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Sun, Tears & Blue Sky

After the great success of our Spring Concert and break of three weeks, In Flagrante is back in action. Unfortunately, quite a few of our members were away due to holiday, sickness or work commitments etc. However, we did have five new singers come along to try us out.

We commenced with our usual warm up including a new tongue twister of “Six thick thistle sticks”, not so easy singing up and down the scales!

We began with Here Comes The Sun which was written by George Harrison and was on The Beatles album Abbey Road. This simple song is challenging, especially for In Flagrante, as there is a lot of syncopation which, according to Eamonn, is our bête noire. I’m sure we will master the technique. We were also encouraged to smile as the sun comes out which gives the song a real lift.

Following on from this we learnt a completely brand new song for our choir, As Tears Go By. It was one of the first original compositions by Jagger and Richards; previously the Rolling Stones had chiefly been performing American blues and R&B tunes. By one account, Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham locked Jagger and Richards in a kitchen in order to force them to write a song together, even suggesting what type of song he wanted: "I want a song with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex." The result was initially named "As Time Goes By", the title of the song Dooley Wilson sings in the film Casablanca. It was Oldham who replaced "Time" with "Tears".

In 1964 As Tears Go By reached number nine in the UK Singles Chart and launched Marianne Faithfull's career as a major singer.

Eamonn has produced a beautiful arrangement especially for us and put in an extra bar before “I sit and watch as tears go by”, as he feels Jagger didn’t do it right! However, there were complaints from the Altos, although they were, unusually, given the tune to start us off. You can’t please everyone!

After a well earned break with tea and wine it was back to work and revisiting Mr. Blue Sky.

This song is by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) written and produced by front man Jeff Lynne. Like the album from which the single was issued, promotional copies were released on blue vinyl. Due to its popularity and frequent use in multiple television shows and movies, it has sometimes been described as the band's signature song.

Eammon’s version includes five part harmonies, so quite challenging, but that shows he has confidence in our ability and we know we will get it right. We will finish this song next week and work on some other ones ready for our next concert on 14 July 2022.

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