Song Lyric Sunday: “Laughing”

Jim’s assignment for this week, “laugh,” came with a number of suggestions, and unfortunately all of the songs I could think of were on his list. Wanting to be unique, this left me with two choices, one of which was the novelty record “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaaa!” and the other was The Guess Who hit from 1969, “Laughing.” Not wanting to inadvertently offend someone, I opted for the latter, happy that as of 10:53 AM Eastern Time no one had chosen it. This was their first hit from 1969’s Canned Wheat album, topping the Canadian chart and peaking at #10 on the Hot 100.

The lyrics are in the video. That’s Song Lyric Sunday for January 13, 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday: “Goin’ Down Slow”

I knew that Helen was in poor health (get well soon, Helen!), and thought we’d be skipping SLS today, but apparently Jim from A Unique Title For Me is sitting in for her. His prompt for today is “doctor/health/medicine.”

I’ve heard a number of versions of St. Louis Jimmy Oden’s “Goin’ Down Slow,” including Duane Allman’s (on his first anthology album) and Canned Heat’s (on their first album). It’s a blues standard, meaning almost everyone who plays the blues has done this (including me, back in my day). One of the better-known versions was done by Chester Burnett, a/k/a Howlin’ Wolf, in 1961, backed by Henry Gray on piano, Jimmy Rogers and perpetual Wolf sideman Hubert Sumlin on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Sam Lay on the drums.

Wolf ad-libbed a lot of dialog around the song itself, and Doggyneza, who posted the song, was kind enough to transcribe it:

(spoken:)
Man…
You know I’ve been enjoyin’ things that kings and queens will never have!
In fact kings and queens can never get ‘m.
And they don’t even know about it!
And good times? Mmmmmmmmm-mmh!!
(sung:)
I have had my fun, if I never get well no more (x 2)
Oh my health is fadin’ on me, oh yes I’m goin’ down slow
(spoken:)
Now looka here…
I did not say I was a millionaire…
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire!
Cause if I had kept all my money that I’d already spent,
I would’ve been a millionaire a looong time ago…
And women? Great Googlie-Mooglie!!
(sung:)
Please write my mother, tell her the shape I’m in (x 2)
Tell her to pray for me, forgive me for my sin

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for January 6, 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday: “I Found Someone Of My Own”

This week’s theme is “new.” This song jumped into my head almost immediately: from 1971, The Free Movement, “I Found Someone Of My Own.”

The lyrics, via Songlyrics.com:

I got up this morning
While I was having my coffee
My woman came in, sat down by my side
With tears in her eyes
She said “I’ve a confession to make.”
I said “Woman, speak what’s on your mind.”

She said “I’ve found somebody new
To take your place.”
I said “don’t feel so all alone
I’ve found someone of my own.”

“All those lonely nights
You left me all alone
My true love would call
And talk to me on the phone.”
I said “Woman, if that’s the way it’s gotta be
Then darlin’, don’t you worry about me.”

She said “I’ve found somebody new
To take your place.”
I said “don’t feel so all alone
I’ve found someone of my own.”

I got up from the table
Reached down and wiped the tears from her face
I put out my cigarette
Turned and walked away

She said “I’ve found somebody new
To take your place.”
I said “don’t feel so all alone
I’ve found someone of my own.”

Kind of a bummer, isn’t it? Nevertheless, I like it, and so did many listeners, who bought enough records to make this #5 on the Hot 100, #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #20 on the R&B chart. The group, comprised of three men (Godoy Colbert, Adrian Jefferson, and Claude Jefferson) and three women (Josephine Brown, Cheryl Conley, and Jennifer Gates) released the song on Decca Records, after which they signed a deal with Columbia Records and recorded an album with this as a title track. Their second single from the album, “The Harder I Try (The Bluer I Get),” reached #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart but failed to crack the Top 40 on the Pop and R&B charts. Two subsequent singles, a gospel-flavored version of Stephen Stills’s “Love The One You’re With” and “I Can’t Move No Mountains”, the Robert John-Michael Gately song that’s been covered many times, including by The Free Movement’s labelmates Blood, Sweat & Tears on their 1972 album New Blood, failed to chart, and the group went their separate ways.

That’s Song Lyric Sunday for December 30, 2018. If I don’t see you before then, Happy New Year! Helen, get well soon!

Song Lyric Sunday: “No Time”/”Centerfield”

A bunch of songs with “season” in the title came to me when Helen announced the theme for today. When I got up this morning, two of them, “Time of the Season” and “Season of the Witch” were already taken, and there was no way I was going to use the morose “Seasons in the Sun,” which is my example of the quintessential EBS Special.

Then I started thinking outside the box, and came up with “No Time,” the 1969 hit by The Guess Who. Written by Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, it first appeared on 1969’s Canned Wheat LP, from which this version of the song is taken. The more popular version appeared on their 1970 album American Woman; this one reached #5 in the US and #1 in the band’s native Canada. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Guess Who, “No Time.”

Lyrics courtesy AZLyrics:

(No time left for you)
On my way to better things
(No time left for you)
I’ll find myself some wings
(No time left for you)
Distant roads are calling me
(No time left for you)
Mm-da, mm-da, mm-da, mm-da, mm-da

No time for a summer friend
No time for the love you send
Seasons change and so did I
You need not wonder why
You need not wonder why
There’s no time left for you
No time left for you

(No time left for you)
On my way to better things
(No time left for you)
I’ll find myself some wings
(No time left for you)
Distant roads are calling me
(No time left for you)
Mm-day, mm-gay, mm-day, mm-gay, mm-day

No time for a gentle rain
No time for my watch and chain
No time for revolving doors
No time for the killing floor
No time for the killing floor
There’s no time left for you
No time left for you

No time for a summer friend
No time for the love you send
Seasons change and so did I
You need not wonder why
You need not wonder why
There’s no time left for you
No time left for you

No time, no time, no time, no time
No time, no time, no time, no time

I got, got, got, got no time
I got, got, got, got no time
I got, got, got, got no time
No, no, no, no, no, no, no time
No, no, no, no, no, no, no time
I got, got, got, got no time
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no time
I got no time, got no time, got no time, no time, got no time
Got no time, got no time

That would have been it from me for today, then I remembered that the Major League Baseball Winter Meeting, when the general managers from all 30 teams gather to discuss the past season and to meet in secret to discuss trades with their colleagues, although there isn’t usually a lot of trading going on anymore, with the advent of free agency. This got me thinking about baseball: it’s the only sport I care about, and it just occurred to me that it’s the only sport whose season is contained within a single year. (True, the NFL regular season is done by the end of the year, but their championships are held mostly in January and February.) This brought me to the quintessential baseball song, John Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” title track from his 1985 album. Since its release, it’s been played thousands of times in baseball parks (major, minor, and independent leagues, and probably Little League, Pony League and American Legion leagues, maybe even at T-ball games) every season, replacing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” as the most popular song about baseball ever written, even receiving an honor from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. And it was the flipside of “Rock & Roll Girls,” which reached #16. Anyway…

(The official video appears to have been deleted from YouTube, unfortunately)

Lyrics via AZLyrics:

Well, a-beat the drum and hold the phone
The sun came out today
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field
A-roundin’ third and headed for home
It’s a brown-eyed handsome man
Anyone can understand the way I feel

Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield

Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine
Watching it from the bench
You know I took some lumps, when the mighty Case struck out
So say hey, Willie, tell the Cobb
And Joe DiMaggio
Don’t say it ain’t so, you know the time is now

Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield

Yeah, I got it, I got it

Got a beat-up glove, a home-made bat
And a brand new pair of shoes
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride
Just to hit the ball, and touch ’em all
A moment in the sun
It’s a-gone and you can tell that one good-bye

Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me (yeah), I can be centerfield

Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, gotta be, centerfield
Yeah

Merry Christmas! That’s Song Lyric Sunday for December 23, 2018.

Song Lyric Sunday: “West End Girls”

Helen’s prompt for today is “girls,” and this was the first song I thought of. If someone else uses it, I don’t mind.

“West End Girls” was written and performed by by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, The Pet Shop Boys. Wikipedia tells us, “The song is influenced by hip hop music, with lyrics concerned with class and the pressures of inner-city life which were inspired partly by T. S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land.” It generally received favorable reviews and reached #1 in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Finland and Norway and also topped the US Dance Club Songs chart in 1984.

The Lyrics, via AZLyrics:

Sometimes you’re better off dead
There’s gun in your hand and it’s pointing at your head
You think you’re mad, too unstable
Kicking in chairs and knocking down tables
In a restaurant in a West End town
Call the police, there’s a madman around
Running down underground to a dive bar
In a West End town

In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls
In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls
West End girls

Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what?
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?
(How much do you need?)

In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls
In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls
West End girls
West End girls

(How much do you need?)

In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls
Oooh West End town, a dead end world
East End boys, West End Girls
West End girls

You’ve got a heart of glass or a heart of stone
Just you wait ’til I get you home
We’ve got no future, we’ve got no past
Here today, built to last
In every city, in every nation
From Lake Geneva to the Finland station
(How far have you been?)

In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls
A West End town, a dead end world
East End Boys, West End girls
West End girls

West End girls

West End girls
(How far have you been?)

Girls
East End boys
And West End girls
And West End girls
(… forever)
And West End girls
(How far have you been?)

East End boys
The West End girls
The West End boys
And West End girls

The West End girls
The West End boys
The West End girls

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for December 16, 2018.