Jim Adams has a breezy list of tropical prompts today courtesy of Kristian. I chose Taylor Swift’s ”Coney Island,” a lovely but sad song which questions why a relationship ended, from both perspectives. Taylor, along with others, wrote the song for her 2020 album Nevermore.
“Coney Island” received mixed reception, but I like it a lot for its wistful tone and storytelling, not to mention Taylor’s beautiful voice.
And I’m sitting on a bench in Coney Island Wondering where did my baby go? The fast times, the bright lights, the merry go Sorry for not making you my centerfold Over and over Lost again with no surprises Disappointments, close your eyes And it gets colder and colder When the sun goes down…
Jim Adams is our tuneful host for Song Lyric Sunday and today’s prompt is from Di @ pensitivity101. I chose “Because the Night” by the Patti Smith Group. The song was written by Patti and Bruce Springsteen and was first released as a single in 1978 from Patti’s album Easter. Bruce originally did an early version of the song himself, live in 1977, but he wasn’t happy with it. Jimmy Iovine, who was Bruce’s engineer and Patti’s producer, suggested giving it to her. Bruce agreed and Patti wrote her own lyrics. It became her biggest hit, reaching No. 13 on Billboard and No. 5 in the UK. Many other artists have covered the song, including Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs), who ended up at No. 11 on Billboard. Bruce continues to perform his version at concerts, while Patti’s version is her best-known song…
“Have I doubt when I’m alone Love is a ring, the telephone Love is an angel disguised as lust Here in our bed until the morning comes Come on now try and understand The way I feel under your command Take my hand as the sun descends They can’t touch you now, Can’t touch you now, can’t touch you now…”
Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday offers us the prompt of heavenly bodies, planets, moon, sun, stars, which was suggested by King Ben’s Grandma. My choice is “Drops of Jupiter” by Train. It was released in 2001 as the lead single from their album of the same name. The song did well, hitting the top five in Billboard’s Hot 100 and spending 29 weeks in the top 40. Paul Buckmaster won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). It also won Best Rock Song and was nominated for three other Grammys as well. Train’s lead singer Patrick Monahan wrote the beautiful, surreal lyrics. He said they were inspired by a dream about his late mother. The song has had over 1,000,000 downloads and is certified gold ~ it experienced a couple resurgences due to people covering it on various TV talent shows.
Now that she’s back in the atmosphere With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey She acts like summer and walks like rain Reminds me that there’s time a to change, hey, hey Since the return from her stay on the moon She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey
Tell me did you sail across the sun Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded And that heaven is overrated
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star One without a permanent scar And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there…
This week’s Throwback Thursday focuses on our memories of school. We’re told to take this prompt wherever it leads, and I’ll begin with their questions…
1. Who was your favorite teacher? What about your worst?
My favorite teachers were math teachers (after elementary school we had different teachers for various subjects), all men, and no BS. They neither shared things about their personal lives nor intruded in ours. Not coincidentally, math was my favorite subject.
My least favorite teacher was a high school history teacher who constantly babbled about personal stuff. He even put it on the quizzes! I had a 7th grade history teacher who spent a lot of time telling us about her divorce too. I didn’t much care for the elementary school teachers, mostly because they didn’t seem to like me.
2. Were you a member of any clubs?
Not really my thing, but my parents nagged me, so I joined the Spanish club and the newspaper team.
3. Did you attend homecoming or the prom?
4. What was your favorite subject?
Math, as I said. I also enjoyed a creative writing class senior year (male teacher). I enjoyed Spanish all through high school, which was taught by a woman, and she created an independent study class for me senior year because I was so advanced. She also gave me an award. Very cool.
5. Were you the perfect student or a troublemaker?
Neither. I broke some rules, but I didn’t do anything too horrible. My grades were always fantastic, so teachers didn’t bother me much. Here’s a naughty thing I did. In 8th grade science, we had to write a 10 page paper about something or other. I chose scallops. OMG they are boring (though tasty)! I took a chance the teacher was not going to read all 10 pages, so I wrote about scallops on pages 1 and 10, and in the middle I wrote a bunch of garbage. I received an A.
6. What clothes were in style when you were in school? How did you get to school? Bus, walk, drive? Any extracurricular activities? What did you do for lunch? Did you attend football games or other sports? Did you attend school when corporal punishment was applied? Have a school photo you wish to share?
We mostly wore jeans, sweaters, boots. I had high school in Illinois, so it was freezing much of the time. I never took a bus ~ either walked or got a ride, and at 16, I had my own car. I wasn’t into any rah rah stuff, such as sports, pep rallies, dances, etc. I either brought my lunch or bought junk food in the cafeteria. There was no corporal punishment.
I hated school when I was little because the other kids mocked me for being fat, wearing glasses, having no athletic ability, and even for being smart. Intelligence was not valued. Cute, slim girls who were good at volleyball were valued, just as Janice Ian wrote. You would think then maybe at least the teachers liked me for being smart? Nah. They didn’t care. They also preferred the cute kids.
Later, in high school, things were a little better because I developed anorexia and was no longer fat. I sort of became invisible at that point, which had been my goal… to float through the days without anyone taking notice of me and saying something mean. I deliberately let my grades slip so I wouldn’t have to be the valedictorian or one of the salutatorians on stage at graduation. I came in at no. 5, which delighted me and infuriated my mother. My father said kids would be different in college, but he was wrong. They were the same people who were jerks in high school ~ a new location did not change their personalities. Nor did it change mine. Depressed, I left the University of Illinois in Champaign after one semester and returned home to be invisible again. Finally, I finished college in California as a commuter student when I was 29.
I am brave enough to share pics! I made a collage from phone pics of photos in an album. Top left I’m around age 4 and already rolling my eyes. Look how pretty my mommy is! The next one is from like 2nd grade when I was super chubby. Then comes 4th grade or thereabouts. The one with the doggy is 6th grade in New Jersey. And finally I’m in high school… dig my kaleidoscopic shirt!
Jim Adams takes a cue from Fandango this week and has a provocative theme for Song Lyric Sunday ~ sex, doing it or discussing it. As befits my status of an all talk, no action kinda gal, I’m going with sex chat, specifically “Love Child.” This 1968 Diana Ross & the Supremes’ hit was a departure for the group. Their previous hits were peppy love songs, but “Love Child” presents a message. It’s from the point of view of a woman who is being pressured to have premarital sex. She desires her man, but she herself was a “love child,” born outside of wedlock, and consequently grew up poor and feeling judged. She refuses to subject a possible baby to that fate and she tells her man that “this love we’re contemplating is worth the pain of waiting.”
Back then and even now birth control does not always work perfectly and some women wouldn’t consider an abortion ~ this was pre RvW (and pre birth control pill), and we may be there again soon. Already some places in the US are de facto wastelands of choice, which I’m sure makes some readers happy, but I think it’s terrible not to have the choice to terminate, at least early on. Contrary to what some people believe, termination is often a difficult decision and not one made only by young, single, irresponsible girls. Older women have abortions too. Married women have them. So do moms who are overwhelmed with their current lives. It’s no one else’s business! Anti-choicers forget that there is always a man involved in the pregnancy situation, but it’s the woman who has to bear all the physical responsibility, not to mention the financial one if he disappears.
This is one issue I have felt strongly about for decades, and I’m not going to host arguments in the comments. This is my opinion and if yours differs, post it on your own blog. Kudos to the women marching this weekend for our disappearing rights!
In any case, we don’t know the outcome of the “Love Child” story. We hear Diana Ross forcefully state her convictions, but does the man end up agreeing to wait until marriage, or will he leave her for someone more adventurous? Does she end up giving in to the pressure for sex, as women have done throughout history? Perhaps they simply run off and get married… maybe they will end up living happily ever after. We have to imagine how the story ends. But we don’t have to imagine how well the song did on the charts. It knocked “Hey Jude” from the No. 1 position that song had held for 9 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, and “Love Child” sold 500,000 copies in its first week and 2 million by year’s end.
Writing credit goes to R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, and Deke Richards. Bit of trivia ~ the “Supremes” did not actually sing background vocals on “Love Child;” background vocals were provided by The Andantes, a Motown female session group. This was the case for most of “Diana Ross & the Supremes” singles. [Wikipedia]
Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt this week honors Fandango, one of our most favorite and prolific bloggers in Blogland. I hope Fandango likes my choice of “More Than This,” a beautiful love song written in 1981 by Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music. It was released as a single from their final album Avalon in 1982 and hit the top 10 in the UK, but didn’t chart as well here in the US. Regardless, it is still one of their best-known songs. In 1997, 10,000 Maniacs released a cover which did better than the original, but I prefer Bryan’s emotional-sounding take to Natalie Merchant’s smoother, blander voice.
I have to say that the lyrics themselves aren’t that special. Generally, I only choose songs with lyrics that can stand on their own when read apart from the music, but these really can’t. However, the music plus Bryan’s soulful rendering transforms the piece into something sublime. Judge for yourself…
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.”