Music and Me (Revisited)

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Moving Up Country – Korea

Picture the scene.  It is the early 1980s, and a squad of young Marines, recently deployed from Okinawa to South Korea, are in the back of a “deuce and a half” travelling through the countryside going northwards.

They are cold, tired, and to be honest scared and disoriented.  The Cold War is still real, and no peace treaty has ever ended the Korean conflict of the 1950s.  To be fair, they are cocky, and totally confident in their own abilities, their training, and in the Corps.

They ride without conversation, some doze, and each is caught up in their own thoughts.  I sit among them, cold and desperately missing my wife and infant daughter.  Then one of the guys pushes the button on his small portable cassette player.

To the backdrop of rolling hills, and rising mountains, the strains of Mr. Mister’s Broken Wings pour from the little device.  Its rhythmic opening chords begin just as the image of a Buddhist temple comes into view in the distance.

The melody is a perfect soundtrack to the rugged foreignness of the scenery.  The lyrics touch the loneliness of a young husband far from his wife and home.  “Baby, I don’t understand, Why we can’t just hold on to each other’s hands . . . Baby, it’s all I know,
That you’re half of the flesh and blood makes me whole I need you so!”

It is not only a significant moment in “Music and Me,” but one of the enduring memories of my entire life.



image: Pixabay

When eating sweets or crisps for that matter

What’s to be done with the wrapper?

That thing once used is oft discarded

We don’t keep hold – but with it soon are parted

Wrappers are things we throw away

We don’t want them for yet another day

And so I often remind my tutees

That with their music they should do their duty

For when it comes to the rappers of today

We should be sure to throw the rubbish away


To Never Learn

Jim Adams’ challenge is to “select two songs and discuss some type of relevant association between them.” I have chosen to go with Gordon Lightfoot’s Protocol and Smith and Sinclair’s Again.

Lightfoot’s Protocol is from his 1976 Summertime Dream album which reached at Number 1 in Canada and Number 12 on the US Billboard chart. The sond goes through a list of several catagories of people who make fatal decisions, such as sea captains and generals who seek “mermaid’s tale” or victory all at too great a cost. By following “Protocol” lessons never seem to be learned and the cycle continues.


Who are these ones who would lead us now
To the sound of a thousand guns
Who’d storm the gates of hell itself
To the tune of a single drum?

Where are the girls of the neighborhood bars
Whose loves were lost at sea
In the hills of France and on German soil
From Saigon to Wounded Knee?

Who come from long lines of soldiers
Whose duty was fulfilled
In the words of a warrior’s will
And protocol

Where are the boys in their coats of blue
Who flew when their eyes were blind?
Was God in town for the Roman games
Was he there when the deals were signed?

Who are the kings in their coats of mail
Who rode by the cross to die?
Did they all go down into worthiness?
Is it wrong for a king to cry?

And who are these ones who would have us now
Whose presence is concealed
Whose nature is revealed
In a time bomb?

Last of all you old sea dogs
Who travel after whale
You’d storm the gates of hell itself
For the taste of a mermaid’s tail
Who come from long lines of skippers
Whose duty was fulfilled
In the words of a warrior’s will
And protocol

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Gordon Lightfoot

Protocol lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Again is from Songs For The Betrayed World which reflects on and furthers awareness of the Holocaust.  The song is haunting and asks key questions, and like Lightfoot’s song in a list.  The song notes that “you said Dachau would never happen again . . . since then Mỹ Lai, since then [the killing fields] Kampuchea, since then ethic cleansing and paralysis.”

I could not find a printed copy of the full lyrics of the song, but a listen will clearly show the parallels with Protocol, and that we never learn from our darkest deeds.




Misty in the Lift

Jim Adams has challenged us to write about backgound or “elevator” music. One piece that I have liked, and that I have heard as instrumental background music is “Misty.” Ella Fitzgerald’s version is wonderful and calming. I have attached it to this post. I wasn’t able to get a true “elevator” version to play alongside it, but I have linked the composer’s version below:

The song (piece) was written in 1954 by pianist Erroll Garne as an instrumental. The lyrics were added a few years later and it was performed by Johnny Mathis reaching number 12 in the US. It has also been recorded Ella Fitzgerald (as attached) and Frank Sinatra.


Thank you
I thank you so much

Look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree
And I feel like I’m clingin’ to a cloud
I can’ t understand
I get misty, just holding your hand
Walk my way
And a thousand violins begin to play
Or it might be the sound of your hello
That music I hear

I get misty, whenever you’re near
You can’t see that you’re leading me on?
And it’s just what I want you to do
Don’t you notice how hopelessly I’m lost
That’s why I’m following you
On my own

When I wander through this wonderland alone
Never knowing my right foot from my left
My hat from my glove
I’m too misty, and too much in love
Too misty
And too much
In love

Look at meSource: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Garner Erroll / Burke Johnny

Misty lyrics © Octave-music Publishing Corp., Octave Music Publishing Corp., Reganesque Music Company, Marke-music Publishing Co., Inc., Octave Music Publ Corp, Marke-music Publishing Co Inc


Danke schoen . . . Auf wiedersehen

Jim Adams’ challenge this week is to write about a song that has words that express different ways of saying goodbye. I recently rewatched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which contained Wayne Newton’s version of Bert Kaempfert’s song Danke Schoen. The version reached number13 on Billboard‘s pop chart, and third on the easy listening chart. It’s place in the 1986 movie was a spring back in the song’s popularity as well. Auf wiedersehen and thank you.


Danke schoen, darling, danke schoen
Thank you for all the joy and pain
Picture shows, second balcony
Was the place we’d meet
Second seat, go Dutch treat, you were sweet

Danke schoen, darling, danke schoen
Save those lies, darling don’t explain
I recall Central Park in fall
How you tore your dress
What a mess, I confess, that’s not all

Danke schoen, darling, danke schoen
Thank you for walks down Lover’s Lane
I can see hearts carved on a tree
Letters intertwined for all time
Yours and mine, that was fine

Danke schoen, darling, danke schoen
Thank you for seeing me again
Though we go on our separate ways
Still the memory stays for always

My heart says danke schoen
Danke schoen, oh darling, danke schoen
I said thank you for, hmm, seeing me again
Though we go on our separate ways
Still the memory stays for always

My heart says danke schoen
Danke schoen, auf wiedersehen
Danke schoen

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Bert Kaempfert / Kurt Schwabach / Milt GablerDanke Schoen lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC