There was a couple of political references in yesterday’s offering, and I’m keeping them going today.
While I was doing a little bit of research in respect of today’s song, I came across this:-
“Saturday Night Live closed its first episode of the Trump administration with a musical farewell to President Obama. Under a portrait of the 44th President, cast member Cecily Strong sang the perfect song to say goodbye to the outgoing POTUS, the title song to the 1967 film To Sir, With Love.
The parallels were apparent to anyone familiar with the British flick. Sidney Poitier had the starring role as an unemployed black engineer who takes a job teaching an unruly class of white students in London’s East End. By the end of the film he has won over the undisciplined youngsters and has taught them to have self-respect.”
But this wasn’t the first time that this song had been used as part of a tribute to an American president.
The events around the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993 encompassed a few unusual happenings, not least a gig at the Washington Convention Center. The youth vote had come out for Clinton and MTV felt the occasion should be marked appropriately. In the end, the MTV Inaugural Ball was added to the official list of such events in the city – there were 11 in total, some of which were very traditional – all in honour of the president, vice-president and their families.
The cast list included Don Henley, En Vogue, Boyz II Men, 10,000 Maniacs and Automatic Baby; the last named comprised Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. of U2 and took its name from the two band’s most recent albums Automatic for the People and Achtung Baby.
10,000 Maniacs made use of Stipe’s participation in the event, inviting him to sing on a few numbers, including a cover of the song that had been a #1 hit ion the States back in 1967:-
mp3 : 10,000 Maniacs (feat Michael Stipe) – To Sir, With Love
Stipe and Merchant had performed together previously on a number of occasions, including when they joined Billy Bragg and Cara Tivey to end his set as part of The Big Day in Glasgow in June 1990. Here’s some footage:-
They do make some lovely harmonies don’t they?????