Song Lyric Sunday — Girls

It’s Song Lyric Sunday! Helen Vahdati decided to flip last week’s “boys” theme and chose  “girls” this week. So many songs to pick from, all great. I’ve decided to feature another singer-songwriter, Sawyer Fredericks, winner of The Voice Season 8 (2015) when he was 16. Throughout that season, his weekly performance landed in iTune’s Top 10, aided by my weekly purchase. His The Voice sales broke series records with ten Top 10 singles and 14 in the Top 200 during the final week. Today, at 19, he’s a busy up-and-coming Americana singer.

But I’m not sharing any of those songs. This kid has been writing music since he was a 12-year-old homeschooled farm boy. At 14, two years prior to his The Voice win, he released his first CD independently. “Out My Window” was a full album, with 15 songs all written by Sawyer. “Not My Girl” is one of them, and he still includes it in his live sets.

You know I can’t resist sharing two videos of my picks; why should this week be any different?  The contrast between his voice and his approach to the song shows his evolution from kid to young adult. Enjoy!

 

Not My Girl

(And I)*
Walked cross the street
To your house
Knocked on the door
To see who was around
You came to answer
Well, I know you’re not my girl
But it still hurts to see you
With someone else.

I was running
For a long time
Then the sun shined in my eyes
And I had to stop
And think about my life.
I was mad, I was sad, I was feeling bad.
Cause I know you’re not my girl
But it still hurts to see you
With someone else
Well I know you’re not my girl
But it still hurts to see you
With someone else.

Said I’m sorry
I was only a friend to you
And I’m sorry
I was too scared to make my move.

Well I know you’re not my girl
But it still hurts to see you
With someone else.
Well I know you’re not my girl
But it still hurts to see you
With someone else
Someone else
Someone else
Someone else.

And I
Walked cross the street
To your house
Knocked on the door
To see who was around
You came to answer
Well, I know you’re not my girl
But it still hurts to see you
With someone else
Someone else
Someone else
Someone else.

*He opens both videos with this introductory phrase not included in any internet lyric site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday — Boys

Even when she’s not feeling great, Helen Vahdati still manages to come up with a theme for Song Lyric Sunday. I hope she’s soon feeling 100%. Thanks for giving us “boys.

In my world, there’s a Cars song for every occasion. Here’s “Down Boys” written by Ric Ocasek; sung by Benjamin Orr for The Cars 1980 Panorama:

 

Down Boys

you were trying to be cute
and it didn’t work out
you were trying to be charming
and it didn’t come off
you were trying to be clever
a big waste of time
you were trying to get rough
but you’re waiting in line

[Chorus:]
you can’t make it with the down boys
they don’t hear a word you say
you can’t make it with the down boys
just stay out of their way

you were trying to be sharp
but they couldn’t wait
you were trying to be eternal
but that didn’t rate
you were trying to be smooth
you’re rough on the edges
you were trying to be hysterical
well i still ain’t laughing

[Chorus]

you were trying to be in
but they left you out
you were trying to be in
two different worlds
you were trying to be in
oscillation in shame
you were trying to be in
but you’re lost in the game

[Chorus]

 

Song Lyric Sunday — Last

Most weeks, when Helen Vahdati announces the theme for Song Lyric Sunday, I have trouble deciding on a song. Either I have too many ideas to choose from or cannot think of even one. This week, as soon as I saw the theme, Last, I didn’t think twice. The only choice for me is “The Last Rose of Summer” written by Irish poet Thomas Moore in 1805. Published as a song in 1813, the poem was paired with a traditional Irish tune published in 1792.

This haunting song has been recorded by many diverse artists over the past century, but my favorite version is sung by John McDermott, one of the three original Irish Tenors. I was happy to find a video of  the PBS performance that introduced me to the song.  McDermott was not participating in the full performance with the Irish Tenors that night, as his mother had recently passed away, but performed this, his parent’s favorite song, in honor of them. Although he sang only the first and last verses at that time, I have provided all three verses of Moore’s lyrics. (I love McDermott’s rendition so much that I can’t resist posting a second video that is a studio version of all three verses. If I knew how, I would also post audio from McDermott’s 2005 album “A Time To Remember” of his father, Peter McDermott, singing it.)

 

 

“The Last Rose of Summer”

‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday — First

The theme chosen by Helen Vahdati for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is “first.”  My choice is by a singer/songwriter who I’ve been following since he first showed up on my PBS screen in the spring of 2008 with Irish troupe Celtic Thunder. During his eight years with Celtic Thunder, Keith Harkin shone as one of the principal singers. He was the first (and I think only) member to have one of his own compositions featured when “Lauren and I” debuted in the original show. Several more of his songs were added to the CT repertoire during his time with them. Keith was one of the first artists David Foster signed to Verve Records, which released Keith’s eponymous debut album in 2012. Irreconcilable differences in production styles resulted in Keith’s parting ways with Verve after that first album. His second album, “On Mercy Street,” was truly a solo effort:  Keith wore all the hats, bringing a finished product with him when he signed with Elan Records.

One of my favorite songs from the second album is “First Time,” a sweet song Keith wrote about his now-wife, Kelsey.

 

“First Time”

We smoke cigarettes
We drink in the park
We always go out after it gets dark
We drink until three
She’s smiling at me with her red wine lips
And her sweet french kiss

Yeah I’m so happy I, I could almost cry
I don’t want this feeling to change, oh no

Maybe this could be the first time
Maybe this could be the first time
Maybe this could be the first time
I, I, I, I, I felt love

We wake up at ten
Feelin’ old and abused
She’s makin’ breakfast while I watch the news
She’s makin’ bacon and eggs
Coffee for the head
And it tastes so good
When you’re warm in her bed

Yeah I’m so happy I, I could almost die
She makes the best eggs in the world, oh yeah

Maybe this could be the first time
Maybe this could be the first time
Maybe this could be the first time
I, I, I, I, I felt love

Love love love
Love love love
Love love love
I felt love

Love love love
Love love love
Love love love
I felt love

Maybe this could be the first time
I, I, I, I
Maybe this could be the first time
Maybe this could be the first time
Maybe this could be the first time
I, I, I, I, I felt love
I felt love
I felt love
And it feels good.

 

 

Happy 75th Birthday, Joni Mitchell

Legendary Joni Mitchell turned 75 yesterday (November 7). I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan back in the late ’60s / early ’70s when the world was bombarded with songs like her ubiquitous “Big Yellow Taxi.” Or so I thought. So many songs I liked, recorded by others, had been written by Joni, including: “Woodstock” (Crosby, Stills, & Nash), “Both Sides Now” and “Chelsea Morning” (Judy Collins), and “The Circle Game” (Buffy Sainte-Marie). Even today, I’m still discovering Joni’s songs through covers by other artists, such as Keith Harkin’s cover of “River.”

In a belated birthday tribute, I’m offering you three videos, two by Joni and one cover. The title song from Joni’s album “Blue” is a bittersweet love song. Joni’s rendition of “The Circle Game” is a hopeful song of a child’s journey to adulthood. From the thousands of covers available, I’ve chosen the glorious Laura Benanti’s “He Comes For Conversation.” Enjoy!