Gentle on My Mind

I think I’ve written about ear worms before. Those pesky tunes that get stuck in your head and play over and over on a loop until you think perhaps you’ll go crazy. Welcome to my world in which the song replaying in my head is Glen Campbell’s version of “Gentle on My Mind.”

https://www.facebook.com/countrymusicamerica/videos/1510129159048531?sfns=mo

Odd choice, right? It has no discernible chorus, and beyond the title phrase there’s no repetition. I haven’t exactly memorized the lyrics, yet still they run through my head like puppies at play.

I guess I’d better study the lyrics. There might be a Gentle on My Mind emergency one of these days. One never knows.

“Gentle on My Mind” Songwriter: John Hartford

It’s knowin’ that your door is always open

And your path is free to walk

That makes me tend to leave my sleepin’ bag

Rolled up and stashed behind your couch

And it’s knowin’ I’m not shackled

By forgotten words and bonds

And the ink stains that have dried upon some line

That keeps you in the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

That keeps you ever gentle on my mind

It’s not clingin’ to the rocks and ivy

Planted on their columns now that bind me

Or something that somebody said because

They thought we fit together walkin’

It’s just knowing that the world

Will not be cursing or forgiving

When I walk along some railroad track and find

That you’re movin’ on the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

And for hours you’re just gentle on my mind

Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines

And the junkyards and the highways come between us

And some other woman’s cryin’ to her mother

‘Cause she turned and I was gone

I still might run in silence

Tears of joy might stain my face

And the summer sun might burn me till I’m blind

But not to where I cannot see

You walkin’ on the back roads

By the rivers flowin’ gentle on my mind

I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin’ cracklin’ cauldron

In some train yard

My beard a rustlin’ coal pile

And a dirty hat pulled low across my face

Through cupped hands ’round a tin can

I pretend to hold you to my breast and find

That you’re waitin’ from the back roads

By the rivers of my memory

Ever smilin’, ever gentle on my mind

Peace, people.

Alexa, Not Now!

I’m fond of Alexa. With a simple command she does all sorts of wonderful things for me, including providing a weather forecast, defining words, telling jokes and giving sports updates. She’s like the kid in school who raised her hand at every question from the teacher, and always had the correct answer, without the accompanying smirk.

Early Friday morning I was doing some chores around the kitchen and decided to ask Alexa to play music without specifying an artist or genre.

She responded, “Here’s a station you might like. X-rated R and B Slow Sexy Jams.”

As the first song began I quickly realized she wasn’t kidding about the x-rated thing! I blushed at the graphic lyrics as I told Alexa to stop. There’s a time and place for x-rated slow sexy jams, but my kitchen at 7:30 a.m. didn’t fit the bill. I might’ve jotted down the station name, though, for future reference. You never know when a slow sexy jam might come in handy.

From a Beatles’ Song

Is today misspent

If tomorrow never knows

And yesterday’s gone?

Often I wonder

What reward is forthcoming

For surviving now

While demagogues rant

And keep children in cages

While walls divide us

I was listening to the radio yesterday afternoon and heard a reference to the Beatles’ song “Tomorrow Never Knows.” I had to pull over to listen and to jot down the first part of this poem that came to me in an instant.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDpHNbHn3i9S4

Beach Combers (reblog)

A vintage photo of my cousin and his friends playing music on the beach inspired me to write this poem a couple of years ago. I’d forgotten about it until today when the photo showed up in his Facebook feed.

Rock on.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2017/04/15/beach-combers/

Moving

It’s been a little over a year since the world lost Chris Cornell. I’ll confess that I only knew of him through my daughter’s sweet sister-in-law Steph, who adored Chris and his music. Since Chris’s death I’ve paid attention to his incredible talent.

Yesterday I was listening to Howard Stern on SiriusXM when they played a song released by Chris’s daughter, Toni, for Father’s Day. I sat in my driveway and sobbed. It’s beautiful and so poignant. Hopefully you’ll be able to utilize the link below to hear what moved me so.

https://youtu.be/6YB9M8aB6b8

Love your people. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

Peace, people.

Here are (some of) the Protest Songs

Yesterday in this space I asked the question, “Where are the Protest Songs?” Is the genre dead and gone or just not in my musical sphere? After all I am in my 60’s. It’s likely I might not be tuned into the hip stuff.

Several of my readers came to the rescue with titles of modern protest songs. I was familiar with a couple of them, but honestly, I didn’t realize they actually WERE protest songs. Too much listening to loud rock and roll in my youth might’ve impacted my ability to hear the lyrics. But now that I’ve been pointed in the right direction, I can hear these songs for what they are.

First, here’s a video clip from the Australian group, Midnight Oil, called Beds are Burning. My blogging friend Barbara at https://balindseyblog.wordpress.com/ brought it to my attention.

https://youtu.be/ejorQVy3m8E

Barbara provided this information: “Beds are Burning is arguably the most resonantly subversive artistic gesture ever made by Australians. Released by the country’s biggest rock group just months before Australia marked, on 26 January 1988, the 200th anniversary of the first fleet’s arrival in Sydney, it ensured that the dominant soundtrack of our bicentennial year would be a song which reminded that the country we were celebrating was founded on pillage and genocide.”

Another blogging friend, Marty at snakesinthegrassblog.com pointed me in the direction of musician Steve Earle’s The Revolution Starts Now, released in 2004.

https://youtu.be/AirdHLCj4MY

Both of these songs fill the protest song bill, and they both remain relevant.

My blogging friend Zoolon at zoolonhub.com is a talented musician who shared one of his original pieces, Sunlight and the Dust. It’s a mighty fine song of the protest genre and deserves a listen. By the way, Zoolon does all the instrumentation as well as the vocals. I told you he was talented.

https://zoolon.bandcamp.com/track/sunlight-and-the-dust

I’m going to continue scouting out more protest songs. If you know of one that speaks to today’s issues please pass it along. We need anthems. We need rallying points. We need righteous anger set to music.

Peace, people.

Huey Lewis, I’d be a Fool for You (Again)

I once spent about half a minute conversing with myself in a mirror. Yes, I was rather inebriated, and yes, it was quite late, but I suppose neither of those are good excuses.

Studly Doright had taken me to see Huey Lewis and the News in concert at the Amarillo Civic Center. At that time in our lives we weren’t able to go out often. We had two small children and almost no disposable income, but we’d scrimped and saved enough for the concert because Studly knew that I needed to see Huey in person.

After the concert we met friends at a club in Amarillo where I had a drink, maybe two. In those days, I was literally and figuratively a lightweight when it came to drinking and it didn’t take much to get my skinny self drunk.

The DJ, ensconced in his booth high above the crowd, wasn’t playing anything I liked, so I wrote a request for a Huey Lewis song on a slip of paper and then navigated around and through an energetic knot of dancers on the floor to offer up my request. But I couldn’t figure out how to deliver my piece of paper to the guy in the booth.

Looking around I spied a friendly, albeit concerned looking woman and asked, “Where do I put this?” indicating my request.

Oddly enough, she asked me something at the same time, and when I bent forward to try to hear her better I bonked my forehead on a mirror and only then realized I’d been talking to myself. I compounded my error by apologizing.

“Ha! I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were me!”

“No problem,” I replied, giggling.

Of course a couple dancing by caught the gist of this whole exchange and gave me a wide berth as they navigated around the dance floor. I can’t say that I blame them. I finally located the proper request slot and enjoyed the rest of my evening, basking in the memory of Huey.

Huey Lewis is still one of my favorites, and I’ve gotten to see him and the News in concert a few times through the years. Huey has recently contracted an illness that’s caused partial deafness and resulted in a cancellation of his tour for the foreseeable future. For a musician this has to be devastating. I’d go talk to myself in a mirror again in front of a crowded dance floor if I thought it would help. Maybe he just needs a new drug.

https://youtu.be/N6uEMOeDZsA

Peace, people.

Wine Fueled

Saturday came with its easy vibe, cloaked in laziness and splendor.

A chaise lounge beckoned, and I reclined, the better to revel bodaciously.

A glass of red in hand, the radio on a slow, low, sexy jam, stretch out your hand

And touch me there, and here. Oh, the wine might fuel me, but it’s you who

Moves me, every time, every single time. Come closer, and kiss me.