The World We Live In

The world can be a confusing place, being meaningful for some and at the same time meaningless for others.  Our world is unravelling with the global pandemic, climate change, Brexit, Trump nonsense, poverty and starvation, destabilization of the economy, religious conflicts and discrimination and the uncertainty of all of these issues leads to confusion.  The process of continuously thinking about the same thoughts, which tend to be sad or dark, is called rumination and this will never solve anything, as it only brings on more confusion.  The Temptations had a hit with their song ‘Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)’ and the single was released before it came out on their album Greatest Hits, vol. 2.  The song reached #3 on the US Billboard Pop list chart and it got to #7 on the UK Pop list chart.  The Temptations lineup at this time consisted of Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards.  The Funk Brothers provided the music for this track using two drummers and a wah-wah pedal electric guitar effect.  The Temptations were ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

This song bravely sheds light on the political and social issues plaguing the world during the 1960’s, including segregation, the Vietnam War and other social issues, but it seems to still be relevant with what is going on today.  This song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong was politically driven and released in May of 1970.  This song deviates from Motown’s usual clean and charismatic approach and it speaks out against the pharmaceutical companies gouging people for their medications in a time before the opioid epidemic ever existed.  Great googa mooga is an expression of surprise or exasperation that is similar to saying “Goodness gracious”.  This song mentions, “the beat goes on” which was a big hit for Sonny and Cher in 1967.  It contains the Biblical law, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, which allowed people to retaliate against others when they were oppressed.

People movin’ out, people movin’ in.
Why, because of the color of their skin.
Run, run, run, but you sho’ can’t hide
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Vote for me and I’ll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on.
Well, the only person talkin’ ‘bout love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, aggravation,
humiliation, obligation to our nation
Ball Of Confusion that’s what the world is today (yeah, yeah)
The sale of pills is at an all time high
young folks walkin’ ‘round with their heads in the sky
Cities aflame in the summer time, and oh the beat goes on
Eve of destruction, tax deduction,
City inspectors, bill collectors,
Evolution, revolution, gun control, the sound of soul,
Shootin’ rockets to the moon, kids growin’ up too soon
Politicians say more taxes will solve ev’rything, and the band played on.
Round and round and around we go, where the world’s headed nobody knows.
Great googa mooga, can’t you hear me talkin’ to you, just a
Ball of Confusion that’s what the world is today. (yeah, yeah)
Fear in the air, tension ev’rywhere
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatle’s new record’s a gas,
and the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation,
and the band played on
Eve of destruction, tax deduction,
City inspectors, bill collectors, mod clothes in demand,
population out of hand, suicide too many bills, hippies movin’ to the hills
People all over the world are shouting end the war and the band played on.
Round and round and around we go, where the world’s headed nobody knows.
Great googa mooga, can’t you hear me talkin’ to you, just a
Ball of Confusion that’s what the world is today
Let me hear you, let me hear you, let me hear you
Ball Of Confusion that’s what the world is today

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – #303 hosted by Michael – where we are asked to consider the notion of confusion.

Women Do Funny Things To Me

The Larry Randal Kingston song ‘Women Do Funny Things To Me’ was ranked #25 of the Best Country Singles of 1965 and it reached #9 on Billboard Country chart for Del Reeves.  This is a humorous song that is about a worldly man, a guy who traveled to Egypt to ride a camel, encountered a bull in Spain, climbed Mount Everest and even went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, but he is still learning about women.  He appears to be very manly, as he enjoys hunting, he feels at home in the Okefenokee swamp wading past gators, walking across the Yukon and he even volunteered to go to the moon.  The funny thing is that he becomes a quivering mess when he is around women and he is afraid of marriage.  I guess that every man can still learn a thing or two about women.

Country singer/songwriter Franklin Delano Reeves moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the early 60’s, signed up with United Artists Records, and scored his first hit song with ‘Be Quiet Mind’ in 1961.  Reeves and his wife formed a professional songwriting duo; they penned songs for such established country singers as Carl Smith, Sheb Wooley, Rose Maddox, and Roy Drusky.  In 1965 Del had his biggest and most beloved smash success with the delightful trucker’s country tune ‘Girl on the Billboard’, which soared all the way to #1 on the country radio charts and sold a million copies.  The follow-up song ‘The Belles of Southern Bell’ was a Top 5 country radio hit.  Reeves’ other hit songs include ‘Women Do Funny Things to Me’, ‘A Dime At a Time’, ‘Looking At the World Through a Windshield’, and his signature number ‘Good Time Charlie’s’, ‘Be Glad’, and ‘The Philadelphia Fillies’.

Larry Randal Kingston was one of the top country songwriters in Nashville from 1965 until the 80’s.  Among his best-known songs are ‘Pittsburgh Stealers’ by the Kendalls, ‘Thank God and Greyhound’ by Roy Clark, ‘It’s Not Over (If I’m Not Over You)’ by Reba McEntire, ‘Biloxi’ by Kenny Price and ‘Lovin’ Machine’ by Johnny Paycheck.  Kinston also had cuts by Porter Wagoner, George Jones, Vern Gosdin, Don Williams, Mark Chesnutt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr and others.

Doo do do do doo a doo do do do doo

On a bareback camel I rode across Egypt
Without water in the blistered sun
And in Spain I stood calmly without even a cape
And for the bull he was too tired to run
Bound and tied a gagged and sailed in a barrel I went over Niagara oh yes
But baby last night when you said you loved me I turned into a quivering mess

Cause women do funny things to me women do funny things to me
I’m usually perfectly calm and collective and curious as I can be
But ruby lips swingin’ hips bitter minds tender sighs
Pretty curls and flirty girls I see they do funny things to me

Without a guide or a gun I went a huntin’
Killed a tiger with my two bare hands
Without a rope and barefooted I climbed Mount Everest
And didn’t even get a blister on my hand
Through the Okefenokee I waded pass the gators
And the snakes and skeeters and flies
But baby last night when we started kissin’
I said Lord I can’t stand it I’m gonna die

Cause women do funny things to me

Without a dog or a sled I walked across the Yukon
It was spring but it was forty below
And when they began to plan for the moon
Guess who volunteered to go
Yes I’m always ready to show my courage and my extreme bravery
But baby last night when you talked marriage you scared the living outta me

Oh women do funny things to me
Funny things to me doo do do do doo funny things to me

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 84 where this week’s theme is learn from the 1996 release of the Alanis Morissette song ‘You Learn’.

It’s All About the

In their 1963 single ‘Surfin’ Bird’, the surf-rock garage band The Trashmen sang:
“A well a don’t you know about the bird?
Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word!
A well a bird, bird, b-bird’s the word.”

The song was inspired by two contemporary songs by the doo-wop group The Rivingtons, those being ‘Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow’ and ‘Bird is the Word’.  The bird refers to a dance craze in the 1960s.  To do the bird you face your partner.  Place your feet together with knees slightly bent, and your body slightly forward, and your arms (become your wings) stretched out horizontally with your elbows bent.  Flap your wings while you are pushing your hands down and your elbows up at the same time, then do this in reverse.  Meanwhile you raise your heels alternately and in rapid motion, then you occasionally hop forward (girls hop backwards while you are going forward) and then this is done in reverse.  Clap your hands, kick your right foot out with your heel touching the floor while you are pivoting your left foot a quarter turn to the left, all the time keeping your wings flapping.  Repeat this three times, then return to your original direction.  (Girls do same, but kick their left foot, pivot their right foot and do their quarter turn to the right.  Hey, nobody ever said that this dance was easy!

The Minneapolis group known as The Trashmen noticed that these two songs sounded alike, so they mashed them together in a live performance.  A DJ at the show brought them into the studio to record the mashup under the title ‘Surfin’ Bird’.  The Rivingtons sued the Trashmen for plagiarism and now they are credited as the writers of this song.  While The Trashmen’s inspiration for ‘Surfin’ Bird’ is well-documented, the exact origin and meaning of the saying bird is the word is less clear.  Bird has carried many slang connotations throughout its history, from “prostitute” to “the middle finger”.  In the context of the song, “the word” meant the best, something that is cool, or hip, and later on this phrase evolved into meaning, “I really agree with what you just said”.  “Bird is the word” may characterize something that is good, cool, or new, but to me, it always makes me think about turkey.

The Rivingtons formed in the early 60s in Los Angeles, California, and this doo-wop group is mostly known for these two hits.  The group consisted of lead vocalist Carl White, Al Frazier, Sonny Harris and Rocky Wilson Jnr all of whom had previously worked as backing vocalists on recordings by Paul Anka, Duane Eddy and Thurston Harris, as the Sharps.  The song ‘Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow’ is composed of primarily of nonsense syllables and it features a deep bass voice which is accompanied by the rest of the group’s divine vocal harmonies.  The phrase “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” reportedly came to Wilson while he was in jail, following a fight a fellow inmate supposedly whispered this in his ear.  This song reached #48 in 1962 and it was later covered by the Beach Boys.

The Trashmen were made up of lead guitarist Tony Andreason, guitarist and vocalist Dan Winslow, bassist Bob Reed and drummer Steve Wahrer.  The Trashmen’s ‘Surfin’ Bird’ peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts, later inspiring fun or ironic covers by popular performers from The Ramones to Pee-wee Herman.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, don’t eat too much turkey and try to stay safe.

A Code to Live By

It is often thought that the phrase, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” is attributed to Frederick Douglass, but the only quote of his that comes close to this is, “Once thoroughly broken down, who is he that can repair the damage?”.  Potatoes, potatoes, as they both seem to mean the same thing to me, that being a child that experiences an undo trauma will most likely carry that with them for the rest of their life and they will never be the same.  Adults can recover better from a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, because they have seen more of life, but children are special and they need to be protected as much as possible.

Written for Stine Writing – Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!, Simply 6 Minutes hosted by Christine Bialczak.

God Helps Those

The phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is used to underscore the necessity for people to take self-initiative.  Many have attributed its origin to Benjamin Franklin but the roots of this idea go all the way back to ancient Greece.  Though it has ancient origins, the actual English version of this quote we use today was first penned by Algernon Sydney, an English politician who lived in the 1600s and wrote Discourses Concerning Government in response to Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha.  This expression said to show you believe that if you make an effort to achieve something, you will be successful.

Thanksgiving is coming and I am looking forward to second helpings, but like it says in that Ricky Nelson song ‘Garden Party’, “ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself”.  If you don’t help yourself, then you become a burden to others and the last thing that I want is to be dependent on other people for things that I can do myself.  Sure, that will probably happen someday, as I get older and become more decrepit, but as long as I can bathe myself, dress myself and feed myself, I can retain my independence.  I’ll never be your burden and I am only as heavy as I feel inside.  Taking care of your own needs is never a bad thing and it is OK to be a little bit selfish.  Putting yourself first improves your happiness and when you are happy, the rest of the world is better off.

As far as helping your family goes, that should be your second concern after you help yourself.  The ability to put others’ needs in front of your own is important, but it can be inconvenient at times and the demand that it puts on you to sacrifice your own happiness may make you wonder if it is worth the effort.  A mother’s love matters so much to her children and it is like nothing else in the world.  If the mother does not take care of her own needs, then she will not be able to give unconditional love to her offspring, which could result in the child suffering emotional damage.

Helping your friends, helping society, and helping the world all sound like good things, but what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits himself in the process.  What else can a man be but who they are.  A person can only do so much and if they take on large responsibilities and ignore the ones that are close to them because of this, they will end up being hated.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #97 which asks, “Is it more important to you to be able to help yourself, help your family, help your friends, help your society, or help the world?”

I Took the Deadhead Quiz

Supposedly there are all sorts of levels of being a Deadhead, and some people will call themselves Deadheads because they wear a tie-dye tee shirt and go to a show or two.  The Grateful Dead have not been a band for 25 years now, so who are these people to judge me?   Being a Deadhead is about appreciating the music and it should have nothing to do with twirling instead of dancing, or living in a van, or sometimes someone else’s van.  I was rated a part-time Deadhead by the survey and they told me that I never really lived the lifestyle full time, but I thought that most of the questions were stupid.

Do you twirl when you dance?
Yeah!
Sometimes
I don’t think so.
What? No.

How many Dead Shows have you gone to?
Over 100
20-100
1-20
0

Do you have a song list in your wallet right now?
Yep
No, but I used to.
No, I have never done that.
I don’t know what you are talking about.

What is your favorite Dead song?
“Dire Wolf”
“Dark Star”
“Shakedown Street”
“Truckin'”

Ever go to a show and ask for a miracle?
All the time
Sometimes
No, I always had tickets.
What?

Have you ever sold grilled cheese sandwiches at a show to make money?
Sure, gotta get by somehow.
Once or twice.
No, I always had money.
Umm. No.

Ever sell anything else at a show to make money?
What are you, a cop?
Who wants to know?
No, but I have bought some stuff like that.
No way.

Is Trey a better guitarist than Jerry?
I am going to pretend you didn’t say that.
No way
Maybe
Who?

How into balloons are you?
Totally into them!
I used to be.
Not at all.
Balloons? You mean at kids’ parties?

Do you mind sleeping on the couch of someone you don’t know?
No, it is actually kind of fun.
It is a little uncomfortable.
That doesn’t sound fun.
That sounds awful.

Have you ever gone on tour?
More than once.
Yes, once
No
A tour of what?

Do you like punk music?
No way man.
Not really.
It is okay.
I love it!

What would you do at a Dead Concert if someone was in your seat?
Seats? I don’t want a seat.
It wouldn’t bother me.
I would ask them politely to leave.
I would ask security to deal with it.

Do you like patchouli?
I love that stuff!
It is pretty cool.
Not really.
I don’t know. What is it?

Did you used to buy a lot of blank tapes?
Tons.
Quite a few.
No, I have never done that.
Why would I do that?

Have you ever hitchhiked?
Sure, I have done that a lot.
Sometimes.
Maybe once.
No, that is not safe.

Do you say “kind” a lot?
All the time.
I used to.
Not really.
Nope.

Have you ever used “?” as your occupation on a form.
Yeah, all the time.
I have before.
No, I have always worked or gone to school.
Why would I do that?

How excited do you get when “Alligator” gets played?
So excited!
Pretty excited.
Ehh, that isn’t my favorite.
I don’t know it.

Does your car have a ton of Dead stickers on it?
I don’t have a car.
Yeah, all sorts.
It has a few.
No.

Have you ever called in sick to go to a Dead Show?
No, but I have quit my job.
Yes, more than once.
No, but I thought of it.
No way.

What do you do when the bus comes by?
Get on man!
See if they can give me a ride.
I am not sure.
I don’t need a bus, I have a car.

How often do you wear tie-dye?
All the time.
Often.
Only during shows.
Never.

Do you like veggie burritos?
Love them!
They are pretty good.
They are okay.
Not at all.

Have you ever told someone about “The Deadhead way?”
Of course.
I think I have.
I don’t think so.
I have no idea what you are talking about.

Do you like it when Bob sings?
Yeah, he is awesome.
Yeah, but Jerry is better.
Not really.
Who is Bob?

Do you miss Pigpen?
Yeah man, he was awesome.
Not so much.
I don’t really remember him.
You mean the character from “Peanuts”?

Has it been a long strange trip?
Totally.
Sometimes it seems that way.
Not so much.
Has what been a long strange trip?

How much product do you use in your hair?
I have never used product.
I rarely use it.
A fair amount.
I use a ton.

Do you think long hair looks good on people?
Yeah, it looks awesome.
It looks pretty cool.
It depends on the person.
Not at all.

I ran across this cool video with Tom Davis and Jerry Garcia in the kitchen for “Cooking with Jerry,” from the Grateful Dead’s Ticket to New Year’s DVD.

Another video surfaced, a segment with Mickey dressed as Spock and Jerry as Santa.

SYW Thanksgiving Edition

  1. What is worse than a dentist with bad breath?
    That would be when your dog drinks out of the toilet and then licks your face (especially if you forgot to flush).

  1. Have you ever been rejected by someone that you liked, or been told that you were not good enough for somebody else?
    This one girl stopped taking my calls and never gave me any reason why and then the next time I saw her, she was pregoed.
  1. Did you ever want to have toast for breakfast, only to find that all your bread was covered in green mold?Z
    That happened to me just the other day and I was forced to make pancakes.
  1. Did you ever sneeze so hard that your whole body hurt?
    The chances of hurting yourself while sneezing are extremely low, but it does happen and I hate when that happens.  It happened to me several times where I had back spasms that felt like whiplash and other wonky things happened inside my body that led to excruciating pain.
  1. Did you ever buy clothing on the internet that did not fit, but you wore them anyway, since you didn’t want to pay the $5 shipping charge to send them back?
    If it doesn’t fit, you should be able to send it back without paying a charge, but I am not good at sending stuff back, so I would probably keep it and end up dropping it off at Good Will.

Gratuity
I am happy that I finished cleaning all of the windows today.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Not a Sex Toy

Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane wrote ‘Plastic Fantastic Lover’ as an ode to his new stereo system, which was a novelty item at the time.  In this song Marty sings about the psychedelic prescience concerning the overwhelming effects that technology and electronic media were having on him and it came out on their Surrealistic Pillow album.  I know that I already did a Song Lyric Sunday post today, but since Fandango contributed the song ‘Imaginary Lover’ by the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Melanie gave us Dream Lover’ by Bobby Darin, I decided to go with this.  Jefferson Airplane performed this song at Woodstock, but a lot of people may have been sleeping when it came on so early in the morning.  In the 1967 film The Graduate Dustin Hoffman is given advice about plastics, even though they were around since 1898, but they started getting really popular in the 1960s when it was being used in a lot of consumer goods.

Her neon mouth with a bleeding talk smile
Is nothing but electric sign
You could say she has an individual style
She’s a part of a colorful time

Super-sealed lady, chrome-color clothes
You wear ‘cause you have no other
But I suppose no one knows
You’re my plastic fantastic lover

Your rattlin’ cough never shuts off
Is nothing but a used machine
Your aluminum finish, slightly diminished
Is the best I’ve ever seen

Cosmetic baby, plug into me
And never, ever find another
And I realize no one’s wise
To my plastic fantastic lover

The electrical dust is starting to rust
Her trapezoid thermometer taste
All the red tape is mechanical rape
Of the TV program waste

Data control and I.B.M.
Science is mankind’s brother
But all I see is draining me
On my plastic fantastic lover

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Fiancé/Husband/Lover/Wife.

Where’s Your Husband’s At

There are a number of other songs with the title ‘On the Road Again’ and the most famous is probably the Willie Nelson song, but that is not what I am writing about today.  The song that I am writing about is a traditional song and most recordings credit Will Shade, of the Memphis Jug Band, as the writer of the song.  The Lovin’ Spoonful version of this song which was the flipside of ‘Do You Believe In Magic’ is credited to John Sebastian, but it is based on the Memphis Jug Band song.  Jug band music began as street-corner busking, where performers soon learned that the novelty of blowing on a ceramic jug, kazoo or harmonica grew larger crowds than the more sophisticated picking on banjos, mandolins and acoustic guitars by their more dignified blues colleagues.

The Grateful Dead played this song in 1966 (and before that when they were called Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions), then it was dropped until it was reintroduced for a spell in the early 1980s, primarily in acoustic sets.  It was sung by Garcia in the 60’s and Weir in the 80’s.  They next performed the song in acoustic sets in the last few months of 1980 and, mainly in electric sets, during the 1981 to 1984 period.  It was then dropped from the repertoire and in total, it was performed about 40 times.

The singer of this song tells you why he married a bad girl and it is basically because they are more fun, but they probably won’t do any cooking.  The thing about a bad girl is that you can’t trust them.  They are natural born easy, but they like to be on the road, so they could take off at any time.  When one of your so-called friends stops by and you are not home, they may inquire where her husband is at, and then she will take off with them.  When you do get back home there is a good chance that you might find her in bed with someone else.

Why I married me a bad girl, tell you the reason why
Bad girls will even do things on the sly
Look for your supper to be good and hot
She never even put a stew bone in the pot

Chorus
She’s on the road again, sure as you’re born
Natural born easy on the road again
She’s on the road again, sure as you’re born

Friend comes by, says he’s looking for his hat
Wants to know where’s your husband’s at
Say I don’t know, he’s on the way to the pen
Come on pretty momma let’s get on the road again

[chorus]

Went to my house the front door was locked
Went ‘round to my window, but my window was locked
Jumped right back, shook my head,
Big old rounder in my folding bed
Jumped into the window, broke the glass
Never seen that little rounder run so fast

[chorus]

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Fiancé/Husband/Lover/Wife.