Let’s Take A Moment Day 3

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today’s song brings me hope when I feel like there isn’t any, and it has been that way since the first time I heard it when I was 12 years old. But it is not about looking for a solution where there isn’t one. It’s about doing something even when there is nothing you can do. Because when everything around us is falling apart, “what else can we do now except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair”.

BTR

 “Born To Run” Album photo by Eric Meola.  

Day 3: Bruce Springsteen: “Thunder Road” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

10 Songs To Celebrate Or Condemn Valentine’s Day With – Your Choice

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought I would share a few of my favorite love songs.  No surprise there.  But this year, to change things up a bit, I thought I would also share some songs for those who are not fans of this holiday.  Let’s call those the anti-love songs, if you will.  After all, everyone deserves to be happy and to listen to great music, right???

Valentine

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

Let’s start with the songs that celebrate the grand emotion.  Here are five of my favorites:

1. The Beatles:  “Something” (1969, written by George Harrison in 1969).

The Beatles changed the world and Lennon-McCartney songs were the nucleus of that success.  But this song written by George Harrison is the best love song the group ever made.  Period.

***Bonus:  Bruce Springsteen performed a gorgeous acoustic version of this song in 2001 days after George Harrison’s death.  A kind wonderful soul who was lucky enough to attend that show posted the audio portion of it on YouTube.  It is too beautiful not to share.

2. Elvis Presley:  “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (1961, written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore & George David Weiss circa 1961).

It’s Elvis, singing a beautiful love song.  What more could I possibly add???

3. Bruce Springsteen:  “Drive All Night” (1980, written by Bruce Springsteen circa 1977).

I swear I’ll drive all night again just to buy you some shoes
And to taste your tender charms
And I just want to sleep tonight again in your arms
Oh yeah, oh yeah.”

This song may be number 82 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time”, but it is in my top five.  I sa-woon every single time I hear this unbelievably beautiful soul filled song full of pure unadulterated love and passion.  A classic and one of the highlights of his 2016 “The River” revisited tour.

4. Blood Sweat & Tears:  “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” (1969, written by Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, Frank Wilson & Berry Gordy in 1967).

David Clayton Thomas has one of the best voices to come out of any era, and one of the most underrated ones as well.  I have no clue why that is.  But between his powerhouse vocals to the booming brass accompaniment, this song is one for the ages.

5. Loggins & Messins:  “A Love Song” (1973, written by Kenny Loggins & Dona Lyn George in 1973).

A sweet pure simple song about love and sharing what;s really important (“I want to rock you in my arms all night long…….I want to show you the peaceful feeling of my home“).

Now, here are five of my favorite anti-love songs:

Anti val

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

1. The J. Geils Band:  “Love Stinks

The title and the use of gas masks in the video say it all.  And so does Adam Sandler’s anger ridden performance of this song in “The Wedding Singer“.  

2. Elton John:  “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” (1975, written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin in 1974).

A man attempts suicide to avoid marriage.  What else is there to add???

3. Fleetwood Mac:  “Go Your Own Way” (1976, written by Lindsey Buckingham in 1976).  The first single off the now classic “Rumors” album and the one that details Buckingham’s anger toward his ex-girlfriend Stevie Nicks by announcing to the whole world on a record and in every concert performance what she wanted instead of him (“‘Packing up, Shacking up is all you want to do“).   Ouch.

4. Amy Winehouse:  “Back To Black” (2007, written by Amy Winehouse & Mark Ronson in 2006).

Break ups are hard enough, but when your ex leaves you for his ex, it cuts especially deep.

5. Nazareth:  “Love Hurts” (1974, written by Boudleaux Bryant circa 1960).

The Everly Brothers may have recorded this song first, but Nazareth turned it into a top ten hit, with Dan McCafferty’s vocal making you ache with every note.

Love hurts
Love scars
Love wounds and mars
Any heart not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain.”

What are some of your favorite love or anti-love songs?

I do not own the rights to anything in this post.  I am just sharing what I love with you.

Until next time, happy listening!!!

Happy New Decade!!!

Hello, Friends.  Happy New Year’s Eve.  It is hard to believe we are on the verge of a brand new year and decade!!!  Doesn’t all that Y2K stuff seem so recent and not at all like it was 20 years ago???

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I want to thank you all for your support again this year.  I truly appreciate your love, kindness, comments and input.  This ride would not be half as much fun without all of you and that interaction.

What do you want for the new year?  The new decade?  It is so hard to think in terms of a whole year, let alone 10 of them, at least it is for me.  I want what I always want-health, happiness, love and peace for me and the ones I love & a Springsteen tour.  I also want to worry less about what will be.  To just take the moments as they come instead of getting lost in my spiraling thoughts about what might happen and what I should do to prevent what might occur, as if I have that type of control over time and space.

Rather, I want to have more faith that I am where I am supposed to be like it or not.  And that my life is what it is whether I am happy about that or not.  And maybe, just maybe, if I spend more time doing what I enjoy and love that the rest will fall into place.  And if it doesn’t, I was still able to enjoy the time in between.  I completely get the whole free will thing and how my actions have the power to change things.  But the pragmatic side of me knows that life happens so you can only do what you can do and leave the rest in the hands of fate.  As the Doors said, “The future’s uncertain and the end is always near”.  And many times the end may just be the end of the chapter, but not the book.  One may hope, right?

I wish you all the best in 2020 and beyond.  May you all have health, happiness, love, luck and  great music always.  On that note (no pun intended), here are two songs perfect for today by two incredible artists that I absolutely adore.

The McGarrigle Christmas Hour Album & Rufus Wainwright (original dates & sources unknown).

Rufus Wainwright:  “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”  (2005, written by Frank Loesser in 1947).

Rod

 

Rod Stewart:  “Auld Lang Syne” (2012, written by Robert Burns in 1788).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

Until next time & next year, happy listening!!!

 

 

 

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 22

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Holiday greetings to all of you on this first day of winter!

day 22 B.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

I have a weakness for string arrangements in any type of music.  It began the moment I heard the absolutely exquisite introduction to Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland”.  That union of a piano and violin is just so beautiful I never recovered from that first listen.  It inspired me to learn to play the viola in junior high.  I stayed with it all through high school, then in college I took cello lessons.  It became my first love to both play and listen to.  I firmly believe that whoever coined the phrase “hauntingly beautiful” did so after hearing an unbelievably powerful and heartbreakingly elegant string arrangement, perhaps like this one from my favorite movie soundtrack of all time by composer Rachel Portman.

Today’s pick was originally done with only a piano accompaniment to the singer’s voice which made for a really lovely piece of music.  The version of the song I am using today is also a  piano/vocal combination.  But with the addition of one of the most gorgeous string arrangements I have ever heard,  it goes from lovely to utterly sublime.

Ally mcbeal

Robert Downey Jr.:  “River” (2000, written by Joni Mitchell in 1971).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 14

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Santa and two of his reindeer join us today.  Ho ho ho!!!

Day 14.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Last Monday night the Rainforest Fund 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert took place at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.  The night featured an array of outstanding musical guests like James Taylor, Debbie Harry, the reunited Eurythmics and John Mellencamp who sang with my favorite guy and personal hero, Bruce Springsteen.  They sang “Pink Houses” and “Glory Days” together in what Rolling Stone dubbed “a rare heartland-rock summit”.  Another interesting fact about that night?  I WAS NOT THERE!!! 

It wasn’t like I did not know about the show.  I keep up with Bruce’s appearances, of course.  But the ticket prices were insanely high, and I do not have to spend that kind of money when I go to see a four hour plus show by Bruce and his ever loyal E Street Band.  That is a much better investment for my money.  Here’s to the hope that the rumors of a 2020 tour are true!!!     

So if you are not following where this is going, today’s Christmas song (and two bonus tracks) are courtesy of the Bossman.  The video is from Springsteen’s own YouTube channel.  The performance was held at The Carousel Building in Asbury Park, and since it dates back to 2010 the Big Man, Clarence Clemons, is in it.  An early Christmas gift courtesy of the Boss.

bruce

Bruce Springsteen (original source unknown).  

Bruce Springsteen:   “Blue Christmas”  (2010, recorded live at The Carousel in Asbury Park, NJ and written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson circa 1948).

Bruce Springsteen:  “Merry Christmas Baby” (live performance from “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” circa mid to late 1990’s,.  That time frame means the entire E Street Band is there, before the deaths of Danny Federici in 2008 and Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons in 2011.  O’Brien joined the band on guitar.  The best view of him comes @ 4:33 after the other big man, Santa himself, makes an appearance.  Springsteen and his band were frequent guests since the E Street drummer, Max Weinberg, led O’Brien’s house band, The Max Weinberg 7.  Written by Johnny Moore and Lou Baxter in 1947).

Bruce Springsteen:  “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (1975, written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie circa 1934)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 6

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

charlie brown with the tree

Courtesy of Lee Mendelson Film Productions / MGN 

Today we celebrate not just one song, but several from what is arguably the best Christmas special ever made.  Last night this holiday favorite aired for the 54th year in a row and yes, I was front and center.  It leaves me all warm and cuddly inside while hitting all the points of the season:  good will towards men, non-commercialism, listening to special holiday music with people you care about, choosing to decorate (and celebrate, for that matter) in a way that makes you happy, even if that way is not the conventional approach, knowing that anything is beautiful with a little love and the core religious aspect of what Christmas is all about.  Plus it stars some of my best friends in the universe, the Peanuts.

Linus speech

Courtesy of Lee Mendelson Productions / MGN 

Based on the successful comic strip started in 1950, the animated holiday special was commissioned and sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company which obviously knew a good thing when they saw it.  It was the first TV appearance for the Peanuts characters and catapulted them and their creator from a mere phenomenon to super stardom.  Merchandise of all kinds was created and it was not just limited to toys.  Other items like cookie jars, home decor & accessories, watches, clothing, greeting cards, lunch boxes, Pez dispensers, banks, etc. were also marketed.  You name it, it is out there.  And today it is still a billion dollar industry that all began with this special from 1965.  Not to mention its incredible unforgettable grown-up soundtrack that critic Shawn M. Haney wrote ” “introduce[d] contemporary jazz to youngsters with grace, charm, and creativity.”  If this were the only Christmas album I could listen to for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly fine with that (but please don’t tell Bruce Springsteen!!!).

Peanuts Christmas

Other Peanuts TV specials followed, as did movies, including a 3-D one in 2015.  And the comic strip also continued for the next 35 years.  Sadly it came to an end in February 2000 when its glorious creator was forced to retire due to his failing health.  He died the day after the last strip was published.  His official cause of death was cancer.  Unofficially, I think it was due to a broken heart.  We all knew from the last words of that final strip how much it hurt to say goodbye to the characters he created who became our beloved friends.  His words were ones we could all identify with:

“Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy…..how can I ever forget them?”

Thanks to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, none of us ever have to.  But how do we ever thank you, Charles M. Schulz, for the gift of our dear sweet cherished Peanuts?

Peanuts Album.jpg

Christmas Is Coming” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, vocal version by choristers from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California, written by Lee Mendelson & Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, instrumental version by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Lee Mendelson & Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (1965, vocal by choristers from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California, based on a 1739 Christmas carol with various writers including Charles Wesley and George Whitefield).

Linus and Lucy” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

O Tannenbaum” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Skating” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Ernst Anschutz in 1824).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

A Tale Of Two Cupboards

One of the most loved & cherished collections I have is my white Ironstone.  I have been collecting it for years.  When I had a house, I used to feature a rotating group of pieces on my mantel while two of my bigger pieces were displayed in my living room.  But, I never had an area dedicated to show off my entire collection in one place.  For years I have been looking for a rustic primitive piece like a cupboard with open shelves to serve that purpose.  This month I saw two I really liked around the same time courtesy of my new best friend, Facebook Marketplace.  So, I had to make a choice.  The pictures of each cabinet are below.  I am sharing the screen shots from the FB posts for authenticity.

Here is cabinet A:

A1

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A2

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A3

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Here is cabinet B:

B1

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B2

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B3

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B4

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Both are heavy wood pieces so either one will hold the weight of the Ironstone without fear of the cupboard falling over.  Each one has a small closed off bottom area for additional storage.  And the dimensions are basically identical (78H x 42W x 10D versus 78H x 42W x 17D).  As for differences, cupboard A has three shelves framed by scalloped trim while cupboard B has two shelves with straight trim.  It also has one bottom door and a more primitive look to the whole piece.  Still both will serve the purpose I want it for and each has its own charm.  So which one did I choose?

As much as I loved cabinet B and its reasonable price of $250 (I probably could have negotiated an even lower one), it still cost more than I could spend right now on a non-necessity.  So I passed on it.

250_hutch_screen_shot[1]

I chose A and I only paid $10.00 for it.  So really, it was no contest.  I had every intention of paying the asking price of $15, but once I saw the cupboard in person and realized there are a good amount of cracks that need to be repaired (not just the one in picture A3 where you can see a black tape patch at the bottom of the cabinet) along with a small mildew stain in the back, the seller agreed to the reduced price.  Yes, this piece will need more work, TLC, and elbow grease than the other one.  But I was already planning to clean and paint whichever one I bought since I want the outside of the cupboard to be white.  Now I will just need to spend a little more time on repairs.  Saving myself $240 is well worth it.  I will share the cupboard transformation in another post.

15_hutch[2]

Now for a song.

This past weekend Bruce Springsteen’s movie, “Western Stars”, opened nationwide.  He has been on the talk show circuit promoting it so I got to see several clips of the film (I am going to see it on Halloween).  In one scene Bruce wishes the viewers “….a guiding light thru the dark for all your days.”  The dark he refers to is depression, which is also the subject of the album’s first single, “Hello Sunshine”.  I have listened to this song every day since its release in June because I understand what Bruce so eloquently explains about one of the saddest realities of the disease:  You cannot run away from it, and if you try, you will only leave everything else behind.

“You know I always liked that empty road
No place to be and miles to go
But miles to go is miles away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?”

bruce

What he has done for those of us suffering from depression has been life-changing.  When a strong powerful man speaks out about his own fight with this illness, it gives credence to the rest of us who suffer with this malady.

Reading about his struggles in his autobiography gave me hope that even when I forget what light is like, I may find my way back to it with his music and because he did, too. He is a survivor and tells the rest of us we can survive, too.  I will never ever be able to thank him for all he has given me and all his other fans, but adding this part of his story to our narrative of him is monumental.  Thank you, Bossman, thank you. And continue to stay in the sunshine. .

Bruce Springsteen:  “Hello Sunshine” (2019, written by Bruce Springsteen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

Until next time, happy listening!!!