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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Forty Five

with_the_beatles

That “thing” again.

1964.

Never imagined being 45.  Knew I’d live past 90 as I have VERY good genes, but still never pictured me @ 45.  If I were 40 pounds lighter, it actually would pretty much rock.  But, I have to say that this America is nowhere CLOSE to the America of my youth and I MISS IT.

Went to dinner with some work friends the other night and had the best conversation about Television and TV shows from the late ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.  Lost in Space, Happy Days, Barney Miller, M*A*S*H, Leave It To Beaver, Wonderful World of Disney, and I could go on and on…Just what happened?  Days like this cause me to reflect on the past and just how much things have changed since that time long, long ago. 

On the other hand, I don’t feel a day over 23 in my mind.  My body throws off aches and pains.  Bad eyesight, tired ankles, and diminished stamina are pervasive, BUT I still look for fun wherever I can find it.  While I am glad to still be here, I’m a bit nostalgic for the “good, old days”.  So, the receipt of a most excellent gift today really had me borderline giddy.  The Beatles’ remastered #1 album in 1964 of Meet the Beatles.

Can I tell you how absolutely “fab” this is?  While the carrier of Lennon-McCartney staples like All My Loving and Hold Me Tight, this sophomore release showcased some of the best covers ever done by The Beatles.

The male version of Please, Mr. Postman is simply superb, while Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven is forever immortalized through this Beatles’ version.  Likewise on Smokey Robinson’s You Really Got a Hold On Me and Barry Gordy’s own Money (That’s What I Want)However, the cover song that I simply ADORE from this album is the staple from The Music Man  — Till There Was You.

Now, just to understand the brillance of The Beatles’ cover of this song, check out the original version by Shirley Jones…

Now, contrast that with Paul’s deftly poetic version:

So, these “rebels” who caused such upheaval and consternation, were actually conessieurs of fine theatre, poetry, art and traditional show tunes.  Who knew?….and it ALL started in 1964.  Ah, yes…a VERY good year.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2009 in birthdays, the beatles

 

I’m Alive

Orange Beach, AL

Orange Beach, AL

Lovin’ this Kenny Chesney/Dave Matthews collaboration, lately.

  I’m Alive, Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews

I’m pretty much in the “order” camp and don’t believe in consequences, so I think that certain things are put in our path to show us the way, teach us lessons, wake us up, whatever.  This song seems to be one of those needed entities, coming along at just the right moment to comfort, heal, encourage appreciation.  It speaks to me for several reasons.

First, the lyrics.  While I absolutely adore the melody of this song, I’m a lyrics maven.  For me, the power of the words are what really defines a song, and these particularly speak to me:

So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me I’d like to thank my lucky stars that
I’m alive, and well

It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathin’ in and out’s a blessin’ can’t you see
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive, and well
I’m alive, and well

Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul, when there’s not a soul in sight
But this boat has caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I’m alive, and well

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathin’ in and out’s a blessing can’t you see
Today is the first day of the rest of my life
Now I’m alive, and well
Yeah I’m alive, and well

I’m a bit sympatico with Kenny Chesney due to his love of water, beach and life, in general, and most of his songs absolutely resonate with “everyday” people on everyday issues and concerns.  We visit the beach fairly regularly and recently spent the Labor Day weekend there.  Every time I go to the beach, it presents an opportunity to unwind, relax, and contemplate.  (And I am a World Champion Contemplater.)  This is a perfect song for that.

Second, it makes me feel good/better and makes me thankful for this day and for things to come.  It reflects on the fact that LIFE IS HARD.  And, it is…but as my BIL says, “God is good”.  While we all have trials and tribulations, we all have great triumphs and joys and really, isn’t that what makes it worth getting out of bed every day?  So, while I’m caught up in the tornado of life with Senior year, college choices, house selling, house building, aging parents, job worries, etc., etc., it illuminates the fact that HEY!  I’M ALIVE.

Lastly, this song shows that country isn’t all twang based (yes, Shrew I’m looking at you).  This is a song that Dave Matthews’ fans can accept and relate to — hell, even love.  Kenny truly is more crossover than most Country artists and songs like this one really show his broad influences.  I think when you boil it all down, a good song is a good song.  As when Ray Charles did Country, it brings a new credibility to the once twang-laden genre.  It’s all about the emotion…the kun-NECK-shun.

So, take Kenny’s song to heart today.  While you trudge through whatever hell you suppose you have, remember….YOU’RE ALIVE!

 

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An Unlikely “Champion”

A long-time music milestone was broken this week.  LeAnn Rimes’ How Do I Live was toppled as the longest-running song on the Billboard Top 100, which held the previous record of 69 weeks.  So, you’d think such an accomplishment (I mean we’re talking a nearly five quarters, here) would be championed by the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift or any of the plethora of other bubble gum rockers that are always being thrown in our face.  But, no, this time the record goes to the unlikely champion of Jason Mraz, and his stalwart release, I’m Yours.

jason mraz

Now I love(d) this song.  I first heard it through my kid, who recommended it because he knows “my style”.  However, he liked it too.  So did his guy friends and of course, so did his girl friends.  Like most popular songs that are well liked, I’m Yours, spent several months around and on the top of the charts and got decent radio play, but nothing to indicate that it would still be around over a year later.

This song has lived since 2005, when it was written.  Mraz started performing it live in 2006 and the audience always had such a positive reaction that he eventually included it on his 2008 release We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.  (Yes, Mr. Mraz is quite amusing…for more, see his website www.jasonmraz.com)

But, 71 weeks with no sign of dropping off?  Why?  I mean, I’m Yours is catchy and highly entertaining, has great lyrics and is performed with great emotion, but isn’t it similar to Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry, Be Happy?

As far as I can tell, the song hasn’t had significant label backing, hasn’t been featured in any movies, isn’t attached to a mega star, and isn’t a novelty sensation.  It just keeps hanging around…and is now nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year.

Is it the coffeehouse delivery of Mraz that is so familiar?  Or, is it the simple pleasure of the song?  The appeal across age, ethnicity, or geography?  Is it the connection of the lyrics?  Is the simple “happiness” of the song?  Is the song just that good?   You tell me…

Take a look/listen to Mraz’s performance of I’m Yours and give me your theory as to why it has been “the little single that could”.

 

Note:  I included this extended live version because I think it really demonstrates the song the best.  Here’s the lyrics to review, as well…

Well, you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but your so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks, now I’m tryin to get back
before the cool done run out I’ll be givin it my best test
and nothin’s gonna stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it’s again my turn to win some or learn some

But I won’t hesitate no more,
no more, it cannot wait
I’m yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music at the moment people dance and sing
Were just one big family
And it’s our godforsaken right to be loved loved loved loved loved

So, i won’t hesitate no more,
no more, it cannot wait i’m sure
there’s no need to complicate our time is short
this is our fate
I’m yours

Scooch on over closer, dear
And I will nibble your ear

I’ve been spendin’ way too long checkin’ my tongue in the mirror
and bendin’ over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
and so I drew a new face and I laughed
I guess what I’d be sayin’ is there ain’t no better reason
to rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons
it’s what we aim to do
our name is our virtue

But I won’t hesitate no more,
no more it cannot wait
I’m yours

well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la one big family
it’s your god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved

open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la happy family
it’s our god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved

it’s our god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la peaceful melodies
it’s you god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved

 

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