♫ Happy Together ♫

Having been under a dark cloud for days now, I thought that the very least I could do would be play an upbeat song, so I went in search of songs about “happy”.  This was among the first five to pop up on Google, and the first I actually recognized, so I set about to find some related trivia about the song.  But, as I did so, it sounded all too familiar, so I checked the archives and … sure enough, I played this one a couple of years ago (2019).  Still and all … it is a happy song and I’m wiped out tonight, so I’ll play it again!  Funny … I still have the same problems with my van now that I had two years ago!  Ali promises that when the weather gets warm, he’s going to repair the transmission for me so that I can drive it farther than the Kroger across the street!  To be fair, Socrates has over 225,000 miles on his odometer and he’s tired — I can relate.  Anyway, let the music set your toes to tapping and put a smile on your faces, okay?


The “Check Engine” light keeps coming on in my van.  I keep checking, and the engine is still there, so I’m puzzled.  Perhaps the light has a short.  This is completely apropos of nothing except that this morning, as I headed out to the grocery hoping to beat the heat, I once again checked to ensure that the engine was right where it was supposed to be, and I had a little chat with the van … whose name is Socrates … and I said, “Look, Sock … if you would just settle down, stop that stupid thumping noise every time you shift gears, and turn off that little light, we could be so Happy Together.”  And that, naturally, put this song into my head.

Despite what the title implies, this is not a song about a couple in love. According to Gary Bonner, who wrote the song with Alan Gordon, the song is about unrequited love. Our desperate singer wants the girl to “imagine how the world could be so very fine,” proposing what would happen “if I should call you up.” The line in the fadeout, “How is the weather?” is when he realizes they will never be more than passing acquaintances, as he resorts to small talk to keep from bursting into tears.  Who knew?

The song’s composers Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon were the bass player and drummer of the Boston area group The Magicians. Bonner became a regular member of Kenny Vance and the Planotones. Gordon, who died in 2008 at the age of 64, had songs recorded by Alice Cooper, Frank Zappa and The Lovin’ Spoonful.

Talking about how the song came together, Alan Gordon said …

“I had nearly half a song already written, mostly lyric ideas, but couldn’t find the right melodic concept. The Magicians were in the middle of a week-long engagement at the Unicorn Club in Boston, and one early morning I was visiting my divorced father in nearby Ayer, Massachusetts after being up all night. I had stopped to have breakfast at the Park Street Diner in the town and was miserable with no sleep, the endless dumb gigs we were playing and having a songwriter’s block. About the only melody that was throbbing in my tired, fried brain at that hour was the time-immemorial repeated open string pattern that Allen (Jake) Jacobs, the Magician’s lead guitarist, would use as he incessantly tuned and retuned after, before, and frequently during each piece we played. Suddenly, some words began to fit and literally minutes later music and lyrics started to take shape. I excitedly and in fairness asked Jake to complete the song with me as co-writer, but he refused, saying it was all ‘too simple’ for him to be involved, so my regular partner Gary then helped me with the finishing touches. When Gary Klein at the Koppleman/Rubin office heard the result, he immediately knew the song would be perfect for the new and upbeat image being created for The Turtles, and it was his continued enthusiasm that convinced the group to record it.”

In the three years after The Turtles recorded this, they had several other hits, but disbanded in 1970. Volman and Kaylan joined Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention as “Phlorescent Leech and Eddie.” Seriously??? After a few years with Zappa, they started recording as Flo And Eddie. They wrote music for the animated movies Dirty Duck, Strawberry Shortcake and The Care Bears, and hosted their own nationally syndicated radio show. They also played on many famous songs by John Lennon, Roger McGuinn, Hoyt Axton, Alice Cooper, Blondie, Bruce Springsteen, The Psychedelic Furs (Again … seriously???), Sammy Hagar, Duran Duran, and The Ramones. In 1984, they went on their “Happy Together Tour” as The Turtles Featuring Flo And Eddie.

Happy Together
The Turtles

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it’s only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together

I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you
For all my life
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you
For all my life
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

So happy together
How is the weather
So happy together
We’re happy together
So happy together
Happy together
So happy together
So happy together (ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba)

Songwriters: Alan Gordon / Garry Bonner
Happy Together lyrics © Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, Carlin America Inc

♫ Endless Love ♫

Tonight there is no song in my heart … and so I turn back to that which I last played 3 years ago … Lionel Richie never fails to put a song where there was none … this one is for … well, you know who you are.


Lionel Richie originally wrote this song and recorded it with Diana Ross in 1981.  Lionel Richie had risen from saxophone player in the Commodores to lead vocalist and primary songwriter in the group. He was still with them when the movie, Endless Love, was being filmed and director Franco Zeffirelli asked him to write an instrumental theme along the lines of Henry Mancini’s theme from the 1971 film Love Story. Richie, who was eager to add “film soundtrack” to his resumé, used a piece of music he had written for the Commodores but was never recorded. But then Zeffirelli decided he wanted lyrics. And that it should be a duet, maybe with Diana Ross. So Richie’s assignment went from devising an instrumental theme song to composing and performing on a fully-formed duet with the most popular female vocalist in America. He was up for the challenge.

The movie did not do well, but the song, recorded under the Motown label, received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and won a Marquee Award in 1982 for Best Original Song.

In 1994, Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross recorded this for Vandross’ album Songs. It became Luther’s biggest hit, going to #2 in the US.  I am a big fan of Luther Vandross, but tonight, as I listened to his and Mariah’s version, I found that I still preferred Lionel Richie and Shania’s.  Somewhere along the line, Kenny Rogers even recorded it … is there a song around that he hasn’t recorded???  I did not listen to Kenny’s version.  Three was enough for me.

Richie and Twain recorded their version in 2011, and the video you are about to watch was recorded in February 2012.

Endless Love
Lionel Richie and Shania Twain

My love
There’s only you in my life
The only thing that’s right
My first love
You’re every breath I take
You’re every step I make

And I
I want to share
All my love with you
No one else will do
And your eyes (your eyes, your eyes)
They tell me how much you care
Oh, yes
You’ll always be
My endless love

Two hearts
Two hearts that beat as one
Our lives have just begun
And forever
I’ll hold you close in my arms
I can’t resist your charms

And I
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(No, you know I don’t mind)
And yes
You mean the world to me
I know I’ve found in you
My endless love

And love
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(Whoa, you know I don’t mind)
Oh, yes
You’d be the only one
Cause no, I can’t deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love (my love, my love)

Songwriters: Lionel B. Richie / Jr.
Endless Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ What the World Needs Now Is Love/Abraham, Martin and John ♫

As I peruse the headlines, read the news stories from the U.S. and around the globe, I am discouraged, ashamed to be a member of the human species at times.  In every ‘corner’ of the globe, hatred is raising its ugly voice:  North Korea, Myanmar, Brazil, and others.  Here in the U.S., we are seeing a surge in racism, mass shooting sprees, and lawmakers who seek to overturn the Constitution, to take away our rights as citizens.  I no longer recognize this world … there are days I no longer wish to be a part of it.  I was thinking tonight of a song, Jackie DeShannon’s “What the World Needs Now is Love”, and I recalled this one, a compilation of that song and another.  I think we need to keep this song close to our hearts today, tomorrow, and … until we can learn to live together in peace. 


I started looking for the right song for tonight … for once there was none stuck in my head … and happened across Jackie Deshannon’s 1965 hit, What the World Needs Now is Love.  I thought perhaps, in these times of troubles all over the world, in the Middle-East, the UK, the United States, and many more places, this might be an appropriate song to play.

As I looked for a bit of information, a bit of trivia about the song, I was led to another song and it is this that I play for you tonight.  I don’t intend these music posts to be in the least bit political, and my apologies, for this one is, in a sense.  But it is also … it speaks to us today, I think, just as it did in 1971.  Today, some of the issues are different … Vietnam has ended, but Syria and Yemen have not.  And some of the issues are yet the same … racism, prejudice, bigotry.

This is a remix of two songs, the aforementioned What the World Needs Now is Love combined with Abraham, Martin and John, first recorded by Dion in 1968 as a response to the assassinations of both Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy earlier that year.

Tom-Clay.jpgTom Clay was a disc jockey in 1971, working for radio station KGBS in Los Angeles, California when he created this remix.  The narrative includes sound bites from speeches of John and Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., and makes a heartfelt social/political comment.

Again, I apologize for bringing a socio-political statement into my music posts, but when I heard this song … it just … did something to me and I wanted to share it.  I promise a more uplifting music selection tomorrow, but I do hope you will take just a few minutes to listen to this one.  I have included the lyrics to both of the original songs.

What the World Needs Now
Jackie DeShannon

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don’t need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last till the end of time.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don’t need another meadow
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.
No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.

Songwriters: Burt F. Bacharach / Hal David
What the World Needs Now lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

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 © Stonehenge Music

♫ Let Your Love Flow ♫

Well, folks, the weekend is finally here.  Has this been a long week or what?  So much angst-inducing news all week long, from mass shootings to voting rights being taken away from millions … but no matter how stressed we are, there’s always … MUSIC!

A search of my archives shows that I haven’t played anything by the Bellamy Brothers since I began doing these music posts two-and-a-half years ago!  Of course, that might be because I only know one of their songs!  They are a country duet and I’m not a big fan of country, but I always rather liked this song — it has a certain beat to it.

According to Howard Bellamy, who is half of the Bellamy Brothers duo …

“Around ’74, we moved from Florida to L.A. to kind of pursue a career. We’re from here in Central Florida in a little community called Darby – there is not much of a music scene here, to say the least. So we moved out there and met a lot of guys and met Neil Diamond’s band, became good friends with his band. And one day Neil’s drummer came over to our house and brought the demo of ‘Let Your Love Flow,’ and said, ‘Hey, this sounds like something you guys would do.’ So we went off to record that, and the rest is kind of history. It became not only the largest song of that year, it’s become somewhere in the area of one of the largest songs ever, as far as being played. And it’s become a standard, basically. I wish another one of those would come along.”

Larry Williams, who was one of Neil Diamond’s roadies, wrote this song. Neil Diamond, however, turned it down. Says Bellamy …

“Well, it really wasn’t in Neil Diamond’s vein. I would say the guy who wrote this song is the wealthiest roadie now that ever was. Actually, Johnny Rivers had passed on the song. It had been pitched to a few people. It was recorded once by a guy named Gene Cotton; he recorded a kind of unusual version. But when we heard it we had an idea of how we wanted to record it because it kind of fit our style, acoustic bass with a groove, and I think that has a lot to do with it. You’ve got to really match songs with artists, and I think it was the perfect song for us, a great match.”

The song hit #1 in the U.S., #3 in Canada, and #7 in the UK in 1976.

Let Your Love Flow
The Bellamy Brothers

There’s a reason for the sunshine in the sky
And there’s a reason why I’m feeling so high
Must be the season
When that love light shines all around us

So let that feeling grab you deep inside
And send you reeling, where your love can’t hide
And then go stealing
Through the moonlit nights with your lover

Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show
And you’ll know what I mean, it’s the season

Let your love fly like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you to all living things
And let your love shine
And you’ll know what I mean, that’s the reason

There’s a reason for the warm, sweet nights
And there’s a reason for the candle lights
Must be the season
When those love lights shine all around us

So let that wonder take you into space
And lay you under it’s loving embrace
Just feel the thunder as it warms your face
You can’t hold back

Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show
And you’ll know what I mean, it’s the season

Let your love fly like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you to all living things
And let your love shine
And you’ll know what I mean, that’s the reason

Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show
And you’ll know what I mean, it’s the season

Let your love fly like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you to all living things
And let your love shine
And you’ll know what I mean, that’s the reason

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Larry E. Williams

♫ Earth Song ♫ (Redux)

Sometimes music is just for fun, other times to stir memories, and sometimes it is to make a statement.  In recent years, the environment has been a hot-button topic, with scientists telling us that we are destroying the only planet that is capable of sustaining human life as we know it, and others claiming it’s all a hoax, that we should go on filling the air and seas with toxins and trash.

Michael Jackson, known for his socially-conscious music, released this song, dealing with the environment and animal welfare, on November 27, 1995.  The music video you are about to see was shot in four separate geographical locations, including the Americas, Europe and Africa.  According to Michael Jackson …

“I remember writing ‘Earth Song’ when I was in Austria, in a hotel. And I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth. And for me, this is Earth’s Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth. And with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it’s about some of the joys of the planet as well. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is ‘Earth Song.’ And that’s what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria.”

The song has won numerous awards, perhaps none more important than the Genesis Award: 1995 Doris Day Music Award, given each year for animal sensitivity.

In 2008, a writer for the Nigeria Exchange noted, “Earth Song drew the world’s attention to the degradation and bastardization of the earth as a fall out of various human activities”.  Ten years later and we still haven’t gotten the wake-up call.

The video, directed by fine art photographer Nick Brandt had an environmental theme, showing images of animal cruelty, deforestation, pollution, poaching, poverty and war. Jackson and the world’s people unite in a spiritual chant—”Earth Song”—which summons a force that heals the world. Using special effects, time is reversed so that life returns, war ends and the forests regrow.

Earth Song
Michael Jackson

What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things that you said
We were to gain
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said were yours and mine

Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we’ve shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying Earth, these weeping shores

Aah, ooh

What have we done to the world
Look what we’ve done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son

What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine

Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying earth, these weeping shores

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don’t know where we are
Although I know we’ve drifted far

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

Hey, what about yesterday
(What about us)
What about the seas
(What about us)
The heavens are falling down
(What about us)
I can’t even breathe
(What about us)
What about apathy
(What about us)
Drowning in the seas
(What about us)
What about the promised land
Preachin’ what I believe
(What about us)
What about the holy land
(What about it)
What about the greed
(What about us)
Where did we go wrong
Someone tell me why
(What about us)
What about baby boy
(What about him)
What about the days
(What about us)
What about all their joy
Do we give a damn

Aah, ooh
Aah, ooh

Songwriters: Michael Jackson
Earth Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ As Tears Go By ♫ (Redux)

I have only played this once, three years ago, so it should still be “like-new”, yes?


This song was written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham, and was one of the first original compositions by Jagger and Richards, as until that point The Rolling Stones had chiefly been performing blues standards. A story surrounding the song’s genesis has it that Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham locked Jagger and Richards in a kitchen in order to force them to write a song together, even suggesting what type of song he wanted: “I want a song with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex.”

In a 1992 interview with Guitar Player magazine, Keith Richards said:

“… suddenly, ‘Oh, we’re songwriters,’ with the most totally anti-Stones sort of song you could think of at the time, while we’re trying to make a good version of (Muddy Waters’) ‘Still A Fool.’ When you start writing, it doesn’t matter where the first one comes from. You’ve got to start somewhere, right? So Andrew locked Mick and myself into a kitchen in this horrible little apartment we had. He said, ‘You ain’t comin’ out,’ and there was no way out. We were in the kitchen with some food and a couple of guitars, but we couldn’t get to the john, so we had to come out with a song. In his own little way, that’s where Andrew made his great contribution to the Stones. That was such a flatulent idea, a fart of an idea, that suddenly you’re gonna lock two guys in a room, and they’re going to become songwriters. Forget about it. And it worked. In that little kitchen Mick and I got hung up about writing songs …”

And per Mick Jagger …

“I wrote the lyrics, and Keith wrote the melody. It’s a very melancholy song for a 21-year-old to write: The evening of the day, watching children play – it’s very dumb and naive, but it’s got a very sad sort of thing about it, almost like an older person might write. You know, it’s like a metaphor for being old: You’re watching children playing and realizing you’re not a child. It’s a relatively mature song considering the rest of the output at the time. And we didn’t think of doing it, because the Rolling Stones were a butch Blues group. But Marianne Faithfull’s version was already a big, proven hit song… It was one of the first things I ever wrote.” 

The song was first recorded by Marianne Faithfull in 1964, and a year later the Stones recorded their own version.  I prefer the Stones version, but I understand that Faithfull’s was more popular in the UK, so I offer both here.  First, The Rolling Stones …

And then, Marianne Faithfull …

As Tears Go By
The Rolling Stones

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces I can see
But not for me
I sit and watch
As tears go by

My riches can’t buy everything
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch
As tears go by

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doing things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch
As tears go by

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Andrew Loog Oldham / Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
As Tears Go By lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management, T.R.O. Inc.

♫ Imagine ♫

Now, I know that I played this song three times during 2018, once during 2019, and twice last year.  And, I know that a couple of my beloved friends/readers do not care much for John Lennon.  But tonight, after the second mass shooting here in the U.S. in just over a week … well, I felt no song in my heart except this one … this one that let’s us dream of a better world.  I have never felt more hopeless than I do tonight … if there is hope for us in this world, it is to live life as John Lennon sings … a world with “nothing to kill or die for”.

And so, I ask you, dear friends, to listen to this song … really listen … even if you don’t like Lennon, or you’re tired of me playing it … just listen.  Let the words of hope wash over you.  If we can’t make a difference, if you truly think we are just doomed … then why do you love the ‘good people’ posts so much?  You love them for the same reasons I do … because they give us hope for the future … for humanity.  Now, don those headphones, sit back and close your eyes, and just absorb the music, okay?  Love ‘n hugs!

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today (ah ah ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management

♫ Combine Harvester ♫

A few days ago, David and I were having a conversation and, as often happens, music was one of the topics.  He asked if I remembered Brand New Key by Melanie, and of course I did.  Then he mentioned that the Wurzels, an English ‘Scrumpy’* and Western band from Somerset, England, had done a parody of Melanie’s song … Combine Harvester.  Naturally, I headed on over to YouTube to listen … laughed a bit, and thought no more about it.  Until … the next morning when I woke with this song in my head.  Throughout my shower, I was warbling … “Oh, I’ve got a brand new combine haverster …”.  Two days later, it was still dominating my little grey cells … washing dishes, cooking, folding laundry … all done to the accompaniment of this song!  It has become embedded … It will not leave!  Well, you know how I exorcise those songs that will not leave me alone … I share them with you guys and then the earworm will jump to one of more of you and leave me in peace!  If you are one of the lucky ones to end up with this song taking over the airwaves of your mind, please don’t blame me … blame David!

This song is not destined to land on my top ten list, but I have to admit it is a bit of fun, and if we can’t have some fun with our music, then what’s the point?

Since there isn’t really any information or backstory about the song, let me tell you a bit about the Wurzels …

The Wurzels were formed in 1966 as a backing group for, and by, singer/songwriter Adge Cutler. The first recordings were made live in the ‘Royal Oak Inn’, Nailsea, Somerset in December 1966. With a thick Somerset accent, Cutler played on his West Country roots, singing many folk songs with local themes such as cider making (and drinking), farming, dung-spreading, local villages and industrial work songs, often with a comic slant.

During the latter half of the 1960s, the band became popular regionally, and the release of the single Drink Up Thy Zider in 1966 led to national fame and it reaching number 45 in the UK Singles Chart. The B-side, Twice Daily was banned by the BBC for being too raunchy.  Hmmmmm … something tells me I need to check that one out!

Adge Cutler died after falling asleep at the wheel of his MGB sports car which then overturned on a roundabout approaching the Severn Bridge. He was returning alone from a Wurzels show in Hereford in May 1974. He was buried in Nailsea.  Cutler’s death marked a turning point in the history of the Wurzels. Deprived of the main song-writing talent, the remaining Wurzels recorded The Wurzels Are Scrumptious! in 1975, an album containing many favourites from the back catalogue, including a number of previously unrecorded Cutler-written songs. In order to continue the surviving band needed its own songs, and these mostly took the formula of re-written popular pop songs of the time with the lyrics changed to include the usual Wurzel themes.

In 1976, the Wurzels released Combine Harvester, a re-work of the song Brand New Key, by Melanie, which became a UK hit, topping the charts for 2 weeks.  I suspect nobody was more surprised than the members of the band!  So, I now present to you … the Wurzels and Combine Harvester! Enjoy!  Thanks, David!

*   According to Wikipedia, Scrumpy and Western refers humorously to music from England’s West Country that fuses comical folk-style songs, often full of double entendre, with affectionate parodies of more mainstream musical genres, all delivered in the local accent/dialect.

Combine Harvester
The Wurzels

I drove my tractor through your haystack last night (ooh aah ooh aah)
I threw me pitchfork at your dog to keep quiet (ooh aah ooh aah)
Now something’s telling me
That you’m avoiding me
Come on now darling you’ve got something I need

Cuz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Come on now let’s get together
In perfect harmony
I got twenty acres
An’ you got forty-three
Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

She made I laugh ha ha

I’ll stick by you, I’ll give you all that you need
We’ll ‘ave twins and triplets
I’m a man built for speed
And you know I’ll love you darlin’
So give me your hand
But what I want the most
Is all they acres of land

Cuz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Come on now let’s get together
In perfect harmony
I got twenty acres
An’ you got forty-three
Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

Ooaah she’s a lovely bit of stuff an’ all

For seven long years I’ve been alone in this place
Eat, sleep, in the kitchen, it’s a proper disgrace
Now if I cleaned it up would you change your mind
I’ll give up drinking scrumpy and that lager and lime

Cuz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Come on now let’s get together
In perfect harmony
I got twenty acres
An’ you got forty-three
Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

Who loves ya baby ha

Weren’t we a grand couple at that last wurzel dance
I wore brand new gaters and me cordouroy pants
In your new Sunday dress with your perfume smelling grand
We had our photos took and us holding hands

Now I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key
Now that we’me both past our fifties I think that you and me
Should stop this galavanting and will you marry me
Coz I got a brand new combine harvester
An’ I’ll give you the key

Aahh yu’re a fine looking woman and I can’t wait to get me ‘ands on your land

Source: Musixmatch
The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key) lyrics © Emi April Music Inc., Neighborhood Mc Pub Co

♫ Walk Away Renée ♫

I was looking for something fun to play for tonight … it’s been one of those weeks and I wanted a song that would make us all smile.  This one by the Four Tops came to mind, I was humming it and smiling, so I thought … Why not?  Imagine my shock to realize that this was originally by a band called the Left Banke, with the Four Tops’ version coming a full year later in 1967!  I probably knew that at one time, but I had completely forgotten about the Left Banke version.  Hint:  my favourite is the Four Tops anyway!

This was written by Left Banke band member Michael Brown, who was 16 at the time, with help from his friends Bob Calilli and Tony Sansone. Brown wrote it after meeting Renée Fladen, the girlfriend of the band’s bass player.  Renée Fladen was in the control room when Michael Brown tried to record his harpsichord part. He later said in an interview that he was so nervous trying to play with the beautiful Renée present that his hands were shaking. In the end he gave up and returned later when he recorded it without any problem.

The Left Banke version hit #5 in the U.S. and #3 in Canada in 1966, and then came the Four Tops, whose cover reached #2 in Canada, #15 in the U.S., and #3 in the UK.  As I said, I much prefer the Four Tops’ version for it seems to have more energy, while to my ears the Left Banke version is rather flat.  But, because I’m nice and try to be fair, I will treat you to both and you can decide for yourself!

Walk Away Renee
The Left Banke / Four Tops

And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day

Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame

From deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide

Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries

Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries

Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me, though they’re so small

Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame

Writer/s: Tony Sansone, Bob Calilli, Mike Brown
Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc., Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, CARLIN AMERICA INC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

♫ You And Me Against The World ♫ (Redux)

Sometimes, I push myself too hard, I care too much about … well, everything.  And when that happens, I fall into a dark hole I call, for lack of a better term, the ‘rabbit hole’.  Often, whether intentionally or not, my music selections reflect that state of being, that dark rabbit hole.  Tonight … well .. this song speaks for itself.

This was the first song that Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams wrote together. They teamed up again to write the Oscar nominated score for the movie A Star Is Born, and the song Rainbow Connection for The Muppet Movie. Says Williams …

“We went to England to do a television show, Kenny was a member of my band. And when we got there there was a problem with the work permits, so the guys in my band couldn’t play. I had to use local musicians. So Kenny’s sitting around with nothing to do in a hotel in London. So we’re sitting there, and we’re having a few drinks, because that’s what I did in those days. I’m 17 years sober (2007), in those days I drank. We’re sitting around and we’re talking about writers, and we all love Cole Porter and a certain kind of writer and all. And we started talking about Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. I loved Harry, but every time I tried to tell Harry how much I loved his songs, he would always tell me, ‘No, here’s the great writer,’ and he’d play me Randy Newman, who I also loved.

So Kenny and I wrote this little song, ‘Do you love me, babe, do you love me not? Let’s decide in the morning, not now. Boy, you don’t like Shuman, or Randy Newman, Nilsson ain’t your cup of tea. You think Van Heusen is a shirt worth choosin’, but you’re still undecided ’bout me. Bo-wo do you love me, babe, do you love me not, let’s decide in the morning, not now.’ It was really kind of a cute little song.

And Kenny’s sitting at the piano, turned to me, and he said, ‘If that was on an album…’ and he played, ‘bomp bomp bomp bomp bomp.’ He played the intro to what became ‘You And Me Against The World.’ And I just looked at him when he finished the intro and sang, ‘You and me against the world,’ and he hit another chord, and I went, ‘Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world.’ And we went on from there. It’s the first song we ever recorded, and God bless Helen Reddy, she had a big hit with it.”

There are more … professional versions of this song, but … as  I am a huge fan of Kermit, then it can only be this one tonight …

You and Me Against the World
Helen Reddy

You and me against the world,
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world,
When all the others turn their backs and walked away,
You can count on me to stay.

Remember when the circus came to town
How you were frightened by the clown,
Wasn’t it nice to be around someone that you knew,
Someone who was big and strong and looking out for

You and me against the world,
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world
And for all the times we’ve cried I always felt that
God was on our side.

And when one of us is gone,
And one of us is left to carry on,
Then remembering will have to do,
Our memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you,
Of you and me against the world.

Songwriters: Kenneth Lee Ascher / Paul H. Williams
You and Me Against the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management