On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Fats Domino – Blue Monday (1956)
” Blue Monday” is a song originally, written by Dave Bartholomew, first recorded in 1953 by Smiley Lewis and issued as a single, in January 1954, on Imperial Records (catalog # 5268). The single, with a slow-rocking beat, features an instrumental electric guitar solo by Lewis.
Our musical odyssey today sees us take in a song from an artist that hails from New Orleans. He was a pianist and a singer, sold millions of records in the 1950s, and is considered another big influence in rock and roll, though doesn’t get as much credit as he probably should. The artist today is Fats Domino and the song for consideration is Blue Monday which was originally written by Dave Bartholomew but Fats would make the song his own.
In Blue Monday, Fats Domino takes us through the days of the week and for many people who work the traditional Monday-Friday pattern, you’ll find the lyrics resonate with you. It isn’t just Monday that has him blue. Fats sings of how he works hard for five straight days, how tiring it is, but the reward comes on Friday when he gets paid. Once the weekend arrives the fatigue dissipates and he is out on the town with his girlfriend and having a great time. By Sunday he is hungover and in need of some rest for Monday is approaching and the cycle will begin again. Sound familiar?
Fats Domino’s confident piano playing, bolstered by a supporting saxophone and his deep but clear voice make this a catchy song indeed. It’s fast-paced but Fats does have time to ponder and savour the weekend as he sings. It’s the kind of song that makes me think of the many weeks at both school and in the workplace, counting the days to the weekend and being grateful for two days of respite before the working week begins anew.
Favourite songs so far: