♫ Abraham, Martin and John ♫

Today, in a comment, dear friend Roger sent me this song, and as I listened, something … clicked.  I felt tears welling, wanted to share this beautiful moment.  I realize this is one I have played here before, this is the same version musically, but a slightly different video and a very moving one, I think.  Thank you, Roger, for reminding me of this song … a tribute to some truly great men who helped people, who cared about the nation and its people.


A tribute to the memory of four assassinated Americans, all icons of social change: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy.  This song was written in response to the assassination of King and that of Robert Kennedy in April and June 1968, respectively.  More than 50 years … can it really have been so long ago?  I remember it … truly as if it were just a few weeks ago.  As I listen to this song, I cannot help but choke … remembering … the hope these men brought us … how I wish they were here today … 😢

The original version was recorded by Dion Francis DiMucci, better known simply as Dion.  Although the song has been recorded by many of my favourites such as Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, the Brothers Four, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Whitney Houston, and Smokey Robinson, to name a few, the Dion version remains my favourite.  And so, I bring you, in honour of four truly great men whose lives, because they were great, because they worked tirelessly for equality for all, were cut far too short …

Abraham, Martin And John
Dion DiMucci

Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend John,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Didn’t you love the things they stood for?
Didn’t they try to find some good for you and me?
And we’ll be free,
Someday soon it’s gonna be one day.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him walkin’ up over the hill
With Abraham, Martin and John.

Songwriters: Richard Holler
Abraham, Martin And John lyrics © Regent Music Corporation, Stonehenge Music

♫ Arizona ♫

Isn’t it funny how a song you haven’t heard nor thought about for decades suddenly pops into your head?  And stays … and stays … and before long it is invading your every waking moment and you’re even softly whistling it while trying to get to sleep as the sun is rising in the east, and the poor cat raises her head, glares at you as if to say, “Shut up and go to sleep, hooman!!”  This song did just that to me this week, so guess what, my friends?  I just had to share it with you, and perhaps some of you will be singing it at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morn!  I was happy to find that I hadn’t played this one yet in all my years of music posts!

This song was written by Kenny Young and recorded in 1969 by Mark Lindsay, a solo effort while still lead singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders.  Lindsay was backed by L.A. session musicians from the Wrecking Crew. The single peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 14 February 1970 and was awarded a RlAA Gold Disc in April 1970. A version by the British band The Family Dogg was also released in 1969 — no, I did not go listen to it, for it is already 1:30 a.m. and I’m hoping to get to bed sometime tonight … to whistle yet another song!

The song’s title, Arizona, refers to the singer’s girlfriend, whom he considers innocent and naïve. The singer wistfully describes Arizona’s idealism and lifestyle, which he considers absurd and immature (“you’re acting like a teeny bopper runaway child”). He then urges Arizona to discard her hippie trappings, including “hobo shoes”, “rainbow shades”, and “Indian braids”, and view the world through more realistic eyes. However, even as he exhorts Arizona to become more worldly, the singer continues to praise her, describing Arizona as “a little-town saint”. In the end, his love for Arizona and what she represents to him overcomes his cynicism, and the singer decides to follow her example, adopting her view of the world, instead of expecting her to accept his.

Arizona

Mark Lindsay

She must belong to San Francisco
She must have lost her way
Postin’ a poster of Poncho and Cisco

One California day
She said she believes in Robin Hood and brotherhood
And colours of green and grey
And all you can do is laugh at her
Doesn’t anybody know how to pray?

Arizona, take off your rainbow shades
Arizona, have another look at the world
My my
Arizona, cut off your Indian braids
Arizona, hey won’tcha go my way

Mmmm strip off your pride you’re acting like a teeny-bopper run away child
And scrape off the paint from the face of a little town saint
Arizona, take off your hobo shoes
Arizona, hey won’tcha go my way

You gotta follow me up to San Francisco
I will be guide your way
I’ll be the Count of Monte Cristo
You’ll be the Countess May
And you can believe in Robin Hood and brotherhood and rolling the ball in the hay
And I will be reading you an Aesop’s fable
Anything to make you stay-ay-ay

Arizona, take off your rainbow shades
Arizona, have another look at the world, my my
Arizona, cut off your Indian braids
Arizona, hey won’tcha go my way

Hey, Arizona, take off your hobo shoes
Arizona, have another look at the world, my my
Arizona, get off your 8-ball blues
Arizona, hey won’tcha go my way

Come on, hey, Arizona, take off your rainbow shades

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Kenny Young

Arizona lyrics © Emi April Music Inc., Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Universal Music Corp., Reptillian Music, Cassadee Pope Music Llc, Mike Gentile Music, Pw Arrangements

♫ Both Sides Now ♫ (Redux)

Our friend Keith often plants ‘earworms’ in my head — songs that I find myself humming or whistling (or if I’m alone in the house, even singing! — for hours or days afterward.  Yesterday afternoon, I read his post about this song and ever since, I have had it stuck in my head!  The upside is that I’ve finally, at least for now, stopped singing “Rubber Ducky”!!!  Anyway … long story short … I’m reduxing my post from 2020.  It’s a beautiful song and it’s never too soon to hear it again!  Thanks, Keith!


This song was the first hit song written by Joni Mitchell, whose version appeared on her 1969 album Clouds. Mitchell recalled:

“I was reading Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King on a plane and early in the book Henderson the Rain King is also up in a plane. He’s on his way to Africa and he looks down and sees these clouds. I put down the book, looked out the window and saw clouds too, and I immediately started writing the song. I had no idea that the song would become as popular as it did.”

Joni Mitchell had been through a very difficult time when she wrote this song’s lyric. In 1965, she gave birth to a baby girl, but struggled as a single mom (the father was an old boyfriend who left soon after Mitchell got pregnant). She married a musician named Chuck Mitchell that year, but soon after the marriage, gave up the child for adoption. Soon, her marriage was on the rocks, and in 1967 they split up.

I might have liked Joni Mitchell’s version a lot better had I not heard Judy Collins’ rendition, and for me, there was no other.  Collins is known as a folk singer, and has recorded songs written by Leonard Cohen, Pete Seger, Bob Dylan and many others.  Her recording of this song provided her first hit, and also brought exposure to Mitchell, who went on to a very successful career as both a songwriter and performer.

Both Sides, Now
Joni Mitchell/Judy Collins

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons every where
Looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and ferries wheels
The dizzy dancing way that you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
And you leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions that I recall
I really don’t know love
Really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say, “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

Oh, but now old friends they’re acting strange
And they shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

It’s life’s illusions that I recall
I really don’t know life
I really don’t know life at all

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Joni Mitchell
Both Sides, Now lyrics © Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing

A Horse With No Name (Redux)(Redux)

Okay, okay … yeah, I’ve reduxed this one before, as it happens.  But … I’ve been trying to get the energy and motivation to get back into my music posts, and yesterday our friend Clive mentioned this one (I had a ‘toon on Jolly Monday that was a spin-off of the name of the song), and it immediately went … click click CLICK and took root in my mind!  Clive says it’s one of his favourites (in truth, I think Clive has over 3,000 favourites, but still …) and it’s also one of mine, so … bear with us and just have a listen, okay?  Annnnnndddd … I have added some trivia that was noticeably absent in the previous ‘duxes’ of the song!

The folk/rock group America originally consisted of three members: Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek.  They were all U.S. Air Force brats whose fathers were stationed in the UK.  A Horse With No Name, went on to top the American singles chart for three weeks in early 1972 and reached No.3 in the UK.  I like the song, and can actually remember most of the lyrics, but I have one question:  why didn’t the dude give the horse a name???

From SongFacts …

  • America was formed in England by sons of US servicemen who were stationed there. Lead singer Dewey Bunnell wrote “A Horse With No Name” when he was 19. Although the song is commonly misinterpreted about being on drugs, it is not: Bunnell based the images in the lyrics on things he saw while visiting the US.
  • This was originally titled “Desert Song,” since Bunnell wrote it based on the desert scenery he encountered when his dad was stationed at an Air Force base in Santa Barbara County, California.
  • The song tells a rather abstruse tale about a trip though the desert. While the landscape is unforgiving, the singer also finds comfort in that scenario.

According to Dewey Bunnell, the “horse” represents a means of entering a place of tranquility, and this tranquil place was best represented by the desert, which sounded pretty good to him while he was stuck in rainy England.
As for why the horse had no name and why it went free after nine days, Bunnell doesn’t have any answers – it seems the various listener interpretations are far more colorful than any meaning he assigned to it.

  • Many people thought this was a Neil Young song when they heard it, and many rock critics pointed out the similarities. In a strange twist, “A Horse With No Name” replaced Young’s “Heart of Gold” at #1 in the US.

    Dewey Bunnell explained that he was well aware that he sounded like Neil Young on this song, but claimed he wasn’t trying to imitate the singer. He told Rolling Stone in 1973: “I try to use a different voice so that I won’t be branded as a rip-off. It’s such a drag, though, to have to not sound like someone when you can’t help it in the first place.”

A Horse with No Name
America

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After nine days I let the horse run free
‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
there was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

Songwriters: Dewey Bunnell
A Horse with No Name lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Saturday Surprise — This ‘n That

Once again you’ve survived another work week and it’s time to have a bit of fun!  Unfortunately, my fun radar is in the shop for repairs, but never fear … I found some fun from back in 2018 that I know will bring a smile to your face today! 


Our first story takes us to Scotland, where a young farmer, Bruce Grubb, was holding a housewarming party in his cottage.  Now, Bruce had some cows out in the barn who were ready to give birth at just about any time, so periodically he left the party to go check on the cows.

Bruce Grubb with cowsWhen Bruce excused himself to go out and check on the cows, he got the fright of his life, for as he shined his flashlight among the resting cows, he saw a TIGER!  Its eyes glinted in the light, and Bruce knew he needed to get help … and quick!  Bruce dashed into the house and called the local police who wasted no time coming to the rescue.  Well, they wasted just a bit of time, first contacting the local zoo to see if any of their tigers were missing.

Once at the scene, armed officers from the North East Police Division surrounded the place. And they waited for the tiger to move.  And they waited … and waited … and after 45 minutes, they began to think that perhaps something wasn’t quite right.  Now, why they didn’t shine a bright light, or approach, I don’t know, unless they were trying not to scare the poor pregnant cows.  Finally, though, one of the officers cautiously approached the tiger and found …

stuffed tiger.png

Yep, you got it … a stuffed tiger!  Talk about some sheepish grins.  And you can only imagine the ribbing the officers took from the online community once the story was posted on Facebook

“The farmer was very complimentary about the attending officers, summarised by saying “they’re grrrrreat!”

“Hmmmm never seen a real tiger with a seam up it’s back and legs.”

“Could’ve been a ‘big cat astrophe.”


Who knew that Amazon sells a giant  beach ball …

The Beach Behemoth Giant Inflatable 12-Foot Pole-to-Pole Beach Ball by Sol Coastal

Price: $95.96 FREE Shipping for Prime members Details

giant ball

One customer gained attention when he gave the ball only a 2-star rating and wrote the following review:

“We took this ball to the beach and after close to 2 hours to pump it up, we pushed it around for about 10 fun-filled minutes. That was when the wind picked it up and sent it huddling down the beach at about 40 knots. It destroyed everything in its path. Children screamed in terror at the giant inflatable monster that crushed their sand castles. Grown men were knocked down trying to save their families. The faster we chased it, the faster it rolled. It was like it was mocking us. Eventually, we had to stop running after it because its path of injury and destruction was going to cost us a fortune in legal fees. Rumor has it that it can still be seen stalking innocent families on the Florida panhandle. We lost it in South Carolina, so there is something to be said about its durability.”

And of course others had to jump on the bandwagon with their comments …

comment

comment-2

For the price, I think I’ll pass …


reading toon

And since I haven’t given you any cute baby animal pictures lately …

baby ant eater

Baby Ant Eater

baby dik dik

Baby Dik Dik

baby dolphin

Baby Dolphin

baby duck

Baby Duck

baby gibbon

Baby Gibbon

baby lemur

Baby Lemur

Jaguar cub

Jaguar cub

leopard cub

Leopard cub

And, thanks to our friend Roger, this one has been on my mind all week …

Calvinball.png

And that, my dear friends, is about all we have time for today!  I hope you found something to make you smile here, and I wish you a wonderful weekend.  And what would Saturday Surprise be without at least one song chosen from my own personal favourites?  Keep safe, be happy, be kind.  Love ‘n hugs to you all …

♫ Mockingbird ♫

My friend Jerry often sends me ideas for my music posts.  He and I do not generally share the same taste in music, so it’s rare that I use his suggestions here, but a few nights ago he sent me one, saying …

“I know you’re not doing much on the music posts, but here’s one I think that YOU will like. I heard the song the other day and was curious if they did it live. The harmonies are hard to do the way they did it on record, but they sure did pull it off live. Impressive!!”

The song was Mockingbird, the artists are James Taylor, whom I adore, and Carly Simon, and he’s right … they sure did pull it off!

It turns out that Inez and Charlie Foxx initially recorded this in 1963.  According to SongFacts …

  • This is based on a traditional American folk song sometimes known as “Hush Little Baby.” The song is a lullaby, intended to soothe a young child to sleep with promises of expensive gifts. Northern Mockingbirds were often kept as pets in America, which explains the significance of the lyrics.
  • Bo Diddley used the traditional lyrics for his 1955 song “Bo Diddley,” but his song had a completely different arrangement.
  • Inez and Charlie Foxx were brother and sister. In 1974, James Taylor and Carly Simon, who were married at the time, recorded their version, which was also a hit. Country singer Toby Keith recorded it with his teenage daughter Krystal in 2004, and that same year, Eminem made it into a song for his daughter Hailie. Eminem’s song veers from the traditional lyrics as he details his struggles to raise his daughter and threatens to break the bird’s neck if it doesn’t sing.
  • Toby Keith did a duet of this song with his daughter, Krystal, for his 2004 Greatest Hits Volume 2 album.
  • This song is part of a key scene in the 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber, where Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels sing it for musical entertainment.

And Jerry later sent me another message saying that “Interesting tidbit about the song, when JT does it nowadays, his daughter, that he had with CS does her part. When CS does it, the son they had together, does his part. Talk about keeping it in the family.”

And so, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado I present to you James Taylor and Carly Simon!  (My apologies for the funky alignment of the lyrics … it’s late, I’m tired, and I have no idea why it won’t align properly, so I’m going to bed now!)

Mockingbird

James Taylor & Carly Simon

Mock (yeah)
Ing (yeah)
Bird (yeah)
Yeah (yeah)
Mockin’bird, now

Everybody have you heard
He’s gonna buy me a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing
He’s gonna buy me a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring won’t shine
He’s gonna surely break this heart of mine

And that’s why I keep on tellin’ everybody
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, uh, oh

Hear me now and understand
He’s gonna find me some peace of mind

And if that piece of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna find myself a better way

And if that better way ain’t so
I’ll ride with the tide and go with the flow

And that’s why I keep on shoutin’ in your ear
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, uh, oh

Now, everybody have you heard
She’s gonna buy me a mockingbird
Yeah if that mockingbird don’t sing
She’s gonna buy me a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring won’t shine
Yes, it’ll surely break this heart of mine
And there’s a reason why I keep on tellin’ everybody
Say yeah, yeah no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

Listen now and understand
She’s gonna find me some peace of mind
Yeah if that piece of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna get myself a better way

I might rise above, I might go below
Ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that’s the reason why I keep on shoutin’ in your ear
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, now, now. baby

♫ I Started A Joke ♫ (Redux)

The only other time I played this song was in August 2020.  For some reason, as I was working through comments last night, I thought of the first line to this song … “I started a joke which started the whole world crying”.  I have no idea what triggered it, but it came and nearly brought me to tears.  And so, what better way to share whatever demons are bouncing inside my head than to share this song?


I Started a Joke is a song by the Bee Gees from their 1968 album Idea, which was released as a single in December of that year. It was not released as a single in the United Kingdom, where buyers who could not afford the album had to content themselves with a Polydor version by Heath Hampstead. This is the last Bee Gees single to feature Vince Melouney’s guitar work, as he left the band in early December after this song was released as a single.

This song was written by Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, and produced by the Bee Gees with Robert Stigwood.  According to Robin Gibb …

“The melody to this one was heard aboard a British Airways Vickers Viscount about a hundred miles from Essen. It was one of those old four engine “prop” jobs, that seemed to drone the passenger into a sort of hypnotic trance, only with this it was different. The droning, after a while, appeared to take the form of a tune, which mysteriously sounded like a church choir. So it was decided! We accosted the pilot, forced him to land in the nearest village and there, in a small pub, we finished the lyrics [with Barry]. Actually, it wasn’t a village, it was the city, and it wasn’t a pub, it was a hotel, and we didn’t force the pilot to land in a field … but why ruin a perfectly good story?

There was a lot of psychedelia and the idea that if you wrote something, even if it sounded ridiculous, somebody would find the meaning for it, and that was the truth. This is a very spiritual song. The listeners have to interpret it themselves, trying to explain it would detract from the song.”

Robin Gibb’s son played I Started a Joke on his phone just after his father died from kidney failure on 20 May 2012. Robin-John Gibb told The Sun:

“When he passed away we went out, they took the equipment away and we came back in, I picked up my phone and found “I Started a Joke” on YouTube and played it. I put the phone on his chest and that was the first time I broke down. I knew that song and its lyrics were perfect for that moment. That song will always have new meaning to me now.”

This was famously covered by Faith No More and released as their last single, after the band already split up. They covered the song in 1995. It was released as a bonus track on the album King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime in Argentina in 1995 and as a B-side of the UK and European Limited edition versions of the “Digging The Grave” CD single, which came out February 28, 1995. London Records released it as a single after Faith No More split up in 1998.  

I listened to the Faith No More version, fully expecting not to like it, but strangely I found it quite good, so I will include it, as well as the Bee Gees’ version here.

I Started a Joke
Bee Gees

I started a joke which started the whole world crying
But I didn’t see that the joke was on me oh no
I started to cry which started the whole world laughing
Oh If I’d only seen that the joke was on me

I looked at the skies running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed hurting my head from things that I said
‘Till I finally died which started the whole world living
Oh if I’d only seen that the joke was on me

I looked at the skies running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed hurting my head from things that I said
‘Till I finally died which started the whole world living
Oh if I’d only seen that the joke was on me
Oh no that the joke was on me

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barry Gibb / Maurice Ernest Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb
I Started a Joke lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Stuck On You ♫

I have wanted to start doing music posts again for months now, but my energy is still at ebb tide and I just cannot seem to rake together enough of it to get back into the groove of doing the music posts.  However, last night I discovered that tonight, none other than Lionel Richie will be honoured with the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and it was enough to inspire and motivate me, at least this once!  Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder are two who can bring me out of hiding most any day!

Lionel Richie will receive the honor Wednesday night in the nation’s capital in a special taping that will be broadcast on PBS on Tuesday, May 17.  Past recipients include Paul Simon (2007), Stevie Wonder (2009), Paul McCartney (2010), Burt Bacharach & Hal David (2012), Carole King (2013), Billy Joel (2014), Willie Nelson (2015), Smokey Robinson (2016), Tony Bennett (2017), Gloria & Emilio Estefan (2019) and Garth Brooks (2012), who all provide input into who should be the next honoree each year.

This one peaked at #3 in the U.S. and Canada, and #12 in the UK.  Interestingly, for I think of Lionel and his music as R&B or soul, this was the first, but not last, of his songs to chart on the Country music charts!  I listened to this one, watched the video twice tonight, and found myself smiling … something that doesn’t happen too often these days.  Thank you, Lionel!

Stuck on You
Lionel Richie

Stuck on you
I’ve got this feeling down deep in my soul that I just can’t lose
Guess I’m on my way
Needed a friend
And the way I feel now I guess I’ll be with you ’til the end
Guess I’m on my way
Mighty glad you stayed

I’m stuck on you
Been a fool too long I guess it’s time for me to come on home
Guess I’m on my way
So hard to see
That a woman like you could wait around for a man like me
Guess I’m on my way
Mighty glad you stayed

Oh, I’m leaving on that midnight train tomorrow
And I know just where I’m going
I’ve packed up my troubles and I’ve thrown them all away
‘Cause this time little darling
I’m coming home to stay

I’m stuck on you
I’ve got this feeling down deep in my soul that I just can’t lose
Guess I’m on my way
Needed a friend
And the way I feel now I guess I’ll be with you ’til the end
Guess I’m on my way
I’m mighty glad you stayed
I’m mighty glad you stayed

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lionel B. Jr. Richie
Stuck on You lyrics © Brockman Music, Brenda Richie Publishing

♫ American Pie ♫

I haven’t posted music posts much of late … actually only one or two in the last 4-5 months, I think … but today, February 3rd, cried out for me to post one.  Why, you ask?  Because it was 63 years ago today that a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa took the lives of 22-year-old Buddy Holly, 17-year-old Ritchie Valens, and 28-year-old J. P. Richardson, aka: “The Big Bopper” as well as the pilot, Roger Peterson.

Richie Valens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper (left to right)

Buddy Holly’s band was on tour and had played at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.  They were headed to their next destination in Moorhead, Minnesota.  For this leg of their journey, they decided to take a charter plane rather than go with their tour bus. Richardson “The Big Bopper”,  had swapped places with Waylon Jennings, taking the latter’s place on the plane and Tommy Allsup had lost his place to Ritchie Valens in a coin toss.

Not long after takeoff, they were no longer able to be reached by radio, and they did not reach their destination. The aircraft was reported missing. The next day, the wreckage was found less than 6 miles northwest of the airport in a cornfield.  Poor weather conditions and pilot error were determined, during the investigation, to have been the cause of the pilot losing control of the plane.

“The day the music died” is a line in the 1972 Don McLean hit American Pie. McLean’s song, which he wrote in the late 1960s and released in 1971, was in part inspired by the tragic event which took the lives of three great musicians and their pilot.

Don McLean was a 13-year-old paperboy in New Rochelle, New York on that fateful day. He learned about the plane crash when he cut into his stack of papers and saw the lead story.

According to McLean …

“For some reason I wanted to write a big song about America and about politics, but I wanted to do it in a different way. As I was fiddling around, I started singing this thing about the Buddy Holly crash, the thing that came out (singing), ‘Long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.’

I thought, Whoa, what’s that? And then the day the music died, it just came out. And I said, Oh, that is such a great idea. And so that’s all I had. And then I thought, I can’t have another slow song on this record. I’ve got to speed this up. I came up with this chorus, crazy chorus. And then one time about a month later I just woke up and wrote the other five verses. Because I realized what it was, I knew what I had. And basically, all I had to do was speed up the slow verse with the chorus and then slow down the last verse so it was like the first verse, and then tell the story, which was a dream. It is from all these fantasies, all these memories that I made personal. Buddy Holly’s death to me was a personal tragedy. As a child, a 15-year-old, I had no idea that nobody else felt that way much. I mean, I went to school and mentioned it and they said, ‘So what?’ So I carried this yearning and longing, if you will, this weird sadness that would overtake me when I would look at this album, The Buddy Holly Story, because that was my last Buddy record before he passed away.”

And so, today I present for your listening pleasure and remembrance …

American Pie
Don McLean

A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
So

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
I started singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But, that’s not how it used to be

When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lennon read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
We were singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast

It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again

So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend

Oh and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
He was singin’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away

I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

They were singing
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

Songwriters: Don McLean
American Pie lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad ♫ (R.I.P. Meat Loaf)

I haven’t been doing music posts these past several months, as I am still lacking strength and energy, and my efforts to write two posts a day are about as much as I can muster.  However, when I learned of the death of Marvin Lee Aday, better known as the artist Meat Loaf, I knew I had to somehow honour him.  This is a redux from about a year ago, but for a better tribute to Meat Loaf, please visit our friend Keith’s post. R.I.P. Mr. Aday … your legacy, your music, will long be remembered.


Jim Steinman wrote this song after his friend, the actress Mimi Kennedy, suggested that he write a ballad along the lines of the Elvis Presley song “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.” She was implying that he should write something straightforward and simple, but Steinman doesn’t work that way. He used the phrase, but added a degree of Shakespearean drama that was typical of his work.  Steinman recalls …

“I remember Mimi Kennedy [a cast member of Jim’s then-current musical Rhinegold] telling me, she said, you know, when I was probably complaining why no one liked my stuff and couldn’t get a deal, she says, “Well Steiny, your stuff is so complicated. Can’t you write something simple?” And while she was saying that the oldies station was on the radio and it was playing that old Elvis song, ‘I Want You, I Need,’ whatever it was. ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You’, you know. I just started singing my own song but it was ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.’ She said, “Why don’t you write something simple like that, ‘I want you, I need you, I love you’?” I said, “Well I’ll try.” I don’t try to make them complicated. I remember going home and I tried so hard but the best I could do was: I want you, I need you but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you, don’t be sad, ’cause two out of three ain’t bad. So it was still a twist but it was my closest to a simple song, and one Elvis could have done.”

The song hit #11 in the U.S., #5 in Canada, and #32 in the UK.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
Song by Meat Loaf

Baby we can talk all night
But that ain’t gettin us nowhere
I told you everything I possibly can
There’s nothing left inside of here
And maybe you can cry all night
But that’ll never change the way I feel
The snow is really piling up outside
I wish you wouldn’t make me leave here
I poured it on and I poured it out
I tried to show you just how much I care
I’m tired of words and I’m too hoarse to shout
But you’ve been cold to me so long
I’m crying icicles instead of tears

And all I can do is keep on telling you
I want you, I need you
But-there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad

You’ll never find your gold on a sandy beach
You’ll never drill for oil on a city street
I know you’re looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks
But there ain’t no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom
Of a Cracker Jack box

I can’t lie, I can’t tell you that I’m something I’m not
No matter how I try
I’ll never be able to give you something
Something that I just haven’t got
There’s only one girl I’ll ever love
And that was so many years ago
And though I know I’ll never get her out of my heart
She never loved me back
Oh I know

I remember how she left me on a stormy night
She kissed me and got out of our bed
And though I pleaded and I begged her not to walk out that door
She packed her bags and turned right away

And she kept on telling me
She kept on telling me
She kept on telling me
I want you, I need you

But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
I want you, I need you
But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
Baby we can talk all night
But that ain’t getting us nowhere

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jim Steinman
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad lyrics © Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, Carlin America Inc