MONDAY’S MUSIC MOVES ME: Units of Measure

The idea for this came from my Uncle Jack, who suggested the song “A Bushel and A Peck” as a possible fit for last week’s M4. Now bushel and peck aren’t numbers per se, but they’re associated with numbers: they’re units of measure. Immediately songs titles suggested themselves, and I had this week’s theme.

  1. Doris Day, “A Bushel and A Peck” Uncle Jack’s suggestion. It was written by Frank Loesser for the 1950 musical Guys And Dolls, but was left out of the 1955 film version, replaced by a song called “Pet Me, Poppa.” I’m not making that up, The Blogger’s Best Friend told me so. Doris’s version reached #30 in January 1951 and became popular again in 2017 when State Farm Insurance used it in a commercial. A peck is two dry gallons, or 8.8 liters; a bushel is four pecks, or 35.2 liters. Just thought you’d like to know.
  2. Julie Andrews, “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the 1964 film Mary Poppins, starring Julie, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber, with whom I share a birthday and who would be 62 if he hadn’t died in 1977. I remember Dad taking Mom and the three of us to see it one Sunday. What I remember of the day was it was cold, we stopped at Grandma’s, she gave me an old clock, and I bawled uncontrollably at “Feed The Birds,” which was written by the Sherman Brothers and was Walt Disney’s favorite song (when Walt was having a bad day, he’d summon the Shermans to his office and have them play it for him). Assuming the spoon is a teaspoon, it’s 5 ml, 15 ml if it’s a tablespoon.
  3. The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” Scottish twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid were the core of The Proclaimers. This record was #11 in the UK and #1 in Australia in 1988 and #3 in the US in 1993. I needn’t tell you that 500 miles is 800 kilometers, as 1 mile is 1.6 kilometers.
  4. The Byrds, “Eight Miles High” Folk-rock pioneers The Byrds only took this to #14 in the US and #24 in the UK in 1966. For ten points, eight miles is how many kilometers?
  5. Harry Chapin, “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” From his 1974 album Verities and Balderdash, it was based on an actual incident in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was very popular in concert among Harry’s fans but not among Harry’s band members, who uttered the phrase “Harry, it sucks!” on a live recording. It became a catchphrase aming his fans, who even had it printed on t-shirts. Wikipedia, from which I got all that information, also tells me that 30,000 pounds of bananas (or anything else, for that matter) is equivalent to 14 tonnes, where one tonne (pronounced “tunny,” because I said so) is 1000 kilograms.
  6. Aerosmith, “Big 10-Inch Records” From their 1975 album Toys In The Attic, it takes a risqué double entendre and turns it into a rather good song about a guy impressing his girlfriend with his collection of 78 rpm blues records, which are ten inches (25.4 centimeters) across.
  7. Peter, Paul & Mary, “500 Miles” The Beatles’ least-favorite folk act (John Lennon called them “Pizza, Pooh and Magpie”) released this as the B side to their 1963 single “Settle Down (Goin’ Down That Highway)” from their 1963 album Moving. I told you what 500 miles was in kilometers already. πŸ˜‰
  8. The Who, “I Can See For Miles” Recorded on their 1967 album The Who Sell Out, it was the only single from that album and was their only single to reach the Top Ten, peaking at #9 in November of that year. We already established that a mile is 1.6 kilometers…
  9. Howlin’ Wolf, “Spoonful” The song is by the legendary Willie Dixon, who wrote a lot of songs recorded by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and just about everyone else on the South and West sides. Wolf’s recording came out in 1960, and Etta James had an R&B hit with it the following year. Cream recorded for their first album, 1966’s Fresh Cream. See #2 for appropriate conversion information.
  10. Keith, “98.6” A song that really belonged with last week’s theme, I throw it in here because nearly everyone knows that 98.6 refers to normal body temperature, 98.6° Fahrenheit, 37.5° centigrade (or Celsius, whichever you prefer). And, I like the song. James Barry Keefer, a/k/a Keith, had a #7 hit in the US in 1967 with this. And, Wikipedia tells us, “Australian Radio Station smoothfm re-recorded a version of this song and replaced 98.6 with their on air frequencies of 95.3 and 91.5. Australian recording artist Rick Price sings vocals on the new version.”

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 23, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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27 thoughts on “MONDAY’S MUSIC MOVES ME: Units of Measure

  1. One, two, three o’clock, three a clock rock….that’s the first song that came into my head. A Bushel and a Peck works for sure and I like that song as I do your song choices for this week. I know most of them just from the song titles.

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  2. First of all, Doris Day tunes Bushel & a peck my mama use to sing it to me & I sang it to my babies & now I sing it to my grandbabies. The words are just a tiny bit different, but it’s only to have fun with the kids like… “You bet your dirty neck, I do” and then I’d tickle their neck. Yes, that one is well known around here. Kids & I also love, love, love, love Mary Poppins tunes plus the movie of course… anyway so many fun tunes here I could go on and on… great pickins’ here John… thanks for bringing back wonderful memories! hugs… Great Post….

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    1. “Mary Poppins” is a classic, and the music from it was tremendous. I think the album from the movie is still a best seller over 50 years later. Glad you liked the set!

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  3. All great tunes (I knew 8 out of 10). I love the Who and find it hard to believe that they only had one Top Ten song, but then again, they were competing against the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and others. And Doris Day is still going strong (as far as I know) at age 96. As for the Harry Chapin song- I live about an hours drive from Scranton, and have been in the city, but not on that particular hill. There are so many ironies connected with that song, not the least being that Harry Chapin himself died in a horrific car accident after possibly losing control of his vehicle due to a mechanical or other issue.

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    1. I think there’s something about being involved with animal welfare that extends one’s life, because Doris, Betty White and Dick Van Dyke are all in their 90’s and all are involved with animals. Kim Novak, too, but she’s a spring chicken at 85…

      I was sure that “Pinball Wizard” reached the Top 10, and it did in the UK, but only reached #19 here. Elton John did it in the movie “Tommy,” and it reached #4 in the UK. It was never officially released as a single here, but I remember it was on FM radio a lot.

      I remember the day Harry Chapin died, because my manager at the time and his wife were big fans of his, and she called him when she heard the news. From what I gather, she was inconsolable.

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  4. John,

    I listened to your entire playlist while I decorated DH’s birthday cake. Some of your songs I knew and others were introductions. Doris Day “A Bushel and a Peck” reminds me so much of DH’s late mother. She always told us, I love you a bushel and peck and a hug around the neck. πŸ™‚ I like your songspiration from last week’s theme which turned into a fabulous spin-off. Thanks for sharing and dancing with the 4M gang, my friend. Have a funatastic week!

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    1. You can thank my uncle for the inspiration: he’s the one that got me thinking about it. I left a whole area of measurements out (time), so I’ll probably return to this theme in the very near future (maybe Monday, because I have no idea how to find songs in sign language…)

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  5. haha, I like the lyric line in Doris Day’s song: “I love you a bushel and a peck, though you make my heart a wreck.” Yep, I can relate!
    The Proclaimers “500 Miles” always makes me think of a scene from Identity Thief when Melissa McCarthy (who is HILARIOUS!) and Jason Bateman are on their road trip back to bring her to justice. She’s singing along with this song when it comes on and, well, you just have to see it because it cracks me up every time I see it (yes, I’ve seen the movie a few times…). Have you seen it?
    I love the Byrds’ Eight Miles High. That’s in my Numbers playlist too (I know, I didn’t post one. yet. I had started it but just didn’t have time to do it justice so I’m going to use it for one of the upcoming Freebie weeks). We have a few in common but that’s no surprise… It’s a great theme. Wish I could’ve participated when everyone else did. I still haven’t made my rounds for last week. I almost have to write that week off or I’ll never get caught up….

    Back to your playlist: I never heard Harry Chapin’s “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” — Thanks for including the link to the Wiki article. I clicked over to find out more and I was shocked to learn that the driver (Gene Sesky) actually died in the accident. I wasn’t expecting that! I even made an audible gasp when I read that because the song is so flippant. It’s actually quite sad. He was young and left behind a wife and kids. I guess Harry Chapin was criticized for the song and after the backlash he announced that he’d give all the proceeds from the song to the widow and her family. But apparently they never saw a dime. Now, I gotta say, for real, “Harry, it sucks!” hmm…

    Aerosmith’s “Big 10-Inch Records” is another one that I have on mine. I wore out the Toys in the Attic 8-track! That was a good album. Big 10 Inch sure has some innuendo…

    You mentioned in the blurb about Peter, Paul and Mary’s “500 Miles” that the Beatles were not fans of the group and that John Lennon referred to them as “Pizza Pooh & Magpie”. Why on earth was that?? Did that particular moniker mean anything? And why didn’t they like them? What did they have against the “Puff the Magic Dragon” trio?? I enjoyed a Peter Yarrow concert a few years back when he came to perform for an evening at my church. He’s a good storyteller. A big long-winded for sure but kind of adorable.

    I’m familiar with Cream’s version of “Spoonful” and I think Muddy Waters, but never heard Howlin’ Wolf’s so that was cool.
    And never heard of Keith or “98.6”… I’ll have to dig into that one a bit more. I’d like to hear the Australian radio station’s promotional versions. That was very clever on their part. Ya gotta love radio….so much a part of my past, having worked for a few radio stations. The promotions department was always a fun group of folks…

    Very cool theme here John, Units of Measure. I would’ve never thought of that and it’s neat that there are so many songs out there that have units of measure in their title.
    I enjoyed your whole playlist and the details.
    Have a good week,

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. You know John Lennon and the way he liked playing with words, or in this case names. Just your usual John being a jerk…

      I don’t know that Muddy ever did “Spoonful” on his own, but I found this recording with him, Wolf and Bo Diddley doing it:

      He did so many Willie Dixon songs (Willie was his bass player for many years), it wouldn’t surprise me.

      I managed to miss all the time-related unit of measure songs. Guess I’ll have to do them separately… Glad you enjoyed this list, and I hope you find the station promos from Australia!

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  6. Great set of songs, John! Of course the only one familiar to me was “Spoonful of Sugar” because of Mary Poppins… πŸ˜‰ But I enjoyed listening to the rest! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the dance!

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