Tunes for the Music Man
by Gingersnap | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | February 11, 2024
Today Damian Lewis turns 53! Happy Birthday Damian, from the Fan Fun with Damian Lewis Team and all the fandom around the world! Every January the Team begins contemplating what we can do differently to celebrate Damian’s birthday in February and year after year we strive to be creative and unique. In 2022 we baked and decorated 51 Birthday Cakes and in 2023 we mixed 52 Celebratory Cocktails in honor of Damian. We’ve been bakers and we’ve been mixologists – now it’s time to enter the DJ booth, lay down some tracks and scratch out those beats on the deck. With the release of his debut album Mission Creep and recent UK tour, what better way to continue that music theme than to celebrate Damian’s 53rd birthday with 53 song dedications!
We planned, conspired and mobilized the fandom in the back channels of Twitter, Instagram or Facebook DM’s, as well as e-mail, to accomplish this secret project. With our idea set in motion the goal remained the same…to bring a smile to Damian’s face. The task was simple: choose a song that reminds us of Damian or reminds us of one of our favorite characters he has played. It could also be a song we wished he would cover at one of his music gigs or hope to hear on his next album. Any song for any reason.
Fans shared their song dedication with a virtual message to the birthday boy and now we’re sharing the playlist with all of you. The choice of tunes were endless – from blues, soul, jazz, folk and rock to new wave, pop, disco, punk, or country/bluegrass – we’ve got it all. Read along with us as we share photos/videos of each song dedication, the DJ’s name and location, and reason for choosing the particular song. And can I just say that we are in awe of the fans’ creativity and generosity. Some participants have put a lot of work into this and we are so moved.
We’ve also curated the song choices on a Spotify playlist here. Oh, and there is a surprise at the very end waiting for you. On behalf of the entire Fan Fun with Damian Lewis Team, we want to thank all those who participated.
Welcome to Fan Fun AM-FM, a virtual radio station. Hey DJ, play that song!
SONG DEDICATION #1
Title of Song: Dance Me to the End of Love
Original Artist: Madeleine Peyroux
Dedication: It is not an easy task to choose a song that reminds me of Damian (there are so many of them!) or a song that I would like him to cover (there are so many of them, too!) so I am going with the first song that came to my mind as soon as we agreed on this year’s birthday project: I would love Damian to cover a cover by Madeleine Peyroux, one of my favorite performers, of Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love from her third album Careless Love.
Why this song? Well, even when he did not have a music career, we saw Damian singing at public events, talk shows, and TV show wrap-parties. And when I thought about what song I would request from him should the opportunity somehow arises. the first song that came to my mind was Dance Me to the End of Love. Maybe because it is the most romantic song I have ever heard… Every time I hear it, thee hopeless romantic that I am, I visualize a couple that have grown old together, still in love, and dancing… While I I found out later about Cohen’s original inspiration for the song, as Cohen himself argues, the song uses the same language we use for surrender to our beloved, and in his words “it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.” Secondly, the song is a beautiful work of poetry defying genre characterization and so fits Damian’s repertoire beautifully. His husky voice would be perfect for it. Finally, I love it that dance, a passionate activity that finds a place in the songs Damian writes and covers, lies at the heart of the song. Thus, after “Because I’m still in love with you, I wanna see you dance again” and “Dance… Dance…Dance… When I’m Eighty” why not also sing…
Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Happy Birthday, Damian!
DJ’s Name: Damianista
DJ’s Location: Chicago, Illinois – USA
SONG DEDICATION #2
Title of Song: Rich Girl
Original Artist: Hall and Oates
Dedication: Both Damian and I were born in the early 1970’s – within a year of each other – and we came of age in the 1980’s, which means we Gen Xers automatically have similar upbringings, music interests and pop culture familiarity. It was the time of VCR’s, Sony Walkmans, compact discs, neon, big hair, mini skirts, Live Aid, the debut of MTV and that quintessential 80’s music. So it’s only fitting my song dedication is from either the 70’s or the 80’s. I listen(ed) to all different genres of music, from hard rock, metal and prog rock, to London underground punk and new wave/new romantic. I was especially into British bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Tears for Fears, The Clash, and much more. We both listen(ed) to Alan Parsons Project, Supertramp, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones and later in life, Coldplay. I could have picked a song from any of those bands mentioned above, or even his favorite rockabilly Elvis (all of the blue links above are Damian either discussing that band or attending their concert), but I settled on a Hall and Oates dedication. I think it’s a perfect choice because Damian played guitar and sang their song You Make My Dreams for charity during 2019’s Red Nose Day. Yet, I had a heck of a time choosing which Hall and Oates song to dedicate to our Ginger. I went back and forth among Rich Girl, She’s Gone, Sara Smile and One on One. In the end, I think Damian would do a fantastic rendition of the up tempo tune Rich Girl (from 1976 album Bigger Than Both of Us). I dedicated Hall and Oates to Damian because I would like for him to perform some of their music at one of his upcoming live gigs. I wouldn’t say no to hearing a Hall and Oates cover on his next album either 😉 Happy 53rd Birthday, Damian!
DJ’s Name: Gingersnap
DJ’s Location: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma – USA
SONG DEDICATION #3
Title of Song: Too Much Love Will Kill You
Original Artist: Brian May (also sung by Freddie Mercury on Queen’s “Made In Heaven” LP)
Dedication: I know many would think I would choose a heavy rock or metal song to celebrate Damian’s 53rd birthday, but that is not the case. I am choosing “Too Much Love Will Kill You” for two reasons. First reason is it was the lyrics I used for my From the Trader’s Desk post back in 2021 when we thought we had seen Bobby Axelrod for the last time on Billions. The words just seemed to fit a broken Axe having to leave everything he cared about behind and be exiled “far away from home”. The second reason is that I think it is certainly a song Damian could cover on tour. It’s a wonderful (if somewhat sad) song that I love. I think Damian would smash this song and introduce it to a brand new audience.
DJ’s Name: Lady Trader
DJ’s Location: Long Island, New York – USA
SONG DEDICATION #4
Title of Song: Skokiaan
Original Artist: The Southside Aces (originally written by August Musarurwa)
Dedication: I chose this song to dedicate to Damian for a few reasons. One, we know he loves jazz, and this song is from 1947, so I KNOW he’s heard it! Second, and the main reason, is I am performing this song to a live band (The Southside Aces) the night before Damian’s birthday. So just know, my friend, that I dedicated my performance to you and your birthday from all the way here in Minnesota! I am also performing it in the costume I designed specifically for your song, “Zaragoza”, so it just seemed like the perfect tie-in for this whole thing! I’ve always kept my life and perspective as an entertainer linked up with my persona here on Fan Fun, so the tradition continues! Happy birthday, Tall One!
DJ’s Name: Holliedazzle
DJ’s Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota – USA
SONG DEDICATION #5
Title of Song: Zaragoza
Original Artist: Damian Lewis
Dedication: I chose this song to honor Damian’s transition from actor/performer to singer/performer. I also did my share of busking in college and this struck as the type of song I would’ve sung had I known about it then. As it is, had we gone to the same school, I would’ve been a junior when Damian was a freshman (and Costabile would’ve been a senior!)
DJ’s Name: Tail That Wags the Dog
DJ’s Location: Bowie, Maryland – USA
Read the rest of the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis here