Furniture historians, or anyone else who has ever attended a family reunion, lost a person who made a popular contribution to the world. His obituary appeared in the 11/2/10 edition of The New York Times.
Robin Day, who died at age 95 on November 9, 2010, was the man who invented and designed the ubiquitous plastic lawn chairs that are easy to stack. The seats, which are lightweight but sturdy, remain popular because they are so practical.
To honor Day’s creation, I offer this list of the best ten songs with “chair” in the title.
10. “Wicker Chair” by Kings of Leon: The mean lyrics – “I hate you sometimes,” “You’re such a slut sometimes,” and “nobody cares for you”- are spouted on the alternative rock band’s EP Holy Roller Novocaine.
9. “Vacant Chair” by Steve Winwood: The beautiful song from Chronicles is both musically and lyrically a strong outlet for Winwood’s unmistakable voice.
8. “Rocking Chair in Hawaii” by George Harrison: This tune from Brainwashed backs acoustic blues with a sitar, which fwould not surprise fans of the late Beatle.
7. “Send Me to the Electric Chair” by Hoyt Axton: The well-respected folk songwriter covers this traditional classic, also known as “Electric Chair Blues,” better than more famous singers like Dinah Shore and Bessie Smith.
6. “Rockin’ Chair” by The Band: Levon Helm’s southern accent feels right at home on this tune about the comforts of being in “old Virginny.”
5. “Rockin’ Chair” by Gwen MacRae: Her strong R & B vocal outshines the seductive musical ambience of this 70s hit.
4. “Rockin’ Chair” by Oasis: One of the songs previously unreleased until The Masterplan, the acoustic upbeat tempo serves as an alluring backdrop to Liam Gallagher’s sweet, British tenor.
3. “I Don’t Need You Rockin’ Chair” by George Jones: The “Old Possum” sounds determined to endure in this classic country tune.
2. “Blue Chair” by Elvis Costello: This track from Blood and Chocolate showcases Costello’s ability to write classic country lyrics and adapt them to a pop tune. The line, “You say that your love lasts forever, when you know the night is just hours,” sounds like it belongs in Nashville.
1. “Bring Back the Chair” by Tom Paxton: The folk singer continues to pen protest songs. Instead of the Vietnam War as earlier in his career, here he satirizes the American practice of capitol punishment.