Thursday’s Theme Music

As I was pondering choices and pandering to pets, I mumbled, “Whatever gets us through the day.” The song stream kicked in. Up came John Lennon’s energetic melody, “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” (1974).

Ah, it’s a good song for a Thursday, Friday…whatever.

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”.

 

Friday’s Theme Music.

TCB. Takin’ care of business. I don’t know when the expression started, but it was in use everywhere I was by the time I reached a walkin’ talkin’ age, and I was using it by the late sixties. People would ask, “What’s up?” We, the pseudo-hip, would reply, “Oh, you know, TCB.”

Bachman-Turner Overdrive – BTO – formalized it in a song for us. It came out in 1974, the year I graduated from high school and joined the military. It feels like I’ve been taking care of business ever since.

As a side note, was a movie, later, “Taking Care of Business”, with Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin, which I didn’t find too funny. Weirdly, Stewart Copeland who was the drummer for the Police, did the music for the movie.

Anyway, here’s today’s song. I’m sure you’re out there taking care of business, so feel free to stream this as you do. Its beat will help keep you movin’.

 

Sunday’s Theme Music

I’m once again streaming 1974, another year in which things happened, other things changed, and everything kept going almost as though nothing had happened. For me, I graduated high school, turned eighteen, joined the military and left home, in that order.

Today’s theme music, “Only Solitaire”, arrives via a miasma polluting the thinking stream. Jethro Tull’s Warchild album was being streamed, but thinking about a particular individual, the stream’s thread narrowed to “Only Solitaire”. It’s a short and simple song.

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 to Collecting-tull.com

It’s a short song, a few ticks more than a minute and a half.

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