No Sickness, No Toil, Nor Danger

Version from Cold Mountain


The traditional spiritual song Wayfaring Stranger is a great use of the negative phrase used as a prompt by Jim Adams’ for today’s challenge. The song speaks of a heavenly rest where “no” problems of this life will be found. The song has been released by Johnny Cash (whose version I have posted the lyrics), and by Jack White in a version used in the Civil War film Cold Mountain. There is just something haunting about White’s version that makes me prefer it.

Lyrics

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world below
There is no sickness, no toil, nor danger
In that bright land to which I goI’m going there to see my Father
And all my loved ones who’ve gone on
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over homeI know dark clouds will gather ’round me
I know my way is hard and steep
But beauteous fields arise before me
Where God’s redeemed, their vigils keep
I’m going there to see my Mother
She said she’d meet me when I comeSo, I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Traditional


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Please Mr. Postman


Jim Adams’ challenge this week is to write about a song with the theme or words Hold/Pause/Stop/Wait.

Please Mr. Postman was written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland and Robert Bateman, and was first performed by the Marvelettes in 1961 reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Beatles released a cover in 1963, and the Carpenters covered it in 1975 reaching number 1.

Lyrics:

Oh yeah
(Is there a letter in your bag for me) Please, Please Mister Postman
(Why’s it been a very long time) Oh yeah
(Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine)There must be some word today
From my boyfriend so far away
Please Mister Postman, look and see
Is there a letter, a letter for meI’ve been standin’ here waitin’ Mister Postman
So patiently, for just a card, or just a letter
Sayin’ he’s returnin’ home to mePlease Mister Postman (Mister Postman, look and see) Oh yeah
(Is there a letter in your bag for me?) Please Please Mister Postman
(Why’s it been a very long time) Oh yeah
(Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine)So many days you passed me by
You saw the tears standin’ in my eye
You wouldn’t stop to make me feel better
By leavin’ me a card or a letterPlease Mister Postman look and see (Postman postman)
Is there a letter oh yeah in your bag for me? (Postman postman)
You know its been so long (Postman postman)
Yes since I heard from this boyfriend of mine (Postman postman)You better wait a minute, wait a minute
Oh you better wait a minute
Please please Mister Postman (Wait a minute Mister Postman)
Please check and see just one more time for me
You better wait, wait a minute
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute
Please Mister Postman
Deliver de letter the sooner de better
Wait a minute, wait a minute
Wait a minute, please Mister Postman
Wait a minute, wait a minute oh oh

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Brian Holland / Freddie Gorman / Georgia Dobbins / Robert Bateman / William GarrettPlease

Mr. Postman lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


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Whistling into the Wind


Jim Adams’ challenge this week is to present a song using “User Choice.” Jim says, “Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.”

Jethro Tull’s The Whistler, is from their 1977 album Songs from the Wood.  It was written by Ian Anderson, and is in the English folk tradition. It reached number 59 in the US.

The song and its traditional sound really fits my taste. I hope it is liked.

Lyrics:

I’ll buy you six bay mares to put in your stable
Six golden apples bought with my pay.
I am the first piper who calls the sweet tune,
But I must be gone by the seventh day.So come on, I’m the whistler.
I have a fife and a drum to play.
Get ready for the whistler.
I whistle along on the seventh day
Whistle along on the seventh day.All kinds of sadness I’ve left behind me.
Many’s the day when I have done wrong.
But I’ll be yours for ever and ever.
Climb in the saddle and whistle along.So come on, I’m the whistler.
I have a fife and a drum to play.
Get ready for the whistler.
I whistle along on the seventh day
Whistle along on the seventh day.Deep red are the sun-sets in mystical places.
Black are the nights on summer-day sands.
We’ll find the speck of truth in each riddle.
Hold the first grain of love in our hands.

Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Ian Anderson The Whistler lyrics © BMG Rights Management


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Inverse

Chamber, Street, Wall, Art, People
Pixabay

In doleful tones upon my ears

The captured expression of our mutual fears

S and G with prophets’ words – on subway walls

Where the silence’s sound melancholic falls

Should we seek instead – joyful verse?

Clinging to some playful inverse?

G and S and their modern major-general

Tunes whistled from – nonsense Pinafore infernal

Shall we reverse?

Which shall be worse?

S and G dark – but so full of meaning

G and S light -but intellectually demeaning

Is the inverse

Blessing or curse?


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FOWC with Fandango — Doleful

Alberta Bound


Jim Adams’ challenge this week was to write about a song by a Canadian Artist. With that in mind, I also wanted to use one that referenced Canada as well. I remembered that there was a song about Alberta so thought it would be a good choice. There are in fact three songs with the title Alberta Bound. I was actually looking for the lyrics of the Gordon Lightfoot song when I came across this one, and the third by Bryan Adams. Note these are different songs not just covers or versions. I really like this Brandt discovery, but hope someone else will write about the Lightfoot song. Brandt’s song is from his album. It was released on Orange Music Canada in 2004.

Lyrics:

Sign said 40 miles to Canada

My truck tore across Montana

Ian Tyson sang a lonesome lullaby

And so I cranked up the radio

Cause there’s just a little more to go

‘Fore I’d cross the border at that Sweet Grass sign

I’m Alberta Bound

This piece of heaven that I’ve found

Rocky Mountains and black fertile ground

Everything I need beneath that big blue sky

Doesn’t matter where I go

This place will always be my home

Yeah I’ve been Alberta Bound for all my life

And I’ll be Alberta Bound until I die

It’s a pride that’s been passed down to me

Deep as coal mines, wide as farmer’s fields

Yeah, I’ve got independence in my veins

Maybe it’s my down-home redneck roots

Or these dusty ol’ Alberta boots

But like a Chinook wind keeps coming back again

I’m Alberta Bound

This piece of heaven that I’ve found

Rocky Mountains and black fertile ground

Everything I need beneath that big blue sky

Doesn’t matter where I go

This place will always be my home

Yeah I’ve been Alberta Bound for all my life

And I’ll be Alberta Bound until I die


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Sunrise/Sunset

________________

Jim Adams’ lyrical challenge this week is to write about a song with contrasts. On the heels of last week’s challenge to write about a musical, I have gone with the contrast between sunrise and sunset from the show – Fiddler on the Roof.

The song is the musing of family members (primarily the father and mother) of the passing of time, on the occasion of a daughter’s wedding.  Set in 1905 in Russia, it captures Jewish culture of that time and place.  The musical’s music is by Jerry Bock, and the lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.  It opened on Broadway in 1964, and was released as a film in 1971.

Lyrics:

Is this the little girl I carried

Is this the little boy at play?

I don’t remember growing older

When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty

When did he grow to be so tall?

Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laiden with happiness and tears

What words of wisdom can I give them

How can I help to ease their way?

Now they must learn from one another

Day by day

They look so natural together

Just like two newlyweds should be

Is there a canopy in store for me?

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laiden with happiness and tears

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Jerry Bock / Sheldon Harnick

Sunrise, Sunset lyrics © Jerry Bock Enterprises, Times Square Music Publications Company, Trio Music Co., Inc.


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Queen of the Night


Jim Adams’s challenge to write about a song from an opera or musical really hit home with me. I often tell my students that the best music was from the 90s. This is especially true of the Magic Flute by Mozart (1791). This is one of my favourite operas, and the Queen of The Night aria is my favourite piece from it. The sheer talent need to sing it is amazing. It was first performed by Mozart’s sister-in-law, Josepha Weber. I have attached two (modern) performances of it here, the first a favourite of mine, and the second with lyrics.


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Monster Mash

 
 
 
Something a little monstrous for Jim Adams’ challenge this week.  “Monster Mash”  was released in August 1962 and made was Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, just before Halloween.  It remains a fun Halloween song. 
 
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Lyrics:
 
I was working in the lab, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab, began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
He did the mash, he did the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
He did the mash, it caught on in a flash
He did the mash, he did the monster mash
From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes
They did the mash, they did the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They did the mash, it caught on in a flash
They did the mash, they did the monster mash
The zombies were having fun, the party had just begun
The guests included Wolfman, Dracula, and his son
The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, ‘The Crypt-Kicker Five’
They played the mash, they played the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They played the mash, it caught on in a flash
They played the mash, they played the monster mash
Out from his coffin’, Drac’s voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist and said
“Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?
It’s now the mash, it’s now the monster mash
The monster mash, it was graveyard smash
It’s now the mash, it caught on in a flash
It’s now the mash, it’s now the monster mash
Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band
And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you
Then you can mash, then you can monster mash
The monster mash and do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash, you’ll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash, then you can monster mash
Mash good!
Easy, Igor, you impetuous young boy
Mash good! Grrr!
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Leonard Capizzi / Bob Pickett
Monster Mash lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Reservoir Media Management Inc

Stuck in the Middle

 

Today, Jim Adams’ has challenged us to write about lyrics that “describe object placement.  The song, “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan and performed by Stealers Wheel puts us in the middle of the challenge.

The song on the BBC’s Top of the Pops in 1973, and charted at No. 8 in the Britain. It also reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

 
 
Lyrics:
 
Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do,
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please, please
Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please, please
Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you, here I am stuck in the middle with you
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gerald Rafferty / Joe Egan
Stuck in the Middle with You lyrics © BMG Rights Management

___________________________

 

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Blinded by the Light

 

Jim Adams’ challenge to Clear/Dark/Light as key lyrics in the songs we write about.  He notes that the terms can be used to describe both the pronunciation of English ‘L’s and colours.  In my chosen song the word ‘light’ is a metaphor*.

Blinded By The Light was written by Bruce Springsteen, and a cover of it by the British band Manfred Mann’s Earth Band reached number one on the Billboard chart.  It made the top ten hit in the UK, New Zealand, and Canada as well.

I love the word play and metaphor in this song.

Lyrics:

Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light

Madman drummer bummers
Indians in the summer
With a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps
As the adolescent pumps
His way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder
Feeling kinda older
I tripped a merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing
Sneezing and wheezing
The calliope crashed to the ground
The calliope crashed to the ground

But she was blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night

Some silicone sister
With her manager mister
Told me I got what it takes
She said, I’ll turn you on sonny to something strong
Play the song with the funky break
And go-kart Mozart
Was checking out the weather chart
To see if it was safe outside
And little Early Pearly
Came by in his curly-wurly
And asked me if I needed a ride
Asked me if I needed a ride

‘Cause she was blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light

She got down but she never got tight
She’s gonna make it to the night
She’s gonna make it through the night

But mama, that’s where the fun is
But mama, that’s where the fun is

[Solo]

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun
But mama, that’s where the fun is

Some brimstone baritone
Anticyclone rolling stone
Preacher from the east
Says, “Dethrone the Dictaphone
Hit it in its funny bone
That’s where they expect it least.”
And some new mown chaperone
Was standing in the corner
Watching the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone
Was messing with his frozen zone
Reminding him of romance

The calliope crashed to the ground

But she was blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night

(Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat)

Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night

(With a boulder on my shoulder feelin’ kinda older I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the ground)

Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night

(And now Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers daddy’s within earshot save the buckshot turn up the band.)

Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night

(Some silicone sister with her manager mister told me I got what it takes
She said I’ll turn you on sonny to something strong)

She got down but she never got tired
She’s gonna make it through the night

*For those wanting to decipher these lyrics there is a take on it at:  https://genius.com/Manfred-manns-earth-band-blinded-by-the-light-lyrics.
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