♫ One More Try ♫

Released as a single in 1988, the song hit #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.  It also went to #8 in the UK that year.

Michael says that it’s a very personal song, and one that is very close to his heart. He said it’s “about my attitude coming out of my last relationship and into this new one when I was pretty unwilling to be open to anything.”

Elton John said on his Beats 1 radio show, Rocket Hour, “I don’t get jealous of many songs, but I’m jealous of this song. I’d love to have written this.”

One More Try
George Michael

I’ve had enough of danger
And people on the streets
I’m looking out for angels
Just trying to find some peace
Now I think it’s time
That you let me know
So if you love me
Say you love me
But if you don’t just let me go

‘Cause teacher
There are things that I don’t want to learn
And the last one I had
Made me cry
So I don’t want to learn to
Hold you, touch you
Think that you’re mine
Because it ain’t no joy
For an uptown boy
Whose teacher has told him goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

When you were just a stranger
And I was at your feet
I didn’t feel the danger
Now I feel the heat
That look in your eyes
Telling me no
So you think that you love me
Know that you need me
I wrote the song, I know it’s wrong
Just let me go

And teacher
There are things
That I don’t want to learn
Oh the last one I had
Made me cry
So I don’t want to learn to
Hold you, touch you
Think that you’re mine
Because it ain’t no joy
For an uptown boy
Whose teacher has told him goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

So when you say that you need me
That you’ll never leave me
I know you’re wrong, you’re not that strong
Let me go

And teacher
There are things
That I still have to learn
But the one thing I have is my pride
Oh so I don’t want to learn
Hold you, touch you
Think that you’re mine
Because there ain’t no joy
For an uptown boy
Who just isn’t willing to try

I’m so cold
Inside
Maybe just one more try

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: George Michael
One More Try lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ That’s What Friends Are For ♫

Over the past several months I have seen terrible things happen in this country.  Friend is pitted against friend, brother against sister, and even mother against son.  The “United” States is no longer.  We have become a nation that seems to thrive on violence, on hate, on … fear.  And so it was that when I was thinking earlier this evening of a song for my music post tonight, this one did not pop into my head, but rather flew with force into my consciousness and … BINGO … I knew what I would play tonight.  I last played this just over a year-and-a-half ago, but with each passing week it seems even more relevant.  That’s what friends are for … not for hating, not for killing, but … for being “by your side forever more”.  Today, how many of our friends have left our side because they didn’t agree with our political ideologies?  😢  Anyway, I thought this was an appropriate selection as we start out another week of … chaos or whatever comes next.  Keep smiling, my friends.


February 2019 …

As I was rolling cigarettes tonight, a name came to me:  Dionne Warwick.  A sometimes-overlooked talent, a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice.  So, I decided tonight would be a song from Dionne Warwick, and after I finished rolling smokes, finished my Jolly Monday post, and folded a load of laundry, I sat down to decide which song it would be.  I picked this one to listen to first, and at the 0:33 point, I felt tears welling behind my eyes.  I have no idea why, but I knew then that I had my song.

This version is the 1985 cover version by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. This recording, billed as being by “Dionne & Friends”, was released as a charity single for AIDS research and prevention. It was a massive hit, becoming the number-one single of 1986 in the United States, and winning the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year. It raised over $3 million for its cause.

The song was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager for the 1982 movie Night Shift, where it was recorded by Rod Stewart and played over the closing credits.

Hit the full screen button, turn the volume up, and just … enjoy … feel the love …

That’s What Friends Are For
Dionne Warwick

And I never thought I’d feel this way
And as far as I’m concerned
I’m glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe, I love you

And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Well, you came in loving me
And now there’s so much more I see
And so by the way
I thank you

Oh and then for the times when we’re apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
Cause I tell you, that’s what friends are for
Whoa, good times and the bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Songwriters: Burt F Bacharach / Carole Bayer Sager
That’s What Friends Are For lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Reach Out I’ll Be There ♫ (Redux)

There are times when only Motown will do.  Tonight is one of those times, and this is one I haven’t played for a couple of years, so hopefully it will bring a smile to your faces!


Interestingly,  two people have mentioned this song to me in the last week or so, and as I was working on my Jolly Monday post tonight, I found this one kept running through my head.  Now, at the same time, simultaneously, I have Elton’s Tiny Dancer running through my head, melding together with the Motown sound … is it any wonder the inside of my head looks like a 5-day-old bowl of mush?  Usually when that happens, I figure I should share the song and let it run through your heads also!

I thought this song was older than this, but it was released in 1966 and is considered to be the Four Tops signature song.

In 2014, interviewed by The Guardian, Four Tops singer Duke Fakir said:

Eddie [songwriter Edward Holland] realised that when Levi hit the top of his vocal range, it sounded like someone hurting, so he made him sing right up there. Levi complained, but we knew he loved it. Every time they thought he was at the top, he would reach a little further until you could hear the tears in his voice. The line “Just look over your shoulder” was something he threw in spontaneously. Levi was very creative like that, always adding something extra from the heart.

Written by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), Dozier would later say …

“Brian, Eddie and I often had discussions about what women really want most of all from a man, and after talking about some of our experiences with women, we all three agreed that they wanted someone to be there for them, through thick or thin, and be there at their beck and call! Thus this song was born.”

The Four Tops recorded this in just two takes, and then proceeded to forget about it, figuring it to be a  “throwaway” album track. Motown boss Berry Gordy, however, had other ideas and released it as a single. Gordy had a knack for identifying hit songs, and got this one right.

And now … just sit back, close your eyes, and listen … feel …

Reach Out I’ll Be There
Four Tops

Now if you feel that you can’t go on
Because all of your hope is gone,
And your life is filled with much confusion
Until happiness is just an illusion,
And your world around is crumblin’ down;
Darling, reach out (come on girl, reach on out for me)
Reach out (reach out for me.)
I’ll be there, with a love that will shelter you.
I’ll be there, with a love that will see you through.
I’ll be there to always see you through.

When you feel lost and about to give up
‘Cause your best just ain’t good enough
And you feel the world has grown cold,
And you’re drifting out all on your own,
And you need a hand to hold:
Darling, reach out (come on girl, reach out for me)
Reach out (reach out for me.)
I’ll be there, to love and comfort you,
And I’ll be there, to cherish and care for you.
I’ll be there to love and comfort you.

I can tell the way you hang your head,
You’re without love and now you’re afraid
And through your tears you look around,
But there’s no peace of mind to be found.
I know what you’re thinkin’,
You’re alone now, no love of your own,
But darling, reach out (come on girl, reach out for me)
Reach out (reach out for me.)
Just look over your shoulder
I’ll be there, to give you all the love you need,
And I’ll be there, you can always depend on me.

Songwriters: Paul Vincent Collins / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland / Edward Jr. Holland
Reach Out I’ll Be There lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Nikita ♫

This one was mentioned in a conversation a day or two ago, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.

Released in 1985, in this Cold War ballad, a Westerner falls in love with an East German citizen he cannot meet because he is not allowed to cross the Berlin Wall. This was a very revolutionary song during the Cold War; Eastern Europeans who lived in the communist block would listen to Western radio stations like Free Europe and pick up on the sentiments.

What I did not know is that George Michael sang backing vocals on this track, as well as several other Elton songs including one of my very favourites, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

Elton John, Bernie Taupin and Big Pig Music were accused of plagiarism by South African photographer and songwriter Guy Hobbs. Hobbs wrote a song in 1982 entitled Natasha, about a Russian waitress on a cruise ship, who was never allowed to leave it. The song was copyrighted in 1983, and sent to Big Pig Music (John’s publisher) for a possible publishing deal, but Hobbs never heard back from the publisher. In 2001, Hobbs came across the lyric book to “Nikita” and noticed similarities with his song. Despite repeated attempts by Hobbs to contact John over the issue, he never heard from him and so commenced legal action in 2012.  On 31 October 2012, a US federal judge granted John and Taupin’s motion to dismiss, finding that the song did not infringe Hobbs’ copyright because the only similar elements were generic images and themes that are not protected under copyright law.

Nikita
Elton John

Hey Nikita is it cold
In your little corner of the world
You could roll around the globe
And never find a warmer soul to know

Oh I saw you by the wall
Ten of your tin soldiers in a row
With eyes that looked like ice on fire
The human heart a captive in the snow

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Do you ever dream of me
Do you ever see the letters that I write
When you look up through the wire
Nikita do you count the stars at night

And if there comes a time
Guns and gates no longer hold you in
And if you’re free to make a choice
Just look towards the west and find a friend

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernard J.P. Taupin / Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Nikita lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Crocodile Rock ♫

The past couple of nights, my music posts have been chosen based on what’s going on in our world today, based on my depth of sorrow and angst at seeing the nation of my birth torn apart and burning to the ground.  Tonight, I went in search of another such song, but it only took me a few minutes to realize that … I needed something upbeat, I needed something to take my mind off it all, I needed something to let me breathe, if only for a few minutes.  I figured if I needed that, then so do you guys.  And so, I dug way back in Elton’s archives and found Crocodile Rock!  Tacky?  Sure.  This was never among my favourite Elton songs, but you’ve got to admit, it will get your feet tapping!

Released as a single in 1972, and in 1973 on his album titled Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, this became his first U.S. number-one single, staying in the top spot for three weeks in February 1973.

The lyrics take a nostalgic look at early rock ‘n’ roll, dating and youthful independence of that era. Elton John band members, including Davey Johnstone on guitars, Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums, were also performers on the song. Elton John, however, did all the vocals, including the falsetto backing vocals.

The song, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, was inspired by Elton’s discovery of leading Australian band Daddy Cool and their hit single Eagle Rock, which was the most successful Australian single of the early 1970s (with 1,000,000 sold), remaining at #1 for a record of 10 weeks. John heard the song and the group on his 1972 Australian tour and was greatly impressed by it. The song also is said to have been strongly influenced by songs from the late 50s-early 60s , including Del Shannon’s 1962 Cry Myself to Sleep and Little Darlin’ (recorded in 1957 by The Diamonds and The Gladiolas), and lyrically by Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets. The opening riff heavily resembles Let’s Dance by Chris Montez, and the chorus resembles Speedy Gonzales by Pat Boone.

In a 1974 lawsuit filed in the US District Court of Los Angeles by attorney Donald Barnett on behalf of Speedy Gonzales’ composer Buddy Kaye, it was alleged that defendants Elton John and Bernie Taupin illegally incorporated chords from Speedy Gonzales which produced a falsetto tone into the Crocodile song.  The parties reached a settlement between them, thus there was no need for a duel at dawn.

Elton performed this on The Muppet Show when he appeared on a Season Two episode in 1977. A very popular song with kids, it made for a great opening number, with Elton performing in a swamp with a crocodile chorus.  Now, you guys already know that I am a Muppets fan, so it naturally follows that, since I’m trying to cheer us all up with this song, I’m going to include that one too!

Crocodile Rock
Elton John

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
Holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
Was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock

While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
We were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock
Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
When Suzie wore her dresses tight
And the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

But the years went by and the rock just died
Suzie went and left us for some foreign guy
Long nights crying by the record machine
Dreaming of my Chevy and my old blue jeans
But they’ll never kill the thrills we’ve got
Burning up to the Crocodile Rock
Learning fast as the weeks went past
We really thought the Crocodile Rock would last

Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
When Suzie wore her dresses tight
And the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
Holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
Was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock
While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
We were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock

Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
When Suzie wore her dresses tight
And the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la
La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la
La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Crocodile Rock lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

♫ I’m Still Standing ♫

For the past two weeks, a song that I absolutely abhor has been popping into my head at random moments, like when I first wake, when I’m in the shower, or folding laundry.  I’ve tried everything to get it to leave once and for all, including smacking myself upside the head, but the only song that seems able to push the ugly song out is this one by Elton John.  Can you guess what the awful song is?  Hint:  It is sexist, male-chauvinist, and is a Burt Bacharach tune.  Anyway …

While this one isn’t my most favourite of Elton’s repertoire, I do like it … it makes the toes start tapping (and it chases away the hideous song).

As with so many of Elton’s songs, the lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin.  The song is directed at a former lover, as Elton sings about how he is still standing strong without this person.  While the song is often seen as a statement of Elton’s resilience, Taupin says he wrote it with a specific person in mind …

“It’s perhaps one more example of the original idea being interpreted by everyone into something quite different. I think people see it as an anthem based on Elton’s strong sense of survival in the face of adversity. Which, believe me, is perfectly fine by me. In fact, it’s probably infinitely more interesting, perhaps, than what it was initially written about. Which, if my memory serves me correctly, it was a sort of kiss off to an old girlfriend. You know the sort of thing, ‘Don’t you worry about me, I’ll be perfectly fine.’ Unlike George Jones’ ‘She Thinks I Still Care,’ where, in fact, he really did, I really didn’t.”

The video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was shot in Cannes (InterContinental Carlton Cannes) and Nice on the Côte d’Azur in France and features the colours of the French flag.

Bruno Tonioli, later a judge on the hit shows Strictly Come Dancing for BBC (UK) and its American adaptation, Dancing with the Stars for ABC in the US, appears as one of the dancers in the video.

It was due to be shot over the course of two days, but a camera full of the first day’s film was ruined when Mulcahy accidentally fell into the sea with it. Therefore, it had to be filmed again on another day. During the shoot for the video, John came across Duran Duran. He complained he was exhausted at having been up since 4 o’clock in the morning. Simon Le Bon decided John should have a martini. “So I did,” John later recalled, “I had six.”

This hit #4 in the UK and #12 in the U.S., but made it all the way to #1 in Canada.

I’m Still Standing
Elton John

You could never know what it’s like
Your blood like winter freezes just like ice
And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you
You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use

And did you think this fool could never win
Well look at me, I’m coming back again
I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I’m still standing you just fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Once I never could hope to win
You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down
And if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by now

You know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
I’m Still Standing lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me ♫ (Redux)

Sorry for another redux … well, no actually I am not sorry.  I make no apologies for playing good music, for expressing myself through the music I play, even if I did just play this one back in 2018.  I’m tired tonight, feeling somewhat hopeless over the state of humans, the state of this nation, the state of the world, and wondering, quite frankly, if it’s worth the fight.  In those circumstances, some Elton is just what’s called for, yes?


Elton John has had a few hits that I didn’t care for, but for the most part I find Elton’s work strikes some chord in me and makes me either tap my feet or sit down and cry.  Either way, it’s all good.

This song’s lyrics were, as were most of Elton’s songs, written by Bernie Taupin, who said …

“My only recollections of this is that we wanted to write something big. I mean, big in that dramatic Spectory (as in Phil Spector) style, like ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.’ Hopefully being powerful without being pompous. I’m not sure that with this in mind it made me fashion the lyrics any differently. Although, in retrospect, they do seem to have a slightly more Brill Building flair to them, so it’s entirely possible that I did.

Of course, I always seem to have to revert to a crib sheet to check these things, as I just seem to have a really bad memory of my own work. In fact, it makes me think of a situation that I found myself in a few years ago watching some TV with some friends of mine. There was a game show on where one of the categories happened to be my lyrics. And there were, I believe, five questions, and four of them I got wrong.”

This was extremely difficult and frustrating to record. Elton was not satisfied with any of his vocal takes, and the producer Gus Dudgeon had fits trying to mix all the voices and instruments that went into this. In Philip Norman’s book Sir Elton: The Definitive Biography, Dudgeon said, “When Elton recorded this track, he was in a filthy mood. On some takes, he’d scream it, on others he’d mumble it, or he’d just stand there, staring at the control room. Eventually, he flung off his headphones and said, “Okay, let’s hear what we got.” When Gus played it for him, Elton said, “That’s a load of crap. You can send it to Engelbert Humperdinck, and if he doesn’t like it, you can give it to Lulu as a demo.” My, my … it’s a wonder it ever got recorded.

I am putting up two versions.  The first is the original by Elton.  In 1991 there was a George Michael concert in London on March 25, which was Elton’s 44th birthday. Elton appeared as a surprise guest at the show and the two did a duet, which was a #1 hit in both the US and UK.  I am not as fond of the duet as I am the original, but I must admit there is an energy, a camaraderie, that is great.  Since it was such a big hit, I thought I would offer both and you can watch whichever you wish … or both.  And so, without further ado …

And the duet …

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down
Elton John (and George Michael)

I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life

It’s much too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light

Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free, oh
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me

I can’t find
Oh, the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way I feel
Don’t discard me, baby don’t
Just because you think I mean, you harm
(Just because you think I mean you harm, oh)
But these cuts I have (cuts I have)
They need love (they need love, they need love)
To help them heal

Oh, don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free, oh
‘Cause losing everything is like the sun going down on me
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else that I see, yeah
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free baby, oh
‘Cause losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Good People Doing Good Things — Kleenex Is Included

If it’s Wednesday morning, then it must be time for us to go forth and find some … good people!  Guess what?  I found some!  Surprised, aren’t you? 😉  I’m even providing the tissues this week, in case you’ve run out and found the shelves bare at the market.

box of tissues


And with that Dailey newspaper you get …

Greg Dailey delivers newspapers to homes in the central New Jersey township of Cranbury, but last week he did much more than toss rolled up newspapers.  Many of the people on his paper route are seniors, and after one such woman asked him to start placing the newspaper against her garage, for she was afraid to walk down the driveway to retrieve it, Greg got an idea.  The next day, he placed a note in all 725 newspapers he delivered …

My name is Greg Dailey and I deliver your newspaper every morning. I understand during these trying times it is difficult for some to get out of their house to get everyday necessities. I would like to offer my services free of charge to anyone who needs groceries, household products, etc. I will be shopping at ShopRite and McCaffery’s and can deliver the goods directly to your front door.

He left his number and email address. The response was immediate, and not just with more requests for his new service. Oh, there were plenty of those — nine of them, in fact, on the first day alone. But there were more emails from people who wanted to help the man who had offered his help.

They wanted to send him gas money for his Ford Focus. They offered to leave him food on their doorsteps to his family. Mostly, though, they just wanted to say thank you.  Said one note …

“I know you only by the sound of your car in the morning and your good service, but your offer to help in our community is a step beyond. If you hear a little extra sound when you fly past our house, it will be us applauding and cheering for a good man.”

Greg-Dailey-2Greg’s service quickly became a family affair, with his wife Cherlyn, his three kids — Erin, Sean and Brian — and his mother-in-law Carol Krohn all involved. They used a Google document to keep the groceries organized, with every item highlighted on a receipt. They sort the items into separate bags in their dining room, and for safety, everything is cleaned with disinfectant wipes. Customers reimburse for the items, but there’s no charge for the shopping and delivery.

“Times are tough. Some of us should not be out of the house at all. They need produce. They need medicine. They need toiletries. I told one of the gentlemen, ‘I can stop at the liquor store if you want.’ His eyes went wide.”

Kleenex tissuesThe customers on his newspaper route can count on him. At a time when every community needs people to step up and help the people who need it the most, he delivers.


Handing out … lettuce leaves

Peter Darmos is a lawyer and businessman who lives in Melbourne, Australia, though he emigrated there from Greece as a child.  One day last week, Mr. Darmos happened to pass by the unemployment office, CentreLink, and saw a long line of people waiting to get in to file their claims. centrelinkHe said it made him feel sick to his stomach, and he had to do what he could.  He stopped and gave each of the people waiting in line $100 “to put some bread on the table for their family.”  In all, Mr. Darmos disbursed some $10,000.  He wished to remain anonymous, but somehow that didn’t happen.  He says he’s hoping that others who have the means will follow suit …

Peter-Darmos

box of tissues“I came here as a six-year-old from a village in Greece and this country has been good to me. We can all hit the Centrelink offices across the country in 30 seconds today and hand out a lettuce leaf to each person in need so they can put some food on the table for their families.”

 


What’s in the envelope?

Skylar Reeves, who owns Rosa’s Pizzeria in Prescott, Arizona, was loading orders for delivery and curbside pickup Tuesday when the woman approached him, handed him the envelope, and then left.  Reeves opened the envelope to find $2,000 in cash and an unsigned note …

“Hi there, As a neighbor and lover of Rosa’s, please accept the enclosed and use it as you see fit for your staff.”

Kleenex tissuesReeves said he was overcome with emotion, as he already has been forced to consolidate his three restaurants, pause his catering company and stop construction on his newest restaurant set to open next month. He also laid off nearly half of his 100-person staff, many of whom are friends, due to the virus.

With the money from the anonymous Good Samaritan, Reeves is asking his employees to bring him the bill that stresses them the most, and he’ll pay those bills with the envelope cash and his own money.


The Rocket Man delivers …

Elton John was in the middle of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour when the coronavirus called a halt to it.  But, not one to let an opportunity pass him by, Elton is instead planning a televised benefit concert to support and pay tribute to medical staff in America who are on the frontlines battling Coronavirus.Elton-2The commercial-free hour-long special, dubbed “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” will air at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST) on FOX on Sunday, March 29 and will also be broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations as well.

Singer-songwriters including Alicia Keys, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw will also make appearances from their homes and be included via clips filmed with their personal cell phones, camera and audio equipment, a release from Fox revealed.

Viewers will be able to make donations during the show, which will go to Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.


You all know I don’t watch much television at all, and have never seen the show called The Office, though of course I have heard of it (I think).  One of the stars of that show is named John Krasinski, and he has started a ‘good news’ show on YouTube that I thought was a terrific idea!John-KrasinskiLast week, Krasinski took to Twitter and asked the world to send him any stories that made them feel good or smile.

“For years now I’ve been wondering why is there not a news show dedicated entirely to good news?”

So, he launched “Some Good News” (SGN) on YouTube to share all the heartwarming stories posted in the comments of his Twitter post.


These are challenging times in more ways than one for most all of us on the planet.  I find it particularly heartwarming to see people finding ways to help others, even though they have their own troubles.  We are, after all, all in this together.

♫ Candle in the Wind ♫ (Redux)

I first posted this one in August 2018, but I think it’s worth repeating.  

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jean Mortenson on June 1st 1926, died of a drug overdose on August 5th 1962.  This song, Candle in the Wind, is a tribute to Ms. Monroe, written by Elton John’s writing partner, Bernie Taupin.  Said Taupin:

“I think the biggest misconception about ‘Candle In The Wind’ is that I was this rabid Marilyn Monroe fanatic, which really couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not that I didn’t have a respect for her. It’s just that the song could just as easily have been about James Dean or Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain. I mean, it could have been about Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf. I mean, basically, anybody, any writer, actor, actress, or musician who died young and sort of became this iconic picture of Dorian Gray, that thing where they simply stopped aging. It’s a beauty frozen in time.”

On April 7, 1990 Elton dedicated this to Ryan White, one of the first high-profile AIDS patients, when he performed it at Farm Aid 4. White, who got the disease from a blood transfusion, died the next night at age 18.

Taupin rewrote the lyrics to this song after Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car accident on August 31, 1997. Diana was friends with Elton John and also a big fan – she identified with the sentiment in “Candle In The Wind,” especially the lyrics, “They made you change your name, never knowing who to cling to when the rain set in” and “even when you died, the press still hounded you.” 

With the song rewritten, most notably with the first line changed from “Goodbye Norma Jean” to “Goodbye England’s Rose,” Elton played it at Princess Diana’s funeral on September 6.  I love both versions, but for tonight I will play the original …

Candle in the Wind
Elton John

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the twenty second row
Who sees you as something more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Candle in the Wind lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Don’t Go Breaking My Heart ♫

I had intended to play this one last night … er, yesterday … but as it happened, after eating about half a cup of soup, my body decided it was time for sleep, and nothing was going to convince it otherwise.  Heck, it was only 2:30!  Usually I’m good ’til at least 4:00 a.m.!  Anyway, tonight’s selection is staying in the “fun” mode that I started two nights ago with Do Wah Diddy Diddy by Manfred Mann.  No deep meaning, no sad ‘n sappy love gone wrong … just fun.  (Sorry, John … try not to overthink this one)

Released in 1976 by Elton John and Kiki Dee, this song was written by Elton John with Bernie Taupin under the pseudonyms “Ann Orson” and “Carte Blanche”, respectively.  John and Taupin originally intended to record the song with Dusty Springfield, but ultimately withdrew the offer; Springfield’s partner Sue Cameron later said this was because she was too ill at the time.

Elton recorded his part in Toronto, then the tape was sent to London where Kiki Dee recorded her vocal. Producer Gus Dudgeon recalls …

“I was with Elton in Canada and he actually sang about three quarters of the song and gave Kiki about four lines. I said, ‘Hang on a minute, is this supposed to be a duet or a guest appearance?’ Elton replied, ‘A duet.’ Then you’ve got to give her at least 50% of the song.”

Interestingly, this was the second-biggest-selling record of 1976 in both the UK and US, and topped the charts in a number of countries, including France, Italy, Australia and Canada.  I was quite surprised to find out that it was Elton’s first #1 in the UK. He had to wait 14 years for his next UK #1, which was Sacrifice.

When, in preparation for this post, I read that Elton John performed this on a Season 2 episode of The Muppet Show in 1977 with Miss Piggy, you just know I had to go … in search of!  And found!  So, since this is a “just-for-fun” music post, you get two versions tonight, the second for all my fellow Muppets fans out there!

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Elton John/Kiki Dee/Miss Piggy

Don’t go breaking my heart
I couldn’t if I tried
Honey, if I get restless
Baby, you’re not that kind

Don’t go breaking my heart
You take the weight off me
Oh, honey, when you knock on my door
Ooh, I gave you my key

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it, nobody knows
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

So don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

And nobody told us
‘Cause nobody showed us
And now it’s up to us, babe
Whoa, I think we can make it

So don’t misunderstand me
You put the light in my life
Oh, you put the spark to the flame
I’ve got your heart in my sights

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it, nobody knows
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

Don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

Don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
(Don’t go breaking my)
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group