Classic Rock And Pop Music Blog

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FATHER Figure – Songs in Celebration of Fathers

Father’s Day is a holiday in honor of fatherhood and paternal bonds.  When attending church on Mother’s Day in 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd, who was raised with her 5 brothers by her father alone, conceived of the idea of establishing a day in celebration of fathers.  In the US the day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June.  Predating the US day in honor of fathers, the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages established St. Joseph’s Day to honor the first father of the Church as well as all fathers.

Some great literary quotes about fathers:

Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later… that the man before him was not an ageing father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life

Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

A father acts on behalf of his children by working, providing, intervening, struggling, and suffering for them.  In doing so, he really stands in their place.  He is not an isolated individual, but incorporates the selves of several people in his own self.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely.  In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.

Emile Gaboriau, File No. 113

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us.  We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.

Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum


When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in 7 years.

Mark Twain

Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them.  They move on.  They move away.  The moments that used to define them – a mother’s approval, a father’s nod – are covered by moments of their own accomplishments.  It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.

Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven

It is a wise father who knows his own child.

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

And some of the best dad’s in literature, according to readers polled by BookBub include Atticus Finch from “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Matthew Cuthbert from “Anne of Green Gables,” and Arthur Weasley from the “Harry Potter” book series. And great TV dads include Danny Tanner from “Full House,” Philip Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” James Evans from “Good Times,” Gomez Addams from “The Addams Family,” Jason Seaver from “Growing Pains,” Carl Winslow from “Family Matters,” Mike Brady from “The Brady Bunch,” and Ward Cleaver from “Leave it to Beaver” among many others.

I’m your father.  It is my job to protect you.  It’s a job I refuse to quit, and at which I can’t afford to fail.

Philip Banks, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Well, just remember when children seem the least lovable, it means they need love the most.

Danny Tanner, Full House

Who are some of your favorite literary, movie, and TV fathers?

So what would a Father’s Day blog be without some dumb dad jokes?  Thankfully from my kids perspective, I didn’t riddle them with dumb dad jokes too often over the years, but I would occasionally tell one or two, usually to the rolling of eyes and lack of the full enthusiasm and laughs that they deserved to engender.  I remember while waiting in the car with my daughter when stumbling upon this gem on Facebook.  I thought it was so funny that I was almost laughing too hard to even tell it to my daughter.  She was less than humored – it still baffles me why:

Did you hear about the cow that jumped over the barbed wire fence?  It was udder destruction.

I since tracked down more dad cow jokes, including some of my favorites:

What happens when you try talking to a cow?  Everything just goes in one ear and out the udder.

What does the farmer talk about while milking a cow?  Udder nonsense.

What do you call a sad cow?  Moo-dy.

What do you call a cow that can’t make milk?  A milk dud.

How do you make a cow be quiet?  Press the moo-te button.

Why did the cow cross the road?  To get to the udder side.

Where do cows get all the medicine?  The farmacy!

What do you call it when one cow spies on another?  A steak-out.

Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Cows go.  Cows go who?  No, silly, cows go MOO!

And if we’re going to talk dad jokes, Men’s Health dedicated an entire article to them. Here are some of my favorites:

What does a baby computer call his father?  Data.

I only seem to get sick on weekends.  I must have a weekend immune system.

Which days are the strongest?  Saturday and Sunday.  The rest are weekdays.

My friend was showing me his tool shed and pointed to a ladder.  “That’s my stepladder,” he said.  “I never knew my real ladder.”

Did you know that the first French fries weren’t cooked in France?  They were cooked in Greece.

People in Athens rarely get up before sunrise.  Dawn is tough on Greece.

I asked by date to meet me at the gym but she never showed up.  I guess the two of us aren’t going to work out.

Never date a tennis player.  Love means nothing to them.

What’s Forrest Gump’s password?  1forrest1

What do you call a bundle of hay in a church?  Christian Bale

Have you heard about the restaurant on the moon?  Great food, no atmosphere.

I don’t get why bakers aren’t wealthier.  They make so much dough.

I hate it when people say age is only a number.  Age is clearly a word.

And while it took me a few seconds to “get” these two, they are pretty funny:

I just found out I’m colorblind.  It came out of the purple.

I ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon.  I’ll let you know.

The beginning of the playlist contains songs with the word Father in their title.  Subsequent songs contain Son or Daughter in their titles, as they seemed fitting, given children are what make a man a father.  Several songs relate the bittersweet nature of the relationship between a father and a daughter through the years as it transitions to her leaving the home to spread her wings and fly in a life of her own.

Cinderella

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders
It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me saying dad I need you
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancin’
Oh, please, daddy, please

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancin’
Oh, please, daddy, please

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh-oh-oh-oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone
She will be gone

But she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, dad, the wedding’s still six months away but I need to practice my dancin’
Oh, please, daddy, please

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh-oh-oh-oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

STEven curtis chapman

I shot this video 2 months ago when Steven Curtis Chapman was right here in little old Bluffton, SC.  He’s such an amazing, singer, songwriter, and guitarist – a truly gifted, humble, down-to-earth, faith-filled man.  What a talent:

Butterfly Kisses

There’s two things I know for sure:
She was sent here from heaven and she’s daddy’s little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night

She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes
And I thank god for all of the joy in my life
Oh, but most of all

For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk beside the pony, Daddy, it’s my first ride.”
“I know the cake looks funny, Daddy, but I sure tried.”
Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong, I must have done something right..

She asked me what I’m thinking and I said
“I’m not sure-I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl.”
She leaned over
Gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk me down the aisle, Daddy-it’s just about time.”
“Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don’t cry”
Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong I must have done something right.
To deserve her love every morning and butterfly kisses
I couldn’t ask God for more, man this is what love is.
I know I gotta let her go, but I’ll always remember
Every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses…

Bob carlisle

A father’s love often goes unnoticed, with much attention rightly being afforded to the love of a mother.  But the importance of fathers is often found in the significant void created by their absence.  Many songs center on the loss of a father, through death or abandonment, or the pains of a bad father – think Genesis’ “No Son Of Mine,” Journey’s “Mother, Father,” or Crystal Bowersox’ “Farmer’s Daughter,” or Kane Brown’s “For My Daughter”:

For My Daughter

Someone to play catch with, out in the backyard
To pick up the pieces of your first broken heart
Someone to say slow down when you turn sixteen
Yeah, I grew up without a dad
I’m gonna be the best one I can be

Someone to scare the monsters when it’s dark in your room
Someone to put their foot down when you want a tattoo
And not just say I love you, but show you what it means
Yeah, I grew up without a dad
I’m gonna be the best one I can be

They say dads are supposed to shape you, in a way I guess mine did
I knew what I wouldn’t do if I ever had a kid
They say history repeats itself
Well, I guess that’s up to me
Yeah, I grew up without a dad
I’m gonna be the best one I can be

kane brown

In thinking of movies with scenes of fathers with their children, these two are my favorites of a father with his son, and a father with his daughter. This scene from “Father of the Bride” just melts my heart every time I watch it:

And for any son who’s ever thrown a ball around with his father, especially if you lost your father at a younger age, this one just kills me – I cried at the theater watching this scene, I found it so moving, having lost my own father when I was 19:

I’d like to honor and express my love and thanks to inspirational father figures and role models in my own life: those already passed – my father, John, my step-father, Fred, my Uncle Bill (like a father to my mom, and a grandfather to me), my Uncle Sal, and those still alive – my step-father-in-law Bob, my friend Jim Rispoli (though more the age of an older brother to me, still an inspiring father figure in my life, especially after my father died), my brother John, who has been such a great father to his 3 boys and 2 adoptive girls, my lifelong friend Jim with his 3 great kids, and my friend Scott, one of the most amazing fathers I know, both a father and mother to his son Asher.  And of course I have to express my love forever for my children, Josh, Ryan, and Kate, who have been the center of my life for the past 3 decades, filling my days with joy, laughter, excitement, adventure, and wonder.  And last but certainly not least, my wife Regina, the woman who made me a father – to her I express my gratitude for carrying, bearing, and nurturing our 3 wonderful children.  I couldn’t be the father I am today without her by my side.

As I suggested in my Mother’s Day blog, if your dad, grandfather, or other father 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 with the fathers in your life, try to mend them as able.  And if they are broken beyond repair, work on forgiveness or at least finding some semblance of peace and acceptance.

Now for 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 (and your “dads”)

Listen to the MUSIC!

Spirit In The SKY – Sky Songs Celebrating Nature

Per Merriam Webster, the meaning of sky is:

  1. The upper atmosphere or expanse of space that constitutes an apparent great vault or arch over the earth
  2. Heaven sense

The origins of the word are from the Old Norse sky meaning “cloud, abode of God.” 

I just returned from a trip out West, where sky definitely seems to take on the latter definition and derivation, truly heaven sense and the abode of God, especially in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.  The sky seems to go on forever, making the surrounding landscape and mountains even more breathtaking.  Basking in such tranquil, awe-inspiring, picturesque, beautiful vistas is glorious and soothes the soul.

If you have the opportunity, head out West.  Visit our National Parks.  In a time when so many are retreating to a life indoors, between work responsibilities, COVID restrictions, and electronics permeating virtually every facet of life, the outdoors still beckons.

Some quotations of the significance and importance the outdoors can have in our lives are paired with some photos from my trip:

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.

ralph waldo emerson

The mountains are calling and I must go.

john muir

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

aristotle

If you truly love nature you will find beauty everywhere.

laura ingalls wilder

Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.

albert einstein

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endless changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

Alexander Supertramp McCandless

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.

John Burroughs

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.  I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

anne frank

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.  Wash your spirit clean.

john muir

The Earth has music for those who listen.

William Shakespeare

I’ll let the Bard of Avon be the prologue to my playlist.  The Earth, with its varying landscapes, nature, and sky, is magnificent.  So I thought I’d share a playlist of songs containing the words sky or skies, along with some select, inspiring videos below:

In The Sky – Mark Knopfler, one of my favorite guitarists, also making an appearance with his more recent post-Dire Straits solo music in my recent folk music playlist:

Ghost Riders In The Sky – Southern Raised, a band I had never heard of, but love this version and video:

Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum, with his classic 70s song paired with such great images representative of the decade:

The Sky Is Crying – Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Albert King, & Paul Butterfield, just an amazing collection of blues musicians:

Showdown At Big Sky – Robbie Robertson, of The Band, originally the back-up band for Bob Dylan, with a great solo offering and video:

So Many Skies – Caroline Jones (duet with Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion and Zac Brown on guitar) – I had never heard of her, but exploring her music after finding this song, which I absolutely love, and am adding to my romance playlist, as it is so fitting, I discovered she has toured as opening act for both Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffett, with whom she has released duets and collaborations:

Two movies (based on books) that demonstrate the power, beauty, and healing potential of communing with nature are The Way, starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, about a hike along El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James) in Spain:

and Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, about a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in California and Oregon:

as well as the book Hiking Through: One man’s journey to peace and freedom on the Appalachian Trail, through hiking from Georgia to Maine:

And now for the playlist.  There are some fantastic songs, with the likes of Johnny Cash, Journey, The Animals, ELO, The Beatles, John Denver, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, INXS, U2, Jackson Brown, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Joe Jackson, Coldplay, Los Lonely Boys.  Some great music.  Enjoy!

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVbP_STg-80

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.” 

Unknown

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

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

https://www.abcfws.com/celebrity-tequilas

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.

https://vinepair.com/buy-this-booze/10-best-celebrity-tequilas/

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!

https://www.liquor.com/best-tequilas-4846907

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.

https://www.liquor.com/best-sipping-tequilas-5088013

Some top tequila options may include:

https://www.liquor.com/best-tequilas-4846907

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

See: www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/best-tequila-994049/ (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.


Margarita

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:

Margarita

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:

https://teremana.com/blogs/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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