Original Format: MP3
They’re all sacred songs
They’re not easily won
Because there’s nothing
The thought can still be
But the sound is profane
But this and that you know they’re
One and the same
One and the same
—Daryl Hall, “Sacred Songs,” 1977
(Apologies if you’ve been down this road before, but I think the time is right for another tour.)
So what exactly is sacred music? Whatever we say it is. Daryl knows.
Playlist after the jump.
Auntie Rotter Peter Sellers
I believe that this is a parody of a popular British children’s personality, á la Mr. Rogers, and that the very idea of such a person playing boogie-woogie piano is supposed to be hilarious. Mostly I just like the way Peter growls “That’s nice!” at the end, followed by some sort of giddy little hiccup.
Sacred Songs Daryl Hall w/ Robert Fripp
Yes, that’s Daryl Hall of “…and Oates” fame, with Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Bowie, and Eno fame. Fripp was a fan of Hall’s and in 1977 produced a solo album for him that the label rejected for lack of commercial appeal. But we have it now, and that’s what matters.
Roll Away the Stone Leon Russell
Gutsy of Leon to compare his girl troubles with the crucifixion. But if you can play piano like that, you can get away with a lot.
All the Way to Memphis Mott the Hoople
Wait, isn’t that… the same piano part, more or less? Well, call it an homage.
Memphis, Tennessee The Faces
And who’s that singer with the raspy voice? He’s gonna be a star someday.
Stoned Soul Artie Christopher
Very little seems to be known about this guy, who issued only two singles. This is funky as hell, though.
Walk a Mile in My Shoes Syl Johnson
This song was written by swamp-rock legend Joe South, and famously covered by Elvis. But Syl Johnson makes it his own.
City in the Sky The Staple Singers
A whole lotta Mavis.
Brother Father Mother Sister Tim Maia
Tim Maia was not just a musician but a politician and philosopher. He once said, “Brazil is the only country where – in addition to whores cumming, pimps being jealous and drug dealers being addicted – poor people vote for the right-wing.” Well, maybe it was true then.
Beautiful Brother of Mine Curtis Mayfield
That’s Curtis Mayfield the 20th century musical genius, not Curtis Mayfield the Canadian football player.
Brother Jorge Ben
It is a testament to Ben’s genius that when I listen to this song, I reflexively find myself singing “Jesus Christ is my Lord, Jesus Christ is my friend,” though I don’t necessarily believe either of those things — sort of like Jesse Jackson once got me chanting “Up with hope, down with dope” before I even knew what I was saying.
Demons The Blind Boys of Alabama w/ Gift of Gab
A few years back we saw Gab perform — rapping, mind you, not stripping — at a strip club in Eureka. The Blind Boys were not with him.
Have a Talk with God Stevie Wonder
It sounds reasonable when Stevie says it.
Christianity The Wolfgang Press
And now, an opposing viewpoint.
Dang, that’s some funky didg, dude.
Solid Rock Goanna
This is the point in this mix at which I always say, “Wait, how did we get here?”
Eskimo Blue Day Jefferson Airplane
And then it’s over.