What a dumb day,
You hire a guy,
Then send him away,
To celebrate work
By playing all day…
Got that poem from Garfield — well, Jim Davis, anyway — who used it in 1978, the first year the cartoon was published.
Anyway, Happy Labor Day! Here is a musical acrostic that uses song titles to spell out “LABOR DAY,” as requested by Jingle Jangle Jungle’s Mary B, this month’s guest conductor. I go a little further to bring the list up to 10 songs, because I’m just that kind of guy…
The Cars, “Let’s Go” One of the songs named “Let’s Go” that I didn’t use in my latest Battle of the Bands (which you are all cordially invited to vote in). Released in 1979, this reached #14 in the US, #6 in Australia, and #5 in Canada.
Dion, “Abraham, Martin and John” One of those songs that just gets to me. Reached #4 in 1969.
Gerry Rafferty, “Baker Street” Was the next song suggested by YouTube, and since I like it, I chose it. From 1979, it reached #2 in the US, #1 in Canada and Australia, and #3 in the UK.
Madness, “Our House” I’ve always liked this song, with or without the video. From 1982, it reached #7 in the US, making them more or less a one-hit wonder here (1981’s “It Must Be Love” reached #33, which kind of rules it out).
Little River Band, “Reminiscing” If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I love this one. It spent 20 weeks on the Hot 100, reaching #3.
Stringspace, “Desafinado” (“Out Of Tune”) Written by bossa nova superstar Antonio Carlos Jobim, with Portuguese lyrics by Newton Mendonça. The English lyrics were written by Jon Hendricks and “Jessie Cavanaugh” (a pseudonym). Stringspace is a big organization of musicians in Australia with groups out of all the major cities; this group is based in Sydney.
The Beatles, “And I Love Her” From the soundtrack of the 1964 movie A Hard Day’s Night, which acted as one long music video. It reached #12 in the US and features Paul on vocal and bass, Ringo on bongos, John on acoustic guitar, and George on nylon-string guitar. The Beatles did acoustic before acoustic was cool.
Al Stewart, “Year Of The Cat” From 1976, another song I like. It reached #8 in the US and #3 in Canada, and is a favorite of “lite rawk” stations everywhere.
I could leave it at that, but you know me…
Steely Dan, “Hey Nineteen” I wanted to play some Steely Dan, and since it’s 2019 I felt this was appropriate. From the 1980 album Gaucho, it reached #10 in the US and #3 in Canada.
I realized that it’s Labor Day in Canada, and they spell it Labour Day, so I wanted to get a song in for that.
Tracy Lawrence, “Up To Him” I’m not much of a fan of current country music, but our local religious broadcaster (who runs old TV shows in the evenings) was playing this frequently a while ago, and I fell in love with it. The hero of the song is the guy Labor Day is all about: shows up on time, works late if he has to, suffers his boss’s son quietly, brings his paycheck home and pays the bills, including the premium on a life insurance policy to support his family if something happens to him — in short, does everything in his power to provide for his family — then has the humility to kneel down at the end of the day and put everything else in God’s hands. The song was released in 2009 and reached #47 on the Country chart.
Happy Labor Day! That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 2, 2019.