♫ Listen To The Music ♫

It’s funny how that old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” comes back to haunt me from time to time.  As I looking back at another of my Bryan Adams songs, I noticed in the comments that this one had been requested … that was two years ago!  I thought I hadn’t ever gotten around to playing it, so I decided to do so tonight, but … turns out I DID play it … two years ago!  Who can remember what they did two years ago, for Pete’s sake???  But, on reading through this one, I’ve decided that it’s well worthy of a re-dux, for I love Tom Johnston’s take on it.  And, as it happens, I was exhausted and had a dark cloud over my head then, just as I have tonight, after learning of yet another mass shooting here in the U.S. — this one seriously injured 4, killed one, and among the seriously injured is a 3-month-old baby.  😢  Anyway, I do hope you enjoy the music!


There are hundreds, if not thousands of songs in the world of ♫♪♫ that I love, and yet some nights I find myself at a loss for one that I haven’t already played since I began posting music last July (at the suggestion of one of my first blogging buddies, Mr. Militant Negro) last July.  Exhaustion, coupled with the dark cloud over my head these days, I suppose, keeps me from immediately being able to think of another favourite of yore.  So, when somebody mentions or requests a song that I do like, I jump on it!  Tonight’s song came about just so.  David, who wasn’t all that thrilled with Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ a few nights ago, mentioned that he likes Listen to the Music by the Doobie Brothers.  And so, when I was feeling really down tonight, considering just skipping the music post altogether as I sometimes do, I found this tune floating around in my head.  So, here we are …

The song, released in 1972,  was written by the band’s lead vocalist Tom Johnston, who also played guitar on the track. This was the Doobie Brothers’ first big hit  According to Johnston …

“It was all based around this somewhat Utopian view of the world. The idea was that music would lift man up to a higher plane, and that world leaders, if they were able to sit down on some big grassy knoll where the sun was shining and hear music – such as the type I was playing – would figure out that everybody had more in common than they had not in common, and it was certainly not worth getting in such a bad state of affairs about. Everybody in the world would therefore benefit from this point of view. Just basically that music would make everything better. And of course I’ve since kind of realized it doesn’t work that way.”

As to how he came up with it …

“I was sitting in my bedroom in San Jose. I was doing what I always do, I had been up playing guitar for hours. It was like 2 or 3 in the morning. I had the opening riff to it, and I think I figured out all of the chord changes as well. I called Teddy (producer Ted Templeman), woke him up, and played it for him over the phone, and he was less than enthusiastic. I think it was because I woke him up. But he said, ‘Well, yeah, it might be pretty good. Needs a couple of changes.’ But we didn’t ever change anything. It stayed the way it was, the way I had it. The chord changes and everything we made are the same. In the studio, the bass part was added by Tiran (Porter), drums were added by Mike (Hossack), and Pat (Simmons) came up with a couple of parts and put in that banjo at the end. And it was the second time anybody had ever used something like phasing on a record. First time was ‘The Big Hurt’ by Toni Fisher. But things like ‘Long Train Runnin’,’ I said, ‘You’re nuts. It’ll never be a single.’ And it was.”

Without further ado … this is for you, David …

Listen to the Music
The Doobie Brothers

Don’t you feel it growing, day by day
People getting ready for the news
Some are happy, some are sad
Woah, gotta let the music play

Mhm
What the people need is a way to make them smile
It ain’t so hard to do if you know how
Gotta get a message, get it on through
Oh now momma don’t you ask me why

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

When I know you know baby, everything I say
Meet me in the country for a day
We’ll be happy and we’ll dance
Oh, we’re gonna dance our blues away

And if I’m feeling good to you and you’re feeling good to me
There ain’t nothing we can’t do or say
Feeling good, feeling fine
Oh, baby, let the music play

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Like a lazy flowing river
Surrounding castles in the sky
And the crowd is growing bigger
Listening for the happy sounds
And I got to let them fly

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music

All the timeSongwriters: Tom Johnston
Listen to the Music lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

46 thoughts on “♫ Listen To The Music ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Listen To The Music ♫ – Karen O'Brien Country Music

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    • Awesome! I always enjoy hearing from people who have seen some of these artists in person! I’ve never been to a concert in my life … almost 70 years old and never been to a concert.

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        • Well, when i was a teenager I never had the time nor the resources (money), then I married at 19, had 3 kids by age 26, spent my time raising a family while earning 3 college degrees, and now I am 90% deaf and hate crowded places, so it’s not likely to ever happen!

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          • Different lives, different times. I spent most of my money as a kid/teenager on music.
            Drove my folks nuts at times, I’m sure.
            Clubs usually had an age restriction of 18 (because of alcohol) so I often used to sneak /lied my way in with older friends just to see bands play.
            I saw the Stones in Manchester when I was 13 ( money from my paper-round lol!).
            I took my kids to see them when they played Johannesburg. Made me feel old and young all at the same time.
            A couple of years ago we got a phone call asking whether we could bake a simple chocolate cake for that upcoming Saturday.
            Sure, we said, who’s it for.
            ”Santana,” was the reply!
            Stunned silence.
            They were playing Johannesburg – I had completely forgotten.
            We traded the cake for two comp tickets!
            That was a gig to remember.

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            • You have had some awesome experiences in your lifetime! The only thing I have that can even mildly compare is that when I was young, I got to meet the original seven astronauts who were staying in a hotel my father managed at the time. That was an awesome thing, too, though I probably didn’t properly appreciate it at the time!

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        • Heh heh … back in the day, I liked driving fast, too. I never had a convertible top, but I had a sunroof once and that was almost as good. But, after a couple of citations, I learned to drive a bit slower, though I’m still sometimes guilty of going a bit over the speed limit! Okay, I’ll see if I can send you a Tesla … any colour preference? 😉

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          • Lol, Jane! I don’t know now whether a Tesla is appropriate here in the region. There are old power lines everywhere, and charging a Tesla could break the electricity system. I would have to refuel in the nearby Czech Republic. At least they still have nuclear power plants there. 😉 xx

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            • Hmmmm … that could be a problem! So, they build electric cars, they tell us how we should all invest in one because they are so much more energy efficient, but then they give us no easy means for charging them. Well … guess we’ll both stick with our gasoline powered vehicles for now, eh? xx

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                  • Thats an idea, Jill! Whats about an electic bicycle? 😉 But then you should always not forget to charge the batteries. 😉 The parts are so heavy that you almost have to have them picked up with a crane truck – even if you don’t drive yourself. xx

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                    • For sure, Jill! You just mustn’t look for a destination where you absolutely have to go. Otherwise it will be stressful! For half a year I have been walking distances up to a total of 50 km. If someone then wants to reach me by phone, I can give instructions instead of being at the screen myself. Lol xx

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                    • MICHAEL!!! 50 km … 31 miles … every day???? Heck, my friend, I was walking 4-5 miles (6-8 km) every morning (weather permitting) and thought I was doing really good! You amaze me! Now that the weather is warmer, I do need to get back into walking, but I will never be able to match your mileage! But then, remember, I will be 70 years old next month! 👵

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                    • Dont worry, Jill! Not every day, every second or third day. 😉 Wow, 4-5 miles every day is great, and shows very great discipline, i honestly not have. That’s why I always go a long way, which I can only go home on foot. xx

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                    • I find it’s hard to get back into the habit of walking daily after the winter months. Every morning I seem to be quite creative at finding excuses … “Oh, it’s cloudy so it might rain”, or “I really need to start the laundry”, or “my left foot hurts”! I’m quite inventive! Okay, I’m comforted to know you don’t walk 31 miles every day! Have a great week ahead, Michael! xx

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                    • Thank you very much, Jill! Every day would be too much, and like last year i would find excuses doing this only every third day. So i discussed with myself to have it every second day, whatever will happen. 😉 xx

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      • Jill, one of my favorite memories of “China Grove,” is a senior lass in high school on whom everyone (including me) had a crush, loved this song, so I listened with more intent. I vividly recall her reaction when we were at a cross country meet (our basketball coach made us run cross country) and the song came on someone’s radio and she ran to listen shouting “China Grove.” Now, I cannot remember where I park the car. Keith

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