who is trini lopez?

While I love, love, love moving to the jazzed up folk song “If I had a hammer,” as performed by Trini Lopez, I must admit I knew nothing about him. So to satisfy my curiosity about this 60s entertainer I did some research.

Cover of

Cover of Jefferson Airplane Loves You

Trini Lopez, after years of scuffle as a pop-rock singer, became one of the biggest LP sellers in the world with 1963’s AT PJ’s, a live-in L.A. night club set with family Latin go-go rhythms. Lopez played electric guitar on the rocked-up versions of “If I Had a Hammer” and Woodie Guthrie‘s “This Land is Your Land,” and Mickey Jones, later to play with Bob Dylan on his 1966 World Tour, was on drums. “I took the song, and I made it not only listenable, but also I made it danceable,” claimed Lopez regarding his hit cover of “If I Had a Hammer.” Folk music was really in. I liked the melodies, I liked the lyrics. But I didn’t do them the way they were written. I did “em my way. I changed them around for my own satisfaction, my feelings of the songs, and MY beat. I bet you people that weren’t too much into folk-rock progenitor sounds heretically far-fetched, consider that Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane cited him as an influence in the liner notes to the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE LOVES YOU box set, telling Jeff Tamarkin: “I remember when Trini Lopez was doing folk music to electric instruments and it was very tacky, but the idea was cool.”

Richie Unterberger in Turn! turn! turn!: the 60’s folk-rock revolution

Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh

If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land

I’d hammer out danger
I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All, all over this land

Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh

If I had a bell
I’d ring it in the morning
I’d ring it in the evening
All over this land

I’d ring out danger
I’d ring out a warning
I’d ring about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All, all over this land

Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh
If I had a song
I’d sing it in the morning
I’d sing it in the evening
All over this land

I’d sing out danger
I’d sing out a warning, yeah
I’d sing out about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All, all over this land

Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh

Now, I’ve got a hammer
And I’ve got a bell
And I’ve got a song to sing
All over this land

It’s the hammer of justice
It’s the bell of freedom, yeah
It’s the song about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All, all over this land

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

All over this land
Ooh, all over this land
Hee, all over this land, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

All over this land
Hee, all over this land

from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/trini_lopez/if_i_had_a_hammer.html ]

remember when we use to dress like the audience?…and sit quietly, listening, not screaming?…seems eons ago…hugmamma.

“turn, turn, turn,” a folk song

Joan Baez was a songstress who epitomized the folk song era. She had the peaceful appearance of the “flower children” who grew like wildflowers all over the 60’s landscape. And her voice lulled those who were listening, into believing that life was beginning to replicate Heaven. I wonder what she thinks of the way things have turned out decades later?

To everything turn turn turn there is a season turn turn turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to be born a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything turn turn turn there is a season turn turn turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to build up a time to break down, a time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything turn turn turn there is a season turn turn turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time of love, a time of hate, a time of war a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything turn turn turn there is a season turn turn turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to gain, a time to lose, a time to rend, a time to sew
A time of love, a time of hate, a time of peace, I swear it’s not too late

To everything turn turn turn there is a season turn turn turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
To everything turn turn turn there is a season turn turn turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

 

“lemon tree,” a folk song

While puttering around, I listened to folk songs on the PBS station on TV.  Wow! Did that bring back some great memories. Had me humming along in some cases. Here’s one song that got me reminiscing. You don’t have to hum though, I’ve added the lyrics below the video. “Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.” La, la, la, la la la la…

When I was just a lad of ten, my father said to me,
“Come here and take a lesson from the lovely lemon tree.”
“Don’t put your faith in love, my boy”, my father said to me,
“I fear you’ll find that love is like the lovely lemon tree.”

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

One day beneath the lemon tree, my love and I did lie
A girl so sweet that when she smiled the stars rose in the sky.
We passed that summer lost in love beneath the lemon tree
The music of her laughter hid my father’s words from me:

Lemon tree flower in Vietnam

Image via Wikipedia

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

One day she left without a word. She took away the sun.
And in the dark she left behind, I knew what she had done.
She’d left me for another, it’s a common tale but true.
A sadder man but wiser now I sing these words to you:

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

did you sing along?…hugmamma.