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Every Dog Will Have His Day - Procol Harum

Since we're dealing with Procol Harum and penultimates (see last post) the penultimate track on their penultimate album "The Well's on Fire" (2003) is "Every Dog Will Have His Day" written by Gary Brooker, Mathew Fisher and lyricist Keith Reid.

Which is interesting, in that it's an instrumental so, presumably, Reid on this occasion contributed significantly to the musical composition of the piece. Which beggars the question of how much he may have contributed to the actual tunes of all the other Harum songs he cowrote with Gary Brooker from "A White Shade of Pale" onwards.

Like "The Only One" (see last post) "Every Dog Will Have His Day" is something of a swansong as it's the last track ever released (in album track sequence order) that has three of the most significant original band members contributing.

36 years before, Procol Harum struck gold with their first recording, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" with composers credited as Gary Brooker and Keith Reid. Over time, at least two other composers have also been credited: J.S Bach (the Hammond organ chords owe much to his "Air on the G String") and the organist on the original recording, Matthew Fisher.

In 2005, two years after "Every Dog" was recorded, Fisher filed a lawsuit against Brooker claiming he had co-written the music for "A Whiter Shade of Pale", previously credited to only Brooker and Reid. The case, though found in Fisher's favour, was batted about the courts for a further four years over the question of whether Fisher, so late in the day, was entitled to any royalties. Finally, the House of Lords, in an historic case as it was the first such that concerned the authorship of a song, ruled that Fisher should be awarded royalties henceforth, but not from the past, getting half of Booker's cut.

Reid, on the other hand, was untouched by the decision as Fisher didn't write any of the lyrics.

Booker and Fisher are in fine fettle here though, "Every Dog" opening with an almost reverential organ line by Fisher, that would not go amiss in church, elevating to a referential Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor-like passion before handing the baton over to Brooker's gentler piano. For a moment the two are in harmony, then Geoff Whitehorn's scorching guitar solo triumphantly brings the song to a climax.

The main melody though, is a steal from Elvis Presley's 1962 number one hit "Can't Help Falling in Love" written by

by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss who in turn lifted it from a 1784 song, "Plaisir d'amour" by French composer Jean-Paul-Égide Martini, so there is some kind of quadruple irony going on here.

As stated, the dog shortly to have his day (in court) was Matthew Fisher, and Keith Reid here gets a share of the proceeds for not writing the lyrics, shortly before both depart from the band leaving Brooker the last original member.


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