Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Battle of the Bands: Simple Joys


This music blogging event was first introduced by our friends, Fae and Stephen, and I'd like to give them a heartfelt "thank you":

Our battles take place twice a month: on the 1st and 15th.  The results come six days later: on the 7th and 21st. That's when I return, total all of the votes, maybe even mine (if necessary), and announce the winner. 

Hey, it's been a hard day's night and I've been working like a dog. Hmmm. That sounds so familiar. While I try to get this online TECHNICALLY on the first, however late in the day, I have a hankering to go Broadway with this battle. Whaddaya think o' that?

"Pippin" told the tale of the son of Charlemagne...well, not really very well, but it had Ben Vereen singing, Bob Fosse choreography, and spun off a hit for Michael Jackson with "Corner of the Sky." Not too shabby.

SIMPLE JOYS
by Stephen Schwartz
Well I'll sing you the story of a sorrowful lad
He had everything he wanted, didn't want what he had
He had wealth and pelf and fame and name and all of 
That noise
But he didn't have none of those simple joys
His life seemed purposeless and flat
Aren't you glad you don't feel like that?

So he ran from all the deeds he'd done, he ran
Things he'd just begun
He ran from himself, now that's mighty far to run
Out into the country where he played as a boy
He knew he had to find him some simple joys
He wanted someplace warm and green
We all could use a change of scene

Sweet summer evenings, hot wine and bread
Sharing your supper, sharing your bed
Simple joys have a simple voice:
It says why not go ahead? 

Wouldn't you rather be a left-handed flea
Or a crab on a slab at the bottom of the sea
Than a man who never learns how to be free
Not 'til he's old and dead


Wouldn't you rather be a left-handed flea
A crab on a slab at the bottom of the sea
A newt on the root of a banyan tree 
Than a man who never learns how to be free
Not 'til the day he dies

Sweet summer evenings, sapphire skies
Feasting your belly
Feasting your eyes
Simple joys have a simple voice:
It says time's a living prize
And wouldn't you 
Rather be a left-handed flea
A crab on a slab at the bottom of the sea
A newt on the root of a banyan tree
Or a fig on a twig in Galilee
Than a man who never learns how to be free
Not till the day
Not till the day
Not till the day

Not till the day dies!

Sing, it Ben, you're the first contender....



CONTENDER #1:  BEN VEREEN, ORIGINAL CAST



Who's to say that spunky song can't be made better? Like all great Broadway tunes, somebody will decide to re-make it, re-package it, and re-invent it. Bingo...it happened to "Pippin" in 2013. 


CONTENDER #2: PATINA MILLER



Vote in the comments - which cover do you prefer?  Does Ben do it justice or was it time for a makeover? Don't hold back, peeps. I won't tell either one of them how you voted. 
Then, it's on to the participants! See you back here on the 7tht for totals.




26 comments:

  1. While not a huge fan of Broadway musicals, this wasn't too bad. ☺ I preferred Patina Miller's jazzy, sassy remake to Ben Vereen's original. One vote for Patina Miller, please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some musicals I LOVE and some ... meh. Pippin is a favorite!

      Thanks, Debbie!

      MILLER GETS THE VOTE!

      Delete
  2. Pippin was a good musical in the modern tradition. I like this song and the choice is a tough one. Ben vereen is super good on his version. However I like the arrangement and the instruments better on the remake.

    My vote goes to Patina Miller update, but only by the slimmest margin.

    This was a cool song to use.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    Replies
    1. I've seen a bit of the remake of this musical and I think I liked the original too much to be fair. This was one of my favorite songs.

      MILLER GETS THE VOTE - thanks, Lee!

      Delete
  3. Patina Miller by a wide margin. She's actually singing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL...no opinion is better than a strong one!

      MILLER GETS THE VOTE!!

      Delete
  4. DOC CHERDO ~
    So glad you made it!

    I never heard this song before but I liked it immediately. Upbeat and upbeat! And I could relate because I'm definitely a SIMPLE JOYS kind of guy. My needs are so few and I get by just fine with an old Cricket flip-phone and no big screen TV (or even any television service for that matter).

    If I'm surrounded by books, music, and movies, I'm perfectly happy.

    I liked both recordings but definitely liked the BEN VEREEN version better. I enjoyed that funky instrumental arrangement and liked what Ben did with his over-caffeinated (did I spell that right?) voice.

    Good Battle, Doc!

    ~ D'plorable D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo trivia: the registered name of my farm is SIMPLE JOYS. Or was, since I've moved!

      Thanks, brudder, and I'm counting your VOTE FOR VEREEN!

      Delete
  5. I'm not familiar with this play or song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and yet, I still like you, Stephen. :-)

      Delete
  6. Ben Vereen, please. I have a soft spot in my heart for him.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And how could you not? He's BEN VEREEN!!

      Hugs to youse, Janie-poo.

      Delete
  7. I had not heard this song before, so I am going into this vote with an open mind. Giving my vote to Ben Vereen.

    ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the open mind, Mary. Lay it one me whenever you can.

      A VOTE FOR VEREEN! Thanks!

      Delete
  8. Interesting song. I'm going to go with the second one. Liked the energy.

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  9. Ben's voice is better for this one. I vote Ben.

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  10. Interesting song. I've never heard this one before.
    I like the second one. It somehow seems clearer to me.
    Vote Patina Miller

    ReplyDelete
  11. Not a fan of either for some reason, Patina by a tiny margin.

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
  12. Close battle Miller gets my vote!

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  13. Cherdo, my friend good battle! I like both covers but I think I prefer Ben Vereen on this one. Please give him my vote. :)

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  14. Holy Greatest American Hero! I had to go to YouTube to watch the first one and was shocked to see the blond guy whose name escapes me at this moment. The guy in the tighty whites...or off white was an eye opener but it is Fosse. Geez both are great but I have to give it to the gal, Patina Miller because her voice is so strong and yet in control. I do love Ben Vereen so this was a toughie. Hope you are doing well and hope your son is getting better every day.

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  15. Hey, Cherdo. I'll take Ben Vereen in this battle, though I thought the remake was very good:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Geez Cherdo, both of these versions are good. I think I prefer Patina Miller though. I like her voice and the instrumentation was jazzy and fun.
    Great battle!
    Have yourself a great weekend!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, the first video (Ben Vereen) is not available, so I was unable to listen to it. :( O.K., so I went to YouTube and found it there...my vote goes to Ben Vereen in this battle, Cherdo. Hope you are doing well, my cherished friend. Much love to you. :)

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  18. Thank you, everyone, for your comments and votes!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo