Category: Song Lyric Sunday

Song Lyric Sunday – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompts are Head, Hat, Hair and Scarf suggested by our friend Paula of Light Motifs II, The first song I thought of was “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” by Kylie Minogue. It does tend to stay with you, so be warned! I’ve been singing it all day!

The Song

True to the title, this is a song you can’t get out of your head. It’s sometimes known as “The La La Song” because the chorus is Kylie singing “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la” over and over, which combined with the irresistible groove makes it an effective earworm. The song even starts with that chorus.

The verses are an afterthought on this one, there to support the music. The lyric finds Minogue crazy in love, hoping she can spend a lifetime with this lucky guy.

This was written by Cathy Dennis and former Mud guitarist Rob Davis. Dennis had a few hits as a solo artist in the early ’90s, including “Just Another Dream” and “Too Many Walls.” Regarding “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” she told Songwriting magazine: “It was organic, we didn’t try and do anything contrived, so when something did spark we were both able to embrace it and jump on it and go with it. I thought the song is very ‘left of center’ for pop.”

Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis originally wrote this for S Club 7 after their manager, Simon Fuller, asked the duo to come up with a song for the British pop group. After Fuller heard the demo, he felt it wasn’t right for S Club 7 and rejected it. It was then offered to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, but she turned it down. Davis then met with Minogue’s A&R executive Jamie Nelson who, after hearing the demo cassette of the song, booked it for Minogue to record.

For most Americans, this was the first they heard from Minogue since 1988, when her cover of “The Loco-Motion” hit #3. She became an international sensation that year, but in the ’90s her support was concentrated in the UK and in her home country of Australia. “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” put her back on the charts in many more territories.

This song fits into the disco revival timeline, bringing the boogie back in the ’00s after Madonna, Daft Punk and Jamiroquai flew the flag in the late ’90s. Minogue stuck to the sound and had a number of Dance hits in America as disco crested again in the ’10s. Her 2020 was even titled Disco.

The year before this was released, Minogue played the Green Fairy in the movie Moulin Rouge. In Australia, she’s a huge celebrity thanks to her role on the soap opera Neighbours and her high-profile romance with INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence.

In the UK, this song was huge, staying in the Top 40 for five months. This song’s first week on the UK chart was Kylie’s personal 262nd week on chart, making her the most successful chart act not from the US or UK. “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” is her biggest seller in the UK, selling 1,037,235 copies. It was the biggest single and the most played song of 2001 there (it was aired 45,577 times on UK radio).

At the 2002 Brit Awards, Kylie performed a version of this to the beat of “Blue Monday” by New Order. This remix was released as the B-side of her 2002 hit “Love At First Sight.”
The song was accompanied by a state-of-the-art video directed by Dawn Shadforth, who had Kylie dressed in various futuristic fashions on a virtual set. The look evoked the ’60s sci-fi renditions of Utopia.

This was the most-played tune of the 2000s in the UK, according to PRS for Music, which collects royalties on behalf of songwriters and composers. The track received the most airplay and live covers in the first decade of the 21st century whilst Britney Spears’ single “Toxic” was the second most played song. The same songwriter, Cathy Dennis, penned both tunes.

The Lyrics

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, your lovin' is all I think about
I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, its more than I dare to think about

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, your lovin' is all I think about
I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, its more than I dare to think about

Every night
Every day
Just to be there in your arms
Won't you stay
Won't you stay
Stay forever and ever and ever ah ah

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, your lovin' is all I think about
I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, its more than I dare to think about

There's a dark secret in me
Don't leave me lost in your arms
Set me free
Feel the need in me
Set me free
Stay forever and ever and ever ah ah

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

I just can't get you out of my head (La,la,la La,la,la,la,la)

Songwriters: Cathy Dennis / Robert Berkeley Davis
Can't Get You Out of My Head lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC,
Universal Music Publishing Group

Courtesy of Songfacts

Song Lyric Sunday – Hole in my Shoe

Socks, Shoes, Boots and Feet are the prompts for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. I have chosen an old one from the swinging sixties by Traffic. A band that I really liked with two of my favorite performers, Steve Winwood and Dave Mason. The song is typical of the time and the lyrics are as silly as “I am the Walrus” by the Beatles.

The Song

This psychedelic song was written by Traffic’s guitarist Dave Mason, who played sitar on the track. Depending on your state of mind, you might find some weighty meaning in the song, but Mason says he was just writing down random thoughts in the style of a nursery rhyme. He also insists that he hadn’t tried LSD when he wrote it. In a Songfacts interview with Mason, he explained: “That’s the first song I ever wrote. It was my first attempt at songwriting. I mean, that stuff I did back then, when I listen to it, I cringe and realize I need to work on writing. But writing comes out of living. You have to have something.”

Dave Mason tells us that this song was “the beginning of the end as far as the other three guys were concerned for me.” The band’s second single (after “Paper Sun”), it was a the biggest UK hit for Traffic, but it wasn’t what Mason’s bandmates had in mind, since they didn’t think it represented their sound. Steve Winwood explained to The Sun June 26, 2008: “We never wanted to be a pop band but we had a hit with ‘Shoe,’ which was Dave’s song. Dave had his own idea about the band, the rest of us had another one – a not-quite-as-sensible one, really, because it wasn’t half as commercial.”Mason quit the band soon afterwards and Traffic began to develop a less commercial sound, which put an end to their run of hit singles in the UK. However their new material proved popular on American Rock stations and it gave the band a second wind across the Atlantic.

The monologue in the middle of the song was by Francine Heimann. Little is known about her.

In 1984 Neil (AKA actor Nigel Planer) recorded a humorous cover, which again fell one place short from topping the UK charts. Neil was a hippie character played by Nigel Planer in the BBC comedy series The Young Ones and there was a great deal of comic potential in Planer’s hippie student singing about the “hole in my shoe letting in water.” It won the 1985 Brit Award for Best Comedy Record, the only time the category was included. To promote the single, Planer performed this song live on the BBC music show Top of the Pops. In a memorable performance he stumbled and knocked down the scenery.

Traffic never performed this song, in large part because of Steve Winwood’s disdain for it. He once called it a “trite little song.”

Courtesy of Songfacts

The Lyrics

I looked to the sky
With an elephant's eye
Was looking at me
From a bubblegum tree
And all that I knew was
The hole in my shoe which
Was letting in water (letting in water)

I walked through a field 
That just wasn't real
With a hundred tin soldiers
Would shoot at my shoulder
And all that I knew
The hole in my shoe which
Was letting in water (letting in water)

(I climbed on the back of a giant albatross
Which flew through a crack in the cloud
To a place where happiness reigned all year round
And music played ever so loudly)

I started to fall 
And suddenly woke
And the dew on the grass
Had soaked through my coat
And all that I knew
The hole in my shoe which
Was letting in water (letting in water)

Writer/s: DAVE MASON 
Publisher: T.R.O. INC., Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Song Lyric Sunday – Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)

Today’s Song Lyric Sunday prompts have been suggested by Paula from Light Motifs II. They are Suit, Pants, Dress and Shirt. An old song came to mind. Long Cool Woman by the Hollies. I always liked it because it was so different from what the Hollies had previously recorded and to me it was reminiscent of songs from Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was interesting to see that John Fogerty had also noticed the similarities and had secured an out of court settlement. I hope you enjoy it.

This tale of a government agent and a femme fatale contains one of the classic indecipherable lyrics in rock history. The part after “she was a long cool woman in a black dress” is “just a 5′ 9″ beautiful tall.”
The Distant Light album was out for a year before this song was released as a single. Before the single was released, lead singer Allan Clarke left the group, replaced by Swedish singer Michael Rickfors (another founding member, Graham Nash, left in 1968). After “Long Cool Woman” became a hit in the US, Clarke rethought his solo career and came back. The group released one album with Rickfors, Romany in 1972, before Clarke took back his position.

On the charts, this was a rare miss in the UK, where the Hollies were from and where they had their greatest success. It was surprising, however, how well it did in the US.

This is the only Hollies single without any backing vocals. The reason why Clarke is the only singer on this record is that he didn’t intended the song to be released on a Hollies album, but as a record of his own. When the band learned that he intended to do a solo recording, Clarke was issued an ultimatum – he could either remain with The Hollies or pursue a solo career, but not both. Clarke told Rolling Stone in 1973: “I think with me the band feared that if I got a hit I’d leave. How can you stop destiny? Now, if they originally agreed, I might not even have left. ‘Long Cool Woman’ would have been released a year earlier, and we’d have done a few tours of the States and maybe would have been really big.”

Clarke wrote this song with the Brittish songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. Cook and Greenaway also wrote “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” by The New Seekers.

Clarke, Cook and Greenaway wrote the song in England about the bootlegging days during the American prohibition era. Cook recalled to The Tennessean that the trio returned to their office after having “had a skinful” and decided it would be fun to write a song about “Prohibition and all the bad people surrounding it.” So they came up with a story about “the FBI raiding and this (woman) singing at the bar. (The narrator) doesn’t want her to get in trouble. So he kind of saves her.”Note to readers outside the UK: A “skinful” is a British term, essentially meaning an amount of alcohol that is enough to make a person drunk.

The song has featured in a number of movies, including the 2000 Walt Disney film Remember The Titans, the 2005 sports prison comedy The Longest Yard and the 2009 supernatural drama The Lovely Bones.

This was used in a 2021 Super Bowl commercial for the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s. In the spot, Brad Garrett plays a mob-like kingpin trying to protect his empire of low-quality meats against the insurgent Jimmy John’s.

For this song, Allan Clarke imitated John Fogerty’s vocal style on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Green River.” The Creedence frontman was unimpressed and secured an out-of-court settlement.

Song Lyric Sunday – Emotion

The prompts for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday were suggested by Di of Pensitivity101. They are: Anxiety, Delight, Emotions, Pain, Pride and Relief. I remembered a few songs with Emotion in the title settling for the one written by The Bee Gees, but I have chosen the Destiny’s Child version. I particularly liked it and I hope you enjoy it along with the video. its fun to see the young Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

The Song

In 1977, Barry and Robin Gibb of the BeeGees wrote “Emotion” for Australian singer Samantha Sang, and the song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1978. It was her only hit. The three Gibb brothers provide backup vocals. The song was intended for the film Saturday Night Fever, but was not used in the movie. It does appear in the 1978 Joan Collins film The Stud.

The Bee Gees ended up recording their own version of the song in 1994 for an album called Love Songs, which was never released. The song was eventually included on the 2001 compilation Their Greatest Hits: ‘The Record’, however, and was covered by Destiny’s Child that same year. The girl group’s rendition ultimately became an international hit, reaching the top ten on the US Hot 100 chart, and top five on the UK Singles Chart.

In 2001 Destiny’s Child released a cover version of “Emotion” on their album Survivor, which was mostly comprised of bumping dance numbers about female empowerment. “Emotion” showcased a different side of the group, and the sensitive ballad was released as a single in October 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks in America. This version reached #10 US and #3 UK.

Courtesy of beegees.com and Songfacts

The Lyrics

Hey, yeah, yeah
Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Ooh yeah

It's over and done
But the heartache lives on inside
And who is the one you're clinging to
Instead of me tonight?

And where are you now
Now that I need you?
Tears on my pillow
Wherever you go, go
I'll cry me a river
That leads to your ocean
You'll never see me fall apart

In the words of a broken heart
It's just emotions taking me over
Caught up in sorrow, lost in the song
But if you don't come back
Come home to me, darling
Don't you know there's nobody left in this world to hold me tight
And don't you know there's nobody left in this world kiss goodnight
Kiss goodnight
Goodnight
Goodnight

I'm there at your side
A part of all the things you are
But you got a part of someone else
You gotta go find your shining star

And where are you now
Now that I need you?
Tears on my pillow
Wherever you go
I'll cry me a river
That leads to your ocean
You'll never see me fall apart

In the words of a broken heart
It's just emotions taking me over (taking me over)
Caught up in sorrow, lost in the song (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
But if you don't come back
Come home to me, darling
Don't you know there's nobody left in this world to hold me tight
Nobody left in this world to hold me tight
Nobody left in this world kiss goodnight
Nobody left in this world

And where are you now
Now that I need you?
Tears on my pillow
Wherever you, you go
I'll cry me a river
That leads to your ocean
You'll never see me fall apart

In the words of a broken heart
It's just emotions taking me over
I'm caught up in sorrow, lost in the song (don't you know I'm lost without you, baby)
But if you don't come back
Come home to me, darling
Nobody left in this world to hold me tight (yeah, nobody, nobody to hold me)
Nobody left in this world kiss goodnight (nobody to kiss me, yeah)
Goodnight
Goodnight

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barry Alan Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb
Emotion lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Song Lyric Sunday – Buffalo Soldier

Jim Adams, our host of Song Lyric Sunday, has handed over the prompt reins today to Di from the blog Pensitivity. She has asked us to find songs with Army, Soldier or War in the title or lyrics. I have chosen Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier. I hope you enjoy it.

The Song

The Buffalo Soldiers were a segregated regiment of black cavalry fighters during the American campaign to rid the West of “Indians” so that “civilized” white people could gain the lands used by Native Americans. Ironically, many of the soldiers were slaves taken from Africa. Bob Marley gives a small history lesson as a protest song about the black man’s role in building the country that continues to oppress him.

Released two years after Marley’s death, this song was one of the last that he recorded. Issued as a single, it reached #4 on the UK charts, where Marley had as much success posthumously as he did when he was alive: seven more released charted after this one.

The song was included on Confrontation (1983), which was the first Bob Marley album released after his death, and also on the hits collection Legend (1984), which became the best-selling reggae album of all time.

Marley wrote this song with fellow Jamaican, Noel Williams, who went by the name King Sporty. Williams was an inventive creator of dance music, blending reggae and disco on his 1975 track “Music Maker,” and impelling the Miami bass sound as a producer of tracks like “Funky Fresh Beat” by Youth MC’s, released in 1986.

Courtesy of Songfacts

Lyrics

Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
There was a Buffalo Soldier
In the heart of America
Stolen from Africa, brought to America
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival

If you know your history
Then you would know where you coming from
Then you wouldn't have to ask me
Who the heck do I think I am

I'm just a Buffalo Soldier
In the heart of America
Stolen from Africa, brought to America

Said he was fighting on arrival
Fighting for survival
Said he was a Buffalo Soldier
Win the war for America

Said he, woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Buffalo Soldier, troddin' through the land woah
Said he wanna ran, then you wanna hand
Troddin' through the land, yeah, yeah

Said he was a Buffalo Soldier
Win the war for America
Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
Driven from the mainland
To the heart of the Caribbean

Singing, woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo


Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Marley / Noel Williams
Buffalo Soldier lyrics © Music Sales Corporation, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Lyric Sunday – If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys

Today’s Song Lyric Sunday challenge, hosted by Jim Adams, is ‘Clive Davis Day’ and we are to find any song that he has produced. On this day of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, what a perfect time to be looking at the most amazing talent and insight of one of the record industry’s most revered record producers. Davis has been the force behind jump-starting many of the most famous recording artists. (See below). It should be an easy task to find an artist and song that he has produced. My choice is Alicia Keys for the artist and her song ‘If I Ain’t Got You’. A personal favorite of mine.

If you have not yet seen “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” on Netflix, I encourage you to watch it. His life story and his industry achievements have been quite extraordinary.

The Song

This song was written by Alicia Keys after learning that 22-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah had died in a plane crash in The Bahamas on August 25, 2001. The tragedy inspired this tune; Keys later recalled: “The song idea came together right after Aaliyah passed away. It was such a sad time and no one wanted to believe it. It just made everything crystal clear to me – what matters, and what doesn’t.”

Performers on American IdolThe Voice and other such TV music talent shows have covered the song on countless occasions. Keys reflected to Entertainment Weekly in 2012: ”I have heard a lot of people cover this song. I think that’s actually the biggest compliment for a writer and for an artist, but especially for a writer. It showcases a big range and a powerful emotion, and I never think about it until it’s time to be on tour, and then I’m like, ‘S—! What did I do?’ [Laughs] You gotta make it through two hours, and I’m not lip-synching, so it’s serious.”

Keys won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for this song at the 2005 Grammy Awards.

Courtesy of Songfacts

Clive Davis

Clive Jay Davis (born April 4, 1932) is an American record producer, A&R executive, music industry executive, and lawyer. He has won five Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer, in 2000.

As the record industry’s most innovative, outspoken and influential executive, Clive Davis has had a profound effect on the world of music, acting as both its champion and its critic, and as perhaps its most visible and respected spokesman. Clive Davis’ contributions to music are, to a large extent, responsible for bringing the industry to where it is in the new millennium.

In the first phase of his career, Davis was General Counsel of Columbia Records and was appointed Vice President and General Manager in 1966. In 1967 he was named President of the company. The Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967 confirmed what Davis had been feeling about rock: the new music was a powerful force, the artistic expression of an emerging culture. He personally signed Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and The Holding Company to Columbia. After that, he was directly responsible for the signing of many more landmark artists in the rock field, among them Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Santana, Boz Scaggs, Loggins & Messina, Laura Nyro, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith and Earth, Wind and Fire. In addition to bringing this fresh, brand new talent to Columbia, he signed such artists as Neil Diamond, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock and The Isley Brothers.

While building the rock roster, Davis was also strengthening the label’s catalog in all fields of recorded music, achieving historic success in the areas of r&b, country, jazz and pop music. He played a key role in the careers of Simon & Garfunkel, Sly & The Family Stone, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand and Andy Williams. Davis figured prominently in shaping career turning points for Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, and he signed Weather Report. Under his aegis, the company made a strong entry into r&b. Davis’ deal with Gamble & Huff brought to the company the famed Philadelphia-International label, which had an enormous string of hits and set the course for black music in the ’70s.

Davis left Columbia Records in May 1973 and, after writing the book, Clive: Inside The Record Business, a national best-seller in both hard cover and paperback, he founded with Columbia Pictures, Arista Records in the fall of 1974. The Arista Records hot streak began immediately. Only three months after the company opened its doors Barry Manilow’s smash hit “Mandy”, found by and named by Davis, went straight to #1.

Under Davis’ leadership, Arista launched the careers of Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Kenny G, Sarah McLachlan, Monica and Dido. The label also attracted such important artists as Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, Lou Reed, Eurythmics, Dionne Warwick, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and Carly Simon.

Arista’s Nashville division, begun in 1988, quickly became the talk of the industry with the discovery of a stellar lineup of stars led by Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Diamond Rio, Pam Tillis and Brad Paisley. With over 150 major industry awards Arista Nashville set the pace for country music.

Analogous to his agreement with Gamble & Huff in the seventies, Davis made his agreement with L.A. Reid and Babyface to form LaFace Records in October 1989. During this time, LaFace built an outstanding roster of hitmaking artists including TLC, Toni Braxton, Usher, OutKast, and Pink.

In 1994, Davis and producer/entrepreneur Sean “Puffy” Combs entered into a 50/50 joint venture that resulted in the creation of Bad Boy Records with an artist roster that grew to include Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, Mase, 112 and of course Puffy Combs. Along with LaFace Records, Bad Boy became the most successful Hip-Hop and Rap label of the ’90s, with a shelf full of Grammy, “Soul Train” and other industry awards. Bad Boy amassed sales of more than 12 million albums in its first three years, including five RIAA platinum and multi-platinum titles and ten RIAA gold.

Throughout the Nineties, Arista staked its place in music history time and time again. Specifically, superstars such as Whitney Houston, Santana, Monica, Sarah McLachlan and Deborah Cox broke records with their long-running chart-topping positions. In fact, Arista carved its niche as the only record label in the Soundscan era (whose tracking began in May 1991) to occupy the top three spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 at one time. This occurred for a five-week period in 1995, when TLC’s “Waterfalls” held strong at #1, while Monica’s “Don’t Take It Personal” and “One More Chance” by Notorious B.I.G. alternated at the second and third position. Arista later staked its claim to the top three positions on Billboard’s Hot R&B chart in February, 1999 with “Heartbreak Hotel” by Whitney Houston, “Angel Of Mine” by Monica and “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here” by Deborah Cox (which stayed at #1 for a history-making 14 weeks). All three singles were executive produced by Clive Davis.

The 9x Grammy winning album, Supernatural, sold over 26 million copies worldwide, produced the #1 hits “Smooth” and “Maria Maria” (#1 record on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles for 12 weeks), marked the reunion of Carlos Santana and Clive Davis and the two accepted, as producers, the Grammy for Best Album of The Year.

Also, in 2000, Clive Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the only non-performer along with other legends such as Eric Clapton, Earth, Wind & Fire and James Taylor. Almost simultaneously, it was announced that the celebrated Arista chief would be the recipient of the Trustees Lifetime Achievement award by NARAS at the Grammy Awards

The landmark year continued when NBC Television broadcast a two hour primetime special saluting Arista Records and Clive Davis entitled “25 Years Of #1 Hits: Arista Records Anniversary Celebration” featuring performances by Santana, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Puff Daddy, Annie Lennox, Sarah McLachlan, Alan Jackson, Barry Manilow, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny G, Patti Smith, Monica, and many others. This once-in-a-lifetime concert special benefited AmFAR, City Of Hope, and T.J. Martell Foundation.

In August 2000, Clive Davis began a new phase in his career, announcing the formation of J Records. The label quickly became the buzz of the industry with platinum success story after success story, beginning with Alicia Keys whose debut album Songs In A Minor sold over 10 million copies and swept the Grammys. Her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys debuted at #1 and has since sold over 8 million copies worldwide.

J Records has emerged as a dominant music force with chart topping albums by Maroon 5 whose debut album sold over 10 million copies worldwide, Annie Lennox, Luther Vandross and Rod Stewart, whose five Great American Songbook Volumes returned him to the top of the charts selling over 18 million copies worldwide, with all five volumes being co-produced by Davis.

Continue reading at clivedavis.com

The Song

Some people live for the fortune
Some people live just for the fame
Some people live for the power, yeah
Some people live just to play the game

Some people think that the physical things define what's within
And I've been there before, and that life's a bore
So full of the superficial

Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you, yeah

Some people search for a fountain
That promises forever young
Some people need three dozen roses
And that's the only way to prove you love them

Hand me the world on a silver platter
And what good would it be
With no one to share, with no one who truly cares for me

Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you

Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you, yeah

If I ain't got you with me baby
So nothing in this whole wide world don't mean a thing
If I ain't got you with me baby

Written by Alicia Keys

Song Lyric Sunday – Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

This week’s prompts for Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams, are ‘Mind, Think and Brain’ suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II.

Two songs I thought of immediately I had already previously used in the last few years and I didn’t want to repeat. Then I remembered this old Rod Stewart song that I still like hearing. “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? I hope you enjoy him at his sexy best!

The Song

Stewart was known for his soulful blues and folk ballads, but this song was a disco departure, and it gave him a new look. He attracted many new fans, but alienated many of his old ones, who had no interest in disco and fondly remembered Rod as a member of The Faces, where he earned a reputation as hard-rocking party animal. Reflecting on the song in the May 1995 issue of Mojo magazine, Stewart said: “I think it’s one of those songs that everyone can remember what they were doing in that particular year. It was one of the 10 songs that summed up that whole dance/disco period. And that’s what music’s about surely, to bring back memories.”

Speaking in Esquire in 2012, he said: “I used to be embarrassed to sing ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,’ but people love it. So it’s in the show.”

Most of the music for this song was written by drummer Carmine Appice, who had recently joined Stewart’s band. Appice told Songfacts: “We were in the studio and ‘Miss You’ by The Rolling Stones was a big hit. Rod was always a guy that used to listen to what was going on around him. He was always looking at the charts and listening. He was a big fan of The Rolling Stones, so when they came out with “Miss You,” disco was really big at the time, so he wanted to do some kind of disco-y song, something like ‘Miss You,’ nothing like Gloria Gaynor.

With the band, he would always tell us, ‘I want a song like this’ or ‘I want a song like that,’ so I went home and I came up with a bunch or chords and a melody. I presented it to him via a friend of mine, Duane Hitchings, who is a songwriter who had a little studio. We went in his studio with his drum machines and his keyboards, and he made my chords sound better. We gave Rod a demo of the verses and the bridge, and Rod came up with the chorus. We played it with the band many, many ways before we got the correct arrangement with Tom Dowd. Unfortunately, they put so much stuff on it that it dwarfed the sound of the band. It made the band sound smaller because it had strings and two or three keyboard players, congas, and drums. When we were doing it, we thought it was going to be more like The Rolling Stones with just the band playing it. It came out and went to #1 everywhere.”

The distinctive riff came from an instrumental song called “Taj Mahal” by a Brazilian musician named Jorge Ben. When Ben filed suit, Stewart agreed to give proceeds from the song to UNICEF. He later recalled in his book, Rod: The Autobiography: “I held my hand up straight away. Not that I’d stood in the studio and said, ‘Here, I know: we’ll use that tune from Taj Mahal as the chorus. The writer lives in Brazil, so he’ll never find out.’ Clearly the melody had lodged itself in my memory and then resurfaced. Unconscious plagiarism, plain and simple.”

There is a blues guitarist named Taj Mahal who made his own version of the song using this same riff. The title, and also the only lyrics in the song, is “Jorge Ben.”

Courtesy of Songfacts

The Lyrics

Sugar, sugar
She sits alone waiting for suggestions
He's so nervous avoiding all the questions
His lips are dry, her heart is gently pounding
Don't you just know exactly what they're thinking

If you want my body and you think I'm sexy
Come on sugar let me know.
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on honey tell me so
Tell me so baby

He's acting shy looking for an answer
Come on honey let's spend the night together
Now hold on a minute before we go much further
Give me a dime so I can phone my mother
They catch a cab to his high rise apartment
At last he can tell her exactly what his heart meant

If you want my body and you think I'm sexy
Come on honey tell me so
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on sugar let me know

His heart's beating like a drum
Cause at last he's got this girl home
Relax baby now we are alone

They wake at dawn ''cause all the birds are singing
Two total strangers but that ain't what they're thinking
Outside it's cold, misty and it's raining
They got each other neither one's complaining
He say's I sorry but I'm out of milk and coffee
Never mind sugar we can watch the early movie

If you want my body and you think I'm sexy
Come on sugar let me know
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on honey tell me so

If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on sugar let me know
If you really, really, really, really need me
Just let me know
Just reach out and touch me
If you really want me
Just reach out and touch me
Come on sugar let me know
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on sugar let me know
If you, if you, if you really need me
Just come on and tell me so

Writer(s): Duane S Hitchings, Roderick David Stewart, Carmine Appice 

Song Lyric Sunday – Who’ll Stop the Rain

This week, the host of Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams, has prompted us with songs that mention Rain. I have chosen ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain’ by one of my all time favorite bands, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Enjoy it and have a great Sunday!

The Song

Group leader John Fogerty wrote this song. The song is often interpreted as a protest of the Vietnam War (like “Fortunate Son“), but when he performed it at the Arizona state fair in 2012, Fogerty told the crowd that he had been at Woodstock, watching the rain come down. He watched the festival goers dance in the rain, muddy, naked, cold, huddling together, and it just kept raining. So when he got back home after that weekend, he sat down and wrote “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” making it not a Vietnam protest at all, but a recounting of his Woodstock experience.

This was used in the 1978 motion picture of the same name starring Nick Nolte as a Vietnam veteran. The movie was going to be called Dog Soldiers, but when the producers got the rights to use this song, they changed the title to Who’ll Stop The Rain.

This was used in the 1978 motion picture of the same name starring Nick Nolte as a Vietnam veteran. The movie was going to be called Dog Soldiers, but when the producers got the rights to use this song, they changed the title to Who’ll Stop The Rain.

This was released as the B-side to “Travelin’ Band.” It’s one of the many CCR singles to stall at #2. Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a #1 hit in the US.

The line, “I went down Virginia, seekin’ shelter from the storm” gave Bob Dylan the idea for the title of his 1975 song “Shelter From The Storm.”

This is one of many rain-themed CCR songs, including “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”

When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, John Fogerty was asked, “Does ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ contain lyrically specific meanings besides the symbolic dimension?” His response: “Certainly, I was talking about Washington when I wrote the song, but I remember bringing the master version of the song home and playing it. My son Josh was four years old at the time, and after he heard it, he said, ‘Daddy stop the rain.’ And my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘Well, not quite.'”

Bruce Springsteen opened with this song during his summer stadium tour of 2003 whenever it was raining

Courtesy of Songfacts

The Lyrics

Long as I remember The rain been coming down.
Clouds of mystery pouring Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages, Trying to find the sun;
And I wonder, Still I wonder, Who'll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia, Seeking shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, Wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who'll stop the rain.

Heard the singers playing, How we cheered for more.
The crowd had rushed together, Trying to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pouring, Falling on my ears.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who'll stop the rain.

Writer/s: JOHN C. FOGERTY
Publisher: CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Song Lyric Sunday – Mr. Tambourine Man

Welcome to another Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by our friend Jim Adams. This prompt today is to find a song that mentions a musical instrument. I have chosen Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds. Nowadays a tambourine is rarely used in modern music and neither is a harmonica for that matter.

Enjoy this song from the 1960s and have a relaxed and peaceful Sunday.

The Song

Bob Dylan wrote “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which was originally released on his fifth album, Bringing It All Back Home, on March 22, 1965. His version wasn’t released as a single, but when The Byrds released their cover on April 12, 1965, it was a transatlantic hit, topping the charts in both the US (on June 26) and UK (on July 22). It’s the only song Dylan ever wrote that went to #1 in America (in the UK, Manfred Mann’s cover of “Quinn The Eskimo” also went to #1).

Dylan claims that despite popular belief, this song is not about drugs. In the liner notes to his 1985 compilation Biograph, he wrote: “Drugs never played a part in that song… ‘disappearing through the smoke rings in my mind,’ that’s not drugs; drugs were never that big a thing with me. I could take ’em or leave ’em, never hung me up.”

This was inspired by a folk guitarist named Bruce Langhorne. As Dylan explained: “Bruce was playing with me on a bunch of early records. On one session, [producer] Tom Wilson had asked him to play tambourine. And he had this gigantic tambourine. It was, like, really big. It was as big as a wagon wheel. He was playing and this vision of him playing just stuck in my mind.”

Dylan never told Langhorne about it (Bruce had to read about it in the Biograph album liner notes, like the rest of us). He wrote the song and recorded a version with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott that got to The Byrds (known as the Jet Set at the time) before it was ever put on a record. >>
Dylan wrote this on a road trip he took with some friends from New York to San Francisco. They smoked lots of marijuana along the way, replenishing their stash at post offices where they had mailed pot along the way. He started writing it after they got to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and partied there the night of February 11, 1964

.The Byrds version is based on Bob Dylan’s demo of the song that he recorded during sessions for his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan (Dylan’s version was not yet released when The Byrds recorded it). It was The Byrds’ manager, Jim Dickson, who brought in the demo and asked them to record it – the group refused at first because they thought it didn’t have any hit potential. When The Byrds did record it, they took some lyrics out and added a 12-string guitar lead.

“Kudos to Roger McGuinn for taking on ‘Tambourine Man,’ which didn’t knock us out when we first heard it,” Byrds bass player Chris Hillman said in a Songfacts interview. “Bob Dylan had written it in a very countrified groove, a straight 2/4 time signature, and Roger takes the song home and works with it, puts it in 4/4 time, so you could dance to it. Bob heard us do it and said, ‘Man, you could dance to this!’ It really knocked him over and he loved it.”

Only three of the five members of the Byrds performed on this song: Roger McGuinn sang lead and played lead guitar; Gene Clark and David Crosby did the vocal harmonies.

Session musicians were brought in to play the other instruments, since the band was just starting out and wasn’t deemed good enough yet by their management. The session musicians who played on this song were the Los Angeles members of what came to be known as “The Wrecking Crew” when drummer Hal Blaine used that term in his 1990 book. This group of about 50 players ended up on many hit songs of the era.

In addition to Blaine, studio pros who played on “Mr. Tambourine Man” were:

Bill Pitman – guitar
Jerry Cole – guitar
Larry Knechtel – bass
Leon Russell – piano

The Byrds who didn’t play on this one were bass player Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke.
This was The Byrds’ first single. In a 1975 interview with Let It Rock, Roger McGuinn explained how the unrefined sound of this song came about. Said McGuinn: “To get that sound, that hit sound, that ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ sound, we just ran it through the electronics which were available to us at that time, which were mainly compression devices and tape delay, tape-sustain. That’s how we got it, by equalizing it properly and aiming at a specific frequency.

For stereo-buffs out there who noticed that ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ in stereo isn’t really stereo, by the way, that’s because when Terry Melcher, the producer, first started mixing records he didn’t know how to mix stereo, and so he made all the singles up to ‘Turn Turn Turn’ mono. The label is misrepresentative. See, when Columbia Records signed us, they didn’t know what they had. So they gave production to someone low on the totem-pole-which was Terry Melcher who was Doris Day’s son who was getting a token-job-in-the-mailroom sort of thing. They gave him the Byrds and the Byrds were supposed to flunk the test.”
“Mr. Tambourine Man” changed the face of rock music. It launched The Byrds, convinced Dylan to “go electric,” and started the folk-rock movement. David Crosby of The Byrds recalled the day Dylan heard them working on the song: “He came to hear us in the studio when we were building The Byrds. After the word got out that we gonna do ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ and we were probably gonna be good, he came there and he heard us playing his song electric, and you could see the gears grinding in his head. It was plain as day. It was like watching a slow-motion lightning bolt.” (Quote from Bob Dylan: Performing Artist: The Early Years.)

This was the first of many Bob Dylan songs recorded by The Byrds. Others include: “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,” and “Chimes of Freedom.”
The production style was based on The Beach Boys song “Don’t Worry Baby,” which was the suggestion of producer Terry Melcher. Bill Pitman, Leon Russell and Hal Blaine had all played on that Beach Boys song, so it wasn’t hard for them to re-create the sound on this track.

Roger McGuinn explained: “I was shooting for a vocal that was very calculated between John Lennon and Bob Dylan. I was trying to cut some middle ground between those two voices.”
This was the first influential folk-rock song. All of the characteristics of that genre are present, including chorus harmonies, a rock rhythm section and lots of thought-provoking lyrics.

Sure, anyone can strike up a hit with Bob Dylan as your songwriter and The Wrecking Crew as your band, but The Byrds quickly proved their mettle with songs they wrote (and played on) like “Eight Miles High” and “So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star.” They entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
The Byrds recorded this under a one-single deal with Columbia Records that Miles Davis helped secure. Davis, who was signed to Columbia, knew a friend of the band’s manager, and as a favor called Columbia boss Goddard Lieberson to ask for the deal. Davis made that case that it was the kind of music young people were listening to.

Courtesy of Songfacts

The Lyrics

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you

Though I know that evenin's empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip
My toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you

Though you might hear laughin', spinnin', swingin' madly across the sun
It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin'
And if you hear vague traces of skippin' reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it's just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn't pay it any mind
It's just a shadow you're seein' that he's chasing

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you

Writer/s: Bob Dylan 
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Song Lyric Sunday – Strange Fruit

The prompt for today’s Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams, is for a song that mentions a fruit. I have chosen this jarring and unforgettable song by Billie Holiday called “Strange Fruit”. I remember the first time I ever heard it. The lyrics were like a dagger in the heart and I was so saddened and moved. I couldn’t get the imagery out of my head. If you are not familiar with the song and what it is about please read below.

What I find shocking today is that some states in this country are trying to whitewash this ugly part of its history and pretend it doesn’t matter, or it is of no significance any more. As much as you want to try America, you cannot ignore or change your history. Own it.


The Song

This was written by a white, Jewish schoolteacher and union activist from New York City named Abel Meeropol, who was outraged after seeing a photograph of a horrific lynching in a civil-rights magazine. The photo was a shot of two black men hanging from a tree after they had been lynched in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930. The two men are the “Strange Fruit.”

The original title was “Bitter Fruit,” and the song started as a poem Meeropol wrote. The poem was published in the January 1937 issue of a union publication called The New York Teacher. After putting music to it, the song was performed regularly at various left-wing gatherings. Meeropol’s wife and friends from the local teachers’ union would sing it, but it was also performed by a black vocalist named Laura Duncan, who once performed it at Madison Square Garden.

This was performed by a quartet of black singers during an antifascist fundraiser at a show put on by Robert Gordon, who was also working on the floor show at a club called Cafe Society. Billie Holiday had just quit Artie Shaw’s band and was the featured attraction at the club, and Gordon brought the song to her attention and suggested she sing it. Holiday played to an integrated audience at the Cafe Society, and her version popularized the song.

Meeropol made headlines when he adopted the orphan sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after their parents were executed for treason in 1953. He also wrote the lyrics to the song “The House I Live In,” which was recorded by Frank Sinatra, as well as “Beloved Comrade,” which was often sung in tributes to Franklin Roosevelt, and “Apples, Peaches, and Cherries,” which was recorded by Peggy Lee. Meeropol died in 1986.

In 1971, Meeropol said, “I wrote ‘Strange Fruit’ because I hate lynching, I hate injustice, and I hate the people who perpetuate it.”Victims of lynchings were people who were marginalized from society, and most were black men. They were lynched for a variety of reasons, often because they did something to upset a prominent member of the community, who would then organize a mob to track down and kill the victim. Many times, the victims broke no laws but were lynched out of jealousy, hatred or religious difference. In America, lynchings were more common in the South, but could happen anywhere.In a lynching, people could be hanged, burned, dragged behind cars and killed in a number of different ways. Most lynchings were carried out by small, clandestine groups, but some were public spectacles. The one that inspired this song was in front of about 5,000 people in Marion, Indiana. Extra excursion cars were set up on trains so people could come to watch.

In her autobiography, Holiday claimed she wrote this, which was not true. Toward the end of her life, she had a lot of drug problems and made some unreliable statements.

Meeropol often had other people put his poems to music, but with this he did it himself.

Columbia Records, Holiday’s label, refused to release this. She had to release it on Commodore Records, a much smaller label.

This was always the last song Holiday played at her concerts. It signaled that the show was over. (Thanks to Gode Davis, director of the film American Lynching for his help with these Songfacts. You can learn more about this song in David Margolick’s book Strange Fruit.)

In 1999, Time magazine voted this the Song of the Century. When the song first came out it was denounced by the same magazine as “A piece of musical propaganda.”

Nona Hendryx would often perform this song, adding in parts of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Hendryx told us: “It’s a cathartic performance for me to do that song. It’s like healing, and healing’s what happens. And hopefully it can reach the ears and the minds and the hearts of people who are still feeling any bigotry, hatred, racism, to understand that this was a painful time in our history, in our past and in America. And that we need to move on from there.”

Courtesy of Songfacts

The Lyrics

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolia, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

Writer/s: Lewis Allen 
Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., MUSIC SALES CORPORATION
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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