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Song Lyric Sunday – A Duo Of Songs by Train

The prompt from Jim:

This week we the theme of Greet, Hey, Howdy.


I did not plan to write today as I am in the midst of a two week vacation with my family in Florida. We all just came in from a late morning swim and everyone decided to take an afternoon nap except me. The remnants of a thunderstorm are rumbling in the distance and I decided to offer up my selections.

The first song that came to mind was “Hey Soul Sister” by San Francisco band Train. The song was written by lead singer Pat Monahan, and Norwegian production duo Amund Bjørklund and Espen Lind. Monahan wanted to write a song reminiscent of the style of the band INXS. Espen suggested using a ukulele instead of the guitar and Monahan felt it made the song come together.

The song was written about what Monahan imagined the environment to be at Burning Man, an annual festival that takes place in the Western United States although he had never attended.

”Hey Soul Sister” was released in 2009, won a Grammy and was the second best selling single in the U.S. in 2010.

“Hey Soul Sister”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

Hey hey hey hey

Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains
I knew I wouldn’t forget you
And so I went and let you blow my mind
Your sweet moving
The smell of you in every single dream I dream
I knew when we collided you’re the one I have decided
Who’s one of my kind

Hey soul sister, ain’t that mister mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain’t fair you know
Hey soul sister, I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight

Hey hey hey hey

Just in time, I’m so glad you have a one track mind like me
You gave my life direction
A game show love connection, we can’t deny
I’m so obsessed
My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you, like a virgin, you’re Madonna
And I’m always gonna wanna blow your mind

Hey soul sister, ain’t that mister mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain’t fair you know
Hey soul sister, I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight

Well you can cut a rug
Watching you is the only drug I need
So gangster, I’m so thug
You’re the only one I’m dreaming of
You see I can be myself now finally
In fact there’s nothing I can’t be
I want the world to see you’ll be with me

Hey soul sister, ain’t that mister mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain’t fair you know
Hey soul sister, I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight
Hey soul sister, I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight
Hey hey hey hey (tonight)
Hey hey hey hey (tonight)

The second song also by Train is “Drops of Jupiter” written by Patrick Monahan and was inspired by his mother who died from lung cancer. It was his way of exploring the possibility that his mother was still with him except in a different form.

”Drops of Jupiter” was released in 2001 and was nominated for five Grammys, winning two.

“Drops of Jupiter”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s time to change, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated
Tell me, did you fall from a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there
Now that she’s back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there’s room to grow, hey, hey

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
I’m afraid that she might think of me as plain ol’ Jane
Told a story about a man who is too afraid to fly so he never did landTell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the milky way
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you even when I know you’re wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance five-hour phone
Conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had, and me

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way

And are you lonely looking for yourself out there?

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall from a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there


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 – A Duo of Neil Young Songs

The prompt from Jim:

This week we the theme of Old, New, Borrowed, Blue.


This week I selected a duo of songs from Neil Young, both containing the word ‘old’, both from the same album, both recorded during the same studio sessions, and both with Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor singing backup.

These two songs were the biggest hits for Neil Young. Both songs feature acoustic guitar. Young was recovering from a back injury and he could play the acoustic while sitting. The “Harvest” album held the number one spot on the charts for 2 weeks and would become the best selling album in the U.S. In 1972.

“Heart of Gold” is Young’s only number one hit in the U.S. It reached number one in 1972. “Old Man” was his second highest charting song in the U.S. reaching #31 on the charts. This article from Wikipedia gives background on the song “Old Man”.

From Wikipedia:

The song was written for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970. The song compares a young man’s life to an old man’s and shows that the young man has, to some extent, the same needs as the old one. James Taylor played six-string banjo (tuned like a guitar) and sang on the song, and Linda Ronstadt also contributed vocals.[3]

In the film Heart of Gold, Young introduces the song as follows:

About that time when I wrote (“Heart of Gold”), and I was touring, I had also—just, you know, being a rich hippie for the first time—I had purchased a ranch, and I still live there today. And there was a couple living on it that were the caretakers, an old gentleman named Louis Avila and his wife Clara. And there was this old blue Jeep there, and Louis took me for a ride in this blue Jeep. He gets me up there on the top side of the place, and there’s this lake up there that fed all the pastures, and he says, “Well, tell me, how does a young man like yourself have enough money to buy a place like this?” And I said, “Well, just lucky, Louis, just real lucky.” And he said, “Well, that’s the darnedest thing I ever heard.” And I wrote this song for him.

Heart of Gold
Lyrics from songfacts.com

I want to live
I want to give
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold
It’s these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
For a heart of gold
I’ve been in my mind
It’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
Keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
You keep me searching
And I’m growing old
Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold

Old Man
Lyrics from song facts.com

Old man, look at my life
I’m a lot like you were
Old man look at my life
I’m a lot like you were

Old man, look at my life
Twenty four and there’s so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two

Love lost, such a cost
Give me things that don’t get lost
Like a coin that won’t get tossed
Rolling home to you

Old man, take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes and you can tell that’s true

Lullabies, look in your eyes
Run around the same old town
Doesn’t mean that much to me
To mean that much to you

I’ve been first and last
Look at how the time goes past
But I’m all alone at last
Rolling home to you

Old man, take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes and you can tell that’s true

Old man, look at my life
I’m a lot like you were
Old man, look at my life
I’m a lot like you were


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 – Carolina in My Mind

The prompt from Jim:

This week we are back to something more normal, with the prompt being City, Country, County, State, Town.


James Taylor was the first non-Beatles performer to have a contract with Apple records however short-lived it would be. After the death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, the role was assumed by Allen Klein who dropped most if not all of the non-Beatles performers from the label.

“Carolina in My Mind” was recorded in 1968 and released in 1969. In this original recording, Paul McCartney played bass with the band and both Paul McCartney and George Harrison sang background vocals as well. This version is not the most familiar version of the song to most people.

Background: While the Beatles were on a recording break, the studio was shutdown and James Taylor went to a small island off the coast of Spain – Formentera. There he met a Swedish girl named Karen. They took a ferry to the island of Ibiza to explore and unfortunately missed the last ferry back to Formentera that evening. They spent the night wandering the streets and sat outside a closed cafe until the sun came up.

James Taylor said he felt a strong pull to his home of North Carolina and started writing “Carolina in My Mind” while watching the sun rise the following morning.

Here is an interview between James Taylor and Seth Meyers where he talks about how the song came to be.

My youth was split between Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio, but I always think of Virginia as home. When we made the decision to retire, we ended up in a small town in North Carolina that shares many of the landscape features I enjoyed as a child growing up in Virginia.

James Taylor’s father taught at The University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They lived outside Chapel Hill which I am sure was much more rural than it is now. In this song, he writes about being homesick and missing the familiarity of his north Carolina home. He said he felt a strong pull to return.

One of the lines in the song is said to refer to the Beatles “With a holy host of others standing ’round me”. He also mentions the woman he met on the island, Karen. She must have had a great impact on him although they never met again.

The song was re-recorded in 1976 for inclusion on Taylor’s greatest hits album. In this recording, the tempo is much slower and has become the most familiar version of the song.

“Carolina in My Mind”
Lyrics from bluegrass.net

In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind

Karen she’s a silver sun
You best walk her way and watch it shinin’
Watch her watch the mornin’ come
A silver tear appearing now I’m cryin’
Ain’t I goin’ to Carolina in my mind

There ain’t no doubt it no ones mind
That loves the finest thing around
Whisper something warm and kind
And hey babe the sky’s on fire, I’m dyin’
Ain’t I goin’ to Carolina in my mind

In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind

Dark and silent last night
I think I might have heard the highway calling
Geese in flight and dogs that bite
Signs that might be omens say I going, going
I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind

With a holy host of others standing ’round me
Still I’m on the dark side of the moon
And it seems like it goes on like this forever
You must forgive me
If I’m up and gone to Carolina in my mind

In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind


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 – Comparisons

The prompt from Jim:

Today, you will select two songs and discuss some type of relevant association between them.  You may want to focus on the similarities and the differences between your chosen songs.


When I read this week’s prompt, for some reason my mind went directly to mental health and addiction. After the long year (plus) we all experienced during the pandemic, experts predict the mental health and addiction impacts will impact society for a decade or more.

I decided to feature two songs that view these issues from different perspectives – one as the person who experiences addiction or depression themselves and one from the person on the outside who wants to help but may not know how.

The songs I chose [“Hate Me” and “How to Save a Life”] each tackle the same problem from a different point of view. The lyrics that caught my attention, each from a different song, had a similar message.

From “Hate Me”

In a sick way I want to thank you
For holding my head up late at night
While I was busy waging wars on myself,
You were trying to stop the fight

From “How to Save a Life”

Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

”Hate Me” was written by Justin Furstenfeld – the lead singer of Blue October. He suffered from drug addiction and depression and it took a toll on his personal relationships. The video starts with him listening to an actual message from his mother who was concerned for his well being. It is a powerful starting point for the song and introduces the duality of his addiction and illness and its impact on those around him. You can hear the pain in his voice as he realizes just how much his addiction and depression has hurt those that loved him and only wanted to help him in his recovery. The pain Is evident in his voice and in every line in the lyric.

“Hate Me“
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

I have to block out thoughts of you so I don’t lose my head
They’re crawling like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed
Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I’m alone
Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home
There’s a burning in my pride,
A nervous bleeding in my brain
An ounce of peace is all I want for you
Will you never call again?
And will you never say that you love me
Just to put it in my face?
And will you never try to reach me?
It is I that wanted space

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah, ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you

I’m sober now for three whole months,
It’s one accomplishment that you helped me with
The one thing that always tore us apart
Is the one thing I won’t touch again
In a sick way I want to thank you
For holding my head up late at night
While I was busy waging wars on myself,
You were trying to stop the fight
You never doubted my warped opinions
On things like suicidal hate
You made me compliment myself
When it was way too hard to take
So I’ll drive so fucking far away
That I never cross your mind
And do whatever it takes in your heart
To leave me behind

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah, ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you

And with a sad heart, I say bye to you and wave
Kicking shadows on the street
For every mistake that I had made
And like a baby boy,
I never was a man
Until I saw your blue eyes crying,
And I held your face in my hand
And then I fell down yelling,
“make it go away!”
Just make a smile come back
And shine just like it used to be
And then she whispered,
“How can you do this to me?”

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah, ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you
For you
For you
For you

The opposing song  I selected is “How to Save a Life” by The Fray. The Fray started as a Christian rock band, but steered away from making only Christian based music. This song was inspired by a young man that songwriter Issac Slade worked with at a youth camp. The young man was lost suffering from addiction problems and depression. The song spotlights the struggle a friend or family member has when trying to help someone they know is in trouble but not having the tools or knowledge to help.

One must ask, “Who suffers the most?”

“How to Save a Life”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

Step one, you say we need to talk
He walks, you say sit down, it’s just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left, and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all, you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you’ve told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And I pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you’ve followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

How to save a life
How to save a life

Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

How to save a life
How to save a life

NOTE: Both Justin and the young man at the youth camp triumphed over their problems. Not everyone is so fortunate.


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 – The Fool on the Hill

The prompt from Jim and from yours truly:

This week we have Elevator music which was suggested by Maggie of Cave Walls.


The prompt this week was my idea so I’ll just go ahead and apologize right up front for that. I remember when I suggested it to Jim and he reminded me that Song Lyric Sunday has to do with ‘lyrics’ which might be absent in much elevator music. My thinking was about the songs we grew up with that were turned into easy listening, on loop music, played to soothe us, or lull us into purchasing decisions we might not otherwise make.

Muzak was the primary source of elevator music. To understand its origins we must go back to radio in its infancy. Radio required expensive equipment and was not designed to deliver free music to the masses. Enter Major General George Owen Squier who invented ‘wired radio’ as a way of delivering music over wires. This was the beginning of Muzak and the piping of music to the masses no matter where they gathered.

As radio progressed and music became available over the airwaves, Muzak needed a new audience. ‘Canned music’ was taken into businesses as a way to fill the uncomfortable silence while shopping and to soothe the nerves of people riding in skyscraper elevators in complete silence.

I read a few blogs about elevator music and learned some interesting things. Music is used to impact our purchasing decisions, speed us up or slow us down, and has even been used to drive unwanted patrons away from one’s establishment. It is rumored The Beatles actually purposely recorded some of their songs as elevator-type music to appeal to the adults with buying power to help sell their music. “Yesterday” might be one of the most popular songs heard as background instrumental music.

Over the years elevator music has changed. It is now played in the background at the mall, in the grocery stores, and while we are trapped helplessly on hold. I was so relieved when Apple put an option in to hold with or without music. The music was once almost completely instrumental, then there was a period when songs were re-recorded in an easy listening style often including lyrics. When my kids went off to college, I often noticed the music they listened to while locked away in their bedrooms as teens now played as I shopped in the grocery store. (I listened to a lot of Pearl Jam back in the day thanks to my son.)

Groups like 101 Strings and Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66 often had that elevator sound to their music. And of course, some groups’ own natural sound seemed to lend itself to this type of music. Steely Dan, Bossanova groups, The Carpenters, The BeeGees – even Adele’s songs are recorded as instrumentals and played as background music everywhere. I find it interesting that someone’s full-time job consists of curating music loops for individual business brands that subscribe to their service. Spotify, YouTube, Sirius XM, and Pandora all have ‘elevator music’ or ‘muzak’ playlists, too.

The first song that came to mind for me was one I featured a while back on SLS – “The Girl from Ipanema” but since I had written about it not too long ago, I moved on to my second choice.  The song I chose to feature is a Beatles song – “The Fool on the Hill”.  The song was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon-McCartney partnership. Below I have included both the Beatles version and the version by Sergio Mendez so you can hear the contrast.

The Fool on the Hill
Lyrics from songfacts.com

Day after day
Alone on a hill
The man with the foolish grin
Is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning ’round

Well on the way
Head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices
Talking perfectly loud

But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning ’round

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning ’round, oh oh oh, ’round ’round ’round ’round

He never listens to them
He knows that they’re the fools
They don’t like him

The fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning ’round

Oh, ’round ’round ’round ’round, oh


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.