I Am Not Here

I had to schedule this post in advance, since I can’t be here today because I am attending a funeral, but when I get back, I will read everyone’s post.  This is the first time that I had to schedule a post, so I hope that this works out for me, allowing me to keep Song Lyric Sunday going while I am away.  A duet is a musical composition for two performers in which the performers sing in unison and have equal importance to the piece.  Most people think of a duet as one part being a melody and a secondary part that harmonizes with that melody.  As long as there has been singing, there has probably been some kind of duet music.  The earliest vocal duets, as we think of them today, began with opera in the early 1600s.  Composers quickly discovered that vocal duets work best with some kind of high voice/low voice combination.  The most popular pairings are soprano and alto, soprano and tenor, and tenor with bass.

Last week we went with the abnormal prompt of Tom/Dick/Harry, and it produced some real great and surprising music.  This week we have Duet, so you should look for songs that are sung as duets.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, as you will probably find many enjoyable songs.  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, but most important, make sure that you have fun.  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 fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the Elton John & Kiki Dee duet song ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ this week.  Next week I will be writing about the song ‘Help on The Way’ by the Grateful Dead.  The upcoming prompts will be:
February 2, 2020 – Babe/Cutie/Doll/Honey/Sweetie
February 9, 2020 – I/Me/Them/Us/You/We
February 16, 2020 – Come/Go/Leave/Stay
February 23, 2020 – Ankles/Hands/Feet/Fingers/Toes/Wrists

Sixteen Parkside Lane

‘Taxi’ was written and performed by Harry Chapin and released on his 1972 album Heads & Tales.  The song peaked at #24 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and it went to #20 on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100 chart.  This was Chapin’s first single.  Harry had a taxi driver license in New York City and worked as a driver for 6 months in Long Beach, New York. Harry Chapin literally puts the listener inside of this taxi cab and lets them experience music that involves much more than just hearing somebody sing about being lonely.

Harry is a cab driver, working on a rainy night in San Francisco.  He picks up a woman wearing an expensive gown, his last fare for the night, and she asks to be taken to her home.  Harry feels like he knows this woman, but she seems not to recognize him until after she looks at him in the rear-view mirror and glances at his hack license.  She turns out to be his old flame Sue, someone Harry knew from his youth.  Harry has a flashback, remembering how he “used to take her home in [his] car” and also how they “learned about love in the back of a Dodge”, then he adds, “The lesson hadn’t gone too far.”  Sue had desires to be an actress, while Harry was going to learn to fly (hinting at Chapin’s earlier real-life experience at the United States Air Force Academy).  Their relationship ended when Sue “took off to find the footlights” and Harry “took off to find the sky.”

Harry arrives at Sue’s home where she offers to get together with him sometime, but Harry seems to know that is never going to happen.  Sue pays him a $20 bill for “a $2.50 fare” and says, “Harry, keep the change.”  Harry has mixed feelings about this gesture, but he “stashed the bill in [his] shirt.”  As Sue walks into her home, Harry finally realizes that they both got what they wished for, “such a long, long time ago”.  Sue is now happy acting out her life in a loveless marriage, while Harry is “flying” by driving a taxi and “getting stoned.”  Sue was a real person in this song and eight years later, Chapin followed this up with another hit, appropriately titled ‘Sequel’, which continued the chronicles of the former lovers Harry and Sue.

‘Taxi’ and his other very long song ‘The Cat’s in the Cradle’ were out of step with the fashion of the times, but they both received praise from many critics.  Driving eventually cost Harry his life, when he was in his Volkswagen Rabbit, which he was operating illegally, it was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer on the Long Island Expressway and Harry Chapin died in this traffic collision on Interstate 495, in NY on July 16, 1981.  Sadly, Harry Chapin has not made it into the Songwriters Hall of Fame yet.

It was raining hard in ‘Frisco
I needed one more fare to make my night
A lady up ahead waved to flag me down
She got in at the light
Oh, where you going to, my lady blue
It’s a shame you ruined your gown in the rain
She just looked out the window, she said
“Sixteen Parkside Lane”
Something about her was familiar
I could swear I’d seen her face before
But she said, “I’m sure you’re mistaken”
And she didn’t say anything more
It took a while, but she looked in the mirror
And she glanced at the license for my name
A smile seemed to come to her slowly
It was a sad smile, just the same
And she said, “How are you Harry?”
I said, “How are you Sue?
Through the too many miles
And the too little smiles
I still remember you”
It was somewhere in a fairy tale
I used to take her home in my car
We learned about love in the back of the Dodge
The lesson hadn’t gone too far
You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
And I took off to find the sky
Whoa, I’ve got something inside me
To drive a princess blind
There’s a wild man, wizard
He’s hiding in me, illuminating my mind
Oh, I’ve got something inside me
Not what my life’s about
‘Cause I’ve been letting my outside tide me
Over ‘till my time, runs out
Baby’s so high that she’s skying
Yes she’s flying, afraid to fall
I’ll tell you why baby’s crying
‘Cause she’s dying, aren’t we all
There was not much more for us to talk about
Whatever we had once was gone
So I turned my cab into the driveway
Past the gate and the fine trimmed lawns
And she said we must get together
But I knew it’d never be arranged
And she handed me twenty dollars
For a two fifty fare, she said
“Harry, keep the change”
Well, another man might have been angry
And another man might have been hurt
But another man never would have let her go
I stashed the bill in my shirt
And she walked away in silence
It’s strange, how you never know
But we’d both gotten what we’d asked for
Such a long, long time ago
You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
I took off for the sky
And here, she’s acting happy
Inside her handsome home
And me, I’m flying in my taxi
Taking tips, and getting stoned
I go flying so high, when I’m stoned

Written for Song Lyric Sunday theme Tom/Dick/Harry,

Three Amigos

Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), Lucky Day (Steve Martin) and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) went into a bar where they met a Rabi, a Priest and a Kung Fu master, sorry that is all I got. Wait this is better, the White House removed the core of its Ukraine policy team in the spring and replaced it with the three amigos, Gordon Sondland, Kurt Volker and Rick Perry, because they were considered more reliable for the plan to pressure Kyiv into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden. So, the three amigos walked into a bar and they were hoping to spy on Hunter Biden, but in comes Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani and he said, “Don’t worry as Trump will be loyal to all of us”, just as peeping Tom, Dick Cheney and Prince Harry arrived.

My cousin was born as Richard, but everybody called him Dick.  Last week we went with the fairly normal prompt of Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top, but this week we have something much more different.  Look for songs that are written or sung by someone named Tom/Dick/Harry or a song that includes one of these names in the lyrics.  We are all here to have some more fun and listen to some enjoyable music.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, as you will probably find many enjoyable songs.  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, but most important, make sure that you have fun.  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 fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the Harry Chapin song ‘Taxi’ this week.  Next week I will be writing about the duet ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ by Elton John & Kiki Dee.  The upcoming prompts will be:
January 26, 2020 – Duets
February 2, 2020 – Babe/Cutie/Doll/Honey/Sweetie
February 9, 2020 – I/Me/Them/Us/You/We
February 16, 2020 – Come/Go/Leave/Stay

Started Out with Nothing

Keyboardist Joe Egan and guitarist Gerry Rafferty were a duo of Scottish musicians known as Stealers Wheel and ‘Stuck in The Middle’ was recorded on their 1972 album Stealers Wheel and this song was produced by legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  Besides lead singers Egan and Rafferty, the other members were guitarist Paul Pilnick, bassist Tony Williams, and drummer Rod Coombes.  The pop, bubble-gum song sounds a lot like something that Dylan would write or sing and it charted #8 in the UK and went to #6 in the US.  The Scottish folk rock/rock band formed in 1972 in Paisley, Scotland, by former school friends Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty, they broke up in 1975 after going through frequent changes in the line-up, and re-formed briefly in 2008.  In 1992, Quentin Tarantino used the track ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ for his Reservoir Dogs movie, which brought new attention to the band.

Rafferty said this song was composed as a joke and written as a parody of Bob Dylan’s paranoia, and it ridiculed a music industry cocktail party.  The song refers to the people in the record business management and executives of record labels, who are the clowns and jokers.  When Stealers Wheel was signed to their label, they attended a signing party at a fancy London restaurant.  Rafferty described the scene as being similar to “the Last Supper”, because everyone was sitting around a long table.  The song is about the weasels in the record industry, the guys in the band getting drunk, and trying to get out of the entire thing, which they detested.  It is about a guy that gets invited to a fancy dinner party thrown by bigwigs in suits, snobs and assorted other elites, and in the beginning he feels awkward and he is terrified of making a bad impression, but after he spends time with them, he realizes that they are just a bunch of assholes.

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do,
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please, please
Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please, please
Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you, here I am stuck in the middle with you

Written for Song Lyric Sunday Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top.

Football Terms

It is always better to be on the top of a pile than to end up at the bottom of a massive pile.  The word pile in football describes the action of one or more players jumping on top of a player or group of players after a tackle has been made.  The End is a player who lines up at either end of the line, and Defense has ends as well as an Offense does.  A legal offensive formation must always consist of seven players, usually a Center, two Guards, two Tackles and two Ends.  Lining up as an end constitutes that the player is an eligible receiver, but this is also a Beatles song.  An end is the only lineman who aside from blocking can run or catch passes.  An end who lines up close to the other linemen is known as a tight end and one who lines up some distance from the offensive line is known as a split end.  A woman may look at a guy’s butt and say that he has a tight end and she could also have hair that has become dry, brittle, and frayed, giving her split ends.  The sidelines are the white colored lines which mark the outer boundaries of a football field, running parallel to each other and perpendicular to the yardage lines and to the goal lines.  The middle linebacker is positioned at the very center of the defense.  He is often the leader of the defense calling out the defensive play.  His main job is to cover the middle of the field.

I feel relatively confident that everyone will be able to find a song for Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top being used as this week’s prompt.  We are all here to have some more fun and listen to some enjoyable music.  Last week we had the prompt La and there were some great songs contributed.  I asked Fandango if he listened to some of the songs that were submitted and he said that he had heard enough La songs to last him the rest of his life.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, as you will probably find many enjoyable songs.  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, but most important, make sure that you have fun.  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 fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the Stealers Wheel song ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’ this week.  Next week I will be writing about the song ‘Taxi’ by Harry Chapin.  The upcoming prompts will be:
January 19, 2020 – Written or sung by Tom/Dick/Harry or including one of these names in the lyrics
January 26, 2020 – Duets
February 2, 2020 – Babe/Cutie/Doll/Honey/Sweetie
February 9, 2020 – I/Me/Them/Us/You/We

Let Me Hear the Song

I love the “La, la, la’s” on the Van Morrison song ‘Caravan’, which was released on his third studio album Moondance from 1970.  Moondance peaked at #29 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart and the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.  ‘Caravan’ includes images and impressions from different parts of Morrison’s life, including his observations of gypsy life.  On another song from this album ‘Into The Mystic’ Van Morrison sings, “I want to rock your gypsy soul” and he also recorded ‘Gypsy Queen’ and ‘Gypsy’.  After Van Morrison left Them, where he had hits with ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes the Night’, Jackie and Pat McAuley recorded an album titled Belfast Gypsies.  Bob Dylan wrote a song ‘Went to See the Gypsy’ on his New Morning album and many people feel that he was inspired by Van Morrison.  ‘Caravan’ is about merry gypsies and campfires and turning up your radio to enjoy the music better.  Van Morrison is from Ireland, a Belfast-native, and there gypsies are known as travelers.

Van Morrison spent 1970 and 1971 in Woodstock, New York, and he met The Band when he was in LA in 1970, where he ran into his Woodstock neighbor, Robbie Robertson.  Van was invited to play with The Band on their fourth album, the critically reviled CAHOOTS.  The line “turn up your radio” from ‘Caravan’ was inspired from the time he spent in Woodstock with his then-wife, Janet Planet where the nearest house was far down the road, and after that they moved to a hilltop home in Fairfax, California.  Janet Planet seems to have believed in fortune telling which was popular with gypsies, as she wanted to leave Van because their babysitter had gone to a fortune teller who had a vision that astronauts had seen a piece of California break off into the ocean and then Janet had a dream that the Big One was going to hit their house in Marin County.

His reference to the radio becomes a symbol of simple contentment, joy, and pure hope, or it can be a clenched-fist triumph, producing heavenly cheerful sounds.  Morrison believes that radio can open a door to understanding others, and that it is even capable of bringing people closer together through the universal language of music, and that sentiment is what makes this song infectious.  This song mentions a caravan that is filled with his friends, and they stay with him till the end.  Gypsies have seemingly carefree attitudes which seems strange to most people and the word “Gypsy” is actually derived from the word “Egyptian”, based on the assumption that these travelling people came from the Middle East.

Gypsies first appeared in Europe in the fifteenth century with the collapse of feudalism, and during this time many people in Europe took to the road, banding together for a number of mobile occupations and they traveled in caravans.  Life has not been easy for gypsies, as in the British Isles up to 1793 you could be hanged just for being a Gypsy.  The Nazis eliminated a quarter of a million Gypsies in concentration camps because they were seen as a ’foreign element’.  Even today in communist states travelling gypsies are banned and their wagons may be seized and destroyed.  It is certainly not the happy life that Van Morrison sings about moving from the gypsy campfire to his lover and back again.

“Emma Rose” is a very popular first-middle-name in Ireland and it means Beautiful.  Van Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic ‘Gloria’.  His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ in 1967.  It is thought that Van wrote ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ about Janet Planet who was a very attractive brown-eyed girl.  Nick Hornsby has requested that ‘Caravan’ should be played at his funeral.  Van Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Yeah the caravan is on its way
I can hear the merry gypsies play
Mama mama look at Emma Rose
She’s a-playin with the radio
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
Yeah the caravan has all my friends
Yeah they’ll stay with me until the end
Gypsy Robin, Sweet Emma Rose
Tell me everything I need to know
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
Turn up your radio
And let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light
Then we can get down to what is really wrong
I long to hold you tight so I can feel you
Sweet lady of the night I shall reveal you
Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher radio
Turn it up, turn it up, so you know, radio
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
Yeah the caravan is painted red and white
That means everybody’s staying overnight
Yeah, a barefoot gypsy player round the campfire sing and play
And a woman tells us of her ways
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
Turn up your radio and let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light
Then we can get down to what is really wrong
I long just to hold you tight so maybe I can feel you
Sweet lady of the night I shall reveal you
Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know it’s got soul
Radio, radio turn it up, hum
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Written for Song Lyric Sunday La a Note to Follow So.

La a Note to Follow So

Why do I like saying the word lasagna and why on Earth do I know that Garfield likes eating lasagna because he thinks that the wavy edges of the noodles resemble a woman’s labia?  I had lasagna for dinner last night, but you don’t need to know that, because this post is not about Italian food.  If anything, this post is more about the French, like in their saying, “Ooh la, la” or possibly “ô là! Là”, which is said when you think that something or someone is surprising, unusual, or sexually attractive and this is often said in a humorous manner.  La is part of à la carte, which is a place that serves food which can be ordered as separate items, rather than being part of a set meal.  In the movie Sound of Music, Maria is improvising on the spot to teach the children the names of the musical notes and she sings, “La a note to follow so” and the song ‘Do-Re-Mi’ comes from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.  The children learn solfège (study of singing and musicianship as each note of the music scale is associated with a particular syllable) and these notes are linked with homophones.

I am sure that it will be easy to find a song for La being used as this week’s prompt.  Think about the musical note, not the abbreviation for Los Angeles.  We are all here to have some more fun and listen to some enjoyable music.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, as you will probably find many enjoyable songs. 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, but most important, make sure that you have fun.  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 fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the Van Morrison song ‘Caravan’ this week. Next week I will be writing about the song ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’ by Stealers Wheel.  The upcoming prompts will be:
January 12, 2020 – Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top
January 19, 2020 – Written or sung by Tom/Dick/Harry or including one of these names in the lyrics
January 26, 2020 – Duets
February 2, 2020 – Babe/Cutie/Doll/Honey/Sweetie