Classic Rock And Pop Music Blog

Month: May 2022

America The Beautiful – Patriotic Songs in Celebration of America

Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, is a US federal holiday established to mourn, honor, and remember American military personnel who died while serving in the United States armed forces.  It is observed on the last Monday of May.  It also unofficially marks the beginning of summer in the US.

Initially the day started as a time to decorate the graves of southern soldiers lost in the Civil War.  It was eventually adopted by every northern state as well.  The World Wars turned it into a generalized day of remembrance.  Several states have laid claim to originating the holiday:

Southern claims:

Warrenton, VA

June 3, 1861, Warrenton, VA was the location of the first Civil War soldier’s grave ever to be decorated of the first soldier killed in action during the Civil War, on June 1, 1861, during the Battle of Fairfax Courthouse.

Savannah, GA

July 1862, women in Savannah, GA decorated the graves at Laurel Grove Cemetary of those who died at the Battle of Manassas (First Battle of Bull Run) one year earlier.

Jackson, MS

April 26, 1865 in Jackson, MS Sue Landon Vaughan supposedly decorated the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers, though other references cite that this event did not occur until some years later.

Charleston, SC

May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC, recently freed African-Americans held a parade of 10,000 people to honor 257 dead Union soldiers who were being re-buried from a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp.

Columbus, GA

March 1866, the US National Park Service attributes the beginning of a Memorial Day practice to a group of women in Columbus, GA who wrote a letter to the press encourage the establishment of an annual holiday to decorate the graves of soldiers throughout the south.

Columbus, MS

April 1866, a year after the war’s end, four women of Columbus decorated the graves not only of Confederate soldiers, but also of Union soldiers buried there.  Their gesture of compassion, humanity, and reconciliation is often cited as the inspiration of the original Memorial Day.

Northern claims:

Gettysburg, PA

1863 marked the Gettysburg, PA cemetery dedication, including a ceremony to commemorate the graves of dead soldiers.  While some thus claim Abraham Lincoln was the founder of Memorial Day, Lincoln’s funeral 2 years later was the primary impetus to decorate soldiers’ graves.

National Decoration Day

May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Civil War veterans, issued a proclamation calling for “Decoration Day” to be observed annually and nationwide.  This adopted the Memorial Day practice that had begun 3 years earlier in the South, and rapidly expanded it throughout the North.

Two other days celebrate the US military:

Armed Forces Day, celebrated the third Saturday in May, honoring those currently actively serving in the US military.

Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day, celebrated the Allied Forces signing the armistice with Germany ending the major hostilities of World War 1 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, and continues to be celebrated on November 11th, to honor all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

The playlist is a combination of traditional patriotic songs, including “America (My Country Tis Of Thee),” “America The Beautiful,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Grand Old Flag,” “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “God Bless America,” and the various military branch songs, among others.

Ray Charles, truly a national treasure, here signing his version beyond compare of “America The Beautiful”:

And perhaps no one can ever top this voice, this range, in this rendition of “The National Anthem” by Whitney Houston:

Also included are more contemporary songs about America, soldiers, and patriotism.  Many are country songs, as the genre tends to attract more conservative, traditional, patriotic artists and listeners.  Not surprisingly to any country music fan, Toby Keith appears on the list tied for the most often, with 5 offerings: “Made in America,” “American Ride,” “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” “Happy Birthday America,” and “American Soldier”:

Other notable songs include the Chick’s “Travelin’ Soldier,” Brad Paisley’s “American Saturday Night,” Charlie Daniels “In America,” Johnny Cash “Ragged Old Flag,” Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Moving)”:

and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA,” and “Proud To Be An American”:

And pop offerings about America include Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”:

Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” Lenny Kravitz’ “American Woman,” James Brown’s “Living in America” – leave it up to the prince of funk to be so glitzy and over-the-top in Rocky IV:

Neil Diamond’ “America,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” and “American Tune,” and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “An American Dream.”  John Mellencamp is the artist tied with Toby Keith for appearing most often on the playlist, with “R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.”, “Our Country,” “Jack & Diane,” “Small Town,” and “Pink Houses” (“Aint that America…”):

So many great songs, with so many more about our great country.

My hope is that you might let this playlist cycle in the background at your Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day celebrations, not only to enjoy some great music, but to honor and remember those who have fought for our freedom and safety in this great country we live in, which we so often take for granted or even malign for all its problems, not celebrating and appreciating all that is good in this land that we live in.  Sure, we need to work toward fixing our warts and problems, but we need not lose sight of the forest for the trees. 

We have much to be proud of and thankful for in this land where our forefathers sought refuge from oppression or poverty, looking for new opportunities, a new life.  We have grown into a nation where many we have the privilege to choose our own direction, speak out freely, travel unrestricted, and create our own life.  While there are those who still struggle to see such an American Dream, often through the misfortune of being raised in poverty and perhaps ignorance and lack of opportunity.  We need to continue to work toward raising our brothers and sisters up, and continuing to evolve as a country where anything is possible, which was the dream and vision of our forefathers.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Thomas jefferson, declaration of independence, July 1776

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus, November 2, 1883

Enjoy the playlist!

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

This Land Is Your Land – American Folk Music Celebration

The inspiration for this playlist was my neighbor, who casually commented on one of my blog posts that she only knew folk music.  As my “about me” blog entry states “I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music.  I see my life in terms of music.” (Albert Einstein), I of course thought what a great idea for a new playlist!

American folk music encompasses several musical genres.  Songs tend to be traditional, often sung for generations, many tracing root back to Great Britain, mainland Europe, or Africa.  Non-electrified instruments are the norm in folk music, including acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, harmonica, and hand percussion. Mike Seeger, folk musician and half-brother to perhaps the most famous folk musician Pete Seeger, offered that American folk music is “all the music that fits between the cracks.”

In Folk Music, the earth sings, the mountains sing, the rivers flow, the crops sing.


I think American folk music can be described by paraphrasing US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous 1964 quote to describe his threshold test for obscenity “I know it when I see it.”  I can’t fully define the parameters that define folk music, but “I know it when I hear it.” 

American folk music is a broad musical genre drawn from a wide array of musical traditions from populations and ethnic groups.  It includes several genres and themes, such as Appalachian music, bluegrass, railroad songs, protest songs, cowboy songs, and sea shanties.

Rising to popularity first in the 1930s thanks to the Carter Family, with songs such as “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”  In the 1960s, folk music became a part of pop culture, with themes including the Civil Rights Movement as well as countercultural influences.  Popular folk singers included Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul & Mary, John Denver, Arlo Guthrie.  Also popular were The Kingston Trio, The Serendipity Singers, The Journeyman, The New Christy Minstrel, The Seekers, The Brothers Four, The Limelighters, and The Rooftop Singers.  Some folk blues and folk country artists appear, including Lead Belly, Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson, and Roy Acuff.  And even more mainstream folk and pop artists included Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, The Youngbloods, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Mamas & The Papas.  The Singer-Songwriters of the 70’s and 80’s, think Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Carole King, Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Chapin, Don McLean, Dan Fogelberg, Tracy Chapman, often had folk offerings, though with a bit more of a pop sound, as part of their repertoire.  The folk tradition is being carried on by some current artists, including the likes of Bruce Springsteen, The Old Crow Medicine Show, Nickel Creek, Dave Rawlings, Sean Rowe, and Gillian Welch.

Since my initial posting, in my music listening I stumbled upon one of my favorite artists of all time that I forgot to include in this blog. As he has evolved in his career, he has becoming much more folk, and much less rock and pop in his style. How I left him off, I don’t know – Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits fame.

Music Themes include:

Spirituals, originating with white ministers setting European folk melodies to religious lyrics, as well as African American adaptations with themes including slavery and emancipation, such as “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” and “We Shall Overcome,”

Work Songs, including Cowboy Songs and Sea Shanties which functioned to lighten the burden of work and keep rhythm as a team, such as “Blow The Man Down” and “Shenandoah,” as well as Railroad Songs, such as “The Ballad of John Henry” and “Frieght Train.”

Protest songs were prominent in the 60s, with the very popular songs “If I Had A Hammer,” “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “The Times They Are A Changin,” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone.”

Appalachian Music, such as “Wabash Cannonball” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, with popular artists including the Carter Family and Doc Watson, influencing country artists such as Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, as well as Folk and Rock artists Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, all included in this playlist.

My Spotify folk playlist “This Land Is Your Land” is organized (if you have the premium version of Spotify) as follows:

Standout folk songs: a collection of my favorites, by great folk artists

Female folk songs: a very “easy listening” style of folk

Wow, Mama Cass, Joni Mitchell – singing “Both Sides Now” and Mary Travers all in one room together:

And the same song from the Apple TV Academy Award winning movie CODA:

Pop/mainstream folk song: very pop styling, by the likes of The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Gordon Lightfoot, and CSN (though a very limited selection of CSN songs on Spotify since Neil Young withdrew most of his music in protest of Spotify COVID misinformation podcasts)

Holy 60’s, Batman, check out The Byrds version of “The Times They Are A Changin’”

Guys & Gals folk songs: often lamenting lost love, unrequited love, bad blokes, or just songs in celebration of men and women.  Some of these are lots of fun, such as “Old Dan Tucker,” “Buffalo Gals,” “Cotton Eyed Joe,” “Clementine,” “Oh, Suzannah,” “Tom Dooley,” and “Mr. Bojangles.”

What a cool duet by James Taylor and Johnny Cash of “Oh, Susannah”:

Location folk songs: often invoking the countryside or wilderness, though sometimes cities, including “Angel From Montgomery,” “Coming Into Los Angeles,” “Cumberland Gap,” “Rocky Mountain High,” and “Yellow Rose of Texas.”

And who can forget Bonnie Raitt’s version of “Angel From Montgomery” from the No Nukes concert:

Railroad folk songs: with images of the railway or travel, such as “500 Miles,” “Freight Train,” and “Hobo’s Lullaby.”

And this version of “500 Miles” shocked me, performed by Justin Timberlake (really!):

Water and Sea folk songs: with images of sailing, the ocean or rivers, with “Calypso,” “Blow The Man Down,” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

I haven’t seen this Netflix series yet, but the cast sure does a great job singing “Blow The Man Down.”  You can see how these functioned as work songs:

Spiritual folk songs: including “Michael Row The Boat Ashore,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “I Saw The Light,” and “We Shall Overcome.”

Yet another movie I need to see, about Hank Williams, “I Saw The Light” (song clip at the end):

Assorted folk songs: more great folk songs by a variety of artists

“It Ain’t Me Babe” – Johnny Cash (covered by Joaquin Phoenix in Walk The Line)

Singer-songwriter folk songs: 70s and 80s singer-songwriters sang folk style and themed songs in their repertoire, such as James Taylor, Jim Croce, Don McLean, Harry Chapin, Dan Fogelberg, Carole King, and Tracy Chapman.

Kind of a cool video with a historical perspective of Dan Fogelberg’s “Sutter’s Mill.”  Again a true folk theme:

Modern folk songs: 21st century folk songs by contemporary artists including Bruce Springsteen, The Old Crow Medicine Show, Nickel Creek, Dave Rawlings, Gillian Welch and Sean Rowe.

I love Darius Rucker’s version of “Wagon Wheel” just as much as Old Crow Medicine Show’s.  From his video, you can see how well its theme fits into the folk genre.

I hope you have as much fun exploring this folk music as I have.

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

A Song For YOU & All I Want Is YOU – You Songs

On May 16, 1963 at the fifth annual Grammy Awards, Ray Charles won Best R&B Recording with “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”  On this day in 1966 The Beach Boys released their landmark album Pet Sounds, which included the song “You Still Believe In Me.”  This day in 1970 Randy Bachman left The Guess Who and recruited at Joe Walsh’s suggestion Winnipeg bassist and vocalist C.F. Turner to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive, with eventual hits “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” and “Hey You.”  And in 1987 on this day, U2 scored their first US #1 hit “With Or Without You” from the album The Joshua Tree (their follow up single “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” also shot to #1).  

What do these seemingly random facts have in common apart from occurring on the same date?  The song titles all contain the word “You,” which is the theme of this week’s playlists.  The task of creating playlists for You proved almost as daunting as that for the word Love highlighted in my November 6 playlists “Silly LOVE Songs” and “A Groovy Kind Of LOVE,” with the You lists containing over 250 songs, and Love lists 350 songs.  And the songs are simply amazing, ranging from the songs above to Gaga’s “You And I,”  The Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” Joe Jackson’s “You Can’t Get What You Want,” The Fray’s “You Found Me,” Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name,” Fleetwood Mac’s “You Make Loving Fun,” Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right.” The Beatles’ “You Never Give Me Your Money,” Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing,” AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”  The list goes on and on.  Every song just fantastic.

Given the length, similar to the Love playlists, I listed songs in alphabetical order by songs starting with You then songs containing You later in the lyrics (order available only if you’re on the pay Spotify version).  With such a common, popular word in song titles, I obviously couldn’t include them all, lest you would be listening forever.  Hopefully I didn’t miss any of your favorites.  There are almost 18 hours of spectacular You songs that you won’t want to miss.  Great to listen to on your runs, workouts at the gym, long car rides, the songs can occupy your music listening time for quite a while.

In considering sharing some interesting videos to highlight the songs of the playlists, I decided to focus on songs with prominent placement in movies.  The first is a compilation of movie clips set to “I’ll Be Seeing You.”  From there follow songs from movies and TV that I’m sure you’ll be familiar with.  Enjoy!

Jimmy Durante “I’ll Be Seeing You” – movie compilation

The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – The Big Chill

Madonna “Crazy For You” – Vision Quest

Madonna “You Must Love Me” – Evita (talk about reinventing herself every few years – almost unrecognizable as the same person…)

Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget About Me” – The Breakfast Club

Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” – Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves

Bryan Adams “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” – Don Juan de Marco

Olivia Newton John “Hopelessly Devoted To You” – Grease

Sonny & Cher “I Got You Babe” – Groundhog Day

Modern English “I Melt With You” – Valley Girl

Eric Clapton “It’s In The Way That You Use It” – The Color Of Money

Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” – The Bodyguard

Whitney Houston “Run To You” – The Bodyguard

Bob Dylan “Make You Feel My Love” – Life Itself

Frank Sinatra “The Way You Look Tonight” – Father Of The Bride

Carole King “Where You Lead” – Gilmore Girls

Glen Frey “You Belong To The City” – Miami Vice

Kristen Bell “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” – Frozen

OMD “If You Leave” – Pretty In Pink

Van Morrison “Someone Like You” – One Fine Day

Keb’ Mo’ “Just Like You” – One Fine Day

Lionel Richie “Say You, Say Me” – White Nights

Amanda Seyfried “Thank You For The Music” – Mamma Mia

Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey “When You Believe” – The Prince Of Egypt

Cliff Edwards “When You Wish Upon A Star” – Pinocchio

So here are the two playlists for your listening pleasure.  The first contains some of my favorite You songs, and the second playlist was to be “B sides”, though they are so good they can hardly be considered that.  Each of these playlist greats are “a song for you.”

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

MOTHER’s Day – Songs in Celebration of Mothers

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother figure in a family as well as motherhood itself.  Celebrated on different days in different parts of the world, in the US it is celebrated the 2nd Sunday of May.  The modern American holiday had its origins in response to the Civil War, with peace activist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe, the writer of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, urging in 1870 the creation of a “Mother’s Day For Peace” to promote peaceful solutions to disagreements and disputes so that husbands and sons would no longer be killed in wars. 

Anna Jarvis, another peace activist and suffragette, almost 40 years later in 1907 organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, WV, which today serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine.  In 1910 West Virginia was the first state to observe Mother’s Day, and a year later all states observed the day, some declaring it a state holiday.   In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

By the early 1920s Hallmark Cards among other companies started selling Mother’s Day cards.  Not surprising, Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of the day, and protested their commercialization of the holiday.  Regardless of her efforts, the holiday remains and flourishes, commercial or not.

Mother’s Day is the centerpiece of my blog this week – mothers, women from whom we were all born into this world.  Though not all mothers give birth.  Some are mother through adoption, fostering, or just serve as a mother figure.  But what is a mother figure?  Someone who nurtures us, cares for us, loves us, guides us, shaping our hearts, souls, and minds, often by placing our needs above hers.

Some famous mother quotes further suggest what embodies motherhood:

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

abraham lincoln

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.” 

George washington

“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” 

mitch albom

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.”

cardinal mermillod

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”

rudyard kipling

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” 

Victor hugo

“The best place to cry is on a mother’s arms.”

jodi picoult

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love, and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.” 

Stevie wonder

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” 


The Spotify playlist started as a word playlist of songs containing the words Mother and Mama, such as Paul Simon’s “Mother & Child Reunion,” The Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper,” John Lennon’s “Mother,” Pink Floyd’s “Mother,” Genesis’ “Mama,” Ozzy Ozbourne’s “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” Elton John’s “Mama Can’t Buy You Love,” Loggins & Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come,” Abba’s “Mamma Mia,” the Shirelles’ “Mama Said,”    But given the theme, the playlist evolved to so much more.

The beginning of the playlist is songs in celebration of mothers and their significance in our lives.  Many of the songs contain Mother, Mom, or Mama in the title, but several do not.  The first 20 songs are truly a celebration of what mothers are and can be.  Several of my favorite American Idol alums are featured, including Kellie Pickler, Crystal Bowersox, Carrie Underwood, and Lauren Alaina.  I’ll let the lyrics of some of these beautiful songs about mom do the talking:

What I Never Knew I Always Wanted – Carrie Underwood

Never was the kind to think about dressing in white
Wasn’t waiting on a prince to come riding into my life
Thought I was happy on my own
‘Til you came and proved me wrong

I finally found what I never knew I always wanted
I couldn’t see, I was blind ’til my eyes were opened
I didn’t know there was a hole
Something missing in my soul
‘Til you filled it up with your love, yeah
(Yeah, yeah)

Never pictured myself singing lullabies
Sitting in a rocking chair in the middle of the night
In the quiet, in the dark
You’re stealing every bit of my heart with your daddy’s eyes
What a sweet surprise

And now I’m holdin’ what I never knew I always wanted
I couldn’t see; I was blind ’til my eyes were opened
I didn’t know there was a hole
Something missing in my soul
‘Til you filled it up, oh, with your love

Life has a way of showing you just what you need
And who you were made to be, yeah

The Mother – Brandi Carlisle

Welcome to the end of being alone inside your mind
Tethered to another and you’re worried all the time
You always knew the melody but you never heard it rhyme

She’s fair and she is quiet, Lord, she doesn’t look like me
She made me love the morning, she’s a holiday at sea
The New York streets are as busy as they always used to be
But I am the mother of Evangeline

The first things that she took from me were selfishness and sleep
She broke a thousand heirlooms I was never meant to keep
She filled my life with color, cancelled plans and trashed my car
But none of that is ever who we are

Outside of my windows are the mountains and the snow
I hold you while you’re sleeping and I wish that I could go
All my rowdy friends around accomplishing their dreams
But I am the mother of Evangeline

They’ve still got their morning paper and their coffee and their time
They still enjoy their evenings with the skeptics and their wine
Oh but all the wonders I have seen I will see a second time
From inside of the ages through your eyes

You were not an accident where no one thought it through
The world has stood against us, made us mean to fight for you
And when we chose your name we knew that you’d fight the power, too

You’re nothing short of magical and beautiful to me
I would never hit the big time without you
So they can keep their treasure and their ties to the machine
Cause I am the mother of Evangeline

I Got You – Ciara

Hush little baby don’t you cry
Momma’s gonna love you all your life
And if you ever need a friend
Momma’s right there till the very end
And if you’re feeling down or weak
Momma’s gonna give you all the strength you need
There’s nothing in this world that I wouldn’t do
For my little Future ’cause I love you

It all can get so out of control sometimes
You can lose your faith, you can lose your mind
Lose your grip, get stripped of your pride
Till you don’t know how you’re gonna stay alive
And this world can throw you over the track sometimes
Your friends can stab you in the back
Sometimes you just break down
When this life tries to wreck you, I protect you yeah

I got your back, I got you
I take your side, I lay my life down for you
I’ll crawl over broken glass, I will stand in the flame
Take the bullet, take the blows, I would take all the pain
Anything, anything that you gotta get through
Hey, hey, I got you
Hey, hey, I got you

It all can push you over the edge sometimes
Make you wanna jump off the ledge sometimes
Make you wanna stand up and scream
Make you feel like there is no one listening
This world can put a hole in your soul sometimes
Put you at the end of your road
Sometimes you just break down
When this world tries to end you, I defend you yeah

I got your back, I got you
I take your side, I lay my life down for you
I’ll crawl over broken glass, I will stand in the flame
Take the bullet, take the blows, I would take all the pain
Anything, anything that you gotta get through
Hey, hey, I got you
Hey, hey, I got you
Hey, hey, I got you

I’ll be there to stop the bleeding
I’ll be there to start the healing
I will give you what you’re needing
I’ll be right there

Like My Mother Does – Lauren Alaina

People always say
I have a laugh
Like my mother does
Guess that makes sense

She taught me how to smile
When things get rough

I’ve got her spirit
She’s always got my back
When I look at her
I think, I want to be just like that

When I love I give it all I’ve got
Like my mother does
When I’m scared, I bow my head and pray
Like my mother does

When I’m weak and unpretty
I know I’m beautiful and strong
Because I see myself like my mother does
Like my mother does

I never met a stranger
I can talk to anyone
Like my mother does

I let my temper fly
And she can walk away
When she’s had enough

She sees everybody
For who they really are
I’m so thankful for her guidance
She helped me get this far

She’s a rock
She is grace
She’s an angel
She’s my heart and soul
She does it all

I hear people sayin’
I’m starting to look like my mother does

Somebody’s Hero – Jamie O’Neal

She’s never pulled anybody from a burning building
She’s never rocked Central Park to a half a million fans screaming out her name
She’s never hit a shot to win the game
She’s never left her footprints on the moon
She’s never made a solo hot air balloon ride around the world
No she’s just your everyday average girl (but)

She’s somebody’s hero
A hero to her baby with a skinned-up knee
A little kiss is all she needs
The keeper of the Cheerios
The voice that brings Snow White to life
Bedtime stories every night
And that smile lets her know
She’s somebody’s hero

She didn’t get a check every week like a nine-to-fiver
But she’s been a waiter and a cook and a taxi driver
For twenty years there at home
Until the day her girl was grown
Giving all her love to her was her life’s ambition
But now her baby’s movin’ on and she’ll soon be missin’ her
But not today
Those are tears of joy runnin’ down her face

She’s somebody’s hero
A hero to her daughter in her wedding dress
She gave her wings to leave the nest
It hurts to let her baby go down the aisle
She walks right by
Looks back into her mother’s eyes
And that smile lets her know
She’s somebody’s hero

Thirty years have flown right past
Her daughter’s starin’ at all the photographs
Of her mother
And she wishes she could be like that
Oh but she already is

She’s somebody’s hero
A hero to her mother in a rockin’ chair
She runs a brush through her silver hair
The envy of the nursing home
She drops by every afternoon
Feeds her mama with a spoon
And that smile lets her know
Her mother’s smile lets her know
She’s somebody’s hero

Mother Like Mine – The Band Perry

She’s the sky that holds the clouds
She’s the lady of the house
A blind believer in all I dare to be
There’s no safer place I’ve found
Than the shoulder of her white night gown
Oh I’ve got the best and the worst of her in me
And I’d share her if I could

So the wars would all be over
‘Cause she’d raise us all as friends
And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them
We’d walk on grass that’s greener
And our cares would all be freer
If the world had a mother like mine

She’s our father’s one great love
She’s the one he wanted most
She’s the light in the window of the house I grew up in
She takes the midnight call
She’s the bravest of us all
Still she sings in the garden she lets her hair down in

Oh the wars would all be over
‘Cause she’d raise us all as friends
And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them
Tonight would be easier
And our dreams would all be deeper
If the world had a mother like mine

Don’t go away
Don’t go away from me
Oh I understand
She is a helping hand
Still I have to say

She’s the sky that holds the clouds
She’s the lady of our house
We all need her
But no one more than me

Oh the wars would all be over
‘Cause she’d raise us all as friends
And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them
We’d walk on grass that’s greener
And the dishes would all be cleaner
If the world had a mother like mine

Mother – Sugarland

There are other songs that less pertain to motherhood itself, but instead reference mothers.  Some might not even include mother in their titles, such as The Miracles “Shop Around” – “my mama told me you gotta shop around…” or perhaps most famously Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody” – “Mama, just killed a man… Mama, life had just begun… Mama, oooh, didn’t mean to make you cry…”. Some songs lament a life unfulfilled by all that a mother could be.  While they can be so heart wrenching to listen to, I think they further highlight the importance of a loving, caring, nurturing mother in our lives, and the sadness and emptiness felt in the absence of such a figure to turn to and rely on.

Kellie Pickler has openly shared her heart and emotions related to the abandonment by her parents, splitting up a day after her 2nd birthday, her mom then disappearing, her dad often incarcerated.  Fortunately she had loving, caring grandparents who served as her surrogate mother and father.  I loved her for her story, her talent, her beauty, her personality, and for the woman she was becoming when she appeared on American Idol.  Her ability to move beyond her hurt, disappointment, and sense of abandonment and find purpose and let her talents shine has been inspiring.

Mother’s Day – Kellie Pickler

I try to sleep as long as I can
I pull the covers over my head
I pray that there’s some way
That life could skip a day to Monday

I try to count my blessings
It’s a long, long list
For a girl who has so much
There’s so much that I miss on days like this

I wish I could go to town, buy you a card
That says “I love you” inside a heart
And one that makes you laugh
Pick you flowers from our yard
You can set ’em in the window in a mason jar
Dad will take our photograph
One two three
Smile, say cheese
Oh I wish it could be that way
Every mother’s day

Maybe someday I will let go
But right now I’m still hanging on
Maybe one day God will bless me
With a daughter of my own
I’ll have love I’ve never known

She could go to town, buy me a card
Says “I love you” inside a heart
One that makes me laugh
She’ll pick me flowers from our yard
I’ll set ’em in the window in a mason jar
And dad will take our photograph
One two three
Smile, say cheese
Oh I wish it could be that way
Every mother’s day

One two three
Smile, say cheese
Oh I wish we could be that way
Every mother’s day

I Wonder – Kellie Pickler

On a more uplifting note, though I must admit I just cried while watching the video, as it is just so beautiful, Kellie’s winning freestyle performance with Derek Hough on the 16th season of Dancing with the Stars is just breathtaking:

And now on to the playlist. Consider sharing the playlist and this blog with the mothers in your life.

I’d like to honor and express my love and thanks to inspirational mother figures in my own life: my mom, Noreen, my wife Regina (the loving, caring mother of our children), my mother-in-law Carol, my sister-in-law Pam (who not only had abundant love for her biologic children, but also for her adoptive girls from Guatemala), my grandmothers Beatrice and Jean (Nonny), my great Aunt Kiki (a loving mother figure for my mom by brothers and me, and even my own children), my cousin Sheila (a fierce momma bear who takes great care of her cubs and grandcub, even amidst the pain and heartbreak of losing her own mother bear just a year ago), my friend Vicky (though more the age of an older sister to me, still an inspiring mother figure in my life), my friend Tammy (a single mom who has dedicated her life to caring for her boys, grandkids, and ailing parents, her father just passing, not to mention being an inspiration of faith to me and all she served in youth ministry), and Julie (from afar, loving, caring for, and supporting not only her children, but her husband Sean and his mission in Haiti and ministry, and having courage and grace in the face of the tragedy of multiple miscarriages, enduring and continuing on to bring 3 loving children into this world).

And if you missed my blog about my own mom, check out February 6th’s blog post “Seasons of Love – A Tribute to Mom on her 80th Birthday.”  On this Mother’s Day, please reach out to your mother, or those who have played a mothering role in your life.  Let them know how important they are to you, how much you appreciate them, care about them, and love them.  From one of my favorite Garth Brooks songs, “if tomorrow never comes will she know how much I love her?”

Reach out to those moms in your life, and let them know how you feel, how much you care, how much you love them. And if your mom, grandmother, or other mother figure has left this world, say a special prayer, while recalling the wonderful memories of times spent together.  If you have strained or estranged relationships, try to mend them as able.  If they are broken beyond repair, work on forgiveness or at least finding some semblance of peace and acceptance.

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment (and your “moms”)

Listen to the MUSIC!

TEQUILA Talkin’ – Cinco de Mayo Celebration with Tequila Songs

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a largely American holiday in celebration of Mexican-American culture.  The date commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory of the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  The victory of a smaller, poorly equipped Mexican force led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over the larger, better armed French army served as a morale boost for Mexicans.  However, the French forces ultimately defeated the Mexican army at the second Battle of Puebla and occupied Mexico City.

The day is sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s most important national holiday, their Independence Day, which takes place on September 16.  The date commemorates the Cry of Delores in 1810 which initiated the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

In the US, focus on the day started in 1863 in California in response to Mexico’s resistance to French rule.  Miners fired rifles, shot fireworks, made speeches and sang patriotic songs in celebration.  The Chicano movement in the 1940s brought greater attention to the day, with slow spread to the rest of the country in the 50’s and 60’s.  However it gained it annual party popularity in the 80’s due to advertising campaigns by beer, wine, and tequila companies.  The celebration generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl. 

In Mexico, however, the holiday is widely ignored, with commemoration of the day at a more local level, and is largely ceremonial, with military parades and battle reenactments, rather than a party or celebration.  Due to American marketing and entertainment and media referencing, the day has become an increasingly global celebration of Mexican culture, cuisine, and heritage.


Tequila is an alcoholic spirit made from the blue agave plant in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, located 40 mi northwest of Guadalajara, in the Jaliscan Highlands of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco.  The red volcanic soils in the region are well suited from growing the blue agave.  The region near Tequila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 due to its historical and cultural importance.  Mexican law states that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.

Tequila was first produced in the 16th century near the city of Tequila, which was not incorporated until 1666.  A fermented beverage from the agave plant known as pulque was consumed in pre-Columbian central Mexico prior to European contact.  When Spanish conquistadors ran out of brandy, they turned to the distillation of agave to produce one of the first indigenous distilled spirits of the New World.  Tequila began being mass produced around 1600 in Jalisco. 

Spain’s King Carlos IV granted the Cuervo family the first license to commercially make tequila in the late 1700’s.  Don Cenobio Sauza, founder of Sauza Tequila (that now produces the brands Sauza, Hornitos, and Tres Generaciones) and Municipal President of the Village of Tequila from 1884-1885 was the first to export tequila to the United States. 

Tequila varieties:

Silver: also known as blanco (or white) is unaged tequila stored in stainless steel, harsher in flavor

Gold: also known as joven or oro is silver tequila with the addition of grain alcohol and caramel color

Reposado: tequila aged In wooden barrels 2 months to 1 year, golden in color, more subtle flavor

Anejo: tequila aged in wooden barrels for greater than 1 year, often dark amber in color, subtle flavor

Extra Anejo: tequila aged in wooden barrels for at least 3 years, subtle, mellow though earthier flavor

I found this excerpt in Wikipedia entertaining:

Once the bottle is opened, the tequila will be subject to oxidation which will continue to happen even if no more oxygen is introduced. In addition, if the bottle has more room for air, the process of oxidation occurs faster on the liquor remaining inside the bottle. Therefore, it may be the best to consume the tequila within one or two years after opening.

Who wouldn’t finish a bottle of tequila in less than two years?!?!

Also, spirits marketed as tequila can never have worms in the bottle. Worms in mescal bottles are primarily a marketing ploy and are not traditional in Mexico.  The worms in mezcal bottles are typically the larvae of agave moths.  Agave that have moth larvae are infested and thus of lower quality flavor.

While Jose Cuervo is one of the most popular brands, it is largely NOT 100% Agave Tequila, with only its Cuervo Tradicional variety being 100% agave, which far and wide it not served in bars and restaurants.  Non-100% agave tequila typically has grain alcohol in it, and thus the headaches many people report from drinking (cheap) tequila.

Celebrities have more recently gotten into the tequila-making game, with Sammy Hagar starting things off with Cabo Wabo Tequila, paving the way for 2 of the more popular current celebrity tequilas Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana Tequila, and George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila

Jimmy Buffett has his Margaritaville Tequila, Santana has Casa Noble Tequila, Nick Jonas Villa One Tequila, Thomas Rhett Dos Primos Tequila, George Strait’s Codigo Tequila, Justin Timberlake 901 Tequila, Guy Fiere and Sammy Hagar (again) with Santo Tequila, Michael Jordan Cincoro Tequila, and Lebron James with Lobos 1707.

The top selling tequilas in the US are 1. Jose Cuervo, 2. Patron, 3. Sauza, 4. Don Julio, 5. El Jimador, and 6. Hornitos.  Milagro and 1800 area also popular.  One of my everyday favorites, the very affordable Corralejo Reposado, at $25 a bottle is often listed as one of the most versatile tequilas.  And for those who don’t care about fancy names, Members Mark (Sams Club) 100% Agave Silver Tequila is palatable and a bargain at $22 for 1.75L!

Critics rate Tequila Ocho Plata, Don Fulano Blanco, Fuentesca Cosecha, Siete Leguas Reposado, Don Julio Anejo, and Don Ramon Extra Anejo Limited Edition $400/bottle among the best tequilas.

Some top tequila options may include:

What would a music blog be without a Rolling Stone review of tequilas:

See: (you’ll have to copy/paste, as Rolling Stone Magazine does not allow embedded links or hyperlinks)

In Mexico, the traditional way to drink tequila is neat, without lime and salt.  Some regions drink tequila along side sangrita, a sweet, sour, spicy drink typically made from orange juice, grenadine, and hot chili.  Another popular drink in Mexico is the bandera (Spanish for flag). Representing the Flag of Mexico, it consists of three shot glasses, filled with lime juice, silver tequila, and sangrita to create the 3 colors of the flag, green white, and red.


In the US, the most traditional drink featuring tequila is the margarita, a drink traditionally comprised of tequila, orange liquer, and lime juice, drunk on the rocks or frozen. The margarita is related to the brandy daisy, a drink made with brandy, a liqueur, and citrus. With its name margarita being the Spanish word for daisy, it replaces the spirit with tequila, the liqueur as cointreau, and the citrus as lime juice.

As early as 1937 the Cafe Royal Cocktail book contained a recipe for a Picador using the same concentrations of tequila, triple sec and lime juice as a margarita.  While there are several claims to the origin of the margarita name attached to the drink dating back to the late 1930s in Mexico and southern California, it is unknown the true origin of the drink name.  But by 1945 Jose Cuervo was already running ad campaigns for the margarita with the slogan, “Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.”

The margarita cocktail was the December 1953 “Drink of the Month” in Esquire Magazine, with this recipe:


1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 12 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.

Esquire Magazine, 1953

It was further popularized by Jimmy Buffett’s now classic song “Margaritaville” in 1977. I had the pleasure of seeing Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band last week. More of a beach party than a concert – so much fun! He has translated his song into a brand, with restaurants, resorts and even retirement communities, one right down the road from me in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

And in 2004 the margarita was hailed as “the most popular mixed drink in America”

For those looking beyond the traditional margarita, The Rock and Teremana have some great tequila cocktail recipes:

And lastly, by simple margarita recipe, that requires no fancy measuring.  I have to credit my friend and former pediatric partner Tessa for the recipe.  Fill any size glass 2/3 full of ice, add 1/3 of your favorite tequila.  Then fill the remainder of the glass with Simply Limeade.  It will be the perfect strength and taste regardless of the glass size (though not for margarita glasses – more highball style or pint beer glasses).  You can adjust the height of the tequila to taste, but the above proportions are to my liking.  It isn’t truly 1/3 a glass of tequila, as the 2/3 a glass of ice takes up space and there is more volume above the ice for extra limeade.  While there is no orange liquer in the drink to make it a true margarita, it is akin to a skinny margarita at most restaurants and bars, and doesn’t suffer from the sickeningly sweet sour mix that is bound to give you heartburn.

Simple Margarita:

Favorite non-fluted glass
Salt rim if desired
2/3 glass ice cubes
1/3 glass tequila
Fill remainder with Simply Limeade

bill by way of Tessa L.G.

This is my go-to margarita, and everyone I’ve ever made it for agrees it’s
perhaps their favorite as well.  On rare occasion I will add a splash of Cointreau and Agave syrup, but even without it stands out as an exceptional margarita.  So much so I’m a bit of a margarita snob, and seldom order a margarita out, as I’ve had plenty of bad margaritas. Or I will order other flavor margaritas, such as blood orange or pineapple.  And to me, frozen margaritas are meant for the beach or poolside, not with meals, tapas, or chips and salsa or queso.

So on to some music.  The following videos of songs from the playlist to me embody the spirit of tequila:

John Wolfe’s “Tequila Sundown”:

Kenny Chesney’s “You and Tequila”:

John Pardi’s “Tequila Little Time”:

Dustin Lynch’s “Tequila on a Boat” – a very interesting still-life/slow-motion video:

Kameron Marlowe’s “Tequila Talkin’”:

And now for the playlist. It’s chock-full of songs with Tequila in the title, but also some songs with Margarita, Salt and Lime or Cuervo in the title. A few songs may seem a bit out of place, such as Alan Jackson’s “Five O’Clock Somewhere,” though it’s theme is definitely in the spirit of kicking back and relaxing with tequila or margarita in hand, Van Halen’s Cabo Wabo, though the name of Sammy Hagar’s tequila, and Steely Dan’s Hey 19, though prominently featuring “Cuervo Gold” in the lyrics. I have listened to the playlist several times. It is such a relaxing, sipping tequila neat or a margarita on the beach, summertime fun kind of playlist. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen (and drink tequila) to the MUSIC!

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