ArtView January 2016 - Page 37

Edd Byrnes and Connie Stevens, Yakety Yak, by The Coasters, Y.M.C.A., by the Village People, Bohemian Rhapsody, by Queen, The Purple People Eater, by Sheb Wooley, and You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), by The Beatles. Good company, indeed! Merv Griffin, the US television host, once had me on his show and remarked: ―Tony Bennett is going through life with ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco.’ Frank Sinatra is going through life with ‘My Way,’ and you are going through life with ‗Shaddap You Face’.‖ I thought it was funny - but also a sincere compliment. An international signature song that stands the test of time is no mean feat to achieve for a songwriter. Though it will never represent who you really are or your entire catalogue of creative work, it still is quite a rare and special thing and something worth celebrating. Percy Grainger, one of Australia‘s most gifted composers, once wrote: ‗Anyone can compose an oratorio. I want to write one of the world‘s songs.‘ And he did too. Country Gardens. Many of the musical intelligentsia of his time pigeonholed him as a popular sell-out after that. Not a serious composer. But who remembers those critics' names? Their works? Grainger was dead serious. Percy Grainger created one of the world‘s songs. Photo by Lin van Hek me, performed their one main identifiable signature song. There was absolutely no differentiation between one-hit wonder and signature song. Time is the great equalizer in these matters. My international signature song, so far, is Shaddap You Face. It was once included in a US book called The Wacky Top Forty, between Louie Louie, by the Kingsmen, and Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, by Bryan Hyland. I consider that good company. Other songs included in this strange brew of a collection were They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haa, by Napoleon XIV, The Monster Mash, by Bobby Picket, Kookie Lend Me Your Comb, by