Thirty questions, thirty songs

Arlee Bird recently did a meme on his blog, Tossing It Out. It asked the participant to come up with the names of thirty songs based on thirty questions. Since I love music, and I love memes, I’m going to do it, too. Wherever possible, I’ll add a link to the song.

So here we go…

  1. A song you like with a color in the title:Red Rubber Ball” by The Cyrkle. I think it was everybody’s first record in my neighborhood.
  2. A song you like with a number in the title:Swing 42” by Django Reinhardt. I recently heard Tommy Emmanuel and Frank Vignola do a backstage version of it, and it just blew me away.
  3. A song that reminds you of summertime:In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. It was popular in the summer of 1970. That was the summer between grammar school and high school for me.
  4. A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about:The Cry of the Poor” by John Foley, SJ and the St. Louis Jesuits. Reminds me of a relationship that got out of hand.
  5. A song that needs to be played LOUD:Locomotive Breath” by Jethro Tull. It’s a great song when you’re pissed off.
  6. A song that makes you want to dance:You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’” by Leo Sayer. That was too easy.
  7. A song to drive to:Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MG’s. Remember the drag race scene in “American Graffiti”?
  8. A song about drugs or alcohol:Hey Bartender” by the Blues Brothers. Koko Taylor did a version of it, too.
  9. A song that makes you happy:Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck. I love the marimba solo.
  10. A song that makes you sad:The Dutchman” by the late Steve Goodman. The story of an old man and his loving and patient wife. (Recorded live with Jethro Burns.)
  11. A song you never get tired of:The Girl From Ipanema” by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz. Bossa nova was popular in the early Sixties, and I’ve always loved the sound.
  12. A song from your preteen years:She Loves You” by The Beatles. I was seven when it was released.
  13. One of your favorite ‘80’s songs:Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. I love a lot of songs from the ‘80’s, but I wanted to have the pleasure of Rick-rolling you.
  14. A song you would love played at your wedding: I’ve been married since 1978, but I would have loved to have heard “Reminiscing” by The Little River Band at my wedding. It came out a few months after Mary and I tied the knot. I worked third shift when this song was popular, and I wouldn’t go to bed until I’d heard this.
  15. A song that’s a cover by another artist: Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox” by The Beatles. They did a couple of other Perkins covers (“Honey Don’t” and “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby”) that are definite runners-up. They did a lot of covers on their older albums, all of which are worth hearing.
  16. One of your favorite classical songs: Ravel’s “Bolero,” especially the way Joe Walsh played it with The James Gang. It’s part of “The Bomber” medley at the end of the first side of the vinyl LP, “Rides Again.” It was on the album originally, then one of Ravel’s relatives raised a copyright fuss, so they took it out. When said relative died, they added it back. (It starts at 3:29 of the video.)
  17. A song you would sing a duet with on karaoke:I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” by the Supremes and the Temptations. Another one is “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson. I can do a reasonable impression of both of them, so I can do that duet all by myself.
  18. A song from the year you were born: I found out that the #1 song the week I was born (last week of March 1956) was “The Poor People of Paris” by Les Baxter. It’s one of those songs that you’ve heard a thousand times but never knew its name.
  19. A song that makes you think about life:Beyond The Blue Horizon” by Lou Christie. I had never heard it until Julie at Story A Day gave it as a prompt this past May.
  20. A song that has many meanings for you: “Mack the Knife.” Different versions by different artists mean something different to me. The version by the Dick Hyman Trio was used by a Chicago “Beautiful Music” station (WFMF, if you remember the station) that my mother and stepfather used to listen to all the time as part of their station ID. My stepfather would whistle it to the dog to let him know it was time to take a walk. (I miss all of them, my mother, stepfather, and even the dog.) Bobby Darin’s version reminds me of his tragic life. Lotte Lenya, the wife of composer Kurt Weill, did it to remind people of her husband’s work. Steve Martin’s (which I cannot find, sorry), complete with shadow puppets, was a riot.
  21. A favorite song with a person’s name in the title:Walk Away, Renee” by The Left Banke. Recorded in 1966, and just a good oldie.
  22. A song that moves you forward:The Atholl Highlanders/Johnny Cope” by the Tannahill Weavers. Nothing like some “tunes of glory” to get you moving.
  23. A song that you think everybody should listen to: “As One Unknown,” Cyprian Consiglio. Consiglio took Timothy Dudley-Smith’s anthem “He Comes To Us As One Unknown,” added a chorus and Catholic’d it up. (It’s a word now.) The lyrics are some of the most amazing poetry I’ve read.
  24. A song by a band you wish was still together:Wake Me, Shake Me” by The Blues Project. A band that I discovered in my high school days.
  25. A song by an artist no longer living:Got My Mojo Workin’” by Muddy Waters. His signature tune. He would play this at the end of every concert, and would get up off the stool he was sitting on and do a little dance during the piano and harmonica solos.
  26. A song that makes you want to fall in love:Show and Tell,” Al Wilson. Funny story about this: I was doing some work at Atlanta City Hall a few years ago, and there was a McDonald’s across the street where I would eat. They would play old soul and R&B as their background music. One day, this came on, and a guy (probably a street person) started singing this. Loud. And hearing him got me going, as well as a few other people. It’s a great song.
  27. A song that breaks your heart:Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. Actually any of the tunes from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. I had a good friend who committed suicide, and I had the dubious honor of cleaning out his apartment. Among his possessions was this soundtrack.
  28. A song by an artist with a voice that you love:Kentucky Rain” by Elvis Presley. Just a beautiful song, and Elvis’ voice was perfectly suited to it.
  29. A song that you remember from your childhood:The wheels on the bus go ‘round and round…” Always my favorite kindergarten song.
  30. A song that reminds you of yourself:Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. As I said back when Dave Brubeck died, it really changed the way that I listened to music.

And now, it’s your turn. How would you answer these questions?

3 thoughts on “Thirty questions, thirty songs

  1. Nice job with this. Some of your picks certainly brought back memories for me. “Bolero” is a great piece. I immediately think of Bo Derrick in “10”.

    By the way, my blog’s name is Tossing It Out although I do tend to often try to sort things out as well.

    Tossing It Out


      1. Thanks for the fix.

        By the way, I went back to listen to the “Poor People” song and you’re right. That’s one of those songs that I grew up with but never knew what it was called. Same with the Lou Christie song. I’ve heard countless instrumental versions of that song, but never realized that it had lyrics. I don’t recall ever hearing Christie’s version. I was a big fan of his earlier work like “Rhapsody in the Rain” and “Lightning Strikes”.

        Again nice line up of songs with a good presentation.


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