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Who’s watching…?

Welcome to the first few days of the Fall 2016 TV season. If you’re like me, this is the best thing about Fall. Now if only they could make it pumpkin spice flavoured.

I’ve already deleted “Kevin Can Wait” and “The Good Place” from rotation. Never even made it through the first episode of the latter. I’m delighted to have “Lucifer” back. “Big Bang Theory” didn’t start off with a big bang, but that’s okay. We’ll stick by our goofy gang of geeks for another season.

I did watch “This is Us.” I’m not sure why I bothered to record it because the promo ads didn’t make it look particularly interesting, and that’s too bad, because it was. By the end of the first ep, I found myself heavily engaged with all the characters, pleased with their actions, and whoo-boy, I did not see that twist coming. They played me like an aging arcade game.

So what’s it like, you ask. (Sure you did.) That’s a toughy. It’s dark and yet funny, in an almost Buffy-esque kind of balance, and yet it’s kind of an inspirational at the same time. Sort of “Love Boat” meets “Touched by an Angel” meets “insert serious drama here.” All those those. None of those.

I have no idea where the show is going or even what they’re going to do for the next episode since the set-up was pretty damn grand. For once, I feel that the writers actually have a plan. Let’s hope they get the chance to show it to us.

Check it out.this-is-us

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Say it with me now! We’re fiction authors…

Thanks to the new the Quote Factory, a favourite phrase of mine is now immortalized forever…

Make Shit Up in Frame

It reads: “We’re fiction authors. We make shit up!” Something I’ve been known to tell authors who become too enamoured of their research or insist, “but this really happened!” It’s not about the facts, it’s all about the story!

 

THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER… #2–Everybody’s fave…Impotence!

impotenceWe’re down to our top two now. It’s nail-biting time!

For those just tuning in, each Monday morning, I’ve been posting my top 10 list of THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER. Next Monday we reach the top.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t get me wrong, some of these are songs I adore. They’re just either about strange things people don’t usually sing about, or they just don’t make any sense.

The list so far…

#10 was Elton John’s Madman Across the Water, because it makes no sense.

#9 George Harrison’s, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, because it’s about housework.

#8, today’s Strangest song is… Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Cher. Yes, let’s all sell our women-folk into prostitution.

#7, the awesome dance tune, proving ultimately parody-able, PSY’s Gangnam Style.

# 6 is on of my fave tunes of all times. It’s Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, on the list because we all wore those “Frankie says relax” T-shirts despite it being highly suggestive.

#5 is the Five Man Electrical Band’s Werewolf because instead of getting our son help, whether from a shrink or Dean Winchester, they chose to kill him instead!

#4 is Helen Reddy’s Angie Baby. It’s about a “special” gal who uses top 40 hits to seduce her would-be rapist.

#3 is The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia. It’s about burying a body in the swamp. For a friend. C’mon. We’ve all done it. Oh, just me and Vicki Lawrence then. Okay.

#2… is Band of Gold by Freda Payne. What a great name for a woman who sings an ode to… impotence! Everyone’s fave! It’s not me, baby, it’s you.

Band of Gold (Sing along on YouTube)

Now that you’re gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dream I hold
Is a band of gold
And the memories of what love could be
If you are still here with me

You took me from the shelter of a mother I had never known
Who loved any other
We kissed after taking vows
But that night on our honeymoon
We stayed in separate rooms

I wait in the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon that you’ll walk
Back through that door
And love me like you tried before

Since you’ve been gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dream I hold
Is a band of gold
And the dream of what love could be
If you are still here with me

Ooh, don’t you know that I wait in the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon that you’ll walk
Back through that door
And love me like you tried before

Since you’ve been gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dream I hold
Is a band of gold
And the dream of what love could be
If you are still here with me

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THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER… #3

Vicki LawrenceWe’re down to top three now.

For those just tuning in, every Monday till I’m done, I’m posting my top 10 list of THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t get me wrong, some of these are songs I adore. They’re just either about strange things people don’t usually sing about, or they just don’t make any sense.

The list so far…

#10 was Elton John’s Madman Across the Water, because it makes no sense.
#9 George Harrison’s, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, because it’s about housework.
#8, today’s Strangest song is… Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Cher. Yes, let’s all sell our women-folk into prostitution.
#7, the awesome dance tune, proving ultimately parody-able, PSY’s Gangnam Style.
# 6 is on of my fave tunes of all times. It’s Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, on the list because we all wore those “Frankie says relax” T-shirts despite it being highly suggestive.
#5 is the Five Man Electrical Band’s Werewolf because instead of getting our son help, whether from a shrink or Dean Winchester, they chose to kill him instead!
#4 is Helen Reddy’s Angie Baby. It’s about a “special” gal who uses top 40 hits to seduce her would-be rapist.

Now, on to #3. (insert very quiet drum roll here)

#3 is The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia.

It’s about burying a body in the swamp. For a friend. C’mon. We’ve all done it. Oh, just me and Vicki Lawrence then. Okay.

The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia
Words and Music by Bobby Russell, sung by Vicki Lawrence
Listen here.

He was on his way home from Candletop,
Been two weeks gone and he thought he’d stop,
At William’s and have him a drink ‘fore he went home to her,
Andy Wolloe said “Hello,”And he said “Hi, what’s doin’, Wo?”
“Seth, sit down, I got some bad news, it’s gonna hurt.”
He said “I’m your best friend and you know that’s right.”
“But your young bride ain’t home tonight.”
“Since you been gone she’s been seein’ that Amos boy, Seth. “
Well, he got mad ‘n’ he saw red and Andy said “Boy, don’tcha lose your head.”
“ ‘Cause to tell ya the truth, I been with her myself.”

That’s the night that the lights went out in Georgia.
That’s the night that they hung an innocent man.
Well, don’t trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer.
‘Cause the judge in the town’s got bloodstains on his hands.

Well, Andy got scared and left the bar.
Walkin’ on home ‘cause he didn’t live far.
See, Andy didn’t have many friends and he’d just lost him one.
Brother thought his wife musta left town,
So he went home and finally found,
The only thing Papa had left him, that was a gun.

And he went off to Andy’s house.
A’skippin’ through the backwoods quiet as a mouse.
Came upon some tracks too small for Andy to make.
He looked through the screen at the back-porch door.
And he saw Andy lyin’ on the floor,
In a puddle of blood and he started to shake.

Well, the Georgia Patrol was a’makin’ their rounds.
So he fired a shot just to flag ‘em down.
And a big-bellied sheriff got his gun and said “Why’dya do it?”
And the judge said “Guilty” in a make-believe trial,
And slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile.
Said “Supper’s waitin’ at home and I gotta get to it.”

CHORUS

Well, they hung my brother before I could say,
The tracks he saw while on his way,
To Andy’s house and back that night were mine.
And his cheatin’ wife had never left town.
And that’s one body that’ll never be found.
See, little sister don’t miss when she aims her gun.

CHORUS

THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER… #4

radio angie babyWe’re coming into the home stretch now, counting down to #1.

For those just tuning in, every Monday till I’m done, I’m posting my top 10 list of THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t get me wrong, some of these are songs I adore. They’re just either about strange things people don’t usually sing about, or they just don’t make any sense.

The list so far…

#10 was Elton John’s Madman Across the Water, because it makes no sense.
#9 George Harrison’s, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, because it’s about housework.
#8, today’s Strangest song is… Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Cher. Yes, let’s all sell our women-folk into prostitution.
#7, the awesome dance tune, proving ultimately parody-able, PSY’s Gangnam Style.
# 6 is on of my fave tunes of all times. It’s Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, on the list because we all wore those “Frankie says relax” T-shirts despite it being highly suggestive.

#5 is where they start to get stranger, still. I’ve chosen the Five Man Electrical Band’s Werewolf because instead of getting our son help, whether from a shrink or Dean Winchester, they chose to kill him instead!

My choice for #4 is Helen Reddy’s Angie Baby. It’s about a “special” gal.

The lyrics are fuzzy, but in summary, they ask the age-old musical question, is it okay to keep your attempted rapist as your own personal sex slave?

And why didn’t her father notice she had a sex slave in her bedroom?

Srsly? This? Was a #1 hit!

It appears to be a twisted, dark urban fantasy about a woman who’s considered “special” but apparently has a dark power to enslave using only the power of Top 40 hits as her weapon. Pow! Maybe I should make this my next book. If only I wrote dark instead of funny.

Angie Baby

Listen on YouTube as you follow along with these crazy, crazy lyrics.

You live your life in the songs you hear,
On the rock and roll radio.
And when a young girl doesn’t have any friends,
That’s a really nice place to go.
Folks hoping you’d turn out cool,
But they had to take you outta school.
You’re a little touched you know, Angie Baby.

Lovers appear in your room each night,
And they whirl you across the floor.
But they always seem to fade away,
When your daddy taps on your door.
“Angie girl, are you all right?
Tell the radio good-night.”
All alone once more, Angie Baby.

Angie Baby, you’re a special lady.
Living in a world of make-believe.
Well, maybe.

Stopping at her house is a neighbor boy,
With evil on his mind.
‘Cause he’s been peeking in Angie’s room,
At night through her window blind.
“I see your folks have gone away.
Would you dance with me today.
I’ll show you how to have a good time, Angie Baby.”

When he walks in her room,
He feels confused like he’s walked into a play,
And the music’s so loud it spins him around.
‘Til his soul has lost its way.
And as she turns the volume down,
He’s getting smaller with the sound.
It seems to pull him off the ground.
Toward the radio he’s bound never to be found.

The headlines read that a boy disappeared,
and everyone thinks he died.
‘Cept a crazy girl with a secret lover,
Who keeps her satisfied.
It’s so nice to be insane,
No one asks you to explain.
Radio by your side, Angie Baby.

Angie Baby, you’re a special lady.
Living in a world of make-believe,
Well, maybe.
Well, maybe.

[Song by Alan O’Day]

 

THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER… #5

werewolfWe’re halfway there now, counting down to #1.

For those just tuning in, every Monday till I’m done, I’m posting my top 10 list of THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t get me wrong, some of these are songs I adore. They’re just either about strange things people don’t usually sing about, or they just don’t make any sense.

The list so far…

#10 was Elton John’s Madman Across the Water, because it makes no sense.
#9 George Harrison’s, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, because it’s about housework.
#8, today’s Strangest song is… Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Cher. Yes, let’s all sell our women-folk into prostitution.
#7, the awesome dance tune, proving ultimately parody-able, PSY’s Gangnam Style.
# 6 is on of my fave tunes of all times. It’s Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, on the list because we all wore those “Frankie says relax” T-shirts despite it being highly suggestive.

#5 is where they start to get stranger, still. I’ve chosen the Five Man Electrical Band’s Werewolf because instead of getting our son help, whether from a shrink or Dean Winchester, they chose to kill him instead!

And just to add to the family fun, Mom smiles when she thinks Billy killed dad! Don’t you just want to go to their place for Christmas?

Interesting, this song is mostly dialogue. As a writer, I rather like that.

Werewolf
Listen on YouTube

Mama said, “There’s something weird ’bout Billy.
I looked in his room, his bed wasn’t slept in at all last night.”
But Papa said, “Ah, now Mama, don’t you go talking silly.
He’s just a young boy. He’s just sowing his wild oats. And that’s all right.”

But Mama said, “No, There’s something real strange ’bout my Billy.
The farmer down the road said he lost a few of his sheep last night.
I know he’s my own flesh and blood, but he makes my blood run chilly.
Cause I saw him from my window and he was on the hill just screaming at the moonlight.”

[Chorus] Is it any wonder we hate to see the sun go down?
And is it any wonder we hate to see the full moon coming around?

So Papa said, “I guess there’s only one thing to do bout Billy.
Hand me down my gun, son. Bring along that silver dinner bell.”
But Mama said, “Papa, I beg you, don’t kill him.
Cause I just couldn`t bear to think about my baby in Hell!”

But he went down to the blacksmith. Got him out of bed and said “Get your fire hot.
Oh, shut up your shutters and close down the doors.
We’re gonna need all the heat you got, ’cause I want you to melt my silver bell down to a single shot.
I got a job to do and I got to get it done before the sun comes up.”

[Chorus]

Then we heard a shot and I said, “Papa got ‘im.”
Then we heard a scream and Mama smiled and said, “Betcha Billy got ‘im.”
But when I lifted up my eyes, there was Papa in the doorway staring at the floor.
And my big brother Billy never did Come home no more.

[Chorus]

THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER… #9

Hoover-Company-Vacuum-CleanerIn my last post, I announced I would be posting my top 10 list of THE STRANGEST SONGS EVER over the next 10 weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these are songs I adore. They’re just either about strange things people don’t usually sing about, or they just don’t make any sense.

So #10 was Elton John’s Madman Across the Water.

Sticking with the “what the heck does it mean” theme, today’s big reveal, in at #9… While My guitar Gently Weeps.

I first heard it on the album, The Concert for Bangladesh. It was written and recorded by George Harrison, and also recorded by The Beatles, and Eric Clapton. Regardless of the singer, it makes no sense. According to Wikipedia: “Harrison committed to write a song based on the first words he saw upon opening a random book. Those words were ‘gently weeps’.”

All I can say is that George Harrison must not have owned a Hoover. Perhaps, like both nature and my dogs, he abhorred a vacuum. Who sweeps floors nowadays?

While My guitar Gently Weeps
Listen on YouTube.

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

 

I touched Elton John’s sole!

70s Elton

No that’s not a typo. Back in the 70s, I saw Elton John in concert. Can’t remember how, but someone got us really great floor seats. Toward the end of the concert, those of us in the front rows rushed down to the stage. The stage must have been raised about five feet above the floor because I, at my grand height of 5’2”, could just see over the top. Elton bent down and shook as many hands has he could. He shook the hand of the guy on my right, behind me, on my left…

No way was I getting left out, so I leapt up and touched whatever I could—in this case, the side of his 5” platform shoe. So I touched Elton John’s sole… literally!

I still love his Madman Across the Water album, especially the title song. But what the heck does it mean? And why was Bernie Taupin his lyricist if he made no sense?

So with that in mind, This is the first of ten posts where I’m going to document the strangest songs ever. I’m making a top 10 list, but please join in. What would be on your list of the strangest songs ever? What criteria would you use?

You might ask why a writer is blogging about music, and it’s a good question. The answer is… I’m totally lyric focused. Lyrics are words and therefore the prevue of us writerly folk.

So in at number 10, Madman Across the Water. What the heck does it mean?

#10… Madman Across the Water

Listen on YouTube
Follow the bouncing ball below:

I can see very well
There’s a boat on the reef with a broken back
And I can see it very well
There’s a joke and I know it very well
It’s one of those that I told you long ago
Take my word I’m a madman don’t you know

Once a fool had a good part in the play
If it’s so would I still be here today
It’s quite peculiar in a funny sort of way
They think it’s very funny everything I say
Get a load of him, he’s so insane
You better get your coat dear
It looks like rain

chorus

We’ll come again next Thursday afternoon
The In-laws hope they’ll see you very soon
But is it in your conscience that you’re after
Another glimpse of the madman across the water

I can see very well
There’s a boat on the reef with a broken back
And I can see it very well
There’s a joke and I know it very well

It’s one of those that I told you long ago
Take my word I’m a madman don’t you know

The ground’s a long way down but I need more
Is the nightmare black
Or are the windows painted
Will they come again next week
Can my mind really take it

[repeat chorus]

© 1970 Dick James Music Limited
Lyrics from http://www.eltonography.com/songs/madman_across_the_water.html

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