Ospreyshire Origins: Albert Holly

Lyrics:

Abington-on-Thames and Lake Placid are fighting about what never belonged to them
Covering their tracks from a real cover song
Too busy calling Pablo or lusting for life
Ignoring the vital air around them
Too selfish to notice they aren’t free
From an originator
At least the first cover knew it’s dues
It knew it’s dues

You won’t get hitched by following ladies
Even when they end up at your shows
Same with stalking melodies you didn’t write
Absinthe won’t make your song better nor will those dead notes
They’re so desperate
They’re so freaking desperate

Just let the air in…


Here’s another song about music plagiarism! Hooray! This one’s going to be multi-layered since it deals with a bunch of people.

We’ll start with the original song “The Air That I Breathe” by Albert Hammond.

That song isn’t too shabby even though it’s not my cup of tea. This song got more popular a few decades ago when the band The Hollies covered it. As with anyone with a shred of decency, they gave full credit to Albert Hammond for creating the song to begin with. They give it more of a rock feel as opposed to the mostly acoustic original.
Chances are you probably heard of their version of the song in various movies or TV shows.

Image result for the hollies

This particular quintet would eventually fight alongside Albert Hammond when they took on a certain critically-acclaimed band that so many people suck up to and make their standards of music entirely based on this band.

Image result for radiohead

OOH! I’m going to take on the biggest music snob band of all time! Oh baby, I’m going to get a ton of hate for this particular story. That’s right. Radiohead was involved in a plagiarism case and it is for their most famous song ever: “Creep”. Yes, one of the biggest college rock songs of the 90s bore some eerie similarities to the verses of “The Air That I Breathe”. The Hollies actually took them to court and WON! Nowadays, “Creep” mentions Albert Hammond and The Hollies in the writing credits while also giving royalties to them. Isn’t it ironic that a band who has been hailed for their creativity and originality would steal? What gets even crazier is that they accused a certain pop singer for ripping off “Creep”.

Image result for lana del rey

This is a thievery chain going on! Lana Del Rey was bashed for her song “Get Free” for ripping off “Creep”, the same song that lost a copyright infringement case against the song “The Air That I Breathe”. I heard her song and the vocal line is pretty similar. Here’s a video containing excerpts of The Hollies’ cover of Albert Hammond’s song, “Creep”, and “Get Free”. You be the judge of this.

Sounds like an easy mashup to make at best, right? I didn’t realize how insane this case was. Granted, I was most familiar with “Creep” by the Radiohead mainly because that was a big song that came out during my childhood and later when I talked with some music fans I was friends with who were big into that band.

For my song Albert Holly, I decided a basic piano ballad would suffice. I make a TON of Radiohead and Lana Del Rey references in the lyrics as one might guess. Yes, the “They’re so desperate” part of the song parodies the pre-chorus of “Creep” including the random ghost notes by hitting the keyboard instead of chucking an electric guitar.

Hope you all appreciate this story behind the song.

The picture of Albert Hammond is from BBC.

The picture of The Hollies is from Britannica.

The picture of Radiohead is from the Irish Times.

The picture of Lana Del Rey is from Discogs.

Ospreyshire Origins: Halstead’s Trophy

Lyrics:

I no longer wanted to be down
After you took my crown and cashed it in for millions of pounds
So shamelessly

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?

THIS GUY!

Image result for ed sheeran

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.

The photo of Ed Sheeran is from The Independent.

Music Spotlight: “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)” by Joe Tex

Recently, I’ve been having a kick of listening to classic R&B, soul, and blues. There were so many artists that I have ignored after listening to so much music that was released when I was alive. After researching music plagiarism and how so many forms of Black music were stolen and appropriated without credit (contrary to semi-popular belief, I’m not just talking about “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” or the documentary The Lion’s Share). I underestimated how bad it was in America, but that’s a story for another time.

This is a ballad from the singer Joe Tex which dates back to 1966 called “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)”. I had never heard of Joe Tex or his music until just a few weeks ago, and this was the first song I heard from him. I stumbled across it when I researched how rock, blues, soul, and R&B were stolen en masse and this song was mentioned. This sound is haunting with the waltz time, orchestration, and Tex’s mournful vocals. The part of the song that really hit me hard was the second verse. Here are the lyrics that stood out to me:

“I’ve been pushed around
I’ve been lost and found
I’ve been given til sundown
To get out of town
I’ve been taken outside
And I’ve been brutalized
And I’ve had to always be the one to smile and apologize”

WOW! Those are tremendous words and it shows how so many musicians in multiple genres are such sheltered cowards while also being extremely relatable even though this came out decades before I was born. The sundown line is brutal since he’s clearly talking about sundown towns. Those were towns where Black people had to leave before night lest they be slaughtered by the white population during the Jim Crow era. The line that really hit me in the feels was the last one in that quote. I have a bad habit of apologizing too much and there were times where I was coerced to do so even when I didn’t do anything wrong. I HATE being treated like the bad guy when others are exalted for worse things! A song like that could ONLY be written by someone like him, but even I could relate to those lyrics even if it’s not entirely for the exact same reasons. How did I not know about Joe Tex or his music until now?

I hope you enjoy the song.

Mr. Leo “Pray”

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog.

Some of you may know that I’ve been getting more into African music and even more recently into movies made in that continent. Even though I’ve never been to Africa, I come from a multi-ethnic family and I did a DNA test where one of my results from my maternal side came up as Cameroonian among other ethnic groups in Africa and Europe. I decided to check out the music from that country and stumbled across Mr. Leo. I first heard the song “Pray” and found it touching given that country’s situation currently with the conflicts involving the French-speaking Cameroonians and the English-speaking ones where there have been fatalities. It saddens me how there have been divisions like that in this post-colonial landscape. Luckily, there are people in that country who hate the bloodshed and see each other as brothers and sisters despite what languages they speak. It certainly hit my heart because these people could be distant relatives of mine in some way. I hope you check out this song.

Part of the song is in Banso which is one of the local languages in that country. I found translated parts of that song which make it more heartbreaking knowing what everything means.

Amen chorus part:
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear

Banso part of the 2nd verse:
If you are ignoring your brother
Beware, you are making a mistake
If you are chasing your brother away
Beware, you are making a mistake

Translation credit to Chris Logan