Thursday’s Theme Music Twofer

An old favorite Jethro Tull song came to mind this morning as I thought of self-isolation and the coronavirus social-distance shuffle. “Only Solitaire” is a short ‘un.

Brain-storming habit-forming battle-warning weary
winsome actor spewing spineless chilling lines —
the critics falling over to tell themselves he’s boring
and really not an awful lot of fun.
Well who the hell can he be when he’s never had V.D.,
and he doesn’t even sit on toilet seats?
Court-jesting, never-resting — he must be very cunning
to assume an air of dignity
and bless us all with his oratory prowess,
his lame-brained antics and his jumping in the air.
And every night his act’s the same
and so it must be all a game of chess he’s playing —
“But you’re wrong, Steve: you see, it’s only solitaire.”

h/t AZLyrics.com

As it’s so short, my mind jumped to a 1966 Neil Diamond song, “Solitary Man”. (BTW, Johnny Cash did an interesting cover of this song in 2000.)

The song has that pop sound of transition during those days (mid sixties). Featuring a horn section that was often used as pop went electric, becoming rock and more mainstream, the song has a sound that I associate more with adult contemporary. Interesting though, that this sound is being used by several groups now as a retro sound. Think, for example, of Portugal! the Man. WTH, I’ll include that, too. You don’t get a twofer, but a threefer.

That is all. Good day.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Birds were outside. (Yeah, where else would you expect them to be, amiright?)

I spied on them, flying around (and monitored the cats as they chittered and stared).

Out of that came memories of a Facebook post. Back in the last century, they were saying flying cars could be coming soon. Instead, we’re hoarding toilet paper and sneaking out of the house.

Out of that came a wish, time for me to fly. Songs hovered above the stream, ready to jump in. “Big Ol’ Jet Airliner”. “Learning to Fly”. “I’d Fly Away”. “Time for Me to Fly”.

But Lenny took it with his hit, “Fly Away” (1998).

 

 

Saturday’s Theme Music

Today is Saturday, March 28, 2020, day fifteen of our self-isolation (yeah, we jumped on it early).

I realized this morning that I didn’t see anyone’s face except my wife (with exceptions via technology). This isolation and watchfulness brought an old song up into the mental music stream this morning. Part of it were lines brought up by news of people who refused to follow guidance.

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants too

Outside, in the distance
A wildcat did growl

Two riders were approaching
The wind began to howl

h/t to Genius.com

Here’s the Jimi Hendrix Experience covering Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” (1968).

 

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Writing and the coronavirus mated, spurting today’s song into the stream.

I was writing about a queen. On break, I slipped into the backyard. Standing on the covered back patio, ginger cat wrapping around my calf like furry python, I listened to soft rain and admired pink and white blossoms on trees.

Lyrics arrive.

And I said mama, mama, mama, why am I so alone
I can’t go outside
I’m scared I might not make it home
I’m alive, I’m alive
But I’m sinking in
If there’s anyone at home at your place, darling
Why don’t you invite me in?
Don’t try to bleed me
I’ve been there before
And I deserve a little more

h/t to AZLyrics.com

The lyrics continued on autopilot while part of me sorted memory, coming up with Counting Crows, and then “Rain King” (1994).

Tuesday’s Theme Music

I have a habit now of waking up and reminding myself of the day and date. Just wanna ensure I don’t forget them.

We played dance music yesterday and danced around as we finished the jigsaw puzzle. Not so easy for many others out there. So, in a sappy way, this is for them.

From a simpler time (and another decade), here’s the wonderful Whitney Houston with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (1987).

Clock strikes upon the hour
And the sun begins to fade
Still enough time to figure out
How to chase my blues away
I’ve done alright up ’til now
It’s the light of day that shows me how
And when the night falls
Loneliness calls

h/t to MetroLyrics.com

Feel free to move around yer spaces.

Monday’s Theme Music

I had to venture out to a local store for a few things we deemed critical. As I shopped, maintaining a social distance (six feet) from others, their apparent (and maybe willful) ignorance annoyed me. The chorus of an old The Police (remember them?) song jumped into full-loop mode in my mental stream.

Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me
Don’t stand, don’t stand so
Don’t stand so close to me

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

(You prob’ly knew that was comin’, dinja?)

Yes, those lyrics from “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” (why, it’s right there in the title) from 1980 are perfect for when you’re out and others are nearby in the age of coro. Beyond that, I enjoy this song about an older male teacher and his young female student. Nice beat.

 

 

Sunday’s Theme Music

Walkin’ round the southern hills of our town, thinking through writing, drifting through music and news, I considered songs that felt right for the time. They came up mostly from superficial connections. Like, “Baba O’Riley” (aka “Teenage Wasteland”) (1971) by the Who sprang into the music stream because I was up in the fields.

But then, the social distancing – hunker down – quarantine – self-isolation aspect whispered at me about songs about people knocking at the door. With those songs, I thought of Rod Stewart with “Legs” (“Who’s that knocking on the door? It’s gotta be quarter to four.”) Then came Men at Work with “Who Can It Be Now?”. Finally, my stream settled on an oldie (yes, even older than the cited songs).

Several performers have done “I Hear You Knockin'” but I went with the one I’m most familiar with through poprock radio, the one by Dave Edmunds, which was released in 1970.  Other than the lyrics about hearing someone knocking at the door, and telling them they can’t come in, this blues song about being left alone has little to do with our coro sit. But still, it’s a good song.

Enjoy.

 

 

Saturday’s Theme Music

Thinking of all the ways we’re being told to stay home or in semi-isolation and seclusion – shelter in place, hunker down, etc. – when the thoughts dredged up an old Joe Cocker song.

“Shelter Me” is from his album, Cocker (1986). That album is known more for “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (written by Randy Newman), which was used in several movies (bet you can think of at least one) (if you’re of a certain age or older). Meanwhile, I’d play the album and grew to like “Shelter Me”, even though it has that late eighties sound that sometimes was over-used (you’ll know what I mean, if you are of a certain age).

But the song’s opening lyrics work for the age of the coronavirus.

This ain’t no place for losers
Or the innocent of mind
It’s a full time job
For anyone, to stay alive
The streets have shallow boundaries
For the war that’s everyone
What a wasteland for
Broken dreams and hired guns
Shelter me, baby shelter me
When I’m sitting like I’m losing ground
Shelter me

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

Okay, they’re not perfect, but I can play off that sense of boundaries – stay six feet away from one another, watch what your touch (don’t touch your face), and wash your hands (properly) – and the wasteland of shopping areas, airports, highways, restaurants, etc, and how some might think we’re losing ground and standing still.

Or maybe I’ve gone for a metaphor too far. Possible.

Anyway, on to the music, and Joe’s voice.

Friday’s Theme Music

Social distancing has been around for a while. Why, The Offspring were singing ’bout it way back in the last century, circa 1994. “Come Out and Play” was partially about keepin’ separated — there’s always a reason, it’s just the logic that’s different. As they noted in their lyrics, learn from your mistakes (I’m interpreting) or you’re gonna repeat them.

It goes down the same as the thousand before
No one’s getting smarter no one’s learning the score
Your never-ending spree of death and violence, and hate
Is gonna tie your own rope, tie your own rope, tie your own

Hey man you talkin’ back to me?
Take him out
You gotta keep ’em separated

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Yeah, some folk are gonna tie their own rope. (“This virus is a hoax,” “…a political stunt,” or, “Way overblown.”)

You gotta keep ’em separated.

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