Thursday’s Theme Music

Surprising to find that today is Thursday in this part of existence. I strongly recall Monday and Wednesday, but I think Tuesday took a header.

Prepared myself for writing this morning via a pep talk and then a walk. As I finished the latter, I told myself that I’m good, I’m cool, and then some neurons fired and I added, I’m easy.

Perhaps that was my sub’s plan to relax and fortify me. Next, the subconsciousness began playing “Easy” by the Commodores (1977) in my stream. Music always affects me, soothing, calming, exciting, sometimes even forcing me to cry. But this was a perfect, mellow counterpoint to the focus and intensity building. I need both of those, but they need to be tempered just enough to take the edge off.

“Easy” did it.

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Tuesday’s Theme Music

Today’s music is owed to a cat. I opened a new can, put it in his bowl, and set it down in front of it. He took a step toward it, bent his head, sniffed it, looked up at me, and meowed.

“Looks fine to me,” I said. “Whatcha see is whatcha get.”

That naturally triggered the 1971 Dramatics’ song, “Whatchat See Is Whatcha Get”.

I gave another cat the rejected food. The other cat wolfed it down and then washed itself. The first cat, Boo, found kibble in the always there kibble bow.

Thinking about the song, I thought that it’s not only effective for telling the cat this is his breakfast choice this morning, but can hold to our politics with Trump. What you see, an ignorant, self-absorbed person and known cheat with a first-graders’ maturity level, and nursery-school knowledge of history and the U.S. Constitution, is what you get. That seems fine with the Trumpettes, but the rest of us are not pleased.

The song’s first words:

Some people are made of plastic
And you know some people are made of wood
Some people have hearts of stone
Some people are up to no good

h/t to Genius.com

Yes, I think that’s apropos for Trump and the Trumpettes.

 

Saturday’s Theme Music

Today’s song came out in 1955, a year before I was born. Mom played it a lot, so I learned it.

The carries the sound of that era, with a heartfelt delivery of the song’s sentiments. The lyrics are timeless. It’s a song that I think everyone should think is about them.

Only you, can make this world seem right
Only you, can make the darkness bright
Only you, and you alone, can thrill me like you do
And fill my heart with love for only you

O-only you, can make this change in me
For it’s true, you are my destiny
When you hold my hand, I understand the magic that you do
You’re my dream come true, my one and only you

Read more: The Platters – Only You (And You Alone) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I guess some nostalgia has slipped into my stream. Here’s the Platters with “Only You (and You Alone)”.

Friday’s Theme Music

This one popped into my stream and then I sang it to one of my cats. The song, “Cool Jerk” by The Capitols, came out in 1966. I was ten and I thought this was a cool song. I still enjoy its beats, that bass, that piano, those lyrics and deliveries. I’ve never heard one of the cover songs (and there are many out there) that rose up to this version.

The cat’s version, of course, subs cat for jerk in the song. “Cool cat,” bum bum bum ba bum bum bum, “cool cat.” It was Papi on the receiving end and came about as the big dark ones, Boo and Tucker, were in one of their stand-offs. Papi, the svelte, young ginger, gave each a glance and sauntered between them.

Definitely a cool cat.

Wednesday Theme Music

Today brought me another Aretha Franklin classic. She didn’t write it, but she sang it with power — of course. We’re talkin’ ’bout Aretha Franklin.

Don’t know what prompted it to enter my morning stream and dance around the kitchen. I tried coaxing the housefloofs into singing and dancing with me but they were havin’ none of it, preferring to sit down and disparage me with judgmental stares.

Here we go, “Chain of Fools” (1967). It’s good hump day music, ya know?

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music comes via my cat, Boo. Boo is a large black cat with a minute white triangle on his chest and two long, white whiskers. Tailless, he came to us as a stray few years ago. We tried to find his people but failed, so he became part of the household. Although big and smart, Boo has issues, and it’s clear that someone mistreated him.

So, I was singing to him last night as I stroked his head and back, “Say it loud. I’m black and I’m proud.” That brought to mind the James Brown song from 1968, of course. Hell, it’s the title.

James Brown’s song is a powerful and affirmative statement of identity and clarity. I used to get goosebumps when I heard a large group of blacks singing it and clapping to the beat. It was amazing to witness.

Look a’here, some people say we got a lot of malice
Some say it’s a lotta nerve
I say we won’t quit moving
Til we get what we deserve
We’ve been buked and we’ve been scourned
We’ve been treated bad, talked about
As just as sure as you’re born
But just as sure as it take
Two eyes to make a pair, huh
Brother, we can’t quit until we get our share

h/t to A-ZLyrics.com

Here’s “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)”.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music is “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to be Right”. Humming along with it as it flowed through my stream this morning during the routines, I thought about the song’s complex, grown-up nature.

I was sixteen when the song was released in 1972 and going through the standard processes involving discovering love and sex. Little did I know how complicated it could all be. The big lie still held about finding someone and falling in love, marrying for laugh, and growing old together. Big cracks were appearing in the big lie. Love and sex, as well as gender identity and sexual orientation are all more complicated than the big lie’s straightforward depiction. Then religion society gets involved – a black man and a white woman? Social norms add new pressures and dimensions.

That’s behind the song. He’s in love with another woman, having an affair and cheating on his wife. And the woman is having an affair with a married man. Both of those are taboo. The man understands that he has commitments. Needs change.

I’m not trying to defend him so much as think about how complicated love, sex, society, marriage and life can be. It’s not as clean and simple as the big lie leads us to believe.

Am I wrong to fall so deeply in love with you
Knowing I got a wife and two little children
Depending on me too
And am I wrong to hunger
for the gentleness of your touch
knowing I got somebody else at home
who needs me just as much

And are you wrong to fall in love
With a married man
And am I wrong trying to hold on
To the best thing I ever had

h/t to songfacts.com

Of course, the other part of this is what it would do to his wife if she discovered his betrayal, and what could result from that, nor what the guilt can do to him and his thinking and psyche.

Many performers and groups have covered this R&B classic, but that original voice and music is seared into my brain. Luther Ingram didn’t write it, but he delivered the sound.

 

 

Friday’s Theme Music

Freddies dead
That’s what I said
Let the man rap a plan said he’d see him home
But his hope was a rope and he should’ve known
It’s hard to understand
There was love in this man
I’m sure all would agree
That his misery was his woman and things
Now Freddie’s dead
That’s what I said

Read more: Curtis Mayfield – Freddie’s Dead Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I was reading about another unarmed black man killed by another white man with a gun. In this case, the black man was killed by a Walgreen’s security officer as he was walking away, shot in the back, after the two exchanged words several times.

Reading about the man’s death as the holidays are fading and the decorations are taken down and put away inspired weariness about change’s creeping nature and questions of why so many others seem eager to kill someone because they’re a different color, or the things they said. Growing up in 1960s America, race riots and violence were a nightly news staple. I keep hoping for peace, equality, and justice.

From all that, I began streaming Curtis Mayfield, “Freddie’s Dead” (1972).

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