Song Lyric Sunday — Fear

To be honest, when Helen Vahdati announced this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme is “fear,” my first thought was “more cowbell!” I really tried to find some song other than Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” but finally admitting defeat, I went to You Tube to find an appropriate video. Once there, the strangest thing happened. I found another Blue Oyster Cult song I liked better: “Nosferatu,” BOC’s homage to the 1920s German film of the same name. The cool thing was that the best videos paired the song with footage from the film. Here’s one of them:

 

 

Nosferatu

Deep in the heart of Germany
Lucy clutched her breast in fear
She heard the beat of her lover’s heart
For weeks she raved in dreams he appeared
From far Transylvania

Only a woman can break his spell
Pure in heart who will offer herself
To Nosferatu

This ship pulled in without a sound
The faithful captain long since cold
He kept his log till the bloody end
Last entry read “Rats in the hold.
My crew is dead, I fear the plague”

Only a woman can break his spell
Pure in heart who will offer hefself
To Nosferatu

Mortal terror reigned
Sickness now then horrible death
Only Lucy knew the truth
And at her window
Nosferatu

So chaste so calm, she gave herself
To the pleasure of her dreaded master
He sucked the precious drops of life
Throughout the long and cold dark night

One last goodbye, he was blinded by love
One last goodbye, he was blinded by love
Blinded by love

He screamed with fear, he’d stayed too long in her room
The morning sun had come too soon
The spell was broken with a kiss of doom
He vanished into dust, left her all alone

Only a woman can break his spell
Pure in heart, who will offer herself
To Nosferatu

Writer/s: DICKON JAMES HINCHLIFFE, DAVID LEONARD BOULTER, STUART ASHTON STAPLES, NEIL JOSEPH STEVEN FRASER, MARK ANTHONY STEPHEN COLWILL, ALISTAIR MACAULAY
Publisher: Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

And because I know you want to see it, here’s the Saturday Night Live cowbell skit:

 

Magic Everywhere!

Time was, magic was feared as the embodiment of evil. Feared, that is, until conventional wisdom somehow downgraded it to frivolity, all card tricks and smoke and mirrors. Either way, no self-respecting person would admit to seriously believing. So, what changed? Magic has been pushing itself into the zeitgeist for a few years now, at least since 1997 when Harry Potter burst onto millions of pages and, subsequently, movie screens. If Harry Potter is responsible for the resurgence of magic, that’s more a testament to the magic of J. K. Rowling’s pen than to the perceived power of magical incantations.

I’ve always considered myself to be a non-believer. Haven’t even read Harry Potter. Of course, I would have to have been living under a rock not to have Harry Potter and his magic somewhere near the forefront of my consciousness. I mean, four years ago, I even named my new kitten “Potter”! That doesn’t necessarily make me a believer in magic. Admittedly, I do love fantasy, however. Stories full of dragons, fairies, and elves have long been my secret pleasure. Part of it is a deep, wistful longing that magic in a supernatural sense actually exists. That longing spars with the comparably deep certainty that it doesn’t.

If it’s not real, then WHY is magic everywhere? Not abracadabra, hocus pocus, rabbits pulled out of hats, illusionary magic. I mean literally the word “magic.” Has it always been there?  As I’ve said, magic has been growing in popular culture for a while. Years. But just over the past few months I’ve been seeing the word “magic” increasingly often. I’m not looking for it, but the universe seems to be sending it.

You might think I’m crazy (superfluous Cars reference), but, like many other people, I believe the universe (or loved ones in the afterlife or God, if you prefer) sends messages. My sister-in-law, for instance, often finds heart-shaped stones and beach glass that she believes are messages from my late niece. Other people see butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds, rainbows, or some other sign that their loved-one’s spirit still lingers. I, myself, see multiple 11s everywhere that I don’t remember seeing until after my husband passed away over five years ago.

When I first began pondering the apparent resurgence of magic as a concept, I came to realize magic has been a background thread in my life since at least high school, when my boyfriend and I considered Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” to be our song. But I’ve only started seeing “magic” multiple times per day fairly recently. And not just in logical contexts, like when I’m listening to The Cars and their song “Magic” comes up on my playlist. No, I mean out of the blue references, like when I’m researching treason and stumble upon a book called “Magic as a Political Crime.” Or when I get an emailed ad from a tee shirt store, and the ad features a shirt saying “Black Moms are Magical.”  Or when researching morticians for a possible upcoming blog post, Parke’s Magic Valley Funeral Home pops up.

Why is this happening? What message, exactly, is the universe sending?

 

Although I’ve been trying capture my thoughts about magic for weeks now, the impetus to finish this draft comes from Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt “-ic or -ical.” So, giving credit where credit due, even if my technique isn’t on point.

As a bonus, here’s Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” (from WABCRADIO77’s You Tube account because that’s what we were listening to at the time):

Aretha Franklin Remembered

Aretha Franklin may be called the Queen of Soul, but she could just as easily be called the Queen of Song. Her repertoire covered everything. Gospel, R&B, soul, country, jazz, standards, pop, opera  — you name it, she sang it. She is matched only by Stevie Wonder in having 20 number one hits on the R&B charts. From her first in 1967, “I Never Loved A Man”, to her last 1985, “Freeway of Love”, she was at the top of her game. One song she covered, surprisingly, was “Let It Be” by Lennon and McCartney. In fact, her version was recorded and released before the Beatles’. Here it is:

 

Her first number one, “I Never Loved A Man”:

 

One more; her second number one, “Respect”:

Woodstock 1969 in Bethel, NY

Woodstock poster

Forty-nine years ago today, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair opened for “3 Days of Peace & Music.” Festival organizers sold over 100,000 tickets, and roughly half a million people actually showed up. I had BEGGED my parents to let me go with a friend who had a ticket, arguing that, two months’ shy of being 17 years old, I was mature enough to go. Unfortunately, they looked at it as I was only 16 years old, about to enter my senior year of high school, and still a child. I’ve never forgiven them.

Richie Havens was originally scheduled to be the fifth act, but when the first four performers couldn’t reach Yasgur’s farm because of the massive traffic jam, Havens became the first act to perform. He played for nearly three hours, “stalling” to give other musicians time to get there. Toward the end of his performance, he improvised a song that was later called “Freedom.” Enjoy:

Midnight Confessions

Sometimes, a prompt immediately inspires but probably not as the prompt originator anticipated. If the inspiration is music, there’s nothing that can redirect me to writing a six word story! Inspired by J.I. Rogers’ Six-Word Story Challenge prompt “confession,” here’s The Grass Roots’ 1968 hit “Midnight Confessions.”

 

Midnight Confessions

The sound of your footsteps
Telling me that you’re near
Your soft gentle motion, babe
It brings out a need in me that nobody hears, except

In my midnight confessions
When I tell all the world that I love you
In my midnight confessions
When I say all the things that I want to
I love you

But a little gold ring you wear on your hand makes me understand
There’s another before me, you’ll never be mine
I’m wasting my time

Staggering through the daytime
Your image on my mind
Passing so close beside you baby
Sometimes the feeling is so hard to hide, but

In my midnight confessions
When I tell all the world that I love you
In my midnight confessions
When I say all the things that I want to
I love you

Yes a little gold ring you wear on your hand makes me understand
There’s another before me, you’ll never be mine
I’m wasting my time

In my midnight confessions
When I tell all the world that I love you
In my midnight confessions
When I say all the things that I want to
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na

Writer/s: LOU TERRY JOSIE
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Song Lyric Sunday: Drive (or, Benjamin Orr’s voice)

OK….You know the saying “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” when someone judges you for day drinking? Well, as soon as I saw this theme ….. “it’s Sunday somewhere.” Song Lyric Sunday, that is; with a theme of Drive/Driving! Thank you, Helen Vahdati!

Drive
written by Ric Ocasek; sung by Benjamin Orr

Who’s gonna tell you when it’s too late
Who’s gonna tell you things aren’t so greatYou can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

Who’s gonna pick you up when you fall
Who’s gonna hang it up when you call
Who’s gonna pay attention to your dreams
Who’s gonna plug their ears when you scream

You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

Who’s gonna hold you down when you shake
Who’s gonna come around when you break

You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

You know you can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?

 

Because you can’t have too much  Benjamin Orr:

 

Three seems like overkill ( to you, maybe, but not to me or my pal sweetpurplejune), but I had to throw this one in for a change of pace. It’s really worth listening to.

Song of the Magician

While following ephemera rooted in Song Lyric Sunday, I re-discovered singer-songwriter Tim Buckley, father of singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley.

 

Song of the Magician

When I sing I can’t bring everything on the wing
Flying down from dizzy air
To the ground because I care
You will be love and your love will live
When I smile I beguile all the while every mile
As I walk across the sky
Of the clockwork of your eye
You will be love and your love will live
Casting spells from the well I can tell you the bells
Listen to my magic voice
Learn the tune of children’s toys
You will be love and your love will live
When I die do not cry hear my sigh passing by
After I have turned to win
I will try to help you then
You will be love and your love will live
Songwriters: Larry Beckett / Tim Buckley (1966)
Song of the Magician lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Song Lyric Sunday — Pink Champagne

You all know by now that I’ll take any opportunity to post music by Benjamin Orr and/or the Cars. This week’s Song Lyric Sunday is no exception; and I guarantee you have never heard this song before (unless you’re a Benjamin Orr fanatic like me). Helen Vahdati’s theme this week is “drink,” and Benjamin Orr’s first record fits the bill. Long before he became the co-founder, bassist, and a lead singer for the Cars, Ben Orzechowski was a teen rock star in his native Cleveland, Ohio. He had joined a popular local band, The Grasshoppers, at 15 years old as a rhythm guitarist and lead singer. The Grasshoppers soon became the house band for a local American Bandstand style TV show, The Big 5 Show (renamed Upbeat upon national syndication), opening for major acts such as Dave Clark Five and Paul Anka. In 1965, The Grasshoppers recorded two regional hits, including “Pink Champagne (And Red Roses)” written and sung by young Mr. Orr (second from the right in the first picture on the video). Take a listen:

Pink Champagne (And Red Roses)

Well, pink champagne and red, red roses

For you, my love, there will be, yeah

Pink champagne and red, red roses

If you spend your life with me

 

You are my angel from above

I’ll never cast away your love

If you’ll just say you’ll linger with me

Pink champagne and roses there will be

 

Sometimes a heart can be the very start

So, my dear… and come right here

 

Pink champagne and red, red roses

For you, my love, there will be, yeah

Pink champagne and red, red roses

If you spend your life with me

With me

With me

With me

Song Lyric Sunday 2

Written in response to Song Lyric Sunday theme “drink”

 

Song Lyric Sunday — Dancing in the Street

Finally! It’s Sunday and time for my favorite prompt of the week: Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday. This week’s theme is “street.”

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” has been my favorite summer song since I first heard it when it was released in 1964. Written by Marvin Gaye, William “Mickey” Stevenson, and Ivy Jo Hunter, this is a song that makes your feet start dancing, whether the rest of your body wants to or not. I dare you not to dance!

 

Dancing In The Street
Calling out around the world
Are you ready for a brand new beat
Summer’s here and the time is right
For dancing in the street

They’re dancing in Chicago (dancing in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancing in the street)
In New York City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music, sweet music
There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swinging, swaying, and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl
Everywhere around the world

They’ll be dancing (dancing in the street)
They’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)

It’s an invitation across the nation
A chance for folks to meet
There’ll be laughing, singing, and music swinging
Dancing in the street

Philadelphia, P-A (dancing in the street)
Baltimore and D.C. now (dancing in the street)
Can’t forget the Motor City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music, sweet music
There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swinging, swaying, and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl
Everywhere around the world

They’re dancing
They’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Way down in L.A. (dancing in the street)
Every day, they’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Let’s form a big, strong line (dancing in the street)
Get in time, we’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Across the ocean blue (dancing in the street)
Me and you, we’re dancing in the street