Popular songs based on classical music
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It was covered many more times, most famously by UB40 who had a massive hit with it on both sides of the Atlantic in The cynical, world-weary lyrics are hardly joyful and would probably have Herr Beethoven turning in his grave. It takes real emotion to inspire a truly moving love song. First night mares featuring drunk conductors, rioting audiences and hidden trapdoors. How our favourite music can shape us, and soundtrack significant moments in our lives. Professor Mary King describes how the record became a symbol of hope.
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In 27 cases of chicken and egg, we reveal the popular chart tunes that were inspired by classical pieces…. Remember S Club 7? Rachel Stevens, the one who could do a backflip and… well, never mind. Festive favourite 'I Believe In Father Christmas' by Greg Lake is notable for its rather dark Christmas message, but it's also got a storming quote of 'Troika' by Prokofiev right in the middle of it. If anyone in the pop world was going to take on opera, it was Freddie Mercury.
Musicians have been sampling other artists' songs for decades. Though some get into hot water when they blur the lines between homage and theft, when pop culture borrows a tune from classical music, it's usually more flattery than fines. Recently, some VPR colleagues sat together in a studio to play bits of well-known songs from the '60s through today that we'd heard may have borrowed some, if not all, of their melodies from classical pieces. Here are a few examples we found from all over the musical landscapes of pop, rock, Motown, country and hip-hop. Give it a listen here. Listen Listening Always Chasing Chopin : Judy Garland's performance of the popular Vaudeville tune, "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" from the film, "Ziegfield Girl" makes us swoon, perhaps because the melody itself is actually from Frederic Chopin's "Fantaisie-Impromptu" the tune starts at in the video below.