April 1st continues to be a day of jokes and pranks. As a kid we looked forward to finding fun ways to prank friends and family without getting into too much trouble. April Fool’s Day serves as the theme for this week’s music blog and playlist, songs with the word “Fool” or it’s derivatives.
Speculation suggests an association between April 1st and foolishness in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1392). In the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” a vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox on ‘since March began thirty days and two,’ or 32 days since March began, which is April 1st. However, there is some uncertainty of this reference as the text also states the story takes place on the day when the sun is ‘in the sign of Tuarus had y-rune Twenty degrees and on,’ which would not be April 1st. Modern scholars believe there is a copying error in the manuscrips and that Chaucer actually wrote ‘syn March was gon,’ or 32 days after March, which is May 2nd, also the anniverstary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia in 1381. Reference is made to April Fools’ Day in a 1561 poem by Flemish poet Eduard de Dene of a nobleman who sends his servants on foolish errands on 1 April. For centuries countries have carried on a tradition of practical jokes and hoaxes on this day.
While widely celebrated worldwide, the day is a national holiday in only Cyprus and the Ukraine. In Odessa, Ukraine, the day’s festivities include a large parade in the city center, free concerts, street performers and fairs. Festival participants dress in costume and walk around the city fooling around and pranking passersby. It’s difficult to imagine that happened today in the Ukraine. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Songs include some great foolishness, with the likes of Supertramp’s “Fool’s Overture,” Cinderella’s “Nobody’s Fool,” Led Zeppelin’s “Fool In The Rain,” The Doobie Brothers’ “What A Fool Believes,” Steely Dan’s “Only A Fool Would Say That,” The Beatles “The Fool On The Hill,” The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and “Def Leppard’s “Foolin’,” among others.
Kicking off the playlist, Supertramp’s Fool’s Overture is an epic orchestral arrangement with iconic 70s vocals by Roger Hodgson, not to mention a classic album cover:
Continuing on in the 70s with some Doobies, with “What A Fool Believes”:
Still in the 70s musically, but with movie dance scenes through the years, this video of “Only A Fool Would Say That,” while not concert footage of Steely Dan, is still so much fun:
Venturing further back to the 60s, 1967 to be exact, where Paul McCartney was in France filming “The Fool On The Hill” sequence to be used in the Beatles film “Magical Mystery Tour.”
And back to the 70s, the energy of the Who in this video of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is remarkable:
And continuing on into the 80s with amazing energy by a band is Def Leppard with “Foolin’”:
And Tommy Shaw carrying 70s rock into the 21st century, updating Styx’ “Fooling Yourself” with a live orchestra.
And Slash slaying it with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators just this year:
And for foolish ballads, it doesn’t get much better than Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb with “What Kind Of Fool”:
Except perhaps for Aaron Neville, where “Everybody Plays The Fool”:
And Daryl Hall, so stuck in the 80s, can’t give up his “Foolish Pride”:
Daryl has parlayed his musical talent and into an amazing showcase of classic rock legends and future superstars with “Live from Daryl’s House.” From his website:
Daryl Hall started Live From Daryl’s House, the free monthly web show in late 2007, after having the idea of “playing with my friends and putting it up on the Internet,” and the show has since garnered acclaim from Rolling Stone, SPIN, Daily Variety, CNN, BBC, Yahoo! Music and influential blogger Bob Lefsetz, who have cited Live From Daryl’s House as a perfect example of a veteran artist reinventing himself in the digital age by collaborating with both established colleagues and newer performers.
If you haven’t watched any of his performances, with the likes of Billy Gibbons, Cee Lo Green, Cheap Trick, Darius Rucker, Daughtry, Joe Walsh, Rob Thomas, Sammy Hagar, Jason Mraz, Smokey Robinson, Neon Trees, Gavin Degraw, Tommy Shaw, Train, Wyclef Jean, you have to check it out:
So now on to the playlist. There are some great fool song I think you’ll enjoy. Happy April Fools Day.
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life.
Live in the moment.
Enjoy the moment.
Love the moment.
Listen to the MUSIC!