September earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my September earworms.

Gloria Estefan – Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

Boxcar Willie – Wabash Cannonball

Bee Gees – How can you mend a broken heart

The Impressions – It’s All Right

Billy Preston – Nothing From Nothing

Electric Light Orchestra – Don’t Bring Me Down

En Vogue – Free Your Mind

Grand Funk Railroad – We’re An American Band

Gladys Knight & The Pips – Midnight Train To Georgia

The Byrds – Ballad of Easy Rider

Sunnyland Slim – Be Careful How You Vote

Tommy Overstreet – Send Me No Roses

CeCe Peniston – Finally

The Marmalade – Reflections Of My Life

Loudon Wainwright III – Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road

Jimmy Reed – Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby

Dee Dee Sharp – Never Pick A Pretty Boy

Pink Floyd – Hey You”

P!nk – F**kin’ Perfect

Mel McDaniel – Baby’s Got Her BlueJeans On

Little Milton – Grits Ain’t Groceries

Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong

Jimmie Rodgers – Waiting for a Train

Don Walser – Rolling Stone From Texas

Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur

The CARS – Let’s go!

Frankie Lymon+The Teenagers – Why Do Fools Fall In Love 

Freddy Weller – Games People Play

The Pretty Things – Don’t Bring Me Down 

George Jones & Tammy Wynette – We Gonna Hold On

 

 

 

This is an aside and not a September earworm, but it came up right after that last video. Watch the body language when George uses Tammy’s name in the song. Brutal. I hope nobody ever makes me sing a duet with my ex. 

 

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Lyrics to shake your head at

There are a lot of songs I enjoyed in my childhood that I now shake my head at. I’m not talking about any musical prowess deficit, it’s usually a revisited lyric that makes me pause.

For instance, I was recently sitting in a dentist’s office and had a horror epiphany listening to Delilah by Tom Jones.

“…She stood there laughing, I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more…”

The song came out in  1968. WTF Tom? How did I ever think this song was catchy? It’s an ode to misogyny and murder. Nice.

I’ve been thinking since then about how music is an indicator of culture. What we hum along with tells us a lot about what what we’ll put up with. Look at the songs below to see why.

 

Tom WaitsWidow’s Grove (2006)    

“…I hid in the elm and raised the bough, that hung even with your neck, And I chased you and drowned you, there deep in the well, And when your mouth was full and wet, I swallowed all your reckless fate, And with your last breath, you moaned too drunk to wake…” Another murder the narrator cloaks in unrequited love.

Source

 

BeatlesRun For Your Life (1965)

“…Let this be a sermon, I mean everything I’ve said, Baby, I’m determined, And I’d rather see you dead…” Threats of murder cloaked in unrequited love – albeit at least these lyrics later acknowledge he’s a wicked man.

 

The PoliceEvery Breath You Take (1983)

“…Every move you make, Every vow you break, Every smile you fake, Every claim you stake,I’ll be watching you…” This song is indisputably about claiming ownership of a lover and feeling justified in rage when they challenge that idea by leaving. Pretty creepy.

 

Corey HartSunglasses At Night (1984)

“…I wear my sunglasses at night, So I can so I can, Watch you weave then breathe your story lines…” Although to be fair this set of lyrics is a bit more gibberish than menace than Every Breath You Take is.

 

Def LeppardTwo Steps Behind (1993)

“…Walk away, if you want to, It’s okay, if you need to, You can run but you can never hide, From the shadow that’s creepin’ up beside you…” So gee thanks it’s ok  but I’m not going to let you have any peace of mind because I’m gonna stalk you.

 

The OffspringSpecial Delivery (2000)

“…Hey now, do you see me down the way? Been watching you every day, In my car on your street is where I stay, I know you better that way, One day, I’ll be meeting you for real, You’ll feel bad like I feel…” Eek. Scary creepy.

 

The Human LeagueDon’t You Want Me (1981)

“…Now five years later on you’ve got the world at your feet, Success has been so easy for you, But don’t forget, it’s me who put you where you are now, And I can put you back down too…” Again, all about feeling justified in revenge for unrequited affection.

 

Source

Nick CaveFrom Her To Eternity (1984)

“…Ah read her diary on her sheets, Scrutinizin’ every lil bit of dirt, Tore out a page’n’stufft it inside my shirt, Fled out of the window, And shinning it down the vine, Out of her night-mare, and back into mine, Mine! O Mine!…” All about no boundaries and no respect, to say the least. Then there’s the nightmares.

 

These are the obviously concerning songs I could think of. I’m sure I’ll come up with more as I trip across old tunes in my head or in my travels. Meanwhile I could write a whole other blog about inappropriate or emotionally immature love songs. In fact I probably will…

 

 

 

 

 

She writes the songs – Willow Weep For Me

It can be so hard to find information online about women in music. Unless it’s made explicit, cultural assumptions have tended to credited the creation of music to men. Women were more likely to be given credit performing music than creating it. If you look hard enough there are hidden gems in the popular catalogs.

This is the case with the jazz standard Willow Weep for Me written by Ann Ronell. It was covered by everyone who was anyone, and still is.  I’ve included as many of their versions below as I can find.

Ann Ronell; photo by Walter Albertin.

Rosemary Clooney (with Count Basie) and Dinah Shore both also sang this song but I can’t find links to share with you. Sam Cooke did a version I really like. 

Willow Weep For Me wasn’t a one hit wonder. Ann was an early successful female writer for Hollywood films and theatre. She wrote Rain on the Roof (sung here by Al Bowlly), and Baby’s Birthday Party   (performed here by Nat Shilkret). She co-wrote the song Linda from The Story of G. I. Joe, and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf for Disney. 

Ann was born Ann Rosenblatt, but changed her name. I assume the change was due to the potential double jeopardy of being a woman and a Jew making a living in American popular music.

Find more info on Ann here, at IMDB, the Internet Broadway Database, and in her 1993 obituaries in the LATimes and NYTimes. She also comes up in iTunes searches. 

 

 

 

August earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my August earworms.

Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey – I’ll never smile again

Lynn Anderson – Rocky Top

Swing Out Sister – Breakout

 

Mighty Hannibal – Hymn No.5

Tex Williams – Smoke Smoke Smoke

 

Jimmy Dean – Big Bad John 

The Captain & Tenille – Love Will Keep us Together

 

Timi Yuro – Make The World Go Away

The Knack –  Good Girls Don’t 

 

Eddie Fisher – Tell Me Why 

Ketty Lester – Love Letters

 

The American Breed – I’m gonna make you mine

Glen Campbell – Galveston

 

Bobby Caldwell – What You Won’t Do For Love

Culture Club – Time

 

Seals and Crofts – Diamond Girl

Bananarama – I Heard A Rumour

 

The Drifters – Up on the Roof

Stray Cats – Rock This Town

 

The Alan Parsons Project – Eye in the Sky

Iron Butterfly – In A Gadda Da Vida

 

The La’s – There she goes

A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran

 

The McCoys – Hang on Sloopy

Collective Soul – Shine

 

The Four Pennies – Juliet

Michael Penn – No Myth

 

Bread – For All We Know

Echo and the Bunnymen – Lips Like Sugar

 

B.J.Thomas – Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

Traffic – Dear Mr. Fantasy

 

 

A musical harvest

The fruits of summertime are here for such a brief time. It’s important to take advantage. I’ve been busy by making cherry clafouis, pear tarts, pumpkin scones, and saskatoon pie.

And of course, I’ve had appropriate music in the background while baking.

Broken down by fruit variety…

CHERRY

Neil Diamond – Cherry, Cherry

The Mills Brothers and Louis Armstrong – Cherry

Bee Gees – Cherry Red

Foghat – Wild Cherry

Lita Ford – Cherry Red

Billy Joe Royal – Cherry Hill Park 

The Runaways – Cherry Bomb

 

BLUEBERRY

Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill

Prefab Sprout – Blueberry Pies

Ocean Colour Scene – Huckleberry Grove (if you wonder about this one, it’s because huckleberries and blueberries both grow wild in Alberta and they look really similar)

 

APPLE

O. C. Smith – Little green apples

Dionne Warwick – As Long As There’s An Apple Tree

The Andrews Sisters – Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree

Connie Francis – I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time

 

PEAR

The Secret Sisters – Do You Love An Apple, Do you Love a Pear

 

LEMON

Led Zeppelin – The Lemon Song 

Peter, Paul and Mary – Lemon Tree   

 

RASPBERRY

Prince – Raspberry Beret

Carole King – Raspberry Jam

 

STRAWBERRY

The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever

The Collectors – Grass and Wild Strawberries

Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23

Coldplay – Strawberry Swing

 

PUMPKIN

Jay & The Techniques – Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie

Crash Test Dummies – The ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

 

GOOSEBERRY

Seancara – The Gooseberry Bush

 

FIG

Bunny Wailer – Fig Tree

Peter Frampton – Fig Tree Bay

Scott Joplin – Fig Leaf Rag

 

 

July earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my July earworms.

Petula Clark – Kiss Me Goodbye

Alicia Bridges – I Love The Nightlife

Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug

Carmen Lombardo & Grady Martin – Coquette

Johnny Cash – Camptown Races

Manic Street Preachers – Suicide Alley

Kay Starr – Rock and Roll Waltz

Blue Oyster Cult – Godzilla

Dobie Gray – The In Crowd

Spooky Tooth – That was only yesterday

Buddy Knox – Party Doll

The Spencer Davis Group – Keep on Running

Dr Feelgood – Riot In Cell Block No 9

Phoebe Snow – Poetry Man  

Suzanne Vega – Toms Diner

Huey Lewis And The News – I Want A New Drug

The Monks – Drugs in my Pocket

Village People – Go West

Little Feat – Willin 

Heatwave – The Groove Line

Poly Styrene – Virtual Boyfriend

Ratt – Round And Round  (I almost went insane for these few hours)

John Waite – Missing You

Lifehouse – Broken

Joan Osborne – One Of Us

The Champs – Tequila

The Champs – Beatnik

Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville – Don’t Know Much

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

Triumph – Follow Your Heart

Kim Mitchell – Go For Soda

They’re playing our song – two national anthems

Both Canada and the US threw parties in the first week of July. National anthems were a big part of those patriotic celebrations. The anthems were written and chosen purposefully to tell a story, so here’s my little blog about the anthems and the story they tell. 

 

July 1 – Canada Day

July 1 marks marks Canadian confederation – the creation of the nascent dominion of Canada. It’s like a birthday, or maybe a wedding. It marks a becoming, and a coming together.

Interestingly, it was not called Canada Day until 1982. Until then it was called Dominion Day.

The Canadian national anthem – O Canada – was written by Calixa Lavallée. It wasn’t officially our anthem until 1980 but it had been performed and sung as an anthem for decades. It had some early competition in the songs The Maple Leaf Forever by Alexander Muir, and God Save the Queen.

 

July 4 – Independence Day

Americans celebrate their independence day on July 4th. It is a celebration of becoming autonomous from the British Crown. It’s a coming of age party. It marks a becoming, and a breaking of old ties.

The American national anthem is The Star-Spangled Banner, which uses the tune of a popular British song called To Anacreon in Heaven written by John Stafford Smith (is that ironic? maybe? declaring independence from Britain but always celebrating it by singing a British song?) 

 

 

June earworm round-up

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my June earworms. Good luck getting them out of your head.

the SweetLittle Willy

SkyhooksWomen In Uniform

Bronski BeatSmalltown Boy

Bay City RollersSaturday Night

.38 SpecialBack where you belong

Shirley & CoShame Shame Shame

Shakespeare’s SisterStay With Me

The SundaysHere’s Where The Story Ends

Paul McCartneySilly Love Songs

Patti Page & Vic DamoneSay Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart

The KinksSuperman

Cyndi LauperShe Bop

The Flamingos – Jump Children

Jimmy JonesHandyman

The RembrandtsI’ll be there for you

Atomic RoosterTomorrow Night

Simply RedSomething Got Me Started

Harry NilssonEverybody’s Talkin’

Billy “Crash” CraddockRuby Baby

Mike & The MechanicsAll I Need Is A Miracle

Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’ Mine

Jerry KellerHere Comes Summer

Rocky BurnetteTired Of Toein’ The Line

Little River BandLonesome Loser

All About EveOur Summer

Three Dog Night – Shambala

The Psychedelic FursHeaven

T.RexGet It On

Little EvaLoco-motion

Depeche ModeJust Can’t Get Enough

A life in song titles

I did a little music challenge in the early days of Facebook. I haven’t really delved into my love of Tom Waits on this blog, so I thought this would be a good way to demonstrate it.

The challenge was: Answer the following questions using only the one title s of one musical group or artist.

 

PICK YOUR ARTIST: Tom Waits

ARE YOU MALE OR FEMALE: I’m a “Gun Street Girl” for sure, for sure!

DESCRIBE YOURSELF: I am usually “Semi Suite”, but “In the Morning” I am “A Sight for Sore Eyes”.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF: I am a bundle of contradictions: “Baby, I’m Not a Baby Anymore” but “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” either.

DESCRIBE WHERE YOU CURRENTLY LIVE: I live in a quiet neighbourhood – in the “House Where Nobody Lives” at the intersection of “9th & Hennepin” and “Virginia Avenue” “On the Other Side of the World”. I used to live on “Heartattack and Vine” but I relocated on doctor’s orders.

IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD YOU GO: Am I in a “Los Angeles Mood”? Not today. I’ve always wanted to go to “Singapore”. Hmmmmm? “I’ll Take NY” anytime but right now “I Wish I Was in New Orleans (in the Ninth Ward)”.

YOUR FAVOURITE FORM OF TRANSPORTATION: The “Downtown train” of course.

YOUR BEST FRIEND IS: You, my sweet little “Coney Island Baby” (at least “‘Til the Money Runs Out”).

YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR IS: “New Coat of Paint”.

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE: It’s like a “Flower’s Grave” out there right now. We are experiencing “Strange Weather”; “More Than Rain”. Last night I lay awake thinking “Blow Wind Blow” and in my dreams I imagined the “Earth Died Screaming”. They say “You Can Never Hold Back Spring” but my goodness, Mother Nature seems to be trying her best to just that. Brrrr.

FAVOURITE TIME OF DAY: Well it’s certainly not “Closing Time”.

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A TV SHOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: “Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)”.

WHAT IS LIFE TO YOU: Wow, that’s a profound question.
Life is kinda like a “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis”, y’know?
You waste so much time “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night” and “Fumblin’ With the Blues” that you end up with a “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” wondering “How’s It Gonna End”?
You stumble in the dark on the “Lowside of the Road” carrying your “Little Drop of Poison” in a brown paper bag.
But you keep going, drinking one “Jockey Full of Bourbon” after another; then you find a little tavern and “Tango Till They’re Sore” until “Everything Goes to Hell” and they toss you out on your drunken ass “Dragging a Dead Priest” in your wake looking for “Just The Right Bullets” with “$29.00” in your pocket.
You been “Falling Down” more than standin’ up and wonder why it feels like you got “Shore Leave” in a “Town With No Cheer”.
“What Keeps Mankind Alive” if “Misery Is the River of the World” and we’re all “Lost in the Harbour”?
Profound question indeed; what is life? “The Part You Throw Away” man, “The Part You Throw Away”.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE TO GIVE: You are “Innocent When You Dream” so when you feel like you are “Starving in the Belly of a Whale” just buck up and “Whistle Down the Wind”.
It may seem some days like “God’s Away on Business” but “Hold On” and just remember “Jesus Gonna Be Here” soon.
Oh and, “I Never Talk to Strangers”.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE YOUR NAME, WHAT WOULD IT BE: “Martha”  “Rosie” “Muriel” “Georgia Lee” “Alice” “Lucinda” Hoover.

YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD IS: That’s easy – it’s got to be a “Chocolate Jesus”.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “We’re All Mad Here”.

HOW I WOULD LIKE TO DIE: “All Stripped Down” – metaphorically of course 😉

MY SOUL’S PRESENT CONDITION: I used to feel like “Just Another Sucker on the Vine” – but “Lord I Been Changed” by a “Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)”.

MY MOTTO: “Come On Up to the House”.

May earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my May earworms.