Do I Need You Now?

When I was writing my little romance novel I compiled a playlist to set a certain mood. A sexy, steamy mood. But now I’m writing a sequel to my first book, and this story needs a totally different vibe. Except that my mind hasn’t compartmentalized enough to make the switch, and I’m still thinking about sex. Don’t tell Studly Doright; he might get the wrong idea.

Having said all that, the characters in the sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort are grownups, and a romance could very well develop as the story progresses. Who am I to get in the way of love?

I am doing my best, though, to develop a non-romance playlist, but the first song I’ve added is the very hot, “Need You Now” by Lady A. So, maybe my playlist is trying to tell me something. I’m just not sure yet what it is, but I like the song.

Lady A, the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum

https://youtu.be/eM213aMKTHg

Peace, people!

On the Banks of the Lee, The Version I Love

Yesterday I wrote about an Irish love song that I used to play for my rowdy fourth graders. They all loved the song, “On the Banks of the Lee,” perhaps because while it played, their rather odd teacher (me) stayed silent. Whatever their reasoning, we all felt some connection to the song.

I shared a version yesterday that was very sweet and well done, but it didn’t exactly match the rendition my students and I loved so much. I wondered if I could simply record from my cd, but the results of that experiment were less than pleasing.

So, I went searching for the more beloved version online and finally discovered it. This is Clannad, singing their beautifully haunting cover of “On the Banks of the Lee.” I could listen to this for hours. Enjoy.

https://youtu.be/Q8pu8ziEVa0

Peace, people!

Clannad

On the Banks of the Lee

There’s a song that’s been on my mind lately. I’d discovered it on a cd of Celtic music many years back. When I taught a group of rambunctious (that’s the kindest word I could think of) fourth graders one year, I found that this particular song calmed us all. The students asked for it again and again, and I’d play it over and over while they worked independently. So, why couldn’t I remember the title?

I figured the cd had been lost in one of our many moves, but still I combed through my entire collection in search of the one with That Song. I could hear the melody in my head, but no lyrics. Finally, I discovered it in a box labeled “Misc. Classroom Stuff,” and I did a happy dance.

The song, a haunting Irish tune called “On the Banks of the Lee” tells the tale of two lovers forever parted. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and there are so many versions out there that it was difficult for me to choose just one to share.

As you listen to Jesse Ferguson’s rendition, imagine a group of unruly ten-year-olds, mostly boys, some who just barely spoke English and were not happy being stuck in a classroom on a late summer day, sitting and working while under the spell of this song. I still credit it for our good test scores at the end of that year.

https://youtu.be/G2mtCCUyvSY

Jesse Ferguson

Peace, people!

Country Protest Songs

Nowadays my ears are constantly attuned to finding new protest songs. If ever there was a time for such songs, it’s right now, and I’ve been hard pressed to find ones that make me think, “hell, yeah!”

Surprisingly, several of the ones I have found have come from the country genre—typically the bastion of conservative thinking.

There’s The Chicks’ “March March” which pulls no punches when addressing racial inequality. Of course, The Chicks have never shied away from addressing injustice. Their outspokenness cost them millions of dollars during the younger Bush’s time in office, but they never backed down. That’s righteous.

https://youtu.be/xwBjF_VVFvE

Then Eric Church has a song out that challenges the status quo. The first time I heard it I did a double take. Was he saying what I thought he was saying when he recorded, “Stick That in Your Country Song”? Yes, yes he was.

https://youtu.be/wAX5XvdKRFk

Yesterday, I heard a song by Brent Cobb called “Shut Up and Sing.” It’s undeniably a protest song, and worth a listen.

https://youtu.be/z6oDXGy7vgM

It gives me great hope to hear these country voices speaking out on social issues. Here’s hoping their fans are listening.

Would You Rather

Would you rather have a wooden nickel or a Yankee dime? For some reason I always thought both terms meant roughly the same thing—fake money. Surprise, surprise! They don’t.

In the United States, a wooden nickel is a wooden token coin, usually issued by a merchant or bank as a promotion, sometimes redeemable for a specific item such as a drink.

A Yankee dime is a quick, innocent kiss. A peck. A child-like term used by/for children in the Southern United States. (More common in countryside-raised, ‘older’ southern families). Often it’s used as payment for a service: “I’ll give you a Yankee dime if you’ll bring me a glass of lemonade.”

Now that I know the difference, I think I’d prefer a Yankee dime to a wooden nickel, but I guess it depends on who’s offering.

My cousin, Effron White wrote a song about a Yankee Dime. I vaguely remember having a conversation with him about the meaning of the phrase back when we were kids. But we never discussed wooden nickels. I’m blaming him for my lack of understanding.

Here’s his song. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/i01XuwYXpW0

Peace, people!

Wednesday Morning Eagles

It’s 7:17 a.m., and I’m still in bed. Alexa is playing an Eagles’ playlist just for me, and I’m singing along. The cat has taken refuge in the hallway, watching me with a wary eye, while my bed has become my own private time machine.

I remember singing along to “Take it Easy” from the backseat of our family’s car when I was 16 or so, and begging my parents to not change the station to a country channel. And when “Witchy Woman” played, everyone had to be quiet so I could try to understand the lyrics. What was that woman up to? No good, that’s what.

A favorite Eagles’ song? I can’t name just one. That would be like saying I have a favorite child or grandchild, or even a favorite husband. But, I do know the songs I enjoy singing along with the most.

“I Can’t Tell You Why”—my voice blends beautifully into this one. At least in my mind. Reality is a different matter.

https://youtu.be/mseS0C421cU

“Witchy Woman”—howling along.

https://youtu.be/nc0988XxoXI

And “Peaceful Easy Feeling”—nobody sings this as well as I do. That’s a blatant lie, but a relatively harmless one as lies go.

https://youtu.be/n-0lRkuNyj0

Young and innocent. Ha.

What a great way to start my day, right? Now, back to writing and editing and cursing a lot. Here’s hoping your Wednesday is good, though.

Peace, people.

My Writing Playlist

On a writing day I get the music started early and crank it up loud. I’ll bet my neighbors are glad our homes aren’t all that close together.

Here are my go-to songs for the romance I’m writing. I’m not sure there’s a theme here, but these songs speak to my characters.

“Lay, Lady, Lay,” by Bob Dylan

“Tomorrow,” by Chris Young (link below)

https://youtu.be/ETVjll5eR88

“Give Me One Reason,” by Tracy Chapman (link below)

https://youtu.be/V6hQ9HSKlIE

“Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress,” by the Hollies

“Shameless,“ the Garth Brooks version; although, I really like Billy Joel’s, as well. He did write it after all.

“Cross My Heart,” by George Strait

“Girl Crush,” by Little Big Town

“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” by Aerosmith

“I’ll Make Love to You,” by Boyz II Men (link below)

https://youtu.be/fV8vB1BB2qc

“As She’s Walking Away,” by Zac Brown Band

“Cowboy Take Me Away,” by The Chicks

Peace, people.

Rocking Country

I’m always behind the times when it comes to music. By the time I get turned on to a song it’s likely been on the charts for months and on its way into the archives.

In the case of Zac Brown Band’s “Heavy is the Head,” featuring the late rocker, the incredibly talented, Chris Cornell, I’m at least five years too late. I found the song while listening to country music on my Amazon Echo as research/mood enhancement for a romance novel I’ve been working on. “Heavy is the Head,” though, is definitely not a country tune, and it immediately got my attention, albeit half a decade after the fact.

Damn, Chris Cornell was something special. And Zac Brown Band has become one of my favorite country groups these last few weeks. What else am I missing?

Chris Cornell

Peace, people!

Long Cool Woman

The Hollies’ 1972 hit Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, has always fascinated me. Until very recently (today, August 5, 2020, at 6:45 a.m.), I only kind of understood the lyrics.

Some dude working undercover for the FBI was in a club when all hell broke loose, and there was a pretty, tall woman wearing a black dress involved somehow.

Turns out, I was mostly right, but I always thought there was a bouncer involved and that the woman was also working undercover for a rival organization, maybe the KGB or the CIA, and was leading our hero on so that her side could triumph. In the end, I thought the two of them agreed to work together and lived happily ever after. My imagination filled in the blanks.

This morning I found a YouTube version of the song with lyrics. Now, 48 years after the fact, I know the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What a great song.

Peace, people!