I Am the Walrus

Released in 1967, “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles has some of the most interesting lyrics I’ve ever heard. The story goes that upon hearing that a high school English teacher was making his class analyze the meaning behind the lyrics of Beatles songs, John Lennon set out to write a song that was so out there, it couldn’t possibly mean anything. “I Am the Walrus” was the result.

As I was searching for a simple video of the song, I stumbled onto a YouTube series that asked teenagers to read the lyrics of the song and give their thoughts on what the writer(s) of the song meant. I found this video to be entertaining to watch and interesting to find that maybe Lennon wasn’t as “out there” as he hoped.

“Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man, you’ve been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long”

I can’t begin to analyze this song half as good as the kids in the video did. It’s fun to sing and little Beej has added it to his growing list of Beatles’ favorites. What do you think?

Thanks again to Hugh for his fun feature- 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 36

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Have a great week!

-Kat

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51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 35: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney- Say, Say, Say

Last week Hugh shared Elton John and Kiki Dee singing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.

It’s a fun song from 1976 and when Hugh asked us what our favorite duet was, the song that immediately popped into my head was NOT the one I’m sharing. I’ll share that song a little bit later. This week, it’s more about the singers than the songs.

When I first heard that Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney were pairing up to sing a song together, I found them to be an odd couple. While there was no questioning the tremendous talent of these two men, especially combined, the King of Pop and Sir Paul,of Beatles fame and more were an unlikely duo.

In 1983, they released the “Say, Say, Say” music video. It’s playful and entertaining to watch.

But the song that came to mind first, and the one I like better, is “The Girl is Mine,” which came out a year earlier- in 1982. There is not a cute music video to accompany this song, which is why I led with “Say, Say, Say.”

I like their chemistry. It looks like these two legends were friends and truly enjoyed singing and creating music together. Their voices blend together so nicely, too. They definitely make a winning combo in my book!

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Hoping your week is off to a good start!

-Kat

“I Want to Hold Your Hand”

I Want to Hold Your Hand was the Beatles’ first #1 U.S. hit back in 1964. Nearly ten years later it would become one of my favorite songs. I was aware of the song before I knew exactly who the Beatles were. I hope you’ll give me a break- I was born while they were topping the charts in the 60’s so it took me a few years to catch up.

walterSince the Netflix children’s series Beat Bugs has become a regular on our watch list, Beatles songs have filled the air. If you haven’t met the Beat Bugs yet and you like the Beatles (and kids’ shows), you’ll have to take a look. The animated series centers each episode around a Beatles song with a cast a cute bug characters facing challenges both kids and bugs encounter from day to day. The incorporation of Beatles music adds a fun (and familiar to the adults watching) component. Seven year old CJ, who also enjoys the show, often asks, “Can we watch another episode so I can get a new song stuck in my head?”

Little Beej has taken to the music of the Beatles as if he was the long lost fifth Beatle. He sings the songs, memorizing more and more parts, and he adopts a new favorite every few days. Drive My Car, In My Life, Birthday, and Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da have all been recent favorites. Since the Beatles are my favorite performers, you don’t hear me complaining. And there’s nothing sweeter than the sound of a two year old singing, “In my life, I love you more!”

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This post is in response to Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past. In his latest post he asks if we have a favorite song which was a first for somebody.

If you love music, you will want to check out his weekly feature. He writes about more than just music so be sure to see what else he has to day. His short stories are my favorites!

 

Have a great week!

-Kat

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 33: Sergei Prokofiev- Romeo & Juliet: The Montagues and Capulets

Music is such an integral part of my life. If I was to keep count of the number of times it makes an appearance in my day, I wouldn’t be surprised how often it finds its way in. In his feature 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past, Hugh shared a song that motivates him to write. When I’m writing, I have very specific preferences depending on what I’m writing. There is a novel that I have been attempting to write over the years which takes place in the late 70’s/early 80’s and I have a playlist that’s approximately 10 hours long filled with music from 1978-1982. Another story I was working on centered around kids in a high school jazz band, so most of my listening choices were jazz pieces.

In general I have some standbys that manage to get the words flowing and one of those is Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. There’s something about this piece- in its entirety- which both soothes and energizes me at the same time. I was introduced to this specific piece when my youngest was chosen to take part in a music program led by the conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The movement I am sharing is powerful and it’s a favorite because it features strong low brass.

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What music gets your creative juices flowing?

Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 32: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

This week I am sharing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The song was written in 1966, becoming a hit when it was released as a single by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell. It would become a hit once again when Diana Ross sang it in 1970. Both versions are well known throughout the world.

Why does this song come to mind?

Back when my kids were young, I bought many workout videos, hoping to drop the “baby” weight. Having three kids five years apart in age, I did not have much time to actually use the videos much but when Hugh talked about favorite songs to work out to in his post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past    I was swept back in my own time machine and found myself somewhere in the 80’s in the middle of a Sweatin’ to the Oldies Workout Video with Richard Simmons, fitness guru. The first time I became aware of Richard Simmons was when he made a guest appearance on the daytime drama (soap opera)- General Hospital.  His energy and positive attitude were quite contagious and it wasn’t long before I was purchasing videos and attempting to sweat along with Richard. If you haven’t guessed, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was one of the songs featured on his first video. If you aren’t familiar with Richard, I have a video here for you-

Did you ever try Sweatin’ with the Oldies with Richard Simmons? Or any other popular workout videos? If so, which ones?

Since most of my exercise these days includes a toddler and a smallish dog, I’m limited to chasing them or taking them for walks….. I’m off now to round up Ari and explore the neighborhood on an early morning walk. Maybe I should be dusting off those old VHS tapes instead?! Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Hugh!

-Kat

 

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 31: Phillip Phillips- Home

I miss the reality tv show American Idol and I was reminded of this when I began preparing a post for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past. Early into my research I stumbled onto some exciting news- American Idol is coming back next year!!!

Now that I have that exciting news out of the way, I can get back to the reason behind this post. Hugh talks about a favorite song of his performed by someone from a reality show. This was an easy week for me to contribute because the names of both performer and song came immediately to mind.

Phillip Phillips- Home. 

Phillips was the winner of American Idol, Season 11- May 2012. He stands out in my mind because when I watched the episode with his audition, I immediately loved his voice and he remained my #1 pick until the night he won and performed Home as his coronation song- the song performed by that season’s winner upon winning. It was the best selling of all coronation songs.

While he hasn’t skyrocketed to fame, he remains one of my favorite Idol performers. And I’m looking forward to the resurrection of the show next year!

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Have a great weekend!

-Kat

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Although released the year that I graduated from high school, this song takes me a shorter way back to when one of my kids was in high school. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” was released by the Clash in 1982. While I was familiar with the song, I wouldn’t have much interest in the song or the group performing it until my own kid became hooked on punk rock for a good portion of his teen years.

clashMy son’s interest in punk rock introduced us to an entirely new culture- one that I, personally, would have been happy to skip. Along with his interest in punk rock bands, his clothing changed. He was ahead of the trendsetters, creating his own skinny jeans long before boys wore them. He and his friends would take their jeans apart and piece them back together for a tighter fit, meticulously hand-sewing them. His favorite band t-shirts were also altered for a more streamlined fit.

There have been defining moments in my parenting career. These are phases or individual events that stand out even more so than fond memories. In this case, it was a turning point and over ten years later, it still resonates as one of the “big” ones. My teenage son seemed to turn into a stranger overnight. His clothes were tight and sometimes strange. His hair was longer than mine. He was rocking an attitude that can only be described as surly . His music was new, unfamiliar and because of his appearance and demeanor, scary to me. My sweet boy was gone and I did not like the kid who took his place. If I didn’t know him, I would have thought that he was one of those kids out partying and getting into trouble. I didn’t want to think that he was one of those kids. But I have always been very realistic, and I did not want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that there was not every possibility that he was one of those kids. I was terrified that I was going to lose him to a lifestyle that I could not condone. I remember reaching a point where all I could do was hope and pray that we had built a strong enough foundation to see him through.

I remember it like it was yesterday and one reason it is at the forefront of my mind this morning is this song.

As I was contemplating songs for this post, scrolling through our music library, which contains every album any of us in the family has ever downloaded, I came across our punk rock offerings. They are quite extensive.

I was interrupted when the kid who is the subject of this post stopped by on his way home from work. I don’t write about him much. More often than not his kids make appearances in my posts, either in anecdotes or photos. He was still wearing his uniform from work, which is emergency services. He is clean cut and often mistaken for a police officer. There is no limit to the number of times that I can say how proud I am of the man he is today.

So when we were amidst that horrible phase, I guess you could say that this song represents more than just my son’s taste in music because we (my son, husband and I) all were faced with the choice of staying or going. I’m really glad we stayed.

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This week Hugh shared a song with a dramatic opening for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past.  This post was inspired by Hugh’s. I would like to thank Hugh for this cool feature on his blog. I’ve been introduced to many new songs and reminded of oldies that I had forgotten. I can’t wait to see where Hugh takes us next in his time machine.

Happy Sunday!

Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 28: Billy Joel- Piano Man

The minute I read Hugh’s post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past, I knew which song I would share featuring my favorite instrument. Hugh and I share a love of piano music, so my selection this week probably comes as no surprise:

Released by Billy Joel in 1973, it was his first single AND his first big hit. Talk about hitting the ground running! This song kicked off a successful career by a talented musician. That he plays the piano is just bonus.

I’ve always been a sucker for a song with a strong piano presence and Piano Man fits the bill!

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Have a beautiful day!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 26: Walter Murphy- A Fifth of Beethoven

A favorite song that does not feature lyrics- that’s what Hugh shared for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past. Here’s mine-

Just the facts:

  • Adaptation of the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
  • Recorded by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band
  • Released in 1976
  • Included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
  •  A snippet of “A Fifth of Beethoven” is played at Chicago Bulls games when the opposing team loses possession of the ball.

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Looking at the year it was released, I’m thinking that this might have been my introduction to Beethoven. I had been taking piano lessons for a short time by this time and had just began encountering the classics in my studies. I have always been drawn to powerful pieces and this adaptation fits the bill.

Have a great day!

-Kat 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 25: The Rolling Stones- You Can’t Always Get What You Want

As I was reading Hugh’s post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past, I was trying to think of a song I listen to every morning but nothing came to mind. The one song that did keep running through my head this morning was the Rolling Stones 1968 hit “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. I have seven year old CJ to thank for this.

I might have mentioned that my father is responsible for nurturing a love of music in my life and that I hope that I was able to pass it on to my children.

“For every situation, there is a suitable line from a song.”

Growing up, if we said something that struck a chord with him, he would begin singing a song that he felt applied to the situation. This resulted in us all finding musical connections between everyday life and songs or maybe just song snippets that we knew. Although I continued the tradition with my children, I quickly realized that there were times when I knew a snippet, but not where it came from. This led me to dig a little deeper so when I was sharing a song, my poor kids were subjected to not only a song applying to whatever hapless comment they made but also an explanation of what the song was.

My oldest child, Michael, has carried this on with his children. It was evident the day CJ started singing “You always can’t get what you want” when his little brother protested when told no. Our first reaction was to look around at each other and ask, “Did he just sing that?” followed by “Did he say you always can’t instead of you can’t always?” Upon further investigation, we learned that his Daddy sings that song to him A LOT but the reversal of always and can’t were most likely CJ’s seven year old take on life. We have since adopted “You always can’t get what you want” as CJ’s tagline.  Oh, to be seven years old and so misunderstood!

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