Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

by Grania

Jerry is sleepful in Washington DC, so I get to do the morning Hili greetings.

I declare today a Day of Music.

Today is the birthday of Bob Dylan b. 1941, a singer and song writer whose voice I did not appreciate much when I was young. As I get older though, I appreciate his remarkable talent as a composer more and more, from Blowing in the Wind to Mr Tambourine Man to Knocking on Heaven’s Door (ruined for me by a billion cover versions by people with the musical aptitude of a pot plant) to The times they are a-changing.

My favourites are Like a Rolling Stone:

and The Ballad of a Thin Man,

It’s also the 61st anniversary of the Eurovision Song contest. It’s mostly a cacophony in spandex and metallic lamé; but on occasion it produces some pleasing experiences.

The first winner was Lys Assia – “Refrain” in 1956; which was a start fraught with ominous foreboding of things to come.

It was the event that catapulted ABBA to fame with “Waterloo” in 1974. Trigger warning: Original 70s perms, glitter and unabashed cheesiness

It also unleashed Céline Dion on an unsuspecting world in 1988 when she won for Switzerland singing “Ne partez pas sans moi“. No, I don’t know how a Canadian ended up singing for Switzerland. But if she could get away with it, so can you.

This year’s winner was rather more tasteful than most offerings, the Portuguese “Amar pelos dois” sung by jazz artist Salvador Sobral, composed by his equally talented singer-composer sister Luísa Sobral.

If recent offerings on the music scene leave you cold, it is the birthday of Giovanni Battista Martini (nothing to do with the drink); Italian friar and composer who lived from 1706 to 1784. Much of his work remains unprinted although in his day he was much admired by his contemporaries, including the Mozart family.

Finally, back to the future, it is the birthday of Nigel Harrison, bass player in Blondie. Their smash hit Heart of Glass really sounded different in the 1975 demo version; but here is the version that made the group famous.

There is melodrama of the domestic kind from Poland today, one of those rare occasions when Hili might be in the proverbial dog-box.

Hili: I don’t want to see, I don’t want to hear.
Cyrus: What?
Hili: What will happen when they see that I’ve knocked over the vase.

In Polish:

Hili: Nie chcę widzieć, nie chcę słyszeć.
Cyrus: Czego?
Hili: Co będzie jak zobaczą, że przewróciłam wazon.

And there is a question from the Most Serious Of Cats on one of his country rambles.

Leon: What do we need hawthorn flowers for?

Lagniappe: A well loved “Studiokatze” interrupts a German weather report (h/t: Barn Owl):


  1. Posted May 24, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Here’s one of my favorite pieces from a contemporary of Martini (Boccherini).

    Recently made more well known when it was used in the Master and Commander movie.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted May 24, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    That’s a lot of music. I’ll take the cats – Hili is in trouble and Leon is in nature. Understand the cat in the weather but not the German.

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      He said something like the cat was there without being allowed but since this happened he would keep it there. Then he goes further with the weather forecast.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Thanks…needed subtitles for me.

    • barn owl
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Best part of the video (IMHO) is the cat tail at the bottom of the screen, at 15-20s in.

  3. Pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted May 24, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    What a musical contrast: an American Great; the kitschiest in over a thousand years of European music; a great Italian composer of the 18th century; a band that sold one song.
    It seems you do not need to be a citizen of a country to sing for it in the Eurovision Sad Contest. Céline Dion speaks a national language of Switzerland. A few years ago the same country was represented by some Estonians; I have no idea in which language they sang.

    • rickflick
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Makes you wonder where are the clock makers when it comes to rock and role? They shouldn’t have any trouble with precise rhythm.

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        This sounds like British humour. 🙂
        The watch makers are too busy making higly sophisticated hand made mechanisms to be sold more expensive than a car and at the same time worrying that smart watches from South Korea or California are going to take the market.

      • Les Faby
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Watches can cost as much as 250K. They almost tell time as well as the free clock in your cellphone. They are jewelry and status symbols.

      • Les Faby
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of Dion, her Titanic song “My Heart Goes On’ was playing during my toddler’s dance class and they were gracefully dancing with scarves waving in the breeze. Afterwords I asked the instructor, “wouldn’t that be more suitable for synchronized swimming?”

    • darrelle
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Which band sold only one song?

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink


        • darrelle
          Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Not so! They had several hits!

          • Pierluigi Ballabeni
            Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            I was joking. I have actually never paid attention to them; that’s why I have the impression they were a one-song band.

            • darrelle
              Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink


          • Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink


            • Pierluigi Ballabeni
              Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

              Maybe outside the English speaking world they were a wee bit less successful?

    • Taz
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      A band that sold one song? Do you mean Blondie? I don’t think that’s accurate, they had several hits and best-selling albums. “Tide is High”, “Call Me”.

  4. darrelle
    Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I appreciate Bob Dylan as a song writer, but my favorites of his songs are covers by other artists.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I believe that ABBA were actually aliens testing mind manipulation equipment in preparation for a future invasion of Earth. The equipment was effective beyond their wildest expectations.

    I’ve never heard of Martini. Something new to check out.

    I’ve lately been listening to Blondie and I am very pleasantly surprised by how good many of their songs still sound to me today. Heart Of Glass in particular seems to me to have aged very well.

    I used to live not too far from Kaiserslautern! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on a map showing only a few major cities before.

    • George
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Remarkable thing about Dylan – there is a better cover version of just about every song he wrote. This website lists its 50 best Dylan covers, topped by (of course) Hendrix doing Watchtower.

      • George
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        One of my favorite Dylan covers is “Blowin in the Wind” by Sam Cooke. Cooke then took it a step further with “A Change Is Gonna Come” – the song of the civil rights movement. Which led to “People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield and finally “What Is Going On” by Marvin Gaye. The soundtrack of the 60s.

      • rickflick
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Joan Baez, once significantly involved with Dylan, did a whole album of his songs. I learned to appreciate his writing from her interpretations.

  5. Posted May 24, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I was in London when the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest was on, with Ireland’s Johnny Logan winning for the second time. It was an entertaining spectacle to watch, particularly with whoever the British commentator was (voice-over only, doing translations and other comments). The female host had some unusually large earrings, so at one point he commented that “she is probably picking up the scores through the earrings”, and reading through the scores for each country said “Spain, zippo.”. I’m not sure if he wasn’t taking his job seriously, or just trying to interject some British humour into the situation.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


      It was probably Ray Moore the Scouser Radio 2 DJ. /he also covered Miss World with equal irreverence
      It,s a pity the Beeb didn’t have the gumption to roll him out for the Royals – that would have been worth the licence fee!
      He had the early morning slot before Terry Wogan
      Much banter at the prog switchover

      Died young from the ciggies
      Here’s Ray:

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 24, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Everytime I see Celine Dion interviewed, she seems like such a marvelous human being it makes me feel bad that I just can’t get into her music.

  7. Posted May 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone remember one of those “Time Life Music” ads from the 1990s – there was one that was played over and over on the Burlington ABC station (I think) that had the snippet from Heart of Glass. AAHHHGH!

  8. Gareth
    Posted May 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Re Céline Dion, an Indonesian woman sung for France one year, so its not so odd really.

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