Tonight is Christmas

…. so no, it really isn’t Christmas- obviously. I’m a little late with this one but here is my third Christmas song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.

The country band, Alabama, released their first Christmas album in 1985. I was working in retail at the time- open to close almost every day of the week for the month before Christmas, and I had the distinct pleasure(?) of working near the electronic department….where Christmas music was blasted at top volume from open to close. And Alabama Christmas was the music of choice….. By December 26th, I hoped to never hear any of the songs on this album ever again but in time, this became some of my favorite Christmas music.

Tonight is Christmas is a moving song about Christmas, peace and love.

“’cause tonight is Christmas, tonight is love
Tonight we celebrate god’s one and only son
Tonight there’s hope for peace on earth eternally
Tonight is Christmas and the world’s in harmony”

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Hope your Christmas was peaceful and happy!

-Kat

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Linus and Lucy

My second festive song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past is Linus and Lucy. Although not really a holiday song, it is featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas and is often associated with Christmas.

Recorded in 1964 by Vince Guaraldi Trio, this jazz piece has been the opener for several Peanuts movies and is a standard Christmas classic.

The song is named for Linus, Charlie Brown’s best friend, and his sister, Lucy, Charlie Brown’s nemesis. I tried digging into why this song was named after Linus and Lucy but was unable to find anything.

This song always fills me with energy and I have to resist the urge to break out into a very clumsy (and horrifyingly humiliating) Kat dance. In my head, I like to think I look like one of the twin girls who mirror each other, but in my heart I know I just look ridiculous and like I’m having some kind of fit.

The kid in the orange shirt doing the shoulder shrug dance move is the coolest by far. The guy doing the zombie walk in the back is another favorite.

And dare I mention the ending with Snoopy dancing his heart out and upon seeing the expression on Lucy’s and Schroeder’s faces blushing and slinking away….

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Hope you are getting into the holiday spirit!

-Kat

 

 

Happy Holidays!

It’s difficult to not get caught up in the holiday spirit this time of year. It’s all around- from the commercials and favorite Christmas movies to the holiday specials on television. Houses are decorated, stores are filled with holiday cheer and holiday sales. It seems like the more you might try to resist, the more invasive it becomes in your life. Luckily, this year I’m not fighting it. And the one thing that puts me in that holiday mood more than anything else is music.

The video I’m sharing is Happy Holidays/White Christmas performed by Barry Manilow. I love the energy he brings to his performance.

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-pastFor 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past, Hugh asks us to share a festive song.

Hope you’re kicking off a festive holiday season!

-Kat

Happy Day After Halloween

Hi! I’m not a fan of Halloween. I mean, I guess I liked trick or treating somewhat when I was growing up, although I was always on edge looking out for other kids in creepy costumes. I don’t like costumes. Never did. Still don’t. I never liked being scared as a kid and that remains true even today. The scariest movies I ever saw were The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Exorcist (1978).

Haunted houses are not my idea of a good time and the last one that I was in was back in 1982. My boyfriend at the time had his heart set on going to this haunted house that was affiliated with a community group of which he belonged so being the good girlfriend, I agreed to go. I never said I would participate though and I think he was a tad disappointed when I informed him that I would be following close behind him, my hand gripping the belt loop on the back of his jeans, with my eyes tightly closed. And that’s exactly what I did, shuffling along, hearing music, screams and cries of thrilled terror, being jostled here and there as people reacted to the frightful happenings, never loosening my grip on my boyfriend’s jean’s belt loop.

We were nearing the end when my boyfriend came to a sudden stop. I ran straight into him and as I was attempting to peel myself off his back, I heard a voice calmly say, “Hi, Kat!” My eyes flew open and my head whipped every which way looking for person who knew me, in the dark, plastered to my boyfriend’s backside with my eyes screwed shut. Despite me asking my boyfriend (and anyone else I could think of), who that could have been, I never found out who it was. 35 years later, I still wonder who felt the need to break character and say hi amid the chaos of a haunted house, which I obviously was not enjoying.

And that leads me to the reason I shared that story from teen Kat’s past. In honor of Halloween, Hugh shared a song that would make his Halloween playlist and asked others to share their favorites for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.

I’ve already shared the song that would have topped I list, if I did Halloween- see Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

This caused my mind to wander down a more creative path and I began thinking of haunting songs (keeping with the Halloween theme) but I guess when that rabbit scurried past me tsk tsking at his pocket watch, I fell down a rabbit hole and found this song.

White Rabbit, written by Grace Slick and performed here by Jefferson Airplane, hit the airwaves in 1967- a mere 50 years ago. The song, based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, is said to be a cautionary tale to parents of the dangers of reading your children stories like these and then wondering why they take drugs. I’m not sure how true that is. I lost count of the number of times I read Alice and have never tried a single illegal drug to date! I have loved Alice as long as I can remember and as a child, I could relate to her confusion in Wonderland where nothing is quite as it seems. It’s quite ironic how much I truly love this story given my intense fear of the unknown!

Now that I’ve shared with you my (most likely confusing) train of thought, please be sure to head over to Hugh’s place and see what he’s been up to. Not only does he have his weekly song feature, but he’s the king of short story endings with a twist!

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Happy November!

-Kat

 

My Three Little Birds

This week’s song, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers (1977), never fails to bring me a renewed sense of determination and a feeling that I can overcome anything as long as I keep my priorities straight. As long as I can remember, what makes me happiest is my family. The combination of this reassuring song and my love for my “three little birds” gives me motivation to keep moving.

“Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)
Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”
Three Little Birds, Bob Marley and the Wailers

 

This post is working double duty for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Happy and 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

What Does the Fox Say?

I thank goodness that when this song was released only four years ago that my children were too old to get obsessed with it. This kept the song from being played continuously in my house so I only heard it everywhere else I went, where it was being played non-stop. The Fox by Ylvis was a music video that was uploaded onto YouTube by the Norwegian comedic duo as a teaser for the new season of the pair’s television talk show. Going viral was purely accidental. The “anti-hit” topped the Norwegian Singles Chart and spent three weeks in the #6 spot on Billboard Top 100 in the U.S. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

I always thought the song was rather strange but then I saw the video and that sealed its fate as the most unusual song ever. I have nothing against people wearing animal costumes. Or even people wearing animal costumes singing…and dancing. There’s something about the combination of the song and the animals and….. I just don’t know. And I thought I was slightly spooked by the gnome video Hugh shared for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 39. His topic was a favorite “unusual” song. I can’t claim this as my favorite but it’s definitely unusual.

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What do you think? Was this song stuck in your head for what seemed like yearsmonths when it was getting way more attention than it probably should have?

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

Time in a Bottle

I don’t dance. This might come as a shock to you if you read my post about teen Kat putting on basement performances way back but it’s true. I’m way too self-conscious and clumsy to enjoy dancing so it should come to no surprise to you that I don’t have your standard “first dance” story.

My first dance with my future husband took place at his best friend’s wedding, where he was doing duty as the best man. Me, as old friend of the groom and best man’s future intended, was so inconsequential that I did not even receive a seat at the reception. No lie. As I searched the place cards with guests’ names and table numbers on them, mine was nowhere to be found. My husband was very busy doing best man stuff and I didn’t know where to turn. Lucky for me, I would be marrying into a kind, welcoming family and upon hearing that I had nowhere to sit, they scooted closer together and found me a chair, a place setting and a place to feel welcome at their already full table. And when the dancing began, they insisted I dance so dance I did- with my future husband’s father and brother. I even ended up dancing with my old friend, the groom. And all of these dances took place before I ever shared a dance with my husband. That wedding remains a blur in my memory and the songs are long forgotten.

The one song I will never forget is the first dance my husband and I shared at our wedding to Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle. Croce wrote the song after finding out that his wife was pregnant in 1970. Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash in 1973 before this song became his second #1 hit.

This post is inspired by Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 38. where he talks about a song that says “first dance” to him.

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Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

 

 

Yesterday Once More

“If you were offered a recording contract, what favourite song would you record and release into the singles charts?”

This is the question posed by Hugh in his post- 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 38. 

In 1973 The Carpenters released “Yesterday Once More” on the B side of their Now and Then album. This song kicked off an oldies medley that included 8 cover songs from the 1960’s as part of an old time radio show. (This video is 19 minutes long- the entirety of that side. You can stop after the first song, or listen all the way through.)

2017 Kat will be stepping aside to make room for Teen Kat to step up to the microphone.

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Hi! It’s me, (Teen) Kat here. I’m here to sing the song that is going to skyrocket my name into the top selling hit charts of the year….. Okay, not really, at least I sure hope not! Since I first heard this album in the mid 70’s, I fell in love with the B side.

Let me set the scene for you- I’m Kat, I’m a teenager in the late 70’s. I’m here in my parents’ basement holding a microphone, preparing to record my own hit song. My ensemble consists of my favorite (skin tight) Jordache jeans, a tube top- which I have to pull up constantly because I don’t have anything to hold it up, and my platform sandals. When I’m here, safe in the basement away from prying eyes, I am transported to another time and place. As the song “Yesterday Once More” begins, I sing along with Karen Carpenter, walking around the room, pausing to lean against the piano to smile at Richard. I sing my heart out and in my head, my voice is as smooth, rich and beautiful as Karen’s.

As the last note fades away, the revving of the engine kicks off “Fun, Fun, Fun” and the radio segment of this side of the album. Here’s when the real fun begins. I’m working the stage with hips swaying, shaking everything I’ve got and even some stuff that I don’t when suddenly————————–

SCCCRREEECCHHHH!!!!!!!!!– No, that isn’t the phonograph needle skidding across the record album. It’s the sound of my mother opening the door to the basement and as fast as Woody and Buzz fall to the ground when Andy walks in unexpectedly, I crumple into a chair, my heart pounding while I catch my breath and try to look like I was doing something other than putting on the performance of my life. My mom gives me an indecipherable look and heads into the laundry room without a word, while I slink over to the phonograph to turn the volume down.

And there you have my flirtation with fame.

This is where I hand control back over to my older self and wave goodbye, exiting the stage area.

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I might be re-thinking letting Teen Kat come out to play. I suspect she could really embarrass me! Anyway, Hugh asked and I responded. I’m still shaking my head at the tube top and mentally counting how many times I nearly broke my ankle in those blasted wooden sandals!

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Thanks for sharing this time with me! Have a great rest of your weekend!

-Kat

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

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