In algebra, the letter x is used to represent a number, so today I’m going to “solve for x” and write a song and a story about tunes with a number in the title.
When I was 8, 9, 10 years old, I had a weekly appointment with my radio to listen to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. For a time in the spring of 1983, in order to get a bit of privacy for my Casey Kasem devotion, I would hang out in the garage. It wasn’t quite warm enough to hang out outside, but the garage door blocked the winds, and with patio furniture in storage, I had a cozy place to recline. Obviously, the Billboard charts were not the place to find obscure music, but nevertheless I learned of artists that I didn’t hear anywhere else. Among these were Prince and the Revolution and the breakout album 1999. The title track was about nuclear apocalypse, but it still reminds me of chilling in my garage watching the sunlight filter through the dust in the air.
In 2000, I volunteered at the Falcon Ridge Music Festival in Hillsdale, NY. One of my shifts was the overnight security shift at the main gate. It seemed appropriate for me as an insomniac to work overnight, but it was lonely and it was cold. Fortunately, nearby the main gate an artist named Terry Kitchen was leading an all-night campfire song circle. When it was clear that absolutely no one was coming through that gate, he invited me over to the circle. Among the songs they played were some early Tom Waits songs, which at the time I was not aware of. “This was when his voice still sounded normal,” someone told me. “Ol’ 55” forever reminds me of that overnight campfire song circle on the night when I wasn’t really needed to defend the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge – A Song and a Story
A: Always on My Mind
B: Baby Come Back and Baker Street
C: Cheek to Cheek
D: Don’t Worry, Be Happy and Doctor Jones
E: Everyday Sunshine
F: Fly Me to the Moon
G: Ghost Town
H: Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe
I: If I Were John Carpenter
J: Jungle Strut and Justified & Ancient
M: Marble Halls and My Moon, My Man
N: New York, New York
O: Oliver’s Army
P: The Parting Glass
Q: Qué Onda Guero
R: Rave On
S: The Servant Song
T: Thing of Beauty
V: The Voyage
W: Working My Way Back to You Babe and Walk of Life
If you want to read more, check out my previous Blogging A to Z Challenges:
And dig deep into Panorama of the Mountains, by checking out my:
And, if you like Doctor Who, I have a whole ‘nother blog where I review Doctor Who stories across media: Epic Mandates.
Over the past few months I’ve been collecting songs for what I call the Resistance Mixtape.
Music can soothe and inspire. Songs can tell stories and instruct. And most importantly music brings people together.
Here are some songs for the Resistance Mixtape for Independence Day.
Let’s begin with Paul Robeson, singing about “The House I Live In.”
Woody Guthrie’s famous response to “God Bless America” noted that even in a land where people wait in line at the relief office and signs say “No Trespassing” that the reality is that “This Land is Your Land.”
Prince & the Revolution similarly question the premise of “America the Beautiful” and whether or not the grace of God trickles down to our children.
Kim Weston sings a stirring version of the song known as “The Black National Anthem.”
Finally, the love we have for our own nation need does not mean we hate or demean other nations as we learn in the hymn “This is My Song” written by Lloyd Stone.
What other songs would you add to the mixtape?
The project continues with my favorite songs of 1985. Read the first post for the detail on this project.
Bitchin’ Camaro – The Dead Milkmen
Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day – The Pogues
The Show – Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick
Life in a Northern Town – Dream Academy
Lyin’ Ass Bitch – Fishbone
Raspberry Beret – Prince and the Revolution
Something About You – Level 42
Walk of Life – Dire Straits
West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
And my song of shame for 1985: We Built This City – Starship
What 1985 musical memories are stirring your brain? List them in the comments!
The project continues with my favorite songs of 1984. Read the first post for the detail on this project.
I sense the quality of music is dropping into the mid-80s trough. Looking at lists of songs from 1984, I can make a top ten list of songs of shame, and not even ones that are still guilty pleasures. But there’s still enough good stuff left to make an interesting top ten favorites list as well.
Free Nelson Mandela – The Special A.K.A
Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen
How Soon Is Now? – The Smiths
Jam On It – Newcleus
Let’s Go Crazy – Prince and the Revolution
[Seek this song out on your own, but with caution as Prince does not like sharing on the internet]
The Milkman of Human Kindness – Billy Bragg
People Are People – Depeche Mode
Run Run Away – Slade
Skankin’ To The Beat – Fishbone
Stick ‘Em – Fat Boys
And my song of shame for 1984 is: Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy
What were you listening to in 1984 that you still remember fondly? Let me know in the comments.
The project continues with my favorite songs of 1982. Read the first post for the detail on this project.
I remember the music of 1982 well, because I received a portable radio/tape player as a first communion gift. That radio and I were inseparable, and every Sunday I would listen to America’s Top 40 with Casey Kasem. Looking at the Billboard charts for 1982, I’m familiar with pretty much every song, which I can’t say for a lot of years.
Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Gardening at Night – R.E.M.
I Melt With You – Modern English
1999 – Prince and the Revolution
Our House – Madness
Pass The Dutchie – Musical Youth
Save It For Later – The English Beat
Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
Straight to Hell – The Clash
And my song of shame for 1982: Pac-Man Fever – Buckner and Garcia
What are your favorite songs of 1982? Let me know in the comments!