Sunday, 28 June 2009


Here is some song trivia that I've recently sent to the Songfacts site.

1. During a chat on an internet forum in 2001, Michael Jackson said that "Heal The World" was the song that he is most proud to have created

2. In the chart for the week ending June 28th 2009, Florence and the Machine had her first UK top 20 hit with "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)." Florence and the Machine is the recording name of Florence Welch, a singer-songwriter from London, who specialises in dark, gothic songs and a theatrical on-stage persona. At the beginning of 2009, she won The Brits Critics Choice award for most promising newcomer.

3. "Pale Horses" is the second single released by New York electronica singer Moby, from his ninth studio album, Wait for Me. The track features vocals by Moby’s friend, cabaret singer Amelia Zirin Brown. In 2007, she was nominated for an MVPA for the choreography of Moby’s video of “New York, New York,” which featured Debbie Harry.

4. "Hotel Room Service" is the third single from Miami rapper Pitbull’s fourth studio album, Rebelution. The song samples the Nightcrawlers 1995 dance hit “Push the Feeling On.” The Nightcrawlers were a house music project assembled by Scottish producer, DJ and vocalist Jon Reid. Originally recorded in 1993, it is considered today to be a classic track of the house music genre. It finally became a top ten hit in the UK after a re-mix by Marc Kinchen was released.

5. "Smile" is the first single released from American singer-songwriter Uncle Kracker’s fourth studio album, Happy Hour It was his first outing since Seventy Two and Sunny in 2004. Uncle Kracker explained to Real Detroit Weekly why there was a five year between Seventy Two and Sunny and Happy Hour: “I wrote a record and completed it three years ago … completely done and turned in. I had long enough to sit on it that I reneged. I got to the point where I was feeling like music had, in general, changed so much. It got to the point where I felt like it wasn’t my right record. So I basically trashed the album and started over last year. I sat on it for six, seven months and started writing in January, so it took about a year to write and record.”

6. Yorkshire born Tony Christie was a successful singer of dramatic big-voiced pop ballads in the early 1970s. He achieved five top 40 hits in the UK in that period, including "(Is This The Way To) Amarillo," which peaked at #18 and "I Did What I Did For Maria," which got to #2. Meanwhile in continental Europe he was even more successful, topping the German and Spanish charts with "Amarillo." Although Christie’s popularity waned in his native Britain from the mid-seventies, he maintained a successful singing career in Germany. Back home, his career began to revive when he was the vocalist on All Seeing I’s 1999 top ten hit, "Walk Like a Panther." Soon after the British comedian Peter Kay started using "Amarillo" as a kind of unofficial theme song, playing it at the start of live concerts to rev the crowd up. Kay also featured it in his TV comedy series Phoenix Nights, leading to a resurgence in his popularity. Cottoning on to the revived interest in the song, the decision was made to re-release it on 14 March 2005 to raise money for the Comic Relief charity. Kay filmed a new video for the song which featured him miming to the track whilst a string of celebrities appeared marching behind him. The song and its accompanying video caught the British public’s imagination reaching #1, where it stayed for seven weeks and becoming the best selling record of 2005 in the UK. The song raised over £1.5 million for charity and Christie broke the record for the act who had the longest wait for a #1 single having waited close to near 35 years from his first chart entry.

7. In an interview by BBC News with of the Black Eyed Peas, the interviewer took mock offence at "Boom Boom Pow’s" lyric about "stepping on leprechauns." replied, a bit flustered: "It's not about actual leprechauns. I'm rapping about, um, er... Cons. Convicts. Criminals. Who are leopards. Leopard-cons. So it's not offensive at all."

8. Outkast were the first group or duo to top the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 simultaneously in the 21st century. Over a four week period in January and February 2004, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below led the former survey, whilst "Hey Ya!" reigned on the latter list.

9. "Mama Do" debuted at #1 on the UK singles chart, making Pixie Lott the first British female artist ever to debut at the peak position who hadn’t emerged from a reality TV/talent series background.

10. "When Love Takes Over" by David Guetta was the #1 UK single in the chart dated June 21, 2009. Guetta thus became the first Frenchman to top the UK charts since Romain Tranchart and Yann Destagnol of Modjo did with “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” in September 2000.

11. The bridge of Jay-Z's new tune, "D.O.A.(Death of Auto-Tune)" samples Steam‘s 1969American chart-topper, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye." Two other 2009 songs utilised the same song. Washington DC rapper Wale riffed on the track on his single "Chillin‘" and Kristinia DeBarge also borrowed from it for her debut number "Goodbye."

12. Dial-a-disc was a service ran by the GPO (now British Telecom) in the UK enabling callers to listen to a song down a telephone line. "All Kinds of Everything" by Dana was the first record to be played on Dial-a-disc.

13. Kate Pierson of the B-52s told Q magazine that it was bandmate Keith Strickland who came up with their name. She explained: "Keith thought of the name. He had a dream, like a vision of a little lounge band and they all played organs and had bouffant hairdos, and someone said, Look, it's the B-52's. B-52 was slang for a nosecone-shaped hairdo, named after the bomber. We thought, This is a great name: it's a number and a letter, it's really different and snappy. But now," her brows knit, "there's this plan to prolong the life of the B-52 bomber, and we're lending our name to a campaign to stop it."

14. "Tender," Blur's 1999 hit single is about Daman Albarn’s break-up with his girlfriend, Republica frontwoman Justine Frischmann. In an interview with The Observer, Frischmann confessed that she cried the first time she heard this song, then became irritated and embarrassed, before her attitude finally softened.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Some Bed Trivia

Here's some trivia about beds, which I researched for a project but didn't use.

The first beds were used around 3400BC after Egyptian pharaohs discovered the benefits of raising a pallet off the earth.

Tutankhamen has a bed of ebony and gold.

The Upper Class Romans owned beds decorated with gold, silver or bronze with mattresses stuffed with feathers, hay, reeds or wool. They also had waterbeds.

In the East in Bible times the bed was not a piece of furniture but a mat. Whole families slept on a single mat together. In the morning the mat was rolled up so that it did not take up so much space. People could, and did, quite easily take their "beds" around with them. Hence Jesus said to a man he had just healed: "Get up, take your mat and go home"

In 1495 The English Parliament passed a statute regulating the content of bed stuffing, requiring that it be good, clean feathers, not dirty old horse hair.

Britain’s largest bed, the Great Bed of Ware was built in 1596. It can accommodate 12people.

Mattresses in Shakespeare’s time were filled with straw and held up with a rope stretched across the bed frame. If the rope was tight, sleep was comfortable. Hence the phrase, "sleep tight."

William Shakespeare's will, still in existence, bequeathed most of his property to Susanna and her daughter. He left small mementoes to friends. He mentioned his wife only once, leaving her his "second best bed" with its furnishings.

King Louis XIV (1638-1715) of France’s rising in the morning and going to bed at night were attended by elaborate ceremonies called the "levee & couchee." Each noblemen had his own duty & part to play in these rituals. Louis collected beds, he owned 414 in total. All were elaborately carved, gilded and hung with costly embroideries. His great joy was the magnificent bed in the Palace of Versailles, on which were woven in gold the words "The Triumph of Venus". But when Louis married his religious second wife she had the pagan subject replaced by "The Sacrifice of Abraham."

Cast-iron beds and cotton mattresses were introduced in the middle of the 18th century.

Thomas Jefferson had 13 bedrooms at his Monticello home. All the beds were simply mattress supports hung on wall hooks.

In 1964 the first Habitat store opened in the UK. They were one of the first British stores to sell duvets and shoppers were so intrigued they would climb into the beds in the store to try them.