So—most medievalists are off to Kalamazoo, leaving the rest of us to entertain ourselves.
Fair enough. Let’s call a 48-hour moratorium on medievalism and try something different: a Roger Miller Video Tribute Weekend.
Everyone knows “King of the Road.” This version has an extra helping of Andy Williams.
Here’s a 1966 performance of “England Swings,” enhanced with some unbelievable backup dancers. If that version is too slow for you, enjoy this mesmerizing remix.
As the minstrel-rooster in Disney’s animated Robin Hood, Miller contributed three charming songs: “Whistle Stop,” “Oo-De-Lally,” and “Not in Nottingham.” (“Whistle Stop” you already know; a sped-up sample later accompanied the Internet’s ur-meme, the Hamster Dance.)
“In the Summertime” is pretty good, but Miller’s early-’90s performance of “Dang Me” is as sweet as maple surple.
Here’s Miller horsing around with Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, and Dean Martin.
Here’s an all-too-brief clip of Miller fiddlin’ away on “Orange Blossom Special.”
Some of us discovered melancholy when we first heard “One Dyin’ and a Buryin’.”
“Leavin’s Not the Only Way to Go” may get you misty-eyed, too.
Finally, there’s only one way to close out a Roger Miller Video Tribute Weekend: chicken medley!
The holidays are over, and as faculty and students alike march wearily back to the classroom, many of them will surely ask themselves, “Qui a eu cette idée folle un jour d’inventer l’école?”
God bless ’em, the French can tell you: “C’est ce sacré Charlemagne!”
(Note: This video is safe for work, unless your colleagues are offended by cloying melodies, inane French lyrics, or benevolent animated statuary.)
When I started this blog, I planned to devote a weekly post to “Forgotten Video Friday.” You, dear readers, are no doubt glad I decided otherwise—but here, this morning, because I can’t help myself, I beg your bemused indulgence, and I offer you this occasional cavalcade of ephemeral video linkage.
Today’s theme: cover tunes.
Did you know that Peter Gabriel can be re-purposed for the club scene? Of course he can. Just as Crowded House can be turned into soft, melodious rap.
The guys in Aerosmith surely have guitar picks older than the kids who are covering their tunes.
Maybe you’ve secured a place in pop-music history when whippersnappers cover your songs.
Then again, maybe you haven’t really arrived until your song is covered by a whippersnapper and used as the soundtrack for a fan video about a canceled television series.
Ah, but when all is said and done, you’re not a canonical pop group unless one of your tunes is adapted for the ukulele and the other is covered by a psychic spokeswoman.
…but then sometimes, you discover a surprising and lovely Bob Dylan cover. When that happens, you simply can’t close with a joke.
Today we hereby inaugurate a new, occasional, and decidedly un-medieval feature: Forgotten Video Friday!
This time, an ’80s edition…
Back in my youth, when penguin lust was the biggest affront to society, we wouldn’t have been caught dead mocking televangelists without our portable, mouth-blown synthesizers.
We also worried that wheelchair-bound teenagers would use cordless phones to simulate a nuclear attack. (Okay, only one person worried about that.)
Then again, we did worry that 8-bit computers would steal our girlfriends.
Ah, but bar singers knew that you’d come for the mullets, but you’d stay for a little-known Springsteen tune (and a cameo by Nigel St. Hubbins).
Freedom of speech was an issue—but the commissars were never as scary as grown men in sweater dresses.
Occasionally, punk met soul.
And sometimes, thank goodness, Beatles covers were better than the originals.
Thanks, as always, for stopping by—and for your bemused indulgence.