Sunday, 20 April 2014

I wish I knew.............

I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish I could break
All the chains holdin' me
I wish I could say
All the things that I should say
Say 'em loud say 'em clear
For the whole 'round world to hear

From time to time Fantasy Bob comes across something that is just so excellent that it takes his breath away.

Nina Simone performing I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free at the Montreaux Festival in 1976. She had previously recorded it in the mid 1960s when it became an anthem of the civil rights movement.  that version was loud and assertive - several years later she is more contemplative.  Perhaps reflecting her own engagement with the civil rights movement and her alienation from the US which she had left in the interim. Or her own demons - which were many.

The song was composed by Billy Taylor whose own instrumental version of it may be better known to many of FB's world wide readership in its role as the theme music for Barry Norman's Film Night which ran on the BBC for several thousand years.

Film Night without Barry Norman is a pale inferior product.  Claudia Winkelman does nothing for FB.  But at least she isn't Jonathan Ross into whose tender loving care the BBC mistakenly entrusted the programme following Barry Norman's retirement.  And people think the ECB make errors in appointing England's coaching staff - they are nothing compared to the BBC.

Neither Winkelman nor Ross convinced FB that they knew anything about film or its heritage.  Norman was steeped in it. But perhaps the difference was about something else.  Barry Norman was a passionate fan of cricket - he played several times for the Lords Taverners and authored a couple of books about the sport.  Something that would be well beyond either Winkelman or Ross.

FB has no idea why I wish I Knew was chosen as the theme of Barry Norman's programme.

He thinks the answer must lie in the fact that when FB sings it to himself, just like any lower XI cricketer would, he always alters the words slightly 

I wish a knew how it would feel to be good
I wish I could bat just like Viv Richards would

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