Before I’d finished the first chapter two wonderful facts and interpretations had leaped out from the pages of Powell’s book. First, The Star Spangled Banner [shouldn’t it have a hyphen? Ed.] is sung to the tune of The Anacreontic Song, which is basically (second verse anyway) the 17th Century equivalent of Ian Dury’s Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll with its lines:
And, besides, I’ll instruct you like me to entwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s vine
And then Powell refers to the “gentle poetry” of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades and the “gritty realism” of Donny Osmond’s Puppy Love. Now, that’s class in non-fictional writing I’d say.
I cry each night my tears for you
My tears are all in vain
If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man,
You win some, lose some, it’s all the same to me
Anyway, Powell’s book is a perfect match for the sciencebase site – songs and science – in John Powell’s latest book: “Why We Love Music: From Mozart to Metallica” out 5th May and available to order now.
Full review to follow…
In the meantime, here’s Dr Powell explaining wind instruments with beer, scissors and a straw