Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Book Review: Love Me Tender: The Stories Behind the World's Best-loved Songs by Max Cryer




Book
: Love Me Tender: The Stories Behind the World's Best-loved Songs by Max Cryer

About: Cryer digs up the origins and legends of 40 songs

Things I Thought Were Interesting:

  • The lyrics to Edelweiss were the last Oscar Hammerstein wrote before he died

  • Christopher Plummer (Captain Von Trapp) was overdubbed singing in The Sound of Music movie

  • The lyricist of Danny Boy never set foot in Ireland

  • Irving Berlin, who wrote White Christmas, had a three-week old son who died on Christmas Day

  • Mozart did not compose Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

  • Neither God Save the Queen nor The Star Spangled Banner mention the nations they are the anthems of

  • Happy Birthday is protected by copyright in the U.S. until 2030

  • Waltzing Matilda (which isn't a waltz) had its copyright expire in Australia in 1991, but is copyright in the U.S. until 2011, therefore at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Australia had to pay to use its own song

Pros: Short chapters make for easy reading, well written.

Cons
: No citations of sources, many songs I have not heard are covered.

Grade: B




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