Thursday, December 21, 2006

Michael Franks' "Watching The Snow"

I've been a Michael Franks fan since I first heard "Popsicle Toes" in 1976. He always surrounds himself with the best jazz musicians in the world and writes nice tunes. On most music I find myself listening primarily to the music itself and not paying much attention to lyrics. This is not true, however, when it comes to recordings of vocalist Michael Franks. His lyrics are wonderful, often filled with humor, and always clever.

The other day I found myself listening to his 2003 holiday album titled "Watching The Snow". The arrangements are good, the musicians fantastic, the music excellent, and the lyrics fabulously whimsical and tongue in cheek and filled with Michael's thoughts and cravings of love. I particularily enjoy the delightful flute and soprano sax work of sideman Chris Hunter.

Excerpts from "Island Christmas"

I don't want to smell those chestnuts
Roasting on an open fire
But I can peel you a banana if your heart desires
I want an island Christmas this year

I want no more Christmas carols
Counting birds up in pear trees
I want you to smear some sunscreen
All over me
I want an island Christmas this year

We'll decorate a mango tree
And you can string some lights on me
No snow to shovel Christmas Day
We'll snorkel through a turquoise bay
While others plod through "Jingle Bells"
We'll roam the beach collecting shells
I understand flannel pajamas
Are not allowed in the Bahamas
Handel's Messiah's far too glum
A repertoire for the steel drum

Excerpts from "I Bought You A Plastic Star (for Your Aluminum Tree)"

It gets pretty cold here at night
Down to sixty degrees
There's angel-hair up in the palm trees
It sure looks like Christmas to me
But Santa's been grounded
His reindeer came down with T.B.
So I bought you a plastic star
For your aluminum tree

We barely recover from pumpkins
And Thanksgiving time
When those acrylic-bearded Santas
Start clanging at Sunset and Vine
That snowflake in hell
Has more chance to stay mellow than me
So I bought you a plastic star
For your aluminum tree

This is a fun album and a must have for Michael Franks fans. Also of note, Franks has arranged for proceeds from this album to go to the no kill shelter sanctuary and animal welfare organization "Hearts United for Animals". Pretty cool!


At December 08, 2013 3:23 PM, Anonymous Douglas Wallace said...

you said it!!!! Michael Franks the "the man". and this is coming from an inner city kid who grew up on Soul and Hip Hop . I had to to a posting on my blog using that great "Watching the Snow" CD as my theme check it out --->


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