MMMM: Saint Songs Again!

A few years back (2017), October 31 (i.e. Halloween) fell on a Monday, and rather than playing Halloween songs, I decided to play songs with "saint" in the title, since November 1 is All Saints’ Day in the Catholic Church. I went back and discovered that the playlist I used that week was still mostly intact. Then I found a Friday 5×2 post that had reader submissions. So, I give you both…

  1. Louis Armstrong, “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In” I played Fats Domino’s version of this a couple of days ago, so here’s Satchmo’s. It’s a Christian hymn that gets done by jazz musicians a lot.
  2. John Parr, “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” Theme song from the ultra-popular mid-Eighties Brat Pack coming-of-age film, it reached #1 for two weeks in September 1985.
  3. Cab Calloway, “St. James Infirmary Blues” Xmas Dolly will like this one, as it’s from the animated feature Betty Boop’s Snow White. As I said a few weeks ago, Max Fleischer was a genius. That’s Koko the Clown that looks like he’s singing it, and the dog character sitting on Betty’s casket is Bimbo.
  4. Eartha Kitt, “St. Louis Blues” The person who created this video added a scene from Ms. Kitt’s first appearance as Catwoman on Batman, but it didn’t detract from her vocal performance, taken from the 1958 biopic of W. C. Handy, which starred her and Nat King Cole. And yes, Billy Preston played Handy as a boy.
  5. Aly Bain with Jerry Douglas and Russ Barenberg, “St. Anne’s Reel” According to this, no one is quite sure where this tune came from, or when it was written, but here’s it’s played by Scottish fiddler Bain, who makes it sound like an Irish reel. It’s also popular among bluegrass players.
  6. David Bowie, “All Saints” From the 1991 release of David’s 1977 album Low, this wasn’t on the original album, but was a bonus track. Sounds like a synthesizer solo by producer Brian Eno.
  7. Chris DeBurgh, “St. Peter’s Gate” From his 1999 album Quiet Revolution. Chris has a pretty amazing catalog of albums, and the only thing I can remember hearing by him was “The Lady In Red.”
  8. Metallica, “Saint Anger” Title track from their 2003 album. I knew someone would suggest it, and added it in advance.
  9. The Rolling Stones, “Saint Of Me” From their 1997 album Bridges To Babylon, it reached #26 in the UK but only #94 in the US. Wikipedia notes that Keith Richards was noticeably absent for this session.
  10. Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, “For All The Saints” I classify this as a Catholic drinking song, even though it was written by William Walsham How, Anglican bishop of Wakefield. The melody is by Vaughan Williams, who called it “Sine Nomine,” literally “Without Name.” The whole song is eleven verses, and can be found on Wikipedia.
  1. Foo Fighters, “Saint Cecilia” Cathy came up with several suggestions, starting with this one. She had it down as “St. Isabella,” and I could have sworn I had seen that one, but couldn’t find it. It might have been this one, which Jeanne also suggested. It was the title track from their 2015 EP, and reached #3 on the Mainstream Rock chart the following year.
  2. Mötley Crüe, “Saints of Los Angeles” I impress myself sometimes: I got all the umlauts in! Cathy also suggested this. It was the title track from their ninth and final LP from 2008. Helped along by its presence in the video game Rock Band, it reached #5 on the Hot Mainstream Rock chart and was nominated for a Grammy in 2009.
  3. U2 and Green Day, “The Saints Are Coming” Ever since the “free album on iTunes” debacle, U2 has been on my “naughty” list. Also from Cathy, this was originally done by the Scottish punk-rock band Skids on their 1979 debut album Scared To Dance. The cover reached #51 on the Hot 100 in 2006.
  4. Doris Day, “Ol’ Saint Nicholas” Birgit said she remembered a song by either Doris Day or Kate Smith (or both) that had “saint” in the title, and I found this. I know, it’s not Christmastime until after Thanksgiving, but it’s like everyone is starting “the most wonderful time of the year” early, so I added it.
  5. J. S. Bach, “St. Matthew Passion (Final Chorus)” Ed told me he sang this in college, where his choir director used it as a way to teach people who didn’t speak German how to sing it, and that the words, when translated, are beautiful. The whole piece is almost three hours long.
  6. Judas Priest, “Saints In Hell” Jeanne contributed this one. From their 1978 album Stained Class.
  7. Sara Evans, “Saints and Angels” Sandi wasn’t sure if The Waterboys or country singer Sara Evans did this originally. From what I gather, The Waterboys got it from Sara. This was on her 2000 album Born To Fly, and was the third single from it, released in September 2001. It peaked at #16 on the Hot Country Singles chart and at #3 on Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” Hot 100.
  8. Orbital, “The Saint” Jeanne also recommended this theme song from the Sixties TV show The Saint starring a young Roger Moore, who would have made a dynamite James Bond when the show was on. I think he was a bit long-in-the-tooth to play him in the Seventies. I haven’t done a collection of TV Themes in a while. Maybe next week?
  9. St. Paul and The Broken Bones, “Call Me” SDC suggested this one, and while the song title doesn’t have “saint” in it, the band’s name does. They’re a six-piece “blue-eyed soul” band from Birmingham, Alabama, and they’ve released two albums and two EP’s. This is from 2014’s Half The City.
  10. “St. Trinian’s Fight Song” From the British “St. Trinian’s” movies, popular in the Fifties and based on a cartoon of the same name about a girls’ school where the girls are little hellions. Mary and I used to watch them when Channel 11 in Chicago would run them as the late Sunday evening movie. The first, 1954’s The Belles of St. Trinian’s, featured the redoubtable Alistair Sim in dual roles, as the headmistress as well as her bookie brother. They attempted a reboot of the series not long ago, and it was much less innocent and much less successful.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for November 1, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

16 thoughts on “MMMM: Saint Songs Again!

  1. John,

    I started listening to one of these playlists while on staycation but didn’t get done. Just now I finished set two which I accidentally clicked first. I really enjoyed it and appreciated the mention. Now to hit play on the first one while I continue working in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing!


  2. My favorites here were the older ones – St. James Infirmary, the incomparable Louis Armstrong and the ditto Eartha Kitt (although I do love St. Elmo’s Fire), The Metallica video was so gritty but there are some Metallica songs I enjoy (not this one, though, alas) but, on the other hand, St. Anger (which I haven’t heard in forever) more than made up for it. The Saints Theme was also one I hadn’t heard in forever – my parents used to watch that program. I was too young to enjoy it, I think. I’ll have to look it up one day. RIP, Sir Roger Moore.


    1. I prefer the older songs myself, and I was a big fan of “The Saint” when they were showing reruns of it on one of the subchannels (I forget which now). I think Roger Moore would have been a better Bond had he been chosen ahead of Sean Connery; he was a bit long in the tooth when he finally got the role in the ’70’s.


  3. Oh my goodness, and wait I saw it John the tune with Betty Boop… and yes I sure did like it, but I remember my mama playing that one all the time for me when I was little. She loved Betty Boop too! hahaha Thank you Thank you Thank you…hahahaha Loved my hair my hair anything, but that…. hahaha


    1. Where Koko the Clown (I think it’s actually Cab Calloway doing the voice) is singing “St. James Infirmary”? I love those old Max Fleischer black-and-white cartoons, as well as Ub Iwerks’s with Disney.


  4. Well, I have to tell you John I had to listen to the St. Louis Blues all the way through if any of them at all because my mama use to play that tune on the accordian and she was famous for that among our family and friends and she was good to say the least. Ahhhhh my mama I sure have been missing her lately… not sure why, but I just have. Thanks John thank you so much for pickin’ that tune! It was great. Didn’t know Earth Kitt was the one that sang that tune. It was great. Thank you , thank you, thank you.


    1. She did a great cover of it, but I don’t think she was the original. W. C. Handy wrote it in 1914 (!). That video is from the 1958 movie St. Louis Blues that starred Nat King Cole in a more-or-less biopic about Handy. Besides Eartha and Nat, it also had Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Barney Bigard, and (God bless her) Mahalia Jackson. That’s one movie I hope I can find someday soon…

      One of my aunts did a great version of “St. Louis Blues”… we had some serious singers in our family.


    1. It wasn’t that hard: I already had the lists built and the original posts, so I just had to update the lists and replace the videos that were no longer available, and get all the descriptions out of the original posts. Voilá!


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