Song Lyric Sunday – “Fields of Ice”

“Fields of Ice” by The Ard Ri Band is, in my opinion, a perfect fit for this week’s theme of Freeze/Cold/Ice (thanks, Jim Adams), having all three words in the lyrics. Speaking of lyrics, this week I won’t be able to give you a link because they come from the writer, Ard Ri’s Philip James Wallace (courtesy of mutual friend, Kimberly Coyle Piper.)

Hailing from Derry, Northern Ireland, the band formed in 2007 as a three person acoustic/folk group, featuring Jonny Nutt (guitar and vocals), Philip Wallace (guitar and vocals), and Kevin Quigley (mandolin). All three were accomplished, well-known musicians, playing with other bands in the burgeoning Northern Ireland music scene when they joined forces. Playing primarily at bars and festivals, their sound evolved over the years with personnel changes and with Nutt and Wallace adding other instruments to their repertoires: bass and harmonica/percussion/drums/12-string/bass, respectively.

Since 2012 when they released “Fields of Ice” on their eponymous debut album, the line-up has remained relatively stable, with originals Nutt and Wallace, Ruairi O’Doherty on bass, Conor McAuley on drums, Marty Doherty on vocals and guitar, and with Conor O’Kane replacing Quigley on mandolin/mandola/banjo. Nowadays, this super-group occasionally welcomes guest appearances by other legendary local musicians–such as, Paddy Nash, Junior Johnson, and Keith Harkin.

The audio-only first clip is the studio version of “Fields of Ice” sung by songwriter Philip Wallace. The video was filmed at their album-release party featuring vocalist Marty Doherty.

Fields of Ice

I see baby lambs in the meadows over there
Pretty ladies smiling breeze blowing through their hair
Everybody’s lazing and doing their thing
The warm sunshine is extremely calming
The world is an ever-changing place
Of beautiful creatures all full of grace
But if we don’t help Mother Nature now
Summer will be like winter in Moscow

Em’ fields of ice
They’re not so nice
In the morning
I hear you calling
At the break of dawn
There’s something wrong
…..I’m freezing!

It was the coldest winter that I ever did see
I think nearly dropped to minus 30 degree
Had to crawl on my knees to the top my street
The whole damn thing was like a giant ice rink
Ice bergs floating down my local river
The more I think about it, I quiver and I shiver
Gonna need to buy a big woolly warm coat
Made from mammoth fur and the toughest mountain goat

Em’ fields of ice
They’re not so nice
In the morning
I hear you calling
At the break of dawn
There’s something wrong
…..I’m freezing!

Hailstones falling in the middle of July
I sometimes I wonder and I ask myself why
The four seasons are all rolling into one
And the smoke is black from the barrel of the gun
Winter is summer and springtime too
Not sure about autumn I don’t have a clue
What’s coming next will be a big surprise
Hold on tight my friends we’re all going for a ride
Em’ fields of ice
They’re not so nice
In the morning
I hear you calling
At the break of dawn
There’s something wrong
…..I’m freezing!
Hey ho where did the sun go?
Please come back with your sunny warm glow

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday – “River of Fire”

Burn/Fire/Flame is another expansive Song Lyric Sunday prompt from Jim Adams. Narrowing the topic to “fire,” I’ve chosen “River of Fire,” co-written by Stan Meissner and Glen Burtnik (nee Glenn Burtnick). Each released the song separately on solo albums, Meissner on his 1992 album, “Undertow,” and Burtnik on 1996’s “Retrospectacle.”

Canadian Meissner, despite his 30 year career as a singer-songwriter, is not well-known in the United States. He has released two other solo albums and multiple singles which have done well on Canadian music charts.  His songs have been recorded by many singers, such as, Celene Dion, B.J. Thomas, and Eric Clapton.

Glen Burtnik’s creative output is diverse and prolific. He has portrayed Paul McCartney in the Beatles tribute show “Beatlemania;” has performed in two separate stints as a member of the rock band Styx; has released eight solo albums; has written chart-topping hits for artists such as Patti Smyth, Don Henley, Cheap Trick, and Randy Travis. As if he is not busy enough, Burtnik has, for over 20 years, produced and hosted the annual charity show “Xmas Xtravaganza.”

One of the many artists who has recorded a Meissner and/or Burtnik song is Benjamin Orr, who recorded “River of Fire” in 1993 as the title song of a not-yet-released second solo album. Orr’s first verse differs from the original, but, as Burtnik put it: “I didn’t care, I was just thrilled that Ben Orr was singing one of my songs!” Since it was okay with Burtnik, I’m posting the lyrics that Orr sang.

(Note: Whenever possible, I prefer live vids, regardless of picture quality, as long as the audio passes muster. The lyric link below takes you to sweetpurplejune’s page that has a video using the studio recording.)

 

 

River of Fire

My life you hold in your heart
I look for the light, I wait in the dark
Burning emotions, I’m drawn to the flame
Chasing the shadows that call out your name

Searching for some kind of escape
I find my way right here to this place
‘Cause the night has no end
All of my life my dreams run wild, now I stand alone in this river of fire
Days of despair and nights of desire, I wait for you in this river of fire

I still remember the look in your eyes
I wish I knew then that it was goodbye
I try to fight it but I know I can’t win
Sometimes your dreams just get lost in the wind

Something beyond all time and space
Leads me right back here to this space
At the edge of this world
All of my life my dreams run wild, now I stand alone in this river of fire
Days of despair and nights of desire, I wait for you in this river of fire

Burn for you… burn for you… burn for you… burn for you…

All of my life my dreams run wild, now I stand alone in this river of fire
Days of despair and nights of desire, I wait for you in this river of fire.

Song Lyric Sunday — “Havin’ a Party” with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

Jim Adams has chosen another great theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday: Record/Juke Box/DJ/Radio. As soon as I saw this theme, I started singing my choice for this theme: “Havin’ A Party.” Written and recorded by Sam Cooke in 1962, the song charted at number 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and at 17 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song has been covered by many groups including, The Pointer Sisters, The Supremes, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Springsteen fiddled a bit with the lyrics circa 1974 (Springsteen included it in a setlist in 1974), but I’m posting Cooke’s original lyrics.  You can read the Springsteen lyrics here.

My favorite version is Springsteen lyrics exuberantly sung by Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes. Although Southside’s first studio recording of the song is on his 1981 album, “Reach Up and Touch the Sky,” it has been a staple in his live setlist since at least 1978, as evidenced by the below video. Their August 31, 1978, concert at The Agora in Cleveland, Ohio, was delayed about three hours. Their lead guitarist at the time, Steven Van Zandt, was doing double-duty performing first with Springsteen and the E Street Band at another Ohio location, then hustling to Cleveland to play with the Jukes. Both Springsteen and Van Zandt joined with Johnny and the Jukes for “Havin’ a Party.” The video opens with a few bars of Curtis Mayfield’s “It’s All Right” and rolls into the party. (Sam Cooke’s original recording is here.)

 

Having a Party (Sam Cooke original lyrics)

We’re havin’ a party
Dancin’ to the music
Played by the DJ
On the radio
The Coke’s out in the icebox
Popcorn’s on the table
Me and my baby
We’re out here on the floor

So Mr, Mr. DJ
Keep those records playin’
‘Cause I’m a-havin’ such a good time
Dancin’ with my baby

Everybody’s swingin’
Sally’s doin’ the twist now
If you take requests I’ve
Got a few for you
Play that song called soul twist
Play that one called I know
Don’t forget the mashed potatoes
No other songs will do

Let me tell you Mr, Mr. DJ
Keep those records playin’
‘Cause I’m a-havin’ such a good time
Dancin’ with my baby

We’re havin’ a party, yeah
Everybody’s swingin’, oh yeah
Dancin’ to the music, yeah
On the radio

Oh, we’re havin’ a party
Everybody’s swingin’
Dancin’ to the music, yeah
On the radio

One more time
We’re havin’ a party, yeah
And everybody’s swingin’
Oh we’re dancin’ to the music, yeah
On the radioWriter/s: SAM COOKE
Publisher: Abkco Music, Inc.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday — “2:19”

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, I decided not to start with a Google search for Minutes/Hours/Days/Weeks/Months and, instead, dug into my iTunes. I was beginning to despair when I reached the Ws, but there it was: “2:19” by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan.

Listening to Tom Waits, his voice sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car,” is an acquired taste. That’s my cover story to avoid admitting that I’ve yet to listen to even one entire CD of the three that comprise “Orphans” despite having owned it since 2012. Man oh man oh man oh man, what I’ve missed! “2:19” is a bluesy, jazzy, rockin’ gem that makes you feel like you’re sitting in a destitute smoky dive sometime in the 1930s. The song is the third cut on the first “Orphans” CD, “Brawlers;” the other 15 are equally compelling. Who knows if I’ll be able to get past “Brawlers” to listen to the second, “Bawlers,” and the third, “Bastards.”

 

 

I lost everything I had
in the ’29 flood
the barn was buried
beneath a mile of mud
now I’ve got nothing
but the whistle and the steam
my baby leaving town on the 2:19now there’s a fellow that’s preaching
about hell and damnation
bouncing off the walls
in the grand central station
I treated her bad
I treated her mean
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

I said hey hey
I don’t know what to do
hey hey
I will remember you
hey hey
I don’t know what to do
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

now I’ve always been puzzled
by the yin and the yang
it’ll come out in the wash
but it always leaves a stain
sturm and drang
the luster and the sheen
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

lost the baby with the water
and the preacher stole the bride
sent her out for a bottle
but when she came back inside
she didn’t have my whiskey
she didn’t have my gin
with a hat full of feathers
and a wicked grin

I said hey hey
I don’t know what to do
hey hey
I will remember you
hey hey
I don’t know what to do
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

on the train you get smaller
as you get farther away
the roar covers everything
you wanted to say
was that a raindrop in
the corner of your eye
were you drying your nails
or waving goodbye

I said hey hey
I don’t know what to do
hey hey
I will remember you
hey hey
I don’t know what to do
my baby leaving town on the 2:19

Song Lyric Sunday — To Sir With Love

Jim Adams picked a versatile topic for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday.  School/Books/Learning presents so many possible songs! I’m going with one that left me as awash in emotion today as it did over fifty years ago: “To Sir With Love.” The 1967 movie, based on the autobiographical novel by E. R. Braithwaite, tells the story of the impact a British Guiana immigrant has as a teacher in a tough London neighborhood school wrestling with social and racial issues. The film starred Sidney Poitier and introduced teenage Scottish singer Lulu, who sang the title song, making her an international star.

Lyricist Don Black, in response to the movie producer’s unusual request, wrote the lyrics before a composer was chosen. Coincidentally,  Lulu’s manager was dating composer Mark London, who wrote the music within 30 minutes of receiving the lyrics. The title song was released as a single in 1967 and shot to the top of the charts.

To my knowledge, the three-verse song has never been recorded in its entirety. The first two verses were overdubbed on the movie’s opening credits and on the museum field trip scene. The third verse, sung by Lulu’s character, featured in the movie’s climactic school dance scene in which the students thanked Poitier’s character. The popular single was released with only the first and third verses. The sheet music is available with lyrics to all verses, but presented in the “logical” order of verse 1, 3, 2.  Luckily, YouTube has one video with the three verses presented in the order they appeared in the movie. Here it is:

 

To Sir With Love

Those schoolgirl days
Of telling tales, and biting nails, are gone
But in my mind,
I know they will still live on and on
But how do you thank someone
Who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try
If you wanted the sky,
I would write across the sky in letters,
That would soar a thousand feet high:
“To Sir, With Love”

Those awkward years
Have hurried by. Why did they fly away?
Why is it, Sir,
Children grow up to be people one day?
What takes the place of climbing trees,
And dirty knees in the world outside?
What is there for you I can buy?
If you wanted the world,
I’d surround it with walls. I’d scrawl
In letters ten feet tall:
“To Sir, With Love”

The time has come
For closing books; and long last looks must end
And as I leave,
I know that I am leaving my best friend
A friend who taught me right from wrong,
And weak from strong — that’s a lot to learn
What — what can I give you in return?
If you wanted the moon,
I would try to make a start… But I
Would rather you let me give my heart
To Sir, With Love