There are a lot of songs about cars, which is the theme this week for Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday, but I chose one that uses a car as a metaphor. It’s also fitting because just this week some of us discussed hitchhiking and its inherent risks… love is also risky.
Love is a stranger in an open car To tempt you in And drive you far away…
“Love Is A Stranger” was written by Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart of the Eurythmics. It flopped in 1982, but was re-released in 1983 after their success with “Sweet Dreams.” It reached No. 6 in the UK and No. 23 in the US. Personally, I think it’s a stronger song with more interesting lyrics than “Sweet Dreams,” which hit No. 1, but to each their own. Love this video too…
~*~ Image of James Bond with his Aston Martin DB5 is from the movie Goldfinger.
So many songs and sayings tell you to “live for today” in one way or another, but isn’t love an implicit promise of tomorrow? Today is simply the downpayment on your relationship house, which by its nature contains rooms full of tomorrows. If you’re focused only on today’s pleasures, you’re playing in an empty field and will run away when it starts to rain because there’s no structure to shelter you. The flowers you pluck from the field of today will die in your hands, leaving you with nothing. Yet ironically tomorrow never does actually arrive, does it?
I chose “If I Were A Carpenter,” written by Tim Hardin in 1967 and covered by many artists, most notably Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, to further describe this concept. Their 1970 version placed at No. 2 on the country music chart.
Save your love through loneliness Save your love through sorrow I gave you my onlyness Give me your tomorrow
Kent Lavoie (“Lobo”) wrote DEMTBYF for his 1972 album Of A Simple Man. It peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the US, and stayed at No. 1 for two weeks on US Easy Listening. It is a pretty song and easy to listen to… unless you’re actually paying attention to the lyrics, in which case, it’s really sad. At least, to me it is.
You always act so happy when I see you You smile that way you take my hand and then Introduce me to your latest lover That’s when I feel the walls start crashing in.
I love you too much to ever start liking you So let’s just let the story kinda end I love you too much to ever start liking you So don’t expect me to be your friend.
Yeah. I’m not one of those who hope that a man I once loved will find bliss with someone else. Pffft on that. He should regret messing things up with me and pine away forever for my awesomeness!
You might wake up some mornin’ To the sound of something moving past your window in the wind And if you’re quick enough to rise You’ll catch a fleeting glimpse of someone’s fading shadow Out on the new horizon You may see the floating motion of a distant pair of wings And if the sleep has left your ears You might hear footsteps running through an open meadow…
Bob Lind wrote and recorded “Elusive Butterfly” in late 1965, and in early 1966 it reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also the adult contemporary chart. In Australia, it hit No. 2. At the time, EB was on the B-side of “Cheryl’s Goin’ Home” because no one felt that EB would be a hit. But when Cheryl met with a meh reception, DJ’s began playing EB and listeners loved it. Then the single was re-released with EB on the A-side. Bob said he wrote the song around sunrise after pulling an all-nighter in 1964. He wanted to portray the energy we feel when chasing after someone or something that may be a bit beyond our reach ~ the life-affirming feeling that is perhaps more profound during the pursuit than after we attain the goal (if we ever do). I can relate to this on many levels. (Wikipedia)
Happy Independence Day to my USA readers, and happy Sunday to everyone else! Jim gave us a topical theme today and I’m going with that wonderfully talented and prolific American songwriter Neil Diamond. Neil was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, NY, and he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2011, Mr. Diamond was also an honoree at the Kennedy Center, and in 2018, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. [Wikipedia]
“America” was released in 1981 for Neil’s album The Jazz Singer, which was also the soundtrack to the movie. I recently watched the film and enjoyed it very much. One of my friends posted the entirety of the Statue of Liberty poem (“The New Colossus”) on Facebook this week, and I suggest everyone read it. Or simply watch this video…
Jim’s prompt today was a bit of a challenge, even though I’m the one who suggested it! I thought there were songs about going to dinner, but I couldn’t find any. I didn’t want to use the obvious “Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch” by Weird Al, funny as it is. I figured one or more of y’all would take that one. So I turned to breakfast ~ the most important meal of the day, amirite? I found this really cute clip from a movie musical I never heard of… Rich, Young and Pretty, 1951. The song is “How D’Ya Like Your Eggs in the Morning,” and it was written by Sammy Cahn and Nicholas Brodszky. The movie introduces Vic Damone, and he sings the Breakfast song along with Jane Powell.
The following lyric text sample is from the Dean Martin/Helen O’Connell version of the song, but the video clip is from the movie. Enjoy!
(H) How do you like your eggs in the morning (D) I like mine with a kiss (H) Boiled or fried (D) I’m satisfied as long as I get my kiss (H) How do you like your toast in the morning (H) I like mine with a hug (H) Dark or light (D) the world’s all right as long as I get my hug
(D) I’ve got to have my love in the morning (H) Or the rest of my day is positively mayhem (D) I’m a regular monster (H) How do you like your eggs in the morning (D) I like mine with a kiss (H) Up or down (D) I’ll never frown eggs can be almost bliss (D) Just as long as I get my kiss
“Up on the roof,” my friend said when I asked her where the party was, but by the time I got to Phoenix, which was around midnight, everyone was dancing in the street. The only reason I even bothered trying to find them is because I’m head over heels in love with you. You think you’re so far above me, but I bet I could make you love me. Just between you and me, I’d drive clear across the universe just to see you smile. Yeah, it would be against all odds if we ever got together, but a girl can dream, right? Maybe you’ll even dream a little dream of me sometime. Yeah, I’m out of my head and these crazy things I do–I do them all for you. If you don’t feel the same, then just go away from my window and don’t let me down.
Touch me in the morning, she said, and then just walk away. But when I touched her that morning, she said whose hands are these? She wanted a lover with a slow hand, and also a hand to rock the cradle, but she accused me of handing her a line. Keep your hands to yourself, she yelled. That was too hard to handle, so I skedaddled out of there with one hand in my pocket and the other in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Then I applied for a job as a handyman, but they fired me when I showed up with a drink in my hand. Now I’ve got too much time on my hands…
Jim’s prompt today gave me lots of ideas for songs! So many came to mind that I couldn’t decide and procrastinated. Then I figured that others would choose the more widely known tunes, such as “Cruel To Be Kind,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “Cruel Summer.” I googled a bit and found this absolute GEM by James Darren called “Goodbye Cruel World.” Maybe some of you know it (I’m not going to use the term “super oldie” again, lol). I suggest that everyone listen because not only is it a cute song, but also there are loads of pics of James in the video. Mmm…
The song was written by Gloria Shayne Regney and had several covers, but James’ 1961 version is the most famous (not that I ever heard of it before my search). It’s a humorous take on feeling brokenhearted with fun circus music accompanying the tune. This was Darren’s first top ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at #3), as well as the biggest hit of his musical career. He had lots of success on the screen as well, notably in the Gidget movies and the TV series T.J. Hooker. Want to feel old? James Darren just turned 85.
Jim’s Thursday Inspiration prompt today sent me down rabbit trails of thoughts and googles. First, I recalled the funny slogan for Saul Goodman, the lawyer in Breaking Bad. It hinged on the emphasis of words. You don’t need a criminal lawyer; you need a criminal lawyer. Subtle, right? What a great character ~ though, as I’ve noted, I didn’t care for the spin-off. I learned also that the BB producers meant for Bob Odenkirk to do only a couple shows in S2, but Saul was so popular they kept him. That’s what happened with Aaron Paul as well, which is hard to believe now. BB without Jesse? Crazy.
Generally, though, I prefer my fiction to be some traditional version of good guys win/bad guys get caught. That’s always more satisfying, amirite? Yet there are exceptions to every rule, and BB was one. The Sopranos was another. The appeal for me in both hinged on the great characters and excellent acting, not to mention stellar writing. People forget about that, but without the writers, what do we have? Nothing! Here’s a great song about what’s supposed to happen when you do the crime: “I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four, 1966. This is a cover, please note, as the original was written by Sonny Curtis of the Crickets. (I’m experimenting with not plopping vids directly into posts, for a cleaner blog appearance, so click if you want to listen to the song on YouTube, or don’t.)
I also thought about the ways people use the word “crime” and how I’ve read and heard it as a verb occasionally lately. I looked that up and found an interesting article from Merriam-Webster on the topic and also about verbing nouns generally. Playing with language is a lot of fun, though I’ve mostly stopped doing it here, as it confuses or irritates people, and unlike some, I am not “writing just for myself.” I care about how my audience reads my words. But when I text with my girls, we are super playful with words and it’s so enjoyable. I also eschew most punctuation in texting and casual social media comments. But here’s the thing about words and rules: they are all invented. Yep, every one of them in every language has been MADE UP by people at some point! I wouldn’t lie to you, my loyal fans. There was a time when all we said was ugh. Actually, I still say ugh a lot…
That’s not to say there shouldn’t be rules. I’m in favor of ’em, arbitrary as they are, because a commonly understood structure is important in clear communication. You have to know the rules to break them, as the saying goes, otherwise you simply look like an idiot. That was the beauty of lolcat speech, where the usual rules of spelling and grammar were twisted into new, interesting sentences. I enjoyed that so much! I also enjoy reading British writers, who have a slightly different way of using English and punctuation than American writers ~ fewer commas, for one thing. As usual, with Americans, the idea is if one comma is good, why not supersize and use 100? Ugh. Long before lolcats though, writers such as E.E. Cummings and James Joyce were bending language in their work. Sorry, we boomers/millennials do not get credit for starting this trend! Here’s one of my favorite songs from last century with several instances of wordplay: “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” performed by Nancy Sinatra, also in 1966, and written by Lee Hazelwood.
“You keep lyin’ when you ought to be truthin’ You keep losin’ when you ought to not bet You keep samin’ when you ought to be changin’ Now what’s right is right, but you ain’t been right yet”