Beneath My Skin

‘Constant Craving’ is a song written by k.d. lang and Ben Mink, and it was performed by k.d. lang on her 1992 album Ingénue.  This song charted #15 in the UK and #38 in the US and it earned lang nominations for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Female (which she went on to win) at the 1993 Grammy Awards.  ‘Constant Craving’ is about saṃsāra which means “wandering” or “world”, with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change.  It is also the concept of rebirth and “cyclicality of all life, matter, existence”.  At first this was not clear for lang, she didn’t get it and then she said, “It’s a summation of human desire.  It’s like yes, OK, we all are heartbroken.  We’re all nervous.  We’re all vulnerable.  We’re all hopeful, but at the end of the day, constant craving has always been.”  k.d. lang and Ben Mink share writing credits with The Rolling Stones on their 1997 single ‘Anybody Seen My Baby?’ due to the striking similarities between the refrain of that song and ‘Constant Craving’.  Keith Richards explained in his autobiography that the similarities were brought to his attention by his daughter just prior to the single’s release.  To avoid a lawsuit, The Rolling Stones gave lang and Mink writing credits, a move that made lang feel “honored and flattered.”

She was born Kathryn Dawn Lang on November 2, 1961, in Alberta, Canada, and grew up in the small town of Consort, Alberta.  She decided to use lower case letters in her name to pay tribute to E.E. Cummings who liked breaking the rules.  While in college, lang appeared in a production about Patsy Cline, and when she began to pursue her own music career, formed a group called the Reclines in Patsy’s honor with musician and songwriting partner Ben Mink.  She had her first country hit in 1988 with ‘Crying’, a duet that she sang with Roy Orbison and this song gave her a Grammy Award win for best country vocal collaboration.  She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Even through the darkest phase
Be it thick or thin
Always someone marches brave
Here beneath my skin

Constant craving
Has always been

Maybe a great magnet pulls
All souls towards truth
Or maybe it is life itself
That feeds wisdom
To its youth

Constant craving
Has always been

Craving
Ah ha
Constant craving
Has always been
Has always been

Constant craving
Has always been
Constant craving
Has always been

Craving
Ah ha
Constant craving
Has always been
Has always been
Has always been
Has always been
Has always been
Has always been

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Canadian music.

O Canada

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was started in 1978 and it has celebrated over 50 Canadian individuals and groups who have attained commercial success while having an artistic impact on the music scene at home and/or around the world.  Andy Kim, Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, k.d. lang, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rush, Leonard Cohen, The Band, The Guess Who, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Paul Anka, Hank Snow, Guy Lombardo and many others have been inducted, so there is a lot of music here.  Did you know that Nickelback and Justin Bieber are both from Canada?  In 1999, Celine Dion was inducted into Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame.  Yes, there is such a thing as Canadian Music and the Great White North has spawned all types of music.  Canadians have good Health Care, the people are nice and well-adjusted, but it is cold up there even in the Summer.

Last week we had Dissimilar Things, and everyone was asked to look for a song that features lyrics that include a contrast.  This week we have another prompt that is very different, that being using a song that features a Canadian artist or group and I think this will be fun 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.  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 prompt, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it contains the prompt words or not.  If it does not meet the criteria, 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 song ‘Constant Craving’ by k.d. lang.  Next week I will be writing about the Grateful Dead song ‘Alice D. Millionaire’.  The upcoming prompts will be:
September 27, 2020 – Brother/Sibling/Sister
October 4, 2020 – User Choice where you can go your own way, or do your own thing
October 11, 2020 – Hold/Pause/Stop/Wait
October 18, 2020 – No/Yes

Silver and Gold Makes Him Lifeless and Cold

Money is supposed to make you happy, but there is a contrast involved when you are accumulating wealth, as it often brings misery instead of happiness.  Sometimes having more money will just make you more miserable.  Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Brent Mydland sang the backup vocals on this Bob Dylan song ‘Silvio’ which was recorded on his 1988 Down In The Grove album.  In 1986, Robert Hunter was writing in a notebook at the Grateful Dead’s studio when Bob Dylan picked it up and looked at Robert Hunter’s lyrics that the Dead were trying to put music to.  Dylan set the music to ‘Silvio’ and ‘Ugliest Girl in the World’ and included both songs on his album, to Hunter’s surprise and delight.  Dylan and Hunter were sitting on the couch in their studio at Front Street, rehearsing for one of the Dylan and the Dead tours, when Bob took one of these sheets of paper, folded it up and put it in his back pocket.  Hunter didn’t say anything and he certainly wasn’t going to tell Dylan to put it back, because he was Bob Dylan.  Hunter said when you are Bob Dylan, you can pick whatever you want.

Hunter’s work didn’t end with Garcia’s death.  In the years after, he wrote songs with Elvis Costello, Bruce Hornsby, country singer Jim Lauderdale and Dead drummer Mickey Hart.  His best-known collaborator after Garcia, though, were with Bob Dylan.  Starting with ‘Silvio’, the two co-wrote many songs on Dylan’s 2009 LP Together Through Life.   ‘Silvio’ has Dylan contemplating his own past and future.  He’s gotten himself into a rough spot in life, but refuses to get down about it, and he doesn’t want to whine about his ordeal.  The song is summed up by the last two lines of the fifth verse, “Since every pleasure’s got an edge of pain Pay for your ticket and don’t complain”.  It is interesting that an early version of the Grateful Dead song ‘Black Muddy River’ contained the lyrics, “Silvio silver and gold” and this may have given birth to the Dylan/Hunter composition.

Bob was not at the peak of his career when this song came out, but he said that he was willing to “stake my future on a hell of a past”, because he had a hell of a run so far.  The older you get the more tomorrow looks like it is coming on fast.  Not wanting to complain about what he has and although he has seen better days, “but who has not.”  He tells Silvio that he has to go so he can “Find out something only dead men know”.  He says that he is honest and that he is not looking for a handout.  He may feel like age has got the best of him and that he is not much to look at, because he describes himself as “an old boll weevil looking for a home”.

He is able to make it rain just by snapping his fingers and then make the sky blue again.  He is able to relieve your pain, and “charm the whistle off an evening train”.  He will give what he has got and take what he can get trying to “even the score”.  He loves the audience, but when the show is over, he wants to leave and he realizes that he gives up something he plays.  He knows that his days are numbered, but he is still going to sing his song, loud and strong and “Let the echo decide if I was right or wrong”.

Stake my future on a hell of a past
Looks like tomorrow is a coming on fast
Ain’t complaining about what I got
Seen better times but who has not

Silvio silver and gold
Won’t buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
Silvio I gotta go
Find out something only dead men know

Honest as the next jade rolling that stone
When I come and knockin’ don’t throw me no bone
I’m an old boll weevil looking for a home
If you don’t like it you can leave me alone

I can snap my fingers and require the rain
From a clear blue sky and turn it off again
I can stroke your body and relieve your pain
And charm the whistle off an evening train

Silvio silver and gold
Won’t buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
Silvio I gotta go
Find out something only dead men know

Give what I got until I got no more
I take what I get until I even the score
You know I love you and further more
When it is time to go you got an open door

I can tell your fancy I can tell your plain
You give something up for everything you gain
Since every pleasure’s got an edge of pain
Pay for your ticket and don’t complain

Silvio silver and gold
Won’t buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
Silvio I gotta go
Find out something only dead men know

One of these days and it won’t be long
Going down the valley and sing my song
Gonna sing it loud and sing it strong
Let the echo decide if I was right or wrong

Silvio silver and gold
Won’t buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
Silvio I gotta go
Find out something only dead men know

Silvio silver and gold
Won’t buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
Silvio I gotta go
Find out something only dead men know

Silvio silver and gold
Won’t buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
Silvio I gotta go
Find out something only dead men know

Written for Song Lyric Sunday Contrasts.

Dissimilar Things

Contrasts are notable differences when compared with something else.  Can you write an essay that compares and contrasts apples and oranges?  They have a similar shape and they are both fruit, but they prefer different climates and they have different colors.  You could create a Venn diagram and exclude the overlapping area that would include them both making juice and being grown on trees to get a contrast between them.  When contrasting things, you need to focus on what makes them different.  If you look hard enough, you will probably find subtle differences between most objects and it is the differences that make people look more physically attractive.  Contrast often means opposite, and since black is the opposite of white, they contrast each other.

Last week we had Entertainment with Culture and everyone was asked to come up with a song that was from a Musical or an Opera.  This week we have another prompt that is very different, that being using a song that features a contrast in it.  This prompt was suggested by Maggie From Cave Walls and she said that she will be showing up “with the proverbial bells on – in contrasting colors of course!”  Everybody needs to look for a song that features lyrics that include stuff like females and males, loud vs. silent, wet vs. dry, or hot vs. cold, Coke vs. Pepsi, war and peace, love and hate, bad and good or the Moon and Sun.  I think this will be fun 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.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether or not 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 prompt, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it contains the prompt words or not.  If it does not meet the criteria, 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 song ‘Silvio’ by Bob Dylan.  Next week I will be writing about the k.d. Lang song ‘Constant Craving’.  The upcoming prompts will be:
September 20, 2020 – Canadian music
September 27, 2020 – Brother/Sibling/Sister
October 4, 2020 – User Choice where you can go your own way, or do your own thing
October 11, 2020 – Hold/Pause/Stop/Wait

Like the Grateful Dead

The musical Hair put hippies on the map, as most people did not know what a hippie was till this Broadway show became a hit.  Galt MacDermot composed the score for this musical which premiered in October of 1967 just after the summer of love and the lyrics were written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni.  The song ‘Hair’ was a major hit for the Cowsills charting #2 on the U.S, Billboard Hot 100 and it reached #1 on U.S. Cash Box Top 100 in 1969.  One of the main themes of the musical is the surge of popularity of long hair, particularly amongst young men.

The Cowsills got their start in 1964 with brothers Bill and Bob, in their mid-teens, and their two younger brothers, bassist Barry and drummer John.  After recording some singles for Johnny Nash’s Joda Records and for Phillips, without much success, the band went on to record ‘The Rain, The Park and Other Things’, which was produced and co-written by Artie Kornfeld.  They added their mother, Barbara, into the group to sing vocals.  Their next album, We Can Fly, included another older brother, Paul, and their younger sister, Susan.  TV comedy legend Carl Reiner approached them to perform the song ‘Hair’ for his upcoming comedy special, because he thought it would be funny to see a squeaky-clean family act singing a hippie song.

In December of 1965, the Warlocks changed their name to the Grateful Dead, because they found out that there were two other bands using that name, one being a group who would become the Velvet Underground and the other group went on to become ZZ Top.  Their promoter Bill Graham, told them that their new name gave him the creeps.  The Grateful Dead struggled in their early days and the group all lived in the same house, but they were never so poor that they couldn’t afford a haircut, but what I find funny is that there biggest hit ‘Touch of Grey’ is about getting older, and when that happens to most people, their hair starts turning grey.  I don’t think that the Grateful Dead ever complained about being mocked in this song, as I am sure that they appreciated the notoriety that it brought them.  I think that the Grateful Dead my have been offended by Don Henley’s song ‘Boys of Summer’, where he insinuated that a deadhead sticker didn’t belong on a Cadillac.  Another song about hair that I always liked is the 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tune ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ from their Déjà Vu album.

[Intro]

She asks me why
I’m just a hairy guy
I’m hairy noon and night
Hair that’s a fright
I’m hairy high and low
Don’t ask me why, don’t know
It’s not for lack of bread
Like the Grateful Dead
Darling

[Verse 1]
Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

[Chorus]
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, oh
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

[Verse 2]
Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for the buzzin’ bees
A nest for birds, there ain’t no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder of my…

[Chorus]
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, oh
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

[Bridge]
I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy, shining
Gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes, if you can
Then my hair’s too short
Down to here
Down to there
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself

[Verse 3]
They’ll be ga ga at the go-go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Brilliantined, biblical hair
My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don’t my mother love me?

[Chorus]
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, oh
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, oh
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Musical/Opera.

Entertainment with Culture

In a musical, the singing is interspersed with passages of dialogue, while in an opera, the singing keeps on going like the Energizer Bunny.  I saw Les Misérables on Broadway and I always wanted to see CatsI did see the movie Mamma Mia!, but that is not the same as a live showIn 2016, Hamilton became the big rage and I have not seen that and I still have not seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet either.  The first opera was Daphne, which was performed in Florence in 1598 and the first original theatre piece in English that conforms to the modern conception of a musical, is The Black Crook, which premiered in New York on September 12, 1866.  Some operas were made into musicals like Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical Aida which is based on the Giuseppe Verdi opera of the same name, Miss Saigon is based on Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, and Rent is based on La Bohème also by Puccini.

Last week we had Shockingly Vile for the prompt words of Cruel/Evil/Horrible/Monster/Wicked.  Somebody suggested that I should have saved that for Halloween but I came up with Ghost/Pumpkin/Trick/Treat/Witch for that holiday.  This week we have something totally different, that being using a song that is from a Musical or an Opera, and I think everyone will have fun with this.  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.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether or not 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 prompt, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it contains the prompt words or not.  If it does not meet the criteria, 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 song ‘Hair’ from the musical Hair.  Next week I will be writing about the Bob Dylan song ‘Silvio’.  The upcoming prompts will be:
September 13, 2020 – Contrasts
September 20, 2020 – Canadian music
September 27, 2020 – Brother/Sibling/Sister
October 4, 2020 – User Choice where you can go your own way, or do your own thing

Wicked Messenger Brings Bad News

The Bob Dylan song ‘The Wicked Messenger was released on his eighth studio album John Wesley Harding from 1967 and it contains a plethora of Bible references.  In 1967, Bob Dylan began to read the Bible on a daily basis, and he was particularly drawn to characters in the Old Testament.  Most critics see ‘The Wicked Messenger’ as being Dylan himself, whose mind “multiplied the smallest matter”, because he often questions things.  Bob Dylan broke into the public consciousness in 1962 with ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, where he asks, “How many years can a mountain exist, before it is washed to the sea?  How many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free?  How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?”

Dylan uses images from the Old Testament to create a wonderful, dense, and occasionally funny song, and the priest Eli can also be found in the Old Testament.  Dylan skillfully merges the religious with the secular in this song, which can be seen as one of the first major hints at the author’s own conversion to Christianity.  The tune is simple, but the lyrics are confusing as in the Biblical story about Eli there is no mention of him sending a messenger.  The lyrics say that a wicked messenger was sent by Eli and he appears from nowhere, delivering a short cryptic message which opens up his heart.  The advice of “if you cannot bring good news, then don’t bring any” is very similar to “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”  I think the messenger is seen as being wicked because he is the barer of bad news and sometimes messengers do get shot.

Not much is known about Eli’s early life, but he was from the tribe of Levi and he was a descendant of Ithamar, who was the fourth son of Aaron, the priestly brother of Moses.  Eli was the high priest at Shiloh, which was about ten miles north of Jerusalem.  Shiloh was the center of religious life, as this was the place where the Ark was kept.  The Ark of the Covenant was the sign of God’s presence and it held the hope of Israel.  The sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, served as priests in the temple, which made them leaders in the community, but they were dishonest, disrespectful and downright dastardly scoundrels.  Their wicked behavior was a mockery to all of the people going to the Temple to worship Yahweh.  Eli’s sons had no regard for the Lord, they acted like Canaanites, using maidservants as temple prostitutes, doing whatever they felt the urge to do, and all the people of Israel knew what was going on.  They had each committed adultery with numerous women at the entrance to the sanctuary and they began to exploit those who came to make offerings at the Temple, by taking the prime cuts of meat from sacrifices for themselves.  They started helping themselves to whatever part of the sacrifice they fancied, including the fat, which no human was supposed to eat, as this was always reserved for the Lord.

God prepared Eli for the judgment of his son’s wickedness, by sending the prophet Araunah to let Eli know that he would be blamed for his sons’ misconduct and God tells Samuel to tell Eli that that both of his sons will die on the same day.  Eli rebuked his sons, but he was not stern enough and he was unable to stop them.  Eli exercised poor judgment by allowing his sons to remain in the Holy Temple and defile it and this brought about the disgust of the people, and condemnation from God.  Eli’s whole family was wiped out in a single day.  When Eli heard the news that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant, he fell backwards, and broke his back.

There was a wicked messenger
From Eli he did come
With a mind that multiplied
The smallest matter
When questioned who had sent for him
He answered with his thumb
For his tongue it could not speak, but only flatter

He stayed behind the assembly hall
It was there he made his bed
Oftentimes he could be seen returning
Until one day he just appeared
With a note in his hand which read
The soles of my feet, I swear they’re burning

Oh, the leaves began to fallin’
And the seas began to part
And the people that confronted him were many
And he was told but these few words
Which opened up his heart
If you cannot bring good news, then don’t bring any

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is Cruel/Evil/Horrible/Monster/Wicked.

It’s a Cruel World

‘Strange World’ was performed by the Mickey Hart Band, The Dead and the Rhythm Devils.  Mickey wrote the lyrics for this song and the music was composed by Mickey and Warren Haynes.  The Rhythm Devils is a name that is used to refer to the two Grateful Dead drummers, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, and the music they play together in a number of situations.  Hart and Kreutzmann formed the group known as the Rhythm Devils in 2006.  After the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, some of the former members of the Grateful Dead including Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann created a group known as The Dead.  The Mickey Hart Band recorded the album Mysterium Tremendum in 2012, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information on this group.

Hart grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island, estranged from his drummer father, Lenny Hart.  Mickey’s father convinced his son to work for him in the Hart Music Store in San Carlos, California and when Mickey took the job, they changed the name to Hart Drum City.  One of the renowned drummers to visit the store was Sonny Payne, who played with jazz legend Count Basie.  Hart met Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann at the Filmore in August 1967 when they were introduced by an unknown stranger.  Hart, Kreutzmann, and Payne attended a performance by Big Brother and the Holding Company the Janis Joplin-fronted band at the Matrix and Payne was unimpressed, so he left.  Mickey stayed with Bill and later they bought a bottle of Scotch whiskey and wandered through the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, drinking and drumming on parked cars.

Kreutzmann invited Hart to visit the Grateful Dead rehearsals at a warehouse called the Potrero Theater on 308 Connecticut, but Hart couldn’t find the place.  On September 29, 1967, Hart attended his first Grateful Dead concert, which was held at the Straight Theater on Haight Street.  During the band’s intermission, Kreutzmann invited Hart to sit in with the band on the second set.  For nearly two hours, the band performed the song ‘Alligator’, which segued into the song ‘Caution’, and Hart was invited to join the band.  He moved into a closet in Kreutzmann and Lesh’s Belvedere Street apartment and became the sixth member of the band.  Hart would often take LSD with Kreutzmann or hypnotize the other drummer before shows in attempts to rhythmically mesh their two drumming styles.  Mickey Hart is listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.  The lyrics in ‘Strange World’ seem to fit in perfectly with the Covid-19 pandemic world that we are all living in now.

Strange world
Time’s running out
It’s crazy
Make me want to shout

No escape
Nowhere to turn
Clock keep ticking, ticking, ticking
No money to burn

Chorus
Living in a strange world
Oh, oh, oh
Living in a strange world
Oh, oh, oh
Living in a strange world
Oh, oh, oh

Heartbreak
And desolation
It’s a cruel world
There’s so much frustration

Anger
The world’s going mad
Contamination
It’s getting real bad
Oh, it’s getting real bad

[chorus]

Don’t give up without a fight
You know everything’s gonna be all right
You got to be strong to survive
Got to keep hope alive
Keep hope alive

Destiny
Is an act of fate, an act of fate
The sun comes up tomorrow, up tomorrow
It’s never too late, it’s never too late
Never too late

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is Cruel/Evil/Horrible/Monster/Wicked.

Shockingly Vile

Grendel was a dreaded demon and he was feared by all in Heorot except for Beowulf.  Grendel was a mix of man and beast and he was so ugly that only a mother could love him.  Grendel lived in a cave, or a lair that he shared with his mother beneath a pool of water in a dark swamp.  Daryl Hall & John Oates referred to Grendel’s mother as a Maneater.  Her mind was not Tiffany-Twisted and she never got that Mercedes Bens, but she was said to be a descendent of Cain, so that made her evil.  Beowulf dives into Grendel’s dark mere and begins his descent into the watery depths swimming until “the ninth hour of the day”, which is the same hour that Luke said Christ died on the cross.  It is interesting that the Anglo-Saxons counted the hours of the day beginning from 6 o’clock in the morning, so the ninth hour is 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Last week we had Prepositions of Place and that was used so I could talk about the prompt words Above/Below/Between.  This week we have some the more deviant, sinister, sordid, terrible, vicious words  Cruel/Evil/Horrible/Monster/Wicked, and hopefully everyone will be able to find a song that utilizes one of these prompt words in the title or in the lyrics.  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.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it contains the prompt words or not.  If it does not meet the criteria, 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 doing something a bit different today as I will be writing about two different songs today in two different posts.  I will write about ‘The Wicked Messenger’ by Bob Dylan and ‘Strange World’ by Mickey Hart this week.  Next week I will be writing about the song ‘Hair’ from the musical Hair, that was composed by Galt MacDermot with lyrics written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni which became a major hit for the Cowsills.  The upcoming prompts will be:
September 6, 2020 – Musical/Opera
September 13, 2020 – Contrasts
September 20, 2020 – Canadian music
September 27, 2020 – Brother/Sister

I Watched the Cars Below

‘Estimated Prophet’ is a Grateful Dead song that came out in 1977 on their ninth studio album Terrapin Station.  It had lyrics written by John Barlow and the music was composed by Bob Weir who also sings lead vocals on this.  As their own record label folded Grateful Dead Records and they went through a change in management, the Grateful Dead signed with Arista Records which was recently founded by Clive Jay Davis.  Ron Rakow skipped town with the $225,000 that he felt was owed to him and in September 1976, Rex Jackson, a member of the Dead’s hardworking, hard-rocking crew, died in a car accident.  The Dead started working with Keith Olsen a pop-oriented producer, who had just produced a huge hit album for Fleetwood Mac.  They stayed with Arista Records and later recorded Shakedown StreetGo To HeavenIn The DarkSo Many Roads and Postcards Of The Hanging.

‘Estimated Prophet’ is a misunderstood song that can be traced to Jerry Garcia’s boredom-breaking bible reading while the Grateful Dead toured in the 1970s.  Manasha Matheson met Jerry Garcia in 1978 and she was his last wife and they were both Catholic.  She said that they spent a lot of time talking about their religious beliefs, sitting up for hours while he read the Bible to her.  Particularly motivated by Old Testament stories in the books of Ezekiel and Daniel, after a show Garcia called Weir’s hotel room in the middle of the night, waking his band mate and imploring him to read the same inspiring passages.  Weir later brought the verses (Ezekiel 1:1 – 7:27; 10:8 – 19 and Daniel 7:9) to Barlow, his longtime friend and writing partner, and the two came up with ‘Estimated Prophet’.  Barlow loosely based the lyrics on the biblical Hebrew prophet Ezekiel’s first vision, and he also closely referenced the traditional folk song ‘Ezekiel Saw The Wheel’, which was recorded by Woody Guthrie and many others.

Some of the Grateful Dead fans took the music a bit too seriously, and they could easily be called zealots.  Members of the band were often a little freaked out by this crazy type of fan.  According to Weir, he and Barlow wrote the song from the perspective of a crazy, messianic zealot, who were invariably encountered in Deadhead crowds every now and then.  Weir explained that the basis of this song is a guy that he would see at nearly every backstage door.  This dude would have taken a lot of dope and be really bug-eyed, and he’s having some kind of vision.

Barlow created this deranged tripped-out Deadhead character who is a prophet, while calling on plenty of biblical images for the lyrics, like the sea parting before the singer, and fire wheels burning in the air.  This prophet is hearing voices and he thinks that he can call down thunder while his words fill the sky with flame.  He is clearly filled with delusions of grandeur and devoted to his vision.  Their producer Keith Olsen brought in Tom Scott to perform a solo on the electric woodwind instrument known as a lyricon, which is said to be capable of sounds and expression unobtainable with any other musical instrument for the Terrapin Station version of ‘Estimated Prophet’.  Scott appeared on records by George Harrison, Wings, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys, Blondie, Whitney Houston, Steppenwolf, Rod Stewart and many others.

My time coming any day, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
Been so long I felt this way, I’m in no hurry no
Rainbows end down that highway where ocean breezes blow
My time coming, voices saying, they tell me where to go
Don’t you worry ‘bout me–oh no no, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
And I’m in no hurry–oh no no no, I know where to go

California, preaching on the burning shore
California, I’ll be knocking on the golden door
Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know I’m gonna shine

My time coming any day, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
It’s gonna be just like they say, them voices tell me so
Seems so long I felt this way and time sure passing slow
Still I know I lead the way, they tell me where I go

Don’t you worry ‘bout me–oh, no, no, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
And I’m in no hurry–oh, no, no, no, I know where to go

California, a prophet on the burning shore
California, I’ll be knocking on the golden door
Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know I’m gonna shine

You’ve all been asleep, you would not believe me
Them voices telling me, you will soon receive me
We’re standing on the beach, the sea will part before me
Fire wheel burning in the air
You will follow me and we will ride to glory
Way up in the middle of the air
And I’ll call down thunder and speak the same
And my words fills the sky with flame
And might and glory gonna be my name
And men gonna light my way

My time coming any day, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
It’s gonna be just like they say, them voices tell me so
Seems so long I felt this way and time sure passing slow
My time coming any day, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
Don’t you worry ‘bout me–oh, no, no, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
And I’m in no hurry–oh, no, no, don’t worry ‘bout me, no
And I’m in no hurry–oh, no, no, no, I know where to go

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Above/Below/Between.