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.

Arts intersecting – Pablo Picasso

I am a lover of all things arts. They are the happiness I pursue. So when any of the arts intersect it makes me very happy, I suppose that’s because it makes my pursuit of happiness a little bit easier.

For example music and the visual arts find inspiration in one another.

Probably the most well known example is Don McLean’s song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), which I did my first Arts Intersecting blog about, but the song Pablo Picasso by Jonathan Richman is the crossover arts song that I am most likely to play on my iPod. I love that it successfully rhymes Pablo Picasso with the word asshole.

Well some people try to pick up girls
And get called assholes
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and
So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole

Well the girls would turn the color
Of the avocado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado
He could walk down you street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not like you
Alright

Well he was only 5’3″
But girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not in New York

Oh well be not schmuck, be not abnoxious
Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole
Remember the story of Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Alright this is it

Some people try to pick up girls
And they get called an asshole
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and so
Pablo Picasso was never called…

This is may be my favourite, but it’s not the only song inspired by Picasso.

David Bowie incorporated part of the Johnathan Richman song into his own song called Pablo Picasso.

The lyrics for Picasso’s Last Words by Paul McCartney & Wings mention a grand old painter, but only the title references Picasso specifically. 

Bulletproof Picasso by Train doesn’t really talk about the artist but talks about the artistic character in a generic sort of way.

Citizen Cope also has a song named for Pablo Picasso. Why it’s named Pablo Picasso I don’t know because it never mentions the artist in the lyrics, but it’s the thought that counts.

Blue Period Picasso by Peter Bjorn and John is interesting. 

There is a song by Jay-Z too, but I don’t like it so I won’t include it. It’s my blog after all.

 

Cover image: Pablo Picasso, 1921, Nous autres musiciens (Three Musicians), oil on canvas, 204.5 x 188.3 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

Easter songs

When it comes to western holidays Christmas wins the pop culture game. Easter runs a distant second. Easter is seen either as a day only for kids, or as a solemn religious celebration with not a lot in between for us secular types. I’m not religious, and I don’t need more chocolate, but I have found some music that I go to every year in early spring.

See the music and pop culture clips below.

Gene Autry – Peter Cottontail – Gene Autry
Judy Garland – In Your Easter Bonnet (From the movie Easter Parade)
 Here Comes Peter Cottontail – by Rankin/Bass Productions
The Tale Of The Bunny Picnic – with Jim Henson’s Muppets
I Want an Easter Egg – Bugs Bunny
Everything’s Alright – from Jesus Christ Superstar
And finally, because as I said above, Easter is for kids:
Who Fed the Chickens? – Ella Jenkins

 

Happy Easter!

March 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 never figure out what triggered 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 March earworms.

  1. Tommy James and the Shondells – Crimson and Clover

  2. Trio – Da Da Da (HaHa – you’re welcome)

  3. Pink Martini – Donde estas Yolanda

  4. Rod McKuen – Without A Worry In The World

  5. Roxy MusicLove Is The Drug

  6. Reunion – Life Is a Rock

  7. Ann Peebles – I Can t Stand the Rain

  8. Main Ingredient –  Everybody Plays the Fool

  9. Gary Wright – DreamWeaver

  10. Bobby Rydell – Wild One (Do you ever go back to an old song and suddenly realize it offends you…?)

  11. The Left Banke – Walk Away Renee

  12. Tony Christie – Is This The Way To Amarillo

  13. Wilbert Harrison – Kansas City

  14. Northern Lights – Tears are not Enough

  15. Barbra Streisand – Don’t Rain On My Parade 

  16. Freddie Scott – Hey Girl

  17. Dale And Grace – Stop And Think It Over

  18. Roy Orbison – Only The Lonely

  19. April March – Chick Habit

  20. Johnny Tillotson – Yellow Bird (What did I say about going back and realizing how offensive lyrics are…)

  21. Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street

  22. Marty Wilde – Jezebel (O M G, are all old songs sexist…?)

  23. Al Green – Take Me To The River

  24. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love

  25. Buzzcocks – What do I get

  26. Bobby Vinton – Blue Velvet

  27. Lou Bega – Mambo No. 5

  28. Echo and the Bunnymen – The Killing Moon

  29. Big Country – In A Big Country

  30. Richard Berry and The Paroahs – Have Love, Will Travel

  31. Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine

 

February 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 never figure out what triggered 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 February earworms. Its more than one a day but I’ve been painting the house so I’ve had extra occasion for songs to occupy my head. Plus one song that stuck in my head because my beloved dog died on Feb 11. I’ll let you figure out which song that is. 

  1.  Rick James – Super Freak  This earworm is as much about the bouncy music as it is the lyrics. 
  2. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Don’t Come Around Here No More
  3. Weezer – Island In The Sun Just try to not chime in ‘hip, hip”.
  4. Offspring – Gotta Get Away Too fast or a bit too slow?
  5. MGMT – Kids Oh, that infrectious keyboard!
  6. Barbara Streisand – On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) There is always at least one Barbara song in every earworm year.
  7. Anne Murray – Snowbird God help me. 
  8. Crosby Stills Nash and Young – Our House is a very, very, very fine house
  9. Earth, Wind & Fire – That’s the Way of the World Hearts afire…
  10. Shakira – Ojos Así I have almost this whole song memorized… “Puedo vivir sin ellos yo…”
  11. Johnny Cymbal – Mr. Bass Man Ba bababa Ba, booboomboom … It’s like it’s sung by Porky Pig.
  12. Melanie – Brand New Key You can not, not sing this. Can’t be done. 
  13. The Animals – Please Don´t Let Me Be Misunderstood This song has applied to every one of us at some point.
  14. Natalie Imbruglia – Torn That’s whats going on ….
  15. Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Midnight Moses How great is it to have “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!” stuck in your head.
  16. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle Sha na na na na knees knees…
  17. Bobby Pickett – Monster Mash This is the obligatory childhood flashback earworm.
  18. Bobby Brown – My Prerogative I know, I know, but it’s so catchy …
  19. Willie Tee – Walking Up A One Way Street This comes from some obscure corner of my childhood my mother can take credit for. 
  20. Natalie Cole – Miss You Like Crazy
  21. Oscar Brand – Four Letter Words Ok, this one comes from a stint in my late teens spent in a English-style pub that featured a singer named Rusty Reed
  22. Three Dog Night – An Old Fashioned Love Song I don’t need to explain this one, do I?
  23. Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper I owe so many earworms to my uncles. 
  24. Carmen Miranda – Chica Chica Boom Chic Language is no barrier when the words are universal. Chica, chica boom.
  25. Ernest Tubb – Walking the Floor Over You I almost went Grand Ole Opry free this month. Almost, but not quite. 
  26. Carole King – It’s Too Late I wore a groove in Carole King’s greatest hits as a young teen. 
  27. Sham 69 – Borstal Breakout This is one of my favourite songs in my Punk playlist. 
  28. Gene Vincent – Say Mama Go ask your dad.
  29. Melissa Manchester – You Should Hear How She Talks About You This is just so catchy. 
  30. UB40 – Red Red Wine 
  31. Juice Newton – Queen Of Hearts I loved this song as a kid. 
  32. Howard Jones – Things Can Only Get Better I like to believe this is true …

 

Arts intersecting – songs about Vincent van Gogh

I am a lover of all things arts. They are the happiness I pursue. So when any of the arts intersect it makes me very happy, because I guess it makes my pursuit of happiness a little bit easier.

Vincent's Chair with His PipeMusic and the visual arts, for example, find inspiration in one another, and the artists who create each inspire creative endeavors in other artistic fields. Visual arts and artists find their way into music a lot.

Probably the most well known example is Don McLean‘s song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), about Vincent Van Gogh.

Less well known, McLean’s song Empty Chair was also about the artist Van Gogh.

Don McLean was not the only musician inspired by Van Gogh, however.

Bob Dylan also wrote a little known and never released song about Van Gogh’s work called Spuriously Seventeen Windows.

Then there’s Waiting For Van Gogh by Dan Bern, and Vincent Van Gogh by Edmond and Carol Nicodemi.

My personal favourite Vincent Van Gogh inspired song is by Johnathan Richman.

Well, have you heard about the painter, Vincent van Gogh
Who loved colour and who let it show?
And in the museum, what have we here?
The most soulful painter since Jan Vermeer

And he loved, he loved life so bad
His paintings had twice the colour other paintings had
So bad that the world had to know
He loved colour and he let it show

In the Amsterdam museum I was feeling bad
Been looking for a way not to be so sad
I felt the feeling from the paintings on the wall
And Vincent van Gogh was with me in the hall

And he loved, he loved life that way
His painting said things that paintings seldom say
So bad that the world had to know
He loved colour and let it show

Have you seen those last paintings by van Gogh?
Did the sorrow show?
Did it hurt you from the wall?
Did it follow you down the hall?

Because he loved, he loved life like that
You look at those last paintings and you’ll get kind of sad
So bad that the world had to know
He loved colour and he let it show

Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh

 

This is not an exhaustive list, Van Gogh is infamous enough to has ‘inspired’ quite a few musical attempts, but these are some crossovers worth noting.