Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Golden Oldies: "San Francisco"

Here is a golden oldie called "San Francisco" that was written by John Phillips and performed by Scott McKenzie during the Vietnam War era. At the time, the Cold War was still raging hard and there was a real fear of a nuclear World War III btwn NATO countries and socialist/communist regimes such as the USSR and China. The song was extremely popular among the so-called flower-child generation (as song lyrics go: "... be sure to wear some flowers in your hair ..") who were rallying for world peace. The B-52 bomber peace symbol and "Make Love not War" slogan were popular among the young ppl in both North America and Western Europe.

Fast forward to 2010: Well, many of the hippies have become yuppies and are now part of the mainstream society. The world has survived the doomsday clock, altho it is now facing a different type of security threat known as terrorism. International relationships have changed a lot since then, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and then the disintegration of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc. There is no more "iron curtain". China too emerged from behind the so-called "bamboo curtain" and is taking a new approach to developing its global economic power.

A lot have changed. But perhaps a lot remain to be done too !!!

(Source: YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bch1_Ep5M1s)


Official Information on the Single "San Francisco"San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair).
(text: www.scottmckenzie.info/music.html)

" ...Early on the day Scott recorded San Francisco, some friends picked wildflowers and wove a garland, which he wore while he sang, as his friends sat on the floor and meditated in the studio. Since the city of San Francisco was the primary west coast port of disembarkation for all returning military personnel, the song San Francisco became a homecoming song for all Vietnam Veterans from 1967 on. Scott has dedicated every American performance of San Francisco to Vietnam veterans and in 2002 sang at the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

In the rest of the world, especially in Eastern Europe, San Francisco became a freedom song. "During the Cold War the secret police threatened residents with imprisonment just for listening to western music. Many of these people adopted San Francisco as their personal anthem of hope and freedom. It is very humbling," says Scott.

It had been intended that the John Phillips song Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) would be Scott's follow up song to San Francisco but contractual obligations resulted in the Mamas and Papas recording the song and Scott released Like An Old Time Movie, which was a minor hit, and to this day he is known as a 'one hit wonder'. On stage Scott says that if you are going to be a one hit wonder, San Francisco is the hit to have.

There is a theory that Like An Old Time Movie was not a bigger hit, especially in Europe, because at that time Europeans did not really know what an old time movie was - they didn't have late movies on television. ...."

Photo Credit: Wikipedia "San Francisco"


the inner space said...

talking about oldies 。。。。。about 三藩市! this melody came out 。。。。

If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair!

the complete lyrics is:

San Francisco(Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) 歌詞
Lyrics:John Phillips Music:John Phillips Vocal:Scott Mckenzie

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion

There's a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

and one more classic 。。。。。


The loveliness of Paris
Seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome
Is of another day
I've been terribly alone
And forgotten in Manhattan
I'm going home to my city by the bay.

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me.
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air
I don't care!
My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco,
Your golden sun will shine for me!

Haricot 微豆 said...


Thank you for providing the lyrics of "San Francisco".

As to the second song you mentioned: According to Wikipedia, "I Left My Heart in SF" is Tony Bennett's signature song !!!

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