Sorrowful Lament

The blues are part of the foundation of American culture that has been shared with the world.  Blues migrated from Africa to North America via the slave trade and this a genre of music began in the 19th century as spiritual music.  It incorporated many musical styles from the African-American communities and is characterized by its call-and-response technique and unique rhythm and chord progressions.  The blues often features a slow, “chuga-chuga choo-choo train” type of rhythm, that is usually in a 12/8-time signature (four beats where each beat is made up of three notes), as opposed to the conventional 4/4 time heard in most pop music.  The I-IV-V chord structure (C for the root note, followed by F perfect fourth, and G a perfect fifth) in blues is beyond iconic, and this sets the mood and becomes the foundation for this music.  This makes blues a simplistic genre at its core, but it’s easy to add layers of complexity on top, which is perhaps why so many talented guitarists were drawn to it.  Modern blues has its roots in the Mississippi Delta with many African American musicians who fled the exploitative plantations to head north, often landed in Chicago.

Last week we had Syncopative where the theme was to find music by rappers or hip-hop artists.  This week the theme is to find Blues music.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you can as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• Link to the YouTube video, or you can pull it into your post, so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

This week I will be writing about the Son House song ‘Walking Blues’, and next week, I will be writing about the song ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ by The Who.  The upcoming prompts will be:
June 11, 2023 – British Music suggested by Barbara from teleportingweena ghostmmnc
June 18, 2023 – Songs from the British Invasion suggested by Clive from Take It Easy
June 25, 2023 – New Music from 2020 or later
July 2, 2023 – Song that you would like to be played at your funeral suggested by Di of pensitivity101

Clouds, Love, and Life

Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell wrote ‘Both Sides Now’ where she discusses the upside and the downside of clouds, the give and take of love, and finally the win and lose situations in life.  This was released on her 1969 second album Clouds and it was not a hit for her.  Folk musician Judy Collins recorded peaked at #8 on Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart and it went to #14 in the UK.  Judy Collins’ track helped to bring Mitchell’s young name closer to the mainstream.  Judy didn’t make any money from this recording, as all the commercial gains went to the songwriter, but she was happy to have a hit song.  Al Kooper met Joni Mitchell in a bar, and he put Mitchell in touch with Judy Collins one night while she was asleep in her New York apartment.  Judy was passed out drunk in the middle of the night when Joni started singing this song to her over the phone.

Joni Mitchell was on a plane reading “Henderson the Rain King”, a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow which examines the midlife crisis of Eugene Henderson, an unhappy millionaire.  She came to this part in the book where Henderson is also up in a plane, on his way to Africa and he looks down and sees these clouds.  Joni put down the book, looked out the window and saw clouds too, and she immediately started writing her first song.  A change in perspective allows for a more well-rounded viewpoint in almost any situation and this will possibly give you a completely different way of seeing things.  Seeing clouds outside the window of an airplane can be beautiful, but these same clouds are blocking the sun and they could be raining on others.  Nothing could be more lovely that looking at “ice cream castles in the air”, but when these clouds rain on your parade, they are not so awesome.

Love only works if both partners can find a balance between give and take, and if this is broken, difficulties will arise and partners will feel that they are not getting what they want from their relationship.  When you are in love, it is like a fairy tale and you feel like everything is full of “Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels”, but Joni was hurt in her past relationships and she knew that she had to conceal some of her feelings so she didn’t keep giving herself away.  Saying, “I love you” is a big step in any relationship, as these words are life changing.  People are going to change as they grow up and we all have to learn how to deal with this.  Sometimes, “something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day,” and even though we struggle to make sense out of life, every day that we survive is a win situation, as it is better than the alternative.

Roberta Joan Anderson started piano lessons at age seven, and she heard melodies in her head that she wanted to get out.  At the age of 9, Joni contracted polio and this is also when she started smoking cigarettes.  She was praised for her drawing skills and she attended an art college after high school, but only stayed for one year.  In 1964, at the age of 21 she started performing in Toronto at local folk clubs and coffeehouses.  Joni was a single mother, whose father an old boyfriend had left as soon as he heard of the pregnancy.  Left with a young baby, which she was unable to provide for, she gave her daughter up for adoption, however she was able to keep this part of her life private for the majority of her career.  In June 1965, Joni married musician Chuck Mitchell, but that dissolved in a year and a half, which started a dark period for Joni.  In the mid-1960s she left for New York City where she recorded her eponymous debut album (also known as Songs to a Seagull) in 1967.  The troubles that Joni encountered provided the primary source of her inspiration.

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels the dizzy dancing way you feel
When every fairy tale comes real, I’ve looked at love that way
But now it’s just another show, you leave ‘em laughin’ when you go
And if you care don’t let them know, don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud, to say, “I love you” right out loud
Schemes and dreams and circus crowds, I’ve looked at life that way
But now old friends are acting strange, they shake their heads,
They say I’ve changed
But something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

Written for Glyn’s Mixed Music Bag #14 Monthly Challenge, May week 5.

Dinosaur Week

1.    Spinosaurus
Dinosaur breed where Barney from the American TV series comes from.

2.   Nigersaurus
Dinosaur breed where Dino of the Flintstones comes from.

3.   Brachiosaurus
An extinct species that had Bronchitis and a sore ass.

4.   Ichthyosaur
A dinosaur that throws up its dinner.

5.   Allosaurus
A very friendly dinosaur that was always saying hello.

6.   Diplodocus
The first dinosaur to do the dab.

7.   Parasaurolophus
A dinosaur with giant ears that could catch a breeze and go parasailing, similar to Dumbo.

8.   Deinonychus
The one who escaped from Jurassic Park.

9.   Troodon
The first dinosaur to cross the road.

10. Elasmosaurus
This is the giant lizard that tried to beat King Kong.

Written for Di’s Fibbing Friday.

Devastating Financial Crises

As humans become more intelligent, finance keeps getting more complex because the people with money want to maintain their control over the rest of the world. Maybe complex is the wrong word and I should be saying opaque, as trying to understand finance is difficult because it is lacking transparency to the point of becoming incomprehensible for most people. 1 percent of the people controls 82 percent of the wealth and that is the way it will always be. The richest 1 percent grabbed nearly two-thirds of all new wealth worth $42 trillion created since 2020, almost twice as much money as the bottom 99 percent of the world’s population. Modern finance started with the Crusades, as the Knights Templar operated the world’s first bank. The Templars wanted to help the Christian pilgrims that were in Jerusalem, and they came up with the idea of a letter of credit, so they wouldn’t have to carry around huge sums of cash that would make them a target for robbers. This system was used in China several centuries earlier, but that was operated by the government. The Templars were much closer to a private bank, although they were responsible to the Pope.

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Respond to this Friday Faithfuls challenge by writing anything about finance, or the economy, or if you have ever been scammed, had to file for bankruptcy, defaulted on a mortgage, been pestered by a creditor, add your thoughts on inflation, or you can go with whatever else that you think fits.  The world economy has weathered a number of storms and every economic crisis causes hardship that makes millions of people suffer.  Economies around the world are reportedly on the brink of the worst financial disaster in recent times, as the cost of living keeps on increasing.  Somehow Americans are able to move on from financial scandals, but this new US debt limit crisis is very disturbing, and some people have called it a manufactured crisis.  I do remember reading about the Tulip Mania of 1637 and of course The Great Depression of 1929–39, but these were both way before…

View original post 1,597 more words

Wile E. Coyote Never Had a Chance

Reena had two picture prompts today and since I have some time left, I decided to take on the picture that looked like a silhouette of a runner to me, but I am really not sure what it is and perhaps it is a dancer.  Anyways, as I drove to the grocery store, I was listening to that Holland–Dozier–Holland song ‘(I’m a) Road Runner’, which was first released by Junior Walker & the Allstars in 1966.  The cover that I herd was on a CD titled Garcia Live Volume Five, anyway it made me think of this picture and it is a cool song.  I read that Walker was a road warrior, constantly touring and performing, and Motown Records had a hard time getting him into the studio to record this, because he was always out on the road.

The road runner is not a bird in this song, as it is about a man who is on the move, and he doesn’t want to settle down.  He tells his woman that she can love him, but he probably won’t reciprocate, because he doesn’t want to be tied down.  He needs freedom to roam around, and he has been this way his whole life.  Every road runner has to keep on keeping on doing what they are doing.  I found this interesting video for everyone to watch.

Money, who needs it
Let me live my life free and easy
Put my toothbrush in my hand
And let me be a traveling man
Cause I’m a road runner, baby

I’m a road runner, baby
Can’t stay in one place too long
I’m a road runner baby
You might look at me and I’ll be gone

You can love me if you wanna
But I do declare
When I get restless
I got to move somewhere

I’m a road runner baby
Any where’s my home and love the life I live
And I’m gonna live the life I love
Road runner, baby

Don’t want no woman to tie me down
Got to be free, baby to roam around
All my life I’ve been like this
If you love me it’s your own risk
When the dust hit my shoe I got the urge to move

Says I’m a road runner baby
Got to keep on keeping on, hey
And I live the life I love
And I’m gonna love the life I live
Says, I’m a road runner, baby

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 282, where I selected the runner picture.

Time Is Going Out of Sync

On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, Earth rotated once around its axis in 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours, and this was faster than scientists had ever previously recorded since records began in the 1960s.  July 26 neared the newly-set record, at 1.50 milliseconds shorter than usual.  The previous record for the shortest rotation was July 19, 2020, when the Earth’s rotation took 1.4602 milliseconds less than 24 hours.  Ever since its formation around 4.5 billion years ago, our Earth had been gradual slowing down its rotation, and this has resulted in adding about 2.3 milliseconds to the length of each day every 100 years.  The Earth’s rotational speed fluctuates constantly for multiple reasons, the moon and Earth’s gravitational pull on each other, the moon’s effect on the tides on Earth, and changes in the weather and climate on Earth.  Many experts believe that the earth is spinning faster due to the glaciers melting as a result of climate change, as well as increased stores of water in reservoirs in the northern hemisphere.  On a normal day. the equator currently spins at 1,037 miles per hour, but if it were to spin at about 24,000 miles per hour, the Earth’s crust would eventually shift, the poles would flatten, and there would be bulging in areas around the equator, which would cause massive earthquakes that would certainly be disastrous.

The observed rotational speed of Earth is measured against what an atomic clock says is the length of the day.  Until a few years ago it had been thought that Earth’s rotation was slowing down, and we had to keep adding leap seconds every now and again to make up for the slower spin.  There is probably no need to worry, as it is thought that Earth’s rotation may still be slowing down, although we could be beginning a 50-year period of shorter days.  Earth’s quickening rotation has consequences because atomic clocks which are used in GPS satellites don’t take into account the Earth’s changing rotation.  If Earth spins faster, it will get to the same position a little earlier, but since a half-a-millisecond equates to 10-inches or 26 centimeters at the equator, our GPS may eventually become useless.  A fraction of a second seems insignificant, but international timekeepers are baffled if they are going to have to add a second or drop one, to keep clock running on time.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 282, where today she gave us two pictures to choose from and I selected the clocks.

Break My Heart

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles had their first charting hit in 1967 with ‘I Second That Emotion’ and it was later recorded by Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations, who were also on the Motown label.  Smokey Robinson went with Motown producer Al Cleveland on a Christmas shopping trip at Hudson’s, a Detroit department store.  Smokey’s wife, Claudette, had recently given birth to twins that didn’t survive the premature birth, and he was looking to get her a gift.  While at the jewelry counter, Smokey picked out some pearls and asked the salesperson what they thought about them.  Robinson turned to Al Cleveland and said, “I sure hope she likes them.”  Cleveland then added “I second that emotion.”  Both songwriters laughed at Cleveland’s malapropism, as he meant to say, “I second that motion.”  The two were immediately inspired to write a song using the incorrect phrase.

American singer Claudette Annette Rogers Robinson was a member of the vocal group The Miracles from 1957 to 1972.  Her brother Emerson “Sonny” Rogers was a founding member of the group, which before 1957 was named The Matadors.  Claudette replaced her brother in the group after he was drafted into the U.S. Army and she married Smokey Robinson in 1959.  In 1955, Smokey formed the Five Chimes doo-wop group which became the Matadors two years later.   In August 1957, Robinson and the Miracles met songwriter Berry Gordy after a failed audition for another record company.  Robinson had brought along with him a notebook that contained 100 songs he wrote while in high school which did not impress Berry Gordy.  Gordy saw some raw talent but found the songs immature and uneven and he gave Smokey the following advice saying, “Every song should have an idea, tell a story, mean something.”  Two years later, Gordy started Motown and he signed the newly christened Miracles.

Maybe you’d like to give me kisses sweet
Only for one night with no repeat
Maybe you’d go away and never call
And a taste of honey is worse than none at all
Oh little girl

In that case I don’t want no part
Well that that would only break my heart
Well if you feel like loving me
And you got the notion
I second that emotion
Well if you feel like loving me
And you got the notion
I second that emotion

Maybe you think that love will tie you down
And you ain’t got the time to hang around
Maybe you think that love will make us fools
And so it makes you wise to break the rules
Oh little girl


In that case I don’t want no part
Well that that would only break my heart
Well if you feel like loving me
And you got the notion
I second that emotion
So if you feel like giving me
A lifetime of devotion
I second that emotion

Written for Thursday Inspiration #210 The Chain where the prompt is break.

What Next

Venice has battled rising water levels since the fifth century.  But today, the water seems to be winning.  Several factors, both natural and man-made, cause Venice to flood about 100 times a year which usually happens from October until late winter and this phenomenon is called the acqua alta.  An acqua alta is an exceptional tide peak that occurs periodically when the northern Adriatic Sea rises and parts of the city will flood.  Acqua alta literally means “high water” and it happens because of Venice’s unique position as an island that is crisscrossed with canals.  Venice was built across 118 small islands connected by a network of canals, the entire city is an exceptional feat of engineering, but it has never been immune to flooding.  When an astronomical tide coincides with a strong south-east wind, low air pressures and the Adriatic’s oscillating currents, the water level in Venice rises and lower areas of the city flood and become lagoons.

Two things are working against Venice, the city is sinking, and the sea is rising.  Venice sits atop sediments deposited at the ancient mouth of the Po River, which flows eastward across northern Italy starting from the Cottian Alps and these sediments are still compacting and settling.  When deposited sediments are smooshed together by the weight of water and other sediment that has settled on top of it, this is called compaction.  On dry land compaction usually only takes about 7 years, but Venice suffers from subsidence (sinking of the ground because of underground material movement), as it was built on a muddy lagoon with inadequate foundations from the ground beneath it.  When you combine this with the groundwater being pumped out from under the city and a gradual rise in sea levels, the result is a city that is slowly sinking.  Underlying plate tectonics are also to blame, thanks to the subduction (geological process of the Earth’s mantle) of the Adriatic plate being beneath the Apennine mountains.

On May 28, 2023, Venetians woke up to a mysterious patch of fluorescent emerald green in the central waterway so police started investigating the origin of the liquid and locals are understandably concerned.  Gondoliers could be seen punting through the phosphorescent waters while tourists took photographs.  Authorities have now discovered that the liquid was fluorescein, a manufactured organic non-toxic dye used for testing wastewater networks.  Fluorescein is primarily used in underwater construction to help identify leaks, but where the dye came from and how it got into the canal in the first place, is still a mystery, however it is not thought to be the result of an accident.  Thus far, no one has stepped up to take responsibility for this and the city has since gone back to business as usual, despite the unusual tint of the canal.

Written for KL Caley’s Thursday Write Photo – Gondola.

Thursday Inspiration #210 The Chain

Respond to this challenge, by either using the prompt word break, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘The Chain’, or by going with another song by Fleetwood Mac, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘The Chain’ is the only song on Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 eleventh studio album Rumors that lists all five members of the group as songwriters, those being Christine McVie, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and Stephanie Nicks.  The verses are full of venom and frustration, but the chorus namedrops the chain, which signifies unity, however there was so much turmoil going on in the band at this time that they are all running in the shadows.  Darkness was all around them, but this chain was keeping the band together, despite all the tensions, the drug use and all of the media pressure.  In essence they are all connected through this chain, which brought them together and is still preventing them from fragmenting more.  The chain represents that this group was more important than its individual members.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and this song became the bond that kept this group going even though their personal relationships were falling apart at the time.  The chain linked the members together and it was named ‘The Chain’ because it came together as a bunch of pieces of different studio takes which were spliced together to form the track.  The thumping bass line was written independently by John McVie, who was originally planning to use it in a different song.  This began as a Christine McVie song called ‘Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)’.  It was very much a group effort as Nicks wrote the lyrics for the verses, while Buckingham and Christine McVie wrote the music and the chorus lyrics, and Lindsey added the guitar over the ending and they each put their own stamp on this song.  When Lindsey Buckingham left the band in 2018, Fleetwood Mac continued to perform this song in their new iteration with Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, and although the chain had been broken, they were able to fill in the missing links.

Listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise
Running in the shadows, damn your love, damn your lies

And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again
I can still hear you saying
You would never break the chain (never break the chain)