I’m Not Dead

I am just taking a well-deserved day off, so there is no need to worry about me.  I started writing a post this morning and then my mouse froze up, which forced me to give my computer a hard boot and that cost me to lose everything that I wrote.  After that I lost my motivation, so I am watching Netflix today instead of writing anything.

Play Me A Danceable Ode

Paul McCartney and Wings released ‘Getting Closer’ in 1979 on the album Back to the Egg.  The song reached #20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.  ‘Getting Closer’ is a blistering power pop song and many people put it in the same class as ‘Band on the Run’.  Back to the Egg was the seventh and final studio album for Wings, as the group imploded after McCartney’s drug bust in Japan for bringing 7.7 ounces of marijuana into the country, which is almost a half a pound.  McCartney was busted on Jan. 16, 1980 at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport he was facing a possible seven-year sentence for drug smuggling.  Paul ended up spending nine days in jail as Inmate No. 22.

After the drug bust, McCartney cancelled all prospective dates for the group and later released his solo album McCartney II, which was his first solo album in ten years.  Any band with an ex-Beatle is always going to be a backing band, so when McCartney’s interest in the group dwindled, Wings dissolved like sugar in tea.  Wings had twelve top-10 singles (including one number one) in the UK and fourteen top 10 singles (including six number ones) in the US.  All 23 singles released by Wings reached the US top 40, and one two-sided hit, ‘Junior’s Farm’/’Sally G’, reached the top 40 with each side.  Of the nine albums released by Wings, all went top 10 in either the UK or the US, with five consecutive albums topping the US charts.  Besides Paul McCartney Wings had Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch, and Linda McCartney in the group and they all contributed in songwriting.  Laine, McCulloch, Joe English, and Linda McCartney all performed lead vocals.  Lee Eastman, Linda’s father asked Jack Lawrence to wrote the song ‘Linda’ as an ode to his daughter when she was four and it was recorded by Jan and Dean in 1963.

Say You Don’t Love Him, My Salamander.
Why Do You Need Him?
Oh No, Don’t Answer, Oh No.

I’m Getting Closer,
I’m Getting Closer To Your Heart.

Keeping Ahead Of The Rain On The Road,
Watching My Windscreen Wipers.
Radio Play Me A Danceable Ode,
Cattle Beware Of Snipers.

When Will You See Me, My Salamander?
Now Don’t Try To Tell Me
Oh No, Don’t Answer, Oh No.

Hitting The Chisel And Making A Joint,
Glueing My Fingers Together.
Radio Play Me A Song With A Point,
Sailor Beware Of Weather.
I’m Getting Closer, My Salamander.
Well When Will We Be There?
Ah No, Don’t Answer, Oh No.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by Michael where we are supposed to write an ode, but I went in a different direction for this prompt.

A Spoonful of Water

In 1960, ‘Spoonful’ was written by Mississippi-born Willie Dixon (1915-92), who was a key architect in sculpting the trajectory of post-war Chicago electric blues.  Dixon was working for Chicago-based Chess Records and this song was released on their label.  The single was sung by Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf (1910-76) and it became one of the most influential and much-covered recordings in its catalogue.  Howlin’ Wolf grew up in a poor family where people often came over to borrow food or a spoonful of this, and spoonful of that.  The idea of ‘Spoonful’ is that it doesn’t take a large quantity of anything to be adequate.  It shows how men search to satisfy their cravings, whether that be for something of sustenance or love.  It uses a spoonful of various pleasures, and it says that men will lie, cry and die to get what they desire.

‘Spoonful’ has been listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”, and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it #221 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.  Howlin’ Wolf was six feet three inches tall, and weighed in at 300lbs, making him an imposing figure of a man.  Howlin’ Wolf made this song sexual when he played it at his shows.  He’d grab a big cooking spoon that drummer Sam Lay bought him at a flea market and brandish it at crotch-level, engaging in blatantly phallic monkeyshines.  Howlin’ Wolf was backed by a top-notch studio band comprising the guitarists Hubert Sumlin and Freddie Robinson, pianist Otis Spann, Fred Below on drums, and Dixon on the double-bass when he recorded this song.  Wolf described desire as an incurable addiction that can drive people to murder and madness.  Boasting great power and intensity, it was unequivocally a record that made an indelible mark on many of its listeners, particularly for its memorable line, “One spoon of love from my 45 will save you from another man.”

Willie Dixon made many records and he wrote or co-wrote over 500 songs, he was a Grammy-winning inductee into the Blues Hall Of Fame and he is best remembered for authoring a raft of classic blues tunes that were recorded by a number of significant artists at Chess Records in the 50s and early 60s.  His greatest songs include Hoochie Coochie Man (Muddy Waters), ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ (Bo Diddley), ‘My Babe’ (Little Walter), ‘The Red Rooster’ (Howlin’ Wolf), ‘Wang Dang Doodle’ (Koko Taylor), ‘Bring It On Home’ (Sonny Williamson II) and ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ (Etta James).  Dixon was a brilliant songwriter whose tunes helped power the postwar Chicago electric blues surge spearheaded by the Wolf and Muddy Waters.  Dixon established the Hoochie Coochie Music publishing company after his first hit ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, to protect his songs.

Dixon was a postwar 20th century black man claiming his due and protecting it according to the rules of the white-run economic and legal systems he lived under.  When you copyright a song, you own the rights to it and you are protected from anyone using and profiting from your work, without your permission, but Led Zeppelin seemed to operate on the principle that it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission, as they took a lot of the Willie Dixon song ‘You Need Love’ to create their ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and only seven years separate these songs from each other.  In 1985, Dixon sued Led Zeppelin for plagiarizing his songs and this was settled out of court.  Dixon drew his materials from his deep knowledge of blues traditions, snatching pieces from here and there and revamping them into new forms.  Then he claimed authorship of the results via copyright.

Many of the old blues artists did not copyright their work, so they didn’t own the rights to their recordings or publishing and it is possible that Dixon borrowed inspiration and more from these old songs.  ‘Spoonful’ wasn’t the first blues song to reference addiction, and it could be considered a later descendent of early blues man Charley Patton who recorded ‘A Spoonful Blues’ in 1929, which in turn was influenced by Papa Charlie Jackson’s 1925 recording of ‘All I Want Is A Spoonful’, who used spoonful to mean a small amount of (sexual) love from his woman.  Papa Charlie Jackson was born in New Orleans around 1890.  Jackson asks his love object for just a bit of loving, a spoonful from his sweet mama.  He tells her that it is not necessary to call or write, she can brown some gravy, or fry him a steak, but his goal is love.  He wants his woman to give him a spoonful, a minimal dose of satisfying love which he pleads for.  Piedmont blues player Luke Jordan started his professional career when he was 35, and he recorded a mere handful of tunes before his voice gave out.  Many people say that his 1927 ‘Cocaine Blues’ provided Charley Patton and later on Dixon with raw materials for their work.

Mississippi John Hurt, born in Mississippi in 1892, was rediscovered during the postwar folk revival.  After failed tries at a music career, he worked as a farm hand while perfecting his complex fingerpicking.  Except for a couple of recordings, no one knew anything about him, till a folk musicologist found him by following clues in his lyrics.  Hurt toured widely for the first time, wowing young white audiences at venues like the 1963 Newport Folk Festival.  In ‘Coffee Blues’, Hurt describes his need to see his girlfriend about “a lovin’ spoonful, my lovin’ spoonful.”  Mississippi John Hurt used a Maxwell House advertising phrase in his ‘Coffee Blues’, saying “good to the last drop” which had been introduced in 1917.  Charley Jordan was born in rural Arkansas in 1890, and he recorded ‘Just A Spoonful’ in 1930.  His signature tune ‘Keep It Clean’, provided inspiration for Willie Dixon to write ‘The Signifying Monkey’ and for Chuck Berry to compose ‘Reelin’ and Rockin’’.

The 1960s pop group The Lovin’ Spoonful took their name from this metaphor for ejaculate.  Normal semen volume produced by the average human male  during orgasm ranges from 1.5 ml to 5 ml and there are 4.92892 milliliters (mL) in a teaspoon, so this would make be at least 7 spoonful’s.  Although Wolf’s version of ‘Spoonful’ didn’t chart when it was released in 1960, the Willie Dixon song became a Top 20 US R&B duet for Etta James and Harvey Fuqua, who were billed together as Etta & Harvey.  Theirs had a similar swagger to Wolf’s version but, with its softer, more sophisticated arrangement featuring horns, a new bridge section, and key changes, it lacked the visceral intensity of the original.

It could be a spoonful of coffee
It could be a spoonful of tea
But one little spoon of your precious love
Is good enough for me

Men lie about that spoonful
Some cry about that spoonful
Some die about that spoonful
Everybody fight about a spoonful
That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful

It could be a spoonful of water
To save you from the desert sand
But one spoon of love from my forty-five
Will save you from another man
Men lie about that spoonful
Some cry about that spoonful
Some die about that spoonful
Everybody fight about a spoonful
That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful
That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful

It could be a spoonful of sugar
It could be a spoonful of tea
But one little spoon of your precious love
Is good enough for me
Men lie about that spoonful
Some cry about that spoonful
Some die about that spoonful
Everybody fight about a spoonful
That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful
That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful
That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful
That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful

It could be a spoonful of sugar
It could be a spoonful of tea
But one little spoon of your precious love
Is good enough for me

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Air/Earth/Fire/Water.

Four Elements

The twelve zodiac signs are grouped into the four elements of air, earth, fire and water.  Greek philosopher Empedocles wrote that the world was comprised of earth, air, fire and water.  Later on, aether was added as the fifth element and some cultures called this the void.  This is a bit different from the Bruce Willis movie, The Fifth Element.  Sometimes you get five basic natural forces being fire, water, earth, sky and wind, but this could also be listed as fire, water, earth, air and spirit.  Air is basically invisible, but we know it is there as we breathe air all the time and we need it to support life.  It carries sounds and supports birds in flight.  The earth is seen as anything that is material, physical, and tangible, and it is a stable source of support.  Fire is intense and smoldering and if you play with fire you may get burnt.  Water is fluid and it can be seen trickling from a fountain, or circling around in your toilet when you flush it.  It rages in rivers, and it can freeze to become ice, or be heated to become steam.

Last week we had More and everyone was asked to find a song with the superlative related prompts of Best/Better/Good/Great.  This week we have the element prompts of Air/Earth/Fire/Water and hopefully this will fit for everyone.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, 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.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the prompt, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Attention – The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off is taking place next week, which looks like a lot of fun, so try to join in with your best recipes and photos.  Hey good lookin’, what you got cooking, how about cooking something up for me?

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.  If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or 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.

I am writing about the Willie Dixon song ‘Spoonful’ this week.  Next week I will be writing about the song ‘Foolish Heart’ by the Grateful Dead.  The upcoming prompts will be:
July 19, 2020 – Baking/Bread/Cake/Pie/Picnic Suggested by Caramel (Learner At Love) aka Melody
July 26, 2020 – Different/Same
August 2, 2020 – Acquire/Collect/Gather/Secure
August 9, 2020 – A song with a harmonica

Hearty Oven Dish

Written for The Great Blogger’s Bake-Off 2020 hosted by CARAMEL (LEARNER AT LOVE).
This is my favorite dish!
It is a Greek-style casserole called Pastitsio that is layered with pasta, spiced meat and parmesan-flavored custard.
It is a four-layer dish with the macaroni mixture making up the bottom layer and layer three.
Layer two is made of spiced meat and it is topped with a parmesan cheese sauce.

Pasta Cheese Ingredients
6 ounces Ditalini Pasta (1-1/2 cups) – elbow macaroni may be used as a substitute
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk

Spiced Meat Ingredients
1-pound ground lamb or ground beef
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Custard Sauce Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pasta Cheese Directions
Cook macaroni in a large amount of boiling salted water about 10 minutes or just till tender; drain. Combine cooked macaroni, 1 beaten egg, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup milk; set aside.

Spiced Meat Directions
In a skillet cook ground lamb or ground beef till meat is browned; drain off fat.

Stir in tomato sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

Custard Sauce Directions
For sauce, in saucepan melt butter or margarine; stir in flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Add the 11/2 cups milk all at once; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat.
Stir about half of the hot mixture into 1 beaten egg; return to remaining hot mixture in saucepan.
Stir in the 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Finishing Directions
Place half of the macaroni mixture in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. – Bottom layer
Spoon the meat mixture on top. – Layer two
Add the remaining macaroni mixture. – Layer three
Spread the sauce over all. – Top layer
Bake, uncovered, in 350℉ oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings.

Chrome Dome

I wish I could find my way back home
I never carry a comb
On land or sea, or foam
I just roam

I just wrote a poem about a gnome
In a catacomb in Rome
On land or sea, or foam
I just roam

Jerome was not made of Styrofoam
Hello, goodbye and shalom
On land or sea, or foam
I just roam

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix Lucky Dip hosted by weejars aka Sarah where she reached into her mystery bag and pulled out a Triquint Poem.  The triquint poem consists of 3 verses each having 5 lines with a syllable count of 9, 7, 5, 3, 1 and lines 3 and 4 must repeat in verses 2 and 3.  It is a rhyming poem with a scheme of a, a, a, a, b.

My Wallpaper

I used this same picture for a JusJoJan prompt this year, when the topic was a picture.  I titled it Desperados  and I mentioned that I don’t take a lot of pictures.  My first thought was the Ringo Starr song ‘Photograph’, but I knew that I could come up with something better.  I thought of the Elvis song ‘Jail House Rock’, because this picture was taken inside of the police station while we were waiting for Danny to be processed for possession of marijuana.  I thought of the Grateful Dead song ‘Truckin’’, because in that song they sing about getting busted.  I thought about the Sam Cooke song ‘Chain Gang’, or the Pretenders song ‘Back on the Chain Gang’ but neither one seemed right.  I thought about the Clash song ‘I Fought the Law’, but the law didn’t win, because we bailed ourselves out and made it to the concert, so this song would not work.  I guess I could have gone with the Merl Haggard song ‘Mama Tried’, because if I was a good kid, then I would never have gotten into any trouble, but where is the fun in that.  Finally, I came upon the Paul McCartney tune ‘Band on the Run’ and that seemed to fit perfectly, because it starts out sad “stuck inside these four walls” which we were after being arrested.  Eddie paid the bail for Danny’s marijuana charges and me being arrested for having open containers of alcohol in a vehicle and it felt like, “the rain exploded with a mighty crash, we fell into the sun”, and I knew we were going to the concert to have a lot of fun.  We were a band of friends and we had good times together and now I use this picture as the wallpaper for my monitor.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is to find the closest picture to you and then come up with the title and/or the lyrics of the first song that comes to mind when you look at the picture.  I probably screwed the pooch on this one, as I went through seven songs, before I found the right one.

Two Lost Souls

The Pink Floyd song ‘Wish You Were Here’ which was written by David Gilmour and Roger Waters is about their original guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett who had to be replaced because he lost touch with reality.  The group brought in David Gilmore to replace Syd Barrett on guitar.  Wish You Were Here was the title of their ninth studio album, released in 1975 and it followed The Dark Side of the Moon.  This album went to #1 in both the UK and the US and it was their second concept album revolving around the central theme of absence and disenchantment with the music industry, where Roger Waters reflects that the camaraderie that the band once had was by then, largely absent.

The members of Pink Floyd saw Syd Barrett visit them unannounced on June 5, 1975 while they were at Abbey Road Studios recording this album.  He gained a lot of weight which he said was from eating lots of pork chops and they had trouble recognizing him.  He shaved his head and eyebrows, and was clutching a plastic bag that contained his toothbrush.  Wright and Walters were both shocked and in tears when they realized that it was Syd, as they were recording the song ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ which was a tribute to him.  This was the last they ever saw of him, as he dropped off the map.

Syd Barrett died in 2006 at the age of 60 and if he didn’t suffer from mental illness, or taking too much LSD, he could have been so much greater than he ended up being.  In this song Gilmour and Waters were able to create something so incredibly emotional that it would have made Barrett very proud.  Waters and Gilmour were trying to make Syd understand that what he’s doing is wrong. Just because he was addicted to something.  They want him to stop listening to the voices that were stuck inside his head and think about making his life better.  They use contrasting imagery of heaven and hell, blue skies and pain, a green field and a steel rail to see if Syd could relate to any of this.  They blame the music industry for getting Syd to trade his heroes for ghosts.

They wonder if Syd could have replaced hot ashes for trees, hot air for a cool breeze and cold comfort for change.  They knew Syd went too far with drugs and that he was beyond hope at this point, so they ask him, “Did you exchange, A walk on part in the war, For a lead role in a cage?”  They miss Syd and they feel like they are going around in circles aimlessly without him, “Swimming in a fish bowl, Year after year, Running over the same old ground.”

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
And how we found
The same old fears
Wish you were here

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge I Know You`re Out There Somewhere.

I Know You`re Out There Somewhere

Mike Pinder was interested in how music changes people’s moods and since the band was playing blues at the time, they took the name Moody Blues. They released 12 albums between 1968 and 1973 which all charted in the Top 20 and four of them reached #1. The Moody Blues formed in 1964 and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The classic lineup consisted of songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist Justin Hayward who replaced Denny Laine, keyboard player Mike Pinder who was eventually replaced by Patrick Moraz, bassist John Lodge who replaced Clint Warwick, drummer Graeme Edge, and Ray Thomas who sang vocals, played flute, percussion, and harmonica. Today I have a Moody Blues song from their 1988 album Sur la Mer, come check out this fun writing challenge.

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New MM Music Badge

This song was written by Justin Hayward and it was recorded on the Moody Blues thirteenth album Sur la Mer which was released in 1988.  The album got to #21 in the UK, and went to #38 in the US.  Flautist and vocalist Ray Thomas did not appear on the album, although he remained a member of the band at the time during which it was recorded.  The hit single ‘I Know You’re Out There Somewhere’ reached #52 in the UK and got to #30 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Justin Hayward received the 1988 Ivor Novello Award for Composer of the Year for writing this song.  Hayward said this song is about trying to find out what happened to your first love.  Hayward wrote 20 of the group’s 27 post-1967 singles and this was their final Top 40 single in the United States.

This song was a sequel to…

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Back to Our Regular Format

  1. Who sang the song, “Dust in the Wind”?

Dusty Springfield.

  1. Finish the lyric: If you’re blue, and you don’t know where to go to, why don’t you go…

Jump in a lake.

  1. Why is a two-wheel hand truck sometimes called a dolly?

Since a dolly has four wheels and two axles, I assume this is a mistake.

  1. The movie, Office Space wasn’t about office workers rebelling against their terrible boss. What was it about?

This was about the Property Brothers creating an open concept look for an office.

  1. What is gasoline more commonly called in the U.K.?

For some unknown reason, the Brits call this petrol.

  1. What is gasoline more commonly called to in the U.S.?

Gas, as us Americans shorten everything.

  1. Why did Elon Musk launch a car into space?

He has money to burn, so he launched that car at the Sun.

  1. Robin Hood didn’t rob from the rich and give to the poor. What did he do?

He dated little red riding hood.

  1. What was Murder on the Orient Express really about?

Everybody getting their chance at revenge.

  1. What was the last song ever recorded by the Beatles?

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written for PC Guy’s Fibbing Friday.