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Song Lyric Sunday – Love Hangover

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is Delightful, Pleasant, Sweet suggested by Paula Light of Light Motifs II.


The 70s were all about Disco in America, but Motown was slow to move into the Disco arena. Several online sources make the statement that “Love Hangover” was the first Motown Disco hit. Written by Marilyn McLeod and Pamela Sawyer, Diana Ross recorded the song in 1975 and it was released in 1976. But there is more to the story.

When I find multiple sources that are almost identical in nature, it is hard to know who the original source is for the information, so I selected the source that seemed to be the most reliable. This quote comes from an online article by Sterogum journalist and senior editor Tom Breihan:

In the J. Randy Taraborelli biography Diana, Davis says, “Nobody really liked disco here at Motown… [Ross] was used to singing more lush songs by producers like Michael Masser, and the public sort of identified her with arrangements like ‘Touch Me In The Morning.’ She liked the lyric to ‘Love Hangover,’ but people thought I was a little off for even suggesting that Diana do this song.” So Davis figured out how to make the conditions right. He recorded her at night, served her vodka, and brought red lights and strobes into the studio. And he pretty much got Ross to do whatever she wanted, whatever felt right. So when “Love Hangover” really kicks in, it hits like a drug.“

Breihan, Tom. “The Number Ones: Diana Ross’ ‘Love Hangover.’” Stereogum.com, Stereo Gum Media, 5 Sept. 2019, 9:54 am, http://www.stereogum.com/2057118/the-number-ones-diana-ross-love-hangover/columns/the-number-ones/

There is something somewhat disturbing about the methods they used – specifically the alcohol – but there is no doubt the recording produced a hit song. This was Diana Ross’ take on the recording according to this quote from Songfacts.com so maybe I read more into it than existed:

Ross’ thoughts on the recording session are noted in the 2007 biography Diana by J. Randy Taraborrelli: “It was a spontaneous thing that we captured on record and if I had to go back in and do it again, I couldn’t have. The music was me and I was the music. Things came out of my mouth that I didn’t even expect.”

The Fifth Dimension also recorded and released this as a single.  Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. left the Fifth Dimension in 1975 so their vocals are absent from this recording. I read in several places that Diana Ross’ recording was only released on single as a result of the Fifth Dimension release (which only reached #80 on the charts while Ross’ single reached #1.)

I have included both videos so you can decide which one you prefer.

Love Hangover
Lyrics from songfacts.com

If there’s a cure for this
I don’t want it
I don’t want it
If there’s a remedy
I’ll run from it
From it

Think about it all the time
Never let it out of my mind
‘Cause I love you

I’ve got the sweetest hangover
I don’t wanna get over
Sweetest hangover

Yeah, I don’t wanna get over
I don’t wanna get
I don’t wanna get over

Ooh, I don’t need no cure
I don’t need no cure
I don’t need no cure

Sweet lovin’
Sweet, sweet love
Sweet, sweet love
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet love

Don’t call a doctor (sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet)
Don’t call her momma
Don’t call her preacher (love)

No, I don’t need it
I don’t want it

Sweet love, I love you
Sweet love, need love

If there’s a cure for this
I don’t want it
I don’t want it no, no
I don’t want it
If there’s a cure for this
I don’t need it
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet love
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet love
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet love
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet love


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 blogger

SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – Teen Angel

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is Devoted, Faithful, Honorable, Loyal, True and it is again suggested by Lady A.


When I saw the prompt, I knew my song was going to come from the 1950s or the 1960s because young love was the primary subject for songs that made the charts and appealed to the teenagers buying the records at the time. And we did buy records!

”Teen Angel” is a tragic ballad about a young teenager getting killed in a car accident after initially being saved by her boyfriend. Written by Jean Dinning and her husband Red Surrey, “Teen Angel” was recorded by Jean’s brother Mark Dinning in 1969.

Due to the subject matter, the radio stations banned the song. Despite their refusal to play the song, it grew in popularity and jumped from #100 to #50 on the charts in the last week of 1959. The song eventually made the #1 spot on the charts in February of 1960.

“Teen Angel” was also banned by the BBC in the UK, but the song still managed to climb to #37 on the UK charts.

Every girl I knew had this song memorized and owned the 45 record. There was something about this tragic love story that we were drawn to. Maybe it is that dream and promise of undying love that gave it such a strong pull. Teens have that feeling of invincibility so maybe the tragic message was lost on them.

”Teen Angel” was a success, but put Mark Dinning in the ‘one hit wonder’ category although he did have a few other songs that made the charts. This song is the one he will be remembered for.

“Teen Angel”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

Teen angel, teen angel, teen angel, ooh, ooh
That fateful night the car was stalled upon the railroad track
I pulled you out and we were safe, but you went running back

[Chorus]
Teen angel, can you hear me?
Teen angel, can you see me?
Are you somewhere up above
And I am still your own true love?
What was it you were looking for that took your life that night?
They said they found my high school ring clutched in your fingers tight

[Chorus]

Just sweet sixteen, and now you’re gone
They’ve taken you away.
I’ll never kiss your lips again
They buried you today

[Chorus]

Teen angel, teen angel, answer me, please


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 blogger

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Song Lyric Sunday – Young and Beautiful

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is a bit more lively with songs that mention the words Carnival, Festival, Gala, Jamboree, Party suggested by Lady A.


“Young and Beautiful” was written by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels and included in the soundtrack from the movie “The Great Gatsby” directed by Baz Luhrmann. The single was released in advance of the film and reached #22 on charts.

Lana Del Rey’s career seems to have always been steeped in controversy. People either love her sound or they hate it. She has been attacked for some less than politically correct stances, and has been accused of being anti-feminist because of the lyrics of many of her songs in which the female lead seems to take a more passive or submissive role in the relationship.

”Young and Beautiful” was originally submitted for an Oscar, but controversy ensued. It seems an anonymous letter was sent to the Academy along with a forged news article saying the song was not eligible. Even after the article was proven to be fake and the song verified as eligible, for some reason it was never submitted.

Del Rey had written the chorus long before the movie and it is said Luhrmann asked her to come up with a song that would serve as a memory cue for the character of Daisy and the remaining lyrics were then written.

Like her or not, I find her voice in this song haunting and beautiful. I do not rely on entertainers or others in the public eye as my moral compass so it is easy for me to enjoy a song without agreeing or disagreeing with the performer’s opinions.

I love this video and the full string orchestra accompaniment created by directors Chris Sweeney and Sophie Mulle.

The song with clips from “The Great Gatsby”

“Young and Beautiful”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

I’ve seen the world, done it all
Had my cake now
Diamonds, brilliant, in Bel-Air now
Hot summer nights, mid July
When you and I were forever wild
The crazy days, city lights
The way you’d play with me like a child

Will you still love me
When I’m no longer young and beautiful?
Will you still love me
When I’ve got nothing but my aching soul?
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?

I’ve seen the world, lit it up
As my stage now
Channeling angels in a new age now
Hot summer days, rock and roll
The way you play for me at your show
And all the ways, I got to know
Your pretty face and electric soul

Will you still love me
When I’m no longer young and beautiful?
Will you still love me
When I’ve got nothing but my aching soul?
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?

Dear lord, when I get to heaven
Please let me bring my man
When he comes tell me that you’ll let him in
Father tell me if you can
All that grace, all that body
All that face, makes me wanna party
He’s my sun, he makes me shine like diamonds

Will you still love me
When I’m no longer young and beautiful?
Will you still love me
When I’ve got nothing but my aching soul?
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?
Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?
Will you still love me when I’m not young and beautiful?


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 blogger

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Song Lyric Sunday – Fancy

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is songs that mention the words Fraud, Hypocrite, Phony, Pretender, or Snob and this was suggested by Angie Trafford.


There’s no better place to go when you are looking for songs related to the prompt today than the country catalog.

“Fancy” was written by Bobbie Gentry (“Ode to Billie Joe”) and released on her 1969 album of the same name. It reached #26 on the country chart and was also a crossover hit reaching #8 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.

”Fancy” is a rags to riches song, but very unconventional in its approach. The protagonist’s mother encourages her to seek her way out of poverty through prostitution. For many it is a song of empowerment depicting a woman who did whatever she needed to do to escape the reality of living in poverty.

Society is very hypocritical of sex workers, but the reality no one ever wants to face is without customers, there would be no prostitution.

When I hear this song I often remember a documentary I saw about sex workers in a third world country many years ago. So many of the women they interviewed chose that life over the reality of the life that awaited a woman in traditional households during that time. They felt like at least they had a sense of freedom.

Reba McEntire loved the song but got pushback when she wanted to record it. Song selection is critical in the ‘brand’ of a singer and singing a song about a prostitute making good was not exactly the kind of song her producer wanted her associated with. There was also concern that the song would be too closely associated with Bobbie Gentry. But she pushed and recorded the song in 1990 on her “Rumor Has It” album and it peaked at #8 on the charts.

 

“Fancy”, written and performed by Bobbie Gentry and performed by Reba McEntire
Lyrics from songfacts.com

I remember it all very well lookin’ back
It was the summer I turned eighteen
We lived in a one room, rundown shack
On the outskirts of New Orleans
We didn’t have money for food or rent
To say the least we were hard pressed
Then Mama spent every last penny we had
To buy me a dancin’ dress

Mama washed and combed and curled my hair
And she painted my eyes and lips then I stepped into a satin
Dancin’ dress that had a split on the side clean up to my hip
It was red velvet trim and it fit me good
Standin’ back from the lookin’ glass
There stood a woman where a half gown kid had stood

She said here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down
Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down

Mama dabbed a little bit of perfume on my neck
And she kissed my cheek
Then I saw the tears wellin’ up in her troubled eyes
When she started to speak
She looked at a pitiful shack
And then she looked at me and took a ragged breath
She said your Pa’s run off and I’m real sick
And the baby’s gonna starve to death

She handed me a heart shaped locket that said
“To thine own self be true”
And I shivered as I watched a roach crawl across
The toe of my high heel shoe
It sounded like somebody else that was talkin’
Askin’ Mama what do I do
She said just be nice to the gentlemen Fancy
And they’ll be nice to you

She said here’s your chance Fancy don’t let me down
Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down
Lord forgive me for what I do, but if you want out
Well it’s up to you
Now don’t let me down you better start movin’ uptown

Well, that was the last time I saw my Ma
The night I left that rickety shack
The welfare people came and took the baby
Mama died and I ain’t been back

But the wheels of fate had started to turn
And for me there was no way out
And it wasn’t very long ’til I knew exactly
What my Mama’s been talkin’ about

I knew what I had to do but I made myself this solemn vow
That I’s gonna be a lady someday
Though I don’t know when or how
I couldn’t see spending the rest of my life
With my head hung down in shame you know
I might have been born just plain white trash
But Fancy was my name

Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down
Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down

It wasn’t very long after a benevolent man
Took me off the street
And one week later I was pourin’ his tea
In a five room hotel suite

I charmed a king, a congressman
And an occasional aristocrat
Then I got me a Georgia mansion
In an elegant New York townhouse flat
And I ain’t done bad

Now in this world there’s a lot of self-righteous hypocrite
That would call me bad
And criticize Mama for turning me out
No matter how little we had

But though I ain’t had to worry ’bout nothin’
For nigh on fifteen years
I can still hear the desperation in my poor
Mama’s voice ringin’ in my ear

She said, here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down
Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down
Lord, forgive me for what I do
But if you want out well it’s up to you
Now don’t let me down
Your Mama’s gonna help you uptown

I guess she 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 blogger

SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – The Cheap Seats

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is songs that mention, reference, or talk about sports.


When I saw the prompt for this coming Sunday I thought this might be a week I would skip. I could not think of any sports related songs. Then magically, this chorus started running through my head overnight.

I love and am proud of my country roots. This song exemplifies that idea of being happy where you were planted. I, too, miss the small towns that have changed or disappeared over the years.

”The Cheap Seats” was written by Marcus Hummon and Randy Sharp and recorded by country group Alabama in 1994. The song peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart.

’Cheap seats’ or the ‘nosebleed section’ refer to the cheaper seats in a venue and are often far away from the action or perhaps with a blocked view.

I always loved the stories my dad told about the neighborhood baseball teams they had when he was growing up. Of course they never amounted to any status or rating, but they were games that everyone came out to see. I even found this 1939 newspaper clipping to attest to their popularity.

According to Randy Sharp, the way he and co-writer Marcus Hummon came up with the song was much like this. From Songfacts.com:

Never one to pass up a comic opportunity with his music, songwriter Randy Sharp says this one came about the very first time he co-wrote with Marcus Hummon. Because, says Randy, “Marcus IS that guy.”

During the course of polite diplomacies the morning the two met, Randy discovered Marcus was a diehard fan of the Nashville Sounds, their Triple A baseball club. Marcus, he says, “talked about going out there sometimes alone, being the only guy out there cheering, because he was such a fan. So we were laughing about the visual of this: two guys out there doing the wave by themselves, and yelling at the umpire. And the visual is so funny we just started jotting this stuff down. And the concept of the cheap seats – we weren’t the first ones to come up with that – but it put our characters, these guys that never missed a game, in an appropriate kind of every-guy role, in those seats. And the fact that there’s a bunch of people that are so supportive of the local boys that even if it’s just a tie, they’ll act like it was a win, and they’ll go buy them pizza and beer.” It’s a real place and a real attitude out there, and when Marcus chimed in with his insight the writing just took off, and they were able to write it in one sitting. “Which is rare for me,” confesses Randy. “It usually takes me several get-togethers to finish a song.”

 

“The Cheap Seats”, by Alabama
Lyrics from songfacts.com

This town ain’t big, this town ain’t small
It’s a little of both they say
Our ball club may be minor league but at least it’s triple A
We sit below the Marlboro man, above the right field wall
We do the wave all by ourself
Hey ump, a blind man could’ve made that call

We like our beer flat as can be
We like our dogs with mustard and relish
We got a great pitcher what’s his name
Well we can’t even spell it
We don’t worry about the pennant much
We just like to see the boys hit it deep
There’s nothing like the view from the cheap seats

The game was close, we’ll call it a win
Go off to toast the boys again
That local band is back in town
They got a kinda minor league sound
They’re not that bad, they’re not that good
But all in all it’s understood
We wanna dance, they wanna play
We wouldn’t have it any other way

We like our beer flat as can be
We like our dogs with mustard and relish
We got a great pitcher what’s his name
Well we can’t even spell it
We don’t worry about the pennant much
We just like to see the boys hit it deep
There’s nothing like the view from the cheap seats

Cheap seats

Now the majors called up ol’ what’s his name
And one more buildin’ rises tall
And suddenly we’re all grown up
And this old town not quite so small
But I’ll always miss the middle size town
In the middle of the middle-west
With no name pitchers and local bands
And mustard and relish and all the rest

We like our beer flat as can be
We like our dogs with mustard and relish
We got a great pitcher what’s his name
Well we can’t even spell it
We don’t worry about the pennant much
We just like to see the boys hit it deep
There’s nothing like the view from the cheap seats

Cheap seats


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.