Saturday, May 01, 2010

First 1st Of May - Puppy Inspired Song, Not Labour

The most appropriate song to feature today is one of Bee Gees' greatest hits, First of May, (lead vocals by Barry Gibb). No, it's not a protest song nor one about Labor Day but with its symbolic and poetry like lyrics, Barry Gibb wrote it for his dog's birthday.

This 1969 doggie inspired melody was a minor hit but was noticed after it featured in the soundtrack of a British film about puppy love called, Melody (1971). It was released in the Far East at the same time, and that included Singapore.
It has a place in the annals of American pop and been covered by Matt Monroe, Jose Feliciano and Sarah Brightman. Strange, I always thought the song was more about growing up: 

When I was small and Christmas trees were tall
Don't ask me why but time has passed us by
Now we are tall and Christmas trees are small
But you and I, our love will never die
The day I kissed your cheek and you were mine.

                First of May - Bee Gees You Tube Video by: Chris Cruz

Singer Lulu - To Sir With Love, Scottish pop singer - was married to Maurice Gibb from 1969 to 1973, his first wife. Maurice has since passed away in January, 2003.

For the younger readers, don't confuse the Bee Gees' version of First Of May with another that has the same title. It's by Jonathan Coulton. Personally, it could have been a nice song but being old school the F word has no place in any music piece, even if the word is relevant in its context. So excuse me.

When Christmas Trees were small; Gibb brothers with their F hole guitar and where it all started.

The Bee Gees: Barry, Robin, Maurice were supposed to perform at the National Theatre on 1st April 1972. They were staying at the Hyatt Hotel in Singapore. But a new ban on males with long hair, "the Bee Gees, Kitaro and Led Zeppelin were all forced to cancel their gigs in Singapore because they refused to accomodate the policy - Long Hair In Singapore: Wikipedia."

Now how far was this true with the Bee Gees? Did they perform or didn't?

Image: Google and other sources.
Original article: Andy Lim


Happy walker said...

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ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Mr Lonely. Thanks for visiting. I hope this blog is useful for young people like you and your friends.

We need to know our own music heritage and how we evolve and grow.

Lam Chun See said...

Isn't this one of the main songs in the movie Melody Fair (SWALK). Big hit in Spore I recall.

Victor said...

1st of May is one of my favourite Bee Gees songs. Another is I Started a Joke.

Happy belated May Day to everyone.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes, Melody or Melody Fair. Same movie. Sealed With A Loving Kiss.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes, Victor. Another one is Words.
Remember the words?
"It's only words and words are all I have to take your heart away."

FL said...

Like many of you, I'm also a great fan of the BGs from my teenage years. "First of May" is a beautiful melody, and other BG songs, too, like this one "Don't forget to remember" It's full of human's feeling.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you FL. To many of us, the Bee Gees is one of the best 60s groups ever.

Lam Chun See said...

The other day, I gave a copy of my book, Good Morning Yesterday, to an old friend who loves oldies pop. I wrote:

Don't forget to remember
The Times of your life."

I thot it was pretty clever ... hehee.

What do you and your readers think? Got any suggestions?

Thank you.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

This posting has been revised today, lst of May, 2016 after four years of Rip Van Winkle time. Thank you all.


In the old days, almost every other lounge band would play songs from the Bee Gees such as DON'T FORGET TO REMEMBER, TO LOVE SOMEBODY, I STARTED A JOKE, FIRST OF MAY, etc. These were all for listening pleasure also crowd favourites that are popular to many. A good reminder of the past, thanks.


Andy You want my two cents worth of yapayaba.... Bee Gees was one of the mega groups back in the days when we were young. Don't forget to remember. Christmas has come and gone many times before we came.

Thanks for the blog Andy. Sure did enjoy the great songs and group with Melody Fair, Saturday Night Fever...

chakap chakap said...

"First of May" is a song by the Bee Gees with lead vocals by Barry Gibb, released as a single from their 1969 double album "Odessa". Its B-side was "Lamplight". It also featured as the B-side of "Melody Fair" when that song was released as a single in the Far East in 1971 as well as in 1976 and 1980 on RSO Records. It was the first Bee Gees single to be released after lead guitarist Vince Melouney had left the group.

After its release, "First of May" enjoyed a resurgence several times. In 1971, the song was featured in the soundtrack to Melody, a British motion picture about two children in love. In 1996, the song was used as a theme of the Japanese drama 'Wakaba no Koro'. The song was consequently reissued as a CD single in Japan, also featuring 'How Deep Is Your Love' and peaked at No 25, selling more than 100,000 copies.

Anonymous said...

Hwllo Andy,

Just came back home and send you a message on this day First of May.

Yes we all grow up with music and songs by the Bee Gees. Songs by the Gibb brothers always bring back lots of memories of our courting blissful years.

Have been keeping all Bee Gees music CDs and Karaoke songs alive and listen to them faithfully.

Hope that you have a great long weekend like I do.


Victor said...

Andy, why did you say that this blog was revised after 4 years? 2010-2016 is 6 years, right? Wow, it's so long ago that I forgot that I had commented before in 2010.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

My apologies Victor. It's been six years since this posting. A miscalculation on my part.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

The usual yearly revision of this posting. Once again in 2017, with additions. Now they didn't play in Singapore did they?

Thanks for support all these years. The blog gets new readers all the time.







Hi Bro' Andy! I just read your write-up on The Bee Gees song lst of May. I would just like to mention that the Bee Gees did perform here in Singapore in 1972 in the now defunct National Theatre at Fort Canning Hill.

FACEBOOK said...

The most appropriate song to feature today is one of Bee Gees' greatest hits, First of May, (lead vocals by Barry Gibb). No, it's not a protest song nor one about Labor Day but... Click above connection to read what song is all about.

Freda Hanum
Beautiful song, BeeGees definitely got the most melodious & unforgettable songs in our hearts at all times.

Andy Young
Hi Freda,
thanks for summing up the BeeGees so succinctly. Truly one of the best vocal groups ever. Thanks to Peter Cheong and Ann Rowena Lim who LIKE this post.

Andy Young
Hi Fabian.
Thanks for the 1st May connection.

Andy Young
Thanks to Hiroshi and Rose who LIKE this post.

Terence Lee
Andy, we used to sing this during band boys days. Nice reflection.

Andy Young Hi Terence, we must meet for a chat and if you can, post your bandboys stories on the blog. Thanks.


Oh my, this song is still an all-time favorite. I never forgot that movie Melody Fair. S.W.A.L.K.(seal with a loving kiss) with Mark Lester, Jack Wild, and Tracy Hyde. So cute were these kids; I fell in love with the movie.

Lately just a few months ago - I upload movies but only good old classic ones and with a really good storyline - I managed to find the movie, which I had been searching for quite some time. I was so happy when I finally got it. The songs In The Morning and 1st of May really blended with the movie so well... beautiful songs. The BeeGees have definitive songs that I never tire listening to.