Jim offers us a sweet prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday and I chose “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison, a love song that has always topped my favorites list. This was the title song from Van Morrison’s 1971 album of the same name and released as a single in 1972. It has the same melody as his “Crazy Love” and “Why Must I Always Explain.” It reached no. 47 on the US pop chart.
You can take all the tea in China Put it in a big brown bag for me Sail right around all the seven oceans Drop it straight into the deep blue sea She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey She’s an angel of the first degree She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey Just like honey from the bee
Aww. But why can’t we have tea and love? See, I don’t really understand that part ~ why should we throw all the tea in the sea just because we found a sweetheart? It’s all about compromising, I guess. Tea or love, can’t have both. Guess I choose tea, but I still love this song.
For Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday today, I present “True Love” by Glenn Frey of the Eagles (RIP). This song was from one of Glenn’s solo albums, Soul Searchin’, released in 1988. It was written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin, and it was one of Glenn’s biggest hits as a solo artist. It hit No. 2 on the US Adult Contemporary chart as well as No. 2 on Canadian Singles.
The Eagles broke up from 1980 to 1994, reuniting with their cleverly named album Hell Freezes Over. They were together until Frey’s death in 2016. In 2017, the Eagles reformed with Frey’s son Deacon Frey and Vince Gill sharing Glenn’s vocals.
Well, it was true love – right from the start True love, straight from my heart True love, ain’t no doubt about it, baby True love, now I can’t live without it
I knew he was trouble when he sashayed up to me in those fancy cowboy boots. He gave me the once-over and his gaze settled on my feet, which were encased in the sparkling glass slippers I had borrowed from the palace museum after handing in my notice.
“Whatchu gonna do in those shoes?” he drawled.
“Dance the night away,” I replied loftily.
He laughed. “Those don’t look like dancing shoes, mam.”
“Neither do your boots,” I retorted.
“These boots are made for walkin’,” he said. “And that’s just what they’ll do. Care to join me?”
I shook my head and pointed to the discrepancy in our footwear. His boots were tough and scuffed, while my slippers were delicate and glamorous. “Those are your shoes,” I told him. “These are my shoes. We’ve got issues.”
That’s when he pulled out his badge.
Welcome to my Friday afternoon paint chip prompt. There are other paint chip prompts out there, but they’re very precise in what they ask for. Mine is open ~ write a poem, a story, a memory, whatever you like. Take your inspiration this week from Valspar’s “cowboy boots” and/or “glass slippers.” Tag your post Paint Chip Friday, or PCF, if you wish. Prompt will continue until December 31.
Image from Pexels. Song references from the Eagles’ “Those Shoes,” Van Halen’s ”Dance the Night Away,” Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots,” and Atmosphere’s “We’ve Got Issues.”
For Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday this week I chose one of my favorite songs: “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon. Carly wrote the song in 1971 about 3 men (with a possible eliminated 4th verse about a 4th man!), only one of whom has been publicly identified ~ Warren Beatty, who believes the entire song is about him, which it is not. Figures! Carly says Mick Jagger is not one of the other two men, even though he was speculated to be. She says the man’s name contains the letters “A,” E,” and “R,” which fits Warren, of course (and Jagger). James Taylor’s name also fits, and Carly was married to him prior to writing the song, but again she says nope, not JT. She has privately told a few people the identities of the men, but no one has spilled the beans (yet). Howard Stern is in the know, as is Taylor Swift. Carly has copped to a “David” being one of the other two, but not David Geffen, whom she hadn’t met yet when she wrote the lyrics. Anyway, the song was released in 1972 and became one of Carly’s biggest hits, attaining no. 1 status in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. I think it’s a super clever song and can see it fitting (loosely) a few men I’ve known too…
“You walked into the party Like you were walking onto a yacht Your hat strategically dipped below one eye Your scarf it was apricot”
Pat Benatar sings “Love Is a Battlefield,” which always rang true to me. A minefield, in my case. I was always tiptoeing around so as not to offend or cause an argument. I constantly capitulated to another person’s opinions to smooth things over when disagreements occurred, and then ended up feeling bitter and resentful, just counting the minutes until I could walk out the door. Every time I got involved with someone, it was always about their wants and their needs, never mine. You may have noticed that I eliminated most “dating stories” from my blog refresh. This is because the whole thing is too depressing to think about, and it’s also why I hate the Wayback Machine and how they’ve screenshotted some of that shit forever. They told me how I can request deletion, but it’s a big PITA.
So anyway. For Jim’s prompt today, I wanted to use a song about an actual mine ~ “My Darling Clementine.” This is another song I used to play on my paint-by-number organ, and I have fond memories of belting out “IN A CAVERN, IN A CANYON, EXCAVATING FOR A MINE, lived a miner forty-niner and his daughter Clementine…” Off-key, natch. But every version on YouTube sucks so much I can’t bear to put it here.
What’s really strange is that it’s often listed as a children’s song. Wtf? It’s about a girl who drowns in a river! Granted, the lyrics are amusing, but in a macabre way, not for a happy singalong imo. But even the adult versions sucked, and yep I include Bobby Darin’s in this group. Sad. I guess we also find “Running Bear” funny, but it’s not. Rivers be dangerous, yo.
Side note: I discovered while poking around for this song that there was a 1946 movie called My Darling Clementine, starring Henry Fonda. The film includes the song, but the lyrics don’t track with the plot at all except for the girl’s name. It’s supposedly one of the best westerns of all time, so maybe I’ll watch it if I can find it.
By this point, you must be wondering if I’m actually going to post a song with “mine” in it or just jabber on about irrelevant stuff forever. Well, it’s my blog and I can be boring if I want to, so there! Pffft. Just kidding. I have a song, but it isn’t about romantic enslavement… it’s about a place.
“L.A.’s fine, but it ain’t home New York’s home, but it ain’t mine No more”
That’s right. We can always rely upon good old Neil to have a song with a word in it, lol. I present “I Am, I Said,” from 1971, by the ultimate gem himself, Mr. Diamond. Enjoy!
Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday theme this week is phoniness and hypocrisy. The best song to illustrate this is, of course, Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street,” but I have a feeling someone else (whose name rhymes with Bandango) will choose it. So I went with this oldie about a guy who puts on a show of being all healthy and stuff in front of others while secretly nomming up Pringles and Ding Dongs. Yep, it’s Larry Groce and his 1976 one-hit wonder “Junk Food Junkie!” I don’t know about you, but I heard this song many times on one of my favorite radio shows “Dr. Demento,” though it received regular airplay as well and actually hit No. 9 for one week on Billboard’s Hot 100. Larry has been active in the music biz ever since, recording classic children’s songs for Disney and hosting his own radio show on NPR since 1983 (he is 73 years old).
The song is a playful mockery of the health food craze of the 1970s and each line is analyzed here, if you are inclined to do a deep dive into the meaning of the lyrics. Nothing much has changed in 45 years — there are all sorts of new food fads (keto, paleo, fermented foods, probiotics, microgreens, etc.) and yet Twinkies and Fritos still prevail. No one cares too much about sun dried tomatoes or granola these days as we did back when they were trendy, but the Big Mac is available most everywhere. We’ll always need our yummy comfort foods, won’t we? Well, some of us anyway…
Oh yeah, in the daytime I’m Mr. Natural Just as healthy as I can be But at night I’m a junk food junkie Good Lord have pity on me
The ocean whispers songs to me: Secrets soft as swirling foam Swept away on the summer breeze.
My tears fall in the salty sea; Weeds wash around the stones; The ocean whispers songs to me.
Memories obfuscate my dreams; I’ve traveled much too far from home, Swept away on the summer breeze.
How can I know what to believe? With trust in tatters, love has flown. The ocean whispers songs to me,
Soothing my astringent grief. I sway to the rhythmic monotone, Swept away on the summer breeze.
Music sets my spirit free– Nature’s calling back her own. The ocean whispers songs to me, Swept away on the summer breeze.
Welcome to my Friday afternoon paint chip prompt. There are other paint chip prompts out there, but they’re very precise in what they ask for. Mine is open ~ write a poem, a story, a memory, whatever you like. Take your inspiration this week from Valspar’s “ocean whisper” and/or “summer breeze.” Tag your post Paint Chip Friday, or PCF, if you wish. Prompt will continue until December 31.
There was a time when you seduced me with words alone, wondrous words. Pages and pages of gorgeous text, so funny, so smart, so romantic. I fell in love with your writing before I ever saw your face. When I merged the image with the words, I could stare at you for hours as you spoke. The topic didn’t matter, since it was your voice that captivated me. You spoke of science and justice and stars and dreams, of calculus and kings and lemonade and rings. I believed every word you said, as you seemed so incredibly knowledgeable. No topic was too esoteric for you to opine upon, from literature to kitty litter.
It was 1987 and I was flying high. January first I went to a potluck and a dude there offered me a gig for fifty gees. His name was Tumbleweed, and I didn’t ask why. Over a plateful of macaroni salad and Swedish meatballs, he said he needed a driver for a couple months, and I told him I was free. Jimmy Bluenose whispered a word in his ear, and that was that. No, I didn’t have a résumé with me. As if.
Tumbleweed went out of the country for a week (I did not ask where) and gave me a jingle on the tenth.
“Be at Magnolia and PCH five ayem.”
OK, the dude wasn’t much for small talk, but I wasn’t about to complain when he was paying me fifty big ones just to drive people around. I put on my monkey suit, slicked my hair into a neat ponytail, and off I went.
I picked up a man with two blonde girls and drove them to LAX. They were silent the entire drive, so I played an ABBA tape. If they wanted something other than “Dancing Queen,” they only had to speak up, but the trio stared straight ahead.
We made LAX in good time. Finally, the last blonde out of the car said, “I liked that ‘Waterloo’ song.”
“I’m glad,” I said. “Have a nice trip.”
She just rolled her eyes like I was an idiot.
The second she shut the door, Tumbleweed buzzed me. “Wait there. Black guy in a green suit needs a ride at noon.”
Noon? I had almost six hours to kill. I went to a coffee shop nearby and sat next to a redhead in black spandex. She was eating French toast with bacon.
“That looks good,” I said, motioning for the waitress to fill ‘er up.
“Fifty bucks,” the redhead replied.
I glanced at her plate again. “For French toast?”
“Yeah,” she smirked. “For French toast.”
Oh. I guess I’m a little slow. I had scrambled eggs and coffee, and then “French toast” in my car.
“Look,” the redhead said. “I like you and all. But next time, please… no ‘Mamma Mia.’”
“Gotcha,” I said, ejecting Abba and slipping in Bruce Springsteen.
“Much better,” she said. “But I have to get going.”
I still had some time, so I went to a bookstore and picked up a couple Mickey’s I hadn’t yet read. Sat on a sofa there and read half of one before it was time to get the black guy in the green suit.
He opened my door at one minute after twelve. I was already loving this gig and the prompt, considerate customers. Or whatever they were.
In the back, Green Suit opened a briefcase and began rummaging through it. I couldn’t see what he was doing because the lid obscured my view.
Finally after ten minutes I asked, “What’s our destination?”
He peered over the lid, looking irritated. “Las Vegas. The Flamingo. And we need to get there by four sharp, so I suggest you move along.”
Jesus! I floored it to Vegas, praying I wouldn’t get stopped for a ticket since there was still that little matter of my probation, and the road gods listened because we made it there at four twenty-five.
Green Suit exited my car without a word. Immediately my phone buzzed. “Pick up the brunette in the yellow dress outside the Embassy Suites and take her to Newark.”
“Newark… New Jersey?”
I guess he meant New Jersey, since I didn’t know of any other Newarks. I drove over to the Embassy Suites and sure enough Yellow Dress stood under the canopy.
“You’re late,” she announced, showing a lot of leg as she slid into the front seat next to me.
“Sorry honey.” I grinned at her. “I had to pick up milk for the kids.”
She lit a cigarette. “You’re hilarious.”
“Thank you, my dear.” I pulled onto the main drag.
“My pimp’s after me,” she replied. “He’s armed and dangerous.”
It was 1987. I was on cruise control and headed for a wall. Should have gotten out while I was young.