Tag: Song Lyric Sunday

Song Lyric Sunday – I Am A Rock

This week I found myself torn with regard to song choice. The prompts for Song Lyric Sunday are Atoll, Island, Key, Lagoon, Peninsula, Reef and Tropical, suggested by Kristian, from Tales From The Mind of Kristian. As Paul Simon is one of my favorite artists I wanted to feature ‘I Am A Rock’. The lyrics to me are pure poetry. At the same time I like the upbeat Sammy Hagar song, ‘All We Need Is An Island’, so I decided to go with both. I hope you enjoy them.

The Song

Simon was going solo at this time because the Simon & Garfunkel 1964 debut album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. had stiffed, and the duo split up. Late in 1965, the producer Tom Wilson overdubbed and remixed a track from that album, “The Sound Of Silence,” and it became a huge hit. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were summoned back to the studio, where they recorded the singles “I Am A Rock” and “Homeward Bound,” which were included on their Sound of Silence album. These songs were recorded with producer Bob Johnston at one of the Columbia Records studios in New York City, and now released with a more contemporary sound, “I Am A Rock” became a hit for the duo.
In the UK, this was released three times in a one year span: first as the original Paul Simon single in 1965, then in the summer of 1966 it was released as an EP and again as a single. The song was very popular there in 1966, but the chart position suffered because the sales of the single were diluted by multiple releases.
The guitarist on the Simon & Garfunkel hit version of this song was Ralph Casale, who was a top session player in the ’60s. He remembers organist Al Kooper and drummer Bobby Gregg – both associated with Bob Dylan – also performing on the song. Describing the sessions, Ralph told us: “The band was booked from 7:00 p.m. into the wee hours of the morning. I was given a lead sheet for ‘I Am A Rock’ with just chords and asked to play the electric twelve string guitar. The producer wanted a sound similar to the Byrds. It was important that session players became familiar with the current hits because many times producers describe the style they want by referring to well known groups. Paul Simon sang the figure he wanted me to play between verses and asked me to play it in thirds. The rest was left to me. ‘Homeward Bound’ was on that same date.”

The Lyrics

A winter's day, in a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow
I am a rock, I am an island

I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty 
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain
I am a rock, I am an island

Don't talk of love
But I've heard the words before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried

I am a rock, I am an island
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me

I am a rock, I am an island
And a rock feels no pain 
And an island never cries

Writer:  Paul Simon

The Song

There was a suggestion that 65-year-old Hagar record this song with 23-year-old country-pop superstar Taylor Swift, but he was concerned about the age difference. Instead he laid it down it with Heart’s Nancy Wilson. “She did the best duet on the record,” Hagar told Jam! Music of Wilson. “She brought more to that song than everyone else did … It’s beautiful. She took my idea and just made it from a girl’s perspective. I wanted to do it with someone real young and hip and popular and my manager and everyone around me was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah! Let’s get Taylor Swift! Yeah, her guitar player is a big Sammy fan! All he does is play your music on the bus.’ And then I thought, ‘Well, gee, what if someone wants us to do a video, then people are going to be going, ‘Is that her grandpa?’ I’m okay with being a grandpa but not Taylor Swift’s grandpa.”
Hagar also considered recording this with the lead singer of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. “I met Grace Potter, and I wanted to do a duet with her,” he told Rolling Stone, “but I didn’t have the song. I thought ‘All We Need Is an Island,’ but I ended up doing that with Nancy [Wilson], and Nancy killed it.”

The Lyrics

Well, all we need is an island
Big ol' sandy beach
Palm tree for some shade
Sweet sugar cane

All we need is an island (all we need is an island)
A hammock that swings
A tall cool one, a whole lotta sun
A belly full of rum

All we need is an island
Ooh, all we need is an island
All we need is an island

Get the cold ass winter gone
So cold and so long
Feel it in my bones
All we need is an island (all we need is an island)

A little time alone
A feeling in me, you and me
A little ecstasy
All we need is an island

Ooh, all we need is an island
(All we need is an island)
All we need is an island

Sea, sun, salt and sex
A line and a pole
Put a pig in a hole
All we need is an island

Work, work, work away
Honey, take me to this paradise
With a miracle kiss
All we need is an island

Ooh, all we need is an island
(All we need is an island)
All we need is an island

(All we need is an island)
Ooh, all we need is an island
(All we need is an island)
All we need is an island

Writer: Sammy Hagar

Song Lyric Sunday – I Just Called To Say I Love You

This week’s prompts for Song Lyric Sunday have been suggested by Di from Pensitivity. She has given us ‘Communication, Information, News and Telephone’ and we are to find a song title or lyrics including one or more of these prompts. I have selected I Just Called To Say I Love You, by Stevie Wonder. I hope you enjoy it.

The Song

“I Just Called To Say I Love You” is Stevie Wonder’s best-selling single worldwide, and also one of his most maligned. The song is about a guy who calls his special someone with a simple message of love. It’s very sweet, but to many, it crossed over to sickly.

Wonder had moved to a more middle-of-the-road, adult contemporary sound when he released the song. His early hits like “Superstition” and “Higher Ground” were often filled with funk, but in the ’80s, songs like this one and “Part-Time Lover” had a smoother sound, resulting in big hits, but disappointment for those hoping for a classic Wonder groove. Wonder though, stood by the song, often playing it at live shows throughout his career.

This was featured in the movie The Woman In Red, starring Kelly LeBrock as the woman and Gene Wilder as the married man mesmerized by her. Stevie wrote most of the soundtrack for the movie; he got the gig after Dionne Warwick, who was the “song coordinator” on the film, suggested him to the producers.

Wonder wrote seven songs that were used in the movie, including one called “Woman In Red.” He sang lead on three of the tracks, including “I Just Called To Say I Love You.” The soundtrack was issued by Wonder’s label, Motown Records,” which pegged the song as a hit and released it as a single. Two more songs from the soundtrack were also released: an instrumental called “Love Light in Flight,” which made #17 US and #44 UK, and “Don’t Drive Drunk,” which reached #62 UK.

This won the Oscar for Best Original Song, beating out “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now),” “Footloose,” “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” and “Ghostbusters.” All five nominees were #1 hits on the Hot 100, the only time that has happened.

Wonder did not have a specific person in mind for this song – it was more of a universal feeling. “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” is similar in sentiment.

On October 13, 1984, this song reached the top of three different charts: Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and R&B, and stayed at the top of each for three weeks. In the UK it got an even warmer reception, going to #1 on September 8 and staying for six weeks, that last being October 13.

In October 1985, the songwriters Lloyd Chiate and Lee Garrett sued wonder, claiming they wrote a song called “Hello It’s Me/I Just Called to Say” in September 1976 that they played for Wonder, who stole the title and chorus idea. In his testimony, Wonder claimed he wrote the chorus to “I Just Called to Say I Love You” on July 16, 1976 while returning home from a visit to his mother.

Garrett, who co-wrote “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” was a childhood friend of Wonder. He dropped out of the lawsuit on May 7, 1986, but Chiate kept going. In 1990, a jury ruled in favor of Wonder, and in 1992 Chiate lost an appeal.

The lawsuit created some problems with Wonder’s Oscar win, as only songs written specifically for the films were eligible. Since wonder wrote much of the song in 1976, this put that eligibility in doubt, but no action was taken and he kept the award.

Wonder claimed that while he wrote the music for this song in 1976, he “modernized” it when he added lyrics for the soundtrack. Wonder is an extremely prolific composer and was constantly coming up with songs that he would sometimes revisit much later.

In his testimony, Wonder added that he had John Lennon in mind when he worked on the song. Said Wonder: “I had the melody and the lyric that I had for the chorus, and I imagined in my mind when hearing the chords that The Beatles were singing with me. And that idea and feeling is what inspired me to use the vocoder, when I heard about the vocoder. And I always imagined myself and The Beatles singing that. It was in 1980 I believe, or ’81 when John Lennon was killed, that I knew that the dream would never be fulfilled.”

Wonder played every instrument on this track, produced it, and did all the vocals. The instruments were synthesizers, drums and vocoder.

This is one of the least political songs you’ll ever hear, but it gave Wonder a voice to help end apartheid in South Africa. When the song won the Academy Award, Wonder said in his speech, “I would like to accept this award in the name of Nelson Mandela.” The next day, the South African government banned his music, as Mandela was an enemy of the state, imprisoned since 1962. This drew a lot of attention to Mandela and his fight against apartheid in that country; later in 1985, a collective of musicians called Artists United Against Apartheid released the song “Sun City,” taking a stand against entertainers who performed at the popular resort in South Africa. Wonder, energized by the ban, spoke out in interviews and included the song “It’s Wrong (Apartheid)” on his next album, In Square Circle.

The movement culminated in the 1988 Free Nelson Mandela Concert at Wembley Stadium in London, where Sting, Peter Gabriel, Whitney Houston and a host of other stars performed on his behalf. Wonder opened his set with “I Just Called To Say I Love You.”

This is Motown’s biggest-selling single ever in the UK, where it was Wonder’s first #1. It was his eighth #1 in the US. >>

Wonder had been working on his In Square Circle album for about four years when he took on The Woman In Red soundtrack. Under terms of his Motown contract, Wonder had a lot of control and worked at his own pace, but for the soundtrack he was under time constraints. Wonder delivered the songs uncomfortably late in the project, but his music fared better than the film itself, which last we checked had a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Stevie sang some of this when he made an appearance on The Cosby Show in 1986. The episode was called “A Touch of Wonder,” and was later cited by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson as an inspiration to many young musicians who became interested in samplers and making music after seeing Wonder on the show.

On the soundtrack album, this song runs 6:16. The single was cut down to 4:21.

Jay Graydon and David Foster submitted some demos for The Woman In Red before Stevie Wonder took over the soundtrack. One of those songs became “Who’s Holding Donna Now,” which was a hit for El DeBarge.

In the 2000 movie High Fidelity, this is the subject of a rant by a character played by Jack Black. In the film, a man walks into the record store and asks for this song so he can give it to his daughter. Black’s character, who is working there, scolds him for wanting such and awful song and goes on to explain that his daughter probably hates it and it was clearly the low point of Wonder’s career.

When Wonder did Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, he called Corden’s wife to serenade her with a custom version of this song: “I Just Called To Say James Loves You.” The host was overjoyed.

The Lyrics

No New Year's Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring, no song to sing
In fact here's just another ordinary day

No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No summer's high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies

No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring
But what it is, though old so new
To fill your heart like no three words could ever do

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart, of my heart, of my heart

Song Lyric Sunday – Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone

Some generous prompts have been provided to us this week for Song Lyric Sunday, courtesy of one of our fellow bloggers, Angie, from King Ben’s Grandma. She has given us a chance to find songs with Heavenly Bodies, Planets, Moon, Sun and Stars in the title or lyrics. There are so many songs to choose from I wonder if we will have any duplicates this week. I can’t wait to see what everyone picks.

I have chosen a song that I first shared in January 2019. It’s a Bill Withers classic, Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone. At that time I did not offer any backstory for the song or Bill Withers, so this is a good time to do it. It’s a great, moody song and the only thing I didn’t like about it is that it’s too short!

At the end of this post, I have included the video from Wither’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, where Stevie Wonder sang this song and Bill Withers ’assisted’.

Bill Withers died in 2020 at age 81.

The Song

In a Songfacts interview with Bill Withers, he explained how this song came about: “I was watching a movie called Days Of Wine And Roses (1962) with Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon. They were both alcoholics who were alternately weak and strong. It’s like going back for seconds on rat poison. Sometimes you miss things that weren’t particularly good for you. It’s just something that crossed my mind from watching that movie, and probably something else that happened in my life that I’m not aware of.”

This was Withers’ first hit. After spending nine years in the US Navy, he had a job at a factory making parts for airplanes when he was introduced to Booker T. Jones from Booker T. & the MG’s. Booker was an elite session musician with Stax Records, where Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and many other soul legends recorded. He brought in some other top-notch musicians, including Stephen Stills on lead guitar, and produced this album for Withers, who was 32 when it was recorded.

This was released as the B-side to another song called “Harlem.” Disc jockeys played this as the single instead and it became a hit.

All the instruments on this track are acoustic. Personnel are:

Withers: guitar, vocal
Booker T. Jones: keyboards
Stephen Stills: guitar
Jim Keltner: drums
Bobbye Hall: percussion

The part where Withers repeats “I know, I know,” has become a very recognizable piece of the song, but it wasn’t what he had in mind. Withers told Songfacts: “I wasn’t going to do that, then Booker T. said, ‘No, leave it like that.’ I was going to write something there, but there was a general consensus in the studio. It was an interesting thing because I’ve got all these guys that were already established, and I was working in the factory at the time. Graham Nash was sitting right in front of me, just offering his support. Stephen Stills was playing and there was Booker T. and Al Jackson and Donald Dunn – all of the MGs except Steve Cropper. They were all these people with all this experience and all these reputations, and I was this factory worker just sort of puttering around. So when their general feeling was, ‘Leave it like that,’ I left it like that.”

The MGs were the backup band for Otis Redding when he recorded “Dock Of The Bay” in 1967. The famous whistling in the third verse of that song was something Redding did to fill time until he could fill it in with some words. He never had the chance because he died in a plane crash three days later. The whistling stayed, just like Withers’ verse of “I knows.”

On its first release, this song did not chart in the UK, but Michael Jackson’s cover hit #8 there in 1972. Withers’ original version eventually made its first entry into the UK singles chart in May 2009 after being performed on Britain’s Got Talent by contestant Shaun Smith.

Withers performed this on an episode of The Old Grey Whistle Test, a British TV show that ran from 1971-1987 and featured a variety of musical guests. In the ’70s, the show was shot in a small studio with no audience, which resulted in more relaxed performances where the artists could concentrate on their music. Withers’ appearance is considered a classic from the show, and was included in a DVD compilation released in 2001.

Won the Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1972.

“Ain’t no” isn’t good grammar, but in the context of a song it sounds a lot better than “there isn’t any.” Motown acts often used it, notably on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got).”

This was used in the movies Girls Town (1996), Notting Hill (1999), Old School (2003) and Munich (2005). TV shows to use the song include Monk (2005), CSI: NY (2009) and Scandal (2013).

Besides Michael Jackson, this has been covered by many artists in a wide range of styles. Paul McCartney, Isaac Hayes, Lionel Hampton, Prince, Sting, Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones and Lighthouse Family have all recorded it. It was also interpolated by rapper DMX for his 2001 song “No Sunshine.”

Sax player Grover Washington became the first person to cover one of Withers’ songs when he did an instrumental version shortly after Withers released his. In 1981, Washington and Withers teamed up to record “Just The Two Of Us.”

There is no introduction on this song, as the vocals come in right away. This was thought of as bad for marketing purposes, as it meant disc jockeys couldn’t talk it up, but it gave the song a more interesting structure. Withers’ label Sussex Records gave him plenty of artistic freedom, which he lost when Sussex folded and he moved to Columbia. In the 2009 documentary Still Bill, Withers explains, “If nobody throws all their rules at you, you might make a song with no introduction.”

The metal band Black Label Society recorded this song and issued it as a single in 2013. Band members John DeServio and Zakk Wylde decided to cover it after seeing a 1974 episode of the TV show The Midnight Special, where Withers performed the song.

Black Label Society made an unusual video for the song featuring anthropomorphic horses. In our interview with Zakk Wylde, he said that he got a kick out of reading the negative comments about the video from folks who didn’t get the joke, comparing the hostility to what his professional wrestler friends get when they turn heel.

Stevie Wonder inducted Bill Withers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. At the ceremony, Wonder performed this song with Withers sitting next to him on stage. Withers decided not to perform at the ceremony, although he appeared midway through Wonder and John Legend’s performance of “Lean On Me” to join on vocals.

In the 2015 Shawn Mendes song “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” he and his duet partner Camila Cabello sing “I know” sections similar to how Withers did in “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Wither was given a songwriting credit because the vocal is so similar.

The Lyrics

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she's always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

Wonder this time where she's gone
Wonder if she's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away

And I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know,
Hey, I oughtta leave young thing alone
But ain't no sunshine when she's gone

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Only darkness every day
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away

Songwriters: Bill Withers
Ain't No Sunshine lyrics © Dead Game Publishing, Songs Of Universal Inc.

Courtesy of Songfacts

Song Lyric Sunday – Let’s Get It On

Song Lyric Sunday prompts for this week are provided by our host Jim Adams. He has asked us to find songs where somebody is having sex or talking about it. These days there are plenty of songs that leave nothing to the imagination, but I opted for a sexy oldie by Marvin Gaye from the 70s called ‘Let’s Get It On’

Enjoy the song and your Sunday!

The Song

Originally written by 1950s one-hit-wonder Ed Townsend (“For Your Love” in 1958), the song originally addressed the author’s desire to get on with life after beating alcoholism. Marvin Gaye completely changed the lyrics (and meaning) to the song after meeting Janis Hunter, the woman who would become his second wife. The song helped cement Gaye’s reputation as one of the greatest singers of baby-making music. Song writing credits on the song went to both Gaye and Townsend.

“Let’s Get It On” was the title track of Gaye’s 1973 album. It topped the Billboard Pop Singles chart for two weeks and the Billboard Soul Singles chart for eight weeks. It also made history as Motown’s most successful release in the United States to that date and the second most successful song of 1973 (behind Tony Orlando & Dawn’s “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”).

This song’s co-writer Ed Townsend also produced the album with Marvin and co-wrote the three other songs on the first side of the disc, including “Keep Gettin’ It On.” He wrote with Gaye again on songs for Marvin’s 1978 album Here, My Dear.

This song has appeared in a variety of TV shows, movies and commercials, often for comic effect to imply an imminent romantic encounter. Some of the media uses include the TV shows The SimpsonsThe SopranosScrubsHouseUgly BettyCharmedSpin City and The King of Queens.

Movie uses include Into the Night (1985), Queens Logic (1991), The Inkwell (1994), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), High Fidelity (2000), Crossroads (2002), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), Mr. 3000 (2004), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), The Change-Up (2011), and The Dictator (2012).

The Lyrics

I've been really tryin', baby
Tryin' to hold back this feeling for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby
Then, c'mon, oh, c'mon

Let's get it on
Ah, baby, let's get it on
Let's love, baby
Let's get it on, sugar
Let's get it on

We're all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we've got to be here
Let's live
I love you

There's nothing wrong with me
Loving you, baby no no
And giving yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true, oh baby

Ooh don't you know how sweet and wonderful life can be ooh
I'm asking you baby to get it on with me ooh ooh
I ain't gonna worry
I ain't gonna push, won't push you baby
So c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby
Stop beatin' 'round the bush, hey

Let's get it on
Let's get it on
You know what I'm talkin' 'bout
C'mon, baby
Let your love come out
If you believe in love
Let's get it on
Let's get it on, baby
This minute, oh yeah
Let's get it on
Please, please get it on

I know and you know what I've been dreaming of, don't you baby?
My whole body makes that feelin' of love, I'm happy
I ain't gonna worry, no I ain't gonna push
I won't push you baby, woo

C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, darlin'
Stop beatin' 'round the bush
Oh, gonna get it on
Threatenin' you, baby
I wanna get it on
You don't have to worry that it's wrong
If the spirit moves ya
Let me groove ya good
Let your love come down
Oh, get it on

C'mon, baby
Do you know the meaning?
I've been sanctified
Girl, you give me good feeling
I've been sanctified

Oh dear I, baby
Nothing wrong with love
If you want to love me just let your self go
Oh baby, let's get it on

Writer/s: Marvin Gaye, Ed Townsend 
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Courtesy of Songfacts

Song Lyric Sunday – This Boy, The Beatles

Today we have been given the prompts This, That and Other for his week’s Song Lyric Sunday challenge. Our host, Jim Adams, is giving a nod to our friend, Fandango, from the blog This, That and the Other. For the last three-plus years Fandango, not his real name, has given us a daily prompt word to tickle our muses and get us writing, along with Flash Fiction challenges, Provocative Questions and Who Won The Week? A big thank you from your fellow bloggers!

This SLS challenge was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I found a few songs that fit but I wasn’t that thrilled with them. In the end I went with a very pretty song with great harmonies, This Boy, by the Beatles.

The second video is short and sweet. George Harrison is observing and commenting on another video of The Beatles singing this song. He pokes a little fun and it’s quite funny. I hope you enjoy it.

The Song

John Lennon wrote this song. One of his early compositions, it is seemingly simple, but very clever. The song contains only a few notes, but the space between the notes is filled by the arrangements. It’s the same technique you hear in Liszt’s “Liebestraum,” the piano piece in Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze and in Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”

This was the first Beatles composition that was commented on by a music critic. William Mann wrote in The London Times December 27, 1963, that the song had “pendiatonic clusters.”

George Harrison: “It was John (Lennon) trying to do Smokey (Robinson).”

The vocals were a three part harmony sung by Harrison, Lennon and McCartney.

The Beatles performed this on their second Ed Sullivan Show appearance – Feb 16, 1964. They played six songs on the show that night, and this provided a slow change of pace from the uptempo songs like “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” The Beatles were just beginning their breakthrough in America and got a huge audience from the show.

This was used in Ringo’s big scene in The Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night. The version used in the film is an instrumental renamed “Ringo’s Theme (This Boy),” and without any harmony singing.

This was one of the first songs on which The Beatles used a 4-track recorder.

Artists to cover this song include Tom Baxter, David Bowie, Sean Lennon, George Martin, Delbert McClinton and The Nylons.

The Lyrics

That boy
Took my love away
Though he'll regret it someday
But this boy wants you back again

That boy
Isn't good for you
Though he may want you, too
This boy wants you back again

Oh, and this boy would be happy 
Just to love you, but oh my 
That boy won't be happy
'Til he's seen you cry

This boy
Wouldn't mind the pain
Would always feel the same
If this boy gets you back again

This boy, this boy, this boy
Writer/s: John Lennon, Paul McCartney
 
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management,
Songtrust Ave, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Courtesy of Songfacts

Song Lyric Sunday – Faithfully True

Welcome to another Song Lyric Sunday where we are challenged to find songs using he given prompt words. This week, blogger Lady A, has provided the prompts of ‘Devoted, Faithful, Honorable, Loyal and True’

I knew immediately that I wanted to pick “Faithfully” by Journey, released in 1983. It will likely be a popular choice today so I’m also including “True” by Spandau Ballet also released in 1983. I love both of these songs and I hope you enjoy them.

The Song

The lyrics for this song were inspired by a crush Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp had on Altered Images singer and Gregory’s Girl star Clare Grogan: “I was infatuated with Clare Grogan,” he told The Guardian. “I met her on Top of the Pops and, at one point, travelled up to Scotland to have tea with her and her mum and dad. Although my feelings were unrequited and the relationship was platonic, it was enough to trigger a song,”

Some phrases in the lyrics were adapted from the novel Lolita, a copy of which Clare Grogan had given Gary Kemp. “The lyrics are full of coded messages to Clare,” Kemp told The Guardian. “I’m still berated for the line ‘Take your seaside arms’ but it’s straight out of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, which she had given me as a present – although in the book, it’s ‘seaside limbs. The line ‘With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue’ is also a bastardisation of Nabokov.”

One of the song’s producers, Tony Swain, recalls in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, “We made the True album in the Bahamas and I am sure that a lot of that place got into the album. True was not a complicated song but it has really got something. There is something timeless about it: it has had over 2 million radio plays in America and it has been used in the wedding scenes for lots of films. It’s very nice to have made a record that has lasted that long and I still feel good about it.”
This was a huge worldwide hit, going to #1 in 21 countries.

The video for this song helped its chart fortunes considerably. Directed by Russell Mulcahy, it got lots of airtime on MTV, which was just two years old at the time.

There was plenty of production value, but no real storyline in the video, which was intentional. Gary Kemp explained: “I didn’t want to dictate what ‘True’ should be like. I’m sure when people hear that record they’ve got their own idea of what it means and what it looks like. So we just performed it, and lit it well – shooting light through water and broken glass – and it worked.”

Gary Kemp wrote of the song on his website: “I wanted to write a soul song a la Al Green or Marvin Gaye. I still remember sitting on my bed at my parents’ house writing it on guitar and calling Martin (his brother and Spandau Ballet bass player) in to listen to it. It became a song about trying to write a love song to someone who didn’t know your true thoughts, but how difficult it is to spell out your feelings without seeming too foolish.”

“We never realized the full potential of this song until we started to record it at Compass Point. On the ECD’s home movie footage of Nassau you can see the moment where we’re playing back the song, half finished, in the studio, and everybody, including the roadies, are singing along to it. It was at that moment that I knew we had something special.”

The saxophone solo was by the band’s Steve Norman. He told The Guardian: “The solo is actually a composite of two takes. I’d only been playing a year and was listening to Grover Washington Jr’s ‘Just The Two Of Us’ with Bill Withers, over and over. The solo is a reply to that: at the key change things just lift off, giving the song a moment of elation.”

The Lyrics

(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)

So true
Funny how it seems
Always in time, but never in line for dreams
Head over heels, went toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound

I bought a ticket to the world
But now I've come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
I want the truth to be said

(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true

With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue
Dissolve the nerves that have just begun
Listening to Marvin all night long
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound

Always slipping from my hands
Sand's a time of its own
Take your seaside arms and write the next line
I want the truth to be known

(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
Ooh, I know this much is true

I know this much is true

I bought a ticket to the world
But now I've come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
I want the truth to be 
I want the truth to be said

(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true

I know this much is true

This much is a true

This much is true-ooh
This much is true-ooh-ooh
This much is true-ooh
This much is true-ooh-ooh

There's a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue
Dissolve the nerves that have just begun
Listening to Marvin all night long

This much is true-ooh
This much is true-ooh-ooh

This is the sound

This much is true-ooh
This much is true-ooh-ooh

I bought a ticket to the world

This much is true-ooh
This much is true-ooh-ooh

I bought a ticket to the world

This much is true-ooh
This much is true-ooh-ooh

Writer/s: Gary James Kemp 
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Faithfully – The Song

Journey keyboard player Jonathan Cain wrote this song about the challenges of being a married man on the road in a rock band:

Always another show
Wondering where I am
Lost without you

At the time, he was married to his first wife, Tané, a singer who had a #37 hit in 1982 called “Holdin’ On,” which Jonathan co-wrote and produced. He and Tané divorced a few years later, despite him pledging in this song to be “forever yours… faithfully.”
In his Songfacts interview, Jonathan Cain said, “God gave me that song,” as he wrote it so quickly. “I started it on the bus heading to Saratoga Springs,” he said. “I woke up the next day with a napkin on the side of my nightstand and I looked at the lyrics, ‘Highway run into the midnight sun.’ Then I got this supernatural download: This is the rest of the song.

I wrote rest of it down, almost frantically. I’d never had a song come to me so quickly that it was anointed, supernatural. Literally, in 30 minutes I had written that song. I had the napkin in my pocket and I put it on the piano. I had a big grand piano there by the orchestra. I played through it and I thought, ‘Man, this is good.’

The Lord gave me permission to finish it. Normally I would go to Steve Perry or somebody and say, ‘Help me finish this song.’ No. God gave me the mind to finish it, and the rest is history. That would be a love song to God, absolutely.”
According to the liner notes in Journey’s Time3 compilation, Cain paid tribute to Journey road manager Pat Morrow and stage manager Benny Collins in the line, “We all need the clowns to make us smile.”

“He told me he got the melody out of a dream,” said Neal Schon. “I wish something like that would happen to me.”

“Basically it’s a road song,” Cain said. “You know I’m being a good dog out here – don’t worry about it.”
Like “Rosanna” by Toto, this contains lyrics delivered by the lead singer but written by another member of the band, which led many fans to believe Steve Perry wrote the song about a particular girl.
Journey’s first music video was for this song. At the time, finding a director for a video wasn’t easy, especially in America, so the band’s manager, Herbie Herbert, hired the guys from NFL Films to shoot footage of the band on the road and onstage. So the same guys who filmed Walter Payton scoring touchdowns also filmed Steve Perry shaving his mustache.

Journey hated making videos, but couldn’t ignore the promotional impact of MTV. The network favored acts like Journey at the time because they were trying to position themselves with a rock format.
The song was performed by Lea Michele and Cory Monteith in the first season finale of Glee, along with several other Journey songs in the same episode. In the week after the transmission of the episode, download sales of the Glee version were sufficient to return the song to the Top 40 of the Hot 100.
When he was young, Jonathan Cain wanted to be a priest. He attended the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago and survived the 1958 fire there that killed 95 people. He stepped away from his faith, and after going through turmoil with Journey and enduring two failed marriages, he had an epiphany on a road in Florida, where he found himself calling out to God.

He joined the New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida, and in 2015 married its pastor, Paula White. In 2016 he released his first album of worship music, What God Wants to Hear. Looking back on “Faithfully,” he saw it in a different light. “If you take ‘Oh girl’ and you put ‘Oh God’ in there, you’ve got a Christian song,” he told Songfacts.

The Lyrics

Highway run
Into the midnight sun
Wheels go round and round
You're on my mind
Restless hearts
Sleep alone tonight
Sendin' all my love
Along the wire

They say that the road
Ain't no place to start a family
Right down the line
It's been you and me
And lovin' a music man
Ain't always what it's supposed to be

Oh girl you stand by me
I'm forever yours, faithfully

Circus life
Under the big top world
We all need the clowns
To make us smile
Through space and time
Always another show
Wondering where I am
Lost without you

And being apart ain't easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy
Of rediscovering you
Oh girl, you stand by me
I'm forever yours, faithfully

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Faithfully, I'm still yours
I'm forever yours
Ever yours, faithfully

Written by Jonathan Cain

Courtesy of Songfacts

Song Lyric Sunday – Carnival

Welcome to another Song Lyric Sunday post! This week we have been given the prompts of Carnival, Festival, Gala, Jamboree and Party suggested by Lady A.

I have chosen a song that I have liked for some time called “Carnival” by Natalie Merchant. It has a moody sound that appeals to me so hope you like it.

Just for fun, and because I have not used a Van Morrison song in a long time, I am indulging myself today. His song, “And It Stoned Me” begins with the line “Half a mile from the county fair” Albeit just one line referencing a carnival but it fits the prompt. It is also one of my favorite Morrison songs, Enjoy them both!

The Song

Natalie Merchant grew up in rural Jamestown, New York, which is in the western part of the state south of Buffalo. That’s where she formed 10,000 Maniacs in 1981, a group she was with until 1993 when she left to go solo. This track from her first album is what she calls her “New York song,” as it’s written about New York City.

Merchant explained in a VH1 Storytellers appearance: “‘Carnival’ really evokes for me what it’s like to walk down any avenue in the City. I grew up in the country, so the nearest thing I ever experienced to walking down the street in New York before I was 16 and I came here for the first time was a carnival – the Stockton Gala Days actually. I’d never seen people walking down the street eating before – that was a bizarre experience. We in the country sit down to take our meals – that just blew me away.

Something else I’d never seen before were the gentlemen with the two-sided placards that hand out invitations to peep shows, but I never seemed to get one – they always picked the guys around me. It’s an amazing city, but what I love about it even more than places like Los Angeles is that everybody at sometime has to deal with other people. It’s not a car culture here. I like that: people have to rub against each other. I like to take the subway, I like to study people’s faces, try to imagine their stories. In the song, I see the city as a stage, as a spectacle, as a carnival, and as a madhouse, because sometimes it is that, it’s a totally insane place to live. When I was 16 and I visited for the first time, I said, ‘I’m going to live here someday.’ You’ve got to be careful what you wish for because sometimes it comes true.”

This song was played at the funeral of serial killer Aileen Wuornos as part of her final request. She had listened to the song and the entire album Tigerlily continually while on death row. When confronted with this, Natalie was initially shocked but gave permission to use the song in the documentary Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, saying that “It’s very odd to think of the places my music can go once it leaves my hands. If it gave her some solace, I have to be grateful.” Wuornos was also the subject of the film Monster.

Merchant performed this song, along with “Wonder,” on an episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by David Schwimmer in 1995.

The Lyrics

Well, I've walked these streets
A virtual stage, it seemed to me
Makeup on their faces
Actors took their places next to me

Well, I've walked these streets
In a carnival, of sights to see
All the cheap thrill seekers vendors and the dealers
They crowded around me

Have I been blind have I been lost
Inside myself and my own mind
Hypnotized, mesmerized by what my eyes have seen?

Well, I've walked these streets
In a spectacle of wealth and poverty
In the diamond markets the scarlet welcome carpet
That they just rolled out for me

And I've walked these streets
In the madhouse asylum they can be
Where a wild-eyed misfit prophet
On a traffic island stopped and he raved of saving me

Have I been blind, have I been lost
Inside myself and my own mind
Hypnotized, mesmerized by what my eyes have seen

Have I been wrong, have I been wise
To shut my eyes and play along
Hypnotized, paralyzed by what my eyes have found
By what my eyes have seen
What they have seen?

Have I been blind
Have I been lost
Have I been wrong
Have I been wise
Have I been strong
Have I been hypnotized, mesmerized by what my eyes have found
In that great street carnival

Have I been blind
Have I been lost
Have I been wrong
Have I been wise
Have I been strong
Have I been hypnotized, mesmerized by what my eyes have found
In that great street carnival

In that carnival

Writer/s: PETER ANDERS SVENSSON, MAGNUS SVENINGSSON, NINA PERSSON 
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Courtesy of Songfacts

Van Morrison

The Song

The song is about an experience Morrison had when he was 12 years old. After a day of fishing outside a village named Ballystockart in his native Ireland, Morrison and his friends stopped in one of the village’s houses, where they saw an old man sitting inside. In Steven Turner’s Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now, Morrison describes him as “dark weather-beaten.”

Morrison and his friends asked the man for water, and he gave them some he’d gotten from a nearby stream. As Morrison drank the stream water he slipped into mystical experience. “Time stood still,” he says in Too Late to Stop Now. “For five minutes everything was really quiet and I was in this other dimension. “That’s what the song is about.”
“And It Stoned Me” is the first track on Van Morrison’s third album, Moondance. He recorded the song at Warner Publishing Studio in New York City in the summer of 1969.
In the chorus, Morrison sings, “stoned me just like Jelly Roll,” most likely referring to jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton. Morrison listened to Morton with his father while growing up.

“Jelly roll” was also once common African American slang for a women’s genitalia, which is what Morton’s name covertly referenced.
On the back cover of the original vinyl release of Moondance, the song is incorrectly presented as “Stoned Me” rather than “And It Stoned Me.”
Morrison made at least one other song that mentions Ballystockart with “A Sense Of Wonder,” though in that case he refers to the road rather than the townland.

The Lyrics

Half a mile from the county fair
And the rain came pourin' down
Me and Billy standin' there
With a silver half a crown

Hands are full of a fishin' rod
And the tackle on our backs
We just stood there gettin' wet
With our backs against the fence

Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Hope it don't rain all day

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin' home
And it stoned me

Then the rain let up and the sun came up
And we were gettin' dry
Almost let a pick-up truck nearly pass us by
So we jumped right in and the driver grinned

And he dropped us up the road
Yeah, we looked at the swim and we jumped right in
Not to mention fishing poles

Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Let it run all over me

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin' home
And it stoned me

On the way back home we sang a song
But our throats were getting dry
Then we saw the man from across the road
With the sunshine in his eyes

Well he lived all alone in his own little home
With a great big gallon jar
There were bottles too, one for me and you
And he said Hey! There you are

Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Get it myself from the mountain stream

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin' home
And it stoned me

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin' home
And it stoned me

Writer/s: VAN MORRISON 
Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Courtesy of Songfacts

Song Lyric Sunday – The Pretender

It was an easy choice for me this week when I saw the prompts for Song Lyric Sunday. Jim Adams, our host, handed the prompt reins to Angie Trafford for her suggestions. She has given us Fraud, Hypocrite, Phony, Pretender and Snob. I instantly thought of The Pretender by Jackson Browne. An old favorite that I just happened to hear few days ago. I hope you enjoy it.

The Song

This song is about a man who gives up his dreams and lives a life of routine monotony in order to accumulate money. He is the pretender.

In a 1997 interview with Mojo magazine, Browne said of this song: “I’m a big fan of ambiguity and its bountiful rewards, and ‘The Pretender’ is two things at once. It’s that person in all of us that has a higher ideal, and the part that has settled for compromise – like Truffaut says, there’s the movie you set out to make, and there’s the one you settle for. But in a more serious way, ‘The Pretender’ is about ’60s idealism, the idea of life being about love and brotherhood, justice, social change and enlightenment, those concepts we were flooded with as our generation hit its stride; and how, later, we settled for something quite different. So when I say ‘Say a prayer for The Pretender,’ I’m talking about those people who are trying to convince themselves that there really was nothing to that idealism.”

Browne’s first wife, Phyllis, committed suicide in the spring of 1976, but in the wake of the tragedy he recorded his commercial breakthrough album, The Pretender. The record climbed into the Top 10 upon its fall 1976 release, going platinum in the spring of 1977.

This appears on the soundtrack of the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus.

Browne said in Rolling Stone, October 16, 2008: “‘The Pretender’ took a long time. It’s not that I worked on it every day; I was reluctant to finish it before I had gotten all there was out of it. Songwriting is a search. Most of my songs set up a bunch of questions, and it takes a while to answer them.”

Jackson Browne told Mojo magazine in 2015: “It’s grappling with the question of whether the life you’re living is the life you thought you were heading for. ‘The Pretender’ is an open question: Do you find life’s best qualities by having children and a job, or in tearing those things down?”

The Lyrics

I'm going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
Gonna pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I'll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I'll get up and do it again
Amen
Say it again
Amen

I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening
I've been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it's the wink of an eye
When the morning light comes streaming in
You'll get up and do it again
Amen

Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junk man pounds his fender
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light
And the children solemnly wait
For the ice cream vendor
Out into the cool of the evening
Strolls the Pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams
Begin and end there

Ah the laughter of the lovers
As they run through the night
Leaving nothing for the others
But to choose off and fight
And tear at the world with all their might
While the ships bearing their dreams
Sail out of sight

I'm gonna find myself a girl
Who can show me what laughter means
And we'll fill in the missing colors
In each other's paint by number dreams
And then we'll put our dark glasses on
And we'll make love until our strength is gone
And when the morning light comes streaming in
We'll get up and do it again
Get it up again

I'm gonna be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender
And believe in whatever may lie
In those things that money can buy
Thought true love could have been a contender
Are you there
Say a prayer for the Pretender
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender

Say a prayer for the pretender
Are you there for the pretender
Say a prayer for the pretender
Are you there for the pretender
Are you prepared for the pretender

Writer/s: Jackson Browne 
Publisher: FLAT TOWN MUSIC CO., A DIV. OF SWALLOW PUBLICATIONS, INC.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Song Lyric Sunday – We Are The Champions

Sports songs are what Jim Adams, our host of Song Lyric Sunday, has prompted us with this week. I was excited about this because I am a big sports fan. Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Lightning and the Dallas Cowboys are my teams. I have gone with what I regard as an iconic Jock Rock song. ‘We Are The Champions’ by yes, my favorite band, Queen. It was interesting that Freddie Mercury had football (soccer) in mind when he wrote it. This song is played at just about every sports arena or ballpark, at least in this country, as does Queen’s other crowd participation song, ‘We Will Rock You’.

Enjoy listening!

The Song

Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury wrote this. All four members of Queen contributed hit songs to the band’s repertoire. Brian May wrote this song’s counterpart, “We Will Rock You.”

Freddie Mercury stated: “I was thinking about football when I wrote it. I wanted a participation song, something that the fans could latch on to. Of course, I’ve given it more theatrical subtlety than an ordinary football chant. I suppose it could also be construed as my version of ‘I Did It My Way.’ We have made it, and it certainly wasn’t easy. No bed of roses as the song says. And it’s still not easy.”

This was released as a double A-side single with “We Will Rock You.” On the album, it flows seamlessly from “We Will Rock You,” which led disc jockeys to play the songs together. Even when CDs allowed the tracks to be separated, the two songs were still usually played together.

This is commonly played at victory celebrations by sports teams, especially in the US. This extends to victory parades in a addition to on-field celebrations, where it is often played alongside Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.”

Since the song was written with audience participation in mind, it is not intended as a boast on behalf of the band – “We” refers to everyone who is singing along at that time. The same holds true for its counterpart, “We Will Rock You.”

In 1992, a New Jersey high school helped revive this song in America. Students in Clifton, New Jersey asked to sing it at their graduation, but the principal refused because he associated it with Freddie Mercury, who had died of AIDS the year before. This led the students to flood New York radio station Z100 with requests for the song, which the station started playing in sympathy for their cause. Queen had already been revived in the US by “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was used in the movie Wayne’s World, so their appeal to the next generation was evident. “We Are The Champions” caught on as well, prompting their record company to re-release the single, which made #52.

This was used in the end credits of the 1992 movie The Mighty Ducks, starring Emilio Estevez. Two years later, it was played again at the end credits of the sequel, D2, in the scene where the team is huddled around a fire and they are singing the song. As a result, the song became more popular among teens and children who play sports. The movie spawned a new name for an NHL team a year after the first movie was made. Both the team (The Mighty Ducks) and the movie are owned by Disney. >>

In 2001, Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor recorded a new version of this with British singer Robbie Williams. This version was used in the movie A Knight’s Tale.

Gavin DeGraw recorded this for the 2005 Queen tribute album Killer Queen>>

Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso sang the song after winning the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix, securing the Contructors’ title for his team, Renault. The team later released an MP3 of the song being “played” by the engine they had used in that season, with the different notes played by changing engine speeds to adjust the pitch of the engine sound and exhaust note.

A few years later in 2009, Jenson Button repeated this trick when he won the driver’s championship for Brawn GP – singing the song over the radio on his slowdown lap at the Brazilian GP.

This song featured in a 2014 commercial for the Audi A3. In the spot, various celebrities, including the actress Kristen Schaal and the chef David Chang, recite lines from the song before Ricky Gervais to turn up the car’s radio for the chorus.

Donald Trump used this song at campaign rallies when he was running for the Republican nomination in 2016. On June 8, Brian May posted a message on his website, stating, “I can confirm that permission to use the track was neither sought nor given. We are taking advice on what steps we can take to ensure this use does not continue. Regardless of our views on Mr. Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool. Our music embodies our own dreams and beliefs, but it is for all who care to listen and enjoy.”

The song fit Trump’s theme of “winning,” and knowing May had no legal ground to stop him from using it, he continued to do so, including on July 18 when he used it as his entrance music on opening night of the Republican Convention in Cleveland. “We’re going to win so big,” he said when he took the microphone.

Brian May, Roger Taylor and singer Adam Lambert recorded a new version of the song to honor frontline workers during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Queen released the inspiring new version, titled “You Are The Champions” on April 2020, with all proceeds going towards Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for The World Health Organization. 

The idea came about when the three virtually jammed out to the song on Instagram and Lambert changed the lyrics mid-song to “You are the champions.”

“You Are The Champions” was a big hit in Japan, topping the country’s National Radio Air Play Chart for International Music.

Courtesy of Songfacts

The Lyrics

I've paid my dues
Time after time
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I've come through

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions of the World

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune
And everything that goes with it
I thank you all
But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before
The human race
And I ain't gonna lose

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions of the World

We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions of the World

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Freddie Mercury
We Are the Champions lyrics © Queen Music Limited

Song Lyric Sunday – Bad Moon Rising

The prompts for Song Lyric Sunday this week are Danger, Fear, Horror, Nightmare and Terror. I found this a tricky one and had trouble finding a song containing one of these words in the title, apart from Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. One of the featured songs from a favorite movie of mine, Top Gun. However I’ll leave that for someone else to choose.

My pick for today is Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival. This is a song about fear, danger and bad things about to happen so I think it fits the category with the lyrics. Being a big CCR fan I am partial to this song anyway so I hope you enjoy it.

The Song


In Rolling Stone issue 649, John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words “I feel the hurricane blowin’, I hope you’re quite prepared to die.” Overall, he said the song is about the “apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.”

Released in April 1969, this was the lead single from Green River. The B-side was “Lodi.”

The song reached its US chart peak of #2 (one of five CCR songs to place that this position – they never got to #1) on July 28, 1969, eight days after the Apollo 11 moon landing. The song has nothing to do with space travel, but the title was somewhat apropos, especially after the mission succeeded.

This was used in two science-fiction movies of the 1980s: An American Werewolf In London (1981) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982). In the former, it plays as the main character is awaiting a full moon and wondering if he will turn into a werewolf.

This contains a classic misheard lyric. The line “There’s a bad moon on the rise” is often heard as “There’s a bathroom on the right.” Not only do many people sing the wrong lyrics, but John Fogerty himself sang the “bathroom on the right” lyric once during the “Premonition” concert. It can be heard after the last verse of the song quite plainly.

Fogerty would often have fun with this trope, sometimes pointing to a nearby bathroom from the stage when he got to the famous misheard line. 

The music makes this sound like a happy song, but the lyrics are very bleak, describing events that indicate a coming apocalypse.

As a result of this song, American football player Andre Rison’s nickname was “Bad Moon,” as in “Bad Moon Risin’.” Rison was an all-pro wide receiver, but is also famous for having his house burned down by Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes, a singer with TLC who was his girlfriend at the time.

This has been covered by Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Emmylou Harris, The Reels, The Meteors, Thea Gilmore, Ann Wilson with Gretchen Wilson, Type O Negative, 16 Horsepower, Reels, Spitballs, Blue Aeroplanes, Lagwagon, Battlefield Band, Ducky Boys, Acoustic Shack, Ventures, Meteors, and Rasputina. >>

Argentine soccer fans came up with a new version of this song after their team advanced to the World Cup finals in 2014 while the host country, Brazil, was eliminated in the semifinal. Set to the tune of this song, Argentines chanted, “Brasil, decime qué se siente tener en casa tu papa,” which means “Brazil, tell me how it feels to be bossed around in your own home.”

Even the team members were heard singing this taunt, but in the end Argentina did not take home the trophy, as they lost in the final to Germany, the team that beat Brazil.

This became the theme song of the demonstrators during the People’s Park riots in Berkeley, California, in 1969.

During his VH1’s Storytellers performance, Fogerty said that he was quite aware of the contradiction between the song’s lyrical content and its bouncy sound (though he offers no explanation for this). He then recounted how, during many performances, the audience would sing back at him “There’s a bathroom on the right” during the final lyric, which actually says “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” Fogerty has also used the “bathroom” line during some live performances.

In 2010, Jerry Lewis recorded a version of this song with John Fogerty for Lewis’ Mean Old Man album, which also featured performances with Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Willie Nelson, and many others.

During a benefit for the Berkeley Hall School, a Vietnam veteran approached Fogerty and told him that he and his squad, who called themselves the Buffalo Soldiers, would blast “Bad Moon Rising” in their camp before going into the jungle on a mission. It was their way of getting pumped up for combat, but also their way of instilling fear in the enemy. In Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, Fogerty expresses admiration for the man’s courage, and regret that he cannot remember his name. 

“Bad Moon Rising” is the signature walkout song for UFC fighter Jim Miller.

Fogerty performed this song for Howard Stern at Stern’s 2014 Birthday Bash.

In his memoir, Fogerty said he borrowed the guitar lick for this song from Scotty Moore’s work on Elvis Presley’s “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone.” Fogerty stresses that he wasn’t trying to hide that he’d borrowed the lick and was instead openly “honoring it.” In 1986, at an unspecified awards get-together, Moore grabbed Fogerty from behind and said, “Give me back my licks!”

The Lyrics

I see a bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin'
I see bad times today

Don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise

I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin

Don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise

I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quite prepared to die
Look's like we're in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Well don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise
Don't go 'round tonight
It's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise

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

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