Category Archives: Music

Nobody Does It Better [April A2Z]

James Bond 007 logo

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a Bond flick is the music. Fans love to hear the signature theme play near the beginning after “Bond, James Bond” introduces himself and the scene segues to the “gun barrel sequence.” Almost every 007 film begins this way. That original music was written by Monty Norman, who has received royalties since 1962. John Barry wrote the “007 adventure” music for From Russia with Love, and this music has appeared during action scenes of subsequent Bond films. Norman has won two libel actions against publishers for claiming that Barry wrote the theme. The James Bond Theme is what plays during the gun barrel sequence (and sometimes other places). Monty and John are listed as composers on some of the songs that play during the films (the songs are distinct from the theme music).

Luckily for us, YouTube has a plethora of videos to choose from to watch the opening sequence of Bond films along with the music. I chose a compilation to share and it’s really interesting to view the subtle changes in the gun barrel sequence as well as slight modifications to the tune. What’s also interesting is to see how much more comfortable Connery and Craig are when firing their guns as opposed to Moore, who actually hated guns in real life. I never noticed that before, but it’s obvious when you view the openings one after another. Yes, I watched the whole thing as a true Bond aficionado.

Bond films have introduced us to memorable songs as well. I already mentioned Shirley Bassey singing “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” and there are many more. Other great tunes are “Thunderball” sung by Tom Jones, “Live and Let Die” written and performed by Paul McCartney & Wings, “Nobody Does It Better” sung by Carly Simon (for The Spy Who Loved Me), and “Writing’s On the Wall” written and performed by Sam Smith (for Spectre). I had mixed feelings about Adele’s “Skyfall,” but it’s grown on me. I love her singing generally, but I thought that song was too “light” for such a heavy movie at the time.

My personal favorite is the Carly song.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, Wallpapercave.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Spring Reflections

City buildings lights reflect water

Spring is a time of love and sorrow for me…


March brings me reminders of my father’s death day and also the anniversary of my marriage to the ex. Happy and sad memories are triggered in both cases. There’s also the joy of my youngest daughter’s birthday.

April blossoms with the dates of Dad’s birthday, Mom’s death day, and another ex’s birthday. My own birthday falls at the end of the month, and, again, reflecting on that event conjures up a mix of feelings. A few weeks later in May is Mother’s Day, summoning joy and grief all at once.

June is another emotional tangle, containing my sweet little granddaughter’s birthday, Mom’s, the ex-hubby’s, Father’s Day, etc. That’s a lot of mental snapshots to sort through and process. There are times it’s a pleasure; other times it’s a trial.

Mom was a huge fan of Johnny Cash and passed that love onto me. He had such enormous talent that he transcended the country music genre. For a while, I kept my fondness for country on the down low, since so many fellow rock fans proclaimed a flagrant loathing of it. But I don’t care anymore and will shout that I like the sound of country comfort!

Today, Jim Adams posts about one of my favorite JC songs “Man in Black.” It feels appropriate to listen to right now because of my own memories and also because of all the sadness and injustice throughout the world. I share with you a cover of “500 Miles” (aka “The Railroader’s Lament”) by Johnny’s eldest daughter Rosanne Cash, who is successful in her own right, has had many No. 1 hits, and writes books too.

The writing credits to this song are a bit murky, but it is generally credited to Hedy West. There have been many versions, including Johnny’s. The 1963 cover by Bobby Bare was the most commercially successful.

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt and Jim Adams’ Thursday Inspiration.

Image from Lovethispic.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Live and Let Die [April A2Z]

live and let die James Bond

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

It must be noted that Live and Let Die was released during the height of “blaxploitation” and contains some cringey references and stereotypes.

Regardless, it may be my favorite Bond movie. This 1973 film (Eon Productions) is the first time Roger Moore stars as Bond, and, while I realize there are differing opinions, I think he does a fantastic job! The story is about the drug trade, with Mr. Big planning to distribute tons of heroin for free to put his rival drug lords out of business, thus giving himself a monopoly. While investigating the deaths of fellow British agents in New York and New Orleans, Bond discovers that Mr. Big is from the fictional island of San Monique. Naturally, Bond must visit the island, which is teeming with poppies (where heroin comes from). Complications ensue! It’s a super fun film with loads of gangsters and voodoo and of course a beautiful girl whom Bond must save. Yaphet Kotto, who recently passed away, stars as Mr. Big and his alter ego Dr. Kanaga, a corrupt Caribbean dictator who rules San Monique. For a Bond film, the plot is quite straightforward!

Jane Seymour plays Solitaire, the main love interest in this movie. She is a virgin priestess who tells the future via tarot cards and Mr. Big needs her help as he continues with his scheme. Bond seduces Solitaire with a fake deck of cards and she loses her magical abilities, consequently putting her on the bad side of Mr. Big. She now must join forces with 007, or else.

live and let die 007 and solitaire

I haven’t mentioned Felix Leiter much ~ he’s Bond’s counterpart in the CIA and has a recurring role in many of the 007 films. In this one, he’s played by David Hedison, who also portrays Leiter in License to Kill (1989). He has funny lines in LALD, in particular a dialog with a southern sheriff, J.W. Pepper (played by Clifton James), as the sheriff tries to figure out what’s going on. As Bond escapes from the baddies on a wild speedboat ride, Pepper is outrageously hysterical. “Humorous” may not be the adjective first to mind when thinking of Bond films, but I find myself laughing throughout these movies.

Watch the following video for my favorite scene from LALD!

The title song, “Live and Let Die,” was written by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by their band Wings. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, Cultbox, PopSugar, and IMDB.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Song Lyric Sunday: One-Word Title

Cat walking away explosion fire

“Bang!” is a 2020 song by AJR Productions. It’s the lead single from the band’s fourth album OK Orchestra. AJR stands for Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met ~ three musical brothers from New York City who write and create music in their apartment in Manhattan.

AJR played cover songs for years, busking as relative unknowns, until Ryan tweeted one of their original songs to a bunch of celebs. That did the trick and they got signed to Warner Music in 2013. Apparently, they had a big commercial hit with their kickoff song “I’m Ready,” which is a spoof of SpongeBob SquarePants, but I never heard of them until “Bang!”

The song hit No. 8 on Billboard Hot 100, which makes it their first top 10 and their highest charting single. I love this catchy tune and the fun coming-of-age lyrics.

Bang!

I get up I get down
And I’m jumpin’ around
And the rumpus and ruckus are comfortable now
Been a hell of a ride
But I’m thinking it’s time to grow
Bang! Bang! Bang!
So I got an apartment across from the park
Put quinoa in my fridge
Still I’m not feeling grown
Been a hell of a ride
But I’m thinking it’s time to go
Bang! Bang! Bang! (Here we go!)

~*~

Written for Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday.

Image from Pixabay. Information from Wikipedia.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Goldfinger [April A2Z]

James Bond 007 Goldfinger

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

SPOILERS!

Sean Connery stars as Bond in Goldfinger (1964), where he investigates Auric Goldfinger (played by Gert Fröbe) and discovers his plot to contaminate the USA’s gold supply at Fort Knox. This will naturally result in a huge increase of value for Auric’s gold and give him gobs of power. Sounds like a reasonable idea, eh? Along the way Bond meets the beautiful blonde Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, who supposedly is a lesbian and fails to fall for his charms, for a while anyway. But even she can’t resist him ultimately. Who could? Bond does have a lovely admirer in Jill Masterson, played by Shirley Eaton, until she gets painted out of the film (Goldfinger kills by covering people with gold paint so they suffocate). This film was the first of four to be directed by Guy Hamilton ~ and it was the first Bond “blockbuster.”

One of the most memorable scenes is when Goldfinger has Bond captured and strapped to a table. There is a scary laser about to slice through 007’s body, starting at his crotch. Bond quips, “Do you expect me to talk?” Auric says, “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.” Beautiful! Then Bond tricks him into thinking Bond knows more than he does, so Auric lets him live. ALWAYS A MISTAKE!

Goldfinger introduces Bond fans to a fun henchman named Oddjob played by the Japanese-American actor and professional wrestler Harold Sakata. Oddjob works for Goldfinger as his bodyguard, chauffeur, servant, and hitman. He is portrayed much differently in film than he was in Ian Fleming’s book, where he was shockingly grotesque. On screen, Oddjob’s appearance isn’t cause for terror, but his method of killing is: he flings his razor-sharp bowler hat at his subject and decapitates them. He also has a speech defect and only Goldfinger can understand what he says (good way to avoid paying someone to dub his lines!). Unfortunately, he has a literal taste for cats.

Goldfinger Oddjob

Shirley Bassey performs the memorable theme song for this movie.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, IMDB, and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Diamonds Are Forever [April A2Z]

James Bond Diamonds Are Forever

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, focusing mainly on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

Diamonds Are Forever was released in 1971, with Sean Connery playing James Bond. It’s his sixth and final portrayal as Bond with Eon films ~ he declined the role in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (The 1967 version of Casino Royale was not an Eon production.) George Lazenby played 007 in OHMSS. I found Diamonds extremely funny, though I don’t know if that was the intention. James impersonates a diamond smuggler to nab his old nemesis Blofeld, who is stealing diamonds to build a space weapon and destroy Washington, DC. Why is that bad?

Tiffany Case Jill St. John Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds is glittering with beautiful women, such as Jill St. John (pictured above) playing Tiffany Case ~ what a great name! There’s also Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole ~ another great name ~ and Lola Larson and Trina Parks as Bambi and Thumper, a baddie’s bodyguards. And then there is the team of gay guys, also working for the baddies, who steal the show imo. They are just so freaking hilarious. Bruce Glover plays Mr. Wint and Putter Smith portrays Mr. Kidd.

The fabulous theme song is sung by Shirley Bassey. Bit of a spoiler after the music link.

My favorite scene takes place in Amsterdam when Bond confronts Peter Franks, the man he’s pretending to be. Bond kills him and puts his ID in Franks’ pocket. When Tiffany searches Franks, she says, “You’ve killed James Bond!” Stellar. They travel to Los Angeles and meet up with Felix Leiter, Bond’s CIA buddy. As usual, the plot twists are rollickingly incomprehensible with clones of Blofeld, telephone impersonation devices, nuke-destroying lasers, etc.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images are credited to Wikipedia and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Song Lyric Sunday: Blossom

Autumn fall flowers bouquet

Ervin T. Rouse wrote “Orange Blossom Special” in 1938 about the passenger train of the same name. Rouse was inspired by his Jacksonville, Florida tour of the luxury train to write the music; lyrics were added later. Ervin and Gordon Rouse recorded the original in 1939. It’s been called the fiddle player’s national anthem and it’s a favorite at bluegrass festivals. The song has the rhythm of a train and can generate a lot of energy. Johnny Cash has a great cover of the song and played it with Rouse in Miami after Cash found out that Rouse was the original creator. There was a dispute over authorship for a while with another musician, Chubby Wise. In 1997, another musician claimed credit for it. But there’s no argument that JC does a kickin’ cover, right?

Orange Blossom Special

Look a-yonder comin’
Comin’ down that railroad track
Hey, look a-yonder comin’
Comin’ down that railroad track
It’s the Orange Blossom Special
Bringin’ my baby back

Well, I’m going down to Florida
And get some sand in my shoes
Or maybe Californy
And get some sand in my shoes
I’ll ride that Orange Blossom Special
And lose these New York blues […]

~*~

Written for Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday.

Image is mine. Information from Wikipedia.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Bond, James Bond [April A2Z]

James Bond

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

Ian Fleming originally envisioned his fictional James Bond character to look like the above sketch (image and info from Wikipedia). Bond was meant to be a composite of various secret agents and commandos Fleming had encountered during his time with the British Navy in WWII, including his brother. He created Bond to be an intelligence officer in MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, with the code of 007.

Fleming chose the name “James Bond” from an American ornithologist (bird scientist) because he saw the name on a book and thought it sounded unromantic and masculine, perfect for his character. He also thought it sounded “dull,” which was appealing because Bond was supposed to be neutral and anonymous, a plain man who would be stuck into exotic situations.

Roger Moore as James Bond on jet ski

Bond was supposed to resemble the American singer Hoagy Carmichael, and indeed this is mentioned in some of the books by other characters commenting on Bond’s appearance. Fleming also gave Bond some of his own traits, as writers are wont to do, such as his love of golf and gambling. We don’t hear much about Bond’s early life or family, which adds to his mystique.

Many fans love to hear Bond introduce himself early on with his trademark “Bond, James Bond,” during which the familiar theme music begins to play. The first time he said it was in the first 007 movie, Dr. No (1962). But he doesn’t say it in every movie! It’s supposedly missing in a few… I’ll have to rewatch them all to figure out which ones. Here he is in all his glory.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Birds of a Feather

Swans love bonded

Some people claim that opposites attract, but I’ve always thought (and observed) that couples who are more alike than different have better success with long-term relationships. Not every item needs to match, but it’s hard, for example, to sustain a romance with someone who craves constant travel when you’re a homebody. And how do you compromise on religion, children, politics? I guess a person who loves cake could live with someone who only likes pie. Perhaps! But the big goals should line up, imo. Of course, there are always exceptions, but I prefer playing the odds. And indeed back when I dated I met plenty of odd men… but thankfully those days are over and I can now simply opine cluelessly from my comfy chair.

Swans are often used as a symbol of eternal love because most pairs mate for life. “Divorce” is rare; only a small percentage of the birds split up and take another mate. I received a beautiful pair of crystal swans as a wedding gift and still have them with only a few scratches. The marriage itself shattered however…

In “My Guy,” Mary Wells sings about how well she and her man go together, so well that she could never be torn away from him. She seems to be singing to another man who may be trying to seduce her, and she rejects his advances by explaining how her current relationship could never be upgraded.

There’s nothing you could say
To tear me away from my guy
There’s nothing you could do
‘Cause I’m stuck like glue to my guy
I’m stickin’ to my guy like a stamp to a letter
Like the birds of a feather
We stick together
I’m telling you from the start
I can’t be torn apart from my guy

Ronald White and Smokey Robinson wrote these great lyrics for the 1964 hit. Enjoy!

~*~

Written for Jim’s Thursday Inspiration.

Image from Pixabay. Info from Wikipedia.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.