Today’s date, 7 November, is significant in all sorts of ways - elections, revolutions, births, deaths, but it’s the day in 1908 when two of America’s most famous outlaws were reportedly killed on the run in Bolivia. The choice of music to mark different occasions for this date is vast, such as in 1786, oldest musical organisation in the United States is founded as the Stoughton Musical Society. In 1893, women in the US state of Colorado are granted the right to vote, only the second state to do so. In 1917, it’s the Gregorian calendar date of the Bolshevik October Revolution, when the Winter Palace was stormed, having a profound impact on 20th century history. In 1944, Franklin D Roosevelt was re-elected for a record fourth term, but in 1972, Richard Nixon was also re-elected, before being later impeached after the Watergate Scandal. Could history repeat itself. It often does.
And in terms of births, two musical ones among many others, in 1918, the great Portuguese singer Maria Teresa de Noronha, and in 1970, Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy. But in a current era of criminals in the political arena, and hyped, racially charged accusations of South Americans going, let’s go the opposite with a song about two far more charming legends who tried to escape the law, Butch Cassidy (Robert Leroy Parker) and the Sundance Kid (Harry Alonzo Longabaugh), train and bank robbers extraordinaire, for more than a decade before fleeing to South America, and eventually being killed by soldiers, or at least reportedly so, in San Vicente Canton, Bolivia. The music is of course, written by Burt Bacharach, from the 1969 film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, a playful. upbeat intermingling of non-lyrical melodies.
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