America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Green Lighting megamix around the world

It’s one of those annoying Government buzzwords so let’s claim it back with a Rainy Days and Songdays Green Lighting megamix around the world. Our favourite songs with ‘green’ in the title and the countries where they transport us.

Wales boyo

Green, Green Grass of Home, Tom Jones, Wales: Down the road I look and there runs Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries.

Now I dare say most homes have green, green grass unless you live in a very hot country and the land is baked brown. But this just feels Welsh.

That is until you get to the rest of the song and realise that it’s a man on Death Row dreaming of home.

Maybe, Mary had a narrow escape after all. We, though will just imagine it as the beautiful Welsh valleys.

Green Cash

Forty Shades of Green, Johnny Cash: Arkansas and Ireland: The legend is that Johnny was inspired to write this County classic when he looked down from the plane at the patchwork fields of green of Ireland.

As a recruiting call for Ireland our pals at Tourism Ireland would have been proud as in true singer style Johnny namechecks everywhere on the Emerald Island.

Quite who the girl from Tipperary town with the lips like eiderdown is Johnny would never say, perhaps because June would have killed him.

Green Burns Country

Burns Cottage, Alloway,Scotland. https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/robert-burns-birthplace-museum

Green Grow The Rashes O, Eddi Reader: Burns and Ayrshire: The sweetest hours that e’er the old poet and ploughman prowler spent were spent among the lasses O.

The old rogue Burns was pure rock’n’roll and could pen a lyric and a tune which is probably why he is held in such high regard by the greatest singer-songwriters of the latter half of the 20th century.

With Bob Dylan, no less, crediting the Scot as his greatest inspiration.

And Henry VIII I am

Greeensleeves, King Henry VIII/Ralph Vaughan Williams, Berkshire: And another old lothario here with King Henry VIII said to have written this for Anne Boleyn.

What better tune then for an English rose to walk up the aisle to in her home county of Berkshire.

My Scary One has lost her head plenty of times since… but that’s been with me.

Vini Verde

Night at the opera: In Prague

La Boheme, Giuseppe Verdi: Prague: No, a non-green tune didn’t slip through. Giuseppe Verdi would actually be Joe Green in English.

The Milanese Verdi had the support of Gaetano Donizetti from nearby Bergamo whom he visited in Vienna which, of course, was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

And that included Bohemia, or the current-day Czech Republic where the thing to do when you’re in Prague is take in a production at the opera house.

Poppies and Green Fields

No Man’s Land

The Green Fields of France, The Fureys and Davey Arthur, The Somme: And in the mud of the Somme the soldiers’ minds would drift off to some verdant pasture and memories of precious moments with a loved one.

Every nation sacrificed its most promising generation in No Man’s Land but for those from the furthest outposts of Empire… well, it just seems to be all the more pointless to modern sensibilities.

Eric Bogle, a Scots-born Australian, explores the pyschological cost to one survivor ‘young Willie McBride’. And it was all the more poignant after I’d seen the statue of the Scots soldier in northern France.

And another one to make you cry

Memphis Blues

Green Onions, Booker T. & the MGs: Memphis: In the home of the Blues, Memphis, Booker T & the MGs came up with their signature instrumental tune.

The story goes that the Stax house band were waiting around for the Sun artist and rockabilly singer Billy Lee Riley to turn up and developed the song.

And why Green Onions? Well Booker T. Jones self-deprecatingly said it was because green onions were the nastiest thing he could think of and something you could throw away. We never would.

Ol’ Green Eyes… well, Blue, but!

Little Green Apples, Frank Sinatra: New Jersey and New York: And a lot more digestible with this old standard covered by all the crooners.

But of all the crooners, none compare with the Boy from Hoboken, New Jersey who made it there in New York, and elsewhere.

And just like Johnny Cash from another song, Frank does his best to include the whole country, in this case America.

So a shout-out to Disneyland, Doctor Seuss in Springfield Massachussetts.

And Indianapolis where it don’t rain in the summertime and Minneapolis where it doesn’t snow when the winter comes. All of which it does to

Beret good

Ballad of the Green Beret, Sgt Barry Sadler/Dolly Parton: Take your pick, the clean-shaven All-American Boy, soldier turned actyor Barry Sadler or Miss American PIe herself, Tennessee’s Dolly.

Either way it’s flag-waving, Americana. And even if you don’t know the song you’ll recognise the tune.

Particularly if you’re a fan of Celtic FC who famously play in green and white hoops and who have adapted the song and lyrics into a favourite fans’ song With a Four-leaf Clover on My Breast.

The evergreen Cliff

Green Light, Cliff Richard, India, England, Portugal and Barbados: And there are few more wholesome and clean-cut than Our Cliff.

The evergreen Cliff belts this one out from the Seventies.

The Peter Pan of Pop who was born in India, grew up in England, and has had homes in Portugal and Barbados, though he is selling up in Bim (and yes I’m interested).

When it gets the Green Light.

 

 

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Food & Wine, UK

Opening time – my Five best English pubs

Whose round was it?

It will be seventy-six days since the pubs shut their doors when they reopen on July 4.

So why is that important? Well because that was how long it took Wuhan to come out of lockdown.

And it will be the same number of days between the UK lockdown and us emerging blinking into the sunset.

And, of course, July 4 was the day your Nostradamus of a travel blogger predicted it would take for us to get back to some kind of normal.

So in celebration of that here are five English and Welsh pubs I know and will toast…

While I’m waiting for the Scottish pubs to reopen.

Ye Olde boozer

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham: The oldest pub in England, dating back to 1189.

Carved into Castle Rock, upon which Nottingham Castle is built, it’s sad that pilgrims would stop here on the way to Jerusalem.

And you know how I love a good pilgrimage, and tankard of ale A pilgrim’s prayer, Small roads lead to Rome, www.CaminoWays.com and www.FrancigenaWays.com.

Nooks and crannies and history and if you want to make like your a local they call it ‘the Trip’. See https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk.

A masterpiece

The Dundas Arms, Kintbury, Berkshire: Sitting proudly in Chez Murty I commissioned this painting from a photograph of The Scary One’s local.

The grumpy owner, David, was of Scottish origin and cartoons hung up behind the bar of him and his Dad.

The counter had polished copper coins embossed into it, while at the bar were an eclectic bunch.

Including the 6 O’Clock Club, off the train, Terry, the spoons player, Chris the estate agent and horse tipster and me and Miss F. Visit https://www.dundasarms.co.uk and https://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/places-to-visit/berkshire.

No show without Punch

The Punch and Judy, Covent Garden, London: Covent Garden is a mix of trader, buskers, kerching shops, office workers and tourists.

And the Punch and Judy spans generations for me.

From us travellers taking a pit stop and drinking on its balcony to a return visit to take in Beautiful: The Carole King Story with The Scary One.

Great memories… and more to make https://www.visitlondon.com, https://www.coventgarden.london/pubs/punch-judy and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/29/carole-king-youre-beautiful-londonwestend-musical/amp/.

The apple of Liverpool’s eye

Flanagan’s Apple, Liverpool: Now you’re not wanting fancy-dan wine bars… this is Liverpool after all.

And being an Irish pub I had to seek it out the first time I visited Liverpool for a job interview.

And on many occasions after in the year we spent in Liverpool and brought a Son and Heir and Liverpool’s greatest fan into the world.

See https://www.flanagansappleliverpool.co.uk and https://www.visitliverpool.com.

Grapes of froth

The Grapes, Sheffield: And another Son and Heir related hostelry.

And where his favourite band The Arctic Monkeys played their first gig in their home city.

And which we had to seek out on a return trip where we namedropped to try to get a free drink… the father-in-law, of course, who hails from Steel City.

Visit http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/visit, http://thegrapessheffield.com.

And www.visitengland.com.

MEET YOU IN AN ENGLISH BAR