Fashion)”, and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”.

Porter began the 1950s with Out of This World (1950), which had some good numbers but too much camp and vulgarity, and was not greatly successful. His next show, Can-Can (1952), featuring “C’est Magnifique” and “It’s All Right with Me”, was another hit, running for 892 performances. Porter’s last original Broadway production, Silk Stockings (1955), featuring “All of You”, was also successful, with a run of 477 performances. Porter wrote two more film scores and music for a television special before ending his Hollywood career. The film High Society (1956), starring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly, included Porter’s last major hit song “True Love”. It was adapted as a stage musical of the same name. Porter also wrote numbers for the film Les Girls (1957), which starred Gene Kelly. His final score was for the CBS television special Aladdin (1958).

Last years

Porter’s mother died in 1952, and his wife died of emphysema in 1954. By 1958, Porter’s injuries caused a series of ulcers on his right leg. After 34 operations, it had to be amputated and replaced with an artificial limb. His friend Noël Coward visited him in the hospital and wrote in his diary, “The lines of ceaseless pain have been wiped from his face…I am convinced that his whole life will cheer up and that his work will profit accordingly.” In fact, Porter never wrote another song after the amputation and spent the remaining six years of his life in relative seclusion, seeing only intimate friends. He continued to live in the Waldorf Towers in New York in his memorabilia-filled apartment. On weekends, he often visited an estate in the Berkshires, and he stayed in California during the summers.

Porter died of kidney failure on October 15, 1964, in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 73. He is interred in Mount Hope Cemetery in his native Peru, Indiana, between his wife and father.

Tributes and legacy

Many artists have recorded Porter songs, and dozens have released entire albums of his songs. In 1956, jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald released Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook. In 1972, she released another collection, Ella Loves Cole. Among the many album collections of Porter songs are the following: Oscar Peterson Plays the Cole Porter Songbook (1959); Anita O’Day Swings Cole Porter with Billy May (1959); All Through the Night: Julie London Sings the Choicest of Cole Porter (1965); Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Cole Porter (1982); and Anything Goes: Stephane Grappelli & Yo-Yo Ma Play (Mostly) Cole Porter (1989). In 1990 Dionne Warwick released Dionne Sings Cole Porter. In that same year, Red Hot + Blue was released as a benefit CD for AIDS research and featured 20 Cole Porter songs recorded by artists such as U2 and Annie Lennox.

Additional recording collections include Frank Sinatra Sings the Select Cole Porter (1996) and John Barrowman Swings Cole Porter (2004); Barrowman played “Jack” in the 2004 film De-Lovely. Other singers who have paid tribute to Porter include the Swedish pop music group Gyllene Tider, which recorded a song called “Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång” (“That Girl from the Cole Porter Song”) in 1982. He is referenced in the merengue song “The Call of the Wild” by David Byrne on his 1989 album Rei Momo. He also is mentioned in the song “Tonite It Shows” by Mercury Rev on their 1998 album Deserter’s Songs.

In 1965, Judy Garland performed a medley of Porter’s songs at the 37th Academy Awards shortly after Porter’s death. In 1980, Porter’s music was used for the score of Happy New Year, based on the Philip Barry play Holiday. The cast of The Carol Burnett Show paid a tribute to Porter in a humorous sketch in their CBS television series. You’re the Top: The Cole Porter Story, a video of archival material and interviews, and Red, Hot and Blue, a video of artists performing Porter’s music, were released in 1990 to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Porter’s birth. In contrast to the highly embellished 1946 screen biography Night and Day, Porter’s life was chronicled more realistically in De-Lovely, a 2004 Irwin Winkler film starring Kevin Kline as Porter and Ashley Judd as Linda. The soundtrack to De-Lovely includes Porter songs sung by Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall and Natalie Cole, among others. Porter also appears as a character in Woody Allen’s 2011 film Midnight in Paris.

Many events commemorated the centenary of Porter’s birth, including the halftime show of the 1991 Orange Bowl. Joel Grey and a large cast of singers, dancers and marching bands, performed a tribute to Porter in Miami, Florida during the 57th King Orange Jamboree parade, whose theme was “Anything Goes”. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performed a program of Cole Porter music at the Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, which also featured clips of Porter’s Hollywood films. “A Gala Birthday Concert” was held at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, with more than 40 entertainers and friends paying tribute to Porter’s long career in theater and film. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp honoring Porter’s birth. The Indiana University Opera performed Porter’s musical, Jubilee, in Bloomington, Indiana.

In May 2007, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was dedicated to Cole Porter. In December 2010, his portrait was added to the Hoosier Heritage Gallery in the office of the Governor of Indiana. Numerous symphony orchestras have paid tribute to Porter in the years since his death including Seattle Symphony Orchestra, with Marvin Hamlisch as conductor and the Boston Pops, both in 2011. In 2012, Marvin Hamlisch, Michael Feinstein, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra honored Porter with a concert that included his familiar classics. The Cole Porter Festival is held every year in June in his hometown of Peru, Indiana, to foster music and art appreciation. Costumed singers in the cabaret-style Cole Porter Room at the Indiana Historical Society’s Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis take requests from visitors and perform Porter’s hit songs. After Porter’s death, his 1908 Steinway grand piano, which he had used when composing since the mid-1930s, was displayed and played in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel until 2017. As of late 2018, it was being rebuilt, after which it will reside, temporarily, at the New-York Historical Society. Porter is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame  and Great American Songbook Hall of Fame, which recognized his “musically complex [songs] with witty, urbane lyrics”. In 2014, Porter was honored with a plaque on the Legacy Walk in Chicago, which celebrates LGBT achievers.

Lyrics


Buju Banton

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Mark Anthony Myrie (born 15 July 1973), professionally known by his stage name Buju Banton, is a Jamaican reggae dancehall recording artist. He is widely considered one of the most significant and well-regarded artists in Jamaican music. Banton has collaborated with many international artists, including those in the hip hop, Latin and punk rock genres, as well as the sons of Bob Marley.

Banton released a number of dancehall singles as early as 1987 but came to prominence in 1992 with two albums, Stamina Daddy and Mr. Mention, the latter becoming the best-selling album in Jamaican history upon its release. That year he also broke the record for No. 1 singles in Jamaica, previously held by Bob Marley and the Wailers. He signed with the major label Mercury Records and released Voice of Jamaica in 1993. By the mid-1990s, Banton’s music became more influenced by his Rastafari faith, as heard on the seminal albums ‘Til Shiloh and Inna Heights.

In 2009, he was arrested on drug-related charges in the United States, his first trial resulting in a hung jury. His 2010 album Before the Dawn won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. In 2011, he was convicted on the aforementioned criminal charge and was imprisoned in the U.S. until December 2018, whereupon he was deported home to Jamaica.

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Biography

Background

Buju Banton was born in Kingston, Jamaica in a poor neighbourhood known as Salt Lane. Buju is a nickname given to him by his mother as a child. Banton is a Jamaican word that refers to someone who is a respected storyteller, and it was adopted by Myrie in tribute to the deejay Burro Banton, whom he admired as a child. Buju emulated Burro’s rough vocals and forceful delivery, developing his own distinctive style. Buju’s mother was a higgler, or street vendor, while his father worked as a labourer at a tile factory. He was the youngest of fifteen children born into a family that was directly descended from the Maroons of Jamaica.

Banton has homes in Jamaica and Tamarac, Florida (United States). He also has 15 children.

Early career

As a youngster, Buju would often watch his favourite artists perform at outdoor shows and local dancehalls in Denham Town. At the age of 12, he picked up the microphone for himself and began toasting under the moniker of Gargamel, working with the Sweet Love and Rambo Mango sound systems. In 1986, he was introduced to producer Robert Ffrench by fellow deejay Clement Irie, and his first single, “The Ruler” was released not long afterward in 1987. This led to recording sessions with producers such as Patrick Roberts, Bunny Lee, Winston Riley, and Digital B.

1990s

In 1991, Buju joined Donovan Germain’s Penthouse Records label and began a fruitful partnership with producer Dave Kelly who later launched his own Madhouse Records label. Buju is one of the most popular musicians in Jamaican history, having major chart success in 1992, with “Bogle” and “Love me Browning”, both massive hits in Jamaica. Controversy erupted over “Love Me Browning” which spoke of Banton’s penchant for lighter-skinned black women: “Mi love my car mi love my bike mi love mi money and ting, but most of all mi love mi browning.” Some accused Banton of denigrating the beauty of darker-skinned black women. In response, he released “Love Black Woman,” which spoke of his love for dark-skinned beauties: “Mi nuh Stop cry, fi all black women, respect all the girls dem with dark complexion”. 1992 was an explosive year for Buju as he broke Bob Marley’s record for the greatest number of #1 singles in a year. Buju’s gruff voice dominated the Jamaican airwaves for the duration of the year. Banton’s debut album, Mr. Mention, includes many of his greatest hits from that year including “Bonafide Love” featuring Wayne Wonder, the singer who first brought Buju out as a guest star on the annual Jamaican stage show Sting. 1992 also saw the unsanctioned re-release of “Boom Bye Bye,” a controversial song recorded several years earlier when the artist was 19 years old, which resulted in a backlash that threatened to destroy his career. several years later, the song would later become the subject of outrage in the United States and Europe, leading to Banton being dropped from the line-up of the WOMAD festival as well as numerous other scheduled performances. Banton subsequently issued a public apology.

Now on the major Mercury/PolyGram label, Banton released the hard-hitting Voice of Jamaica in 1993. The album included a number of conscious tracks. These tracks included “Deportees”, a song which criticises those Jamaicans who went abroad but never sent money home; “Tribal War” a collaboration with Tony Rebel, Brian & Tony Gold, and Terry Ganzie, a sharp condemnation of political violence that interpolates Little Roy’s classic reggae song of the same name; and “Willy, Don’t Be Silly”, which promotes safe sex and the use of contraceptives, particularly the condom, profits from which were donated to a charity supporting children with AIDS.  Banton was invited to meet Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, and won several awards that year at the Caribbean Music Awards and the Canadian Music Awards.

Some of Banton’s lyrics dealt with violent themes, which he explained as reflecting the images that young Jamaicans were presented with by the news media. The reality of Kingston’s violence was brought home in 1993 by the murders in separate incidents of three of his friends and fellow recording artists, the deejays Pan Head and Dirtsman and singer Mickey Simpson. His response was the single “Murderer”, which condemned gun violence, going against the flow of the prevailing lyrical content in dancehall. The song inspired several clubs to stop playing songs with the excessively violent subject matter. Late in 1994, Buju was also affected by the death of his friend Garnett Silk. Buju’s transformation continued, as he embraced the Rastafari movement and began growing dreadlocks. His performances and musical releases took on a more spiritual tone. Banton toured Europe and Japan, playing sold-out shows.

‘Til Shiloh (1995) was a very influential album, incorporating live instrumentation as well as digital rhythms, and incorporating the sounds of roots reggae along with the harder-edged dancehall sounds that first made Banton famous. The artist was embracing his Rastafari faith and his new album reflected these beliefs. Til Shiloh successfully blended conscious lyrics with a hard-hitting dancehall vibe. The album included earlier singles such as “Murderer” along with instant classics like “Wanna Be Loved” and “Untold Stories”. “Untold Stories” revealed an entirely different side of Buju Banton from the one that had stormed to dancehall stardom. It is regarded by many as one of his best works and has become a staple in the Banton performance repertoire. Reminiscent in mood and delivery to “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley, “Untold Stories” won Buju Banton many favorable comparisons to the late singer. This album had a profound impact on dancehall music and proved that dancehall audiences had not forgotten the message that Roots Reggae expounded with the use of “conscious lyrics”. Dancehall artists did not abandon slack and violent lyrics altogether, but the album did pave the way for a greater spirituality within the music. In the wake of Buju’s transformation to Rastafari, many artists, such as Capleton, embraced the faith and began to denounce violence in their music.

In 1996, Buju contributed “Wanna Be Loved (Desea ser Amado)” along with Los Pericos to the Red Hot Organization’s album Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin for the Red Hot Benefit Series. This series raises money to increase AIDS awareness.

That same year Buju Banton took control of his business by establishing his own Gargamel Music label, releasing the popular single “Love Sponge” on vinyl in Jamaica and overseas. In years to come Gargamel would expand into an outlet for Buju’s own productions and providing an outlet for fresh new talent.

Inna Heights (1997) substantially increased Banton’s international audience as Buju explored his singing ability and recorded a number of roots-tinged tracks, including the hugely popular “Destiny” and “Hills and Valleys”. The album also included collaborations with artists such as Beres Hammond and the legendary Toots Hibbert. The album was well received by fans at the time and critics praised Buju’s soaring vocals. The album has aged well and remains a highly regarded work over 20 years after its release.

In 1998, Buju met the punk band Rancid and recorded three tracks with them: “No More Misty Days”, “Hooligans” and “Life Won’t Wait”. The latter became the title track of Rancid’s 1998 album Life Won’t Wait.

2000s

Buju signed with Anti- Records, a subsidiary of Brett Gurewitz’s Epitaph Records, and released Unchained Spirit in 2000. The album showcased diverse musical styles, and featured guest appearances by Luciano, Morgan Heritage, Stephen Marley, and Rancid. It carried little of the roots feel heard on Til Shiloh and virtually none of the hardcore dancehall sound which had brought him to public acclaim early in his career.

Several singles followed in the start of the new decade, which was perceived as more mellow and introspective, as opposed to the dancehall approach of his early career. In March 2003, Banton released Friends for Life, which featured more sharply political songs, including “Mr. Nine”, an anti-gun song that was a hit in Jamaica’s dancehalls as well as internationally. The album focused on political messages regarding the African diaspora, featuring excerpts from a speech made by Marcus Garvey. “Paid Not Played”, also featured on the album, displayed a gradual return to the themes more popular in dancehall. The album also featured some hip hop influence with the inclusion of rapper Fat Joe.

2006 saw the release of the Too Bad, an album that was more dancehall-oriented in style. One of the slower tracks from the album, “Driver A”, went on to become a major hit, while at the same time reviving Sly and Robbie’s “Taxi” riddim.

Banton performed at the 2007 Cricket World Cup Opening Ceremony with Third World and Beres Hammond.

The album Rasta Got Soul was released on 21 April 2009, a date which marked the 43rd anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s visit to Jamaica in 1966. Produced by Banton, with contributions from longtime collaborators Donovan Germain, Stephen Marsden and Wyclef Jean, Rasta Got Soul was a 100% roots reggae album recorded over a seven-year period before its release. It went on to earn Banton his fourth Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album in 2010.

2010s

On 13 February 2011, one day before the scheduled start of his second court trial in Tampa, Florida, Buju Banton’s Before the Dawn album was announced as the winner of Best Reggae Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.

Upon his release from prison in the United States in December 2018, Banton started The Long Walk To Freedom tour and performed his first concert at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica in March 2019, the concert attracted over 30.000 people. During his tour, he continued putting out new music and new singles including Bagga Mouth, False Pretense, and Country for Sale.

In May 2019, Banton released Country For Sale, the song topped the iTunes Reggae Chart within minutes after the announcement of its release. The song was recorded at the Gargamel Music Studio, Donovan Germain’s own recording studio in the Corporate Area. On 12 November of the same year, he released his first official music video entitled “Trust”. The video marked the first anniversary of Banton’s release from prison and was produced in collaboration with Dave Kelly and directed by Kieran Khan. The track peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Reggae Digital Song Sales chart.

Banton announced his partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in November of that year, becoming the second Jamaican reggae artist be represented by the agency, which coincided with the release of his music video Steppa. He also announced that Island Records will be the distributor of the collaboration’s new music.

2020s

In January 2020, Buju was featured on the Bad Boys for Life (soundtrack) which was produced by DJ Khaled. His song titled “Murda She Wrote” was a nod to a 1992 dancehall classic called “Murder She Wrote” by Jamaican reggae duo Chaka Demus & Pliers.

On 29 February 2020, Buju produced the Steppaz Riddim under this own Gargamel Music label. The riddim, released under Roc Nation, featured 11 tracks and included contributions from Vershon, Delly Ranx, Agent Sasco, Bling Dawg and General B.

Banton released his 13th studio album and his first in a decade, Upside Down 2020 on 26 June 2020. The album includes guest appearances from John Legend, Pharrell, Stefflon Don and Stephen Marley.

Controversies

Anti-gay controversy

Banton has been criticised for the lyrical content of his song “Boom Bye Bye”, which was released when he was 19 years old in 1992. The song has been interpreted as supporting the murder of gay men  although others have argued that the song’s lyrics should be read as metaphorical, following in a long tradition of exaggerated rhetorical violence in Jamaican dancehall music. In 2009 gay-rights groups appealed to venues around the United States not to host Buju Banton.

In 2007 Banton was allegedly among a number of reggae artists who signed a pledge, called the Reggae Compassionate Act, created by the Stop Murder Music campaign, to refrain from performing homophobic songs or making homophobic statements. The Act stated that the signers “do not encourage nor minister to HATE but rather uphold a philosophy of LOVE, RESPECT, and UNDERSTANDING towards all human beings as the cornerstone of reggae music” and promised that the artists involved no longer believed in sexism, homophobia, or violence and that they would not perform music that went against these beliefs on stage. Banton later denied that he had made any such commitment, although he did refrain from performing “Boom Bye Bye” and other offensive songs at the 2007 Reggae Carifest concert. He did, however, continue to play such songs afterwards.

On 20 March 2019, Buju Banton and his team officially removed “Boom Bye Bye” from his catalog. Banton’s team pulled the song from streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify, and Banton announced his intention to never perform the song again.  Banton issued a statement in which he clarified the importance of tolerance and love, saying, “In recent days there has been a great deal of press coverage about the song ‘Boom Bye Bye’ from my past which I long ago stopped performing and removed from any platform that I control or have influence over. I recognize that the song has caused much pain to listeners, as well as to my fans, my family and myself. After all the adversity we’ve been through I am determined to put this song in the past and continue moving forward as an artist and as a man. I affirm once and for all that everyone has the right to live as they so choose. In the words of the great Dennis Brown, ‘Love and hate can never be friends.’ I welcome everyone to my shows in a spirit of peace and love. Please come join me in that same spirit.”

U.S. drug charges

In December 2009 Drug Enforcement Administration agents remanded Banton to custody in Miami, where the U.S. Attorney charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine. Banton was then moved to the Pinellas County Jail where he remained until trial. A six-day trial in Tampa, Florida was declared a mistrial on 27 September 2010, after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision. During the trial, audio recordings were presented of Banton and a drug-dealer-turned-government-informant discussing drugs, drug prices and smuggling. Banton was also seen on a video recording meeting the informant in a police-controlled warehouse tasting cocaine from a kilogram bag. The informant was reportedly paid $50,000 for his work on the case. The singer was released that November on bond.

He was allowed to perform one concert between trials, which was held on 16 January 2011 to a sold-out crowd in Miami.  A few weeks after the performance he won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album but was not allowed to attend the ceremony.

On 22 February 2011, Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense and using communication wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offense. He was found not guilty on the charge of attempted possession of five kilograms or more of cocaine. Four months later, he was sentenced to ten years and one month in a federal prison for the cocaine trafficking conviction. His sentencing on a related firearms conviction (despite the fact that Banton was never found with a gun) was scheduled for 30 October 2012, and then postponed on his lawyer’s request for an investigation of possible juror misconduct. Despite the fact that a juror was found guilty of misconduct, Buju Banton waived his right to an appeal. On 14 May 2015 federal prosecutors agreed to drop the firearms charge.

Banton was released on 7 December 2018 from McRae Correctional Institution.

Discography

  • 1992: Stamina Daddy (later repackaged as Quick)
  • 1992: Mr. Mention
  • 1993: Voice of Jamaica
  • 1995: ‘Til Shiloh
  • 1997: Inna Heights
  • 2000: Unchained Spirit
  • 2003: Friends for Life
  • 2006: Too Bad
  • 2009: Rasta Got Soul
  • 2010: Before the Dawn
  • 2020: Upside Down 2020

Lyrics


Vikár Béla

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Béla Vikár (Hetes, April 1, 1859 – Dunavecse, September 22, 1945) Hungarian ethnographer, translator, correspondent member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Translator of the Kalevala.

His life and work

He completed his higher education at the Pázmány Péter University in Budapest , majoring in Hungarian language and literature between 1877 and 1884, and wrote the lectures of his teachers (Ágost Greguss, Pál Gyulai). In 1889, for half a year, he traveled to Finland, then part of the Russian Empire, to study the Finnish language and ethnography. He was employed as a shorthand writer in the Parliamentary Office from 1880, where he was employed until his retirement in 1921.

As early as the late 1870s, he wrote the lyrics of folk tales and folk songs in shorthand. At Christmas 1896, he began recording folk songs on a phonograph in a unique way in Europe in Borsod County. Béla Bartók recorded his phonograph recordings.

In 1900 he presented his methods and results at the Ethnographic Congress held at the World’s Fair in Paris. International ethnography has also accounted for it since then. During his collections, he recorded about seven thousand songs. In 1896 he was elected secretary of the Hungarian Ethnographic Society, later he founded the society, the La Fontaine Society, and became its president. In 1911 he was elected a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Translated from Finnish, French, German, English, Georgian, Estonian, Norwegian. Its most famous is the Kalevala, translated from the Finnish original. He was a versatile individual, he joined the Esperanto movement in the 1910s, was a board member of the Hungarian National Esperanto Association (1920–1928), and then an honorary member (1928–1945).

His private life

His first wife was Julianna Krekács, who died in 1902.  His second wife was Kornélia Bőke (1864–1942) , the daughter of Gyula Bőke, a doctor, and Etelka Freund, with whom she married in Ferencváros, Budapest, on June 9, 1903.

Through his maternal grandfather, Béla Kenessey is a civil engineer, water engineer, ministerial adviser, and a second-degree cousin of a significant figure in the Hungarian water service.

From his literary translations

  • He made the first translation of the Kalevala based on the Finnish original (Ferdinand Barna also worked partly on Schiefner’s German translation), which was published by the Academy in 1909 and [8] in 1935 by the La Fontaine Literary Society.
  • His significant translational achievement was the translation into Hungarian of the Georgian epic Sota Rustaveli Tariel, The Panther-Leather Knight, which was published in 1917.
  • He translated all the tales of La Fontaine published in 1929 by the La Fontaine Literary Society and Dante Publishing.

Journal edits

  • Élet (1892–1895)
  • Turán (1917–1918)
  • Több gyorsírási szaklapot szerkesztett (Fővárosi Gyorsíró, Gyorsírászati Lapok, Budapesti Gyorsíró).

 

Lyrics


Burt Bacharach

Key: F

Genre: Religious

Harp Type: Chromatic

Skill: Any

Burt Freeman Bacharach (/ˈbækəræk/ BAK-ə-rak; born May 12, 1928) is an American composer, songwriter, record producer, and pianist who has composed hundreds of pop songs from the late 1950s through the 1980s, many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David. A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, Bacharach’s songs have been recorded by more than 1,000 different artists. As of 2014, he had written 73 US and 52 UK Top 40 hits. He is considered one of the most important composers of 20th-century popular music.

His music is characterized by unusual chord progressions, influenced by his background in jazz harmony, and uncommon selections of instruments for small orchestras. Most of Bacharach’s and David’s hits were written specifically for and performed by Dionne Warwick, but earlier associations (from 1957 to 1963) saw the composing duo work with Marty Robbins, Perry Como, Gene McDaniels, and Jerry Butler. Following the initial success of these collaborations, Bacharach went on to write hits for Gene Pitney, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, Bobbie Gentry, Tom Jones, Herb Alpert, B. J. Thomas, the Carpenters, among numerous other artists. He arranged, conducted, and produced much of his recorded output.

Songs that he co-wrote which have topped the Billboard Hot 100 include “This Guy’s in Love with You” (1968), “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (1969), “(They Long to Be) Close to You” (1970), “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (1981), and “That’s What Friends Are For” (1986).

A significant figure in easy listening,[2] Bacharach is described by writer William Farina as “a composer whose venerable name can be linked with just about every other prominent musical artist of his era.” In later years, his songs were newly appropriated for the soundtracks of major feature films, by which time “tributes, compilations, and revivals were to be found everywhere”. He has been noted for his influence on later musical movements such as chamber pop and Shibuya-kei. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Bacharach and David at number 32 for their list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. In 2012, the duo received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first time the honor has been given to a songwriting team.

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Early life and education

Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in the Kew Gardens section of New York City, graduating from Forest Hills High School in 1946. He is the son of Irma M. (née Freeman) and Mark Bertram “Bert” Bacharach, a well-known syndicated newspaper columnist. His mother was an amateur painter and songwriter who was responsible for making Bacharach learn piano during his childhood. His family was Jewish, but he says that they did not practice or give much attention to their religion. “But the kids I knew were Catholic”, he adds. “I was Jewish but I didn’t want anybody to know about it.”

Bacharach showed a keen interest in jazz as a teenager, disliking his classical piano lessons, and often used a fake ID to gain admission into 52nd Street nightclubs. He got to hear bebop musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie, whose style would later influence his songwriting.

Bacharach studied music (Bachelor of Music, 1948) at Montreal’s McGill University, under Helmut Blume, at the Mannes School of Music, and at the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, California. During this period he studied a range of music, including jazz harmony, which has since been important to songs which are generally considered pop music. His composition teachers included Darius Milhaud, Henry Cowell, and Bohuslav Martinů. Bacharach cites Milhaud as his biggest influence, under whose guidance he wrote a “Sonatina for Violin, Oboe and Piano.”

Beginning work as a musician

Following his tour of duty in the United States Army,[when?] Bacharach spent the next three years as a pianist and conductor for popular singer Vic Damone. Damone recalls: “Burt was clearly bound to go out on his own. He was an exceptionally talented, classically trained pianist, with very clear ideas on the musicality of songs, how they should be played, and what they should sound like. I appreciated his musical gifts.” He later worked in similar capacity for various other singers, including Polly Bergen, Steve Lawrence, the Ames Brothers and Paula Stewart (who became his first wife). When he was unable to find better jobs, Bacharach worked at resorts in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where he accompanied singers such as Joel Grey.

In 1956, at the age of 28, Bacharach’s productivity increased when composer Peter Matz recommended him to Marlene Dietrich, who needed an arranger and conductor for her nightclub shows. He then became part-time music director for Dietrich, the actress and singer who had been an international screen star in the 1930s. They toured worldwide off and on until the early 1960s; when they were not touring, he wrote songs.  As a result of his collaboration with Dietrich, he gained his first major recognition as a conductor and arranger.

In her autobiography, Dietrich wrote that Bacharach loved touring in Russia and Poland because the violinists were “extraordinary”, and musicians were greatly appreciated by the public. He liked Edinburgh and Paris, along with the Scandinavian countries, and “he also felt at home in Israel”, she wrote, where music was similarly “much revered”. Their working relationship ceased by the early 1960s, after about five years with Dietrich, with Bacharach telling her that he wanted to devote himself full-time to songwriting. She thought of her time with him as “seventh heaven … As a man, he embodied everything a woman could wish for. … How many such men are there? For me he was the only one.”

Songwriting career

1950s and 1960s

In 1957, Bacharach and lyricist Hal David met while at the Brill Building in New York City, and began their writing partnership. They received a career breakthrough when their song “The Story of My Life” was recorded by Marty Robbins, becoming a number 1 hit on the U.S. Country Chart in 1957.

Soon afterwards, “Magic Moments” was recorded by Perry Como for RCA Records, and reached #4 in the U.S. These two songs were back-to-back No. 1 singles in the UK (the British chart-topping “The Story of My Life” version was sung by Michael Holliday), giving Bacharach and David the honor of being the first songwriters to have written consecutive No. 1 UK singles.

In 1961 Bacharach was credited as arranger and producer, for the first time on both label and sleeve, for the song Three Wheels on My Wagon, written jointly with Bob Hilliard for Dick Van Dyke.

Bacharach and David formed a writing partnership in 1963. Bacharach’s career received a boost when singer Jerry Butler asked to record “Make it Easy on Yourself,” and wanted him to direct the recording sessions. It became the first time he managed the entire recording process for one of his own songs.

In the early and mid-1960s, Bacharach wrote well over a hundred songs with David. In 1961 Bacharach discovered singer Dionne Warwick while she was a session accompanist. That year the two, along with Dionne’s sister Dee Dee Warwick, released a single “Move It on the Backbeat” under the name Burt and the Backbeats. The lyrics for this Bacharach composition were provided by Hal David’s brother Mack David. Dionne made her professional recording debut the following year with her first hit, “Don’t Make Me Over”.

Bacharach and David then wrote more songs to make use of Warwick’s singing talents, which led to one of the most successful teams in popular music history. Over the next 20 years, Warwick’s recordings of his songs sold over 12 million copies, with 38 singles making the charts and 22 in the Top 40. Among the hits were “Walk on By”, “Anyone Who Had a Heart”, “Alfie”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” She would eventually have more hits during her career than any other female vocalist except Aretha Franklin.[36]

Bacharach released his first solo album in 1965 on the Kapp Records label. “Hit Maker! Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits” was largely ignored in the US but rose to #3 on the UK album charts, where his version of “Trains and Boats and Planes” had become a top 5 single. In 1967, Bacharach signed as an artist with A&M Records, recording a mix of new material and re-arrangements of his best-known songs. He recorded for A&M until 1978.

Although Bacharach’s compositions are typically more complex than the average pop song, he has expressed surprise in the fact that many jazz musicians have sought inspiration from his works, saying “I’ve sometimes felt that my songs are restrictive for a jazz artist. I was excited when [Stan] Getz did a whole album of my music” (What The World Needs Now: Stan Getz Plays The Burt Bacharach Songbook, Verve, 1968).

His songs were adapted by a few jazz artists of the time, such as Stan Getz, Cal Tjader, Grant Green, and Wes Montgomery. The Bacharach/David composition “My Little Red Book”, originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the film What’s New Pussycat?, has become a rock standard.

Bacharach composed and arranged the soundtrack of the 1967 film Casino Royale, which included “The Look of Love”, performed by Dusty Springfield, and the title song, an instrumental Top 40 single for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The resulting soundtrack album is widely considered to be one of the finest engineered vinyl recordings of all time, and is much sought after by audiophile collectors.

Bacharach and David also collaborated with Broadway producer David Merrick on the 1968 musical Promises, Promises, which yielded two hits, including the title tune and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” Bacharach and David wrote the song when the producer realized the play urgently needed another before its opening the next evening. Bacharach, who had just been released from the hospital after contracting pneumonia, was still sick, but worked with David’s lyrics to write the song which was performed for the show’s opening. It was later recorded by Dionne Warwick and was on the charts for several weeks.

The year 1969 marked, perhaps, the most successful Bacharach-David collaboration, the Oscar-winning “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, written for and prominently featured in the acclaimed film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The two were awarded a Grammy for Best Cast album of the year for “Promises, Promises” and the score was also nominated for a Tony award.

Other Oscar nominations for Best Song in the latter half of the 1960s were for “The Look Of Love”, “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Alfie”.

1970s and 1980s

Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Bacharach continued to write and produce for artists, compose for stage, TV, and film, and release his own albums. He enjoyed a great deal of visibility in the public spotlight, appearing frequently on TV and performing live in concert. He starred in two televised musical extravaganzas: “An Evening with Burt Bacharach” and “Another Evening with Burt Bacharach,” both broadcast nationally on NBC.Newsweek magazine gave him a lengthy cover story entitled “The Music Man 1970.”

In 1971, Barbra Streisand appeared on “The Burt Bacharach Special,” (aka “Singer Presents Burt Bacharach”) where they discussed their careers and favorite songs and performed songs together. The other guests on the television special were dancer Rudolph Nureyev and singer Tom Jones.

In 1973, Bacharach and David wrote the score for Lost Horizon, a musical version of the 1937 film. The remake was a critical and commercial disaster and a flurry of lawsuits resulted between the composer and the lyricist, as well as from Warwick. She reportedly felt abandoned when Bacharach and David refused to work together further.

Bacharach tried several solo projects, including the 1977 album Futures, but the projects failed to yield hits. He and David reunited briefly in 1975 to write and produce other records.

By the early 1980s, Bacharach’s marriage to Angie Dickinson had ended, but a new partnership with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager proved rewarding, both commercially and personally. The two married and collaborated on several major hits during the decade, including “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (Christopher Cross), co-written with Cross and Peter Allen; “Heartlight” (Neil Diamond); “Making Love” (Roberta Flack); “On My Own” (Patti LaBelle with Michael McDonald.)

Another of their hits, “That’s What Friends Are For” in 1985, reunited Bacharach and Warwick. When asked about their coming together again, she explained:

We realized we were more than just friends. We were family. Time has a way of giving people the opportunity to grow and understand … Working with Burt is not a bit different from how it used to be. He expects me to deliver and I can. He knows what I’m going to do before I do it, and the same with me. That’s how intertwined we’ve been.

Other artists continued to revive Bacharach’s earlier hits in the 1980s and 1990s. Examples included Luther Vandross’ recording of “A House is Not a Home”; Naked Eyes’ 1983 pop hit version of “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me”, and Ronnie Milsap’s 1982 country version of “Any Day Now”. Bacharach continued a concert career, appearing at auditoriums throughout the world, often with large orchestras. He occasionally joined Warwick for sold-out concerts in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York, where they performed at the Rainbow Room in 1996.

1990s and beyond

In 1998, Bacharach co-wrote and recorded a Grammy-winning album with Elvis Costello, Painted from Memory, on which the compositions began to take on the sound of his earlier work. The duo later reunited for Costello’s 2018 album, Look Now, working on several tracks together.

In 2003, he teamed with singer Ronald Isley to release the album Here I Am, which revisited a number of his 1960s compositions in Isley’s signature R&B style. Bacharach’s 2005 solo album At This Time was a departure from past works in that Bacharach penned his own lyrics, some of which dealt with political themes. Guest stars on the album included Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright, and hip-hop producer Dr. Dre.

In 2008, Bacharach opened the BBC Electric Proms at The Roundhouse in London, performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra accompanied by guest vocalists Adele, Beth Rowley and Jamie Cullum. The concert was a retrospective look back at his six-decade career. In early 2009, Bacharach worked with Italian soul singer Karima Ammar and produced her debut single “Come In Ogni Ora”, which became a #4 hit.

In June 2015, Bacharach performed in the UK at the Glastonbury Festival, and a few weeks later appeared on stage at the Menier Chocolate Factory to launch ‘What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined’, a 90-minute live arrangement of his hits.

In 2016, Bacharach, at 88 years old, composed and arranged his first original score in 16 years for the film A Boy Called Po (along with composer Joseph Bauer ). The score was released on September 1, 2017. The entire 30-minute score was recorded in just two days at Capitol Studios. The theme song Dancing With Your Shadow, was composed by Bacharach, with lyrics by Billy Mann, and performed by Sheryl Crow. After seeing the film, a true story about a child with Autism, Bacharach decided he wanted to write a score for it, as well as a theme song, in tribute to his daughter Nikki — who had gone undiagnosed with Asperger syndrome, and who committed suicide at the age of 40. Bacharach asked Director John Asher to see the film and offered to score it. “It touched me very much,” the composer says. “I had gone through this with Nikki. Sometimes you do things that make you feel. It’s not about money or rewards.”

Though not known for political songs, Live To See Another Day was released in 2018. “Dedicated to survivors of school gun violence” proceeds for the release went to charity Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. A co-write with Rudy Pérez it also featured the Miami Symphony Orchestra.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Burt Bacharach among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

In July 2020, Bacharach collaborated with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Tashian on the EP “Blue Umbrella”, Bacharach’s first new material in 15 years.

Film and television

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bacharach was featured in a dozen television musical and variety specials videotaped in the UK for ITC; several were nominated for Emmy Awards for direction (by Dwight Hemion). The guests included artists such as Joel Grey, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, and Barbra Streisand. Bacharach and David did the score for an original musical for ABC-TV titled On the Flip Side, broadcast on ABC Stage 67, starring Ricky Nelson as a faded pop star trying for a comeback. While the ratings were dismal, the soundtrack showcased Bacharach’s abilities to try different kinds of musical styles, ranging from (almost) 1960s rock, to pop, ballads, and Latin-tinged dance numbers.

In 1969, Harry Betts arranged Bacharach’s instrumental composition “Nikki” (named for Bacharach’s daughter) into a new theme for the ABC Movie of the Week, a television series that ran on the U.S. network until 1976.

During the 1970s, Bacharach and then-wife Angie Dickinson appeared in several television commercials for Martini & Rossi beverages, and even penned a short jingle (“Say Yes”) for the spots. Bacharach also occasionally appeared on television/variety shows, such as The Merv Griffin Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and many others.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Bacharach had cameo roles in Hollywood movies, including all three Austin Powers movies, inspired by his score for the 1967 James Bond parody film Casino Royale.

Bacharach appeared as a celebrity performer and guest vocal coach for contestants on the television show, “American Idol” during the 2006 season, during which an entire episode was dedicated to his music. In 2008, Bacharach featured in the BBC Electric Proms at The Roundhouse with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He performed similar shows in the same year at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and with the Sydney Symphony.

Musical style

Bacharach’s music is characterized by unusual chord progressions, influenced by jazz harmony, with striking syncopated rhythmic patterns, irregular phrasing, frequent modulation, and odd, changing meters. He arranged, conducted, and produced much of his recorded output. Though his style is sometimes called “easy listening”, he has expressed apprehension regarding that label. According to NJ.com contributor Mark Voger, “It may be easy on the ears, but it’s anything but easy. The precise arrangements, the on-a-dime shifts in meter, and the mouthfuls of lyrics required to service all those notes have, over the years, proven challenging to singers and musicians.” Bacharach’s selection of instruments included flugelhorns, bossa nova sidesticks, breezy flutes, molto fortissimo strings and cooing female voices.  According to editors of The Mojo Collection, it led to what became known as the “Bacharach Sound.” He explains:

I didn’t want to make the songs the same way as they’d been done, so I’d split vocals and instrumentals and try to make it interesting  … For me, it’s about the peaks and valleys of where a record can take you. You can tell a story and be able to be explosive one minute, then get quiet as kind of a satisfying resolution.

While he did not mind singing during live performances, he sought mostly to avoid it on records. When he did sing, he explains, “I [tried] to sing the songs not as a singer, but just interpreting it as a composer and interpreting a great lyric that Hal [David] wrote.”[ When performing in front of live audiences, he would often conduct while playing piano., as he did during a televised performance on The Hollywood Palace, where he played piano and conducted at the same time.

Personal life

Bacharach has been married four times. His first marriage was to Paula Stewart and lasted five years (1953–1958). His second marriage was to actress Angie Dickinson, lasting for 15 years (1965–1980). Bacharach and Dickinson had a daughter named Nikki Bacharach, who struggled with Asperger’s Syndrome and took her own life on January 4, 2007 at the age of 40.

Bacharach’s third marriage was to lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, which lasted nine years (1982–1991). Bacharach and Bayer Sager collaborated on a number of musical pieces and adopted a son named Cristopher. Bacharach married his fourth wife, Jane Hansen, in 1993; they have two children, a son named Oliver, and a daughter named Raleigh. His autobiography, Anyone Who Had a Heart, was published in 2013.

Honors and awards

  • 1969, Grammy Awards, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and Promises, Promises.
  • 1969, Academy Award, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.”
  • 1981, Academy Award and Golden Globe, “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)”
  • 1997, Trustees Award from NARAS on the Grammy Awards broadcast.
  • 1997, subject of a PBS “Great Performances” biography, “Burt Bacharach: This is Now,”.
  • 1998, Grammy Award for the single “I Still Have That Other Girl,” in collaboration with Elvis Costello.
  • 2000, People magazine named him one of the “Sexiest Men Alive”, and one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” in 1999.
  • 2001, Polar Music Prize, presented in Stockholm by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
  • 2002, National Academy Of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) New York Heroes Award.
  • 2005, GQ Magazine Inspiration Award.
  • 2006, George and Ira Gershwin Award for Musical Achievement from UCLA.
  • 2006, Thornton Legacy Award, USC; They also created the Burt Bacharach Music Scholarship at the Thornton School to support outstanding young musicians.
  • 2008, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, when he was proclaimed music’s “Greatest Living Composer.”
  • 2009, Bacharach received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. The award was presented to him during the Great American Songbook concert, which paid tribute to his music.
  • 2011, Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, with Hal David, awarded by the Library of Congress.

Television and film appearances

  • Analyze This
  • An Evening with Marlene Dietrich
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember
  • Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song
  • Nip/Tuck
  • The Nanny

Lyrics