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…
The Chiffons – One Fine Day (1963)
It’s 4 July and in honour of our American friends we are extending our stay in the US and taking in another homegrown artist. This time we’re in the company of a girl group from the Bronx by the name of The Chiffons. Today’s song was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King who had difficulty finding the right musical arrangement for what would become One Fine Day. Thanks to the work of The Tokens who worked on the music and The Chiffons, who provided the vocals, One Fine Day became a big hit in the US and also found a place on our golden 1001 Songs as well.
One Fine Day explores similar themes to other songs we have had the privilege of thus far. This is a love song but one of the unrequited love variety. The Chiffons explore the sorrow of the narrator who is in love with a guy who currently likes to live his life and wander from one woman to another. He is a player, a heartbreaker or a moron, if you prefer. The Chiffons are not disheartened though. They love this guy and they’re prepared to wait for him. The truth is that one fine day he will want to settle down and when he does he will realise that our narrator is the girl for him, the girl of his dreams and they’ll live happily ever after.
The Chiffons together create a beautiful harmony with One Fine Day. Exploring the lyrics there is both joy and sadness here for the narrator truly believes this guy will want to be with them one day. Is this just wishful thinking or will their hopes be realised? The song does not provide the answer but I am inclined to think our dear narrator will be waiting a long time for this man. The backing music complements the wonderful vocals from The Chiffons and there is even a sax solo thrown in there for good measure. Fans of Irish comedy, Father Ted, will tell you a sax solo isn’t always a good thing but here it works really well. Phew!
Favourite songs so far:
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)
Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)
Peggy Lee – Fever (1958)
The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)
The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow (1960)
Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (1960)
Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)
The Drifters – On Broadway (1963)