Song Lyric Sunday – Society’s Child

The prompt from Jim:

This week the theme is songs that are about School, College, Education, Class, Degree also suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II.

Janis Ian started writing “Society’s Child” when she was 13. She was living in a predominately black neighborhood in New Jersey. Growing up during the mid-60’s, she watched the civil rights movement play out on television. As she recalls, she was only one of three white girls in her school. She saw the fears of families of both races whose children dated children from a different race. Janis’ parents were very active in the civil rights movement, but because people assumed the song was autobiographical, some people thought her father was a racist which could not have been further from the truth.

The following comes from an interview Janis Ian did with Tony Cox of NPR in 2009.

The song is about an interracial relationship. The song begins with the lyrics “Come to my door, baby Face is clean and shining black as night”.  Her producer at the time, Shadow Morton, told Janis if she would change the word black to any other word, she would have a number one song. She was young and of course wanted to record a hit song, but a friend was there and was quoted as saying “you whore now, you’ll whore forever”, which were strong words for a fifteen year old to digest and understand.

When she was 15, she was performing at a concert in Encino, CA. When she began singing “Society’s Child” a group of attendees started a chant “(****) your love or go home” and shaking their fists at her. She was terrified and ended up putting her guitar down and retreating to the bathroom sobbing. She eventually went back on stage. When the chanting started again, the other members of the audience shut them down, revealing them for the cowards and bullies they were.

The song would eventually make the top 40 charts in 1967, stalling at #14. It did reach #1 in some markets, but because of the controversial subject matter and the radio stations’ resistance to play it, the song would never reach #1 nationally.

Society’s Child
Lyrics from Genius Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Come to my door, baby
Face is clean and shining black as night
My mother went to answer you know
That you looked so fine
Now I could understand your tears and your shame
She called you “boy” instead of your name
When she wouldn’t let you inside
When she turned and said
“But honey, he’s not our kind.”

[Chorus 1]
She says I can’t see you any more, baby
Can’t see you anymore

[Verse 2]
Walk me down to school, baby
Everybody’s acting deaf and blind
Until they turn and say, “Why don’t you stick to your own kind.”
My teachers all laugh, their smirking stares
Cutting deep down in our affairs
Preachers of equality
Think they believe it, then why won’t they just let us be?

[Chorus 2]
They say I can’t see you anymore baby
Can’t see you anymore

[Verse 3]
One of these days I’m gonna stop my listening
Gonna raise my head up high
One of these days I’m gonna raise my glistening wings and fly
But that day will have to wait for a while
Baby I’m only society’s child
When we’re older things may change

But for now this is the way, they must remain

[Chorus 3]
I say I can’t see you anymore baby
Can’t see you anymore
No, I won’t see you anymore, baby

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.


Throwback Thursday #14 – Holiday Meals

Lauren is our hostess this Thanksgiving week and she chose a great topic – whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. The idea of a holiday meal includes any holiday occasion your family celebrates. That covers a lot of ground.

To participate, head over to Lauren’s post, read the rules and join in. Lauren gives a little guidance to get the creative juices flowing:

This week’s prompt is: Holiday Meals.  While most people, here in the U.S.  have the typical Thanksgiving turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, not everyone follows the crowd. Think back to holiday meals you participated in when you were younger. Feel free to write about Thanksgiving, or any other holiday meal you choose. Please share any items of food that you or others might feel are out of the ordinary. Do you have memories of any special or surprise guests that came to any of your holiday meals? Did you ever have a catastrophic holiday meal?  Do you still carry on the same holiday meal traditions you had as a kid, or have you changed things up? Are you now typically the host or hostess for meals (sans Covid) or do you usually participate as a guest? Does your family like to go out for holiday meals, or do you prefer to stay at home? Is your table setting different for holiday meals? Do you decorate the whole house as part of your mealtime mood? Please share some memories of your special holiday meals.

This year we had a small gathering – just my son and his children. My husband fried a turkey outside and I cooked all the traditional holiday side dishes. Our meals have a southern influence, so we include collard greens cooked with smoked turkey wings. I make my grandmother’s cranberry (Jello) salad too. My grandson requested I make carrot cake this year, so I passed on making a pumpkin pie. My husband always asks for a blueberry cheesecake, too, so there is no shortage of desserts. We added a new pre-Thanksgiving tradition this year. My husband bought a portable firepit and Thanksgiving eve we gathered around the fire and made S’mores which the kids loved!

Thinking back to years past a few memories rise to the surface. Dinners at my maternal grandmother’s were always big. All the women would gather in the kitchen to prepare the meal. When it was time to eat, the adults would be seated at the long dining room table my grandfather made, while the plethora of grandchildren would be relegated to any spot they could find, from the piano bench to the long steps that led to the bedrooms. Plates were balanced precariously on our knees.

My father was an only child, so dinner at my paternal grandparents was quite different. My grandmother used her “good” China and everyone sat together in the dining room. On the rare occasion our second and third cousins joined us, there was another table in the utility room when the children ate.

Easter dinner always included a 3D cake shaped like a lamp covered in white frosting and coconut. My sister inherited the Griswold cake mold and used it for years until it was lost in a move across country. I thought about buying one of the molds and found one on sale on ETSY, but at the price of $325 I decided against it.

I do not have a lot of memories of holiday dinners with my nuclear family because I think we were always at one of my grandparents’ houses. I do recall one year when we had Thanksgiving in our house in Ohio. I remember it well, because a man was there installing new tile in our bathroom. Odd, I know. The man tiling the bathroom kept coming in to check on the progress of the game because his son was playing for one of the football teams.

I remember one Thanksgiving when my ex mother-in-law came to visit. I was just about to stuff the turkey when she startled me as she almost screamed and said ”aren’t you going to take the lungs out?” I did not know the turkey had lungs, but they haunted me from that day forward!

One Thanksgiving I was at my father’s and my step-mom was making the turkey. Half way through the bake time, we lost power and my dad decided he would just finish the bird on the charcoal grill. Ha! I don’t think we had turkey that year. A few years later, we were again there for Thanksgiving. Everyone was seated at the table when my step-mom came into the dining room carrying the beautifully baked turkey. As she got to the edge of the table, she made an abrupt turn and went back into the kitchen. It seems she had baked the turkey with the entire bag of giblets in the cavity and she was horrified when she saw it!

I remember one very sad Thanksgiving. It was the year I was divorced and my children left to spend Thanksgiving with my ex and his parents. I did not cook just for myself. I stayed in my pajamas and watched tv all day, feeling rather sorry for myself. It was the only Thanksgiving I ever spent alone and I vowed to never do it again.

There have been so many lovely family holiday meals in my life. I have truly been blessed. We are always thankful when included at the table of friends and family. The best meals are those enjoyed with the people we love.


Monday Mish Mash of Thoughts

As we enter into Thanksgiving week, I have so many thoughts prattling on in my head.

  • First and most importantly, I am so thankful and grateful for so many of the blessings in my life. My health, my family, my friends, and my access to so much that so many people in this world must do without truly humbles me.
  • Intermixed with those thoughts are great feelings of sadness and distress over the state of our country. There are incidents of gun violence every day and yet the support for guns in this country is stronger than ever. To see that Kyle Rittenhouse was awarded an AR-15 because he was found not guilty makes me physically ill. This is not about the verdict, but the twisting of what the verdict means. This is about the message sent after the fact.
  • I always try to temper my thoughts about trials in the news because I know I am not privy to the evidence presented in court. But I am concerned when I see that a man who confessed to raping four young women was given only two years of probation as a punishment. What message does that send? Crimes against women in our country continue to escalate. It makes me so concerned about my four granddaughters who will live in this world.
  • There seems to be a new trend of groups of people (some armed with crowbars) storming stores and stealing merchandise. There is little to be done when 80 armed people storm a store and wreaking havoc. I never understood wanting to take something I did not earn or pay for.
  • I am thankful to have received the vaccine and the booster when so many people in the world have not had access to one. And yet so many refuse the vaccine and numbers are again escalating throughout the world.
  • Today I went to the dentist. It made me wonder if other people with a history of vertigo dread the dentist. Not because of the dentist, but because of the reclining position and moving up and down in the chair. I am so grateful my vertigo has improved.
  • Tomorrow is my last physical therapy appointment. My therapist is moving to Colorado. I am thankful I was the recipient of her care and guidance and I wish her well on the next chapter in her life. Sometimes timing seems to be perfect.
  • I am thankful for this community and our ability to exist in harmony, even if we differ in beliefs. In case you did not realize it before now, I consider this a place where I commune with friends and I hope the best for all of you.

I am not sure how much I will be blogging this week, but I will be in and out. I send you all good wishes whether you celebrate the holiday or not. I am thankful for your presence in my life.

There is always room for kindness.


Song Lyric Sunday – (Let Me Be Your)Teddy Bear

The prompt from Jim:

This week the theme is songs that feature Lion, Tiger, Bear, Eagle, Shark suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II.

“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” was written by Karl Mann and Bernie Lowe and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957 for his movie “Loving You”. The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 and also hit number one on the country and R&B charts.

The lyrics for the song contain the words bear, lion, and tiger, so it is a good fit for today’s prompt.

Dewey Phillips, the Memphis DJ who introduced Elvis to the airways in 1954, was invited to California to visit Elvis. According to various articles, Elvis played a copy of “Teddy Bear” (scheduled to be released in June of that year) for Phillips, warning him not to take a copy. Phillips snuck a copy of the song into his luggage and upon his return to Memphis, played the song on air before the studio release which infuriated Elvis. Demands for the record poured in that the studio and distributors could not fulfill. This put a tremendous strain on the friendship between Dewey and Elvis.

In June of 1957, RCA released a single with songs from the movie’s soundtrack track. “Loving You” and “Teddy Bear” were both included, but there was no designation as to which was the A side vs. the B side. Requests for “Teddy Bear” far outweighed the other and less than a month later, it had reached #1.

A false rumor spread that Elvis had a collection of Teddy Bears. Fans started flooding Graceland with gifts of teddy bears. There were so many, the bears were taking over the mansion. The day after Christmas in 1957, Elvis donated the bears to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. (There are some who believe this rumor about Elvis’ love for teddy bears was the inspiration for the songwriters to write the song.)

Even though this was one of Elvis’s most successful songs, it has been ignored by the industry for rewards and inclusion in ‘top hit’ lists throughout the years because of the silliness of the lyrics.

The video below includes the lyrics.)

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.


SoCS – Black and White Photography

Linda is back with a new challenge for us this week. Pop over to Linda’s place to join in: Life in Progress – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “black, gray, and white.” Use one, use ’em all. Bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

My interest in black and white photography started becauseI had an interest in hand coloring photographs. If you have old family portraits around, you may well have some portraits that were hand painted by a studio artist.

To hand paint a photograph, you must start with a black and white photographs. Sounds easy enough except the oil must be applied to fiber paper rather than the traditional resin coated paper. That was a problem.

I was living in southern Maine at the time so I leafed through the yellow pages(remember those?) and found a black and white photographer who specialized in fine art black and white photography. (I later found out he liked photographing nudes thus his claim of ‘fine art’).

I went to the studio and met Everett. He was a nice man who was willing to teach me how to print my own photos and the basics of hand coloring.

I took my little Pentax K1000 and my gray card and started taking photos. I went back to the studio where I learned how to remove the film from the camera and load it into a developing tank all in complete darkness. After processing the film, it required drying time because developing is a wet process.

After developing the film, I learned how to use the enlargers to print my photos. In those days, all the paper was graded which meant you could not use filters in the enlarger to compensate for contrast adjustments. I fell in love with the darkroom.

Everett was kind enough to rent his darkroom to me for $5 an hour. From that day forward, every Wednesday after work I spent at least three hours in the darkroom processing own film and printing my own photos.

This was the kind of creativity in which I could totally lose track of time and all the world’s distractions.

I no longer have access to a darkroom and digital photography has almost replaced film photography. But for the diehard lovers of silver gelatin prints, it is all still out there.