Favorite Song about a Historical Person

Dec 2019
88
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For the last couple of weeks there has been a thread about war/battle songs (although it quickly spread to soldier songs, laments, and even symphonies). There is a lot of good stuff. Please check it out.

Since it went so well, I though we could start one about historical figures.

The rules:
#1 The song should be about a single, actual, identifiable historical person. (eg: a real pirate, not a fictional pirate - sorry Australia - Captain Feathersword is fictional)
#2 The song should NOT be about a group. (eg: NOT a song about a pirate crew)
#3 Please leave a line or two about the historical figure, or why you like the song or how you came across it.

I am going to start by breaking my own rule.
Jeremiah Dickson (1733-1779) Charles Mason (1728-1786). Some people are just linked by history (Bonnie & Clyde, Antony & Cleopatra, Banting & Best)
 
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Dec 2019
88
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The only thing better than a Mark Knopfler song is a second one.

Sonny Liston (c. 1930 - 1970) - (that "circa" in the birth date is telling…)
 
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Nov 2016
1,682
Germany
Marilyn interprets the song 'Happy Birthday' by invitation of the White House here especially for John F. Kennedy at his birthday party in May 1962, ten days before the actual birthday date. The speaker is actor Peter Lawford, Kennedy's brother-in-law and close friend. His allusions to Marilyn's lateness amuses the 15,000-headed audience in the Madison Square Garden, because Marilyn's penchant for lateness has been legendary for years. The dress she is wearing was 'sewn' onto her body just before the performance, it would have been far too tight to slip into. Under the dress she is completely naked.

A few years ago, the dress was bought by a Canadian entrepreneur for 4.6 million dollars, the most expensive auctioned item of clothing ever.

Two and a half months after the performance, Marilyn died under unsolved circumstances. Marilyn's way of interpreting the song had strengthened the rumor that John F. Kennedy had an affair with Marilyn. Kennedy thanked Marilyn kindly for her performance but broke off all contact with her afterwards. But she remained in contact with his brother Robert Kennedy, whom two witnesses saw together with two bodyguards in her house a few hours before Marilyn died.

 
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Offspring

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
8,979
România

It's one of my favourite songs. Her voice is amazing in it. I like The Beatles.
Now that most fans have their own emotional associations for the music, Nicks feels comfortable with revealing her side of the story in liner notes. "I wrote it in a very, you know, in a very poetic way, and it's real pretty," she says. "A lot of it's real sad. I want people to understand that these were really serious songs." Just how serious these songs are becomes apparent when Nicks relates the story behind her hit "Edge of Seventeen". It was, she says, not about teenagers or white winged doves, exactly, but about the deaths of John Lennon and her uncle, both of whom died the same week in 1980.

At the time, Nicks was going out with producer Jimmy Iovine, and was with him when news of Lennon's assassination first broke. "Jimmy was absolutely best friends with John Lennon," she says. "So when that happened, a hush came over the house that was so overwhelming that there was nothing that I could do to help. There was nothing I could say, there was no way I could comfort him." Unable to help, Nicks flew home to Phoenix. "I went straight over to my uncle's house, and my uncle died that day. He died right there with me holding his hand, just me and my cousin, who's a little younger than me, sitting there on the bed and on the floor next to him."
 
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