Song Introductions

Spring 2015 - Introductions

Fringe Club Concert on 12 June

Chili con Carne (Linda)
I quite enjoy cooking and anyone who knows me well will know that one of my specialities is chilli con carne. So I was happy to see that Genevieve was including a song of that name in our repertoire. I was a bit perturbed though at the expression “Mexican spices” as the term seemed a bit on the vague side to say the least - there are quite a number of them. This is perhaps because the song was written, in 1989, by Anders Edenroth, a member of the professional a cappella group The Real Group, who come from Sweden. Anyway, regardless of the authenticity of the recipe, we hope you will enjoy our Chili con Carne.

Kiss the Girl (Linda)
Something something something. Haven't written it yet.

Yacht Club Concert on 11 May

Hallelujah (Ash)

Our next song was written by Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen in 1984. Following its increased popularity after being featured in the film Shrek, many cover versions have been performed by various singers, with over 300 versions known. The song has also been used in film and television soundtracks. Apparently Cohen wrote around 80 verses in one sitting, while sitting on the floor in his underwear, banging his head on the floor. We will be singing just a few of the verses and we hope they won't result in a similar reaction from you! Presenting Hallelujah.

Royals (Corina)
This song was written in half an hour, just to become an international hit that spent nine consecutive weeks within Billboard's top hundred in 2013. It is about the excessive luxury on modern pop artists` lifestyles. The phrase "we are driving cadillacs in our dreams" was a phrase the very young composer Lorde, from New Zealand, read on the newspaper when she was only 12 years old. Please enjoy The Grace Notes version of "Royals".

Just the Way You Are (Linda)
Our next song is not to be confused with Billy Joel’s song of the same name. This one was written by The Smeezingtons, Khalil Walton and Needlz, it was recorded by Bruno Mars and is the lead single from his debut album. Descriptions of the song include “a huge-hearted urbany piano ballad”, “lushly romantic” and “a ballad boogie”. The lyrics, it has been stated, describe a girl Bruno “could kiss all day”, and “aim to make female listeners feel nothing short of perfect in their own skin”. The song has sold 13.7 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. This is, Just the Way You Are.

Creo en mi (Genevieve)
We are very fortunate this season to have two Spanish-speaking members of our group this season. That meant it was a perfect opportunity to stretch our repertoire to contemporary Latin music. So, please enjoy the iTunes #1 Latin hit of April 2015, Creo en mi, by Spanish superstar Natalia Jimenez.

La Bamba (Genevieve)
The next song, La Bamba, is an example of one of those strange cases where art became more famous than life. The 1989 movie La Bamba, about the life of Ritchie Valens, was so popular that when people hear the original song they think it isn't the "real" version because they are so used to hearing it done by Los Lobos and seeing the actor! But don't feel too bad for Ritchie Valens - because it wasn't originally his song either. It has been been "discovered" and recorded, and made a hit, no fewer than six separate times, stretching all the way back to 1908. So we're now happy to introduce to you the Grace Notes version … which I'm sure is about to become the new "real" version of the song!

Chili con Carne (Linda)
I quite enjoy cooking and anyone who knows me well will know that one of my specialities is chilli con carne. So I was happy to see that Genevieve was including a song of that name in our repertoire. I was a bit perturbed though at the expression “Mexican spices” as the term seemed a bit on the vague side to say the least - there are quite a number of them. This is perhaps because the song was written, in 1989, by Anders Edenroth, a member of the professional a cappella group The Real Group, who come from Sweden. Anyway, regardless of the authenticity of the recipe, we hope you will enjoy our Chili con Carne.

My Guy (Linda)
You may have noticed that we switched the words around a bit with that number - it was in fact My Girl which was recorded by The Temptations back in 1964, but we thought it would be more fitting to change the title to My Guy. Written by Smokey Robinson of The Miracles, it was The Temptations' first US number one single, and the first single to feature David Ruffin on lead vocals. The inspiration for the song reportedly came from Smokey's wife, who also sang with The Miracles.

A Natural Woman (Tricia)
Our next song 'A Natural Woman' was composed in 1967 by Carole King and Gerry Goffin originally for Aretha Franklin but later, Carole herself included it on her debut album 'Tapestry' in 1972. Since then it has been recorded by many major artists. In fact, there was a famous vocal spat when six divas sang the song together in a concert where Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin try to out sing each other with Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain and a subdued Carole King all joining in the increasing catterwall. That won't happen with June and Callie singing solos in our version.

Christmas 2014 - Introductions

In Dulci Jubilo (Linda)
The tune at least of our next song will be familiar to many of you, as it’s the same as the hymn Good Christian Men Rejoice. The original song text is in a mix of Medieval German and Latin and is believed to have been written by the German mystic Heinrich Seuse – not be to be confused with Dr Seuss - in around1328. According to folklore, Seuse heard angels sing the words and joined them in a dance of worship.

Do You Hear What I Hear? (Linda)
Our next number, which has been covered by hundreds of artists, was written in 1962 by a married couple as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unfortunately it broke their marriage up – the wife was later to state that neither of them could personally perform the entire song at the time they wrote it because of the emotions surrounding the crisis. She said, "Our little song broke us up. You must realize there was a threat of nuclear war at the time." The song describes how word of the birth of the baby Jesus is gradually relayed to higher and higher authority, starting with a little lamb and ending with people everywhere.

Hallelujah (Linda)
Our next song isn’t strictly a Christmas number but it does have the word Hallelujah in it, so we figured we could include it. It does at least have Biblical references including Samson and Delilah, King David and Bathsheba. Leonard Cohen, who wrote it, once said that he thinks it’s a good song, but too many people sing it.

Spring 2014 - Introductions - claim yours, and write it in …

Don't you want me (Eve)
Forget you (Sonia)
Hallelujah(Linda)
The next song was written and made famous by Leonard Cohen, I thought in the 60s but to my surprise I found it was in 1984. There are many different theories as to what it's about but general agreement that it's semi-religious with references to King David and Bathsheba, and Samson and Delilah. Apparently Cohen wrote around 80 verses in one sitting, while sitting on the floor in his underwear, banging his head on the floor. We will be singing just a few of the verses and we hope they won't result in a similar reaction from you!
I can't make you love me (Sophie)
Rolling in the deep (Carol)
Somebody that I used to know (Lou)
This next song will haunt you. It will stay in your head for days. You will wake up and it will be there. You won't be able to get away from this song…………! My children, my husband, we were all the same! "Somebody That I Used to Know". The words "it feels so rough" wouldn't leave me for weeks! There are fantastic spoofs or rather parodies on YouTube. It really is worth taking a look.. Errrr, enjoy!
Girls just wanna have fun (Heather)

I could not ask for more (Genevieve)
You know the latest Godzilla movie is coming to Hong Kong soon. But I'm not going to watch it because I've already experienced something much worse - Bridezilla. A few months ago Grace Notes was hired to sing at a wedding, and young Bridezilla changed her mind about what she wanted us to sing approximately 114 times within 3 weeks. Finally, just a few days before the wedding, she said the one song she MUST have is this song, I could not ask for more, popularized by Edwin McCain which was apparently a big hit in 1999, but which I'd never heard of. Anyway, we found it, arranged it, learned it and memorized it within a very short time, and now we're very happy that neither Bridezilla nor Godzilla is involved.

It's alright (June)
Stronger (Jennifer)

Walking on sunshine (Julia)
Our second to last song tonight is Walking on sunshine recorded in 1985 by a British group called Katrina and the Waves. it has since earned an estimated US$1million per year in royalties, with its feel good lyrics and upbeat catchy melody . A recent release by the kids at GLEE will certainly guarantee the group their retirement income for the next thirty years. Nothing deep about this one, its here just to put a smile on your face and a tap in your feet, so if you've had a hard day at the office (or even if you haven't) , this is the song for you .

You can't stop the beat (Callie)
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have now come to the audience participation part of our programme. This next song demands a lot of energy and we could really use your help to get everyone in the mood. So, especially if you have been taking advantage of the open bar this evening, please jump up and shake and shimmy whenever the spirits move you…because you can't stop the beat.

Xmas 2012 Concert - Introductions - please claim yours, and write it in …

Bethlehem Spiritual
Home on that Rock - (Genevieve) "We're singing a few gospel pieces here at the beginning of the concert, because there's a tradition that spirituals are good Christmas music, regardless of whether they are actually about Christmas. The next piece is quite modern, but it's written in the style of an older spiritual or gospel piece. And if you listen to it carefully, it seems to be about Hong Kong, maybe during a typhoon. This is our home, here on this rock, and this song is … Home on that Rock"

Steal Away
Whisper Whisper

In the Bleak Midwinter (Carol) Our next, very wintery, song is a poem written by Christina Rosetti, and set to music by Gustav Holst. Its about the nativity but the type of weather described in the lyrics is much more typical for England in the winter time rather than Bethlehem. Here in Hong Kong thank goodness it's not quite so chilly as that. The song is called In the Bleak Midwinter.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Fiona) "Our next piece was premiered in the Mariinsky Theatre almost 120 years ago to the day. However, it's unlikely Tchaikovsky meant it to be performed like this. And it was during that first performance that the lady playing the eponymous character of this particular piece was described as 'corpulent' and 'pudgy'. I can only hope you don't think the same of us after this. (to choir) Ladies, please assume first position (to audience) for Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

Up on the Housetop (Priya)
Jingle Bell Rock
Fum Fum Fum
Away in a Manger
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Eve) - Growing up in a french speaking household, it was some years before I started hearing English carols. Our next song, which dates from the mid 1700s, is one of the first proper English Carols I remember hearing, and is still one of my favorites. Probably because for a long time, due to my poor english, I believed that the song referred to men who had had too much to drink… Seeing as you all enjoyed the open bar, "God rest ye merry gentlemen"

Carol of the Bells(Victoria)
We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Please note we might not have to use the following intros because they are encore pieces
Holly Jolly
Winter Wonderland
Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer Our next song is about Santa’s favourite reindeer who had a rather unusual facial feature. He was first written about in 1939 and was originally going to be called Reginald – although we’re very glad they didn’t choose that name – “Reginald the Red Nosed Reindeer” would have been much more of a tongue twister for us. So, in place we hope you enjoy “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer”
As Lately We Watched
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Janet

May 2012 Concert - Introductions - please write in…

Rolling in the Deep - Welcome by Diana - "Unless you've been living on another planet for the past 2 years, you probably recognized the last song, by the young British artist Adele. I did a bit of research on the curious song title. Turns out in U.K. slang, to roll deep means to receive unequivocal support. I guess Adele thought she would get such support from her ex, and it's our good fortune that she didn't. So I hope you enjoyed Adele's musical middle finger to her errant lover, Rolling in the Deep."

True Colors - Carol

My Guy - Erin
The year was 1964, the place Detroit, Michigan, when Motown star Mary Wells recorded her signature hit, MY GUY, a song which helped bridge the color lines in the ears of the music-listening American public. One of the first Motown songs to cross over to “mainstream” popularity in the States, MY GUY was written by the legendary Smokey Robinson and was a number one hit single on both the Billboard and the R&B charts. In the nearly 50 years since, MY GUY has been covered myriad times by artists including Aretha Franklin, Cyndi Lauper, Sister Sledge and even an LA rock group called Warpaint (go figure!). But we of course, hope you enjoy the Grace Notes version best. MY GUY.

Fix You - Janet
In 2005, Chris Martin of Coldplay released a song that was written for his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth was grieving the death of her father. Since then, the song has been played as a tribute to those who died in the 2005 London bombings and at the memorial service for Steve Jobs.

Man in the Mirror - Lou "This next one was co-written for Michael Jackson & released as a single in 1988. While driving to a recording session for MJ, Siedah Garrett saw a face in the car's mirror & that gave her the idea to write "Man in the Mirror" for him. The song has a clear message & challenges us to look within ourselves & make a decision to change for the better".

Interval

Born this Way - Fiona
"Welcome back. I hope you all have a drink in hand to enjoy the music we have for you in the second half. To kick that off we have a song that has many claims attached to it. Firstly, it was written in 10 minutes while on tour in Liverpool. Second, there are accusations that it is rather too close to Madonna's Express Yourself. Third, it was the fastest selling song on iTunes. Fourth, our flamboyant songstress incubated herself in a huge egg for 3 days before the 2011 Grammy's so she'd be "ready to perform" (we haven't done that). Fifth, it is helping me achieve my dream of a middle class English white girl rapping in public. And Finally, there are rumours that we don't mind if you like this or not. Because, ladies and gentlemen, we were born this way."

Faith - if June doesn't want to, Lou can…! "After splitting from the group WHAM, George Michael embarked on his solo career. Released in 1987, this next song was one of his biggest hits & the following year in 1988 was the top selling single of the year in the USA. Wonderful vocals and great lyrics in the song "FAITH"….."

Sweet Dreams - (Jennifer) I've loved this song ever since it broke into the music charts. The lady that made it famous is in the top 10 of the most successful female recording stars in the world. But her real passion is charity. i chose to introduce this song because she inspires me with her passion to 'give back'. She donated all the profit of her reunion album with David Stewart to Greenpeace and Amnesty International. She received the OBE last year for her work with children in Africa. Upon receiving the reward she said, 'either i've done something right, or they've done something wrong..' Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you, Sweet Dreams, from Annie Lennox

I can't make you love me - Sophie (You could say that George Michael also recorded this song..)

Walking on Sunshine - Julia
Thanks for coming etc. Charity CCF etc Business cards and donations into the box .
Our last song tonight is Walking on sunshine recorded in 1985 by a British group called Katrina and the Waves. it has since earned an estimated $US!million per year in royalties, with its feel good lyrics and upbeat catchy melody . A recent release by the kids at GLEE will certainly guarantee the group their retirement income for the next thirty years. Nothing deep about this one, its here just to put a smile on your face and a tap in your feet, so if you've had a hard day at the office(or even if you havent) , this is the song for you .

Encore
(1) I don't know why (GH intro);
"Every group has a song that's kind of their theme song - 'our song'. So we decided that this song, if it's good enough to be sung by Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra, is good enough to be 'our song' for The Grace Notes."

(2) 60 minute man - Janet
Ask for a volunteer male… When I think of the 1950s, I think of my mom in a poodle skirt and my father in a religious boarding school. It all seems sweet and innocent. In 1951, the Dominoes released a song that was quite scandalous. In fact, it was banned from some radio stations.

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