This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Once Upon a Time (Battle of the Bobs) (#BOTB)


     Knowing how to begin and where to begin is sometimes the biggest challenge in story-telling.  That is the point where readers will often decide whether a story is worth their time.

How Do I Begin?

         If you're doing NaNoWriMo this year then you are likely not reading this post of mine, but many who do read are writers so you still might have the concern of how to start a piece.  "Once upon a time" is an oft-used standard approach--trite perhaps--but it can be effective either verbatim or in some variant.  A story has to begin somewhere to fit within the parameters of a readers expectations and economic use of words.

        Then again I suppose any story can begin in any place that seems appropriate.  It depends on what a writer is trying to achieve and what is the most important information to give readers in order to achieve said purpose.

           "Once upon a time"?--it's a vague reference that begs continuance.

           Midway into NaNo month I hope participants are meeting goals while being productive and having fun.  But let's take a moment to listen to some music.  It's the "Battle of the Bobs"  and they both have a story to tell in their own personal styles.  Enjoy...


Battle of the Bands

      Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


Once Upon a Time

          This pop standard comes from the 1962 musical All American.  I don't know the musical, but I know the song well.  It has been recorded by numerous artists over the years.  It is a very slow but beautiful song.  I hope you'll give it a chance as it tells a wistful, but familiar story.  In this current Battle I offer two versions by two Bobs--Bob Darin and Bob Dylan.  These live performances were recorded fifty years apart.  The story never changes...



Bob Darin   "Once Upon a Time"   (1966)




Bob Dylan   "Once Upon a Time"  (2016)





Time to Vote!

       
Now that you've heard the beginning of my blog post story, it's time for an ending where you provide an outcome with your votes.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced Wednesday November 21st

         Hope you take the time to listen and enjoy these song stylings.  Maybe you'll want to listen when you are wanting to get in a mellow mood.  I can understand if you might get bored, but really--this is a beautiful song and each rendition is special.  May the best Bob win.

          Do you find it difficult to write good openings to stories or other written works?   Are you more challenged by how to begin or how to finish?    Do you like hearing Bob Dylan sing pop standards?












46 comments:

  1. As I liked both artistes it was a hard choice but after much consideration I chose Bobby Darin.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I agree it was a tough choice.

      First vote goes to Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. The songs are so different it's almost as much a choice of genre as much as song. Almost because if someone besides Bobby Darin did the (lounge version - lounge may sound disparaging.. there's a better word for it surely) perhaps Dylan would hit a single. Darin knocks it out of the park. Home run. By far a vote for Darin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G Dogg, definitely a difference in styles, but I think Dylan was trying for that Darin effect in his own way.

      Next vote goes to Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. "Once Upon a Time" rivals "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" as a trite beginning, don't you think? ☺ As to your question, I mostly write memoirs (not hard to get started), but yes, it is difficult to find the perfect opening for a work of fiction.

    I remember this song and always loved Bobby Darin's voice. Not so much Bob Dylan's. Darin by a mile!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, at least "OUAT" is so generic that we hardly notice it. To start I just start and change it later if I think of something better.

      Again Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Question first: I find it more difficult to start writing that all important opener than to finish. As the years go by, I get less and less articulate and my style looks more and more like the middle school kids I've worked with (in writing class, no less). Whaddaya gonna do?

    If you had played with Dylan rendition sans video image, I'm not sure I would have recognized it as him. Pleasantly surprised.

    But...Bobby Darin! Oh, how I love BD and this is no exception.

    Thanks, Lee! Happy Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, it's funny that you say that you've become less articulate as years go on. I feel the same way. Looking at writing from my college years I seem to have written better back then. Maybe it's the perception from where we are looking? Or maybe everything has become more dumbed-down in our modern age???

      A vote for Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Bob Dylan sounded out of place on this song, and didn't appear overly comfortable singing it. Bobby Darin sounded perfect doing this. He gets my vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, I don't think Dylan ever looks very comfortable performing--or sound it.

      Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. LEE ~
    Not sure I've heard this song in times past before now. (I think some of that Roger Miller influence just slipped into my writing.)

    Brother, I was SO-oooo CLOSE to using Bobby Darin in my current Battle. I'd even selected the song, two artists (Darin & Tom Jones), and two videos to use, but then changed to Bobby Hebb's 'Sunny' at the last minute. But I'll return to that Darin Vs. Jones Battle in early 2019.

    Although no one has influenced the art of lyric writing more than Bob Dylan did, and although I'm a big fan of much of his work, I'm not really thrilled by Dylan cover tunes. This one was actually WAY BETTER'N I was expecting it to be. But nevertheless, my vote for BOBBY DARIN is an easy one to cast.

    Darin was immensely talented. I even liked the way he approached this song, how he got himself in the proper mindset before he even opened his mouth to sing the first word.

    I've often said (and have come perilously close to writing a blog bit about this...) that I can hardly believe how many people, when they begin to pray to God, launch right into the words without a beat, or even a half-beat, to prepare to speak to their Creator. They launch right into it with "Dear God...", like they're writing Him a letter, and they don't take even a second to first think about Who they're addressing and how sacred the act of praying is.

    Bobby Darin took some moments to get the mental feel for this song, almost as if he were approaching it like a genuine prayer. Color me "impressed"!

    ~ D-FensDogG at STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, I'd be surprised if you hadn't heard this song in the past as it has often been covered, but I don't hear it done much in past decades. It's pretty much an old school song artists don't do.

      Darin has been used several times in BOTB posts if my memory serves me correctly. He was an excellent song interpreter.

      Prayer should be as much or more praise than anything else. I guess when most of us go to God we are asking for things for ourselves and not acknowledging Him. Interesting observation about Darin's song prep as approaching prayer, but I can see what you're saying.

      A vote for Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. From Facebook 2 votes:

    My sister Joni--Bob Darin

    My cousin Tom--Bob Dylan (thus saving me from a shutout).

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  8. This was a tough one, but I'm going with Bobby Darin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myra, a tough one for me too--I'm still deciding.

      Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Sheena-kay, thank you for voting!

      Bob Dylan.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I have a sentimental feeling with Bobby Darin. He was smooth, with an almost rat pack presence.

    Bob Dylan surprised me. I like that. Dylan.

    Beginning and ending, hmmm. I start off with a goal, yet the character morphs and I end up in a different place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K, Darin did seem kind of like he could be part of the Rat Pack.

      Writing often winds past where we originally intended.

      A vote for Bob Dylan.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. She sat in the corner of her tiny home office, quietly listening to the melodic sounds protruding from her computer. She savored the music as it wafted across her senses, paying close attention to each artist.

    After a moment she knew the answer. It was Dylan that made her listen closer, but now the question is why? Why Dylan? Perhaps it is the way he poorly enunciates the words that makes a listener stop to hear.

    And that is how she came to cast her vote for Dylan.

    The End.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, love what you did there! Nicely written. A very creative vote cast.

      A vote for Bob Dylan.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. 18 Yellow Roses is how I remember Bobby Darin. I actually preferred Dylan's rendition. Beginnings and endings - strange how the ending is often not 'forecast' ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan S, I don't recall the "Yellow Roses" song, but I'd probably remember it if I heard it. The best endings are the true to life ones and life doesn't often foreshadow our exact endings.

      A vote for Bob Dylan.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Lee,

    I began one of my first stories with 'Once upon a time...' It was a children's story which was a natural beginning for my little tale about a...you got it, a princess. I have story ideas but have trouble just started and to stay moving with it. If I ever get over that hurdle then maybe I can go somewhere with my stories.

    I think both artists did a great job on the song. Incidentally Iat first glance I thought Dylan was Gene Wilder. Do you see the resemblance? Anywho, I like Bobby Darin the best in this round. His version is so dreamy just like a fairy tale! Have a good weekend, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, once action starts then things happen. Keep trying!

      I can see a resemblance to Wilder. Now I'm thinking Willie Wonka.

      A vote for Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Lee,

      I'm doing the catch up game in Blogosphere. Thanks for the advance on keeping trying. I'm not throwing in the towel just yet, I've only placed it to the side for now. :)

      Delete
    3. Cathy, hang in there! I'm trying to keep up despite some challenges that I'm currently dealing with.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I'm a Dylan fan, but this song didn't suit his style for me - a pity. However, I've always liked the Darin version as it's such a laid-back style. Darin them. (Taking a minor break from NaNo to listen.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, doing standard covers seems like a stretch for someone like Dylan, but I thought he made it work from the standpoint of emotional performance.

      Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. A phone comment from my friend Marvin...

    for Bob Darin.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've had problems with both beginning and ending my stories. Fortunately for the trilogy I'm writing, the beginning for the last novel was a snap (answering a question that was asked at the end of book #2) and the ending is already a foregone conclusion.

    I'm usually not too thrilled when rock singers, in trying to keep a music career that should've ended decades ago, attempt to sing American Pop Standards. Just doesn't sound right.

    But...if I have to choose, I would go with Bobby Darin. He seems to be the lesser of the two evils, since during his heyday, a rock/pop singer performing that kind of song wasn't that too far-fetched (see "Mack the Knife").

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GB, maybe the attempt of old rockers to turn to standards is a natural musical progression of things. Getting too old to rock probably mellows them out.

      Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. With every ending comes a new beginning - or a sequel ;-)
    After listening to Dylan I had to go back to Darin to get the twang out of my head. This beautiful song is definitely not his style.
    Bobby Darin feels it, croons it, and nailed it for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, I hear what you're saying.

      Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Sixgun McItchyfingerNovember 18, 2018 at 12:24 AM

    I have not heard the song before... though apparently I SHOULD have, from your comments. I am happy to finally learn of it, because it is a great song! Darin seemed to perfectly express the poignancy required for this song.

    It captures a mood that you might be feeling of late. You may still be deciding between the Bobs, but surely you will ultimately fall on the side of Darin! Dylan just does't cut it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-Gun, I'm somewhat surprised if you haven't heard this song, but songs like this don't get sung as much as they used to. It's too bad because current generations are missing out on some wonderful music.

      I'll reveal my vote on Wednesday, but I think both versions have certain merit.

      A vote for Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. Hi Lee,
    I like Once Upon a Time stories. And I don't mind it being over-used. It's almost like when I read that line, I get a little more comfortable in my chair and get ready for a reading adventure.

    Great song to tie in to your post. I listened to each version twice. I like both of them. I could actually go with either as I enjoyed listening to them both equally. But I guess I'll go ahead and choose Bobby Darin.

    Have a good Thanksgiving...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, I think the opening can work in certain cases.

      Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. Bobby Darin, please, for my choice, and thank you for sharing that performance, which was totally new to me.

    FYI... I randomly listened to both artists, last week, just for fun and recreation.

    I hope you have a stellar Thanksgiving Week, Sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, I wish you all the best for your Thanksgiving as well.

      A vote for Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. I am a bit late but I listened to both. It is not a favourite song of mine but I prefer Bobby Darin's version. His voice is great for this type of song plus I just can't get into Dylan's version although he was better than I thought he would be. I am trying to start a scrapbook for my friend and I am having a tough time to start...does that count?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I've started so many unfinished things--sure, starting anything might be comparable to starting a piece of writing.

      A vote for Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Each version has its charms, but overall I preferred the Darin version. It just feels like more of a match with the style called for.

    I write openings much differently than I used to! I cringed recently at finding a hit to an old post, "How I write opening lines," where I quoted a bunch of openings which have all since been radically rewritten, or are in the queue to be radically rewritten. I defended opening with infodumpy backstory or passages setting up characters and setting, something I never do now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, in many cases I think openings are destined to change. WE just gotta start somewhere.

      Just in time for Bob Darin.

      Lee

      Delete
  23. I'm late my vote doesn't count, but I'm very impressed with Dylan's arrangement and delivery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, I thought he did a very heartfelt rendition.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee