Category Archives: Tunes

JOHN

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John iiThirty-three years ago today, I woke up in a hotel room in Walt Disney World, turned on the TV and learned that John Lennon had been murdered.  My heart dropped.  It was just so sad and a travesty, really, that such a peaceful person should die so violently.

John was my favorite Beatle.  Although all my friends were in love with the “cute one” Paul, I was drawn to John. I loved the shape of his nose, his kooky round glasses and cute smile.  I loved that he was the free spirit of the group.   Yes, he was the bad boy, and, no, I never really got the Yoko Ono attraction, but you have to admit that it was a true love match, for sure. johnTo me, he was the epitome of talent, a heartfelt poet, a free bird, and, as a latent hippie myself, I “got” him.  He said what he meant and meant what he said, although I don’t think the derogatory comment about being “more popular than Jesus” was more than a passing comment and was taken out of context. My belief is that it was off the top of his head and not meant to be taken seriously. I think he was just so overwhelmed by the Beatles’ fame that he just blurted it out without thinking. That’s just my point of view.

johniiiAs I was pondering all of this about John today on my morning walk with Bella, snowflakes started to fall. It was quiet in the park with only one or two people mulling about.  It felt serene, like a good place to honor John. When I got into the car to return home, the first song I heard on the radio was “Imagine.” The world hasn’t turned out quite as John imagined.  Not yet anyway.  But his songs leave a legacy that will never be matched and will challenge us always to live, love, try harder, take care of the less fortunate, and to strive always to be peaceful.

God rest your gentle soul, dear John, and help us to keep believing for a better world.

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CHANGES

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Pretty soon you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

I wish I knew what kind of changes David Bowie was going through when he recorded the song “Changes” back in 1971.

Changes, changes, changes…life is full of them. Good, bad, indifferent. You change your looks, your hair, your location. You grow up-changes. You graduate from school-changes.  You get your first job-changes. You meet Mr. or Miss Right-changes.  Mr. or Miss Right turns out to be Mr. or Miss Wrong-changes.  You meet another Mr. or Miss Right-changes. You get married-changes.  You have kids-changes.  You get divorced-changes.  You lose your job-changes. You lose your money-changes. You lose your house-changes. You get another job-changes. Get your money back-changes.  Get another house, maybe-changes. Then you meet another Mr. or Miss Right, maybe-changes.  Or maybe not. You move again-changes. On and on and on it goes.  Changes here; changes there; changes everywhere.

They say that change is good, and that is mostly true. I think it’s hard.  Hard and stressful and unsettling.  But that’s just me. Maybe I’ve had too many changes. I could use a little constancy. The winds of change blew my family’s way again this past week…another move…another readjustment…another life-altering change. But it was a good thing, all in all, because things as they were could not continue. So it was bound to happen – more upheaval, more readjustment, more changes. All good for the most part.

And the most awesome thing I have found about change is that it’s not forever.  It’s usually only for awhile, and the time you have while settling in is comforting.  But before you know it, change happens again…and again…and again…whether you’re ready or not. The key is in your ability to keep standing no matter how hard that wind hits you, or if you should fall, it lies in your ability to get right back up again. After all, the end is just the beginning…there is always another path.

So get yourself a fresh start – look ahead, not back. Change.

 

HEAR YOU ME

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I’m having one of those days when I’m wondering what it’s all about and whether anything I did in my life was worth it. Then I get an email from my daughter Megan who lives in Florida.  I don’t get to see her much, but she’s flying home tonight. Along with her flight info she writes:

You know I remember my first day of college, you were driving me, and I put in my Jimmy Eat World CD and they play a beautiful song “hear you me,” and you said, “What is this?  This is nice.” And you turned it up, and we both listened to it and started crying because I was going off the college. Well to this day (including right now) I can’t listen to this song without crying and thinking about that day when I ventured out into the world on my own, and you were there with me. Thank you for always being there for me; can’t wait to see you tonight! Here is my flight info… talk to you soon… love you-

Yeah, it was worth it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95jkCdOeIy0

 HEAR YOU ME

Jimmy Eat World

There’s no one in town I know.
You gave us some place to go.
I never said thank you for that.
I thought I might get one more chance.
What would you think of me now
So lucky, So strong, So proud?
I never said thank you for that,
Now I’ll never have a chance.

May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads,
The sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.

So what would you think of me now
So lucky, So strong, So proud?
I never said thank you for that.
Now I’ll never have a chance.

May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads,
The sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.

And if you were with me tonight.
I’d sing to you just one more time.
A song for a heart so big,
God wouldn’t let it live.

May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads,
The sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads,
The sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

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I never really cared much for Linda McCartney. That’s a mean thing to say, isn’t it?  Bear with me. I didn’t know her, but I think a lot of teenyboppers felt the same way when she stole the heart of Beatle Paul McCartney. She seemed so aloof, haughty and proud of herself, but in hindsight, who wouldn’t be? She married the cutest Beatle whom everyone was crazy about and took him off the market (as if we ever had a chance…). And she was always with Paul, lurking in the background, even in interviews, and it was like, can you please go away and let Paul talk?  He’s the one we want to hear from, not you! And supposedly she always seemed to be causing trouble with the Beatles.  She and Yoko were eventually blamed with breaking the group up, which happened only a year after she and Paul had wed. She just was never well received by the public.

But the thing is, they didn’t seem to care. Paul loved Linda and Linda loved Paul and that was all they needed.  It was as simple as that.  They were devoted to each other, had a wonderful marriage for 29 years and raised a beautiful family. At the end of her life when she suffered through cancer treatments, he was always by her side – steadfast in his devotion to her.  Her family surrounded her. When she died in 1998 Paul dropped out for a while, mourning her passing. It was a very sad time for him, and for the first time I began to think that maybe Linda and Paul had gotten it right. Maybe she wasn’t so bad.  I mean, look how much he loved her. And as the Beatles had written years before, all you need is love. They didn’t care what people thought. They just held onto each other in the name of love, and the hec with everyone else. Isn’t that what love should be about when you boil everything else down?  You can be rich and be miserable. You can be poor and be miserable.  You can be famous and be miserable.  Out of work and be miserable. Successful and be miserable. But throw in the equation of love, and happiness rings through all the challenges.

After Linda’s death, Paul could have lived out his life alone, knowing he had experienced the one pure, true love of his life. He could have left it at that. But he gave it another chance with Heather Mills in 2002.  It was a stormy relationship, nothing like his marriage to Linda. The tabloids focused on the nastiness of the divorce and settlement in 2008. Maybe Paul would now give up on love.  But no, he threw caution to the wind yet again by marrying Nancy Shevell in May of 2011.

 

 

So you go, Paul, you hopeless romantic, you!  You never give up on the possibility of love and demonstrate for all of us that neither should we.  Because in your own words – all you need is love, right?  And love is all you need.

ROLL OUT THOSE LAZY, HAZY, CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER!

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Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. 

Those days of soda and pretzels and beer.

Roll out those….those…uh…well, that’s about all of the lyrics I can remember…

Anyway, Happy First Day of Summer, everyone!

Yahoo! It’s finally that time of year we’ve all been waiting for, am I right?!

Summer is more than just a season.  It’s an institution. So many images and memories are conjured up from that one beautifully simple, wonderful word – SUMMER.  It’s like FREEDOM!  It’s like FUN!  And, I don’t know about the soda and pretzels and beer thing, but when I was a kid it was more like iced tea, hot dogs on the grill and chocolate covered vanilla bars from the ice cream truck.  I can hear that annoying sing-song “Mr. Frosty” theme as I write this.

Summer was also bologna sandwiches on Wonder bread with salted fresh Jersey tomatoes and gobs of mayonnaise. Or freshly steamed crabs laid out on newspaper on the picnic table. Can you smell the Bay seasoning?! And don’t forget Charles Chips and a huge dill pickle from the barrel at the local store. And the summer CANDY!!!! Orange circus peanuts, spearmint leaves, orange slices and chewy sugared watermelon shaped jellies. HHHMMMMMMMMMMMM.  How my heart is still beating my thickened blood through my clogged arteries from all this fat and sugar-laden food is beyond my understanding.

Summer wasn’t only about eating, though, it was about NO MORE SCHOOL, sleeping late and swimming at the local pool, riding bikes (sometimes behind the trucks spraying mosquito repellent) and catching lightning bugs in mason jars until the wee hours of the night. It was catching sunfish on bamboo poles at Gropp’s Lake. It was fireworks on the fourth of July and a new pair of Keds sneakers. It was drive-in movies – how fun was that?!  Remember listening to the soundtrack through a little metal box and burning little coils on the dashboard to repel mosquitoes? What was up on that war against mosquitoes that’s now considered lethal weapons against humans? 

Summer was going to the shore, collecting shells, soaking in the sun until you turned beet red and jumping the waves until you were so exhausted you could barely walk. But then later on you would muster up the strength to walk the boardwalk and eat pizza and caramel corn or a Kohr’s orange/vanilla twist.  Maybe summer IS all about eating!

Summer’s really a time to slow down, relax, get outside and enjoy God’s beautiful green acres. This is the time to take a break from the rat race. It’s waking slowly in the morning to songbirds twittering  just outside your opened, screened window and then being lulled to sleep at night by the rhythmic chirping of the crickets. Summer is the bright sunshine and warmth upon your skin. Summer is peaceful evenings on the porch, gazing at the moon and the stars with your family and talking about a lot of nothing.  It’s cherishing old friends and making new friends. It’s simply heaven on earth.

So roll out those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer – you’ll wish that summer could always be here.

 

 

THE GIRLS ARE BACK IN TOWN!

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Man, I love my daughters! One lives North and the other South, so on those rare occasions when we meet in the middle, it’s like Christmas morning and the Fourth of July all rolled into one.  There’s nothing that makes me prouder than watching my two beautiful firecrackers exploding into the world and enriching the universe with their magnificent colorful gifts. 

So let me humor you with some cheesy but heartfelt karaoke in their honor to the tune of  Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town.”

Guess who just got back today?!

Them wild-eyed girls that had been away

Haven’t changed, but had a lot to say

I love those chicks so much its crazy

 

One comes from the North and one from the South

So it was awesome to meet them Downtown

That’s Downtown in Red Bank where they could be found

Driving all the young men crazy

 

The girls are back in town

The girls are back in town

I said

The girls are back in town

The girls are back in town

 

You know that Meg used to dance a lot

Recital time she’d be on the floor shaking what she’d got

Man, when I tell you she was cool, she was red hot

I mean she was steaming

 

And that Katie, wow, the way she kicked a ball

That other team would rise and then they’d fall

Man, she’d be scoring all over the place

If that chick didn’t win she’d get crazy

 

The girls are back in town

The girls are back in town

I said

The girls are back in town

The girls are back in town

 

Spread the word around

Guess who’s back in town

You spread the word around

 

From babes to women they have grown

Man, those childhood days have flown

I miss them so much my heart stops

I kiss and squeeze them til their heads pop

 

One’s a teacher, one’s into art

Man, those girls are so pretty and so smart

How much I love them I’m not lying

They’ll be off again and I’ll be crying

 

The girls are back in town

The girls are back in town

Spread the word around

The girls are back in town

The girls are back in town

The girls are back, the girls are back

The girls are back in town again

 

Been hangin’ down at Mama’s den

The girls are back in town again

THE BEAT GOES ON

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A newscaster closed a commentary on television this morning with the line, “the beat goes on.” Suddenly I’m thrown back to the 1960’s, sitting in front of our RCA black and white television watching Sonny and Cher sing, “The beat goes on…the beat goes on…drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain.  La de da de de; la de da de da.”  

Sonny and Cher were a husband/wife singing duo. Cher was cooler than cool with her long, silky black Cherokee hair.  Grab the iron and the ironing board, girls, because everyone wanted hair like that.  Yes, I did say iron and ironing board – it was light years before the flat iron would be invented.  So you would lay your hair on the board with a light towel over it and iron it like, say, a pair of pants until it was straight. Odd concept, I agree.  But that’s what we did in the “olden” days.  Either that or you would set your hair with 3 inch beer-can-sized rollers.

And those clothes…tied-dyed hippie garb with Indian patterns, faux fur, leather and so much fringe. Cher wore it well – she was tall and confident and casual and not bothered by the fanfare that surrounded her. She was funny in a sarcastic kind of way, and everyone wanted to be like her. Sonny was her short, older husband with a smile too broad and a “look at me, not her” aura.  He was dominant and controlling, but Cher had an “I don’t give a crap” attitude and  flung insulting one-liners at him like meteorites. Sonny was always trying too hard and had a terrible, croaky, frog-like voice. Sorry, Sonny, but it was true, although you were likeable in a cuddly bear kind of way. May he rest in peace.  Sonny and Cher were the rage of the time, and “The Beat Goes On” was one of their biggest hits.  And such stirring lyrics – let’s take a “then and now” look.

Charleston was once the rage (uh-huh – you’re in charge of singing the “uh-huh” part after each stanza like they did.):  Has everyone heard of the Charleston? It was the hot dance during the 1920’s flapper era? (And, no, I didn’t live in the 20’s.  I’m not that old. No offense to those who did.)  I guess the dance rage today would be running man, although when I try to perform it at weddings or social gatherings, my children run away from me and pretend they don’t know me, so I guess I’m not that good at it.

History has turned the page (what do you say?…uh-huh): Sonny and Cher didn’t last on the next page of history. They went their separate ways, eventually divorcing but were successful doing their own thing. Cher became a mega star with movies and awesome Las Vegas acts (oh, yes, now you know who she is…). Sonny entered politics as a mayor for Palm Springs and then went on to become a member of the US House of Representatives. Go figure.  He died from injuries in a tragic skiing accident in 1998. God rest him.

Who will last from this era?  I’m pretty sure it won’t be Nicki Minaj but maybe Adele?  I’m hoping Gavin DeGraw because he’s the type of guy I would have went for had he lived in the 60’s, and he wears a hat well. Check back with me in 20 years and we’ll see.

Mini skirts the current thing (uh-huh… No, I don’t know why they sung uh-huh after each phrase.  I guess it’s sort of a mystery, like why the Beatles sang “yeah, yeah, yeah” after every phrase in “She Loves You.”):  Mini skirts are out, and maxies seem to be trending at the current moment. 

Teenybopper is our newborn king (uh huh…just do it!):  Not even sure what this line means.  Neither does Google.  But today’s youngest leader would be Kim Jong-un (29 years old) of  North Korea.

The grocery store’s the super mart (uh huh):  Yes, we have the super marts galore still today: Walmart, Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s. 

Little girls still break their hearts (uh huh):  Nothing changed there.

Men keep marching off to war (OK, now they stop saying “uh huh” for some reason, but I don’t know why.):  Then it was Vietnam…now it’s the Middle East.  How to be peaceful hasn’t been figured out yet.

Electrically they keep a baseball score:  Well, to say the very least, it was the beginning of a technology that has surpassed any dream we could have imagined with the creation of computers and phones and gadgets that would have “blown our minds” back then.

Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce:  Isn’t that what I’m doing now?  And don’t call me granny…yet!

Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss:  That’s a thread weaved through the entire history of the world, although taken to the next level these days requires ultimate protection.

Cars keep going faster all the time:  The fastest car today is the SSC Ultimate Aero, an American-made automobile that is produced by Washington-based Shelby SuperCars. It can do 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds, and was clocked going a record 257 mph by officials at Guinness World Records. (Thank you, Google) In the 60’s it was probably a souped-up Volkswagen Bug – mine was yellow.

Bums still cry, “heh, buddy, do you have a dime?”: Bums?  Back then you assumed those who panhandled were just too lazy to work – they were called bums. They were guys who laid around campfires in the woods near railroad tracks so they could hop a train on a whim to go somewhere else at any given time. They were considered carefree rovers, eating beans out of cans and carrying their few belongings rolled up in a hankerchief tied to a stick.

My father used the term for athletes who weren’t doing well in the game.  “Those bums,” he’d yell at the TV.  My Mom used to like to call the Phillies bums.  I’m getting off point.  In this toilet-based economy, there is an overwhelming number of people who just cannot find work because there are no jobs. They are not bums. They are people who are struggling in this economy – unemployed, homeless, down on their luck people who are trying to get back on their feet.

The cost of a cup of coffee in the 60’s was a dime. Today it’s at least $1 -2, unless you go to Starbucks and then it would be $5.  I would imagine the inflation rate would have ballooned this line to “heh, buddy, do you have a buck or five?

Things are a lot different now, and like Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a-changing,” but that’s another song for another day.

La…de…da…de…de;  la…de…da…de…da