God Grant Me The Serenity

My post today is not a very good example of the word give, but the song that I chose does end with “give a da da da da da”, so I guess it is appropriate.  ‘Games People Play’ was written by Joe South and this is a protest song with lyrics that speak against various forms of irresponsibility, hatred, hypocrisy, inhumanity, and intolerance in both interpersonal and social interactions between people.  This theme is very prevalent in the times that we are living in today, especially with Trump saying that the Pittsburgh synagogue should have had armed guards to fight off the shooter and I do not think that more guns are the answer.  Politics has become a means to divide people through hatred and this situation becomes volatile when guns and bombs are tossed into the mix.  Many people go through life preoccupied with negative thoughts, not caring about others, only trying to get ahead and instead of helping someone in need, they destroy the hopes of other people.

‘Games People Play’ was released at the end of 1968, and it won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Song and the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.  This song was originally released on Joe South’s debut album, Introspect which took time to take off, but when it did, it set the music world buzzing and then it was reissued as the Games People Play album when the title track became a hit.  The Games People Play album was one of the first albums ever to be multi-tracked.  Joe South performed all the vocal and instrumental parts himself, and some consider it the first ever Country-Soul album.  ‘Games People Play’ reached #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #10 on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100.  ‘Games People Play’ got its title from a successful book on transactional analysis by the psychiatrist Eric Berne, and this song took an unusual approach to the social tensions of the day, being more oblique and unpredictable than other protest songs.  Joe South did not record any more hits, but he did write and record the original version of ‘Rose Garden’, which three years later became a hit for the country artist Lynn Anderson.  South was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979 and became a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1981.

Joe South was a singer-songwriter who was a native of Atlanta, Georgia from February 28, 1940 – September 5, 2012 and his real name was Joseph Souter.  Joe built a small radio station on which he played his own songs and had modified his name when, still in his teens, he had his first minor hit in 1958 with ‘The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor’, co-written with the Big Bopper (JP Richardson) to capitalize on current novelty hits.  The following year Gene Vincent recorded two of his songs, ‘I Might Have Known’ and ‘Gone Gone Gone’.  Joe South made a successful career as a session musician in Muscle Shoals and Nashville, and among the hits he played the guitar on are Aretha Franklin’s ‘Chain Of Fools’, Tommy Roe’s ‘Sheila’ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound Of Silence’.  He also played on Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde album.  Joe South wrote Billy Joe Royal’s ‘Down in the Boondocks’, Elvis Presley’s ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’ and he also wrote the Deep Purple song ‘Hush’.  Joe was in a group called Joe South & Believers, but there is not much information out there on this group other than some songs that they played.  Joe’s brother, Tommy Souter was the drummer in this band and in 1971 he committed suicide, which brought on depression for Joe that curtailed his career.

Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean

And they wile away the hours
In their ivory towers
Till they’re covered up with flowers
In the back of a black limousine

La-da da da da da da da
La-da da da da da de
Talking ‘bout you and me
And the games people play

Oh we make one another cry
Break a heart then we say goodbye
Cross our hearts and we hope to die
That the other was to blame

Neither one will give in
So we gaze at our eight by ten
Thinking ‘bout the things that might have been
It’s a dirty rotten shame

People walking up to you
Singing glory hallelulia
And they’re tryin to sock it to you
In the name of the Lord

They’re gonna teach you how to meditate
Read your horoscope, cheat your fate
And further more to hell with hate
Come on and get on board

Look around tell me what you see
What’s happening to you and me
God grant me the serenity
To remember who I am

‘Cause you’ve given up your sanity
For your pride and your vanity
Turns your back on humanity
And you don’t give a da da da da da

Written for 10/28/18 Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is “give/giving”.

18 thoughts on “God Grant Me The Serenity

      1. I hope you win my friend and it was average, as usual. I’m thinking about taking a pledge to not talking (verbally I mean), for the month of November to calm my brain which currently is on fire..

        Liked by 1 person

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