Song Lyric Sunday — “The Old Man”

Today is Father’s Day here in the U.S., and Jim Adams has chosen a fitting theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday: Dad/Father/Barbeque. My contribution is one of my late husband’s favorite songs, “The Old Man,” written by Irish composer Phil Coulter.

The first time we heard “The Old Man” was when John McDermott sang it during an Irish Tenors PBS performance. That performance touched a deep chord within my husband, whose father had passed away when Jerry was just 13. We saw McDermott perform the song live as a solo artist and saw Celtic Thunder’s George Donaldson perform it live and on TV many times. We had several CD’s that included “The Old Man,” and I often came home from work to find Jerry playing one. And no matter how many times Jerry heard the song, it reached him as if it were the first.

You can watch a video of Phil Coulter, himself, performing the song here and George Donaldson (with Coulter conducting the orchestra) here . As far as Jerry was concerned, however, no one could surpass John McDermott’s version. Here’s his Irish Tenors performance. (Lyrics are in the video’s commentary.)

 

Song Lyric Sunday – Bruce Springsteen “Fire” and “I’m On Fire”

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Desire/Lust/Romance/Passion will, as Jim Adam says, “produce a lot of smoking hot music.”  Can’t argue with that! Despite having featured Bruce Springsteen just last week, I’m going with him again because he wrote two of the smoking-est, sexiest, songs ever: “Fire” and “I’m On Fire.” Both of them hit the theme on all fours. And I’m not even going to waste anyone’s time hemming and hawing about how difficult it is to choose just one.

Although Springsteen wrote “Fire” in 1977, he didn’t record and release it until ten years later. By that time, the Pointer Sisters‘ 1979 recording hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their first gold single. “I’m On Fire” was Springsteen’s fourth of seven Top Ten hit singles off his hugely successful “Born In The USA” album, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The accompanying music video received the 1985 MTV Music Video Award for Best Male Video.  Enjoy!

 

I’m On Fire

Hey little girl is your daddy home
Did he go away and leave you all alone
I got a bad desire
I’m on fire

Tell me now baby is he good to you
Can he do to you the things that I do
I can take you higher
I’m on fire

Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley
Through the middle of my soul

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the
Middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
I’m on fire

 

Fire

I’m driving in my car
I turn on the radio
I’m pulling you close
You just say no
You say you don’t like it
But girl I know you’re a liar
‘Cause when we kiss
Ooooh, Fire

Late at night
I’m takin’ you home
I say I wanna stay
You say you wanna be alone
You say you don’t love me
Girl you can’t hide your desire
‘Cause when we kiss
Oh, Fire
Fire

You had a hold on me
Right from the start
A grip so tight
I couldn’t tear it apart
My nerves all jumpin’
Actin’ like a fool
Well your kisses they burn
But your heart stays cool

Romeo and Juliet
Samson and Delilah
Baby you can bet
Their love they didn’t deny
Your words say split
But your words they lie
‘Cause when we kiss
Mmmmmm, Fire
Fire

Burnin in my soul
It’s outta control

 

Song Lyric Sunday — “Thunder Road”

Song Lyric Sunday, to me, is an adventure — rediscovering old favorites, unearthing new ones.  Our intrepid leader, Jim Adams, has provided mutiple paths to adventure with this week’s theme of Avenue/Bouelvard/Drive/Lane/Road/Street. Naturally, my first thought was “Drive” by The Cars, but I used that song for one of last August’s themes. Jim’s chosen topics are so broad, I’d feel like a cheater if I didn’t come up with something different.

So I decided to go with “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. Featured on his seminal 1975 album, “Born to Run,” the song is a fan favorite and is generally considered one of Springsteen’s, and rock’s, best songs. Funny thing about “Thunder Road,” though. When I searched for the right video, I stumbled across another song called “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” written by actor Robert Mitchum and Don Raye for the movie “Thunder Road.” Coincidentally, I later read that Springsteen’s song title comes from the movie.

While I often feature multiple videos of the same song, this week you’re getting two different songs with similar titles. Lyrics are in the videos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday — The Young Rascals — “Groovin'”

You may say “such an obvious choice,” and I’d have to agree. We could probably place bets on how many other people also choose this song. But, when I see the Song Lyric Sunday theme is “Cool/Groovy/Hip/Nifty/Radical/Swell,” and I immediately start singing this song ….. well, sometimes ya gotta go with ya gut.

“Groovin'” by The Young Rascals is really the perfect song for this theme, for a Sunday, and for the weekend that’s the real beginning of summer. It’s one of those songs that, as soon as I hear the first notes, I’m immediately transported back to my early teenage years, hanging out with friends at Cove Beach in Stamford, CT.  The picture in my head is so vivid, I can feel the warmth of the sun, see the hazy heat waves rising from the sand, hear the laughter, and feel the start of another god-awful sunburn.  (And, for those who may be familiar with the Cove, I’m thinking of East Beach with the cool kids not family-friendly Horseshoe Beach where my father taught us to swim amid the prehistoric horseshoe crabs.)

Enjoy!

 

Groovin

Groovin’, on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn’t get away too soon

I can’t imagine anything that’s better
The world is ours whenever we’re together
There ain’t a place I’d like to be instead of

Groovin’, down a crowded avenue
Doin’ anything we like to do

There’s always lots of things that we can see
We can be anyone we want to be
And all those happy people we could meet just

Groovin’, on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn’t get away too soon

Ah-ha-ha
Ah-ha-ha
Ah-ha-ha

We’ll keep on spending sunny days this way
We’re gonna talk and laugh our time away
I feel it comin’ closer day by day
Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly

Groovin’, on a Sunday afternoon
Really couldn’t get away too soon

Ah-ha-ha
Ah-ha-ha
Ah-ha-ha

Writer/s: Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati 

 

“You Get The Funk After Death”

Benjamin Orr 135 funk after death

 

“You get the funk after death.” Words of wisdom from Peter on my first day on the job. We were digging the latest grave, and I was still pretty skeeved from all the new smells that hit me when I arrived that morning. I never knew about the funk until I started working at Floyd’s Funeral Parlor. I never knew a lot of things until then.

Since I was a kid, I’d wanted to work at Floyd’s. I’d pass the big, old Victorian house twice a day, to and from school. Out front, Floyd’s tuxedoed statue stood a good 15 feet higher than the tallest passerby. He was always tastefully ringed by a bed of fresh lilies. You might think he’d be intimidating, looking down his nose on everyone, but those lilies softened him and reassured bereaved families that their dearly departed would be in good hands at Floyd’s. Floyd seemed like the kind of man I wanted to be.

“Almost like fingerprints, everyone’s funk is different,” Peter continued.

“How so?”

“Well, take the little old lady we’re burying today. She came here from Myrtle’s Nursing Home, where she’d lived for years. You know how nursing homes always have that stale urine, musty kind of smell? Well, when you’ve lived with that stink for years, it becomes part of you. Plus, she lingered for a long time after she got sick, and decay had got a foothold before she passed. Her family brought a bucketful of Tender Violet cologne to try to cover it up. I guess they thought if the perfume matched her name, violet would become the prominent aroma. Now her funk could best be described as decaying violets with a hint of dog piss.”

“She doesn’t smell like that in the viewing room. I think the embalming process must have taken care of it.”

“Nah. It just adds to the mix. You don’t notice it as much because the lilies are overpowering.”

“What about the guy who came in last night? The one who had a heart attack on the 18th green over at Shady Glen Golf? If where you came from becomes part of the funk, he should be smelling like fertilizer, but He doesn’t. He just smells awfully sweaty.”

“There you have it! By the time you get to the 18th hole, everyone smells sweaty.”

“So the funk isn’t quite like a fingerprint, after all?”

“Sure, it is. Didn’t you ever notice everyone’s sweat smells different? Garlicky and fishy, if you just had scampi; boozy if you drank lunch.”

“Hey, Petey! Stop your yammering and just dig! I’m trying to get some sleep here.”

I wasn’t about to wait around to find out who said that. I dropped my shovel and ran. Peter caught me by my overall strap as I ran past. Nearly choked me to death before he brought me to the ground.

“Pfft! When are you not trying to get some sleep, Harvey? You think you got someplace else to be?”

“Peter? Who’s Harvey? Isn’t that the name on the next tombstone?”

“Listen, Petey, even the dead have to rest up to make a good first impression.”

“On the kid? I think you’ve already made your impression, scaring him half to death. It’s his first day. I planned to ease into letting him know what’s what.”

“Not the kid; Violet. We were sweet on each other when we were young. I want to look my best when she sees me.”

I must be cut out for this work. I was already getting over the shock of hearing a dead man talking, because I jumped into the conversation.

“Mr. Harvey, how is she going to see you? I mean, I gather you ARE the Harvey in the next grave. I can hear you but can’t see you. How will she?”

“Don’t know how it works, Kiddo. It just does. She might not see me right away, if she’s not over the trauma of dying yet. But when she does see me, I want to look as good as I can.”

“Harvey, you’ve been dead 15 years already. How good can you possibly look?”

“Listen, Petey. Floyd does an A-1 job of embalming and prepping for burial. He may not be able to get rid of the funk, but he sure can preserve the body. I just wish he hadn’t concentrated only on the parts that would be seen at the viewing.”

“What do you mean, Mr. Harvey? I thought the embalming fluid replaced blood through the whole body.”

“It does, Kiddo. But Floyd does a lot more than just stuff us with that formaldehyde mix. He fixes up our faces, too. Haven’t you ever heard anyone say ‘Aw, he looks just like himself’ when they pay their respects?”

“Yes, but…”

“Listen, Kiddo. When that train hit me, it threw my parts all over the place. Floyd got them all back and reattached what he could.”

“He made you whole again, Harvey. What’s the problem?”

“Well, Petey, let’s just say, he’ll never be a plastic surgeon. Or a tailor.”

Death comes differently for everyone. Sometimes he comes violently, painfully. Other times, he comes peacefully, stealing from morphine dreams. Sometimes he’ll snatch people before they know what hit them. Other times, he’ll wait for months in the shadows, slowly siphoning someone’s life away. Anytime he wants, Death’ll take from a hospital, bedroom, golf course, lake, middle of the street. No matter how, when, or where he comes, when Death takes, his leavings come here to Floyd’s.

 

Inspired by a lyric from The Cars’ “I’m In Touch With Your World.” Photo of Benjamin Orr (credit unknown)