Two Tributes from District 12

I watched the first Hunger Games movie which came out in 2012, but I never watched the other three movies, the Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), The Hunger Games: MockingjayPart 1 (2014), or The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015).  I guess that I am just not interested in science fiction dystopian movies, although I did watch all of the Terminator movies, all of the Mad Max films, and all of the Matrix movies, because they were filled with lots of action.  I guess that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World might have started this off, followed by George Orwell’s book 1984, as they would both be considered to be dystopian literature, but I never read either one, however I do have a good idea what they are about.  Another noteworthy book would be Fahrenheit 451 which was written by Ray Bradbury.

I never tried watching the Stanley Kubrick 1975 movie A Clockwork Orange, but I did see the other Kubrick movie 2001 Space Odyssey which came out in 1968.  The next dystopian movie that I remember seeing was Blade Runner with a young Harrison Ford and I did watch some of the Death Race movies also.  Technically, a dystopian movie is one that involves a “bad place” according to the Ancient Greek translation.  It is the opposite of a utopian society where everything is perfect, and it is one where society is in decline, whether that is through war, tyranny, or any type of disaster, so dystopias are places that could exist in the past, present, or future, where freedom and equality have been compromised.

I know that The Hunger Games was written by Suzanne Collins and the movies became enormously popular and I think Katniss and Peeta are the main characters and that they develop a strange friendship, where they help each other to cope with all of the traumatic things they’ve been through, which is not easy for either of them.  They are probably meant to be together, but I am not going to write any more about this, as it does not hold my interest, I don’t watch Harry Potter and I am not a big fan of Narnia either.

Today is the Katniss & Peeta love theme on Love Is In Da Blog and we are asked to find a love song from the “Hunger Games” films and/or write a Tricubes poem about love, but I am taking a different path by going with the Van Morrison song ‘Hungry for Your Love’.  Van Morrison’s ‘Hungry For You Love’, is a heartfelt ballad that is perfect example of beauty in simplicity, because of the mellow-sounding feelgood love that it exudes.  This song was from his 1978 Wavelength album, and it appeared in the 1982 mega-smash American romantic drama An Officer and a Gentlemen.  In the movie, it appeared as background in a scene when stars Richard Gere and Debra Winger wake up the next morning after their initial romantic tryst.

‘Hungry for Your Love’ is a throwback to Van’s earlier work as it was done nearly a decade earlier, and it doesn’t really meld with the rest of Wavelength which was released during the height of the disco era.  In An Officer and a Gentleman, Morrison plays electric piano accompanied by Herbie Armstrong’s acoustic guitar on this song.  The song gives us a rare demonstration of Van playing the electric piano and it has become one of the more enduringly popular songs on the album.  Musically gifted and instrumentally versatile, nonetheless, it’s one of the few released recordings with Van on the keyboard.  Wavelength is the tenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, and was released in the autumn of 1978.  Wavelength was Morrison’s best-selling album at the time of the original release and the album has a different musical sound from his previous albums, leaning towards a pop rock sound with prominent electric guitars and synthesizers.  Morrison included this song on his compilation album Van Morrison at the Movies – Soundtrack Hits (2007).  Near the end of ‘Hungry For Your Love’ Morrison sings, “I love you in buckskin, yeah”, and I guess he has plans on seeing her dressed like that and because he has created so much sexual tension by repeatedly growling how hungry he is for her, that simple line becomes overwhelmingly erotic, although it also makes me laugh.

I’m hungry for your love
I’m hungry for your love
I’m hungry for your love
But I can wait now

I’m on the telephone
And I am all alone
I’m on the telephone
And we’re connected

I got such a lot of love
I want to give it to you
I got such a lot of love
I want to give it to you
I got such a lot of love
I want to give it to you

And though we’re far apart
You are here in my heart
And though we’re far apart
You’re part of me now

And after all the years
And after all the tears
And after all the tears
There’s just the truth now

I got such a lot of love
I want to give it to you
I got such a lot of love
I want to give it to you
I got such a lot of love
I want to give it to you

Well, I’m hungry for your love
Hungry for your love
Well, I’m hungry, yeah, well, I’m hungry
For your love now

I love you in buckskin, yeah, yeah
I love you in buckskin, yeah, yeah
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you now

I’m hungry for your love

Written for Love Is In Da Blog 2021 Great Love Stories Katniss & Peeta love theme where we are asked to find a love song from the “Hunger Games” films and/or write a Tricubes poem about love.

My First Interview

Jacob has been doing a series of interviews with WordPress bloggers and today it is my turn.  His questions are standard and they seem very normal, so I will do my best to answer them.

What would you like to drink while we are conducting this interview with you?
I used to be a big drinker and if Jacob was buying, I would be drinking.  However, my doctor always analyzes my blood because I have Type II diabetes and she is constantly worried about my kidneys, as I guess all that drinking, which I did years ago must have wreaked havoc on them, so I will pass on your kind offer of a drink for now.

Could you tell us your blogging name and the name of your site please.
My blogging name is NewEpicAuthor which I chose because I wrote several very long books, which I never got published.  The title of my site is A Unique Title For Me.

When did you start blogging?
I joined WordPress on April 23, 2017 and wrote my first post on that day.  I am approaching a milestone very soon, as after this one I will have only 16 more posts to write in order to get me to 3,000.

Why did you start blogging?
I was looking for a platform to promote my books.

Which is the most popular post on your site?
My Top Posts show that I have 12 which received over 1,000 views and I listed those below.

Title Views
Colder Than a Well Digger’s Ass 13,512
Sloopy Hang On 10,597
Home page / Archives 8,716
War, Famine, Pestilence and Death 5,505
How To Make Your Vagina Taste Good 4,733
Sex Is A Three Letter Word 1,731
Pumped A Lot Of Pane 1,507
Quadratic Equations and Astronomy 1,155
There Is No I In Team 1,080
Do You Think That I Have a Nice Butt? 1,068
It Was Beauty That Killed the Beast 1,041
Whip The Horse’s Eyes 1,003

What is the best thing about blogging?
It keeps me busy and I stay out of trouble most of the time, but I have been known to say some controversial things.

Food that makes you smile?
Steak, Seafood, Italian, Cake way too many to list.

If I was going to send you flowers as a thank you for letting me interview, what would they be?
Please send money instead.

Do you have a song? One that fits you as a person or your life?

Do you know where you are going in life?
I am just winging it for now.

What message do you want your blog to tell the world?
Keep On Truckin’, Get Off My Cloud, Love the One You’re With, I actually am at a loss for words here.

Written for my interview with Jacob.

These Shoes Want to Dance

Eric noticed the girl with the red hair and he thought that she would be perfect for the ballet production that he was putting on, the Red Red Shoe.  His last dancer had fallen ill and died from Covid-19 and his show was only two weeks out.  He was not sure if this girl could dance or not, but she did look graceful and he knew that the shoes would take care of the rest.  His last dancer was a clumsy oaf and the shoes did the trick for her.  Once she put them on, she danced all around and in fact, she was unable to stop dancing as long as she was wearing these shoes.  She danced into the night, until her feet bled and Eric was forced to remove them from her.

Eric knew that the red headed girl would be enamored with these red shoes, as they are fit for a princess.  Eric figured that he could get some Arm & Hammer spray to disinfect the shoes before he had the red head try them on, but he hoped that they would not take complete control over her like they did to her predecessor.  Maybe he could take the shoes to a witchdoctor, or pray to God for help, but all he knew was that his backers would want their money back so the show must go on.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #316 hosted by Michael – the Red Hair Girl photo prompt.

How Can You Think Love Will End

I have been looking for an excuse to write about ‘Never My Love’ by the Association, because I think this is one of the real jewels of the 60’s.  This song goes back to 1967 and it was recorded on their Inside Out album and the single charted #2.  It sold a million copies in America and was held out of the top spot by The Box Tops’ song ‘The Letter’.  This was written by the songwriting team of Don and Dick Addrisi.  The Addrisi Brothers had several hits which they recorded including ‘We’ve Got To Get It On Again’ that peaked at #10 in 1972 along with ‘Slow Dancin’ Don’t Turn Me On’ which reached #34 in 1977.  This beautiful romantic song is perfect for any wedding, as it deals with unrelenting devotion.  An interesting fact about this song comes from Broadcast Music, Inc. better known as BMI, which keeps track of this type of data, is that ‘Never My Love’ was the second-most played song on American radio and television in the 20th century, trailing only ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’’ by the Righteous Brothers.

This is such a timeless classic and there cannot be a more perfect love, than one where you find that special someone who you will never grow tired of being with.  You will never lose desire for them, because your whole life depends on being there for them.  You’ll never change your mind, never stop loving them and want to spend your whole life with this significant other, making this a love that will never end.

The Association were an American sunshine pop band from California and their original members included Jules Alexander, Russ Giguere, Brian Cole, Terry Kirkman, Larry Ramos, Ted Bluechel and Jim Yester.  They are one of the most successful bands to come out of the 60’s, having sold millions of records, tapes, CDs and DVDs as well as earning a number of other achievements and they made history at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, for being the first band ever to open a rock festival.

The Association received RIAA certifications for 6 gold and 3 platinum records and they had big hits with ‘Cherish’ and ‘Windy’.  Among the many albums released by the Association, Goodbye, Columbus stands out as a definite oddity.  Many listeners aren’t even certain as to whether they should classify it as an Association album or a movie soundtrack.  The group was credited as the performers on four of the cuts, but the rest of it consisted of excerpts from Charles Fox’s score on which the Association were not present at all.  However, the single reached #80 in the pop charts and the album did actually make #99 in the charts, but it probably ranks as the rarest of their full-length releases.

You ask me if there’ll come a time
When I grow tired of you
Never, my love
Never, my love

You wonder if this heart of mine
Will lose its desire for you
Never, my love
Never, my love

What makes you think love will end?
When you know that my whole life depends
On you (on you)

Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba (ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba)

Never, my love
Never, my love

You say you fear I’ll change my mind
I won’t require you
Never, my love
Never, my love

How can you think love will end
When I’ve asked you to spend your whole life
With me? (with me, with me)

Never, my love (never, my love)
Never, my love
Never, my love (never, my love)
Never, my love
Never, my love

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Jewels.

Time to Pay the Piper

They know that Trump is a criminal, and they want to put the screws to him to make the dirt come out, but he has not been put on the rack yet.  They will scrutinize his tax returns, which he claimed that he was not able to release because he was under audit, but he is no longer the president and he can’t continue to make excuses, so these tax experts will run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces, and then he’ll end up in an audit, which will ultimately produce taxable consequences, and he will be forced to pay penalties and I hope this ends in jail time for him.  Trump has tried to avoid releasing his taxes for decades and it is not clear yet if he broke any laws, but it is thought that he has avoided paying hundreds of millions in taxes over the last 10 years.  Trump has overstated the value of his assets to brag about his wealth in an attempt to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes magazine, but when it comes to the IRS, he has taken the opposite position, saying that his assets are worth far less than what has been reported.

One of America’s biggest secrets is the speculation over what exactly is Donald Trump hiding in his tax returns, but most people feel it is his lack of paying his fair share of income tax and I am almost certain that he claimed some illegal dubious deductions, or took some distorted suspicious and mysterious write-offs.  The Times discovered that Trump paid no income taxes at all from 2011 to 2014, and a paltry $750 in 2016 and 2017.  The deal making business genius claimed that his businesses lost massive amounts of money, but he wants to keep this damaging information from public view.  In 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses which were largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings.  They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade and in fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.

They are just scratching the surface not, but these documents that he was forced to release will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that will restrict their public release.  The New York State grand jury is investigating alleged hush money payments and other issues and their subpoenas span his tax records from January 2011 to August 2019.  Trump is doubling down saying this is nothing more than a fishing expedition and he is calling this the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country.  Things are not looking so good for Trump, as he has hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, much of which he personally guaranteed, coming due in the next few years.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #174.

The Rich Old Man

Bruce Hornsby & The Range recorded ‘The Valley Road’ on their 1988 Scenes From The Southside album and this song went to #44 in the UK and it charted #5 in the US.  This was Bruce Hornsby’s fourth major hit, following ‘The Way It Is’ which topped the charts in the US in 1986, ‘Mandolin Rain’ which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987 and ‘Every Little Kiss’ which got to #72 in 1986.  In this song you get the classic Hornsby theme of black humor from a lighter perspective looking at Southern life, centering on human indiscretions in a small town or rural setting.  Hornsby grew up in Virginia, so he encountered gossiping in a small-time community and this song is simply about people and their misadventures that were commonplace back then.  This is a recurring theme in Hornsby’s music.

This is a sad song about the daughter of the plantation owner, falling in love with one of her father’s employees, a man who is far below her social station.  He has this secret place off the valley road, which is secluded so no one will see them together and this is where they have their fun going all the way.  After the encounter, she is sent away and people notice that she is no longer around and they start talking, making up stories of what they think happened.  Somebody starts a rumor that she went to her sister’s, which is probably their way of indicating that she had really had been sent to a home for unwed mothers.

The fourth verse seems to be chronologically out of order, but maybe the guy is reminiscing about what happened, or the townsfolk just want more details to satisfy their curiosity.  The young girl was probably a virgin, as the guy needed to show her what they do down the long valley road, but when she returns, she acts as if nothing really happened, leaving the guy to walk back alone.  Her father knows that this man is probably a good worker, but he is nowhere good enough for his daughter to marry.  I imagine that this guy will find another girl to take a walk with him down the Valley Road.

Sometimes I lead, sometimes I follow
This time I go where she wants me to go
Said maybe today, maybe tomorrow
Go deep in the woods down the low valley road

While no-one was looking on the old plantation
He took her all the way down the long valley road
They sent her away not too much later
And left him walking down the old valley road
Walk on, walk on alone

Out in the hall, they were talking in a whisper
Everybody noticed she was gone a while
Somebody said she’s gone to her sister
Everybody knew what they were talking about

While no-one was looking on the old plantation
He showed her what they do down the long valley road
She came back around like nothing really happened
Left him standing on the old valley road
Walk on, walk on alone

Standing like a stone on the old plantation
The rich old man would have never let him in
Good enough to hire, not good enough to marry
When it all happens nobody wins
Walk on, walk on alone

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 97 where this week’s theme is “rich” from the 1977 Hall & Oates song ‘Rich Girl’.

Two Men Sharing Very Real Feelings

The topic of sex was difficult to avoid if you were in ancient Rome, as phalluses were on display everywhere and they were seen as being good luck charms, so you really couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a penis.  The penis became ingrained into the social lives of Romans and their religion accepted acts of sexuality as a method for improving their lifestyle and any erotic deed would define a male’s power.  Their men were free to have intercourse with other men as long as they are taking the top position, and they were not allowed to take a willing role in passive sexual behavior by bestowing their anal orifice to another man.  Only those males of a lower class or slaves could act in a submissive or passive manner.  Sexuality for Roman males is not defined by the preference of whether or not their partner was a male or a female, it is all about being active or passive, where active means that they are the one doing the penetration and passive means that they are being penetrated.  Most Romans felt that fellatio was much worse than anal sex.

It is thought that the 47-year-old Hadrian probably first saw Antinous while he traveling in Bithynia which is now part of modern Turkey, when Antinous was a 12-year-old boy.  The beautiful boy was sent to Rome to be educated at the imperial court.  Within a few years, he had blossomed into an exceptionally handsome youth who, according to ancient sources, became Hadrian’s lover and traveling companion.  It was acceptable for a Roman Emperor to take a male lover, as long as Hadrian appeared to be the ‘Top’ and there was no real emotion involved, the rest of Roman society could tolerate the affair.  When the sex object was a foreigner, as Antinous was Greek, then it became even easier to accept.  Foreigners were like animals, simply not as important as Romans and thus they were suitable to be used for human sex toys.

Hadrian married Trajan’s grand-niece Vibia Sabina, who was his second cousin once removed, but their marriage was purely political and is almost universally described as having been an unhappy one, especially since it failed to produce a son.  Not getting his wife pregnant let the whole empire down and fanned the flames of gossip about him possibly being a complete homosexual.  In the year 130 AD, Hadrian and Antinous were sailing on the river Nile, when Antinous fell into the water and drowned.  It is thought that he may have thrown himself into the water to put an end to their relationship which may have been ruining Hadrian’s reputation.  It could be that Antinous was drowned on purpose, as this may have been a simple case of murder on the Nile.

Hadrian’s reaction to the death of his boyfriend was nothing short of absolutely epic.  He founded a Roman city in Egypt close to where his lover died and named it Antinopolis in his memory.  He turned Antinous into a god so others could worship him building temples to his memory across the empire, commissioning up to 2000 statues of his beautiful deceased lover.  Hadrian hired Greek sculptors to recreate the stunning beauty of his departed sweetheart.  When the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, most of these temples were destroyed, and many of the beautiful statues disappeared.  Hadrian was a fan of fake news and alternative facts and he built a wall in Northern England to keep the violent and barbarous Celts out, which may remind you of a ruler which we just got rid of.

Today is the Hadrian & Antinous love theme on Love Is In Da Blog and we are asked to find a metal ballad about love and/or write a Rispetto poem about their love.  I am not a big fan of metal music, because I don’t think that music should be defined by loudness, shouting voices, Satanic lyrics, mosh pits, but it is all a matter of personal taste.  When I think about metal music, I think about AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Korn, Slayer, Alice in Chains, White Zombie, Van Halen, Judas Priest, Marilyn Manson, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Motörhead and of course Black Sabbath.  Ozzy Osbourne rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which period he adopted the nickname “Prince of Darkness”.  As far as heavy metal guitarists there is no one who is more larger-than-life than the Black Label Society shredder Zakk Wylde who wields his guitar like a Viking weapon, bashing out thick riffage and squeezing expressive squeals as if his life depends on every note.

I am going with the Ozzy Osbourne song ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ which was released on his 1991 No More Tears album.  It charted #46 in the UK and made it to #28 in the US and aside from ‘Close My Eyes Forever’, a duet he did with Lita Ford in 1989 which peaked at #8, and his 2019 Post Malone song ‘Take What You Want’ which also went to #8, this is Ozzy’s only US Top 40 hit.  The lyrics were written by Lemmy Kilmister from the group Motörhead and he helped Ozzy write many of the songs on the album.  The music was composed by Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde.  Ozzy sang vocals, Zakk Wylde played guitar, Bob Daisley played bass and Randy Castillo was on drums for this song.

In 1979, after a long run of increasingly erratic drink and drug fueled behavior, partying like a rock star, Ozzy Osbourne was finally sacked by Black Sabbath, because he wasn’t showing up at the studio.  This was more of a release for Osbourne, who felt that he wanted to go in a different musical direction anyway.  Sharon Arden the 17-year-old daughter of Black Sabbath’s promoter Don Arden became Ozzie’s manager after his departure and in 1982 she became Ozzy’s wife.  This song is about Ozzy’s wife, Sharon.  After they married, Sharon bought out Ozzy’s contract and became his manager.  She runs the Ozzfest.

Lemmy wrote this song about Ozzy getting back with Sharon after the end of each tour, as he would always tell her, “Mama, I’m coming home!”, because he was missing being at home with her and he wanted to return, despite what ever happened out there on the road.  Ozzy gave up drugs and alcohol before recording this and he credits Sharon for helping him make this lifestyle change, and he said that he would be dead if he did not become sober.  “Mama” is Ozzy’s pet name for his wife.  Lemmy wrote the words for this song in less than two hours one afternoon.

Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come, but I ain’t the same
Mama, I’m coming home
Times gone by seems to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I’m coming home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

You made me cry, you told me lies
But, I can’t stand to say goodbye
Mama, I’m coming home
I could be right, I could be wrong
It hurts so bad, it’s been so long
Mama, I’m coming home

Selfish love yeah we’re both alone
The ride before the fall yeah
But I’m gonna take this heart of stone
I just got to have it all

I’ve seen your face a hundred times
Everyday we’ve been apart
I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah

‘Cause mama, mama, I’m coming home
I’m coming home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

I’ve seen your face a thousand times
Every day we’ve been apart
And I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah

‘Cause mama, mama, I’m coming home
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
I’m coming home

Written for Love Is In Da Blog 2021 Great Love Stories Hadrian & Antinous love theme where we are asked to find a metal ballad about love and/or write a Rispetto poem about their love.


Warning: Don’t read this, unless you want a good laugh!

This is embarrassing, but I do want to talk about my sex life, because I know that something better is out there for me and I am hoping that this effort of talking about my sex life will improve things for me.  If I were going to rate my current sex life on a scale of 1 to 10 (where a 1 equals poor and 10 equals mind-blowing) by judging the frequency, intimacy, passion, overall satisfaction and freedom, I would give it a 2, because being without a partner limits the stuff that I can do, and that makes it rather boring.  I am stuck in a pattern right now and I would like to create a better sex life

Having solo sex can be a wonderful way to connect to your body, become more confident in your body, and experience pleasure, but I have been there and done that way too many times now.  It is quick and easy and masturbating helps me to sleep.  I don’t need to seduce myself by turning down the lights and lighting candles.  I get a firm hold on things and go for it.  I know what feels good, so I stick with that.  The intensity is not the same as in partnered sex, but it is always good to check to see if my parts are still working.  Consistency is the key to achieving an orgasm.

I have heard that anal play can stimulate your prostate, but that is not in my repertoire, unless I have a partner doing that.  I am not into toys and I don’t need to look at myself in the mirror and I am certainly not going to do this on cam.  Porn can help, but there are so many computer viruses out there that you really have to be careful.  For now, while we are still in this pandemic where I can’t meet anyone new, as long as this solo sex acts makes me feel good, I am going to keep on stroking.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #110 which asks, “How is your sex life?”

Reluctant to Embrace the Spotlight

Five years after the assassination of her husband President John F. Kennedy, American socialite, writer, and photographer 39-year-old Jacqueline Lee “Jackie” Bouvier Kennedy got married to the Greek shipping magnate multi-millionaire Aristotle Onassis who claimed to be 62.  They married on October 20, 1968 on Onassis’ private Greek island, Skorpios.  Onassis offered Mrs. Kennedy three million US dollars to replace her Kennedy trust fund, which she would lose because she was remarrying.  Jackie spent much of her adult life in the spotlight and many people were shocked when she got remarried, but to most Americans, this marriage symbolized a goodbye to an era and the end of Camelot.  Jackie still had a life to live being only 34 when she lost her husband and she had two young children, so it shouldn’t have come as a shock that she would eventually marry again.

There was a lot of speculation about what exactly drew the two together.  Some people thought that as she was a target for the paparazzi, she became attracted to his private security detail.  He owned a yacht and they could sail away together from all of her troubles and go to his private island, a place where she could be reclusive, which must have been incredibly appealing.  Some say that he had had his eye on her for a while, being one of the first visitors to the White House after the assassination.  People believed that Onassis was always looking for an angle with Jackie, and it wasn’t until after Robert Kennedy’s assassination that the window opened for him to put the moves on her.

Aristotle had a reputation as a womanizer and he reportedly had a relationship with Jackie’s younger sister, Lee Radziwill years earlier.  Jackie Kennedy first met him in 1958, when she and her husband boarded his yacht for a meeting with Winston Churchill.  They didn’t seem like two people who would date, much less wed, but the widow of JFK was the ultimate trophy wife.  Jackie was only married to Onassis for six and a half years when he died in 1975 from complications of myasthenia gravis, a debilitating neuromuscular disease and much of that time, they lived separate lives.  She became “Jackie O.”, a nickname that first appeared in the pages of TIME a few months after the wedding, and the public fascination with her life never faded.  In fact, as a symbol of grace in times of sadness, her personal struggles perhaps in the end made Americans love her even more.  Jackie’s beauty and style captivated the world and she died of cancer in 1994 at the age of 64.  Jackie kept the Onassis name for the rest of her life, and no one was surprised that after her 1994 death Jackie was buried next to JFK at Arlington National Cemetery.

Today is the Jackie Kennedy & Aristotle Onassis love theme on Love Is In Da Blog and we are asked to find a love song from 1968 and/or write a free verse poem about love.  I am going with a song that Janis Joplin sang with her group Big Brother and the Holding Company called ‘Piece of My Heart’, which was recorded in 1968 on their Cheep Thrills album.  The single reached #12 on the US charts, and this was her biggest chart success and best-known song until she died and then ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ went to #1 in 1971.  This fervent soul classic was first released by Erma Franklin, Aretha’s older sister.  The song that was written by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns is about a lovelorn woman who is so enraptured by her man that she’s willing to break off yet another piece of her heart if only he will take it.  It was Erma Franklin’s biggest hit and she went on to sing backup on some of Aretha’s songs.

Berns was a late starter in the music business, he had a hand in more than 50 hits in seven years, and succumbed to heart disease just as the careers of his last three protégés, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison and a studio guitarist named Jimmy Page, were getting underway.  Even in his heyday of the mid-1960s, Bert Berns was barely known beyond the obsessives who studied songwriters’ and producers’ credits on records.  After his death in 1967 at the age of 38, something truly odd happened, even though he wrote and produced songs like ‘Under the Boardwalk’ by The Drifters, ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Isley Brothers, ‘Cry To Me’ by Solomon Burke, ‘I Want Candy’ by Bow Wow Wow, ‘Here Comes The Night’ for Them, ‘Tell Him’ for the Exciters and ‘My Girl Sloopy’ recorded by the Vibrations which became ‘Hang On Sloopy’ by the McCoys.  All of these songs proved to be popular and have durability, but as the years passed, Berns’s own reputation receded even further into obscurity.

The story goes that Berns brought ‘Piece Of My Heart’ to Van Morrison when he was in Them and asked for his help to finish the song, but Van declined, so Berns took the song to Jerry Ragovoy, who came up with the immortal opening line and completed most of the verses to go with Berns’ lacerating chorus.  It is a shame that this man who should be a bedrock of modern music, and had his songs recorded by The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Isley Brothers, the Animals among many others is not in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, or in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Within months of Berns’s death from a heart attack, Janis Joplin had hits with two of his songs ‘Piece of My Heart’ and ‘Cry Baby’ and on both of these he collaborated with Jerry Ragovoy.  Janis Joplin sang ‘Piece of My Heart’ at Woodstock in 1969 as part of her encore.  Janis Joplin adopted ‘Piece of My Heart’ like it was her own off-spring, and this wounded heart-sick woman had only three years to live from the day of the song was released.

Jerry Ragovoy may never have achieved household name status, but he did write several hit songs and 1967 was a banner year for him and his song writing partner Bert Russell Berns.  They met each other because they both worked in the music industry.  When Ragovoy moved to New York City in 1962, they bumped into each other from time to time to get together and talk, have a drink, on a social basis, not a business one, as they became buddies.  Somehow, they started writing a few songs together and after working on this song called ‘Cry Baby’ for six months, Berns contacted Ragovoy to help out.  Jerry Ragovoy worked mainly with Berns until Bert Berns premature death in 1967, and Jerry died on July 13, 2011 at the age of 80 from complications due to a stroke.  Ragovoy’s solo smashes included ‘Time Is On My Side’ written under the pseudonym of Norman Meade which was a big hit for the Rolling Stones.  He also wrote ‘Get It While You Can’, ‘My Baby’, ‘Stay With Me’, and ‘Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)’ which were all covered by Janis, among others.  In 1969, Ragovoy founded a studio/production company in New York called The Tune Shop, which he sold in 1975.  He produced and arranged music for Bonnie Raitt and Dionne Warwick.

Oh, come on, come on, come on, come on

Didn’t I make you feel like you were the only man? Yeah
And didn’t I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can?
Honey, you know I did
And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I’ve had enough
But I’m gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough

I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby (whoa, break it)
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah (whoa, have a)
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
You know you got it if it makes you feel good
Oh, yes indeed

You’re out on the streets looking good
And baby, deep down in your heart, I guess you know that it ain’t right
Never, never, never, never, never, never hear me when I cry at night
Babe, and I cry all the time
But each time I tell myself that I, well I can’t stand the pain
But when you hold me in your arms, I’ll sing it once again

I said come on, come on, come on, come on and take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
Well, you know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good

I need you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby (whoa, break it)
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, c’mon now (whoa, have a)
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
You know you got it, whoa

Take it
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby (whoa, break it)
Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (whoa, have a)
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby, hey
You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good

Written for Love Is In Da Blog 2021 Great Love Stories Jackie Kennedy & Aristotle Onassis where today you can find a love song from 1968 and/or write a free verse poem about love.