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Song Lyric Sunday – The Dance

The prompt from Jim:

This week we have different ways of saying goodbye as the prompt, and the song that you chose must contain either Arrivederci, Bon-voyage, Ciao, Farewell, Goodbye, Hasta la vista, Sayonara or Shalom in the title or the lyrics.


We have all been there haven’t we? Experiencing a moment so special, so wonderful that is occupies your entire soul. Those moments we wish would last forever, but suffer tremendous heartbreak when it does not go in our favor? Or those times we swear if we could go back and do it again, we would. But would we? Those wishes and dreams are made in moments when we have no idea of the things that await us.

“The Dance” was written by Tony Arata, an American singer/songwriter. So many people ask what the song means. In this interview from the article ‘THE DANCE’ SONGWRITER TONY ARATA SHARES STORY BEHIND THE GARTH BROOKS HIT on SoundsLikeNashville.com the writer himself answers that question for us:

The idea for the song came from a scene in the movie Peggy Sue Got Married, where Kathleen Turner as Peggy Sue goes back in time and makes a decision not to marry her husband because their marriage turned out to be not so good. When she makes that decision, the pictures of her kids disappear from her locket and everything is changed.
“Something about that scene struck me so powerfully,” Arata says. “The next day I wrote the lyrics to ‘The Dance’ in about half an hour. A lot of people passed on the song because it doesn’t have a bridge. Being a new kid in town, I tried to write a bridge, but they all seemed totally out of place and unnecessary. I decided it was going to just to have to exist as it I had written it.”

There are several things about this song that resonate with me. First of all, the lyrics. Secondly, I relate to this song. It is so easy to wish things away in our lives, but yet, if we do, we would also discard the beautiful moments that lie ahead. Third, I love the piano in this arrangement by Garth Brooks and produced by Allen Reynolds. It is one of those easily recognizable intros that just gives me chills. And of course, Garth Brooks’ handling of the song was masterful and his voice perfection.

The Dance
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

Looking back
On the memory of
The dance we shared
‘Neath the stars above
For a moment
All the world was right
How could I have known
That you’d ever say goodbye

And now
I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss
The dance

Holding you
I held everything
For a moment
Wasn’t I a king
But if I’d only known
How the king would fall
Hey who’s to say
You know I might have changed it all

And now
I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss
The dance

Yes my life
It’s better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss
The dance

Songwriter Tony Arata talks about The Dance and how it became Garth’s song. It must be hard to write something from your heart, give it wings and hope it lands in the right hands. I think this one did.

 


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.

Blog, SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – Sara smile

The prompt from Jim:

This week we have a girl’s name that starts with the letter S as the prompt, and the song that you chose must contain a girl’s name in the title or the lyrics and that name must start with the letter S.


“Sara Smile” was written and performed by the duo Daryl Hall and John Oates in 1975. The song made it to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the first top ten hit for the group.

The song was composed by both Hall and Oates, but John Oates says he has always considered it Hall’s song. It was written about Hall’s girlfriend Sara Adams. They never married but stayed together for 30 years.

Oates had a chance meeting on the streets of New York with two flight attendants. One of them was Sara Allen. That meeting was the inspiration for Oates’ song “Las Vegas Turnaround”.  He also introduced Hall to Sara Adams.

The song was not planned to be released as a single but a DJ in Toledo, Ohio liked the song so much he played it on air from the album. The response from listeners in Ohio was so strong, RCA decided to release it as a single.


Sara Smile
Lyrics from Songfacts

Baby hair with a woman’s eyes
I can feel you watching in the night
All alone with me and we’re waiting for the sunlight
When I feel cold, you warm me
And when I feel I can’t go on, you come and hold me
It’s you and me forever

Sara smile
Won’t you smile a while for me, Sara

If you feel like leaving, you know you can go
But why don’t you stay until tomorrow?
If you want to be free, you know, all you got to do is say so
And when you feel cold, I’ll warm you
And when you feel you can’t go on, I’ll come and hold you
It’s you and me forever

Sara smile
Won’t you smile a while for me, Sara
Sara smile
Won’t you smile a while for me, Sara

Smile
Won’t you smile a while for me, Sara
Oh smile a while, won’t you laugh Sara
Make me feel like a man not keeping me crazy crazy
Smile a while

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.

Blog, SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – Stay

The prompt from Jim:

This week the single word song title prompt, and the song that you choose must contain only one word in the title.


“Stay” was written by Maurice Williams when he was only 17 years old. It was written about a young girl named Mary who he tried to convince to stay out past her curfew. This was not the only song he wrote about Mary. When he was 15, he wrote the song “Little Darlin’” also about Mary. It was Mary’s 8 year old sister that liked “Stay” so much, it encouraged him to try and get someone interested in the song.

The song was recording under the Herald label, but only after condensing the song and removing the line “Let’s have another smoke” (otherwise it might not get commercial airplay.)

This interview in Our State Magazine from 2012 sheds more light on the song and is a charming read. Oh Won’t You Stay?

The song was released in 1960 performed by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. It reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and still holds the record for the shortest song to ever reach the top of the American charts at 1 minute and 36 seconds.

By 1990, the song had sold more than 8 million copies, helped by the fact it was included in the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack.

This clip is from a television show “The Village Square” that originated in Charleston, SC and was later in syndication throughout the U.S.

This is the clip from “Dirty Dancing”.

“Stay” was covered by a number of other musicians including The Four Seasons, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, the Hollies and others.

Stay
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

Stay, ah just a little bit longer,
Please, please, please, please, please,
Tell me that you’re going to

Now your Daddy don’t mind,
And your Mommy don’t mind,
If we have another dance, yeah,
Just one more, one more time.

Oh won’t you stay, just a little bit longer,
Please let me hear you say that you will
Say you will

Won’t you place your sweet lips to mine,
Won’t you say you love me all the time

Oh yeah, just a little bit longer,
Please, please, please, please, please,
Tell me you’re going to

Come on, come on, come on, stay,
Come on, come on, come on, stay,
Come on, come on, come on, stay, oh la de da,
Come on, come on, come on, stay, my, my, my, my,
Come on, come on, come on, stay


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.

Blog, SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – Flowers on the Wall

The prompt from Jim:

This week the Spring Blooming prompts of Blossoms/Cherry/Flowers are here for us to choose songs from, and the song that you choose must contain one of these prompt words in either the title or the lyrics.


“Flowers on the Wall” was written in 1965 by Lew DeWitt, one of the founding members and the original tenor of the quartet The Statler Brothers. It was recorded in March and released in June of the same year. The song was an early crossover hit reaching #2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles and #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song would be awarded the Grammy for Best Contemporary (R&R) Performance – Group in 1966.

About The Statler Brothers

Before becoming The Statler Brothers, the group performed mainly gospel music under the names The Four Star Quartet and The Kingsmen. They abandoned the latter when when other groups used the name most notably in 1963 when the song “Louie, Louie” (by The Kingsmen) hit the charts.

Johnny Cash is given much credit for ‘discovering’ The Statler Brothers. They went on the road with him and served as his opening act for eight years.

The group would find their name while staying in a motel. The name on a box of tissues caught their eye: Statler. This would become the new name for the group, taken from The Statler paper company.

Lew Dewitt suffered from complications of Crohn’s disease and on the advice from his physician, left the group in 1983. He selected and was replaced by tenor Jimmy Fortune.

About the Song

As with anything on the internet these days, you get to pick your version of the gospel as far as the origins of the song. From the interviews I read it simply came from a night in a motel room when DeWitt was so bored he was counting the flowers on the wallpaper. He then began to think about what people do to waste time when they are stuck somewhere just waiting, thus the remainder of the lyrics.

The song was covered by Nancy Sinatra, Brenda Lee, and many, many others including The Muppets – although their version left out any mention of cigarettes.

Bruce Willis sings a few lines of the song in a classic scene from the movie “Pulp Fiction”. Not a clip for the tender hearted.

Flowers on the Wall
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

I keep hearin’ you’re concerned about my happiness
But all that thought you’re givin’ me is conscience I guess
If I was walkin’ in your shoes, I wouldn’t worry none
While you ‘n’ your friends are worried about me I’m havin’ lots of fun

Countin’ flowers on the wall
That don’t bother me at all
Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one
Smokin’ cigarettes and watchin’ Captain Kangaroo
Now don’t tell me I’ve nothin’ to do

Last night I dressed in tails, pretended I was on the town
As long as I can dream it’s hard to slow this swinger down
So please don’t give a thought to me, I’m really doin’ fine
You can always find me here, I’m havin’ quite a time

Countin’ flowers on the wall
That don’t bother me at all
Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one
Smokin’ cigarettes and watchin’ Captain Kangaroo
Now don’t tell me I’ve nothin’ to do

It’s good to see you, I must go, I know I look a fright
Anyway my eyes are not accustomed to this light
And my shoes are not accustomed to this hard concrete
So I must go back to my room and make my day complete

Countin’ flowers on the wall
That don’t bother me at all
Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one
Smokin’ cigarettes and watchin’ Captain Kangaroo
Now don’t tell me I’ve nothin’ to do

Don’t tell me I’ve nothin’ to do


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.

Blog, SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – I Say a Little Prayer

The prompt from Jim:

This week we have the time related prompts of Endless/Eternity/Everlasting/Forever/Infinity/Omega, and the song that you choose must contain one of these prompt words in either the title or the lyrics.


“I Say A Little Prayer” was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. The composing duo discovered the voice of Dionne Warwick when she was a backup singer for The Drifters. They felt her voice really matched their style of song writing.

According to several online sources, Hal David indicated the lyrics were intended to relate concern for someone serving in the Vietnam war.

Dionne Warwick recorded the song in 1966, but was not released until a year later. Burt Bacharach was never pleased with the way the song sounded which was unusual for his work with Dionne Warwick.

The song was released on the album “Windows of the World” and the track received so much air time it was released on single. It would reach #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on the Billboard R&B chart.

The record was certified gold in 1968.

“I Say a Little Prayer” would again make the charts when released by Aretha Franklin in 1968.

An interesting note about The Sweet Inspirations who performed backup on both Warwick and Franklin’s recordings. From Songfacts.com:

The thread connecting these two versions of the song is the backup singers, the Sweet Inspirations. After performing on the original, the singers found themselves working with Aretha Franklin, who started singing it with them during sessions for her Aretha Now album. She came up with an original arrangement, and when Wexler heard it, he insisted on recording the song. Burt Bacharach has said that he likes Aretha’s version the best, describing it as “much better than the cut I did with Dionne.”

The female vocals are a crucial component to this song. They were performed by a group called The Sweet Inspirations, which were comprised at the time of Cissy Houston, Estelle Brown, Myrna Smith and Sylvia Shemwell (Houston is Warwick’s aunt, and Whitney Houston’s mother). Their contribution gave the song a powerful gospel sound and made the chorus pop.

The Sweet Inspirations were in on this song at the same time as Warwick – they practiced it with her during rehearsals at Burt Bacharach’s house. It was a very relaxed atmosphere where they were able to hone the song before entering the studio.

”I Say a Little Prayer”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little prayer for you
While combing my hair, now
And wondering what dress to wear, now
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you’ll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I’ll love you
Together, together, that’s how it must be
To live without you
Would only be heartbreak for me

I run for the bus, dear
While riding I think of us, dear
I say a little prayer for you
At work I just take time
And all through my coffee break-time
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you’ll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I’ll love you
Together, together, that’s how it must be
To live without you
Would only mean heartbreak for me

I say a little prayer for you
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you’ll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I’ll love you
Together, together, that’s how it must be
To live without you
Would only mean heartbreak for me

My darling, believe me
For me there is no one, but you
Please love me, too
I’m in love with you
Answer my prayer
Say you love me, too
Why don’t you answer my prayer?
You know, every day I say a little prayer
I said, I say, I say a little prayer


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.