Not Doing Lunch Today

The song ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ tells a tragic tale about a society woman who simply would not take it anymore.  It features a contrast between politeness and violence, where Miss Otis sends her regrets because she drew a gun, and had to shoot the man who wronged her.  She is guilty of a murder and is imprisoned and then killed by the mob, but she still apologizes, or at least is announced so, for missing lunch, as if that was more of a crime than the murder she committed.  ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ was written by Cole Porter in 1934 and it is thought that the song was originally written off the cuff as a bet, because Porter’s friends challenged him in a restaurant to turn the opening lines spoken by a waiter, thus this was written not for one of his musical comedies but for the private entertainment of his friends.  If that is true then the great songwriter certainly moved it in an unexpectedly twisted but brilliant direction.  Monty Woolley was a good friend of Cole Porter’s as they both attended Yale University and mixed with the best of high society.  Woolley was fond of dressing up as a butler and singing this song, while Porter played it on piano at parties.

Porter’s biographer William McBrien states that Porter wrote ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ for the unproduced musical Ever More, which was based on the stage play The Spell.  It was first performed on stage by Douglas Byng in Hi Diddle Diddle, which opened October 3, 1934 at the Savoy Theatre, London.  However, Ethel Waters recorded it in New York on August 20, 1934, before Hi Diddle Diddle opened in London.  ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ is a blues style song, where Porter does a wry take on some common lyrical subject matter of the genre, telling the tale of a woman who comes to a bad end after an encounter with a man.  Porter’s peculiar twist is that Miss Otis is a polite society lady, and the story of her last evening is told by her servant after Miss Otis has met her demise.  In a few compact lines, the servant reveals how, after being seduced and then abandoned, Miss Otis hunted down and shot her seducer, was arrested, taken from the jail by a mob, and hanged.  The servant conveys Miss Otis’s final, polite, apologetic words to her friends saying, “Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.”

The song has been recorded by Nat King Cole, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Nancy Wilson, Jose Feliciano, Linda Ronstadt, Ella Fitzgerald, Kirsty MacColl with The Pogues, The Mills Brothers, LaBelle, Bette Midler, Bryan Ferry, The Lemonheads and others.  The title of the Cheers episode “Mr. Otis Regrets” is also, presumably, a reference to the song.  Taking afternoon tea is an English custom, that began in the 1660s by King Charles II and his wife the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza, but it didn’t become a popular social event until the mid-19th century.  Wealthy American folks emulated the latest British etiquette and the privileged ladies started to entertain each other with fancy luncheons.  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third novel The Great Gatsby published in 1925 is probably based on parties that he attended hosted by the extremely privileged people with upper-class status when he lived on Long Island in the early 1920s.  When upper class people said, “Let’s do lunch”, that conveyed the idea that they would get together to have lunch sometime in the future.

Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today, Madam.
Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.
She is sorry to be delayed,
But last evening down in Lover’s Lane she strayed.
Madam. Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.
When she woke up and found, that her dream of love was gone.
Madam. She ran to the man who had led her so far astray.
And from under a velvet gown,
She drew a gun and shot her lover down, Madam.
Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.
When the mob came and got her and dragged her from the jail, Madam,
They strung her from the old willow cross the way.
And the moment before she died,
She lifted up her lovely head and cried, Madam.
Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.
Miss Otis regrets… she’s unable to lunch today.

Written for Thursday Inspiration #126 Already Gone where the prompt word is lunch.

Thursday Inspiration #126 Already Gone

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word lunch, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Already Gone’, or by going with another song by the Eagles, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘Already Gone’ came out in 1974 included on the On The Border album which was Eagles third studio album and the single charted #32 in the US.  This album has been RIAA certified 2× Platinum and during the making of the album, the band experienced significant changes moving towards a harder rock sound, but it was is not an outright rock effort by any means, as it contained plenty of country rock also.  ‘Already Gone’ is a breakup song where the guy places an extreme importance on being the one who broke up first, as how could she break up with him when he is already gone.

This song ‘Already Gone’ was written by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund, who were both friends of the Eagles.  In the late 1960s, just a few years before Glenn Frey co-founded the Eagles, Jack Tempchin and Frey struck up a lifelong friendship at a San Diego music club called the Candy Company.  Tempchin and Frey were both gifted young singer-songwriters who dreamed of fame and fortune.  Tempchin was a local solo act, while Frey worked with fellow troubadour J.D. Souther in the Los Angeles country-rock duo Longbranch Pennywhistle.  When Jack Tempchin attended SDSU, he ran a club called Backdoor in the basement of the former Aztec Center where he booked and opened for Tom Waits and that was where he met Robb Strandlund.

Robb Strandlund was a country singer, and Jack and him were both in the back room of the Backdoor club drinking some cider and within about 20 minutes they wrote this song.  Tempchin really liked it so he took it to a coffee house called The Alley in Escondido where Jackson Browne was playing.  He didn’t really know Jackson all that well, but he went up to him and said, “Hey man, you’ve got to play this song with me on stage.”  Jackson played ‘Already Gone’ and then Tempchin sent this to Glenn Frey to pitch it to the Eagles.  A few years later Glenn Frey called Tempchin from the studio and said, “Hey that country song… I think it’s a really a great rock n’ roll song.”  He held the phone up to the speakers in the studio and there was ‘Already Gone’.  JD Souther and Glenn Frye were roommates in the Silverlake area of LA and Jackson Browne was their downstairs neighbor.

Frey had just come off of a relationship, so the lyrics about getting over a breakup were probably meaningful to him.  Frey sang lead on this and twin guitar solos were done by Frey and Don Felder, who was new to the band.  This was one of the first songs the Eagles recorded with producer Bill Szymczyk.  Their previous albums, and some of On The Border, were recorded in London with the venerable British producer Glyn Johns.  Recording with a new producer at nearby Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles was a huge relief for Glenn Frey, who didn’t get along well with Johns.  Frey indicated that he was much more comfortable in the studio with Bill, and recording ‘Already Gone’ made him feel free.

Well, I heard some people talkin’ just the other day
And they said you were gonna put me on a shelf
But let me tell you I got some news for you
And you’ll soon find out it’s true
And then you’ll have to eat your lunch all by yourself

Heart Of Glass

‘Heart Of Glass’ charted #1 in both the US and the UK for Blondie in 1978 and it was released on their third studio album Parallel Lines.  Debbie Harry and Chris Stein were a couple when they wrote the first version of this song in early 1974, shortly after they first met.  They didn’t have a proper title for the song, so they called it ‘The Disco Song’, and it didn’t become ‘Heart Of Glass’ till 1978.  It was about a stalker who was pursuing Debbie Harry, and Chris saved her from him.  The song was written from the stalker’s point of view. who says his love affair was a delight (a gas), until it turned out his heart could easily be broken.  He makes it clear that he’s not willing to let her go.  As time progressed the lyrics were changed to be about lost love where a girl gives up on a relationship that turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.  This song gave Blonde their rightful place atop the crest of the new wave acts, as they transcended from the underbelly of New York’s punk scene.  Blondie climbed up the charts with this song but it was controversial, because it blended punk with disco, so it upset a few of their friends, as these people saw disco as being uncool and thus, they alienated some of their original audience.

This song was written before MTV was a thing and American radio was generally ass-free at this time, so to ensure airplay stations were sent an edited version with the offending line, “Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass”. replaced with, “Soon turned out I had a heart of glass”.  People got upset because Debbie sang ‘ass’, and they got banned in a few places because of that.  Blondie was one of the few American bands that made videos before MTV and this video showed the band performing it in an empty discotheque, and was very popular, thanks to the many close-ups of Debbie Harry.

Parallel Lines included singer Debbie Harry, guitarist Chris Stein, drummer Clem Burke, keyboardist Jimmy Destri, guitarist Frank Infante, and bassist Nigel Harrison and some additional personnel and it was produced by Mike Chapman who helped them arrange and finish writing some of these songs.  When Chapman heard ‘The Disco Song’, it was titled ‘Once I Had a Love’ and it had a reggae feel and he thought it would work better with a Donna Summer vibe and he told them to call it ‘Heart of Glass’.  I thought the song was an obvious hit if the arrangement was right. We spent the first day of rehearsal rearranging it and I decided that it should have a bit of a, which pleased Debbie.

While recording Parallel Lines, no one in the group liked each other, except Chris and Debbie, which created a lot of animosity.  They were being juvenile not giving a fuck about anything and they actually tried to be uncool, so their original punk fans thought that they sold out to the music industry, because of this disco sound.  Defiant, Harry said this was ridiculous statement, because the group had been consciously looking for a sound to break into American radio, and ‘Heart Of Glass’ was one of their most innovative songs and that is why it became a hit, because it’s a good song.

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I’m the one you’re using, please don’t push me aside
We coulda made it cruising, yeah

La, da, da, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, da, da, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, da, da, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Yeah, riding high on love’s true bluish light

Ooh, oh, ooh, oh
Ooh, oh, ooh, oh

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass
Seemed like the real thing only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Ooh, oh, ooh, oh
Ooh, oh, ooh, oh

Written for Thursday Inspiration #125 One Love where the prompt is heart.

Thursday Inspiration #125 One Love

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word heart, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘One Love’, or by going with another song by Bob Marley, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘One Love/People Get Ready’ is a reggae song by Bob Marley & The Wailers from their 1977 ninth studio album Exodus.  It was first recorded in a ska style by Marley’s group in 1965 and was released as a single.  The song contains an interpolation of The Impressions’ 1965 song ‘People Get Ready’ written by Curtis Mayfield.  The original Bob Marley recording of the song does not credit Mayfield’s song and is simply titled ‘One Love’, because copyright law was not enforced for Jamaican recordings at this time.  When the famous version was recorded for Island Records in 1977 it was titled ‘One Love/People Get Ready’ and it did credit Mayfield giving co-authorship credits to both Marley and Mayfield.

Bob Marley was a preacher of love and unity for all living beings and this message is apparent here, but it is a bit deeper than that.  Marley wrote these lyrics during a severe internal turmoil in Jamaica, as they only became independent on August 6, 1962, with full dominion status within the Commonwealth, under a constitution that retained the British monarch as head of state.  A long-standing political feud existed between right-wing and left-wing elements here, which often exploded into violence and violence was a taken-for-granted as being part of the political process in Jamaica.  The Jamaican Labor Party and the People’s National Party fought for control of the island and they encouraged urban warfare in Kingston.  Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to have been backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba.

In 1964, Robert Nesta Marley married Rita Anderson, a devout Rastafarian, and his music was reflected in his interest in this religion.  Rastafarians believe that God makes himself known through humanity.  Marley thought that unity could resolve these conflicts and he got this message across with his lyrics, “Hear the children crying.”  He knew that it was not only the children who are affected by these conflicts, but they were the innocent people that had no stake in politics and their suffering was due to the fault of others.  Marley was resolved to ending these conflicts by placing unity among people in an equal position as praying and praising God.  The latter will achieve peace within yourself and the former will achieve peace within the world.

Bob sings of “one love and one heart” among people, feeling that everybody should look at each other in the same light and perspective by disregarding the color of their skin, their race, religious beliefs and so on.  This idea is synonymous with John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’, where people live in peace, nobody kills or dies and there are no religious differences.  Marley figured that the division into different factions created the conflict among his people, and most of the time these factions were invented to carry on the fight.  He knew that only with unity the people would be able to bring about peace among themselves.

Bob Marley questions the actions of the sinners of the world. Letting people know the love of God is a means of salvation.  Bob Marley ties the beginning of the world into the idea of one love and the end of the world with the idea of one heart.  He talks about praising the Lord to feel better and he wants everyone to fight the Holy Armageddon mentioned in the Bible, probably making the assumption that there was peace and unity among people when God created this world.  Marley feels that if we all work together, this world will be alright.

This song has had a significant impact on the culture throughout the years.  It was elected the ‘best music of Jamaica over the last 50 years’, and it was named the ‘song of the millennium’ by The World Health Organization.  The song has been featured in the Jamaican Tourist Board commercials since 1994, and the Jamaican national motto became Out of Many, One People.  The song also peaked at #5 in UK Singles Chart after the song was released as a single in 1984.

One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (one love)
Hear the children crying (one heart)

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine

Young Brandon Flowers was a huge fan of British music when he was a teenager living in Las Vegas, Nevada and he lived for music and dreamed up stories of death and dark longings.  Brandon and his friend Dave Keuning both liked wearing eyeliner, so David on guitar and Brandon singing vocals, alongside their friends Mark Stoermer on bass and Ronnie Vannucci on drums formed a band called The Killers, where Brandon could tell his tales.  These were tales of sports star stalkers, dead disco dancers and gambling Brando freaks.  The Killers are an androgynous unisex group that appeal to boys and girls and Keuning started the band back in 2001, when he took out an ad in a Las Vegas newspaper looking for local musicians to play with.  One of the first of The Killers’ songs to come to the UK’s attention was ’Jenny’ (as it was simply known then) which appeared on a free NME (New Musical Express) CD called Rock ‘N’ Roll Riot Vol 1 in November 2003.  ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’ appeared on the Killers debut album Hot Fuss which was released in 2004.

The song’s lyrics depict a man undergoing a police interrogation for the murder of Jenny, in which the supposedly innocent man repeatedly insists that Jenny was his friend and that he didn’t have any motive to commit this crime.  The man admits to having a fight with Jenny on the promenade out in the rain, but we never find out what the outcome of the arrest is.  We never learn how Jenny was killed, and there is a very puzzling line in this song that says, “She couldn’t scream while I held her close”.  Brandon Flowers explained that Jenny was actually the final part of the “Murder Trilogy” which was a trio of songs that told the full story and two of these songs would form the backbone of their first album.  ‘Midnight Show’ and ‘Jenny’ both appeared on Hot Fuss and the third song Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf’ is the first part of this trilogy and it was released in 2007 on their Sawdust album.  Jenny is killed by a jealous lover after a messy break up in Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf’.  ‘Midnight Show’ is about taking Jenny to a midnight show in his car, as if a night out is going to ease the split and he ends up disposing of the body, and ‘Jenny’ is him trying to justify the murder when he’s caught by the cops.

Flowers was a huge fan of Mancunian indie legends Manchester band New Order, formerly known as post-punk titans Joy Division.  The Killers actually got their name from a fictitious band that appeared in the video to New Order’s song ’Crystal’ from 2001.  This New Order video features a fictitious band that was made up a group of attractive teenagers and New Order doesn’t appear in this video, but the name Killers was emblazoned on the bass drum in the video.  Everyone in this fake band that pretended to be New Order looked hot, however the first name that they chose for this group was The Genius Sex Poets.  Brandon Flowers named his own group after these the fake band.

We took a walk that night, but it wasn’t the same
We had a fight on the promenade out in the rain
She said she loved me, but she had somewhere to go
She couldn’t scream while I held her close
I swore I’d never let her go

Tell me what you want to know
Oh come on, oh come on, oh come on
There ain’t no motive for this crime
Jenny was a friend of mine
So come on, oh come on, oh come on

I know my rights, I’ve been here all day and it’s time
For me to go, so let me know if it’s alright
I just can’t take this, I swear I told you the truth
She couldn’t scream while I held her close
I swore I’d never let her go

Tell me what you want to know
Oh come on, oh come on, oh come on
And then you whisper in my ear
I know what you’re doing here
So come on, oh come on, oh come on
There ain’t no motive for this crime
Jenny was a friend of mine
Oh come on, oh come on, oh come on

Written for Thursday Inspiration #124 The Harder They Come where the prompt word is mine.

Thursday Inspiration #124 The Harder They Come

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word mine, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘The Harder They Come’, or by going with another song by Jimmy Cliff, or Bob Marley, or anything else that you think fits.  Before Bob Marley, there was Jimmy Cliff.  James Chambers is known as Jimmy Cliff and he was reggae’s first global superstar and he took his stage name because it reflected the heights he planned to scale.  James Chambers grew up in Maroon country, a place up in the largely inaccessible hills of Jamaica surrounded by thick rain forests, where formerly enslaved Africans and their descendants who had gained freedom by escaping formed communities with the Maroon spirit.  He came to Capital City Kingston in 1961 at age 13, in search of a better life, hoping to make a living in music, like many other black youthsSka developed from the American mainland sound of R & B that was combined with the syncopated calypso sound that was developed by Jamaican blacks.  Reggae music came out of ska and rocksteady and it sprang up with the uprising of the Rastafarian faith, which was heavily influenced by black consciousness.  Cliff never identified himself as a Rastafarian, although most other reggae musicians did.

Kingston must not have been an easy place for an unskilled black youth to be plunged into, and having to live in the ghettos and slums of a city where you don’t know anyone and miscellaneous hustlers were always harassing you made this place very dangerous.  Cliff said that it was violent there, but he got used to defending himself, because he encountered political violence all the time and in the two years, from 1961 to 1963, when he wandered the streets of Kingston, as corrupt cops would teargas his house all the time.  Only a fraction of the talented individuals ever managed to make a living at it, but Cliff intended to be a singer, so he supported himself by working on a vegetable truck, living a life of extreme poverty.

Jimmy Cliff starred in and wrote half the music for Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come, which was Jamaica’s first major film production in 1972.  As Ivanhoe Martin, a country boy new to Kingston who is an aspiring wannabe reggae singer gets hustled out of a sure-fire hit by corrupt producers, and records his first record for $20.  Later he ends up as a murderous ghetto legend, a gangster folk hero that gets gunned down in a blaze of glory at the end of the movie.  The first half is more or less based on Cliff’s own journey from naive country boy to reggae hitmaker, where Ivan is conned out of all of his possessions within minutes of arriving in Kingston.  This movie made Jimmy Cliff a hero almost overnight and it popularized Jamaican music in unprecedented waysThe film also exposed American audiences to some of the darker aspects of Jamaican culture.

The song ‘The Harder They Come’ has a positive message saying that no matter how hard life can be, you can still succeed.  It mentions a pie that is up in the sky which can be obtained, even when people try to prevent you from reaching it.  The message stems from a proverb about people in power having more to lose or a similar adage like, “The bigger the tree, the harder it will fall.”  Luke 1:52 stated that the mighty are brought lower than the lowly, as God drags strong rulers from their thrones and exalts humble people in places of power.  This expression is one of defiance against someone who is seen as your superior and became popular when boxer Robert Fitzsimmons said it in 1902 before he fought a much taller and heavier opponent.  Cliff was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

And I keep on fighting for the things I want
Though I know that when you’re dead you can’t
But I’d rather be a free man in my grave
Than living as a puppet or a slave
So as sure as the sun will shine
I’m gonna get my share now, what’s mine

Behind Blue Eyes

This 1971 song came out on the Who album Who’s Next and the single charted #34 in the US.  Pete Townshend wrote this song to let everyone know what it’s like to be him, having high expectations and being pressured into being someone that he’s not.  He knew that he was a selfish, miserable bastard that had an artist buried deep inside of him, so in this song he’s telling us that because of his many internal conflicts, that we should not let himself enjoy his life.  He had a low self-regard and because of that, he didn’t want the fans to be happy, as that would mean that we would ask him to give us more.  He suffered mental anguish as a child, and this song is about the difficulties in living a life devote of strong emotions outside of anger, where he encounters the inability to feel love, and joy.

‘Behind Blue Eyes’ was originally written for a Rock Opera, Lifehouse, which was going to be a film similar to The Who’s Tommy and Quadrophenia, but it was never completed.  Pete Townshend included this on other Who albums.  Lifehouse was a science fiction that took place in occurring in London, a sort of post-apocalyptic Woodstock, where the pollution was so bad that the people were forced to wear Lifesuits.  The story begins when a farming family in Scotland hears about a huge rock concert called Lifehouse and it included a part for a guru which was based on Townshend’s relationship with the Indian yoga guru Meher Baba.  These Lifesuits could simulate all experiences in a way that no one would have to leave home, and they were plugged into a huge mainframe called the Grid which also contains tubes for sleeping gas, food, and entertainment.  Supposedly, someone could live out tens of thousands of lifetimes in a very short period within the Grid.  The Grid is controlled by a man named Jumbo.  ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ was intended as the theme song for the villain, Jumbo.

Townshend believed that the vibrations that were coming from some of the shows that the Who did became so pure that the audience would “dance themselves into oblivion”.  Their souls would leave their bodies and they would be in a type of heaven. Existing in a permanent state of ecstasy.  The only reason this did not happen at Who gigs was because there was a knowledge in the listener’s mind that the show would end and everyone would wake up and go to work the next morning.  Roger Daltrey’s dog got run over on the day that he recorded his vocals for this song and he was desperately trying to hold it together.

The song is about a man who is bad, he is misunderstood and nobody likes him.  He is fighting with himself, because he knows that he must hide his feelings, as he thinks that he is only capable of feeling anger.  He says that his dreams aren’t empty, but his conscience is and his “love is vengeance, that’s never free”, but he won’t take the blame for being this way.  This man doesn’t want to be like this, as he would rather be a better person, but he simply isn’t strong enough.  He doesn’t want to be viewed as a fool and he becomes even more bitter, thus he has to hide behind his blue (sad) eyes.  He looks for sympathy asking others to help him out in case he swallows anything evil, or if he gets cold, he would like to be covered up with a blanket, or be offered someone’s coat to wear.

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it’s like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams, they aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance that’s never free

No one knows what it’s like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams, they aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance that’s never free
Mm, mm

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

And if I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And if I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

Written for Thursday Inspiration #123 How Deep Is Your Love.

Thursday Inspiration #123 How Deep Is Your Love

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word eyes, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, or by going with another song by Bee Gees, or anything else that you think fits.  This 1977 song charted #1 in the US and went to #3 in the UK and it was released on the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack album.  Saturday Night Fever was a hit movie that earned more than $100 million, but the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack arguably had an even bigger impact than the movie.  This movie made a star out of John Travolta, and he was nominated for an Oscar, and he went on to star in 1978’s biggest movie Grease with Olivia Newton-John.

That album sold tens of millions of copies, and it remains one of the 10 biggest-selling albums of all time, and the single won the 1977 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance By A Group.  It led the Bee Gees, already in their imperial era, to absolutely dominate the charts in 1978 to an unheard-of degree.  The soundtrack spawned four #1 singles, more than any album ever had ever done before. Allowing the Bee Gees to become worldwide celebrities known as the godfathers of disco.  At one point in 1978 they had written five of the songs in Billboard’s Top Ten, a record matched only by The Beatles.  ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ ranks number 375 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  It sits between White Room (1968) by Cream and Unchained Melody (1965) by The Righteous Brothers.  Barry Gibb, the lone surviving Bee Gee today, reportedly said that this is his favorite Bee Gees song.

The Bee Gees were Barry Gibb and his younger twin brothers, Robin and Maurice.  From the time they started playing together as children, they dreamed of stardom, and they certainly succeeded.  The Bee Gees became among the top-selling music groups of all time.  The distinctive “blood harmony” of the brothers’ voices set the dance floor on fire and their prodigious talent as songwriters extended their career long past disco’s days.  This worked because people in the same family can take on a whole different vocal tone when they sing together.  They’ve got the same genetics, and they grew up singing together, so something unearthly and mystical happens when their voices come together.  The Bee Gees’ helium yowls are so distinct.  They don’t sound like anyone else, but they all sound like each other, and when they’re all singing at once, something clicks.

The Bee Gees keyboard player, Blue Weaver played ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ on a piano that Chopin once used, as Barry Gibb worked out the lyrics.  Barry Gibb had already emerged as the group’s lead singer by the time they made this song and he explored what he could do with his falsetto.  On ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, all three Brothers Gibb come together to hit some absurd upper-register harmonies, making this a beautiful song.  Barry Gibb’s lyrics are about a guy falling in love and wanting to hear that it’s a real thing, that she feels the same way he does: “We’re living in a world of fools/ Breaking us down when they all should let us be/ We belong to you and me.”

Love is an emotion.  It can’t be seen or touched, and because it is experienced differently by everyone, it is difficult to measure.  Love is a deep feeling of connection that makes the rest of the world less important.  People write about love, they watch people loving each other, they sing songs about it, some will die for it, kill for it, and cry for it, because it is the most powerful feeling on earth.  The depth of a person’s love might be able to be measured by the size of the diamond that a man gives his significant other to wear on their finger, but it should be more than that.  Scientists can measure how deep your love is from a neurobiological point of view by scanning your brain and looking at specific MRI information that appears.  People that are in love will have a complex system in their brain activated, making them exhibit essentially the same thing that happens when a person takes cocaine and their brains’ reward and motivation systems become flooded with the chemical dopamine.

After the dopamine surge, the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin (termed the peptides of love and fear) are released effecting physiological and behavioral actions, encouraging couples to form emotional bonds.  The oxytocin is released in humans during intimate moments such as prolonged eye contact, hugging and sex.  It’s also the hormone that causes mothers to bond with their infants.  The scientists say that vasopressin is a likely candidate for a role in the defensive components of social monogamy and mate guarding.  Love can be distilled into three categories being lust (desire for sexual gratification), attraction (connections made between brain pathways that control “reward” behavior), and attachment (the predominant factor in long-term relationships).  Testosterone and estrogen drive lust, while dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin create attraction, and oxytocin and vasopressin mediate attachment.  Dogs exhibit unconditional love, as their love is not based on how you behave or how you treat them, so their love would be very deep.

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I wanna feel you in my arms again

My Life Is Changing

‘Dreams’ is the debut single by Irish rock band the Cranberries and it was released on their 1993 album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?  The Cranberries were made up of Dolores O’Riordan who sang lead vocals, and played acoustic guitar along with Noel Hogan on lead guitar and backing vocals, Mike Hogan on bass guitar and Fergal Lawler on drums, and percussion.  Dolores O’Riordan wrote the lyrics for this song and she and Mike Hogan wrote the music together.  At the end of the song, the backing vocals are sung by Mike Mahoney, ex-boyfriend of O’Riordan.  ‘Dreams’ reached #15 on the Modern Rock Tracks music chart and it went to #27 on the UK singles chart, but only reached #42 on the Hot 100.

20 years old Dolores said that she wrote this strikingly lush love song about her first love and it’s about feeling really in love for the first time when you meet that special someone who makes you deliriously happy.  She is unsure of her feelings at first and in the second verse she asks her significant other not to hurt her.  She goes on to acknowledge him as being the one that she couldn’t find, which indicates that being in a relationship like this is a new experience for her.  She lets him know that she finds him to be totally amazing and he is everything to her, and she is clearly in love with him.  Her life is changing and finding this person has made her dreams come true.  Love has had a positive transformative effect on her life, and these sensations are what she wants to hold onto as long as possible.  The production of ‘Dreams’ was done by Stephen Street (who is best known for his works with The Smiths).

I can relate to this song because almost every relationship that I have been in, I thought this is the girl for me, but none of them ever quite turned out like I wanted.  I enjoy the feeling of falling in love with someone, even though this never seems to last for me, as falling in love feels like you are floating and this exhilaration, euphoria, increased energy, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, trembling, racing heart and accelerated blood pressure makes you feel alive.  You make yourself vulnerable and you want to give all of yourself to this person.  This feeling completes a person making you a more whole version of yourself, not because you weren’t whole before, but because you’ve met someone who you feel is worthy of your love.  It’s impossible to ignore love, as once you catch this sickness, you have to go for it, hook line and sinker.  Dolores O’Riordan died by drowning due to alcohol intoxication on January 15, 2018 at the age of 46.

Dance!
Whoo!
Brrrrt!

Oh, my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
And oh, my dreams
It’s never quite as it seems
(Never quite as it seems)

I know I felt like this before
But now I’m feeling it even more
Because it came from you
Then I open up and see
The person falling here is me
A different way to be
C’mon

La ah
La, ah, ah, ah
La, ah, ah, ah
La, ah, ah, ah
La ah ah ah

I want more, impossible to ignore
Impossible to ignore
(And they’ll come true)
And they’ll come true
Impossible not to do
Impossible not to do

And now I tell you openly
You have my heart, so don’t hurt me
You’re what I couldn’t find
A totally amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You’re everything to me
Sing it for me!
1, 2, 3, 4

Oh, my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
(I said, oh, I said oh)
And oh, my dreams
It’s never quite as it seems
‘Cause you’re a dream to me
Dream to me

La, ah
La, ah, ah, ah
La, ah, ah
La ah ah ah
Sing on!

La, ah
La, ah, ah, ah
La, ah, ah
La ah ah ah
Oh oh oh

La ah
La ah ah ah ah
La ah ah ah
La ah ah ah

Thank you guys, gracias!
Buenas noches!

Written for Thursday Inspiration #122 You Light Up My Life.

Thursday Inspiration #122 You Light Up My Life

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word life, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘You Light Up My Life’, or by going with another song by Debby Boone, or anything else that you think fits.  This ballad written by Joseph Brooks, and originally recorded by Kasey Cisyk for the soundtrack album to the 1977 film of the same title.  This song won a Grammy, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar for Best Original Song.  It held the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for ten consecutive weeks in 1977 setting a new Billboard Hot 100 record for most weeks spent at Number One.  It also topped Record World magazine’s Top 100 Singles Chart for 13 weeks.  Elvis Presley’s double-sided hit ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ & ‘Hound Dog’ had previously spent eleven weeks as the song which was “Best Sellers in Stores” and “Most Played in Jukeboxes” chart in 1956, but the Billboard Hot 100 didn’t begin till August 4, 1958.

The song was lip synced in the film by its lead actress, Didi Conn.  ‘You Light Up My Life’ only reached #48 in the UK.  The song was finally knocked off the top spot by the Bee Gees ‘How Deep Is Your Love’.  Joseph Brooks was a jingle writer and he not only composed the song but he also wrote and directed the film and then faded into obscurity.  In June 2009, he was arrested and charged with setting up fake casting calls to sexually assault or rape almost a dozen women.  Brooks died by suicide in 2011, while still awaiting trial.  Joseph Brooks made a sexual pass at Kasey Cisyk and she rejected him.  He did not pay her or give her credit for the movie to get revenge for her turning him down, but later she sued him and finally got credit.  Brooks hired Debby Boone and made her sing it almost exactly as Casey Cisyk sang it until she got it right, because he was too cheap to pay to re-record the piano and orchestra again.  He tried to cover up his lechery, by finding someone who sounded almost exactly like her.  Cisyk died of breast cancer in 1998 at age 44.

The best-known cover version of the song is a cover by Debby Boone, the daughter of singer Pat Boone.   Boone recorded her vocals over a pre-existing instrumental track that Brooks already had developed for the film’s soundtrack.  For over a year, no movie studio would release the film and no record company would release the song.  When the movie finally got picked up, it was time to record the song as a single, and Brooks went with Debby Boone instead of Cisyk, who also played a bridesmaid in the film.  The movie was about a girl trying to make it in show business.  The lead role was played by Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in the movie Grease the next year.  She lip-synched the song to Cisyk’s voice.  This was Boone’s only hit, and it didn’t take her long to fade from the spotlight.

So many dreams
I kept deep inside me
Alone in the dark but now
You’ve come along
You light up my life