Haiku As the colors change And there’s a chill in the air Autumn has arrived Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved
Amy Winehouse – September 24, 1983 – July 23, 2011
Jim Adams, our host for Song Lyric Sunday, has prompted us with “Members of the Died at the Age of 27 Club”. We are to choose a song by an artist who, you guessed it, died at the age of 27. Surprisingly there are quite a few. I picked Amy Winehouse and her memorable and fitting song, “Rehab”.
The Song & Artist
This song is autobiographical. Many successful musicians are haunted by their own personal demons of drink and drugs, and Winehouse is no exception. In February 2007 her father gave a candid interview to the Sun newspaper in which he denied that his daughter was an alcoholic, although he admitted that like many single women of her age she sometimes overdid the drink. On one occasion, after splitting up with her boyfriend, she fell over and hit her head.
Her previous management company wanted her to go into rehab but she said she didn’t need to. Her father agreed, adding that she wasn’t an alcoholic but had been drinking too much because she was lovesick, and “You can’t go into rehab for that.” Alcoholics drink everyday, he said, and his daughter didn’t. Hence the line: “They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no.”
Amy Winehouse was asked by The Daily Mail on August 3, 2007 how she writes songs. Said Winehouse: “With ‘Rehab’ I was walking down the street with Mark Ronson, who produced my last album. I just sang the hook out loud. It was quite silly really.”
She was then asked, “Did you sing the ‘no no no’ bit as well?'”
“Yeah, I sang the whole line exactly as it turned out on the record! Mark laughed and asked me who wrote it because he liked it. I told him that I’d just made it up but that it was true and he encouraged me to turn it into a song, which took me five minutes. It wasn’t hard. It was about what my old management company (run by former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller) wanted me to do.”
On August 14, 2007, Winehouse entered The Causeway Retreat, a rehab center in Essex, England, with her new husband (and fellow addict), Blake Fielder. Addiction specialists know that admitting a couple to rehab together is a bad idea, but The Causeway was not an ethical institution: it was shut down amid a host of violations in 2010.
In the documentary Amy, Fielder is shown at the facility badgering Winehouse, putting a video camera to her face and asking her to sing “the new, updated version of ‘Rehab,'” presumably making a joke out of it. She refuses.
Winehouse did a few more stints in rehab to treat her drug and alcohol addiction, but it was ultimately unsuccessful. She was found dead in her London home on July 23, 2011.
This won the 2007 Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song.
At the 2008 Grammy awards, this won for Song Of The Year, Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record Of The Year. Winehouse also won for Best New Artist, and performed a medley of songs that were televised from London. Ronson won for producer of the year.
Backstage at the Grammy ceremony Mark Ronson recalled to Billboard magazine what it was like playing “Rehab” for Winehouse’s A&R for the first time. “About the first 15 seconds in, he said ‘Rewind, rewind!’ I didn’t think there would be dollar signs lighting up.”
The lines, “I’d rather be at home with Ray” and “There’s nothing you can teach me that I can’t learn from Mr. Hathaway” are references to two of Winehouse’s soul music inspirations: Ray Charles and Donny Hathaway. Hathaway is best known for his duets with Roberta Flack: “Where Is The Love?” and “The Closer I Get To You.”
Winehouse’s label Island Records originally didn’t foresee this song’s success. Island Records president Darcus Beese explained in a Genius annotation:
“When ‘Rehab’ dropped it was just like a newspaper being lit. I wasn’t expecting this song to be the one that did it. We wanted to come in with a cool angle. We thought putting Ghostface Killa on ‘You Know I’m No Good’ would be the big hit. It wasn’t until people heard ‘Rehab’ that they really got it.”
[Chorus] They tried to make me go to rehab I said, "no, no, no" Yes, I been black But when I come back, you'll know, know, know I ain't got the time And if my daddy thinks I'm fine He's tried to make me go to rehab I won't go, go, go I'd rather be at home with a Ray I ain't got seventy days 'Cause there's nothing, there's nothing you can teach me That I can't learn from Mr. Hathaway I didn't get a lot in class But I know we don't come in a shot glass [Chorus] The man said, "why do you think you here?" I said, "I got no idea." I'm gonna, I'm gonna lose my baby So I always keep a bottle near He said, "I just think you're depressed." This, me, yeah, baby, and the rest They tried to make me go to rehab But I said, "no, no, no" Yes, I been black But when I come back, you'll know, know, know I don't ever want to drink again I just, oh, I just need a friend I'm not gonna spend ten weeks Have everyone think I'm on the mend And it's not just my pride It's just till these tears have dried [Chorus] Written by Amy Winehouse Learn more about Amy Winehouse's life here Courtesy of Songfacts
I have been absent from this blog for the last few days as I was affected by Hurricane Ian here in Sarasota on the West Coast of Florida. He was a monster of a storm and his eye was on us. It was 24 hours of nerve-wracking hell being powerless and watching the damage to our homes and property occur in front of our eyes. We were without power and internet for several days. Many unfortunate souls have it far worse.
We escaped because he chose to come onshore just about 50 miles south of here but we felt his wrath because of the sheer size of the storm. This is not the first time. We have dodged the hurricane bullet on many occasions in the past. Why?
Is Sarasota…blessed? Depending on who you talk to, the answer is yes. There are various Sarasota Indian myths that the lands were blessed by Native Americans to be protected against hurricanes.
Some hold the belief that Sarasota is protected from hurricanes because the Native Americans who first settled here knew that it was safe from the elements. Others believe that they blessed the lands to stay eternally safe from destructive storms and hurricanes. Still others think that it’s an ancient Indian burial ground on the lands of Sarasota that keeps it protected. It’s likely a geographical phenomenon but I like the Indian myth.
The eye of the storm Staring at us in the face Blinked and went elsewhere Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved
Hundreds of thousands of people in Southwest Florida have been devastated by Hurricane Ian. One of the worst in the nation’s history. The news coverage is front and center right now but it will pass quickly as the media pounces on another catastrophic event to report. Meanwhile lives have been changed forever and for some it will be a very long and slow recovery, if at all.
Haiku Hurricane Ian is hovering at my door Please keep moving on Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved
The Devil Hides
The District of Columbia is not Caesar’s Rome The Hill is not one of the seven Yet the Senators are as deadly and evil as they were BC Today the devil hides and resides in the hallowed halls of DC With daggers cloaked and unseen Preparing to execute their dastardly deeds Hell is in our politics disguised in grey hair and old man suits who stand on the shoulders of the good, strong women they wish to control Stifling their voices Taking away their rights To live in silence Forever to be a man’s possession Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved Punam is hosting D'Verse Poetics tonight and has prompted us to write about good and evil. I remembered an old poem I had written about US politics and reworked it a little. Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay
Haiku An alligator sunning itself on the bank Ignoring the world Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved
Senryu As strong as the oak is our love forever more Braving every storm Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved
Senryu Your silent whispers can be heard across oceans and comfort my heart Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved
This week Jim Adams, our host of Song Lyric Sunday, has handed the prompt reins to fellow blogger Angie from the blog King Ben’s Grandma, She has given us “Sweet, Honey, Sugar, Candy and Chocolate”, Plenty of songs out there to fit today’s theme. I have picked Sweet Love by Anita Baker. A personal favorite from the 80s.
“Sweet Love” is a song by American R&B singer and songwriter Anita Baker from her second studio album, Rapture (1986). It was written by Anita Baker, Louis A. Johnson, and Gary Bias, and produced by Michael J. Powell. It was released in July 1986, as the album’s first single.
The song was Baker’s first big hit single, peaking at number two on the US Billboard R&B chart, number three on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1986. In the UK, it reached number 13 on the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number 21 on Canada’s Top Singles chart.
“Sweet Love” won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards (1987).
Daryl Easlea of the BBC said that Baker’s voice “rings like a bell”, and that “Sweet Love” is one of the three most memorable tracks on Rapture. He felt that the lyrics might have sounded trite if sung by a different artist, but that Baker imbued them with “so much passion and wonderment” that they sound like “old love sonnets” brought back to life.
Baker won two Grammys at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards (1987). “Sweet Love” was selected as Best R&B Song, earning her (along with Gary Bias and Louis Johnson) a songwriting award. Also, the album containing this song, Rapture, won in the category Best Female R&B Vocal performance.
Courtesy of Wiki
With all my heart, I love you, baby Stay with me and you will see My arms will hold you, baby Never leave, 'cause I believe I'm in love Sweet love Hear me callin' out your name I feel no shame I'm in love, sweet love Don't you ever go away It'll always be this way Your heart has called me closer to you I will be all that you need Just trust In what we're feeling Never leave, 'cause baby, I believe In this love Sweet love Hear me callin' out your name I feel no shame I'm in love, sweet love Don't you ever go away It'll always be this way There's no stronger love in this world (no stronger love) Oh, baby, no You're my man, I'm your girl I'll never go, wait and see, can't be wrong Don't you know this is where you belong? How sweet this dream, how lovely, baby Stay right here, never fear I will be all that you need Never leave, 'cause baby, I believe In this love Sweet love Hear me callin' out your name I feel no shame I'm in love, sweet love Don't you ever go away It'll always be this way oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no (Sweet love) oh-ooh So sweet So sweet So sweet oh, oh, love (Sweet love) yeah, oh love Oh baby no, sweeter love (Sweet love) oh sweeter love Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no no, no (Sweet love) don't nobody know Don't nobody know how sweet it is (Sweet love) how sweet it is Love me sweetly, baby Just leave me sweetly, baby (Sweet love) Don't nobody know Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Anita Baker / Gary Bias / Louis A. Johnson Sweet Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Senryu Don’t let fear stop you Allow yourself to be brave Always speak your truth Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing All Rights Reserved