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)

 

The Parade

Watching the slow procession shambling past, he suspected that he had not been sent to the post he requested when he volunteered. He listened to the speakers touting each ones’ performance under duress. Apparently, there was nary a weak link in that chain. Not much life in them now, but they got the job done.

The distinct tinkling of a thousand little bells preceded the second group coming ever closer on the parade grounds. The jingling stopped periodically as the bunch stepped lively and gained on the first section. When they finally made their way past the reviewing stand, he could see their uniforms were festooned with tiny bells hanging from striped ceremonial ribbons, the kind that usually held war medals. According to the speakers, this platoon hadn’t seen the action the first group had. In fact they hadn’t seen any action at all, but leadership had decided that everyone who participated should get a token of their willingness to play along.

He shuddered when he realized the third group, his section, was the next to gambol along the parade route. The major had begun marking time. The first line was already moving, their uniforms swishing to the rhythm set by the major’s maracas. Although he had no idea how or why he had been assigned here, when his line stepped forth, he managed to shimmy with the best of them, hoping he didn’t look too much like a flapper girl.

 

The underlined words are prompts for today’s Story A Day May 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday — Wilson Pickett “In The Midnight Hour”

When I was in high school, the Catholic parishes held dances on Friday nights. I think they alternated weeks among St. Bridget’s, St. Gabriel’s, and St. Mary’s. Freshman and sophomore years, even into junior year, the Friday night parish dance was THE place to be, partly because we didn’t yet have drivers’ licenses and had to rely on parents to get us there. In my case, the Friday night dance was just about the only place my parents allowed me to go at night, foolishly thinking a Catholic dance was the safest place for a young Catholic girl.

Anyway, this week’s Song Lyric Sunday “Dawn/Noon/Dusk/Midnight/Nocturnal/Diurnal” theme got me nostalgic for those dances, because every Friday, no matter which parish was hosting or which band was playing, we knew the night was just about over when we heard the first chords of Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour.”

 

 

In The Midnight Hour

I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love come tumbling down
I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
When there’ no one else around
I’m gonna take you, girl, and hold you
And do all things I told you, in the midnight hour

Yes I am, oh yes I am
One thing I just wanna say, right here

I’m gonna wait till the stars come out
And see that twinkle in your eyes
I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love begins to shine

You’re the only girl I know
Can really love me so, in the midnight hour

Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Yeah, all right, play it for me one time, now

I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love come tumbling down
I’m gonna wait, way in the midnight hour
That’s when my love begin to shine, just you and I
Oh, baby, just you and I
Nobody around, baby, just you and I
Oh, right, you know what?
I’m gonna hold you in my arms, just you and I
Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Oh, baby, in the midnight hour

Writer/s: WILSON PICKETT, STEVE CROPPER