Tag: Song Lyric Sunday

Song Lyric Sunday – Walk on the Wild Side

Jim Adam’s gave us an assortment of prompts this week for Song Lyric Sunday. Bottom, End, Middle, Side and Top. I chose Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed. I’ve always loved the song but never really knew the inspiration for the song or the back story. Thanks to Jim’s prompts and researching it for this challenge, I found the following on Wikipedia

I hope you enjoy it.

Walk on the Wild Side” is a song by Lou Reed from his second solo album, Transformer (1972). It was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and released as a double A-side with “Perfect Day“. The song received wide radio coverage, despite its touching on taboo topics such as transsexual people, drugs, male prostitution, and oral sex. In the United States, RCA released the single using an edited version of the song without the reference to oral sex. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 223 in its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.[2]

Two decades after the song’s release, Reed told interviewer David Fricke, “I know my obituary has already been written. And it starts out, “Doot, di-doot, di-doot…”

The Inspiration for the Song

In the 2001 documentary Classic Albums: Lou Reed: Transformer, Reed says that it was Nelson Algren’s 1956 novel, A Walk on the Wild Side (itself titled after the 1952 song “The Wild Side of Life”), that was the launching point for the song, even though, as it grew, the song became inhabited by characters from his own life. As with several other Reed songs from the 1970s, the title may also be an allusion to an earlier song, in this case Mack David and Elmer Bernstein’s Walk on the Wild Side, the Academy Award-nominated title song performed by Brook Benton for the 1962 film based on Algren’s novel. During his performance of the song on his 1978 Live: Take No Prisoners album, Reed humorously explains the song’s development from a request that he write the music for the never-completed musical version of Algren’s novel

Each verse refers to one of the “superstars” at Andy Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory

  • “Holly” is based on Holly Woodlawn, a transsexual actress who lived in Miami Beach, Florida as a child. In 1962, after being bullied by homophobes, the fifteen-year-old ran away from home; and, as in the lyrics, learned how to pluck her eyebrows while hitchhiking to New York.
  • “Candy” is based on Candy Darling, a transsexual actress and the subject of an earlier song by Lou Reed, “Candy Says”. She grew up on Long Island (“the island”) and was a regular at “the back room” of Max’s Kansas City. 
  • “Little Joe” was the nickname of Joe Dallesandro, an actor who starred in Flesh, a 1968 film about a teenage hustler. Dallesandro said in 2014 that he had never met Reed when the song was written, and that the lyrics were based on the film character, not himself personally.
  • “Sugar Plum Fairy” has been described a reference to actor Joe Campbell, who played a character by that name in Warhol’s 1965 film, My Hustler. The term was a euphemism for “drug dealer”. “Sugar Plum Fairy” may have been a composite of a number of drug dealers in the Warhol superstars circle.
  • “Jackie” is based on Jackie Curtis, another Warhol actor. “Speeding” and “crashing” are drug references. Curtis at one time hoped to play the role of James Dean in a movie; Dean was killed in a car crash. 
Lyrics

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
 
Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybody's darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She sayes, hey baby, take a walk on the wild side
Said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side

And the colored girls go,
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
 
Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City is the place where they said:
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey Joe, take a walk on the wild side
 
Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin' for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should have seen him go, go, go
They said, hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side
I said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side, alright, huh
 
Jackie is just speeding away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would have helped that bash
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side
And the colored girls say
 
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
 
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Lou Reed
Walk On The Wild Side lyrics
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
 

Song Lyric Sunday – “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every week by Jim Adams. This Sunday he has prompted us with just the two letters “La”. It could be La-Dee-Da, or perhaps LA for Los Angeles or even La for Louisiana. Perhaps even Ooo-la-la and that song comes to mind. I have chosen to go with Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by the Beatles from the 1968 White Album. It is a fun song and caused a bit of a stir in the 60s as they used the word “Bra” in the song! Well it did help with the rhyming!

It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. Following the album’s release, the song was issued as a single in many countries, although not in Britain or America, and topped singles charts in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and West Germany. When belatedly issued as a single in the United States in 1976, it peaked at number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100.

McCartney wrote “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” in the Jamaican ska style and appropriated a phrase popularized by Jimmy Scott, a London-based Nigerian musician, for the song’s title and chorus. Following its release, Scott attempted, unsuccessfully, to receive a composing credit. The recording sessions for the track were marked by disharmony as McCartney’s perfectionism tested his bandmates and their recording staff. The song was especially disliked by John Lennon and a heated argument during one of the sessions led to Geoff Emerick quitting his job as the Beatles’ recording engineer. A discarded early version of the track, featuring Scott on congas, was included on the band’s 1996 compilation Anthology 3.

The Beatles’ decision not to release the single in the UK or the US led to several cover recordings as other artists sought to achieve a chart hit with the song. Of these, Marmalade became the first Scottish group to have a number 1 hit in the UK when their version topped the Record Retailer chart in late 1968. Despite the song’s popularity, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” has been ridiculed by some commentators for its lightheartedness. From 2009, McCartney has regularly performed the song in concert.

Paul McCartney began writing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” during the Beatles’ stay in Rishikesh, India, in early 1968. Prudence Farrow, one of their fellow Transcendental Meditation students there, recalled McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison playing it to her in an attempt to lure her out of her room, where she had become immersed in intense meditation.

McCartney wrote the song when reggae was becoming popular in Britain; author Ian MacDonald describes it as “McCartney’s rather approximate tribute to the Jamaican ska idiom”. The character of Desmond in the lyrics, from the opening line “Desmond has a barrow in the market-place”, was a reference to reggae singer Desmond Dekker, who had recently toured the UK. The tag line “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra” was an expression used by the aforementioned Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor. According to Scott’s widow, as part of his stage act with his band Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Scott would call out “Ob la di”, to which the audience would respond “Ob la da”, and he would then conclude: “Life goes on.” 

Lyrics

Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace
Molly is the singer in a band
Desmond says to Molly, girl, I like your face
And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand

Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on
Ob-la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on

Desmond takes a trolley to the jeweller's store
Buys a twenty carat golden ring
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door
And as he gives it to her she begins to sing

Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on
Ob-la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on

In a couple of years they have built
A home sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones

Happy ever after in the market place
Desmond lets the children lend a hand
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face
And in the evening she still sings it with the band

Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on
Ob-la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on

In a couple of years they have built
A home sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones

Happy ever after in the market place
Molly lets the children lend a hand
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face
And in the evening she's a singer with the band

Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on
Ob-la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on

And if you want some fun, sing ob-la-di, bla-da

Writer/s: John Lennon, Paul McCartney 
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind


Backstory provided by Wiki

Song Lyric Sunday – Crazy

Our last prompt of 2019 for Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams, is “Crazy“. There are a lot of crazy songs out there but I have chosen a favorite of mine called Crazy by Gnarls Barkley.

I have selected two videos of this song. One is the official music video and the other a version of the song performed at Live from Darryl’s House. Darryl being Darryl Hall of Hall & Oates. His shows are very cool and you can see them on the AXS channel. In this particular video Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley was his guest artist. I think you’ll like it.

This song is about losing your mind and diving into insanity, which the Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley finds is not all bad. Speaking at a BMI conference, he explained the inspiration for the song: “It was ’04, I was going through a divorce, I did not have a deal – things were bleak at the time and I was going through a personal trial. But it was an opportunity to be expressive. Danger Mouse’s production compelled me into a deep retrospection, and I really appreciate him for that because with him, I knew that my misery had some company, because his music was so miserably brilliant and beautiful to me. It was the sound of my soul. If you could have taken a picture of it, it would have resembled this internal chaos.”

Going along with the theme of the song, the music video is done in the style of the Rorschach test, a method of psychological testing whereby patients identify shapes and images they see in inkblots. It was directed by Robert Hales, who used an ink theme in the video for Jet’s Are you going to be my Girl. In the clip, Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse appear throughout morphing inkblots, designed by art director Bryan Louie.

Gnarls Barkley is producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and vocalist Cee-Lo Green (Thomas Callaway). Danger Mouse produced The Gorillaz album Demon Days; Cee-Lo was in Goodie Mob. The name “Gnarls Barkley” is a play on “Charles Barkley,” who is a Hall Of Fame basketball player and an outspoken commentator. The moniker came up in a conversation between Danger Mouse and some of his friends when they were throwing out weird ideas for band names.

In a 2006 interview with The New York Times, Danger Mouse said: “I brought in a song that I felt was a complete Ennio Morricone ripoff, (Morricone is a composer of spaghetti-western scores) but Cee-Lo and I started talking, and I somehow got off on this tangent about how people won’t take an artist seriously unless they’re insane. And we were saying that if we really wanted this album to work, the best move would be to just kill ourselves. That’s how audiences think; it’s retarded. So we started jokingly discussing ways in which we could make people think we were crazy. We talked about this for hours, and then I went home. But while I was away, Cee-Lo took that conversation and made it into ‘Crazy,’ which we recorded in one take. That’s the whole story. The lyrics are his interpretation of that conversation.”

This song was leaked on the Internet and became a very popular download when it was released in England, sending it to #1 on the UK charts.


Lyrics

I remember when
I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions have an echo in so much space

And when you're out there, without care
Yeah I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Possibly

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice
That's my only advice

Come on now, who do you
Who do you, who do you
Who do you think you are?
Ha ha ha, bless your soul
You really think you're in control?
Well

I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart
To lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember, is thinking
I wanna be like them
Mmhmm ever since I was little
Ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

But maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy
Probably ooh hmm

Writer/s: Brian Joseph Burton, Gian Pero Reverberi,
Gianfranco Reverberi, Thomas Decarlo Callaway
Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc., Universal
Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing,
Songtrust Ave, BMG Rights Management,
Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC,
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind



Song Lyric Sunday – Don’t They Know It’s Christmas

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with Christmas, Holiday or Snowman for Song Lyric Sunday. My immediate choice was “Don’t They Know It’s Christmastime by Band Aid. It’s fun to pick out the artists from 1984. They all look so young!

Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is a song written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. It was first recorded in a single day on 25 November 1984 by Band Aid, a supergroup put together by Geldof and Ure and consisting mainly of the biggest British and Irish musical acts at the time. The single was released in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1984 and aided by considerable publicity it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one and stayed there for five weeks, becoming the Christmas number one of 1984. The record became the fastest selling single in UK chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone and passing three million sales on the last day of 1984, on the way to displacing Wings’s “Mull of Kintyre” as the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK. It held this title until 1997 when it was overtaken by Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997”, released in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales following her death. The original version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” has sold 3.8 million copies in the UK to date. In a UK-wide poll in December 2012, it was voted sixth on the ITV television special The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Song

The song was also a major success around the world, reaching number one in thirteen other countries outside the UK. In the US, the single fell short of the top ten in the Billboard Hot 100 due to a lack of airplay, but it had sold an estimated 2.5 million copies in the US by January 1985. Worldwide the single had sold 11.7 million copies by 1989. Geldof’s cautious hope was that the single would raise £70,000 for Ethiopia, but “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” raised £8 million within twelve months of release. The single’s worldwide success in raising awareness and financial relief for the victims of the Ethiopian famine led the recording of several other charity singles in the UK and in other countries, such as “We Are the World” by USA for Africa. The song also led to various spin-off charity events, such as Comic Relief, and the Live Aid concert which would take place seven months later in July 1985.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was re-recorded three times: in 1989, 2004 and 2014. All the re-recordings were also charity records; the 1989 and 2004 versions also provided money for famine relief, while the 2014 version was used to raise funds for the Ebola crisis in West Africa. All three of these versions also reached number one in the UK, with the 1989 and 2004 versions also becoming the Christmas number ones for their respective years. The 2004 version of the song was also a UK million seller, with 1.8 million copies sold. 

Original Artists of BandAid were:

  • Bananarama
  • Bob Geldof
  • Culture Club
  • David Bowie
  • Duran Duran
  • Eurythmics
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Heaven 17
  • Human League
  • Kool and the Gang
  • Midge Urge
  • Paul McCartney
  • Paul Young
  • Phil Collins
  • Spandau Ballet
  • Status Quo
  • Sting
  • The Style Council
  • U2
  • Wham!
Lyrics
It's Christmas time, and there's no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and banish shade
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time
But say a prayer and pray for the other ones
At Christmas time, it's hard but while you're having fun
There's a world outside your window, and it's a world of dread and fear
Where a kiss of love can kill you, and there's death in every tear
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight we're reaching out and touching you
Bring peace and joy this Christmas to West Africa
A song of hope where there's no hope tonight, ooh
Why is coming first deadly feared?
Why is to touch to be scared?
How can they know it's Christmas time at all?
Here's to you
Raise a glass to everyone
Here's to them
And all their years to come
Can they know it's Christmas time at all?
Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it's Christmas time again
Heal the world

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Geldof / Midge Ure
Do They Know It's Christmas? lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc





Song Lyric Sunday – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

This week’s prompt from Jim Adams for Song Lyric Sunday is “Baby” Spoilt for choice I decided to go with “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” by Bob Dylan. This is one of Dylan’s finest and most memorable. The poetry is exquisite and I wish I could write this well. I hope you enjoy it.

Like “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Positively 4th Street,” “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” is one of Dylan’s “kiss off” songs, this time sung to someone identified only as “Baby Blue.” The song opens with a bitter declaration:
You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast

By the end of the first verse, however, Dylan’s voice lilts in grief and regret:
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue
The entire song oscillates between these emotions of scorn and sadness. The lyrics combine realist and surrealist images seamlessly and contain some of Dylan’s best-loved lines:
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you

Over the years, many critics and historians have made their case for who the “real” Baby Blue was. Folk musicians John Baez, David Blue, and Paul Clayton have all been floated as suspects, but thus far none of it has amounted to much beyond loose conjecture.

The song was recorded for Bringing It All Back Home on January 15, 1965, the same day as “Gates of Eden,” “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home album contains a solo acoustic version Dylan recorded on January 13, 1965, but didn’t release. The album also contains a semi-electric version from January 14, 1965.

Dylan generally played his songs live a few times before recording them in studio. With “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” he wanted to get it down on record before he had a chance to become too comfortable with it in concert.

This song appears last on the album and has been categorized as one of Dylan’s “farewell” songs. As such, it continues a pattern established with the two preceding albums, which both also wrapped up with “farewell” songs. “The Times They Are A-Changin'” finishes with “Restless Farewell,” and Another Side of Bob Dylan finishes with “It Ain’t Me Babe.”

“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” has been covered by many artists over the years including: Them featuring Van Morrison, Eric Burdon and The Animals, Marianne Faithful, Joni Mitchell, The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez.

Joan Baez covered the song on her 1965 album Farewell, Angelina. Baez is one of the most frequently fingered suspects for being the “real” Baby Blue. 

Backstory courtesy of Songfacts

Lyrics

You must leave now, take what you need,
you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep,
you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out, the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
The highway is for gamblers,
better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
The sky too is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
All your seasick sailors, they're all rowing home
Your empty-handed army is all going home
Your lover who just walked out the door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet too is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
Leave your stepping stones behind there,
something calls for you
Forget the dead you've left,
they will not follow you
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriter: Bob Dylan

It's All over Now, Baby Blue lyrics ©
Special Rider Music, ABKCO MUSIC INC

Song Lyric Sunday – With Arms Wide Open

Jim Adams has continued with his body part theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. The prompts are Arms, Elbows, Knees and Legs. I have chosen With Arms Wide Open by Creed. For some reason I have a soft spot for certain singers. To name a few, Lenny Kravitz, Eminem, Ed Sheeran and Scott Stapp of Creed. They all have personal stories that have touched my heart. Today’s song written by Stapp reflects his personal story.

Lead singer Scott Stapp wrote this song after finding out he was going to be a father. He had a son named Jagger, and later had two more children.

Once he found out that he was going to have a son, Stapp wrote this song because he didn’t want his child facing the same problems he faced while growing up. Stapp was from a very strict, very devout Christian household and he didn’t want his son to grow up questioning himself and his faith like Scott did. Stapp told us: “Don’t we always want our kids to be better than us? Don’t we always want them to have a better experience in this life and this journey than we did? So I think that from my point of view I’m beginning to see why that song struck a chord with multiple generations: because it touches on a feeling and sentiments that are universal for fathers, and for parents in general.”

The title became the name of a foundation set up by Stapp to help children and families. To launch the With Arms Wide Open Foundation, the band released a limited edition “enhanced-package single” in September 2000, with proceeds going to the charity. The single contained an orchestrated version, a rock version, an acoustic reading, and the music video.

This won the 2000 Grammy for Best Rock Song. It was also nominated for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.

The song inspired a T-shirt sold at The Hard Rock Cafe to benefit the With Arms Wide Open Foundation. The shirt features Stapp holding a child.

This was Creed’s only #1 hit on the Pop charts, although they had several other #1s on the Mainstream Rock charts.

Backstory provided by Songfacts

Lyrics

Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I close my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

Well I don't know if I'm ready
To be the man I have to be
I'll take a breath, I'll take her by my side
We stand in awe, we've created life

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
Now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything

With arms wide open
With arms wide open
I'll show you everything, oh yeah
With arms wide open, wide open

If I had just one wish
Only one demand
I hope he's not like me
I hope he understands
That he can take this life
And hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world
With arms wide open

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
Now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

I'll show you everything, oh yeah
With arms wide open, wide open

Writer/s: Mark Tremonti, Scott Stapp 
Publisher: RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind


Song Lyric Sunday – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Some great prompts from Jim Adams this weeK for the Song Lyric Sunday challenge. He has given us facial body parts – Chin, Ears, Eyes, Face, Mouth and Nose. I’m sure we will see many songs about eyes and faces, but ears and chin, I don’t know so much!

I have chosen Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. There is a great backstory to this song and if you have seen Jersey Boys, the musical, you will remember it. It was almost the song that never was.

In 1960, after a failed audition at a bowling establishment in Union Township, songwriter/pianist Robert Gaudio shook hands with lead singer Frankie Valli and formed the Four Seasons Partnership, and Gaudio, Valli, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi became The Four Seasons. Gaudio wrote their first hit Sherry, 15 minutes before a rehearsal in 1962 and was responsible for a string of their subsequent hits. In an interview with Terry Gross of WBUR in 2014,  Robert Gaudio was asked

“When Frankie Valli was solo you wrote a song for him that became a huge hit for you – “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.” Can you tell us the story behind the song?”

GAUDIO: I think he and I had talked about solo for ages. One reason – A. He would love to do a solo – B. He deserved to do a solo because of all the lead singers that I know in this business he’s one of the people that had the potential to rise above a career that he had that was pretty huge. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” was the first major shot – not the first time he recorded as a solo artist – but the first major try at bringing Frankie to the forefront and even at that it sat in the can for over a year. When I mean the can we made the record and it went into the archives because the record company as it says in the show didn’t think it had the potential to be top 40 radio and at the time top 40 radio was in a transition period. It didn’t know if it was pop, if it was Andy Williams if it was, you know, the Rolling Stones and, you know, the Beatles. It didn’t know what was. So it was a void and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” it sounds soft music now, but at the time when those drums came in and that chorus came in it was not an easy sell for soft stations and it was a hard sell for hard stations because it wasn’t hard enough. So, it was a chore getting that record played, but it also made Frankie’s dream come true and if you notice I can’t think of a record that was a Frankie Valli solo that he sang falsetto on and that was on purpose because we wanted to have a clear delineation between the two – sound wise and song wise.

GROSS: Oh, I know that never occurred to me.

GAUDIO: Well, there you go.

GROSS: There you go, yeah, OK.

According to Songfacts:

The song reeks of success, and just about everybody involved in it went on to a smash career. The song itself is almost an institution – it’s a contender for one of the top most-covered songs of all time. Cover versions include artists Andy Williams, Engelbert Humperdinck, Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Gaynor, Maureen McGovern, Manic Street Preachers, and Lauryn Hill (who got a Grammy nomination – Best Female Pop Vocal Performance – for her version).

Lyrics

You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off you

Pardon the way that I stare
There's nothing else to compare
The sight of you leaves me weak
There are no words left to speak
But if you feel like I feel
Please let me know that is real
You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off you

I love you baby
And if it's quite all right
I need you baby
To warm the lonely nights
I love you baby
Trust in me when I say
Oh pretty baby
Don't bring me down I pray
Oh pretty baby
Now that I've found you stay
And let me love you, baby
Let me love you

You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off You

I love you baby
And if it's quite all right
I need you baby
To warm the lonely nights
I love you baby
Trust in me when I say

Oh pretty baby
Don't bring me down I pray
Oh pretty baby
Now that I've found you stay
Oh pretty baby
Trust in me when I say

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Crewe / Robert Gaudio
Can't Take My Eyes Off You lyrics
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Broma 16

	    

Song Lyric Sunday – Brown Sugar

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams, prompted us with Bounty/Dessert/Eat/Feast/Food/Hungry/Turkey. Hmmm ….what can I say Jim? Thanks? I wasn’t happy with what I was coming up with so I played it safe with one of my favorite Stones songs, “Brown Sugar” Sugar is food, right? I chose a video from a 2015 concert because I think it’s fun to see how fantastic they still are in their seventies! I hope you enjoy it along with the colorful description of the scandalous lyrics to Brown Sugar, courtesy of Wikipedia.





Though credited, like most of their compositions, to the singer/guitarist pair of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the song was primarily the work of Jagger, who wrote it sometime during the filming of Ned Kelly in 1969. The song was written by Jagger with Marsha Hunt, Jagger’s secret girlfriend and mother of his first child Karis, in mind. It is also claimed it was written with Claudia Lennear in mind. Lennear claimed to be the song’s subject on BBC’s Radio 4 (25 February 2014, Today), because she kept Jagger’s company at the time when it was written.

“Brown Sugar” was recorded over a three-day period at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, from 2 to 4 December 1969. The song was not released until over a year later due to legal wranglings with the band’s former label. At the request of guitarist Mick Taylor (who had joined the band as Brian Jones’ replacement in July of 1969), the Stones debuted the number live during the infamous concert at the Altamont Speedway on 6 December 1969. 

In the liner notes to the compilation album Jump Back (1993), Jagger says, “The lyric was all to do with the dual combination of drugs and girls. This song was a very instant thing, a definite high point”.

In the Rolling Stone interview (14 December 1995, RS 723) Jagger spoke at length about the song, its inspiration and success, and taking credit for writing the lyrics. Keith Richards also credits Jagger with the song in his autobiography. He attributed the success of the song to a “good groove”. After noting that the lyrics could mean so many lewd subjects, he again noted that the combination of those subjects, the lyrical ambiguity was partially why the song was considered successful. He noted, “That makes it… the whole mess thrown in. God knows what I’m on about on that song. It’s such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go… I never would write that song now.” When interviewer Jann Wenner asked him why, Jagger replied, “I would probably censor myself. I’d think, ‘Oh God, I can’t. I’ve got to stop. I can’t just write raw like that.'”

The lyrical subject matter has often been a point of interest and controversy. Described by rock critic Robert Christgau as “a rocker so compelling that it discourages exegesis”, “Brown Sugar’s popularity indeed often overshadowed its scandalous lyrics, which were essentially a pastiche of a number of taboo subjects, including slavery, rape, interracial sex, cunnilingus, sadomasochism, lost virginity and heroin.

An alternative version was recorded on 18 December 1970, at Olympic Studios in London, after (or during) a birthday party for Richards. It features appearances by Al Kooper on piano, and Eric Clapton on slide guitar. Richards considered releasing this version on Sticky Fingers, mostly for its more spontaneous atmosphere, but decided on the original. The alternative version, which had previously been available only on bootleg recordings, was released in June 2015 on the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions of the reissued Sticky Fingers album.

"Brown Sugar"
Lyrics

Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in a market down in New Orleans
Skydog slaver knows he's doing alright
Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good?
Brown sugar just like a young girl should

Drums beating, cold English blood runs hot
Lady of the house wonderin' where it's gonna stop
House boy knows that he's doing alright
You shoulda heard him just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good, now?
Brown sugar just like a young girl should, now

Ah, get along, brown sugar how come you taste so good, baby?
Ah, got me feelin' now, brown sugar just like a black girl should

I bet your mama was a tent show queen
And all her boyfriends were sweet sixteen
I'm no schoolboy but I know what I like
You shoulda heard me just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good, baby?
Ah, brown sugar just like a young girl should, yeah

I said yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
How come you... how come you taste so good?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
Just like a... just like a black girl should
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
 
Written by Mick Jagger - 1969


Song Lyric Sunday – Baby Please Don’t Go

Jim Adams has prompted us with Did, Didn’t, Do, Don’t, Does and Doesn’t for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. I started looking and came up with at least 20 songs in the first 10 minutes so I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with today.

I have chosen an old song, “Baby Please Don’t Go”, that several bands have recorded over the years but my personal favorite was by the 60’s band Them with the great Van Morrison. I hope you enjoy this old video. Look how young Van was!!

“Baby Please Don’t Go” was one of the earliest songs recorded by Them, fronted by a 19-year-old Van Morrison. Their rendition of the song was derived from a version recorded by John Lee Hooker in 1949 as “Don’t Go Baby”. Hooker’s song later appeared on a 1959 album, Highway of Blues, which Van Morrison heard and felt was “something really unique and different” with “more soul” than he had previously heard. 

Them recorded “Baby, Please Don’t Go” for Decca Records in October 1964. Besides Morrison, there is conflicting information about who participated in the session. In addition to the group’s original members (guitarist Billy Harrison, bassist Alan Henderson, drummer Ronnie Millings, and keyboard player Eric Wrixon), others have been suggested: Pat McAuley on keyboards, Bobby Graham on a second drum kit, Jimmy Page on second guitar, and Peter Bardens on keyboards. As Page biographer George Case notes, “There is a dispute over whether it is Page’s piercing blues line that defines the song, if he only played a run Harrison had already devised, or if Page only backed up Harrison himself”.  Morrison has acknowledged Page’s participation in the early sessions: “He played rhythm guitar on one thing and doubled a bass riff on the other” and Morrison biographer Johnny Rogan notes that Page “doubled the distinctive riff already worked out by Billy Harrison”.

“Baby, Please Don’t Go” was released as Them’s second single on November 6, 1964. With the B-side, “Gloria”, it became their first hit, reaching number ten on the UK Singles Chart in February 1965. The single was released in the US in 1965, but only “Gloria” became a hit the following year. The song was not included on Them’s original British or American albums (The Angry Young Them and Them Again), however, it has appeared on several compilation albums, such as The Story of Them Featuring Van Morrison and The Best of Van Morrison. When it was reissued in 1991 as a single in the UK, it reached number 65 in the chart. Van Morrison also accompanied John Lee Hooker during a 1992 performance, where Hooker sings and plays “Baby, Please Don’t Go” on guitar while sitting on a dock, with harmonica backing by Morrison; it was released on the 2004 Come See About Me Hooker DVD.

Lyrics
Baby, please don't go
Baby, please don't go
Baby, please don't go down to New Orleans
You know I love you, so, baby, please don't go

Baby, your mind done gone
Well, your mind done gone
Well, your mind done gone, left the county farm
You had the shackles on; baby, please don't go

Before I be your dog
Before I be your dog
Before I be your dog to get you way down here
I'll make you walk alone; baby, please don't go, hey

Baby, please don't go
Baby, please don't go
Baby, please don't go down to New Orleans
You know I love you, so, baby, please don't go

Before I be your dog
Before I be your dog
Before I be your dog to get you way down here
Make you walk alone; baby, please don't go

Know how I feel right now?
My baby leavin' on that midnight train, and I'm cryin'
Baby, please don't go
Oh, baby, please don't go

Baby, please don't go down to New Orleans
You know I love you, so, baby, please don't go yeah
Before I be your dog
Before I be your dog

Before I be your dog to get you way down here
I make you walk alone; baby, please don't go, yeah
All right

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Joe Williams

Song Lyric Sunday – If You Could Read My Mind

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with “Could, Might, Would and Should” for Song Lyric Sunday. I was hoping I would have the chance to share a particular favorite of mine, and here it is! It is an old song from 1970 but it is still played a lot today. Gordon Lightfoot is a wonderful singer/songwriter and this particular song is very poetic and tells of his personal story of heartache in his own beautiful words. I have included an unplugged version with Gordon playing acoustic guitar and the other is a full orchestra video version. Both are excellent and I hope you enjoy at least one.

“If You Could Read My Mind” is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. It reached number one on Canadian music charts and was his first recording to appear on the American music charts, reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in February 1971. Later in the year it reached number 30 in the UK. The song also reached number one for one week on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, and was the first of four Lightfoot releases to reach number one.

This song first appeared on Lightfoot’s 1970 album Sit Down Young Stranger, which was later renamed If You Could Read My Mind following the song’s success.

Lightfoot has cited his divorce for inspiring the lyrics, saying they came to him as he was sitting in a vacant Toronto house one summer. At the request of his daughter, Ingrid, he performs the lyrics with a slight change now: the line “I’m just trying to understand the feelings that you lack” is altered to “I’m just trying to understand the feelings that we lack.” He has said in an interview that the difficulty with writing songs inspired by personal stories is that there is not always the emotional distance and clarity to make lyrical improvements such as the one his daughter suggested. 

In 1987 Lightfoot filed a lawsuit against the writer of “The Greatest Love of All”, alleging plagiarism of 24 bars of “If You Could Read My Mind”. Lightfoot has stated that he dropped the lawsuit when he felt it was having a negative effect on the singer Whitney Houston, as the lawsuit was about the writer and not her. 

The song is in A major and uses the subtonic chord.

Backstory provided by Wiki 


Lyrics
If You Could Read My Mind
Gordon Lightfoot


If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost you can see
 
If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part where
the heartaches come
Come the hero would be me
Heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just to hard to take
 
I walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script
Enter number two, a movie queen
To play the scene of bringing all the
good things out in me
But for now love let’s be real
 
I never knew I feel this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back
 
If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie about a
ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
The story always ends
And if you read between the lines
You’ll know that I’m just trying to understand
The feeling that you left
 
I never knew I feel this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feeling’s gone
And I just can’t get it back
Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Gordon Lightfoot
If You Could Read My Mind lyrics
© Warner Chappell Music, Inc
 


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