Monday’s Music Moves Me: Labor Day

Labor Day, Schmabor Day
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…

L

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.

A

Dion, “Abraham, Martin and John” One of those songs that just gets to me. Reached #4 in 1969.

B

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.

O

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).

R

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.

D

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.

A

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.

Y

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…

’19

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.

U

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.

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

The Week That Was, Labor Day Edition

From a Garfield cartoon for Labor Day, 1978:

Labor Day, Schmabor Day,
What a dumb day!
You hire a guy, then send him away
To celebrate work by playing all day…

I take back all the awful things I’ve said about the Chrome browser. They’ve improved it with version 45 and it’s much quicker than it had been, and doesn’t chew up every byte of memory like earlier versions did. I guess it’s not spending as much time calling the mothership as it had been. Whatever, I’m running it on Linux Mint, and so far, it’s working well. I’m leaving Firefox installed, in case Chrome slows up as you use it. I’ve yet to try it on Mac OS X 10.10.

The Week That Was

The Week That Was is sponsored by Quaker Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice, the cereal that’s shot from guns.

(You do understand that’s all in fun, and this blog isn’t actually sponsored by anyone? I figured you knew that…)

Had a very interesting discussion about the huge amount of student loan debt being amassed by today’s college graduates on Monday. I’m still writing my reply; it branches off in several directions, so it’ll be another day or two before it’s ready for your eyes.

Two for Tuesday featured the songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who were to Philadelphia what Holland-Dozier-Holland were to Motown. Great hearing those songs again, isn’t it? The 1970’s were a heyday for R&B and Soul music. Maybe that’ll be the next series. Tuesday was also September 1, and that meant Battle of the Bands. The current battle is between Grand Funk Railroad and Kylie Minogue on who did a better version of Goffin/King’s “The Loco-Motion,” a big hit for Little Eva in the Sixties. Voting is open until midnight this Tuesday due to the holiday, and the results on Wednesday.

One-Liner Wednesday featured a pithy quote from Mike Rowe about student loan debt and his belief that it’s absurd. I agree with him, by the way. There are much more worthwhile pursuits for 18-year-old kids than borrowing tens of thousands of dollars and spending four of the best years of their lives sitting in a college classroom. More on that later this week.

The Thursday Ten was a joint effort with Mama Kat; I answered the prompt “Ten reasons you’re glad to be done with school.” She publishes writing prompts on Tuesday and looks for submissions on Thursday, in case you’re interested in participating. Many of the prompts are geared toward young women with children (by “young” I mean 25-45), but it’s still a lot of fun, and I’ve been lucky to find one most weeks.

The Friday Five featured five songs with “work” in the title, in honor of the holiday. There are other songs, of course; my Uncle Jack suggested “Workin’ on the Chain Gang” by Sam Cooke, and I’m sure many of you can think of others.

The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “light,” and I was reminded of a product called Lite-Brite, also what we called a product created by my old company as a PC frontend for our mainframe products, our first attempt at a GUI. During training on this product, I adapted the name (BrightView) to something from a Three Stooges short. The short and the adaptation are both there, if you want to have a look.

Anyway, this week: another songwriting team, a one-liner, a Thursday Ten and Friday Five, and more discussion of student debt. See you then!

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Free Graphics

The first Labor Day strip for the comic “Garfield” featured this poem…

Labor Day, Schmabor Day,
What a dumb day!
You hire a guy,
Then send him away
To celebrate work
By playing all day!

Labor Day isn’t until Monday, of course, but the Labor Day weekend started today. It’s the last weekend of summer; any kids who haven’t started school already will be going back this week, and even though the autumnal equinox isn’t for another three weeks, for all intents and purposes summer is over.

autumn leaves

Back when I was growing up, Labor Day meant one thing: SCHOOL STARTS ON WEDNESDAY.

back_to_school_text_building_pt_res.thc

I didn’t really hate school when I was a kid. At the same time, I wasn’t really thrilled about going back after three months off. And I hated going back-to-school shopping. It was a real pain in the ass.

There wasn’t a whole lot of deciding what clothes to buy, because we went to a Catholic school. The uniform never changed: light blue short-sleeved cut-and-sewn shirt, navy blue tie, navy blue slacks, black or brown leather oxfords or loafers, and a navy blue blazer. The shirt, tie, and slacks were not negotiable, but the nuns would accept just about any sportcoat. We got hand-me-down sportcoats from my mother’s cousin (who was a couple of years older than I) and her stepbrother (ditto), both of whom seemed to get two or three new sportcoats a year and pass the old ones on to us. Usually the hand-me-down jacket I wore one year would fit my brother Jim the next and my brother Kip the year after that, so that was taken care of.

A week before school started, Mom would tell us to dig out our school clothes from the year before and try them on. Needless to say, none of them fit. So we’d go out and show Mom, who would have us trade clothes and see if they fit. That never worked. Kip and I were on the heavy side, while Jim was always slender, so if my old slacks fit him lengthwise, they were huge on him widthwise.

Finally conceding that we all needed new slacks, we would get in the car and go to Sears. The letter we got from school would tell us where to get the clothes, but Mom never went to those places. Sears had the Toughskins, the slacks with reinforced knees that weren’t supposed to tear. And of course, a couple of us had to have husky sizes, and they were stiff and baggy and always seemed to be too long. We went one at a time, so when I was done I had to wait while the other two got fitted. And there was always a lot of grumbling and complaining, not just from Mom but from the three of us. Then we’d have to go buy shoes, always one of my least favorite things to do. The shoes were stiff and tight, and by the time you got them broken in, it was time to buy new ones.

After I would get home, I’d lay my new clothes out on the bed and sit there looking at them. Yep, summer was coming to a close.

So, enjoy the weekend and the rest of summer.