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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!

Come DANCING – Dancing Songs

Two weeks ago my music blog featured songs with the word Dance in the title, with David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” as its inspiration.  Today’s blog will somewhat expand on the theme with Dancing Songs.  After releasing my Dance blog, I received several suggestions of Dancing songs to add to the playlist, though I deferred adding, as the songs were already part of this planned playlist of Dancing songs.  So for those who suggested those Dancing songs, here they are.

In addition to the title song by the Kinks, some favorites include Van Halen’s or Martha & The Vandellas “Dancing In The Streets,” Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark,” King Harvest’s “Dancing In The Moonlight.”  Then there’s a little disco flurry with Leo Sayer’s “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” which I thought for the longest time was sung by the Bee Gees.  There are some great compilation videos on YouTube.  This first one with old school dance scenes featuring the likes of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Shirley Temple:

And another featuring more recent famous movie and TV show scenes, created as a class project:

The Bee Gees are included with “You Should Be Dancing” made famous by John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever”:

With younger brother Andy’s “Shadow Dancing”:

And Abba’s “Dancing Queen” getting a whole Greek village dancing in “Mamma Mia”:

Then there’s Pet Shop Boys’ “Domino Dancing” that I first heard in Macy’s cool teen floor in NYC in the 80’s.  Filmed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the video is hot in more ways than one:

And before his tenure as American Idol judge, Lionel Richie was “Dancing On The Ceiling”:

Which reminds me of the old Fred Astaire dance scene from “Royal Wedding”, some 35 years before Lionel, in 1951:

I love that the YouTube poster clarifies “Of course Fred Astaire doesn’t really dance on the walls and ceiling.  The entire set rotated as Fred danced…”

Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Bring On The Dancing Horses” was made famous in John Hughes’ third Molly Ringwald feature “Pretty In Pink,” following “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club.”  Other great songs appearing on that soundtrack, which I still own in vinyl, include The Psychedelic Furs title song, as well as Suzanne Vega’s “Left Of Center,” Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark (OMD)’s “If You Leave” Danny Hutton, of Three Dog Night Fame, with “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” and The Smiths “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want,” among others, mostly songs of teen angst.  Also in the movie is one of my favorite musical scenes, one which turned me on to Otis Redding – who can forget Duckie dancing for all he’s worth to Otis’ “Try A Little Tenderness” – so great:

And while having no songs on the playlist, it’s hard to think about Dancing songs without images of several scenes from “Dirty Dancing” coming to mind,:

“Hey Baby” with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray dancing on a log:

“Wipeout” with iconic scene with Jennifer Gray dancing on the bridge:

“Love Is Strange” lip synching to Mickey & Sylvia:

And of course, the finale scene “(I Had) The Time Of My Life”:

Interestingly, I stumbled upon their screen test for the movie, which is equally beautiful:

In a similar vein, “Footloose” conjures up some great dancing memories as well, with teens bringing dancing to their conservative town:

Going a little further back, who can forget Jennifer Beals (actually Irene Cara) in “Flashdance” thrilling her audience with her steal the show dancing scene with “Maniac”:

Then her final dance scene, with “What A Feeling”:

And scenes from the movie, definitely worth a watch for some early 80’s schmaltz:

And while featured in my Dance song blog “DANCE With Me,” this video compilation of famous movie dance scenes is too good to leave off:

So on to the playlist.  I think you’ll enjoy it.  Lots of great Dancing songs to tap your feet to:

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 (Dancing) to the MUSIC!

DANCE To The Music – Dance Songs

On April 9th 1983, David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” hit No1 on the UK singles chart, his 4th of 5 UK No.1 hits (along with “Space Oddity” (1975), “Ashes to Ashes” (1980), “Under Pressure” with Queen (1981), and subsequently “Dancing in the Street” with Mick Jagger (1985).  Unbeknownst to me, the song featured blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.  In re-listening to the song, I can hear his licks, though I feel Bowie severely underused his talent.

Bowie’s song lends the theme of today’s playlist, songs featuring the word “Dance” in their title, with a few “Danced” songs thrown in for good measure.  Though “Dancing” songs are not included, as they will be the topic of another playlist.

Along with Bowie’s classic, some other greats include the likes of “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Dance The Night Away,” “Dance To The Music,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Last Dance,” “Dance With Me,” “Don’t Forget to Dance,” “Safety Dance,” and “Dance Hall Days.”

The lead song “Shut Up And Dance” is so much fun, and while the original video is great:

the movie compilation version is just amazing and a trip down movie memory lane:

While not on the playlist, I couldn’t help but include this video version of “Uptown Funk” in the blog post, as its such a great compilation of dance scenes from old Hollywood classics:

And Josh Turner’s “Why Don’t We Just Dance” has a similar “through the years” feel to it:

Then stepping back to 1987, for some classic Whitney with “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”:

A bit earlier in the 80s, 1983 to be exact, were the Kinks advising “Don’t Forget to Dance”:

Wang Chung provides more 80s fare with “Dance Hall Days.” Though who knew they had so many video versions. Two from the 80s, with this:

And this:

And then a modern update video that’s kinda fun:

With a more recent performance with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and though much older, still able to Wang Chung tonight…

And if the 80s couldn’t get any zanier, Men Without Hats steps in the ring with their shenanigans in “Safety Dance”:

And Van Halen’s hard rock of 1979 with “Dance The Night Away”:

How about a little disco from Donna Summer with “Last Dance” in 1978:

Sly and the Family Stone’s performance of “Dance To The Music,” Soul Train gives insight to the late 60s to early 70s

There are some hidden gem romantic songs among the list, including Five For Fighting’s “This Dance,” Brad Paisley’s “We Danced,” and Steven Curtis Chapman’s “We Will Dance.”

And we will dance
When the sun is shining
In the pouring rain
We’ll spin and we’ll sway
And we will dance
When the gentle breeze
Becomes a hurricane
The music will play
And I’ll take your hand
And hold you close to me
And we will dance

Steven Curtis chapman “we will dance”

And while not including “Dance” in the title, this song just exudes dance from every note.  I just saw Steven Curtis Chapman live.  He was outstanding, and played this song in remembrance of his 5 year old daughter who died tragically.  This song has been the father-daughter dance song at many a wedding. 

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 wanna miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

steven curtis chapman “Cinderella”

Since Garth Brooks still isn’t available on Spotify, I thought I’d include a video of “The Dance” from GMA.  I danced to this song with my mom at my wedding as a tribute to my dad who had passed away several years prior:

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

garth Brooks “the dance”

If you haven’t had a chance to watch Garth’s two-part special on Netfilx “The Road I’m On,” do so.  It’s so good, definitely worth a watch.  He’s quite a performer and person.

And to close out the blog post, this song, “Dance With My Father” seems appropriate, though I just discovered this version while researching videos.  I’m not sure how I never heard Celine’s version.  While it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to equal the vocal prowess of Luther Vandross on such a song, Celine is just the singer to be able to do so. And while sad, this song, along with Garth’s “The Dance” is a plea to not take moments with those we love for granted, and to cherish such memories that keep our loved once close after they pass:

If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again

Luther vandross “dance with my father”

Though these two songs are a bit sad, overall the playlist is fun and upbeat, with lots of classic “Dance” songs.  Enjoy dancing to the music!

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 Dance) to the MUSIC!

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