Sunday Quiz – Don’t Know Why, There’s No Sun Up In The Sky – The Answers!

Downed cherry-crab tree in St Pancras and Islington Cemetery

Dear Readers, let’s see how we got on….

  1. When he went away
    The blues walked in and met me
    Oh, yeah if he stays away
    Old rocking chair’s gonna get me
    All I do is pray
    The Lord will let me
    Walk in the sun once more

This is ‘Stormy Weather’, written in 1933 by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, and first sung by Ethel Waters at the Cotton Club in Harlem. Lots of people have recorded it – I really like this version by Etta James, but an earlier version by Billie  Holliday is here, and there’s a surprisingly splendid version by Joni Mitchell here. It was also covered by Frank Sinatra, and this version gave me goosebumps for some reason. Let me know which one you like best!

2. Hey window pane
Tell me, do you remember?
How sweet it used to be
When we were together
Everything was so grand
Now that we parted
There’s just one sound
That I just can’t stand.

‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’, originally by Ann Peebles (and very fine too), but most famous for the Tina Turner version.

3. There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin’ like a toad.

‘Riders on the Storm’ by The Doors, though subsequently covered by Annabel Lamb and a number of other bands. I’ve seen nothing to beat this video’s completely whacky psychedelic interpretation though.

4. But there’s one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won’t defeat me, it won’t be long
Till happiness steps up to greet me

‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the film ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sunshine Kid’. It was originally sung by B.J Davies, but has been covered by artists as varied as Sacha Distel (known as Sacha Distillery in our house when we were growing up) who sang it in French.  The Manic Street Preachers also brought something extra to it, I think – it doesn’t sound quite so cheerful, but there is a kind of gritty defiance to their version.

5. Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard.

‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’. This really is Bob Dylan’s song to my mind – he sings it with the icy clarity of someone who actually knows what it’s about. On the other hand,  Bryan Ferry did a kind of lounge lizard version. Feel free to disagree :-).

6. So, baby, talk to me
Like lovers do
Walk with me
Like lovers do
Talk to me
Like lovers do.

And it’s ‘Here Comes the Rain Again’ by the incomparable Eurythmics. Annie Lennox is just perfect. 

7. God bless Mother Nature (she’s a single woman, too!)
She took off to heaven (and she did what she had to do)
She fought every angel, and rearranged the sky
So that each and every woman could find the perfect guy

It’s Raining Men’ by The Weathergirls. This was such a disco hit back in the days when I used to go clubbing. Adorable. And don’t be telling me about the Geri Halliwell version. Lord help us.

8. Yes, and how many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
And how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

And it’s a second Bob Dylan with ‘Blowing In the Wind‘. He sure did like a weather-themed song. I only just avoided including ‘The Story of a Hurricane’ as well. How young he looks in the video! Also covered by Joan Baez and Stevie Wonder.

9. Well, there’s a small boat made of china
It’s going nowhere on the mantlepiece
Well, do I lie like a loungeroom lizard
Or do I sing like a bird released?

Weather With You’ by Crowded House. Apologies in advance for the ear worm.

10. And I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know.

Ain’t No Sunshine’, originally by Bill Withers but also covered by Michael Jackson and Eva Cassidy, to name but two.


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