Under My Umbrella

‘Bus Stop’ is a 1966 song recorded and released as a single by the Hollies.  It reached #5 in the UK Singles Chart and it was their first top ten hit in the US, also reaching #5 on the Billboard charts.  The song was written by Graham Gouldman who had his first hit a year earlier with ‘For Your Love’ by the Yardbirds, went on to be a member of 10cc and he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014.  This song is about a couple who meet one rainy day at a bus stop.  The guy asks her to get under his umbrella with him and love blooms as time passes by, while they are flirting with each other sharing his umbrella.

Gouldman said that he got the idea for this song while he was riding home from work on the No. 95 bus, which ran from East Didsbury – the route went through Manchester city canter, to Sedgeley Park, Cheetham Hill, Prestwich, and on to Whitefield near Bury.  Gouldman was living with his family on this route in Broughton Park Salford at the time and he gave credit to his father playwright Hyme Gouldman for coming up with the opening lines.  After getting “Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say, ‘please share my umbrella’,” from his dad, Graham was able to complete the rest of the song in his bedroom, saying that he heard the melody in his head, and because he had this nice riff, the song just kind of wrote itself.  The middle-eight was finished while riding to work on the bus the next day.  Gouldman signed an agreement with the English talent manager Harvey Lisberg, and while working by day in a men’s outfitters shop called Bargains Unlimited near Salford Docks in Manchester, and playing by night with his semi-professional band High Society, he wrote a string of hit songs, many of them became million sellers.

Herman’s Hermits became a nostalgic relic of the British Invasion, yet 50 years ago, they were outselling the Beatles in the States.  The Manchester act sold more than 80 million records. They made a squeaky-clean, music that was safe for the whole family.  They starred in a handful of Hollywood films and they even had action figures.  Herman’s Hermits recorded ‘Bus Stop’ in 1966, before the Hollies took their turn at it.  They got first crack at many of Gouldman’s songs because their manager was married to his sister.  Both Jimmy Page and his future Led Zep bassist, John Paul Jones, were studio players on many of Herman’s Hermits hits and their lead singer Peter Noone credited John Paul Jones for making their version sound so good.

Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say
“Please, share my umbrella”
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella

All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella, we employed it
By August she was mine

Every mornin’ I would see her waiting at the stop
Sometimes she’d shopped and she would show me what she bought
All the people stared as if we were both quite insane
Someday my name and hers are going to be the same

That’s the way the whole thing started
Silly but it’s true
Thinkin’ of a sweet romance
Beginning in a queue

Came the sun, the ice was melting
No more sheltering now
Nice to think that that umbrella
Led me to a vow

Every mornin’ I would see her waiting at the stop
Sometimes she’d shopped and she would show me what she bought
All the people stared as if we were both quite insane
Someday my name and hers are going to be the same

Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say
“Please, share my umbrella”
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella

All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella, we employed it
By August she was mine

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 91 where this week’s theme is “umbrella” from the song ‘Umbrella’ that Train covered which was written by Barbadian singer Rihanna in 2007.

Lost in the Dark and Snow

‘Till The Morning Comes’ is a song that was written and performed by the Grateful Dead, although Neil Young has a song with the same title.  This song was on the 1970 album American Beauty and it has lyrics by Robert Hunter and the music is by Jerry Garcia.  The song is a showcases of the Grateful Dead’s newly found strength as harmony vocalists, but it was only performed a few times in concert in the last few months of 1970, probably because of the difficulty in replicating the three-part harmonies between Phil, Jerry, and Bob all singing together.  Lyrically, it’s one of the band’s most obvious love songs, as it expresses the feeling of commitment in a life-affirming romance where a couple spends the night together.  It is one of the band’s most joyous recordings, but some people think the lyrics are sexist, saying that the guy only wants to spend the night with this chick and then the next day he is going to dump her.

At least it is romantic for one night, and I think that it could represent a lot more.  He encourages this girl to be with him and then when the morning comes, she can make up her mind if she wants to stay with him or not evidenced by these lyrics, “Leaving no doubt, Of the way on in or the way back out”, so if the loving she got was good she would be on her way into his heart, and if not then she could choose to back out.  He lets her know that he will watch out for her and protect her, because he considers her to be his woman and he just wants her to feel at ease around him.  He asks her not to think about her past and that she can let her tracks be lost in the dark and snow.  He wants this to be a magical night for both of them and he hopes that sparks are going to fly and things are going to happen as shadows grow, the cold winds blows, their relationship takes shape and then she must make up her mind and he hopes that she will choose him.

Till the morning comes
It’ll do you fine
Till the morning comes
Like a highway sign
Showing you the way
Leaving no doubt
Of the way on in or the way back out

Chorus
Tell you what I’ll do
I’ll watch out for you
You’re my woman now
Make yourself easy
Make yourself easy
Make yourself easy

Till we all fall down
It’ll do you fine
Don’t think about
What you left behind
The way you came
Or the way you go
Let your tracks be lost in the dark and snow

[chorus]

When the shadows grow
It’ll do you fine
When the cold winds blow
It’ll ease your mind
The shape it takes
Could be yours to choose
What you may win, what you may lose

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 90 where this week’s theme is “snow” from the delightful 1970 Anne Murray song ‘Snowbird’ which was written by Gene MacLellan.

Like a Hell-Broth Boil and Bubble

‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ has some interesting stories associated with it and it debuted in the Broadway musical The Passing Show of 1918 and it was introduced by Helen Carrington.  The music was written by John William Kellette, but the lyrics were a collaboration between James Kendis, James Brockman and Nat Vincent who all had all had separate contracts with different publishers, which led them to creating the collective pseudonym of Jaan Kenbrovin as the credit for this song.  It debuted in 1918 and it was published in 1919 and the original lyrics used a first verse which seems to have disappeared over time.  The very first recording of this was done by the star tenor duo Albert C Campbell and Henry Burr of the second decade of the twentieth century.  The sheet music for this song has been preserved in the National Museum of American History along with an illustration of American silent film actress June Caprice who is surrounded by floating soap bubbles.  There are a lot of good versions of this song, as it was recorded by Vera Lynn, Dean Martin, Chet Atkins, Mildred Bailey, Doris Day, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Johnny Nash and others.

This song became associated with the English West Ham football club which now plays at London Stadium and the fans often sing this song.  One story says that a young player called William Murray, who played for Park School in east London and West Ham’s school boys’ team, was nicknamed ‘Bubbles’ by the headmaster, Cornelius Beal due to his similarity in appearance to the boy in the 1886 painting called ‘Bubbles’ by Sir John Everett Millais, which became famous due to its use in a poster to advertise Pears’ soap.  West Ham fans turned out in big numbers to watch the team, and they would sing this song when the team played well.  Eventually the house band started playing the tune before kick-off and during half-time, encouraging fans to sing along with it.   They started using bubble machines to create the tens of thousands of bubbles for each home game.

Baseball was different back in 1919 when the Chicago White Sox deliberately threw the World Series on the promise of a big payoff from gamblers.   When the Chicago Tribune sportswriter Ring Lardner realized that Baseball had lost its innocence, after news of the 1919 Black Sox scandal came out, when they deliberately lost to the Cincinnati Reds, his love for the game was gone and he was finished with baseball.  John Sayles wrote and directed the 1988 film Eight Men Out, and in it there is a parody of this song with these lyrics, “I’m forever blowing ballgames, pretty ballgames in the air. I come from Chi, I hardly try, just go to bat and fade and die. Fortune’s coming my way, that’s why I don’t care. I’m forever blowing ballgames, and the gamblers treat us fair.

The tune was a major hit in the United States, before it crossed the Atlantic and became a hit with the public in British music halls and theatres during the early 1920s.  The variety artist Dorothy Ward whose specialty was pantomime was especially renowned for making the song famous.  The song was also used by English comedian “Professor” Jimmy Edwards as his signature tune which he played on the trombone.  Harpo Marx would play the song on clarinet, which would then begin emitting bubbles, but in the video that I have here is with Milton Berle singing and Harpo is playing the clarinet.

The melody is frequently quoted in animated cartoon sound tracks when bubbles are visible.  The first line of the chorus is quoted in the 1920s song ‘Singing in the Bathtub’, which became popular when it was done by Tweety Bird.

‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” is featured extensively in the 1930 prohibition gangster movie The Public Enemy that starred James Cagney.  This song was used on the end credits of a Sopranos episode when Tony is watching Public Enemy on TV.  The ‘Public Enemy’ version contained that first verse of:
“I’m dreaming dreams, I’m scheming schemes
I’m building castles high
They’re born anew, their days are few
Just like a sweet butterfly
And as the daylight is dawning
They come again in the morning”.

The song is also sung in the 1951 movie On Moonlight Bay starring Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, which was a prequel to the 1953 film By the light of the silvery moon.

This song became a morale-boosting song that was sung by the poor British souls that had to take shelter in underground stations during air raids of World War II, when Hitler was dropping bombs.   A parody of the song was written and performed as “I’m Forever Blowing Bubble-Gum” by Spike Jones and his City Slickers.  In Ken Russell’s 1969 film Women in Love the song is featured in an unusual scene where two sisters, played by Glenda Jackson and Jennie Linden, wander away from a large picnic gathering and are confronted by a herd of cattle.  In 1970, The Bonzo Dog Band’s stage show featured a robot that sang the title while blowing bubbles.  A solo guitar rendition is periodically featured within the action of Woody Allen’s 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown.  Director Brad Mays paid homage to that scene in his 2008 film The Watermelon, in which actress Kiersten Morgan sings the song while dancing on a Malibu beach.

During his year as Imperial Potentate in 1919-1920, Freeland Kendrick visited every Shriners temple in the United States.  At the Imperial Session of 1920, held in Portland, Ore., Kendrick proposed that the Shriners build a hospital for children.  Conservative Shriners had their doubts, both about the two-dollar yearly assessment from each Shriner, and what it would mean to assume this kind of responsibility.  The prospects of the plan being approved were fading when Noble Forrest Adair rose to speak to the Yaarab Shriners, in Atlanta.  He said, “I was lying in bed yesterday morning, about four o’clock, and some poor fellow who had strayed from the rest of the band stood down there under the window for 25 minutes playing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.”  Adair wondered if there might be a deep significance in the tune that was being played for the Shriners.

I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams they fade and die.
Fortune’s always hiding,
I’ve looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

I’m dreaming dreams, I’m scheming schemes,
I’m building castles high.
They’re born anew, their days are few,
Just like a sweet butterfly.
And as the daylight is dawning,
They come again in the morning!

I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams they fade and die.
Fortune’s always hiding,
I’ve looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

When shadows creep, when I’m asleep,
To lands of hope I stray!
Then at daybreak, when I awake,
My bluebird flutters away.
Happiness, you seem so near me,
Happiness, come forth and cheer me!

I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams they fade and die.
Fortune’s always hiding,
I’ve looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 89 where this week’s theme is “bubbles” and I am thinking that Paula has a bottle of champagne in her refrigerator that she is going to pop open tonight to ring in the New year, while she listens to ‘Tiny Bubbles’ which was written by Leon Pober and recorded, released and performed by Don Hồ in 1966.  That is an extremely odd-looking letter ồ having the grave mark above the circumflex, but Don Hồ was Vietnamese and they have some strange looking letters in their alphabet.  I actually prefer the Connie Francis or Ray Conniff versions of this song.

My Breakfast in Bed

In March of 1964, the family musical R&B group from Cleveland, Ohio the Valentinos, recorded the defiant breakup single ‘It’s All Over Now’ which was written by Bobby Womack and his sister-in-law Shirley Jean Womack.  The Valentinos version entered the Billboard Hot 100 on June 27, 1964, staying on the chart for two weeks, peaking at #94.  Disc jockey “Murray the K” suggested to The Rolling Stones that they should cover this song and 3 weeks later The Rolling Stones had their first #1 hit in the UK with this in July 1964 and it peaked at #26 in the US.  Bobby Womack was not very happy with what the Stones did to his song, but he cashed all of his royalty checks, and 20 years later, he was a guest musician on their Dirty Work album.

Besides The Rolling Stones covering his songs, the American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Bobby Womack had his songs covered by and the J. Geils Band who did ‘Lookin’ for a Love’, Janis Joplin covered ‘Trust Me’, and George Benson covered ‘Breezin’’.  Womack worked in the studio with Janis on her last album, Pearl, and they became close, and apparently his car inspired Joplin to write ‘Mercedes Benz’.  Womack’s grew up in Cleveland and his soulful compositions and accomplished musicianship made him one of the most highly regarded rhythm-and-blues (R&B) performers of the late 20th century.  Womack had five brothers; he was the third of 5 sons and he had to share a bed with his brothers, Friendly Jr., Curtis, Harry and Cecil.  When they were children, their father, a steelworker and amateur singer, organized them into a gospel vocal group called the Womack Brothers.  Womack was 10 years old when he started making records with his family. He has been an active recording artist since the early 1960s where he started his career as the lead singer of his The Valentinos and as Sam Cooke’s backing guitarist.

Shortly after Cooke was shot and killed in Los Angeles in 1964, Womack married his widow, Barbara, but they divorced in 1970.  Barbara ended their marriage abruptly when she found Bobby in bed with her teenage daughter (his stepdaughter) Linda.  Barbara shot him with a .32, grazing his temple; he ran out of the house and later Linda later married Bobby’s younger brother Cecil, and they formed the successful R&B duo Womack & Womack.  Womack’s career has spanned more than 50 years and has spanned a repertoire in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country.  Legendary soul singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and he died on June 27, 2014, at the age of 70.

Well baby used to stay out all night long
She made me cry, she done me wrong
Hurt, my eyes open, baby that’s no lie
Tables turning now, it’s her turn to cry

Chorus
Because I used to love her
But it’s all over now
Yes I used to love her
But it’s all over now

Well I used to wake in the morning get my breakfast in bed
When I got worried she would ease my aching head
Well now she’s here and there with every man in town
Still trying to take me for that same old clown

[chorus]

Well she used to run around with every man in town
Spending all my money playin’ her high fast games
Put me out, it was a pity how I cried
Tables turning now, it’s her turn to cry

[chorus]

Well baby used to stay out all night long
She made me cry, she done me wrong
Hurt, my eyes open, baby that’s no lie
Tables turning now, it’s her turn to cry

[chorus]

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 88 where this week’s theme is breakfast from the 1995 Deep Blue Something song ‘Breakfast A Tiffany’s’.

When I Call on You

Dee Clark was an American soul singer best known for a string of R&B and pop hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and of course his successful ballad ‘Raindrops’, which became a million-seller in the United States in 1961.  Dee was born Delectus Clark or Delecta Clark, Jr. in Blytheville, Arkansas in 1938 and he moved to Chicago in 1941.  His mother was a gospel singer and she encouraged her son to pursue his love of music.  He is seldom mentioned today, because he is largely unknown among contemporary audiences, but he had his own special brand of soul that exuded his charm, passionate delivery, musical feeling, sentimental mood and R&B innovation.  Clark had a full, resonant voice and he truly enjoyed singing.  His abilities went far beyond the moderate pop success which he enjoyed in the early rock and roll years.

Clark made his first recording at the age of 13, in 1952 as a member of the Hambone Kids, who scored an R&B hit with the song ‘Hambone’.  Hambone featured a “juba” beat, which has become better known as the “Bo Diddley Beat”.  In 1953, he joined an R&B group called the Goldentones, who later became the Kool Gents and were discovered by Chicago radio DJ Herb Kent upon winning a talent competition.  Teddy Long who was a baritone, tenor doo wop singer and songwriter in the groups: The Delegates, The El Dorados, The Kool Gents probably wrote this song.  Kent got the Kool Gents signed to Vee-Jay record label, subsidiary Falcon/Abner and in 1956 they recorded the song ‘When I Call On You’.  Ewart Abner decided that Dee Clark would make a fine soloist and Dee Clark recorded this song in 1958.

Dee Clark struggled to forge his own form, mimicking Clyde McPhatter’s style and copying Little Richard.  When Little Richard abruptly quit performing to enter Bible college, his booking agent hired Clark to fulfill his remaining live dates, thus he spent five months on the road with Richard’s backing band the Upsetters.  Inspired by the inclement weather that plagued a road trip back from New York City, ‘Raindrops’ was both Clark’s biggest hit and his creative apex, a vividly cinematic virtuoso performance that reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart, its sophisticated sound anticipated the R&B genre’s coming evolution into soul.  Clark suffered a massive heart attack that ended his life on December 7, 1990 at the age of only 52.

When the stars shine at night
I see your face in their twinkling light
I hear your voice like the breeze in the trees
That’s when I call on you
And when the moon fades away out of sight
And the breeze seems to whisper to me
That you are my only light
That’s when I call on you
That’s when I call on you
That’s when I call on you
When I wondering if you’re thinking of me too
That when I call on you

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 87 where this week’s theme is call from the 1980 Blondie song ‘Call Me’.

Witness Box Began to Rock

Paula is looking to rock today for Thursday Inspiration, so I am going to write about the Grateful Dead song ‘Alabama Getaway’, which was often played as an opener to get the fans moving.  This Hunter Garcia song came out on their 1980 eleventh studio Go To Heaven album, the first one with their mew keyboard player Brent Mydland.  The Neil Young song ‘Alabama’ is about the state which is also called the “Heart of Dixie” and the “Cotton State” and in that he has these condescending lyrics “you’ve got the rest of the Union to help you along”, meaning that the other states are seeing progress on racial issues, but Alabama, with its crooked governor, is still resistant.  Young’s song provoked Lynyrd Skynrd into writing their comeback song ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.  The Grateful Dead have a similar line in this song, “forty-nine sister states all had Alabama in their eyes”, and I think that this may have something to do with the Scottsboro Trials, which were among the most infamous episodes of legal injustice in the Jim Crow South.  This case later served as one of the inspirations for Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

Donna Jean Godchaux who just left the band was from Alabama and she still resides in Killen, Alabama, but I don’t think this song has anything to do with her.  Apparently besides being a State, Alabama is a person’s name and, in this song, he must have pissed somebody off.  A normal adult mouth has 32 teeth, but people can lose their teeth if they get punched in the mouth.  The guy doesn’t really want to hit Alabama, as he would prefer that Alabama run away.  He is most likely jealous of Alabama because he is getting all of the girls, as the diamond ring he wears makes him a chick magnet.

majordomo is a person who speaks, makes arrangements, or takes charge for another and this term is mostly associated with a head steward of a large household maybe even a palace.  The 1968 Jerry Jeff Walker song ‘Mr. Bo Jangles (Bojangles)’ enters this story and sits down to have a drink with this guy and they talk about Alabama.  The major thinks that given enough rope, that Alabama will end up hanging himself, but the other guy goes all religious and mentions the Twenty third psalm feeling that they should be the protectors or caretakers of Alabama and try to get along with each other.  The video below features Bob Dylan playing with the Grateful Dead.

Thirty-two teeth in a jawbone
Alabama’s tryin’ for none
Before I have to hit him
I hope he’s got the sense to run

Reason the poor girls love him
Promise them everything
Why they all believe him?
He wears a big diamond ring

Chorus
Alabama getaway, get away
Alabama getaway, get away
Only way to please me
Just get down and leave and walk away

Majordomo Billy Bojangles
Sat down and had a drink with me
Said what about Alabama
That keeps a-coming back to me?

I heard your plea in the court house
Witness box began to rock and rise
Forty nine sister states
Had Alabama in their eyes

[chorus]

Major said why don’t we give him
Rope enough to hang himself?
No need to worry the jury
They’ll probably take care of themselves

Twenty third psalm Majordomo
Reserve me a table for three
Down in the valley of the shadow
Just you, Alabama and me

[chorus]

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 86 where this week’s theme is rock from the 1983 release of the Def Leppard song ‘Rock of Ages’.

My School Gal Baby

Johnny Burnette and his brother Dorsey were American singers and songwriters of rockabilly and pop music and in 1958 they wanted to meet teen idol Ricky Nelson so the bought “A Map to the Stars”, which showed the location of his home.  The Burnette brothers sat on Nelson’s home steps and waited to get a meeting with him when they met Rick’s brother, David.  David decided the Burnettes were the real thing, so they all waited for Rick to come home.  Their persistence paid off and their work impressed Nelson who recorded ‘Waitin’ in School’ as a single, the B side to ‘Stood Up’ which peaked at #18 in the U.S Billboard Hot 100.

The Yardbirds picked up on the fuzztone effect from the Burnette brothers and used it in the song ‘The Train Kept a-Rollin’’, that Tiny Bradshaw wrote.  Johnny Burnette tackled this song, upping the energy, and featuring lead guitarist Paul Burlison playing what some historians consider to be the first feedback/distortion guitar sound.  This would become the blueprint for every subsequent version.  Johnny Burnette drowned in a tragic boating accident in California on August 14, 1964.  Dorsey Burnette died of a massive heart attack in 1979.

Waitin’ in School
I been a-waitin’ in school all day long
A-waitin’ on the bell to ring so I can go home
Throw my books on the table, pick up the telephone
“Hello, baby, let’s get somethin’ goin’”
Headin’ down to the drugstore to get a soda pop
Throw a nickel in the jukebox, then we start to rock
My school gal baby, gonna tell ya some news
You sure look good in them baby-doll shoes
Well, it’s a-one, two, a-pull off my shoes
Three, four, get out on the floor
Five, six, come get your kicks
Down on the corner of Lincoln and a-forty-six
Yeah!

[instrumental break]

I’ve been a-waitin’ in school all day long
A-waitin’ on the bell to ring so I could go home
Throw my books on the table, pick up the telephone
“Hello, baby, let’s get somethin’ goin’”
Headin’ down to the drugstore to get a soda pop
Throw a nickel in the jukebox, then we start to rock
My school gal baby, gonna tell ya some news
You sure look good in them baby-doll shoes
Well, it’s a-one, two, a-pull off my shoes
Three, four, get out on the floor
Five, six, come get your kicks
Down on the corner of Lincoln and a-forty-six
Yeah!
Well, let’s go now!!
Well, it’s a-one, two, a-pull off my shoes
Three, four, get out on the floor
Five, six, come get your kicks
Down on the corner of Lincoln and a-forty-six
You gotta move, start rockin’ baby
A rockin’, rockin’ baby
Gonna rock all night, rock all night
Just wait ‘n’ see
Yeah!!

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 85 where this week’s theme is school from the 1973 release of the Steely Dan song ‘My Old School’.

Women Do Funny Things To Me

The Larry Randal Kingston song ‘Women Do Funny Things To Me’ was ranked #25 of the Best Country Singles of 1965 and it reached #9 on Billboard Country chart for Del Reeves.  This is a humorous song that is about a worldly man, a guy who traveled to Egypt to ride a camel, encountered a bull in Spain, climbed Mount Everest and even went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, but he is still learning about women.  He appears to be very manly, as he enjoys hunting, he feels at home in the Okefenokee swamp wading past gators, walking across the Yukon and he even volunteered to go to the moon.  The funny thing is that he becomes a quivering mess when he is around women and he is afraid of marriage.  I guess that every man can still learn a thing or two about women.

Country singer/songwriter Franklin Delano Reeves moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the early 60’s, signed up with United Artists Records, and scored his first hit song with ‘Be Quiet Mind’ in 1961.  Reeves and his wife formed a professional songwriting duo; they penned songs for such established country singers as Carl Smith, Sheb Wooley, Rose Maddox, and Roy Drusky.  In 1965 Del had his biggest and most beloved smash success with the delightful trucker’s country tune ‘Girl on the Billboard’, which soared all the way to #1 on the country radio charts and sold a million copies.  The follow-up song ‘The Belles of Southern Bell’ was a Top 5 country radio hit.  Reeves’ other hit songs include ‘Women Do Funny Things to Me’, ‘A Dime At a Time’, ‘Looking At the World Through a Windshield’, and his signature number ‘Good Time Charlie’s’, ‘Be Glad’, and ‘The Philadelphia Fillies’.

Larry Randal Kingston was one of the top country songwriters in Nashville from 1965 until the 80’s.  Among his best-known songs are ‘Pittsburgh Stealers’ by the Kendalls, ‘Thank God and Greyhound’ by Roy Clark, ‘It’s Not Over (If I’m Not Over You)’ by Reba McEntire, ‘Biloxi’ by Kenny Price and ‘Lovin’ Machine’ by Johnny Paycheck.  Kinston also had cuts by Porter Wagoner, George Jones, Vern Gosdin, Don Williams, Mark Chesnutt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr and others.

Doo do do do doo a doo do do do doo

On a bareback camel I rode across Egypt
Without water in the blistered sun
And in Spain I stood calmly without even a cape
And for the bull he was too tired to run
Bound and tied a gagged and sailed in a barrel I went over Niagara oh yes
But baby last night when you said you loved me I turned into a quivering mess

Cause women do funny things to me women do funny things to me
I’m usually perfectly calm and collective and curious as I can be
But ruby lips swingin’ hips bitter minds tender sighs
Pretty curls and flirty girls I see they do funny things to me

Without a guide or a gun I went a huntin’
Killed a tiger with my two bare hands
Without a rope and barefooted I climbed Mount Everest
And didn’t even get a blister on my hand
Through the Okefenokee I waded pass the gators
And the snakes and skeeters and flies
But baby last night when we started kissin’
I said Lord I can’t stand it I’m gonna die

Cause women do funny things to me

Without a dog or a sled I walked across the Yukon
It was spring but it was forty below
And when they began to plan for the moon
Guess who volunteered to go
Yes I’m always ready to show my courage and my extreme bravery
But baby last night when you talked marriage you scared the living outta me

Oh women do funny things to me
Funny things to me doo do do do doo funny things to me

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 84 where this week’s theme is learn from the 1996 release of the Alanis Morissette song ‘You Learn’.

It Don’t Matter That It’s Getting Late

‘Good Times’ is a song that was written and recorded by Sam Cooke, and released as single in 1964, but it is almost universally known as ‘Let The Good Times Roll’.  The Sam Cooke version of the song hit #1 on the Cash Box R&B chart and peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.  This was one of the last songs Cooke wrote and recorded before he was killed on December 11, 1964.  It is one of Cooke’s lighter songs, being about enjoying oneself at a party.

‘Let the Good Times Roll’ is a 1924 song from songwriter Tom Delaney and ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ is a 1946 blues song from Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five, but both of these are different songs.  The 1956 Shirley and Lee song written by Shirley Goodman (later Shirley Pixley) and Leonard Lee ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ is again a different song.  The 1978 Cars song written by Ric Ocasek ‘Good Times Roll’ is a totally different song.  The 1979 Molly Hatchet song written by Danny Joe Brown, David Lawrence Hlubek and Steven Jerome Holland ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ is also a different song.

The phrase “let the good times roll” means have fun, or be lively and let the party continue, because when things are going well, you shouldn’t mess with it.  This saying is similar to “eat, drink and be merry”, and it reminds me of the reason why Henry David Thoreau went to the woods because he wanted to live deep and suck the marrow out of life.  “Laissez les bons temps rouler” translated to “Let the good times roll” is a Cajun expression and the unofficial official slogan of Mardi Gras in New Orleans which became a popular from the 1940s -1960s.  “Good times roll round once more” was printed in the New-York (NY) Daily Tribune in 1875.  The last verse of the lyrics below is not in the Sam Cooke original song and it may have been written by the Grateful Dead.

Get in the groove and let the good times roll
We’re gonna stay here till we soothe our soul
If it takes all night long
Come on and let the good times roll
We’re gonna stay here till we soothe our soul
If it takes all night long

The evening sun is sinking low
The clock on the wall says it’s time to go
I got plans, and I got plans for you

I tell you exactly what we’re all gonna do

[chorus]

It might be twelve o’clock and it might be three
Time doesn’t mean that much to me
Ain’t felt this way since I don’t know when
Might not feel this way again

[chorus]

It might be six o’clock and it might be eight
It don’t matter that it’s getting late
We’re gonna make the band play one more song
Get in the groove if it takes all night long

[chorus]

All night (all night)
All night (all night)
If it takes all night (all night)
You know it might take all night long (all night)
All night long (all night)
All night long (all night)
[etc]

Get in the groove and let the good times roll
We’re gonna stay here till we soothe our soul
If it takes all night long

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 83 where this week’s theme is late from the 1982 Pat Benatar song ‘Little Too Late’.

It Looks from Space

‘Throwing Stones’ is a Grateful Dead song that is filled with hope, as we have to be the ones to make the world right and also despair as we may be losing the battle.  This is a Bob Weir song with lyrics written by John Barlow.  The Grateful Dead were playing it since 1982 in concert, a period of great unrest in the Middle East.  Most people didn’t become familiar with ‘Throwing Stones’ till the 1987 In The Dark album came out, where it was released as a single, with a B-side of ‘When Push Comes to Shove’.  This song became the Grateful Dead’s third video for the MTV generation.  It was also one of the songs included on the 1987 So Far music documentary video that was intended to give a subjective view of the Grateful Dead experience by giving the viewers a mixture of live performances and animation.

The song contains thoughts about kids, politicians, wars and our planet Earth and I think it is very appropriate today with what is going on in the world, as the politicians are still throwing their stones and yet we are on our own.  In the Neil Young song, ‘Ohio’ he sings, “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming.  We’re finally on our own.”  It is a cosmic song, that asks all of us to take a look at our beautiful, peaceful blue planet that is spinning in space.  The planet would probably be even more lovely if humanity wasn’t f…’ing it up all the time, as we lay it to waste.  In a variant of the Mother Goose rhyme Ring Around the Rosie, the children hold hands and run around in a circle singing, “Ring around the rosy, Pocket full of posy, Ashes!  Ashes!  We all fall down!”  Many people think that the “ashes to ashes” part of this song relates to the Black Plague.  Barlow incorporates “Ashes, ashes, all fall down” into this song at the end of several verses, which gives it a certain innocence.

The Grateful Dead tried to avoid politics in their music, but some of their songs did contain protest and social commentary.  These notable exceptions are ‘New Speedway Boogie’, ‘Big Boss Man’, ‘US Blues’ and this song, ‘Throwing Stones.  Many other groups wrote songs about protesting the Vietnam War, but they had the foresight to realize that there was nothing that they could do, that was going to change anything.  In 1988, they participated in the Rainforest Action Network benefit at MSG, but that was for the environment and not a political action, per se.  Bob Weir recently said, “If you ever want to vote again, do it now.  I’m not telling people who to vote for.  I think they can figure it out.  But I will say this: If every Deadhead in the state of Florida had voted in the last election, it’d be a very different world right now.”  I imagine that Weir was referring to the 2000 presidential race where George W. Bush beat out Al Gore in the hanging chad race.  Bob Weir and Dead & Company spoke to students, teachers and parents from Parkland, FL about the importance of voter registration and how they can get involved with HeadCount, which is a non-partisan organization that works with musicians to promote democracy, to register new voters.  Weir realized that over 1/3 of eligible voters in this election are young, and he said, “What gets decided in this election is going to make a big difference for them.”

The Deadhead who followed this group from the first acid test to the bitter end should be allowed to cast the first stone.  This song will always remain timeless and we can listen to it and dance while shaking our bones.  After Jerry Garcia died, during an emotional ‘Throwing Stones’, Bobby ad-libbed, “Papa’s gone, we are on our own.”

Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
Dizzy with eternity
Paint it with a skin of sky, brush in some clouds and sea
Call it home for you and me
A peaceful place, or so it looks from space
A closer look reveals the human race
Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face
But afraid we may lay our home to waste

There’s a fear down here we can’t forget
Hasn’t got a name just yet
Always awake, always around
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Now watch as the ball revolves and the night-time falls
And again the hunt begins and again the blood wind calls
By and by, again, the morning sun will rise
But the darkness never goes from some men’s eyes
(Well I know)
It strolls the sidewalk and it rolls the streets
Staking turf, dividing up meat
Nightmare spook, piece of heat
It’s you and me, you and me

Click flash blade in ghetto night
Rudy’s looking for a fight
Rat cat alley, roll them bones
Need that cash to feed that Jones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Commissars and pinstripe bosses roll the dice
Anyway they fall, guess who gets to pay the price?
Money green, or proletarian gray
Selling guns instead of food today
So the kids they dance and shake their bones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Heartless powers try to tell us what to think
If the spirit’s sleeping then the flesh is ink
History’s page will be neatly carved in stone
The future’s here, we are it, we are on our own
On our own, on our own, we are on our own

If the game is lost, then we’re all the same
No one left to place or take the blame
We will leave this place an empty stone
Or that shining ball of blue we call our home

So the kids, they dance, they shake their bones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Shipping powders back and forth
Singing black goes south and white comes north
And the whole world full of petty wars
Singing I got mine and you got yours
While the current fashions set the pace
Lose your step, fall out of grace
The radical, he rant and rage
Singing someone got to turn the page
And the rich man in his summer home
Singing just leave well enough alone
But his pants are down, his cover’s blown
And the politicians throwing stones
So the kids, they dance, they shake their bones
‘Cause it’s all too clear we’re on our own
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
It’s dizzying, the possibilities

Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
[etc]

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 82 where this week’s theme is space from the 2001 Dave Matthews Band song ‘The Space Between’.