Big thanks to Jim Adams for continuing to host Song Lyric Sunday. For today’s keyword surprise, I chose “Love on the Rocks” by Neil Diamond.
Love on the rocks Ain’t no surprise Just pour me a drink And I’ll tell you some lies Got nothing to lose So you just sing the blues All the time
LOTR was written by Neil Diamond and Gilbert Bécaud in 1980. It appeared in the 1980 movie The Jazz Singer and was also released as a single. The song reached No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100 (US) for three weeks in January 1981, and Billboard rated it as the No. 26 pop single overall for 1981. Bécaud recorded LOTR in French as L’Amour est mort on his 1981 eponymous album. (Wikipedia)
Gave you my heart Gave you my soul You left me alone here With nothing to hold Yesterday’s gone Now all I want Is a smile
I think many of us can relate to these words. When we finally accept that something is over, we hope to at least be treated kindly by the person we once loved and vice versa. But so often things don’t end up that way…
First they say they want you Hear how they really need you Suddenly you find you’re out there Walking in a storm And when they know they have you Then they really have you Nothing you can do or say You’ve got to leave, just get away We all know the song
I’m glad that Maggie waited until after April A2Z to ask her musical Throwback Thursday questions, as I was posting an Eagles song daily throughout April (except Sundays) and was a bit burnt out on dealing with more posts on any music-related topic. OK, then… let’s get to it. (If anyone cares, which no one does, I have been experimenting with eliminating apostrophes after words ending in “s,” if the meaning is clear otherwise. I began doing this during my Eagles marathon and I’m happier with how my writing looks. I simply view those “dangling” apostrophes as ugly. Do I care if it is technically incorrect? Hah. Don’t worry, I still know the rules for professional writing.)
1. What music were you exposed to in your family home – genre, artist, or style.
My parents loved music. My mom loved country music and Johnny Cash especially. My dad loved the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and the Beatles. They also loved musicals and played the soundtracks from Zorba the Greek, Hair, Swan Lake, etc.
2. Did you enjoy that type of music or did you rebel against it?
I loved all that and still do. I wasn’t rebellious in this sense at all. I never went through an alternate music phase that my parents hated. When I played my Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond, or Supremes records, they also enjoyed my choices.
3. How did you listen to music in your childhood home? Radio? Record player? Television?
All of the above. We watched Lawrence Welk and variety shows that included music. We played records and listened to music on the radio. I don’t recall that my parents danced around while music was playing, but I did. I never learned to dance properly though, but that’s OK, as it gave my daughters another reason to laugh at my dorkiness.
4. Did you buy records, tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks or CDs?
Yes. LOL. Well, maybe not 8-tracks, as I’m not sure what those are, but definitely the other three formats!
5. What performers were you drawn to most as an adolescent?
I loved the same music I love now: Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Supremes, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, etc. And disco! Then in my later teens and 20s I discovered Fleetwood Mac, Journey (the original with Steve Perry), Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Led Zep, Def Leppard, the Go-Go’s, etc. I didn’t realize I loved the Eagles until I was in my early 20s!
6. Who did you go to see for your first concert? Who did you go with?
Journey. My college boyfriend took me, and it was a horrible outdoor experience ~ we were too close to the speaker and the music was so loud I couldn’t actually hear it. It was just blasting noise the entire time and I got a giant headache. The next one I went to, a few years later (also with a boyfriend), featured Pat Benatar, indoors, at a normal, nice volume.
7. What concert has been your favorite concert to date?
I don’t know. I haven’t been to that many because they’re way too expensive. Even cover band concerts are out of my budget, mostly. Probably Cash Out (Johnny Cash cover band) was the best one.
8. When do you listen to music? In the car? At work? While studying or doing projects?
Mostly in the car. Sometimes I listen to Spotify at work if I’m doing something routine. But I also rewatch musicals pretty often ~ Chicago, Walk the Line, Grease, Fiddler, Mamma Mia (1 & 2), etc. I’m going to see The Sound of Music live this weekend.
9. Did the music you listened to affect your attitudes, way of dress, or view of the world?
That’s a great question! Yes, probably, along with romance novels and rom-coms. I had this dreamy idea of a soul mate who would love me forever and we would exist in bliss with no problems whatsoever (after we resolved whatever main conflict kept us apart, of course, like me being a commoner and him being a Duke, or whatever thing), blah blah blah, and I think I formed that fantasy from the media I was exposed to because it sure as hell didn’t come from my parents or any other real-life marriage I saw.
10. How has your choice of music changed over the years? What is your genre of choice at this phase of your life?
It hasn’t. I still love all the same music I ever did. My genre of choice depends on my mood, but mostly I enjoy soft rock/pop, such as Gordon and Neil and Stevie Nicks, and not so much the Def Leppard side of things unless I’m doing some dorky dancercise stuff.
Bonus Question: What band or group posters did you have hanging in your room? Extra extra bonus points if you can share a copy of it or a link to it.
I had a full-size poster of David Lee Roth on my bedroom door for a while. I can’t find the exact one online, but ugh he is old now. How did that happen?
EXTRA EXTRA BONUS: Care to share a playlist from Spotify?
Thanks go out to Jim Adams, our tuneful host of Song Lyric Sunday. This week I chose “To Sir With Love” for the school prompt. The song was written by Don Black and Mark London, and it was first recorded by Lulu in 1967 as the theme song for the movie with the same name. Lulu also acted in the film, along with members of her band, the Mindbenders. The song was a smash hit, reaching No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for 5 weeks, and became the best-selling single of 1967 in the US. “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees turned out to be a bigger hit overall, as it had come out in December 1966, hit No. 1 also, and was a huge hit overseas, while TSWL was not and didn’t even chart in the UK. Note for the record that “I’m a Believer” was written by Neil Diamond.
The lyrics to TSWL tell the story of a girl who became an adult during her time at a particular school. She credits the headmaster “Sir” with her success, as he helped take her “from crayons to perfume,” and she sounds very emotional at the thought of leaving him. She wonders what she can do, what gift she can give him, to express her gratitude to this man.
The time has come, for closing books and long last looks must end, And as I leave I know that I am leaving my best friend, A friend who taught me right from wrong, and weak from strong. That’s a lot to learn. What! What can I give you in return? If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start But I would rather, you let me give my heart, To Sir, With Love.
It almost sounds as if she’s fallen in love with the guy, or at least has been nurturing some romantic fantasy/crush, doesn’t it? Speaking from personal experience, it’s not unusual to fantasize about a teacher, male or female. I haven’t seen the film (it’s in my watchlist), so I don’t know one way or the other in this case, but I’ve always liked the song. Hope you enjoy it too!
Maybe it’s a song that brings back good memories. Maybe it was your first radio or record player – or iPod depending on your age. Maybe it is the song that always moves you to tears. What song was played at your wedding? Did you have band posters hanging on your bedroom walls? What are your music-connected memories?
My early music memories center around the records my parents played ~ Johnny Cash, the Doors, the Beatles, the Woodstock album, soundtracks from musicals, etc. “Blackbird” by the Beatles was one of my mother’s favorite songs, so I always think of her when I hear it. My dad was a big Doors’ fan. Then there’s the music I discovered as a teenager ~ Neil Diamond, Gordon Lightfoot, the Supremes, etc. I remember putting on the Supremes’ Greatest Hits and dancing around by myself in our living room. I still love all this music, including the soundtracks, and it makes me happy to hear any of it.
I first heard Fleetwood Mac eponymous album in its entirety at my friend Kate’s house, and I still remember that afternoon. My Chicago boyfriend Charlie took me to see Pat Benatar in concert, and that was a great night. Listening to REO Speedwagon reminds me of my friend Kathy (went to their concert with her in Chicago too). The soundtrack from Risky Business brings back the day I skipped class to watch it alone… and I also think of the guy I had a crush on at the time. Other songs remind me of Mark too, especially “You Are the Sun” by Lionel Ritchie, which we slow danced to in a bar at closing time. When I moved to SoCal at age 22, I began watching MTV (which wasn’t available in Chicago then), and the songs from the music vids remind me of my parents’ condo in Burbank and gradually adapting to life out here. There was a lot of Madonna, Roxy Music, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, ZZ Top, etc.
There are many songs that provoke an emotional reaction for me. “This Guy’s in Love with You” always gets to me (for a while, it was an “our song” for my ex-husband and me because of a mix-up when I requested it at a piano bar), and so does ”The Story” by Brandi Carlile. Neil Diamond’s album 12 Songs makes me sad, but in a good way. I first listened to it on the drive back from a writing convention in San Diego, where I had a pretty bad time and was also dealing with other personal issues. I always love the long version of ”Hotel California” too ~ a couple years ago, a group of us dressed as parts of the song for Halloween. That was so much fun!
I am not the type of person to worship celebs, but I did have a poster of David Lee Roth in my bedroom in Chicago.
… and now I’m praying for the end of time (“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” ~ Meatloaf).
“Mine” is a weird concept when applied to people (or cats), if you think about it, though it sounds romantic with the Be Mine candy hearts and all that jazz. But how can a person be “yours?” That sounds like slavery. Even children break away and have their own ideas, and then go off to live their own lives. Most moms and dads enjoy seeing their children form their own opinions and don’t wish for clones of themselves. (Some would rather have the clones, yes, I know.)
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!
I have to confess that my song this week was a no-brainer as soon as I read Jim’s prompt. There are lots of tunes about beautiful women, but my favorite beautiful song is about music itself. “Beautiful Noise” is the title track from Neil Diamond’s 10th album, which was released in 1976. It was one of the three singles from the album but didn’t place as well as the other two (“If You Know What I Mean” and “Don’t Think… Feel”). That’s OK; I don’t mind having a different opinion from the majority, and in my view BN is a wonderful song. It’s actually about loneliness, even though you won’t get that at first… it starts out peppy and happy, but if you listen all the way through and read between the lines, you’ll discover it’s about a writer sitting alone in his room waiting for his muse. He discovers that the normal sounds of daily life all around him, coming up from the street, provide his inspiration.
It’s a beautiful noise Made of joy and of strife Like a symphony played By the passing parade It’s the music of life
It’s a beautiful noise And it’s a sound that I love And it makes me feel good Just like a hand in a glove Yes it does, yes it does
I used to like to drink alcohol and began early. I had champagne at our neighbor’s apartment when I was 9 and my parents didn’t care (they were there too). The thing I associate most with that night is that the neighbors kept playing “Sugar Sugar” on their record player. My parents never made alcohol a forbidden thing ~ they just wanted me to be responsible with the car after I began driving. Of course, I wasn’t. But TG nothing bad happened. I was lucky, not smart or skilled in this respect. Just lucky.
Like many people, I used to associate drinking with dating and romance. It was normal back in the day (and probably still is, idk) for first dates to consist of a drink, or two or three, and then maybe dinner if we were still getting along, or not. Dinner dates almost always included a drink or a bottle of wine. Weddings and special occasions were booze-fests and still are, I guess. Funny that alcohol is ALSO associated with breakups, grief, and sadness in general ~ and not only in country songs but in real life. Drink when you’re happy, drink when you’re sad. Just keep it flowing.
I sound anti-alcohol, which I’m not. I’m just sad that it doesn’t agree with me any longer, and I wish it did because I enjoy the taste and the buzz. Occasionally, I can have a small amount (very small) with no ill-effects ~ last Saturday I had half a glass of pear ale and was fine ~ but if I have any more than that, I’m pretty much guaranteed a stabby migraine. I miss coming home from work and having a glass of one of my favorite merlots (pictured above) or having a yummy margarita or piña colada in a restaurant. I fell in love with cinnamon whiskey on a date way back when and it would be so nice to have that again (the whiskey, not the date). I also miss Bailey’s Irish Cream, which is fabulous over vanilla or coffee ice cream…
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…