Classic Rock And Pop Music Blog

Category: Word Playlist Page 2 of 8

Here Comes The SUN – Fun Sun Songs

July 24, 1969 the Beatles recorded “Sun King” for their Abbey Road album.  Since we’re in the midst of summer, I though in addition to my recent Summer Songs and Summertime Fun Songs playlists, I’d feature a playlist of Sun songs to enjoy during the summer, or any time of year, if trying to be bright, cheery, or warm up.  Songs include those with various iterations of Sun in their title, including Sun, Sunny, Sunshine, Sunrise, Sunset, and Sundown.

The song “Sun King” is, per John Lennon, “a piece of garbage I had around,” and, per Paul McCartney, utter nonsense.  Its title is a nod to King Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, as the universe revolved around him.  His reign of over 72 years is the longest in history for any monarch of a country. 

The lyrics borrow a few foreign words strung together in meaningless fashion, along with a Liverpool expression, “chicka ferdi,” that while John says means “ha ha ha,” Paul intimates it means “f*** off.”

A few other Beatles gems are on the list, including the playlist title song “Here Comes The Sun,” “I’ll Follow The Sun,” and “Good Day Sunshine.” Here is a brief snipet of George Harrison along with Pete Ham of Badfinger doing an acoustic version of “Here Comes The Sun” in The Concert for Bangladesh:

MonaLisa Twins, a sister duo group originally from Vienna Austria, now out of Liverpool, known mostly on YouTube for covers of the Beatles and other ‘60s bands, offer their version of the song, with beautiful guitars and lovely harmonies:

And an American roots version including mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and upright bass by the Petersens:

And a fantasic acoustic guitar cover by Gabriella Quevado:

And I have to give Macca his due, after featuring George, with “I’ll Follow The Sun” from his 2005 US Tour:

I had never seen the video to the Police song “Invisible Sun,” their first release off Ghost In The Machine, which ponders people’s ability to find the will to go on living in countries plagued with war, poverty, and strife.  This seems particularly relevant for our current world, in particular the Ukraine, though with continued conflict in places such as Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Israel, South Sudan, Madagascar, Ethiopia, and Yemen:

The Animals performance of “The House of the Rising Sun,” recorded in 1964, is vocally and musically superb, their cover arguably the best of the over 600 versions. It was originally recorded in 1933 as a blues song by Clarence Ashley and Gwen Foster, but has never been better than that offered by the Animals:

Though I do love this version by my girl Haley Reinhart, American Idol alum:

And such a different era, the following from the Ed Sullivan Show, Gerry & The Pacemakers “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying”:

And this has to be one of the greater duet concert moments in history, with George Michael and Elton John in 1991 on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (viewed over 140 million times on YouTube!):

This song is a nod to my daughter, from a favorite artist of hers, Chris Cornell, with “Black Hole Sun” by his then band Soundgarden:

And here’s a beautiful acoustic version by Chris – so talented, so sad his life cut short:

Another American roots song “Being A Woman (Is Like Being The Sun)” by a new favorite of mine, Caroline Jones, who has toured with Jimmy Buffett and the Zac Brown Band:

A great cover of “You Are My Sunshine” by The Dead South follows:

Ginger Baker, one of the world’s best drummers, paired with Eric Clapton, one of the world’s greatest guitarists, along with Jack Bruce on lead vocals and bass in a Cream reunion performance of “Sunshine of Your Love” at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005 is just spectacular:

MonaLisa Twins do Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” justice, with some great slide guitar, from the Cavern Club in Liverpool:

And holy 1969 Batman, again a different era, The 5th Dimension with “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In,” like, far out!:

One of my favorite soft rock Canadian artists (along with Bruce Cockburn, Michael Buble, and Celine Dion, with Rush, Bryan Adams, The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Steppenwolf, Triumph, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell,Robbie Robertson/Rick Dank (The Band), Aldo Nova, April Wine, Loverboy, Corey Hart, Men Without Hats, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Barenaked Ladies, Nickelback, and Justin Bieber all hail from the Great White North), here’s Gordon Lightfoot singing “Sundown”:

Song greats on the playlist include, in addition to the songs above, “Waiting for the Sun,” “Soak Up The Sun,” “Seasons In The Sun,” “Behind The Sun,” “Sunny,” “Sunshine,” “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Sunday Morning Sunshine,” “Walking On Sunshine,” “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Heart of the Sunrise,” and “Sunset Grill.”  Another fun summer 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 sunny moments.

Listen to the MUSIC!

FOREVER Man – A Tribute to Scott Evans

I’d like to dedicate this blog to a college classmate of mine who passed away this past winter.  I preface it with the fact that out of respect, and sensitive to the feelings and privacy of his family, I have reviewed my intentions with them and have received their approval to share this post.  It was comforting and offered some sense of closure to speak with Scott’s sister Ann.  My heart goes out to his son and daughter, mother, sisters, and extended family, and I share this in hopes of honoring his memory.

Scott & his children

For most of us who were not a part of his day-to-day life, his passing was sudden and too soon.  To this end we all must come.  And to paraphrase the Bard of Avon, “Alas, poor Scott!  I knew him, Ann.  A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.”  And that Scott truly was.  He had an infectious smile that beamed ear to ear, and flashed it with regularity, whether in friendship, having fun, when happy, or up to no good.

Death is one of those constants in life.  A seeming oxymoron, we all are touched over our years by the death of those around us – some family members, some friends, some acquaintances.  Some succumb to chronic health problems, others to brief illness, yet others to sudden accident or tragedy.  Some struggle and suffer mightily as death approaches.  Others never see it coming.  But come it will. 

Sometimes you will never know the value of something until it becomes a memory.


I have shared in previous blogs the power of music to heal amidst such sorrow and loss (see “Dance With My Father,” “I Won’t Forget You,” and “Seasons Of Love”).  It also can help connect us to memories of times, events, and people, keeping them close in mind and heart.  Thus I hope this blog and playlist to be a tribute to memories of Scott, and a reminder to all of us to not take life for granted, to not wait to tell people how we feel, and to try to stay connected and be available in whatever way we can in people’s lives, in whatever way they might need or might be willing to accept.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

dr. seuss (Theodore Geisel, Dartmouth college 1925)

I invoke the Broadway Musical “Evan Hansen” not because Scott had the same struggles Evan did, but because it seems an appropriate springboard for conversation about such a topic, in addition to Scott actually commenting on it on our college class Facebook page a few years back as being his second favorite musical after “Hamilton”:

Here is the Hamilton-Dear Evan Hansen mashup video cited in this exchange to which Scott replied “That’s just not fair”:

Dear Scott Evans:

For those who saw the Broadway musical or Movie:

Dear Evan Hansen,

Turns out this wasn’t an amazing day after all. This isn’t going to be an amazing week or an amazing year, because why would it be?

I know, because there’s Zoe, and all my hope is pinned on Zoe, who I don’t even know, and doesn’t know me. Maybe if I could just talk to her. Maybe nothing would be different at all. I wish everything was different.

I wish I was part of something. I wish that anything I said mattered to anyone. I mean face it, would anyone notice if I just disappeared tomorrow?


Your most best, and dearest friend, Me

As the musical and movie bring to awareness, there are those around us who feel lost, unseen, who are struggling with themselves and/or life. They may have just been dealt a bad hand of cards in this game of life.  Or perhaps they suffer from acute illness, chronic illness, terminal illness, mental illness or substance addictions.  Or maybe life ends abruptly and untimely, through some other illness or tragedy.  Scott endured such struggles and was open enough to share some of what he was experiencing with our class.  A few years back, as our 30th college reunion approached, he had the candor to let us know that he was struggling, and didn’t feel a part of the world he had once not only been a part of, but thrived in if not led and dominated.

Scott was a friend to all.  I can’t recall when I first met him, but just know that even though I wasn’t a part of his circle of friends, he always made me feel welcomed and important.  I felt he cared about me, a student who he had no reason to care about.  He would go out of his way at frat parties to talk to me, or to chat between music sets.  I hung out with him a little more due to eventually sharing a mutual friend.  I recall spending an afternoon with him at Casque & Gauntlet one day senior year, during commencement week, just hanging out, sharing a pizza, and talking about school and life, as if I were his best friend. 

For Forever

End of May or early June
This picture-perfect afternoon we share
Drive the winding country road
Grab a scoop at À La Mode
And then we’re there

An open field that’s framed with trees
We pick a spot and shoot the breeze
Like buddies do
Quoting songs by our favorite bands
Telling jokes no one understands
Except us two
And we talk and take in the view

All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Feels like we could go on for forever this way
Two friends on a perfect day

We walk a while and talk about
The things we’ll do when we get out of school
Bike the Appalachian trail or
Write a book or learn to sail
Wouldn’t that be cool?

There’s nothing that we can’t discuss
Like girls we wish would notice us but never do
He looks around and says to me
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be”
And I say, “Me too”

And we talk and take in the view
We just talk and take in the view

All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Feels like we could go on for forever this way, this way

All we see is light for forever
‘Cause the sun shines bright for forever
Like we’ll be alright for forever this way
Two friends on a perfect day…

All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Buddy, you and I for forever this way, this way

All we see is light
‘Cause the sun burns bright
We could be alright for forever this way
Two friends
True friends
On a perfect day

dear evan hansen

It’s eerie how much this song parallels my afternoon with Scott. It was the end of May or early June, a picture perfect afternoon, though pizza from C&A, not a scoop from A La Mode, quoting some of our favorite bands, telling some bad jokes, taking in the view of an amazing Spring day in Hanover, letting the world pass us by, talking about things we’d do when we got out of school, talking about girls, two friends on a perfect day. Only, different then Evan Hansen, this perfect day was real. And Scott made me feel like a true friend, a buddy. He had a way of doing that. Feeling we’d be alright for forever, on a perfect day.

I recall he was a member of C&G, which was, per their website, “founded in 1887. It is a senior society that unites those who have strong character and high ideals, encourages members in worthy activities, promotes their mutual welfare and happiness, and renders loyal service to Dartmouth College.”  And that was exactly what Scott epitomized.

Though he also had a carefree, fun, gregarious, joy de vivre side.  Rumor had it that Scott attended his freshman week alcohol awareness meeting with his freshman undergraduate advisor group dressed in a bathrobe sipping a martini, a la Hawkeye Pierce in MASH.  Such was the legend of Scott Evans.  He was the bass player in a kick-ass college cover band.  He campaigned for and won election as senior class president.  In law school at UVA he continued his musical escapades, playing in with “Blowfish,” no, not Hootie – this was before Hootie & The Blowfish ever put out an album…

Scott in Dartmouth College band NRO

When looking for housing at UVA after accepting a pediatric residency position there, I contacted Scott to see if my girlfriend (soon to be fiancé and eventual wife) and I could crash at his place to save a few bucks by not staying at a hotel.  Such was the life of a poor medical student.  I’m not quite sure how I knew he was in Charlottesville, or how I got his number.  This was back in the days before cell phones.  All I know is he said yes without hesitation and wanted to meet us on The Corner for dinner when we got down there.  Totally unsure of how we hooked up for dinner, again without cell phones.

We stayed at his place, more of a frat room than an apartment, slept on a less than comfortable couch with noise all around us, and Scott getting in sometime in the wee small hours of the morning.  The frat room/bachelor pad shower was a free-standing claw tub with a shower curtain running around it that had so much mold that I think we felt less clean getting out of the shower than when we got in.  But hey, it was a free room.  Beggars can’t be choosers.  And Scott was ever the gracious, caring host.  While not best friends over the years, he made me feel like I was, and embraced meeting and hanging out with my girlfriend.  I ended up seeing him play a few times in C’ville before he left for greener pastures, seeking to make a name for himself in his law career.  From there going forward I lost touch with Scott (again, pre email and cell phones).

Scott (left, on bass) playing at an impromptu front porch gig in Boston with none other than
Carlos Santana (center) dropping in to jam!

Fast forward 30 years, and there was at least a point in his life where something had dramatically shifted.  Something had changed.  Scott was no longer on top of the world.  He shared that life was a struggle, life had its ugly underbelly.   As classmates we were able to glean some information from a post he made on our college class Facebook page as our 30th reunion approached.  He was frank, if not blunt, half expecting to get a rise out of people, but in addition to honestly and sincerely share his feelings with us, his classmates in a very vulnerable fashion:

Sometimes I wanna barf. I haven’t raised a kid who went or will go to Dartmouth. Those days are over. I’m not a CFO of a Fortune 500 company. Or managing partner of a major law firm. Mostly I’m a lacrosse coach. And a writer. I’ve fought progressive fights. My kids fight them too. Daily. Sometimes our well being depends on it. One as a brown skinned actress, one as an adopted dropout who watched his classmate get shot. We have battled drug addiction, depression, suicide attempts and a school shooting. Life is neither easy nor glamorous. But we care and we love. And usually that is enough. I’m so grateful for many of my classmates particularly those at NRO (the band). But honestly, my connection with most of Dartmouth is gone. I wish it weren’t so. I love Dartmouth. It just doesn’t belong to me anymore.”

scott evans
Scott coaching lacrosse

Many reached out on our class Facebook thread, in support of him and others feeling such difficulties, such disconnect with a past and with life.  They encouraged him to attend our reunion and to reconnect with friends who cared.  Among the many responses was mine:

Scott responded to the many comments of support and caring:

Scott more recently commented some on my Facebook blog post regarding “Love”, wondering if I had included some songs in my Spotify playlist:

Little did I know that would be my last conversation with Scott, albeit a digital/social media conversation, yet a conversation no less.  I do believe the last time I saw Scott in person was sometime in 1993 when playing in Charlottesville, likely playing in his band, though I may have seen him at our 20th or 25th reunion if he was in attendance.  I just don’t recall.  But I know it saddens me that his smiling face, his laugh, his infectious energy, enthusiasm, and passion is no longer on this planet.  I worry for his children, and how his loss will impact their lives.

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us.

albert einstein

How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?

carson mccullers

We don’t know what tomorrow may bring.  We don’t know many days, years, or decades we each have left.  We don’t know challenges we may face in life, what storms we need to weather, was struggles we need to endure, and how such events may strain and even break us.  And how do we continue on from there?  What hope is there to dig out from under such burdensome weight?

We must try not to sink beneath our anguish… but battle on.

Albus dumbledore, harry potter & the half-blood prince

“ If you see him in the street, walking by himself, talking to himself, have pity. He is working through the unimaginable.” [Hamilton] As we go through our day to day lives, we forget to show grace and understanding towards others. We easily come to the judgement of those around us and forget that there are those facing worse trials and hardships.

Carrie r.

Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light

albus dumbledore, harry potter & the prisoner of azkaban

What we can try to do is be available to each other, to try to stay in touch with each other, to let others know we are available and care and are there if needed.  Is that enough?  What else can we do in support of those with struggles, whatever they may be?

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

harriet beecher-stowe

Just prior to reading on our college class Facebook page that Scott had passed I posted a blog on Heaven, with a link to the following Spotify playlist:

Coincidence?  I think not.  I believe such timely happenstance, aligning of the cosmos type occurrences are more divinely directed.  The playlist includes “Heaven” songs by the likes of Hendrix*, Joplin*, Morrison*, Lennon, Bonham, Cobain*, Winehouse*, Van Halen, Cornell and company, all of whom died untimely deaths, many* part of the infamous “27 Club,” dying at the age of 27. Scott made it just a bit beyond twice that, with today marking what would have been his 56th birthday.

Below is the playlist that will forever remind me of Scott, with vivid images of his youthful college self playing “Forever Man” with his Cheshire cat grin ear to ear, giving me a shout-out, and chatting with me between songs and sets. 

Here’s to you Scott.  Thanks for the impact you have made in so many lives, for rocking, for caring, for defending, for supporting, for loving, for being a friend.  You will be sorely missed.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

queen elizabeth ii

Forever Young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

bob dylan

Now And Forever

Whenever I’m weary
From the battles that rage in my head
You make sense of madness
When my sanity hangs by a thread
I lose my way but still you seem to understand
Now and forever
I will be your man

richard marx

Hold On Forever

Another night and here we are again
All our faults laid out ahead
Let it out, then let it right back in
All those voices in your head

And we both know everything, but we can’t learn to leave
So I’ll tell you what you need

First thing: we make you feel better
Next stop: we pull it all together
I’ll keep you warm like a sweater
Take my hand, hold on forever
Just fall apart if you need to
I’m here and I won’t leave you now
Don’t look down
Hold on forever

Lay down all your troubles end to end
They could reach up to the stars
So many roads, you don’t know where you’ve been
But you still know who you are

rob thomas

Forever Love

Minutes and hours and years may go by,
But my heart knows nothing of time
So don’t cry, just keep me right there,
In your dreams…
And hold on to these words of mine…

Forever love
I promise you
Someday we’ll be together,
Forever love

reba mcentire

You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me

Life is full of sweet mistakes
And love’s an honest one to make
Time leaves no fruit on the tree
But you’re gonna live forever in me
I guarantee, it’s just meant to be

john mayer

While not Forever songs, I wanted to include the following two songs in the blog post as well as the playlist, as they seem a fitting tribute to Scott and what he was about. They are the full versions of the two songs included in the Hamilton-Dear Evan Hansen video mashup that was mentioned in Facebook conversation not long before his passing. The first is from his favorite musical, Hamilton:

The Story of Tonight

I may not live to see our glory
But I will gladly join the fight.
And when our children tell our story
They’ll tell the story of tonight…

Raise a glass to freedom
Something they can never take away
No matter what they tell you…


And this from Scott’s second favorite musical Dear Evan Hansen, a plea of sorts, though you may feel abandoned and alone in moments of sadness, frustration, anger, pain, dejection – that “you are not alone”…

You Will Be Found

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh, someone will come running
And I know, they’ll take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found…

There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown
And every time that you call out
You’re a little less alone
If you only say the word
From across the silence your voice is heard

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found…

Out of the shadows
The morning is breaking
And all is new, all is new
It’s filling up the empty
And suddenly I see that
All is new, all is new

You are not alone…

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found!
So when the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found…

dear evan hansen

Scott – I believe had I been there as you transitioned to journey on to your next venue to rock it out, I might have heard you shout out to me something like “Stay Gold Ponyboy.”    And I might have responded, as I live my life in music, with song quotes “it’s so hard to say goodbye,” “thanks for the memories,” “I won’t forget you,” “you’ll be in my heart,” “until we meet again”…

May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.

j.r.r. tolkien, the hobbit

And onto the playlist, which really takes a backseat in importance compared to the significance of the blog itself with memories in tribute of Scott. Still there are some great songs, of course Clapton’s “Forever Man,” which will forever make me think of Scott, as well as Alphaville’s, Bob Dylan’s, Rod Stewart’s, and Chris Isaak’s “Forever Young,” Queen’s “Who Wants To Live Forever,” The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever,” Rick Astley’s “Together Forever,” and Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl,” among so many other offerings.

And to clarify, the playlist is NOT a list of songs reminding me of Scott. It pre-dates his passing. The impetus for dedicating it to him is the “Forever Man” connection, as well as several songs being poignant to the sentiment, but many are just songs with Forever in their title. Still a fun playlist:

I also made a companion playlist of Country Forever songs. The playlist is dominated by Dolly Parton. I guess “forever” really resonates with Dolly.

“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems… But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh” 

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Little prince

When I listen to “Forever Man”, or when I look at the stars, I’ll remember you and your ear-to-ear grin, that Cheshire cat smile, and smile myself for having known you, for I’ve been changed for the better, changed for good.

For Good

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return…

Because I knew you
I have been changed for good…


For those touched by Scott in their life and who may want to do something in his memory, his family has asked for consideration of contributions to the Jed Foundation, “a nonprofit that protects the emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, giving them the skills and support they need to thrive today… and tomorrow.”

All SUMMER Long – Summer Songs

The start of summer is heralded by the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, June 21st.  But more importantly is signals the sense of relaxation that comes with warmer weather and time off from school and work, with time spent outdoors at parks, pools, picnics, the beach, water sports, outdoor concerts, outdoor seating at restaurants, summer cocktails and frozen drinks – the overall summer vibe.

This “Summer” playlist is a compilation of songs featuring the word Summer in their title or prominently in their lyrics.  Next week’s playlist will feature summer vibe songs, not necessarily including summer in the lyrics themselves, but in the feel they engender.  Today’s playlist starts with The Cars singing “Summer, it turns me upside down…” and Meat Loaf’s iconic “On a hot summer night would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses…”.  Trivia about the song and album – Todd Rundgren and Edgar Winter were contributing musicians.  Other musicians on the list include The Beach Boys, Bryan Adams, Don Henley, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Mungo Jerry, Eddie Cochran, U2, The Who, The Doors, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Foo Fighters, Some Country artists on the list include Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Martina McBride, Faith Hill.  Several memorable summer songs with a great summer vibe include:

“Summer Nights” – Olivia Newton John and John Travola from the Grease Soundtrack.  A classic end of summer remembrance of summer love.

“The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley with a romp on the beach.

“Cruel Summer” – Bananarama taking us back to the 80s, with some great views of the NY Skyline, including the then relatively new Twin Towers.

“All Summer Long” – Kid Rock, gaining inspiration Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” and borrowing heavily from Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves Of London,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”  How could it not help but be a smash hit?

“All Summer Long” – The Beach Boys – from the American Graffiti Soundtrack.  Such an iconic movie about Rock & Roll in the early 60s, and a springboard for Ron Howard and Cindy Williams for Happy Days, and eventually propelled George Lucas to create Star Wars with Harrison Ford again in his cast.

“Summer Breeze” – Seals & Croft, a band comprised of James Seals and Dash Crofts, both hailing from Texas.  The duo was one of the most successful soft rock acts of the 70s, best known for this hit, as well as “Diamond Girl.”  James Seals’ younger brother Dan was half of another successful 70’s soft rock duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, with hits “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight,” “It’s Sad To Belong,” “We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again,” “Nights Are Forever Without You,” and “Love Is The Answer”. Quite a talented family. Sad to lose Jim Seals:

“Our Last Summer” – from the Mamma Mia! Soundtrack.  Who wouldn’t want a summer in Greece?  Such beautiful beaches and countryside.

And check out Celeste, oft compared to Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, and Adele, and promoted in the media by the likes of Elton John and James Cordon. Some golden oldies on the list include Natalie and Nat King Cole’s “That Sunday, That Summer,” Andy Williams’ “A Summer Place,” Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind,” Nat King Cole’s Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer”.

Let this playlist run at your picnic or at the beach.  Slip on those shades.  Slide into those flip flops.  Lather on that sunscreen.  Have fun.  Kick your feet up.  Relax.  It’s summertime!

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 summer moments

Listen to the MUSIC!

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.


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.


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!

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