Wednesday’s Theme Music

I think I dreamed I was a woman last night. It was a modern dream, and I seemed to be in a competition, not like Miss U.S.A. or anything, i.e., a beauty pageant, but some game.

I use a lot of qualifiers because not much is clearly remembered. Out of this disjointed morass and the sense that “I have a feeling” came the song, “Hooked On A Feeling”.

The B.J. Thomas (yes, of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” fame) version came out in 1968, when I was twelve. It didn’t do much for this boy but had sufficient air time and exposure that I learned all of its nuances and words. I prefer the Blue Swede version that came out in 1974 (year I graduated high school) and its “oga-chukka, oga, oga” beginning.

Yeah, silly.

I included both version for your convenience. I admit, B.J. had a great voice, and the sitar opening is intriguing, but that oga, oga…come on.

Saturday’s Theme Song

Talking to the cats and feeling good. World is warming back up to thirty outside our window. Snow on the ground has gained an icy veneer. “All that’s okay, but the wind,” the cats say, “listen to that wind. Feel that wind. We don’t like the wind.”

“You’re alright, floofdudes. The wind is outside and you’re inside.”

“You sure? Because listen to those hisses, whispers, and howls.”

“Yep, we’re okay? Feel the heat? Have a treat. Don’t you worry ’bout a thing.”

And there it was, Steve Wonder’s lovely reminder, “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” (1974), a perfect song to release some tensions by singing aloud and dancing with your floofs.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin was released in 1974. I’ve been hearing a live cover by George Michael, with Elton John as his guest (1991) at the coffee shop. Naturally, it ended up stuck in the stream, looping around a few times.

There are many memories associated with the song (like dances, kisses, and good-byes). It came out right after I graduated high school and went into the military, so it’s branded as part of that era, that transition from teenager living at home to adult on their own. As the Michael version came out during my final tour, it almost exactly bracketed my military career. Just a little coincidence, but one that ends up attaching sentiments to the song for me.

Friday’s Theme Music

Planning a trip home, to see Mom in PA. I guess as part of that, Harry Chapin’s 1974 song, “Cat’s in the Cradle” started playing. Perhaps it’s because I’m not planning to see Dad, and I feel guilty. Mom and Dad each have birthdays in October’s last week. Mom lives in PA, Dad lives in TX, and I live in Oregon. Arranging to see them is a challenge with flight schedules.

The song came out the week that I entered the Air Force, as my Dad had done decades before. During basic, we heard little music and saw little of the outside world until basic was finished. Naturally, hearing this song after my basic was completed struck me as completely, and sadly, true.

Anyone, “Cat’s in the Cradle” is in my stream, so I’m presenting it to you.

Monday’s Theme Music

A beautiful sun warms a clear blue sky here in Ashland, southern Oregon, this morning. All is calm and serene. Into this streams a song by America, “Lonely People” (1974).

I’m fortunate to have family, but more, a writing process and endeavors which I enjoy, and a couple cats. Thanks to all this, I rarely have moments of feeling alone or isolated. But there are too many out there who are lonely people, even when they’re with friends and family, and more who are lonely, and alone, in isolation.

It’s them I think of this morning.

This is for all the lonely people
Thinking that life has passed them by
Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup
And ride that highway in the sky

This is for all the single people
Thinking that love has left them dry
Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup
You never know until you try

h/t to AZlyrics.com

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Guess I remain in an introspective mood. Childhood rock spills into my stream, coloring reflections and expectations, although today’s choice came out during my childhood’s end.

Today’s theme music, by Lou Reed, was another vinyl record that was played and worn down until it was too distorted to appreciate. It’d be hard to explain to people who only experience digital music how the vinyl could become warp, or the static that you sometimes heard through songs.

This album, Rock n Roll Animal, was one of my favorites in 1974, lasting through my high school senior year. I stopped listening when I joined the military and went away. Like many, my favorite song off that album was “Sweet Jane”. The guitar work on the extended entry, and then the stinging, fast high note work later, epitomized the emerging rock sound for me as much as Eric Clapton’s work with Cream. Lou Reed’s vocals often reminded me of Bob Dylan, and Mick Jagger later, as he often delivered this broad, inflected flatness that seemed like a vocal shrug.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Today’s song, “It’s Only Rock n’ Roll (But I Like It)” came out in 1974. I consider this song part of the theme music for my eighteenth year of life. I graduated high school, turned eighteen years old, and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1974. I think the song celebrates my attitude toward rock and roll; it’s just music, but —

I use the song for references, to celebrate, and to time-travel through memories as surely as Marcel Proust’s madeleines. I know it’s only rock and roll, and not significant in many universal schemes (although there’s a potential story, there, isn’t there, about how rock and roll changes things?), but I like it.

The song’s opening, too, offers exasperated questioning about the past and new expectations.

If I could stick my pen in my heart
And spill it all over the stage
Would it satisfy ya, would it slide on by ya
Would you think the boy is strange? Ain’t he strange?

h/t to AZlyrics.com

I’ve found that opening question appropriate for my life. What will it take to satisfy the bosses, lovers, friends, family, and gods? Each employs a different measuring system. The tricks are to find what works, what annoys them and causes me enough pain to avoid doing it again, and then monitor it all for changes – ’cause change is, like, you know, probable. Beyond all that shit, it’s a great song to sing to my stream as I walk or drive on my lonesome.

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Today’s choice arrived in the stream because of a chance encounter with a friend.

I’m retired military, 1974 – 1995. He was in the Army for almost five years. Most of that time was in Vietnam. May, 1969, was his one year anniversary of being in country. It was a bloody year for him. He lost many friends. He was also nineteen.

We guessed that it was just a juxtaposition of insights that brought about the darkness dragging him down this weekend. This is twenty nineteen, which kicked off the memory of being nineteen, when he was in Vietnam fifty years ago. It’s probably because of Memorial Day, and the many men walking around with Vietnam Vet hats on their heads, and the television shows talking about different military campaigns. It could be his sense of mortality. He’s getting older, as he reminded me.

He never cried when he spoke but he did a lot of sniffing, some quick eye wipes, and sometimes coped with a trembling voice with some deep breaths. Vietnam offered some hairy days, and he was grateful to have survived without too much damage, get home, go to college under the GI Bill, marry, and have a family.

After we shook hands and went our separate ways, and I was walking under the lush green trees, past beautiful beds of colorful flowers as cars rolled by and people pursued their celebrations of Memorial Day, I started streaming an old favorite song.

Here, from nineteen seventy-four, is William DeVaughn with “Be Thankful for What You Got”.

 

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