♫ Cracklin’ Rosie ♫

Well, since I played Neil Diamond the first three nights of this week, I guess we might as well make it officially Neil Diamond Week here at Filosofa’s Word!  Today, by the way, in case you hadn’t looked at the calendar, is the first of December, meaning our friend Clive will be starting his Advent Calendar of daily Christmas-themed tunes, but I refuse to start playing Christmas songs this soon!  Maybe around December 23rd, but not yet!  Anyway, digging back in the archives, I decided to play this one tonight, mainly because of the interesting story rawgod added to it when I first played it back in 2019!  I have another up my sleeve for tomorrow, so be sure to pop back in if you have time!


Two reasons for this song tonight … first, I love the song, the tune, the rhythm … it just rather makes you want to tap your foot, else get up and dance a bit, yes?  The other reason is that it is stuck in my head, thanks to our friend rawgod, who told me a story about the origins of the song.  Now, the official version, the one Neil told people, goes like this, according to both SongFacts and Wikipedia …

“Cracklin’ Rosie” is a bottle of wine. Neil Diamond got the idea for the song from a folk story of an Indian tribe in Northern Canada who had more men than women. He told David Wild at Rolling Stone: “On Saturday nights when they go out, the guys all get their girl; the guys without girls get a bottle of Cracklin’ Rosie, that’s their girl for the weekend.”

But rawgod has a different version, and I believe his, for he has never given me a reason to doubt his word.  And, I found a tidbit of information to make me think rawgod’s is the true version.  He gave me permission to tell his story here …

“… listen to the words of the song mentioned in the subject line, and if you want read the “meaning” of the lyrics. They will tell you a story. I will tell you the truth.
Unfortunately I cannot remember the date, but early in his career Neil Diamond was doing a cross Canada tour, travelling by train “by himself” from town to town. Of course, one night he stopped in Winnipeg, where I lived. After seeing him in concert, I was walking around downtown Winnipeg, more or less aimlessly, I guess, when who should I see but Neil Diamond. In Manitoba, all wine and spirits are sold in government controlled stores, and they conveniently, at the time, had a store just across from the Canadian National Railway depot. Neil was walking past that store when he checked his watch, and dashed into the store. Of course I followed him in (how could I not), hoping to maybe actually speak to him, or get his autograph or something, but he was almost panicking. Looking at his watch over and over, he asked the clerk what was the cheapest bottle of wine they sold. “Cracklin Rose,” was the answer (pronounced Ro-zay, from the acute accent over the e). In those days all liquor was kept behind the counter to prevent shop-lifting, I guess, and the clerk showed him a bottle. Neil asked “How much?” and the clerk answered something like $2.95. “I’ll take one,” he said and threw a bunch of change on the counter. He took the bottle of wine in its plain brown paper bag, and headed out the door, ran across Main St., and disappeared into the bowels of the train station.
Apparently he got there in time to catch his train, though just barely.

“Cracklin’ Rose, you’re a store bought woman,” and “a poor man’s lady.” They “got on board.” I think they had a very fine time together. When the song came out in 1970 it was his first million seller, and except for the store clerk who probably had no idea who Neil Diamond was at the time, and of course Neil himself, I was the only witness to the true birth of that song.”

Now, rawgod is as honest as they come, even to the point of being painfully so sometimes, but I also found a comment on a website dedicated to Neil Diamond this comment:

maudie says:
September 13, 2006 at 2:27 pm
I read in the notes to “In mY lIFETIME” album that the song is about a cheap bottle of wine that was sold up in Canada. I don’t think Neil would say that if it weren’t what he sang about.

Time doesn’t permit me to dig deeper, and I’m sure you’d like to get to listening and tapping your feet, right?  Thank you, rawgod, for giving this song some additional meaning!  I appreciate it!

Cracklin’ Rosie
Neil Diamond

Cracklin’ Rosie, get on board
We’re gonna ride till there ain’t no more to go
Taking it slow
Lord, don’t you know
Have made me a time with a poor man’s lady

Hitchin’ on a twilight train
Ain’t nothing there that I care to take along
Maybe a song
To sing when I want
Don’t need to say please to no man for a happy tune

Oh, I love my Rosie child
She got the way to make me happy
You and me, we go in style
Cracklin’ Rose, you’re a store bought woman
You make me sing like a guitar hummin’
So hang on to me, girl
Our song keeps runnin’ on

Play it now
Play it now, my baby

Cracklin’ Rosie, make me a smile
Girl if it lasts for an hour, that’s all right
We got all night
To set the world right
Find us a dream that don’t ask no questions, yeah

Oh, I love my Rosie child
You got the way to make me happy
You and me, we go in style
Cracklin’ Rose, you’re a store-baught woman
You make me sing like a guitar hummin’
So hang on to me, girl
Our song keeps runnin’ on

Play it now
Play it now
Play it now, my baby

Cracklin’ Rosie, make me a smile
God if it lasts for an hour, that’s all right
We got all night
To set the world right
Find us a dream that don’t ask no question, yeah

Songwriters: Neil Diamond
Cracklin’ Rosie lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Soolaimón ♫

When I first started doing music posts back in 2018, I said that I would only play songs I like.  A bit of a selfish wench, wasn’t I?  I still pretty much play my old favourites, but I’ve figured out that it gives me just as much joy playing songs that my friends enjoy as I get from playing my own favourites, so every now and then I step outside my own ‘zone’ and into yours.  On Sunday night, I played a Neil Diamond song, Forever in Blue Jeans … not my favourite, but one that I like.  It was a toss up between it and the one I played last night, I Am … I Said.  With that, I thought I was probably done with Neil Diamond for now, even though I still didn’t play my own favourite, Solitary Man.  But then, in the comments, Clive and rawgod mentioned a song that didn’t ring any bells, so I went in search of.  I found the song easily enough, but upon listening I realized that a) I had never heard it before, and b) I didn’t like it much at all.  And so today, I give you … Soolaimón by Neil Diamond!

Soolaimón was a track from Neil Diamond’s sixth studio album, Tap Root Manuscript, released in 1970. The album was one of the most experimental he ever recorded. It uniquely showcased African sounds and instruments. The album ended up being a commercial success, with Done Too Soon, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and Cracklin’ Rosie among his other Top 40 single releases. The B-side to Tap Root Manuscript was titled The African Trilogy (A Folk Ballet). While world music became a genre in the 1980s and 90s, Neil Diamond was way ahead of the most recording artists. Yes, the Beatles had introduced the sitar on Revolver in 1966. But it was not until the 1979 when Peter Gabriel’s third solo  album included tracks like Biko that African and Brazilian sounds were woven into a Western recording artists’ album. Others who helped make world music more mainstream were Paul Simon with Graceland and David Byrne and Brian Eno. Tap Root Manuscript was one of the most novel experimental recording projects of its time. The Uni label was initially hesitant to release the album.

Soolaimón was a word Neil Diamond learned when he studied African culture at the Kenyon Mission, the United Nations and the African Studies department at UCLA. Soolaimón can mean “hello,” “welcome,” “good-bye” and “peace be with you.” The lyrics offer images of the cycles of night and day, and a sense of the sacredness of that cycle: “God of my day… Lord of my night.” There is an abiding trust that the “day shall provide.”

Soolaimón peaked at #1 in Tucson (AZ), Edmonton (AB) and Moscow (ID), #3 in Vancouver (BC) and Columbus (OH), #4 in Manchester (NH), #5 in San Bernardino (CA), Reading (PA) and Calgary (AB), #6 in Ottawa (ON) and Victoria (BC), #7 in Rochester (NY), Hilo (HI), Shreveport (LA) and Holland (MI), #8 in Hamilton (ON), and #9 in Atlanta, Syracuse (NY), Orlando (FL) and Allentown (PA).  It made it to #30 in the U.S., but other than the above, I can find no chart listings for the song.

Soolaimón

Neil Diamond

Come she come say
Ride on the night
Sun becomes day
Day shall provide

Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon
Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon
Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon
Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon

God of my want, want, want
Lord of my need, need, need
Leading me on, on, on
On to the woman, she dance for the sun
God of my day, day, day
Lord of my night, night, night
Seek for the way, way, way
Taking me home
She callin’

Bring home my name
On the wings of a flea
Wind in the plains
Dance once for me

Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon
Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon
Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon
Soo, soolaimon
Soolai, soolai, soolaimon

God of my want, want, want
Lord of my need, need, need
Leading me on, on, on
On to the woman, she dance for the sun
God of my day
Lord of my night
Seek for the way
Taking me home

God of my want, want, want
Lord of my need, need, need
Leading me on, on, on
On to the woman, she dance for the sun

God of my day, day, day
Lord of my night, night, night
Seek for the way, way, way
Taking me home

God of my want, want, want
Lord of my need, need, need
Leading me on, on, on……..

Writer/s: NEIL DIAMOND
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Tolerance, Love, Kindness Instead of Hate … PLEASE!

Mass shootings, racist teachers, pushing, shoving and name-calling … so may signs of increasing incivility in the U.S. today.  Where does it all come from and more importantly, how do we stop it?  Where do people get the idea that one race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, or religion is somehow superior?  Humanity sometimes seems to be almost a thing of the past.  Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner have a few worthy thoughts on the topic …


Combating Hate

Silence is complicity

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

29 November 2022

Antisemitisim. Racism. Homophobia. Misogyny. Bigotry. The demonization of immigrants.

That these forces are ascendant is newsworthy. And it is vital they are considered thus. That these forces exist, however, is not news. Neither is the fact that they are being stoked, winked at, and normalized by the previous president. And neither is how most of the Republican Party leadership is silent, supportive, or insufficiently disapproving.

To say all this is not a political criticism. It is about confronting a grave threat to our nation and the world. Politics should be about a competition for ideas that fall within the realm of civilized discourse. What these people are peddling is not policy, but prejudice.

Repeating these sentiments should not diminish the importance of the message. The need for us all to confront this with the frequency that we are is evidence of the salience of the mission. And let’s be clear: It is of extra importance for those not directly targeted to speak the loudest. Silence is complicity. To speak softly is cowardice. 

The latest outrage swirls around an occasion at Mar-a-Lago in which the former president dined with avowed antisemites. But we do a disservice to history and the dangers we face by bundling recriminations under the banners of combatting “MAGA” or “Trumpism.” The former president may have built his political power by tapping into a well of hate, but the reservoir was already there. Others are eager to draw from its waters as well.

Discrimination, often enforced with violence, has been a hallmark of our country since its founding. White supremacy is embedded in our Constitution. And the biases and bigotries of the American electorate have shaped some of our national narrative ever since.

To be sure, there is a powerful counter-narrative. It begins with the noble words of our founding documents, which laid out a vision of equality and justice unimaginable at the time of their writing. Over the centuries, countless activists and dreamers have leaned on the courage of their convictions to wrest the nation toward a path of greater inclusion and enlightenment. Most who signed up for service in this army of conscience are not famous, but we are lucky to live in a world made better by their mettle. They have helped to make the nation better and now keep hopes alive that it can and will be getting better, a lot better, still.

We have undoubtedly made progress, but the undercurrents of hatred have never been fully expunged. It takes very little for them to resurge. Far more energy and commitment are required in combating them than in fomenting them.

We should find hope in the journey our nation has taken before. The bigotry we are now decrying was once largely accepted political discourse, in both parties. This is not ancient history. Many of us were of memory age when antisemitic, homophobic, and racist statements were spoken without a second thought. Our country was a weaker place because of it. Our struggle now is to be vigilant in making sure we do not return to that darkness.

We know we have shared these sentiments in this space before. And we know we will almost assuredly have ample reason to do so again. That is the reality. And that is all the more reason this needs to be said. By all of us. Often.

♫ I Am … I Said ♫ (Redux)

Yesterday’s Neil Diamond song put me in the mood for yet another!

This song was both written and recorded by Neil Diamond and released in 1971, reaching #4 in both the U.S. and UK, and #2 in Canada.  According to Diamond, this song took 4 months to write …

“It was consciously an attempt on my part to express what my dreams were about, what my aspirations were about and what I was about. And without any question, it came from my sessions with the analyst.”

Turns out, Neil had tried out to play rebel comedian Lenny Bruce in a film.  The rejection evoked such intense emotions that it led him to spend some time in therapy.  Feeling that he had failed, Neil was thrown into something of an existential funk and started the song. It would take months for him to finish the song, but in the end it would become a classic.

According to Diamond …

“It was consciously an attempt on my part to express what my dreams were about, what my aspirations were about and what I was about. And without any question, it came from my sessions with the analyst.”

I Am…I Said
Neil Diamond

L.A.’s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is “lay back”
Palm trees grow and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin’ about
Making my way back

Well I’m New York City born and raised
But nowadays
I’m lost between two shores
L.A.’s fine, but it ain’t home
New York’s home
But it ain’t mine no more

“I am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair

“I am”… I cried
“I am”… said I
And I am lost and I can’t
Even say why
Leavin’ me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog
Who dreamed of bein’ a king
And then became one
Well except for the names
And a few other changes
If you talk about me
The story is the same one

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I’ve tried
But it won’t let me go
And I’m not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared
For the sound of being alone

“I am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
“I am”… I cried
“I am”… said I
And I am lost and I can’t
Even say why
“I am”… I said
“I am”… I cried
“I am”

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Neil Diamond
I Am…I Said lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Just A Few Of The Ol’ Snarky Snippets

Once again, I have no single topic in mind, but a number of things are bouncing about in my head … have you noticed this seems to be happening a lot lately?  Hmmmm … I wonder if I’m trying to cram too much into my head and bits of this and pieces of that just keep getting embedded.


Fuel prices – no, Republicans can’t ‘fix’ the problem

Republicans point to specific targets they know are personal for many voters, such as fuel prices, and say, “Look how much you’re paying for a gallon of gasoline!  Elect Republicans and we’ll fix the problem.”  Well, sorry, folks, but Republicans cannot ‘fix’ the ‘problem’.  Gas prices are not set by the president nor by Congress, as they would have you believe.  To a large extent, fuel prices are driven by us, the consumers.  You’ve all studied the “law of supply and demand” in school, and as long as demand exceeds supply, the oil producers have the upper hand.  Supply is driven by a number of things but is often manipulated by OPEC to ensure that the bottom doesn’t fall out of the market, that the oil companies will continue to rake in profits.  Anyone, including Kevin McCarthy, who tells you otherwise is lying to you.  If you really want to do your part to help bring down oil prices, drive less, turn your thermostat down and don a sweater, skip the vacation this year and have a ‘staycation’, turn some lights out (candlelight is more romantic anyway, though admittedly it makes it hard to read).  Lower your demand, and the market will respond.  Yes, this is a simplification and there are other factors as well, but We the People don’t have much control over the war in Ukraine, the impending rail strike, or other global issues affecting fuel supplies, while we do have a degree of control in how much fuel we use.  Once again, we have met the enemy and he is us.


Angry at 18???

I’m thinking back to when I was 18 years old … I didn’t hate anybody.  I loved hanging out with friends when I wasn’t either studying or working, was saving up for a newer car (at the time, circa 1969, I drove a ’56 Chevrolet Bel Air that I had paid $50 for), had a boyfriend, learned to hot wire a car and occasionally ‘borrowed’ my dad’s car when my parents were out of town, but I didn’t have an abundance of raw anger, didn’t hate anyone.

On May 14th, an 18-year-old man (boy?) bought a gun, traveled 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo, entered a supermarket and killed 10 people in cold blood simply because they were Black.  18 years old!!!  WHY does a kid that age hate Black people?  Both of his parents are civil engineers, and he was studying engineering science, hoping to follow in their footsteps.  This wasn’t some spur-of-the-moment thing … he had traveled to Buffalo in March and visited the store, and again the day before he went on his killing spree.  He graduated from high school in June 2021, and when a teacher asked him about his plans for the future, he replied, “I want to murder and commit suicide.”  Was that not a red flag???  Why wasn’t it reported and followed up on?

Yesterday, the gunman pleaded guilty to 15 charges, including 10 charges of murder and one charge of domestic terrorism.  While I am thankful that he will likely never walk free again to murder even more, I think this entire situation shows a pathetic negligence to recognize and identify a serious mental health issue.  It also furthers my position that guns are too damned easy to obtain in this country!  Next thing you know, they’ll be packaging derringers (very small, but lethal guns) as the prize in packages of Cracker Jacks!


Some honest Republicans?  Be still my heart …

Maricopa Country in Arizona is home to over half the population of the entire state!  So, what happens there matters … a lot.  I was encouraged last night to read that the Republican-controlled election board voted unanimously to certify the November 8th election, whereby Democrat Katie Hobbs won the governorship.  Hobbs’ Republican opponent, the conspiracy-theorist, Trump-backed Republican Kari Lake, insists that Republican voters were denied the opportunity to vote, that there was some irregularity with voting machines, and … ho hum … same ol’ same ol’ … we’ve heard it before and no doubt we’ll hear it again.  Other counties have put their certification on hold based on Lake’s claims, but I find it very encouraging that the largest county by far has certified the election.


And just a handful of ‘toons to add to the fun!

♫ Forever In Blue Jeans ♫ (Redux)

I had Neil Diamond in my mind today, and decided to play something by him, but I was torn between several.  I nearly choked on my coffee when I realized that I played this one only once, the Monday after Thanksgiving three years ago in 2019!  Even my intro blurb is still fitting and apt! 


You know that Monday-after-a-long-holiday-weekend feeling?  The one where the simplest tasks seem monumental, and you find yourself saying, “I really don’t want to be here” … and that’s true even for those of us who are retired!  Too much has been left alone over the 4-day weekend … vacuuming, laundry, bathroom cleaning, etc.  And there’s that great dilemma … how to disguise the remaining turkey in the fridge so it doesn’t seem so much like leftovers.  You just feel somewhat … out of sync.  So, I was in the mood for something light and fun tonight.

Released in 1979, Forever in Blue Jeans was co-written by Neil Diamond and his guitarist, Richard Bennett.  Says Diamond about the song: “the simple things are really the important things”.

Not surprisingly, the song has been used  a couple of times in ads for … blue jeans!  In one, Will Ferrell of M*A*S*H and Elf fame, impersonated Neil Diamond singing this in an ad for The Gap.

As always, I mis-heard not only the lyrics, but I always thought the song was titled Devil in Blue Jeans, so when I went looking for it tonight, it took me a while!

The song only reached #20 in the U.S., #16 in the UK.

Forever In Blue Jeans
Neil Diamond

Money talks
But it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk
And long as I can have you here with me
I’d much rather be forever in blue jeans

Honey’s sweet
But it ain’t nothin’ next to baby’s treat
And if you’d pardon me, I’d like to say
We’d do okay forever in blue jeans

Maybe tonight
Maybe tonight, by the fire
All alone, you and I
Nothing around but the sound
Of my heart and your sighs

Money talks
But it can’t sing and dance and it can’t walk
And long as I can have you here with me
I’d much rather be forever in blue jeans, babe

And honey’s sweet
But it ain’t nothin’ next to baby’s treat
And if you’ll pardon me, I’d like to say
We’d do okay, forever in blue jeans

Maybe tonight
Maybe tonight, by the fire
All alone, you and I
Nothing around but the sound
Of my heart and your sighs

Money talks
But it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk
And long as I can have you here with me
I’d much rather be forever in blue jeans

And if you’d pardon me, I’d like to say
We’d do okay forever in blue jeans, babe

And long as I can have you here with me
I’d much rather be forever in blue jeans, babe

Songwriters: Richard Winchell Bennett / Neil Diamond
Forever In Blue Jeans lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Jolly Monday With Bacon!

Good morning, friends!  Well, that certainly was a short long weekend, wasn’t it?

Daughter Chris had 4 days off, but it seemed like far less.  Still, I’m glad Thanksgiving is behind us and I just wish Christmas was also in the rearview mirror.  I used to love the holidays, but not so much anymore.  I’ve become a creature of routine and the holidays shatter my routine and exhaust both me and my paltry bank account.  Anyway, Monday is here, and we will try to switch from weekend mode to work-week mode with a bit of fun and some chuckles.  Meanwhile, though, Joyful has whipped up some goodies, so grab a plate and let’s go in search of humour to start the day!


Let’s start out with just a handful of animal memes and cute animal pictures …


We found some signs during our travels ’round the ‘Net, too!  Some, like this first one, are cool, others are just funny!


Jolly has been really busy picking out cartoons and memes all weekend!


And last but not least, a funny animal video!


We hope you’ve enjoyed your time here this morning and that we helped start your week with a smile, a chuckle, or maybe even a laugh!  Keep safe and have a good week, dear friends!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Rainy Day Thoughts

Just a few thoughts on this rainy Sunday afternoon …


No longer should we be shocked or even surprised by man’s inhumanity to man, for we have seen enough instances of it to know it exists.  Humans have great capacity for love, but for many there are too many conditions placed on that love, and their capacity for cruelty and hatred is even greater than their capacity for love.


You may not have heard about the teacher in Pflugerville, Texas (yes, there really is a town by that name, but don’t ask me to pronounce it!) who was fired a couple of weeks ago.  Why?  Because of the conversation he had with his class of 6th grade children …

Teacher: “Deep down in my heart, I’m ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one.”

Student: “So White is better than all?”

Teacher: “Let me finish. I think everybody thinks that. They’re just not honest about it.”

Student: “You said you are a racist, right?”

Teacher: “I did, yeah, I’m trying to be honest.”

When a student asked him to repeat what he had just said, he lashed out …

Teacher: “I said, ‘I am a racist.’ That’s what I said. Do you know what that means?”

My jaw dropped when I read that! Those kids were 12-13 years old! This man was never fit to be a teacher, to be alone with a group of children at all!!!  Does this man believe that being a racist is something to be proud of?  Somebody, presumably one of the students, recorded the incident and when parents found out, naturally they were outraged and reported the conversation to the school board, who promptly fired the unnamed teacher the following Monday. How many more teachers are of the same belief, and while perhaps are not as blatant about it, subtly allow their racism to bleed into their interactions with their classes?


On Wednesday, I was at my local Kroger grocery store picking up a few last-minute things for Thanksgiving dinner.  As I was trying to reach something on a high shelf, a man literally pushed me aside to get by me.  Surprisingly, I remained cool, calm and collected, saying only loudly enough for him to hear me, “Oh, that’s okay … just shove me aside, for I’m sure that you are so much more important than I am.”  He glanced back at me and nodded.  Yes, he nodded!  No, I didn’t throw anything at him, but merely rolled my eyes and muttered an obscenity under my breath.


We have so many different ‘hate groups’ in this country that I’ve lost count of them all, media figures and even church pastors are preaching hate and inciting violence.  Pair that with the gun culture that has suddenly run amok and … is it any wonder that we must look over our shoulders in any public venue, and cross our fingers when we send our children to school in hopes that they will return in one piece rather than in a body bag?

There is a saying that “Politics makes strange bedfellows,” but the opposite is also true … it makes enemies of people who would ordinarily be friends, drives a wedge between people whose goals, hopes and dreams are really the same, but they are blinded by the loud voices telling them that the paths to their dreams are different.  Would that we humans were smart enough to realize that we are being manipulated, not for our own good, but for the wealth and power of the already wealthy and powerful.  Would that we realized that we are all – regardless of skin colour, gender identity, religion, or ethnidity – in this world together and it is only when we pull together that we can make progress toward making the world a better place.

“United we stand.  Divided we fall.” – Winston Churchill

♫ Heat Wave ♫

My daughter, who is playing, along with her band, at a St. Andrew’s night event downtown this evening, texted me to say that the hotel where they are playing is so hot … and immediately this song, despite the fact that it is only 40° F (4° C) outside, popped into my head and, as so often happens, refused to vacate!  Ah well, it is the energy of the song that I love, so even if we aren’t experiencing a heat wave and I am bundled up in my sweat shirt & sweat pants, the song calls out to be played!


Written by the Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, this was the first Top 10 hit for Martha & the Vandellas, whose lead singer, Martha Reeves, started as a secretary at Motown.  

The origins of the song, according to Lamont Dozier …

“It was summertime and hot and sticky in Detroit. I often sat at the piano and played a warm-up riff to get my day started. This one particular day the heat was over the top and I was watching tv and the weatherman said we had a record-breaking five-day heat wave that was not going to let up. So all this funky riff needed was for me to throw a girl into the mix and this song was born.”

Martha & the Vandellas became the first Motown group ever to receive a Grammy Award nomination when this song was nominated in 1964 for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording; it lost to Ray Charles’ hit Busted.

This song charted at #4 in the U.S., and in 1975, Linda Ronstadt put out a version that hit #5 in the U.S. and #12 in Canada.

Heat wave
Martha and the Vandellas

Whenever I’m with him
Something inside
Starts to burning
And I’m filled with desire
Could it be a devil in me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?

It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart

Whenever he calls my name
Soft, low, sweet, and plain
Right then, right there, I feel that burning flame
Has high blood pressure got a hold on me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?

It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, heat wave
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, heat wave

Sometimes I stare in space
Tears all over my face
I can’t explain it, don’t understand it
I ain’t never felt like this before
Now that funny feeling has me amazed
Don’t know what to do, my head’s in a haze
It’s like a heat wave

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(But it’s all right, girl)
Oh
(Go ahead, girl)
Yeah, yeah
(Well, it’s all right, girl)
Oh
(Can’t miss it, that’s love, girl)
I feel it burning
(Don’t pass up this chance)
Right here in my heart
(It sounds like a true romance)
Don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?
Burning right here (Burning, burning, burning)
In my heart (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland / Eddie Holland
(Love is like a) Heat wave lyrics © Stone Agate Music

Robin Hood Reversal

Hypocrisy abounds in the United States.  Take, for one example, those who call themselves ‘pro-life’.  They will take away women’s rights in order to ensure that a fetus, that may or may not turn into an actual human life, is protected, sometimes at the cost of the woman’s life, yet they will go out and shoot innocent animals, not for food, but simply for the ‘pleasure’ of killing, of taking a life.  Oh … you say it’s only human life they are ‘pro’?  Well, let’s delve a little deeper there.

Many of the very same ones who call themselves ‘pro-life’ support the death penalty, whereby at some point we could take the life of a perfectly innocent human who will later be exonerated … but he cannot be freed, for he is dead.  They rail against tax dollars being used in support of single mothers struggling to buy food to feed those babies that the ‘pro-lifers’ insisted they have.  They also stand firm for unlimited guns in the hands of any who want them, claiming it is a “god-given” right.  Guns, I might remind you, have a singular purpose:  to kill, to take those lives that these people claim to be protecting.  ‘Pro-life’ is really nothing more than anti-women.  Call a spade a bloody shovel, as my friend Mary says.

Perhaps one of the greatest hypocrisies that abound in the U.S. today is the attitude of some toward immigrants.  I would bet money that every single person who wants to ‘build a wall’ or ‘shut down the border’ is the child of immigrant ancestry.  Their grandparents or great-great-great grandparents – someone from their family tree came to this country from another seeking freedoms or opportunities they were deprived of in their ancestral land.  And yet, when people are knocking on the door at our southern border or seeking admission from a Middle Eastern nation, the people of this nation would turn them away.  Too bad the Indigenous People of North America didn’t have the wherewithal to turn away those who came to our shores in the 16th and 17th centuries and beyond!

As a child, I was told that ‘America’ is the land of opportunity, the ‘Land of milk and honey’, the land where you can grow up to be anything you want.  And that’s true for the mostly-white, mostly-male millionaires and billionaires, but for the rest of us … we have an opportunity to try to survive as best we can.  Dodge the bullets, folks, keep your head down and work your ass off and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to afford to pay your rent and buy groceries next week.

And speaking of those wealthy people … here’s a statistic that will blow your mind.  19,000 – The number of Americans who made at least $1 million in 2020 who also collected unemployment assistance that year, according to new IRS data. That included 4,500 people who earned between $5 million and $10 million and 229 people with eight-figure incomes or more.  Think on that one for just a minute … a person whose total salary in 2020, the year of the pandemic when people were in serious danger of going hungry or losing their homes, was over a million dollars, got an additional $13,900 from our taxpayer dollars!!!  Not just one person but 19,000 millionaires got extra money from We the People.  Talk about hypocrisy!!!  That anyone who had already made $1 million or more that year, or had millions in the bank, would even apply for unemployment benefits is the lowest of low.

Certain members of Congress are hoping to be able to cut Social Security and Medicare soon … programs that we working people have paid into every day of our working lives … but there is no mention of cutting their own pensions or salaries or perks.  I call it Robin Hood Reversal … rob from the poor to give to the rich.