I need a break from all the insanity that’s been going on in this country over the past week or so. Don’t misconstrue me, I’m still doing my best to follow what’s going on, but I don’t want to bust a blood vessel.
Anyway, here’s Wonderwall (and La Bamba)…
I got to see James & Friends on two separate occasions and it was good despite being surreal seeing live music in 2020. It was at a restaurant with those tents for “indoor” dining even though there was limited space given state requirements and the tables were farther apart. It is strange how people have to go outside to be “inside”, but that’s the current reality. Don’t worry, I was responsible to have my mask on besides when I had food and I did social distance from others. They did covers those nights and I got to capture two of their songs. They covered “La Bamba” and “Wonderwall” by Oasis. Yes, all the 90s kids were singing along to the latter. Hahaha!
I used to listen to some jazz when I was a kid mainly because my mom would usually have the jazz station on (RIP WNUA 95.5) whenever she would drive me somewhere. I had a long hiatus of sorts during my teens as I listened to a bunch of indie rock, metal, J-pop and punk during my teens and early college years. My tastes have certainly changed since then as I’ve been getting into avant-garde stuff, African music, funk and back into jazz.
I’ve been listening to the classics and more modern stuff with composers, bands, and organ trios of all things.
Wow was I not aware of Stanley Clarke back then?
I randomly looked for bass solos on YouTube and found this video of this legendary bass player just tearing it up with an upright bass. This blew my mind and I listened to some of his discography and his superband SMV with Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten.
It’s been awesome getting into jazz again. Maybe I can improve as a musician to play some of that kind of music.
I no longer wanted to be down
After you took my crown and cashed it in for millions of pounds
I had to strengthen my heart
To withstand all your darts that multiplied from the start
Of your thievery
Originator be my guide
May justice be on my side
Halstead will be filled with pride with the trophy that’s rightfully mine
You think you can do what you will
I made you admit your guilt
How does it make you feel that you’re forced to know my name?
Take a picture now (X6)
To immortalize your shame
Do you want to know what can really suck about plagiarism cases? It can force me to actually defend mainstream pop stars on certain occasions when I would never do so otherwise.
This is one of those times.
Meet Matt Cardle. He’s an acoustic pop singer/songwriter hailing from Halstead, Essex, England. Yes, the name of the song refers to his hometown. Cardle has been quite popular in the UK even though he’s unknown in America. He got his big break after winning on X Factor, so he certainly has several ears throughout Good Ol’ Blighty. He had a song on his first album called “Amazing” which was a minor hit in the UK back in 2011. Wouldn’t it be crazy if another Brit were to steal his song? Whoever could it be?
That’s right. Ed Sheeran stole someone else’s song! That is just annoying since his fanbase defended him and called Matt Cardle some nobody. Sure, Matt Cardle doesn’t have as much of a worldwide popularity as the Ipswitch-based pop star, but I wouldn’t call him obscure especially when it comes to English music. Matt Cardle has sold over 2 million records, has been on major labels even to this day, and like I said earlier: he’s an X Factor winner and I know that show is popular in the United Kingdom. Here’s some more context. Do you want to know who Matt Cardle beat out in the finals of X Factor in the same season he won it? Cher Lloyd and this one boy band that no one’s heard of called ONE DIRECTION! Yeah, think about that for a minute.
In case you’re wondering, the song that ripped off “Amazing” is “Photograph”. Sure, it wasn’t as big of a hit in America compared to “Sing” or “Thinking Out Loud” which were on the same album, but I know I heard that song playing on the radio whenever I was shopping or eating at some restaurants. To be just, the verses themselves are independent, but those choruses…WOW, Ed didn’t even try besides having different lyrics. Here’s a video of both song’s choruses and tell me he didn’t listen to this Essex crooner’s song!
Matt Cardle’s co-writers/producers actually sued Ed Sheeran and the beat him down in court! Sheeran was forced to give writing credits and royalties to everyone involved who made “Amazing”. Good on them for doing that. I never thought I would have to defend someone who won a freaking music reality show, but that was the day.
Much like both songs, I decided to do a light acoustic ballad, but with my ukulele as a main instrument and I got to use my “pop star” voice which is a rarity as Ospreyshire for obvious reasons. I hope you also appreciate the stealth puns with both songs in Halstead’s Trophy.
You’re welcome, Essex!
The album cover of Matt Cardle is from Wikipedia and is property of Syco music.
There was always a lie
That someone of my complexion never invented anything
They surely never met me
I was known only as Ned
I created the cotton scraper
Much like how my master took humans like me, he took my invention
So, Stewart. How did you come up with my scraper again?
Even the patent office rejected you again and again
You’re so typical in your laziness
When I cried, sweated, and bled more than you could imagine
This would certainly count for a good portion of the previous tracks on Dear Innovare, but this is still a good way to honor an unknown inventor to kick off Black History Month!
Even though he would only be known by the name “Ned”, I’m still going to give him credit and recognition when most people won’t. Ned was a slave who invented a cotton scraper. Think about it, cotton was king in the south which made the plantation owners multi-millionaires. Too bad their lazy butts couldn’t innovate let alone work on their own, so guess who had to do everything and not get the credit? His captor Stewart literally stole Ned’s idea and tried to patent it himself. This was during the time where black people couldn’t patent anything legally in America (expect this to be a common motif), but Stewart couldn’t prove that he invented this money-making machine. Shame how much money was denied for Ned who was the REAL inventor of that agricultural device.
Here’s a fun fact about recording: I actually used a fork to scrape against a vent for the acousmatics.
O ti ja aworan wa
Mase paro ki o so pe o se awon ohun-oso wonti
Awon ile iso re je awon ewon
Je ki a je ki eyi se alaye si o
Rends-nous notre art maintenant!
I bu ihe nleda anya
Nitori ti o ji wa aworan
Bidajen kayan tarihin ku ya sa aka kama su. I ghotara?
You better return what’s ours!
Luy sa tiis?
Am nga tere xewoonu Afrig?
Yeena ngi saacee yi
Vous ne possedez pas notre histoire!
Here’s a triple header for the Art Theft series! These were challenging songs to write lyrics and Art Theft: Benin was actually an Ospreyshire first for me. That was the first poem I wrote that contained absolutely no English words in it! The Senegal one was even tougher because I really had to work on my Wolof since you can’t use Google Translate or any easy online sources for example. Fortunately, I bought a book on a whim that has words and phrases in Senegal’s native language.
These three countries among others in Africa are quite ticked and rightfully so. Their art, crafts, and artifacts have been looted by Europe. They’re held in museums in that continent and these African nations are suing these countries to get their stuff back. To add insult to injury, some of these nations are giving things back…as LOANED items. No, I don’t want to see loans whether temporary or permanent. You stole them, so you give them back to these nations! I really hope these nations get full returns on their art.
Here are some videos from Dr. Mumbi about the matter:
Even Dr. Y. had some choice articles about this situation:
Wouldn’t it also be crazy if this situation was featured in a mainstream movie even though a character is portrayed as the bad guy for wanting the artifacts back? Oh, wait… Side note: Notice how Benin is mentioned in this clip.
Say what you will about Killmonger, but he was absolutely right about his questions involving the curator’s “ancestors” and that’s historical fact even though Wakanda doesn’t exist.
Here’s another random fact: I’m also part Beninese and I have a tiny bit of Senegalese in my DNA from my mom’s side. #ForTheCulture
Falling from the empyrean
They managed to ascend on the earth
Their names were in lights with infinitesimal points
The innovators pushed to the side from the emulations with their ways and mores of supine larceny
Denials echo as earworm choruses worldwide with tunes, moving pictures, and museums
The masses become allured now knowing or caring that these were imitations
Originator, suffer not the true catalysts of Innovare
Penniless and undermined
The descendants want to demand restitution
Some emulations were honest, yet it was worse with excuses for the trendiest prints of ignored canvases
Imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery. It’s only the sincerest form of laziness.
You want to get on my bad side quickly? Try ripping someone off so shamelessly. I think that explains this track and my real life feelings in a nutshell. Sincerest Form of Laziness is a steel drum interlude of sorts that transitions from one section of Dear Innovare to the next. The first several tracks were about so many pioneers, but from here on out this is going to involve several people who had their works shamelessly copied whether it was attempted or sadly involving cases where the clones become more popular than the originals. Expect several truth bombs in musical and/or poetic form.
His mom’s heart stopped beating
Those tears were enabling
To ensure every heart can keep
Beating at healthy paces
Keep on building
So many robberies and extortion
Plagued many businesses
The front end would take the
Brunt of it until he improved
On those registers
Keep on building
Monitors, keyboards, and programming
Would craft into a high-tech archetype
For an eventual household and office item
Games, research, and work can be done
Nothing personal, just a computer
Keep on building
This edition of Ospreyshire Origins involves the inventor Otis Boykin. He’s got a bunch of patents under his belt. These verses deal with some of his major works such as the pacemaker in verse 1, cash registers in verse 2, and IBM computers in the final verse. It’s only the tip of the iceberg as he also created electric resisters and other innovations. This song was also an Ospreyshire first as it incorporated a lap dulcimer as a main instrument for an acoustic vibe.
In ancient times at the continent’s Southern points in the mountain range
We told time, counted the days, and tracked the moon
All it took was a baboon fibula tally by tally
We taught our people from the highest to lowest veldts
At least 44,000 years ago
This wasn’t decoration
This was for education as the Originator blessed us and those up north for our tools
I have to show South Africa some love here especially since this won’t be the only time I’ll mention things from that country when it comes to the content of this album. The Congo wasn’t the only nation to produce a calculator in ancient times. In the Lebombo mountains in what would eventually be South Africa and Eswatini (the country formally known as Swaziland), the natives created their own tally stick also using a baboon bone. That was certainly innovative and this needs to be better known because I literally can’t think of any history class I took in school that mentioned ancient African civilizations with the exception of a whitewashed Egypt or maybe a casual mention of Hannibal of Carthage (now modern-day Tunisia). See, there were important math elements in Africa among many other things. Major props to Dr. Y. for informing me about this lesser-known history!
Tosalaki eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)
Mokuwa oyo ekosunga bato pona koyekola mitango
Tozali basali ya eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)
Over 20,000 years ago, we crafted something still being taught to future generations. We made a calculator and calendar from a baboon’s bone. What a prime way for instructions from a primate. We solved problems and tallied up solutions. Nzambe bless our methods. Counting lunar cycles, adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying notch by notch. We made generations smarter and efficient. We know other civilizations wouldn’t be born in millennia. Our technology shall not be fractured, only modernized in future ages.
I would like to thank Dr. Y. and Deogratias from Lingala Academy for this song. The former has an article about this aforementioned ancient calculator and the latter helped me with the Lingala part of the song.
This was a good kickoff song besides the intro by covering this overlooked invention. I didn’t realize one of the first calculators was made from a baboon bone from what’s now the DRC. Anyone who says Africa had no civilization or inventions need to get educated. This bone was used as tallies and as a tool for multiple kinds of math problems. Okay, I wasn’t the best at math, but the fact that some of my maternal ancestors could’ve invented this does fill me with joy and some self-esteem.
From a musical standpoint, I listened to a ton of traditional Congolese drum music, so I wanted to do something very percussive, but still lively despite the lack of instrumental melodies. Using Lingala again has been great. It’s a very musical language and has a certain beauty to it.
What are your thoughts on the Ishango Bone or this song? Don’t forget that Dear Innovare is $7 on Bandcamp!
I told you I would do something after getting 200 followers on my blog. This is a brand new single for the occasion. It’s called Nkama Mibale or 200 for those that don’t know Lingala. This poem/song is free to download or you can pay what you want for it. Hope you enjoy it!