SOTU 605 - Gold In Them Hills

I'm delighted to bring you a Hard Bargain cover, undertaken as a collaboration between @AZChris and myself. In Hard Bargain, Ron Sexsmith acknowledges someone who supported him with unwavering guidance. Thanks, joo, for bringing Ron Sexsmith to our attention.

good morning dear Seasons friends! (or good afternoon, or good evening, depending on where you are :---))

Very stoked to see 3 more entries that came in while I was having a meeting with my bed. Will watch and comment later when I am fully awake.
(sometimes it takes a whole day to wake up properly, so I want to get this message out asap! haha)

Random "joojooland" observations:

Ron Sexsmith has great taste in shirts,

He sometimes plays in his sleeping gown (unless they are shirts designed to look like sleeping gowns),

He sometimes wears wigs and costumes when he plays cover songs,

Beside Warren Zevon who he has covered many times, he has covered Gordon Lightfoot A LOT, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan (of course!!!).
And many many others.

He is as good on the piano as he is with the guitar.

Will be back with comments on todays' entries. Later!
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Day 5, Part 1
(4 more days to the end of this Season)

wee_ginga_yin - To Ramona (Bob Dylan)

I recognise the tune...but never heard this version with Bob Dylan's words over.

You've been fooled into thinking
That the finishin' end is at hand
Yet there's no one to beat you
No one t' defeat you
'Cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad

Love the words. Beautifully done! Thank you for sharing!

jtsteam - Gold In Them Hills (Ron Sexsmith)
So beautifully done, Edwin! What a lovely song, huh? That little riff is so lovely and it does feel like an important part to include in the cover. Your voice is so soothing and reassuring. I love this. Thank you so much for playing a RS song for us!

Renaissance and AZChris - Hard Bargain (Ron Sexsmith)
STUPENDOUS!!!! Everything is just so well done! Like, it can't get any better than this, I think. Wow. But, I think, R-M, your vocal on this is the star! So much feeling. So well sung. Thank you so much, guys!
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Ron Sexsmith sings Alexandra leaving
Alexandra leaving is perhaps the most haunting and mystical of Leonard Cohen's songs and is based on "The God Abandons Antony" (also known as "The God Forsakes Antony")
The poem is by Constantine P. Cavafy, published in 1911. The poem refers to Plutarch's story of how Antony, besieged in Alexandria by Octavian, heard the sounds of instruments and voices of a procession making its way through the city, and then passed out; the god Bacchus (Dionysus), Antony's protector, was deserting him.
The poem in English, as translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard:

Leonard Cohen freely adapted the poem for his song "Alexandra Leaving" (Ten New Songs, 2002)[1]. Whereas Cavafy's theme was based around the city of Alexandria, Cohen's version builds around a woman named Alexandra.

The theme of my great leaving is to the wonder of outer space.

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He sometimes plays in his sleeping gown (unless they are shirts designed to look like sleeping gowns),
He sometimes wears wigs and costumes when he plays cover songs,
I notice that we are supposed to play in our pyjamas this week :). Also I spent some time last night listening to some of his vast collection of covers and noticed the occasional costume. There's some good stuff in there (songs and costumes) so I'd encourage people to dig into them as well as his original material.
Ha ha, sorry Edwin, the Peejays have been put away. But that is a great idea for a future Season….hmmmm 🤔.
This is my fifth, and most likely, last for the week; I’m working all day tomorrow, busy Sat and working all day Sunday again, so unlikely to get anything else recorded. I really wanted to get something recorded off Ron’s latest Elpee, The Vivian Line. I didn’t really get into 2017’s The Last Rider ( I should revisit it to see if it will grow on me, or if I’ve missed something) , but the next two, Hermitage and The Vivian Line are Ron on top form I think. Joo has already done a fab cover of Flower Boxes from The Vivian Line. This is the opening track. It was this or When Our Love Was New but I didn’t think I could get through that one without blubbing like a baby 😂
So instead I give you Place Called Love.
And hello, yet again, Joo! I absolutely love this song, which I'd never heard before yesterday; in fact, I am becoming a definite Ron S. fan ... thank you for giving us a week to discover his songs. (In this age of the Internet the lyrics have even more relevance ... I know people who have HUNDREDS of devoted friends on Facebook!) I have been listening to an acoustic version of Ron's to learn the song and, for some reason, it sounds as though it might have been recorded from inside a dustbin. In order to attempt to replicate this sound, I used my "Bouzouki-Uki," which hasn't seen the light of day for ages, but which, I have always thought, has something of a bin-like quality in terms of resonance.

Another recording done in sleep wear!

I was waiting for people to post more songs....especially Seasons friends who have not posted....
And then I thought - why don't I record some more songs myself?
I just did one, in my PJs too! Tees and singlets are my PJs. So now you all know- I have almost always recorded in my sleep wear! Actually my sleep wear is almost the same as my work or play wear!

This is one called Speaking With The Angel from Ron's studio debut (1995). I read that it was about his then recently born son.
An one take wonder from your host! (if you see my pained expression it was because I could not see the words clearly and...yah....trying to sing the song...)

He don't know how to lie or undermine you
He don't know how to steal, how to deal or deceive
So leave him alone, set him free, 'cause he's speaking with the angel
Speaking with the angel that only he can see

You'd say he's so helpless but what about you?
You don't pull the string, don't you know anything?
Leave him alone, let him be, 'cause he's speaking with the angel
Speaking with the angel that only he can see

Would you teach him about heaven?
Would you show him how to love the earth?
Would you poison him with prejudice from
The moment of his birth?

He in the name of love, he in the blood of lamb
He that never lays blame, he don't even know his name
So leave him alone, set him free, 'cause he's speaking with the angel
Speaking with the angel, the very one that spoke to you and me

Do you remember?
Joo - thanks for the crash course in Ron Sexsmith. Until this week I'd only heard a few of his songs here on SOTU. I enjoyed listening to his work and trying to find a song I could play. What a great singer and lyricist! I tried a few of his original songs and could not pull them off. Then I discovered that he covered Elvis Costello's "Everyday I Write the Book". They even played it together as a duet at least once. You can find the video on YouTube. I may actually prefer Sexsmith's version to Costello's.

Here's my take on "Everyday I Write the Book" which is a cover of Ron Sexsmith's 1997 cover of Elvis Costello's 1983 hit (#36 on Billboards Hot 100).

Day 5, Part 2
(4 more days to the end of this Season)

wee_ginga_yin - Alexandra Leaving (Leonard Cohen)

i love the sombre mood of this tune. Like a dirge. love the video so much too, Rob. You are amazing to have created all these breathtaking music and videos all these years. <3

One Man And His Uke - Gold In Them Hills (Ron Sexsmith)
Oh i really love this version. Your vocal is so beautiful here. And the gentle picking. This is very moving. (The best time to sing is when one just wakes up i think....not a single strain. So bare and pure). Thank you so much for playing this for us John!

ukukeguy - Where's My Everything? (Nick Lowe)
OMG. how can i tell you how much i adore this, Robert? :love: This is the most beautiful thing. The song, your performance, your family members (are they?) in the background doing their thing. this totally melts me. (please tell me you didn't make them act for this video....?) This is like a short film. I just LOVE it!

One Man And His Uke - A Place Called Love (Ron Sexsmith)
wow, John, this is so beautiful. Now I really want to hear you cover When Our Love Was New! Thank you so much for bringing this!

LimousinLil - Imaginary Friends (Ron Sexsmith)
woohoo! what a bin-sounding thing that uke is! An infectious, rousing cover! your bin-uke sounds awesome! I LOVE IT! If I were in the kitchen with you I would take some of the plates and cups and cutlery and start making percussive beats along! Thank you! What a delight this is. I know there is nothing to celebrate about imaginary friends.....but boy this really makes me smile big time. Fabulous strumming and singing from you Val! (I totally overdosed on the exclamation marks)

Canada Jim - Hello In There (John Prine)
Thanks for playing this for us, Jim. I love this song. I consider myself still quite young at age 50 but I do feel for this song a lot (about the old people). Ron has covered this, do you mind if I share this on the current Seasons? ( and then Jim shared it here himself, thanks Jim!)

joo - Speaking With An Angel (Ron Sexsmith)
another PJs recording session! Mr T the cat was sleeping on the bed behind me. Can you see him?

SumiUke - Everyday I Write The Book (Elvis Costello)
I love this song! I find Costello difficult to cover. Some of his chords are crazy. But what a great songwriter too huh? Yes I have seen the duets they did together. Loved them! I am blown away by your cover Sumi! Your picking is so lovely and it works superbly with the song. I liked that little sigh you made after you sang the word "lover" too. (I also like the colours in this video. That lamp behind you is cool :--)) Thanks so much for bringing us this wonderful song!

ME GO SLEEP NOW. (when you record in your PJs you can just jump straight into bed after you are done!)
So many good RS songs to choose from, but the 'little angel' line currently resonates with me since we've been spending lots of time with our 1y/o niece lately. Such a sweet little tune. It's 'Almost Always'...

Thanks Joo for a great season this week. I learned so much about Ron Sexsmith and a whole world of songs that I never heard before and now want to learn. I found Ron sang this cover song 'Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye' and he said that "this was a song I wish I had written." I have always loved this song and so I decided to try it with my Guitarlele. I do not have my pajamas on, but I do bring my morning croaky voice instead. :)
Good day dear Seasons friends!

OK, please tell me who is still in their pajamas? 🤭

Oh I am really enjoying myself this week, can you tell? Hope all of you are enjoying the songs too.
Really love the entries. Lots of Ron, some great covers of what Ron has covered.
For those of you who are still choosing something to play, you can go to Ron's Rawnboy channel on YouTube, and type in any musician or song you wish to cover, next to the magnifying glass symbol. I attach a picture to show you how I found out he had covered Tim Hardin...

Yep! He has covered lots of people, so you might just find the songs you want to cover there.

Ok, I will be back later, friends.
Thanks for the songs, Chris and AZ Chris, and Denise! They've been added to the playlist, and I have listened, but I will comment later! (LOVE THEM)

John @One Man And His Uke was saying how he didn’t think he could get through this Ron Sexsmith song "without blubbing like a baby". In case you have not heard this song before, here is the song, with an animation video that you can find on Ron's official channel.

(if you pay close attention, there is a caricature of Ron hidden in the animation. I dunno who the other guy beside him is...looks familiar)
EDIT: I almost blubbered like a baby too when I watched this (never watched it before, although I have heard of the song) but since i am at my work place (lunch break here) I tried my best not to. Such a beautiful song, and animation.
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hands_on_lanzon, Golden Grass (original)
What a beauty. Sweet, lovely tune like refreshing spring shower. Gorgeous picking and melody. I especially love how the verses flow into the Golden Grass section, and how you end with the high part on the word "rain". Very pretty.
Have you listened to any Arto Lindsay? I suddenly thought of his music when I hear this. Tender singing with a moving, optimistic message that touches me.
I have not, but will look into him soon! Thank for the recommendation.

I wish the very best to your aunt's husband, Chris. And thank you so much for the back story to this gem. Wonderful first original! (Love the photo of Huckleberry, is that him?
it is use a Mitsubishi pen too?
It's a uni-ball pen. I finally got inspiration to write a song and I go to my pen travel pen case and realize I left my nice kaweco pens at home. I went with this one over my microns, which I'll need to bust out for some drawing soon!! Maybe tonight!!

:---) i like the description "dormant beauty". :---))
Thanks! I've been into moths lately, so I think maybe it's cocoon inspired thoughts?! Perhaps all interconnected.
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It's a uni-ball pen. I finally got inspiration to write a song and I go to my pen travel pen case and realize I left my nice kaweco pens at home. I went with this one over my microns, which I'll need to bust out for some drawing soon!! Maybe tonight!!
The Arto Lindsay mention was very random! I read both Johns mentioned Iron and Wine under your original....

And Uni-ball is great!
We need a good pen to write and draw and a good tune to sing!
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