Archives for category: Songs

Written by Ruthann Friedman and recorded by The Association, “Windy” was released in 1967 and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Here we feature Ruthanne Friedman’s version of the song — a paean to a man (rather than The Association’s woman).

Words and Music by Ruthann Friedman

Who’s peekin’ out from under a stairway
Callin’ a name that’s lighter than air
Who’s bendin’ down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it’s Windy

Who’s trippin’ down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody he sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy

And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds

Who’s trippin’ down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody he sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Ruthann Friedman started playing guitar at the age of eight while listening to Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Josh White. Her first paid performance was at the Green Spider Coffee House in Denver, Colorado, at the age 19. While staying in San Francisco,  Friedman befriended  members of Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe, and Janis Joplin. Her friendship with Van Dyke Parks not only influenced her deep commitment to music but also introduced her to The Association, the musical group that recorded her song “Windy” in 1967. Three years later, Reprise Records released Constant Companion, her first solo album. In 2006, Water, a San Francisco label, reissued Constant Companion, renewing interest in Friedman’s music and leading to the release of a compilation of rare and previously unreleased home recordings from 1965–1971, Hurried Life. To learn more, visit

“Blues for Alice” is a 1951 jazz standard, composed by Charlie Parker. The song is noted for its rapid bebop blues-style chord voicings and complex harmonic scheme –an example of what is known as “Bird Blues.” Parker first recorded the piece in August 1951 for Verve Records. The lineup consisted of Parker, Red Rodney (trumpet), John Lewis (piano), Ray Brown (bass) and Kenny Clarke (drums). (Source:

Jefferson Airplane,  fronted by singer/songwriter Grace Slick, perform “White Rabbit” on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967).

by Grace Slick 

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell them a hookah smoking caterpillar has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When the men on the chess board
get up and tell you where to go
And you just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “Off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said

Feed your head
Feed your head

SOURCE: “White Rabbit” appears on Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Grace Slick is an American singer, songwriter, artist, and former model, best known as one of the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, as well as for her work as a solo artist from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s. Today, she works as a visual artist. Visit Grace Slick at her website.

This old-timey track features English tenor Ernest Pike (1871-1936) and Eleanor Jones-Hudson (1874-1946), a soprano from Wales, singing “Oh! That We Two Were Maying,” with lyrics from the Charles Kingsley poem.  Ernest Pike was one of the most prolific tenors in the history of recorded music, and also appeared regularly in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.

From the Simon and Garfunkel concert in Central Park, New York City, September 1981. Paul Simon composed the song, which appeared on the duo’s Sounds of Silence album (1966).

by Paul Simon

April come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain.
May, she will stay,
Resting in my arms again.

June, she’ll change her tune,
In restless walks she’ll prowl the night.
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight.

August, die she must,
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold.
September I’ll remember.
A love once new has now grown old.

Renowned Irish tenor Frank Patterson (1938-2000) sings “Bring Flowers of the Rarest (Queen of the May).”

“Flight of the Wild Geese,” written and performed by Joan Armatrading from her album Gold (2003) and featured in the 1978 film The Wild Geese, starring Richard Burton.

lyrics by Joan Armatrading

Sad are the eyes
Yet no tears
The flight of the wild geese
Brings a new hope

Rescued from all this
Old friends
And those newly found
What chance to make it last

When there’s danger all around
And reason just ups and disappears

Time is running out
So much to be done
Tell me what more
What more
What more can we do.

There were promises made
Plans firmly laid
Now madness prevails
And lies fill the air.

What more, Oh
What more
What more can we do.
What chance to make it last

What more
What more can we do.


ABOUT THE COMPOSER/SINGER: Joan Armatrading is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist. She is a three-time Grammy Award-nominee and has been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She also received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996. In a recording career spanning 40 years, she has released a total of 18 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations.

Magnificent bass-baritone Paul Robeson (1898-1976) sings the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

SOURCE: Poetry (August 1913).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for his short poem titled “Trees” (1913), published in the collection Trees and Other Poems (1914). A prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, Kilmer was also a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. While most of his works are largely unknown, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies.

We’re celebrating all things May during the month of May — and how can we forget Mae West (1893-1980)? Here is the inimitable Ms. West singing the Doors‘ hit “Light My Fire,” from an album called Great Balls of Fire (MGM Records, 1972), available at

In this clip from the 1946 film The Jolson Story, actor Larry Parks lip-synchs “April Showers” to the voice of Al Jolson (1886-1950). With music by Louis Silvers and lyrics by B. G. De Sylva, the song was introduced by Jolson in the 1921 Broadway musical Bombo, and became known as the showman’s trademark. (Source: