♫ Ebony and Ivory ♫

I am in a mood to end all moods tonight.  Not having slept much for the past three nights, and then being slapped in the face with the horrors that are happening all over this nation that I’m forced to remain in, I really want to bash some heads in.  I even yelled at the kitties!  In this mood, there are only a few songs that will soothe the savage beast within me, and this is my top pick.

piano-keysPaul McCartney wrote this song, saying that the message was “that people of all types could live together.”  He liked the piano analogy, since you can play using just the white keys or just the black keys, but to make great music, you have to combine them.  So true.

McCartney started recording this as a solo effort, but then got the idea to do it as a duet with Stevie Wonder. A demo made its way to Wonder, and he agreed to record it, standing wholeheartedly behind the message in the song. It was issued as a single and appeared on McCartney’s 1982 album Tug Of War.

This was Stevie Wonder’s first #1 single in the UK. His only other was I Just Called To Say I Love You in 1984.

Listen to the words, feel the camaraderie between these two men, feel the love … share the love, spread the love.  Love knows no colour boundaries, and neither should we.

Ebony & Ivory
Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

We all know
That people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad in everyone
When we learn to live, we learn to give each other
What we need to survive
Together alive

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

We all know
That people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad, mmm, in everyone
We learn to live when we learn to give each other
What we need to survive
Together alive

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

Songwriters: Mccartney Paul James
Ebony & Ivory lyrics © MPL COMMUNICATIONS INC

♫ Norwegian Wood ♫ (Redux)

Day #5 of Beatles Week, and since a couple of people mentioned this one, I thought it only right to give it a slot.

A bit of interesting history accompanies this one …

This was the first pop song to use a sitar – George Harrison played it. Harrison was new to the sitar and took many takes to get it right. He bought the instrument, which he described as “crummy,” and taught himself to play. It was David Crosby of The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills & Nash who had introduced Harrison to the sitar shortly after the folk musician Shawn Phillips had shown him the basic steps. A few months later, Harrison studied the sitar with Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who helped Harrison explore Eastern music and religion.

John Lennon, who wrote the song, explained why it was decided to use the sitar on this song …

“I think it was at the studio. George had just got the sitar and I said ‘Could you play this piece?’ We went through many different sort of versions of the song, it was never right and I was getting very angry about it, it wasn’t coming out like I said. They said, ‘Well just do it how you want to do it’ and I said, ‘Well I just want to do it like this.’ They let me go and I did the guitar very loudly into the mike and sang it at the same time and then George had the sitar and I asked him could he play the piece that I’d written, you know, dee diddley dee diddley dee, that bit, and he was not sure whether he could play it yet because he hadn’t done much on the sitar but he was willing to have a go, as is his wont, and he learned the bit and dubbed it on after. I think we did it in sections.”

Paul McCartney said he came up with the title, inspired by the Norwegian Wood furniture in the Asher household, where he was staying.

But the trivia I thought the most intriguing was what John Lennon said about the writing of the song …

“I was trying to write about an affair without letting my wife know I was having one. I was sort of writing from my experiences – girl’s flats, things like that. I was very careful and paranoid because I didn’t want my wife, Cyn, to know that there really was something going on outside of the household. I’d always had some kind of affairs going on, so I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair, but in such a smoke-screen way that you couldn’t tell. But I can’t remember any specific woman it had to do with.”

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
The Beatles

I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me
She showed me her room
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay
And she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around
And I noticed there wasn’t a chair

I sat on a rug biding my time
Drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said
“It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked
In the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn’t
And crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Something ♫

Day #4 of Beatles’ Week …

This was the only song written by George Harrison released as a single by The Beatles.  Harrison wrote this during a break while they were working on The White Album. It was not recorded in time for the album, so Harrison gave this to Joe Cocker, but Cocker didn’t release it until after The Beatles did.

This seemed to be inspired by Harrison’s wife, Pattie, but he claimed he did not have anyone in mind when he wrote it. In her 2007 book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, Pattie Boyd wrote:

“George wrote a song called ‘Something.’ He told me in a matter-of-fact way that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful and it turned out to be the most successful song he ever wrote, with more than 150 cover versions. George’s favorite version was the one by James Brown. Mine was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in our kitchen. But, in fact, by then our relationship was in trouble. Since a trip to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in 1968, George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes withdrawn and depressed.”

Harrison came up with the title and the first line after listening to a James Taylor song called Something In The Way She Moves.

There are over 200 cover versions of this song on record, making it The Beatles’ 2nd most covered song, after Yesterday, which has … wait for it … over 1,600!!!  The question here becomes, is there anyone who hasn’t covered Yesterday?

Frank Sinatra called this “The greatest love song ever written.” He often performed it in the ’70s.  High praise indeed!

The video is from the promotional clip for Something that was shot in late October 1969, not long after Lennon privately announced that he was leaving the band. By this time, the individual Beatles had grown apart and so the film consisted of separate clips of each Beatle walking around his home, accompanied by his wife, edited together. The four segments were edited and compiled into a single film clip by Neil Aspinall.

Something
The Beatles

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me

I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don’t need no other lover
Something in her style that shows me

Don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around, now it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me

I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

Songwriter(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) George Martin

♫ Nowhere Man ♫

And so, Beatles week continues on Filosofa’s Word …

Just as Yesterday mysteriously came to Paul McCartney, Nowhere Man simply came to Lennon at dawn after he’d stayed up all night, struggling to come up with a new song for Rubber Soul. He happened upon a phrase, “nowhere man,” which, he felt, described his own fears about himself.

john-lennon“I’d spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down. Then ‘Nowhere Man’ came, words and music, the whole damn thing as I lay down.  I thought of myself sitting there, doing nothing and getting nowhere.”

Recorded on 21 and 22 October 1965, Nowhere Man is one of the first Beatles songs to be entirely unrelated to romance or love, and marks a notable example of Lennon’s philosophically oriented songwriting. Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison sing the song in three-part harmony. The lead guitar solo was performed in unison by Harrison and Lennon. The pair played identical “sonic blue”-coloured Fender Stratocasters on the track. The song appears in the film Yellow Submarine, where the Beatles sing it about the character Jeremy Hillary Boob after meeting him in the “nowhere land”.

Nowhere Man
The Beatles

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, the world is at your command

He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all
Nowhere man don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all ’til somebody else
Lends you a hand
Ah, la, la, la, la

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, The world is at your command
Ah, la, la, la, la

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Nowhere Man lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Here, There And Everywhere ♫

On Sunday night, I played Paul McCartney’s Fool on the Hill, and a couple of comments suggested some other Beatles’ songs I might consider playing.  David even suggested a “Beatles’ week” … which I pondered and decided … hmmm, not a bad idea.  On Monday night, when I would typically have done the song for Tuesday morning, I was suddenly struck by exhaustion and simply could not do any more, hence there was no song on Tuesday.  Anyway … long story short, this will be “Beatles Week”.  Most often, I prefer variety, so there will be few ‘weekly features’ in the music posts, but every now and then I may choose to do one.

Tonight’s song was requested by Suze.  Written by Paul McCartney while he was lounging at John Lennon’s pool, it was at least partly inspired by The Beach Boys’ song God Only Knows. McCartney was asked in 1990 about the influence of The Beach Boys on this song by Brian Wilson biographer David Leaf.

“It’s actually just the introduction that’s influenced. John and I used to be interested in what the old fashioned writers used to call the verse, which we nowadays would call the intro – this whole preamble to a song, and I wanted to have one of those on the front of ‘Here, There and Everywhere.’ John and I were quite into those from the old-fashioned songs that used to have them, and in putting that [sings “To lead a better life”] on the front of ‘Here, There and Everywhere,’ we were doing harmonies, and the inspiration for that was the Beach Boys. We had that in our minds during the introduction to ‘Here, There and Everywhere.’I don’t think anyone, unless I told them, would even notice, but we’d often do that, get something off an artist or artists that you really liked and have them in your mind while you were recording things, to give you the inspiration and give you the direction – nearly always, it ended up sounding more like us than them anyway.”

John Lennon and Paul McCartney both mentioned this as one of the most underrated Beatles songs. In 2005 interviews, McCartney said that of all the songs he has written, this is his favorite. He likes it best because of the way that it flows together, comparing it to the style of the Fred Astaire hit Cheek To Cheek, one of his favorite songs.

Here, There And Everywhere
The Beatles

To lead a better life
I need my love to be here

Here, making each day of the year
Changing my life with a wave of her hand
Nobody can deny that there’s something there
There, running my hands through her hair
Both of us thinking how good it can be
Someone is speaking, but she doesn’t know he’s there

I want her everywhere
And if she’s beside me I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere
Knowing that love is to share
Each one believing that love never dies
Watching her eyes and hoping I’m always there

I want her everywhere
And if she’s beside me I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere
Knowing that love is to share
Each one believing that love never dies
Watching her eyes and hoping I’m always there

I will be there
And everywhere
Here, there and everywhere

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Here, There And Everywhere lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Imagine (Again) ♫

Now, I know that I played this song three times during 2018 and once during 2019.  And, I know that a couple of my beloved friends/readers to not care much for John Lennon.  But, I have a reason for playing this one tonight, so please … bear with me.

I just finished catching up on comments to my last few posts, and before that, I spent a couple of hours on my ‘good people’ post.  And a few things came to me during the course of those two things.  I sense in the comments a lot of hopelessness among you guys.  Oh, don’t get me wrong … I’ve been down in the rabbit hole more times than I can count … there have been days that I considered jumping off a cliff, and there will no doubt be such days again.  But, it disturbs me to feel that some of you have given up hope that we can turn things around in this nation … in the world.

I have been so hopeless so many times in the past three years that I’ve perfected my plan to jump off a cliff if needs be, but as yet I still have hope that we can turn things around.  We will never live in a perfect world, for humans are the most flawed species on earth!  But, we can make it better.  If I didn’t believe that, I would not be sitting here writing this tonight.

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.  It’s a new year, and yeah, I know that the markings on a calendar are a contrivance of humans and have no meaning in the grand scheme of things, but … let’s start 2020 with at least a tiny shred of hope that we can make a difference.  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

♫ Here Comes The Sun ♫

One of the political cartoons I posted yesterday put this song into my head, and you guys know what happens when a song gets stuck in my head!  It’s been bouncing around in there all day, and, as I only know bits and pieces of the lyrics, I keep making my own as I go along!  Sometimes that can be rather interesting, actually.

climate-6

George Harrison wrote this in Eric Clapton’s garden using one of Clapton’s acoustic guitars. When the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, the band had to handle more of their accounting and business affairs, which Harrison hated. He wrote this after attending a round of business meetings. This song was inspired by the long winters in England which Harrison thought went on forever.

In the documentary The Material World, Eric Clapton talked about writing this song with Harrison:

“It was one of those beautiful spring mornings. I think it was April, we were just walking around the garden with our guitars. I don’t do that, you know? This is what George brought to the situation. He was just a magical guy … we sat down at the bottom of the garden, looking gout, and the sun was shining; it was a beautiful morning, and he began to sing the opening lines and I just watched this thing come to life.”

John Lennon did not play on this. Around this time, he was making a habit of not playing on Harrison’s compositions as the two were not on the best of terms. The two eventually settled their differences as George contributed quite a bit to Lennon’s album Imagine two years later.  When Harrison died in 2001, many artists performed this at their concerts as a tribute. It was played at the induction ceremonies of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the all-star jam.

Here Comes the Sun
The Beatles

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun
It’s all right
It’s all right

Songwriters: George Harrison
Here Comes the Sun lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

♫ Imagine ♫

I tend to play this song when … well, when I need to … imagine.  When I need to imagine that there is hope for this world, when I need to believe that humans will eventually find their better side, will begin to care someday, care about others, care about the land, about all living creatures.  Today is the 18th anniversary of the horror that would become known as 9/11.  2,977 people died on that day, more than 400 of them police and firefighters.  Since then, hundreds more rescue workers have lost their lives as a result of the toxicity at Ground Zero. But, we lost more than human lives that day.  We lost … I think that was the day we all came to realize, though even today we would deny it, that “Peace on earth” is a myth that will never be realized.  We came to realize, I think, that … nothing would ever be quite the same again, and that no, it won’t all be okay.  But we want to still believe … I think we must still believe, else … what is the point in it all?  And so, my friends, I give you John Lennon and his view of … a better world.

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

♫ Woman ♫

My original intent was to play the song by the same name by Peter and Gordon, but when I Googled, this one by John Lennon came up before the Peter and Gordon one, and after listening to both, I decided to play this one, which I like much better, even though it was the other that was rattling about in my head as I vacuumed floors earlier today.  It turns out, and this I did not know, that Paul McCartney wrote the Peter and Gordon song!  Small world, eh?

Lennon wrote this song as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono.  Speaking with Rolling Stone just days before his death, Lennon said …

Woman came about because, one sunny afternoon in Bermuda, it suddenly hit me what women do for us. Not just what my Yoko does for me, although I was thinking in those personal terms… but any truth is universal. What dawned on me was everything I was taking for granted. Women really are the other half of the sky, as I whisper at the beginning of the song. It’s a ‘we’ or it ain’t anything.”

In many ways, this song is Lennon’s apology to Yoko. In 1973, the couple was having problems in their marriage, so Yoko agreed to put their relationship on hold and let John sow his oats (she’s more tolerant than I, methinks). He did, taking up with his assistant May Pang and engaging in some unruly behavior. Lennon referred to this time as his “Lost Weekend” – it lasted about 18 months.

This was released as a single in January 1981, about a month after Lennon was murdered.

Woman
John Lennon

Woman
I can hardly express
My mixed emotions at my thoughtlessness
After all, I’m forever in your debt
And woman
I will try to express
My inner feeling and thankfulness
For showing me the meaning of success

Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

Woman
I know you understand
The little child inside the man
Please remember my life is in your hands

And woman
Hold me close to your heart
However distant, don’t keep us apart
After all it is written in the stars

Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

Well, woman
Please let me explain
I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain
So let me tell you again and again and again

I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah

Songwriters: John Lennon
Woman lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

♫ All You Need Is Love ♫

Yesterday, I re-blogged David Prosser’s post about a philosophy of humanity called Ubuntu.  A short time later, a fellow-blogger asked me to look at her post, and this video was on it.  The connection between this song and David’s post struck me almost like a lightening bolt, and I knew I had my music post for tonight.

The original goal of this song was to combine the love of all nations displaying the possibility of hope and peace as a common denominator in the world.  This was played at Party at the Palace, a British music concert and celebration held in London in 2002.  Artists, including Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, and many more contributed to this extravaganza.  The song is originally a Beatles’ classic that in and of itself is quite meaningful …

The Beatles played this for the first time on the “Our World” project, the first worldwide TV special. Broadcast in 24 countries on June 25, 1967, the show was six hours long and featured music from 6 continents, with The Beatles representing Britain.

The concept of the song was born out of a request to bring a song that was going to be understood by people of all nations. The writing began in late May of 1967, with John and Paul working on separate songs. It was decided that John’s “All You Need Is Love” was the better choice because of its easy to understand message of love and peace. The song was easy to play, the words easy to remember and it encompassed the feeling of the world’s youth during that period.

Joining in 2002 at the Buckingham Palace Garden, the stars of the generation gather to spread the message of hope, peace and unity to London, England.

Ubuntu … the philosophy that we are all connected, the idea of humanity, and this song about love … put it together, and then ask yourself what is keeping us from living in this world?

All You Need Is Love
The Beatles, et al

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)
Yesterday
(Love is all you need)
Oh
Love is all you need
Love is all you need
Oh yeah
Love is all you need
(She love you, yeah, yeah, yeah)
(She love you, yeah, yeah, yeah)
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
All You Need Is Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC