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 – Mod Sox

Jim Adams has announced the topic “Animal” for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. Here’s my thinking: Insects are animals, and grasshoppers are insects, so grasshoppers are animals. Right? Well, The Grasshoppers were also a Cleveland, Ohio, band founded in 1962. Two years later, Grasshoppers founder Dante Rossi left the band, and Benjamin Orzechowski replaced him on rhythm guitar and vocals. The Grasshoppers became the house band for a teen dance show, The Big 5 Show, and lead singer “Benny 11 Letters” became a local teen idol. (A decade later, he changed his last name to Orr and co-founded The Cars. But that’s a different story that you can read about here.)

The Grasshoppers recorded two local hit songs: “Pink Champagne (and Red Roses)” and “Mod Socks.” I featured “Pink Champagne,” the more lyrical of the two, as my contribution to SLS on August 5, 2018. Although Benny sang lead, “Mod Socks” was written by Grasshoppers lead guitarist Louis Pratile and record producer Carl Maduri. It’s a very simple, good-time song that, to me, epitomizes the mid-60’s innocent crossroad of 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll and the late-60’s psychedelic/acid rock, prog rock, hard rock, country rock explosion.

 

 

Mod Socks

Well who wears mod socks?
Well, girls wear mod socks.
My sister wears mod socks.
My mother wears mod socks.
My aunt wears mod socks.

Now Benny wears mod socks.

Girls wear mod socks.
My friends wear mod socks.
My mother wears mod socks.
My aunt wears mod socks.
My cousin wears mod socks.
My fans wear mod socks, let’s go now….

Well I said who wears mod socks?
Girls wear mod socks.
Your sister wears mod socks.
Your mother wears mod socks.
Your aunt wears mod socks.

Now Benny wears mod socks.

Girls wear mod socks.
Your sister wears mod socks.
My granny wears mod socks.
Your cousin wears mod socks.
Your sister wears mod socks.
Your mother wears mod socks

I said who wears mod socks?
I said who wears mod socks?
My baby’s got some mod socks.
Yeah I think those are mod socks.*
Go on and grab some mod socks.*
Come on and grab some mod socks, yeah right now*