Sunday’s Theme Music

So…

Contrary to world expectations, I’ve been, um, feeling good? How else can it be put, but I’ve been experiencing a rising sense of hope and optimism. It permeates everything I’m doing and thinking.

Rationally, I can’t account for it. I can say that I’m less stressed because I’m not out there socializing and fighting traffic. I can attribute it to kind weather gods; May, June, and July have been pleasantly mild for the most part, keeping anxieties about wildfires and smoke tamped.

But then there’s COVID-19 and what it’s doing to the world. And there was the death of a sweet, shy cousin, too young, just fifty-one, dead from cancer, leaving two sons behind, succumbing to the disease after a four year struggle. In my mind, she remains bright-eyed and smiling with an impish impulse.

And there was Dad, being rushed to the hospital mid-week, Dad who is rarely sick but has a full metal jacket of stents (installed a few years ago) and moderate CPOD. He is almost eighty-eight, though, so there’s always expectations and worries. We are talking about the life train. It always pulls in at the same final stop.

Writing, though, has been a wonderful escape, of course, taking me on an unexpected ride as the characters evolve and the story goes in directions that I didn’t expect. That’s always a pleasure, innit? A good writing day can propel you over many obstacles.

So…

Feeling good. Optimistic, hopeful, even joyous.

Against this backdrop, I’m hearing “Bell Bottom Blues” by Eric Clapton (1971). Two aspects of the song stay on a loop in my head: “I don’t want to fade away,” and “I don’t want to lose this feeling.”

No, I don’t want to lose this feeling. It’s too good. I wish I could package it and share for free with everyone in the world. Others should know these sensations. They’re powerful stimulants.

Enough of my babbling. Here’s the music, a later live acoustic version that I think does more justice to the song.

Saturday’s Theme Music

I’m full of memories today. Birthday is tomorrow and today is a holiday. Both, though, pale because they remind me of meeting my wife.

Which, because I was fifteen and she was fourteen (we married four years later), reminds me of my youth, and the way life was for me. Sort of interesting. My parents were divorced. I lived in Pittsburgh, PA, with Mom. Dad, in the Air Force and newly returned from Germany, was stationed in Ohio. They generously accepted my request to live with him, leading me to meet my wife. She was my Dad’s best friend’s daughter.

Which brings me to us, almost fifty years later. But those are other tales. We’re here for the music today.

Since the memory jukebox has landed in 1971, I selected a song from that time. There are a lot of great tunes but “Me and Bobby McGee” has wedged itself into the stream. Although written by Kris Kristofferson and originally sung by Roger Miller, I like the Janis Joplin cover best, as much for her style as for its impact as a marker in my life.

Enjoy the music.

 

Saturday’s Theme Music

Watching the riots remind me of my youth. Born in 1956 in the U.S., we had riots frequently in the sixties.

This month’s riot began when George Floyd, a black man, was apprehended by police, and died, allegedly for something involving forged documents.

Death by police officer is surely the response for such a heinous suspicion, right?

Watching police brutality in 1971, Obie Benson questioned what he was seeing. With Al Cleveland and Marvin Gaye, the thoughts were put into a song that became a Marvin Gaye hit. At that time, protesters were standing up against the Vietnam War. Police, demonstrating the restraint that we’ve come to know well from them, waded in, resulting in what became known as “Bloody Thursday”.

We’ve seen it many times; protests arise. Unless you’re white and armed (see Michigan this year), the police are gonna come hard. (Didn’t help that the POTUS (ever thoughtful and considered in his response) said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” quoting the Miami police chief from the 1967 riots).

The government is by the people and for the people, until the people speak up against the government (unless, again, you’re armed and white in the woke United States) (witness the frequency of armed white males killers with automatic weapons being peacefully apprehended), then look out, people.

Marvin Gaye’s song says it well:

[Verse 1]
Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying

You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some loving here today, yeah

[Verse 2]
Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer

For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some loving here today

[Chorus]
Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see

Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Yeah, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going on

h/t Genius.com.

BTW, this post was created with the new WP editor. Initial question: WTF did it need to change? Evolutionary improvements, I understand. I thought the other was an intuitive system. Now they want me to ‘insert blocks’, which include such common blocks such as ‘paragraphs’. Christ.

Their little floating block editor jumps in front of text, forcing you to navigate around it to see WTF is going on.

Grrrr.

Here is “What’s Going on”.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Seems like everybody’s waiting
For a new change to come around.

[Background:]
Come around, come around, come around.

[Lead Vocal:]
Waiting for the day when the
King, Queen of soul sing around

[Background:]
Sing around, sing around, sing around, sing around.

[Lead Vocal:]
You can understand everything’s to share.
Let your spirit dance brothers everywhere.
Let your head be free, turn the wisdom key
Find it naturally – see you’re lucky to be.
Dig this sound it’s been round and round and round.

You get out your cold feet ba-by
Something on your back lay it down.

[Background:]
Lay it down, lay it down, lay it down.

[Lead Vocal:]
Don’t you know honey maybe your light might shine this whole town

[Background:]
This whole town, this whole town, this whole town, sing around.

[Lead Vocal:]
Time for you to all get down
Yeah do it

h/t to AZLyrics.com

The song is Santana with “Everybody’s Everything” (1971). Thought it fit well for these times. BTW, that’s a Neal Schon guitar solo, not Carlos.

Get ready.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Today’s song is by a Canadian group, “The Guess Who”.

“Hang On to Your Life” was released in 1971. It came to me today out of one of the lines, natch; it’s a common occurrence when I’m walking around town, speaking to the cats, or visiting with my dreams. This one came out in conjunction with mutterings about writing (wrutterings, I suppose), and the quest for a better novel. I figured, “Maybe I can sell my soul.”

Burton Cummings answered in “Hang On to Your Life”, “but don’t you sell it too cheap.” Then I just meandered down some memory lanes about age, life, and choices. Yes, all while sober and not smoking anything. Listening to it, it seems like a perfect 1970 radio rock song, featuring raging lyrics in a taut voice backed by electric guitars and heavy drumming.

Gotta love it.

Thursday Theme Music

I was fortunate by when and where I was born. Pop music with all of its manifestations and variations had started booming, a boom that has continued. Being able to hear marvelous talents demonstrating their talents and skills via a turn of knob, the push of a button, the click of a link was and is amazing.

The Beatles were a huge part of that development. Their breakup…well, it happened, like a favorite couple being divorced. But they continued as individuals, adding to the musical treasure.

Ringo Starr was the Beatles’ drummer. I always thought of his song, “It Don’t Come Easy” by Ringo Starr (1971) as almost like an anthem. For a few lucky folks, things come easy. But for the rest of us, this is an enduring theme song.

Cheers

 

 

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I was doing my pre-writing walk through Ashland this morning, shuffling through golden leaves that’d lived their last, pushing against a nippy chill and leaning toward thin morning sunshine whenever it was found, when songs streamed in from the ethos. First up was the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” but “Get It On (Back A Gong)” by T. Rex replaced it after a few blocks.

I decided the latter would be a good theme song this morning, but I wanted to go with the cover. Who the hell did the cover?

Well, my mind quickly abandoned that question, returning to writing — that’s what the walk is all about — but as I entered the coffee shop at the end of the two miles, my brain said, The Power Station, 1985.

Oh, yeah.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Thinking about having a beer with friends at our annual Haroldfest tonight when this energetic old rock song streamed in. Even though it’s by this group led by this guy named Santana, I don’t I’ve heard it on the radio in about four decades.

The lines that brought it into mind:

You can understand everything’s to share.
Let your spirit dance brothers everywhere.
Let your head be free. Turn the wisdom key
Find it naturally, see you’re lucky to be
Sing it loud
It’s time for you to all get down
Yeah do it.

h/t to AZLyrics.com

‘Get down’ is a slang expression for partying and relaxin’, you know.

Time to get down.

 

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Today’s song is a natural for the times. I started to add, IMO – in my opinion – but isn’t that redundant? This is my post, so it should be my opinion. Yet, I took the time to writesplain that to you.

Ten Years After released “I’d Love to Change the World” in 1971 as a response to the violence, protests, emerging counter-culture, resistant establishment, and war. Gosh, does any of that have any echos in today’s world? Naw, probably just me.

Like most of TYA’s offerings, the song features some powerful Alvin Lee guitar work, which is always good to hear. Beyond the rock essence of guitar and dream, these lyrics, and how they’re presented in the song, plaintive, accepting, and reflective, spoke to me as a fifteen-year-old when the song came out, but still talks to me as a sixty-three-year-old.

I’d love to change the world

But I don’t know what to do.

So I’ll leave it up to you.

I think most of us want to change the world. We also know what to do, but it’s an embattled, relentless, and exhausting process. It seems more so in the Internet era, where lies and bullshit gains instant traction and never seems to die, like the Terminator rising again and again.

So I’ll leave it up to you.

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