A Bit Like You And Me Radio

November 30, 2011

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer (1969)

Performing together as early as 1957 under the name of Tom & Jerry, this duet was one of the most successful acts of the 1960s. Composed of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, they rose to fame in 1965 with their signature song “The Sound of Silence” and further propelled their stardom by having their music featured throughout the 1967 film The Graduate. Differences between the two led to the duo breaking up in 1970, but each decade since has seen them perform together, most notably the free Concert In Central Park, which gathered over 500,000 attendees.

This lyrical masterpiece, written by Paul Simon, was released as a single in 1969 and later again on the duo’s last album, Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970). It’s noted for being the duo’s most highly produced song, requiring over 100 hours to record. The “lie-la-lie”, which makes up the choruses, was originally intended as a lyrical placeholder before it was finally cemented into the recorded version.

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer (1969)

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Lyrics:

I am just a poor boy
Though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles; such are promises
All lies and jests
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station, runnin’ scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Lookin’ for the places only they would know

Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie
Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie
La-la-la-lie

Asking only workman's wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers
Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie
Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie
La-la-la-lie

Then I'm laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Going home
Where the New York City winters aren't bleedin’ me
Bleeding me; going home

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
Or cut him ‘til he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving! I am leaving!"
But the fighter still remains

Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie
Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie
La-la-la-lie...

November 29, 2011

Harry's Group - Under My Umbrella (1967)

Unfortunately, this is another instance where there isn’t a lot of information available about the artist or the song. Depending on what you’re reading, the song was either released in 1967 or 1968. It was written by Chip Taylor (who also wrote “Wild Thing” and other hits) and Billy Vera (another accomplished songwriter).

The song went widely under-appreciated for two main reasons. The first would be the large amounts of amazing music being released in 1967 and 1968 overshadowing its release; the second was the minimal effort put forth by the record company to get the song airtime. And despite popular rumors, this song has no relation to Rihanna's song titled "Umbrella."

Harry's Group - Under My Umbrella

Harry's Group - Under My Umbrella (1967)

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Lyrics:

Someone broke the toy balloon
Stole the sun and hid the moon
And if you’re wondering where the dawn will find you
Leave it all behind you

And come under my umbrella
(Close together)
(Under my umbrella)
So the tears won’t get you
(Under my umbrella)
Knowing I won’t let you down
There’s love all around
(Love all around you)
Under my umbrella

Someone stole the children’s toys
Made soldiers outta little boys
And if you’re wondering where your dreams have gone to
And where you should run to

Then come under my umbrella
(Close together)
(Under my umbrella)
So the tears won’t get you
(Under my umbrella)
Knowing I won’t let you down
There’s love all around
(Love all around you)
Under my umbrella

Meet me in the afternoon
The yesterdays have passed too soon
We’ll sing upon the memories
Of all too common harmonies
Then we’ll change the melody
And make it right for you and me
Only you and I will understand

Then come under my umbrella
(Close together)
(Under my umbrella)
So the tears won’t get you
(Under my umbrella)
Knowing I won’t let you down
There’s love all around
(Love all around you)
Under my umbrella

There’s love all around
(Love all around you)
Under my umbrella

Ah, so much love all around…

November 28, 2011

The Pretty Things - Private Sorrow (1968)

In early 1962, Dick Taylor, Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger were in a band called Little Boy Blue & The Blue Boys. When they met Brian Jones and Ian Stewart in mid-1962, the bands merged and took on Jones’ band name, the Rollin’ Stones. By November of the same year, Taylor had left the group due to his acceptance at London Central School of Art, where he met Phil May and formed this band. Meanwhile, his old bandmates went on to become The Rolling Stones.

This song comes from S.F. Sorrow, one of rock’s first concept albums. The entire album surrounds around the life of Sebastian F. Sorrow, a character developed by Phil May in a short story. The members of The Who claim this album had no influence on their similarly themed rock opera, Tommy, but many critics have insisted it did.

The Pretty Things - Private Sorrow

The Pretty Things - Private Sorrow (1968)

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Lyrics:

Heaven's rain falls upon
Faces of the children who look skyward
Twisting metal through the air
Scars and screams
So you might know its fury

Seashells whistle
Let your mind drift away
Seashells whistle
Let yourself hide away

Men walking tall
Looking so small
Green trees of life disappearing
Mouthing the sounds
Face, clowning the frowns
Black, the lips of command
Torn in the heart
You're playing the part
Courage, it is so demanding
Loud brass in bands
Marching through lands
Life snatching hand is near

Heaven's army falls upon
The skirts of mother Earth
And then flies skyward
Twisting wings through the air
Lift the souls
So you might know his fury

Seashells whistle
Let your mind drift away
Seashells whistle
Let yourself hide away

Dressed in white silk of rain
You marry the pain
As you kneel in a church of bright steel
A new morning arrives
You share the same skies
Umbrella’ing a land full of peace
As the memory fades
On the edge of a blade
You'll return; you're sure that you will
From the frame in your hand
A smile expands
Hangs from a thread of glass tears

November 27, 2011

Bill Justis - Raunchy (1957)

A pioneer of rock and roll, this artist arranged music for Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash at Sun Records while recording music for himself on the side. In 1957, he had his first big song, heard below, which became the first instrumental rock and roll hit. Later in life, he wrote the music for Smokey and the Bandit as well as other Hollywood movies.

When Paul McCartney’s friend, George Harrison, auditioned to be in John Lennon’s band, The Quarrymen, on the top of a double-decker bus, late at night, he played this song. It was 1958 and any reservations Lennon had about Harrison being “too young” for the band vanished when Harrison played the song without flaw.

Bill Justis - Raunchy

Bill Justis - Raunchy (1957)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

November 26, 2011

The Hi-Lifes - I'm Gonna Fight (1965)

There’s little information to be found about this short-lived group. What is known is that they were one of many second-rate groups to appear on the same album together, Soundsville (1965), hoping to make a name for themselves.

Lou Reed, later of The Velvet Underground and solo fame, appears as a co-writer for this song (and every other song on the album) as well as playing lead guitar.

The Hi-Lifes - I'm Gonna Fight

The Hi-Lifes - I'm Gonna Fight (1965)

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Lyrics:

You want my girl
But I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Fight for her love
The love that I need
Oh, I won't let her go

You want her bad
But I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
She won't get hurt
Hurt from the lies
The lies I know you tell her

If I thought that you would treat her good
I wouldn’t stand in your way
But I know the kind of guy you are
So, buddy, stay away
Stay away

I love that girl
So I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
I won't let some fool
Fool with my girl
Oh, you won't break her heart

I love that girl so much
So much that I won't let anyone make her cry
I'm gonna fight
I'm gonna fight
I'm gonna fight

Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight
Yeah, I'm gonna fight…

November 25, 2011

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Penthouse Pauper (1969)

Featuring brothers John and Tom Fogerty, this band was originally known as The Blue Velvets and later The Golliwogs before finally settling on their last, most well-known name (which is often shortened to CCR). Coming out of California at a time when San Francisco was the center of the psychedelic sound explosion, they decided to go in another musical direction and perform southern swamp rock. It paid off; they became one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

This song, a wonderful blend of blues, rock, and country, comes from the first of three albums released by the group in 1969, Bayou Country.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Penthouse Pauper

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Penthouse Pauper (1969)

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Lyrics:

Now if I were a bricklayer
I wouldn't build just anything
And if I were a ballplayer
I wouldn't play no second string
And if I were some jewelry, baby
Lord, I'd have to be a diamond ring

And if I were a secret, Lord, I never would be told
And if I were a jug of wine, Lord, my flavor would be old
I could be most anything
But it got to be twenty-four karat solid gold, oh

If I were a gambler, you know I'd never lose
And if I were a guitar player
Lord, I'd have to play the blues

If I were a hacksaw, my blade be razor sharp
And if I were a politician, I could prove that monkey talk
You can find the tallest building
Lord, I'd have me the house on top

Oh, let's go

I'm the penthouse pauper
I got nothin’ to my name
I'm the penthouse pauper, baby
I got nothin’ to my name
I can be most anything
When you got nothin’, it's all the same

Oh
Lord, look at my penthouse

November 24, 2011

The Animals - Don't Bring Me Down (1966)

Primarily remembered for their signature cover of “The House of the Rising Sun,” this group was one of the top acts during the British Invasion. They mixed a hard blues rock noise with the rough vocals of lead singer Eric Burdon to put together one of the top rock acts of its time. A later incarnation of the group rooted itself in California and had a more psychedelic sound than its predecessor.

This song, originally composed by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, was the last hit for the group while still in their original incarnation. Within six months, the members of the band would shift yet again and a new band would emerge: Eric Burdon & The Animals (sometimes called Eric Burdon & The New Animals).

The Animals - Don't Bring Me Down

The Animals - Don't Bring Me Down (1966)

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Lyrics:

When you complain and criticize
I feel I’m nothing in your eyes
It makes me feel like giving up
Because my best just ain’t good enough

Girl, I want to provide for you
And do all the things that you want me to, but

Oh- oh no, don’t bring me down
I’m beggin’ you darlin’
Oh- oh no, don’t bring me down

Sacrifices I will make
I’m ready to give as well as take
One thing I need is your respect
One thing I can’t take is your neglect

More than anything, I need your love
Then troubles are easy to rise above

Oh- oh no
Don’t bring me down
Oh no, no, no, no, no
Oh- oh no
Don’t bring me down

You complain and criticize
I feel I’m nothin’ in your eyes
It makes me feel like giving up
Because my best just ain’t good enough

Girl, I want to provide for you
And do all the things that you want me to, but

Oh- oh no, don’t bring me down
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
I’m beggin’ you
Oh no, don’t bring me down
Oh, no no
Baby, please

Please, baby, don’t bring me down
(Don’t bring me down)
You know I need you
Ah, woman
You can’t do that to me
Look, I love you
Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me
Please, I need you…

November 23, 2011

Noel Harrison - Sign of the Queen (1967)

Son of the famous actor Rex Harrison, this artist was a singer, actor, and two-time Olympic athlete. Between acting in television, movies, and plays, he won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1968. Having been born in Britain, he spent a large portion of his life in the United States and Canada before moving back home in the 1990s.

This song comes from his 1967 album, Collage, which consisted primarily of cover songs from artists such as Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, and Procol Harum. This song in particular was written by Brewer & Shipley while they were staff writers for A&M Records.

Noel Harrison - Sign of the Queen

Noel Harrison - Sign of the Queen (1967)

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Lyrics:

She'll have a boy tonight
And be seen everywhere
And it seems she'll have her way again
With the king and the queen

But she finds in her own room, sometimes
Through the dark, her eyes detect some rhyme
And she sees just where she's living
Somewhere in between the hours of time

And everything's fine
As she holds up the sign of the queen
To her eyes and her mind

She gathers your love to her
With a feminine sigh
Is it fair to be in love again
When the queen doesn't care?
And in the hours of dark and keeping
Princes come to her and pass their time
And yet see sees her own eyes weeping
Her own voice she hears beneath her mind

And everything's fine
As she holds up the sign of the queen
To her eyes and her mind

November 22, 2011

The Wailers - Give Me a Ticket (1970)

First known as The Teenagers, then The Wailing Rudeboys, then The Wailing Wailers, and finally just The Wailers, this group was the primary force in spreading reggae from Jamaica to the rest of the world. The three core members, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Neville Livingston a.k.a. Bunny Wailer/Bunny Livingston, began playing together in 1963. By 1974, Livingston and Tosh had quit and Marley continued with his new backing vocalists, The I Threes.

This song, originally titled “The Letter” and written by Wayne Carson Thompson, was a number one hit for The Box Tops in 1967. It has been covered by more than two hundred artists and, in this version, features Peter Tosh on lead vocals. Another version was released in 1971 where Rita Marley, Bob’s first wife, performs the lead vocals, where in this version she performs only backup vocals.

The Wailers - Give Me a Ticket

The Wailers - Give Me a Ticket (1970)

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Lyrics:

Give me a ticket for an airplane
(Give me a ticket)
Ain't got no time for the fast train
My lonely days are gone
But I’ll be goin’ home to my baby
Back to my baby
(Yes I am)

I said she wrote me a letter
Sayin’ she couldn’t resist without me anymore
(Listen mister, can't you see?)
Mister, mister, can’t you see?
Got to get back to my baby
(I got to get back to my baby once more)

Don’t care how much money I got to spend
I got to get back to my baby again
My lonely days are gone
But I’ll be goin’ home to my baby
To my baby
(Yes I am)

Wrote me a letter
She couldn’t resist without me anymore
(Listen, mister)

Ooh, listen mister, can’t you see?
I’ve got to get back to my baby once more
Anyway, yeah

Don’t care how much bread I got to spend
I know I got to -got to- get back to my baby again
My lonely dare are gone
But I’ll be goin’ home to my baby
Oh yes, my baby
(Yes I am)

Said she wrote me many letters
She couldn’t resist without me anymore
Listen mister, can’t you see?
I’ve got to get back to my baby (once more)
Ooh, yea
(Anyway)

Give me a ticket for the airplane...

November 21, 2011

Janis Joplin - Mercedez Benz (1970)

Getting her start as the lead singer of Big Brother and The Holding Company in 1966, this singer/songwriter was immensely popular in the late 1960s. In 1969 she became a solo artist backed by The Kozmic Blues Band and later The Full Tilt Boogie Band. Known as “The Queen of Rock and Roll” and “The Queen of Psychedelic Soul,” her career was cut short, in 1970, at the age of twenty-seven after an accidental heroin overdose.

Recorded in one take just three days before her death, this song was one of the last two recordings she ever completed. Despite its obvious sarcastic message mocking the materialism of society, Mercedes-Benz car manufacturers have used the song in their commercials since 1995. It was released posthumously in 1971, on her album Pearl.

Janis Joplin - Mercedez Benz

Janis Joplin - Mercedez Benz (1970)

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Lyrics:

I’d like to do a song of great social and political import’. It goes like this:

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So, oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me
I wait for delivery each day until three
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down
Prove that you love me and buy the next round
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town?

Everybody!

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So, oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

That's it!

November 20, 2011

Paul & Linda McCartney - Ram On (1971)

This couple, married in 1969, released one album together in 1971. Paul was looking to continue his career after the break-up of his former group, The Beatles, and Linda was accompanying him on his musical endeavors so they could remain near one another. Their album, Ram, was one of the two albums Paul released (the other album being McCartney) in-between the break-up of The Beatles and the creation of his next band, Wings.

This song seems like it may have been a “filler song,” as it has very little in the lyrics and is rather repetitive musically. I always enjoy Paul’s use of the ukulele and find this song to be quite pleasant. It isn’t one of his greater achievements, but it’s worth giving a listen to.

Paul & Linda McCartney - Ram On

Paul & Linda McCartney - Ram On (1971)

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Lyrics:

Take one.
‘kay.


Ram on
Give your heart to somebody
Soon, right away, right away

Ram on
Give your heart to somebody
Soon, right away, right away

Ram on
Give your heart to somebody
Soon, right away, right away

November 19, 2011

The Hombres - Ya Ya (1967)

Coming from Memphis, Tennessee in 1966, this band was primarily known for their single “Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)” which was a hit for the group in 1967. Their lead vocalist, B.B. Cunningham, is the brother of Bill Cunningham, the bassist and keyboardist for The Box Tops.

[Update 10/15/2012: Sadly, B.B. Cunningham passed away October 14th, 2012. He was shot dead while working as a security guard in a Memphis, Tennessee apartment complex.]

This song, originally by Lee Dorsey, has been covered by many artists, including Tony Sheridan, John Lennon, and Steve Miller. It was inspired by a children’s nursery rhyme and first released in 1961.

The Hombres - Ya Ya

The Hombres - Ya Ya (1967)

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Lyrics:

Alright 1, 2- 1, 2, 3, 4.

Sittin’ in la la
‘n’ waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh
Sittin’ in la la
Waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh

It may sound funny
But we don’t believe she’s comin’ home
Hey baby hurry, don't make worry, uh huh
Hey baby hurry, don't make worry, uh huh
Oh, how I love ya, how I love you, uh huh

Sittin’ in la la
‘n’ waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh
Sittin’ in la la
Waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh

It may sound funny
But we don’t believe she’s comin’ home
Hey baby hurry, don't make worry, uh huh
Hey baby hurry, don't make worry, uh huh
Oh, how I love ya, how I love you, uh huh

Sittin’ in la la
‘n’ waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh
Sittin’ in la la
Waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh

It may sound funny
But we don’t believe she’s comin’ home

Slippin’ and a-slidin’
Beepin’ and a-hidin’
We were told a long time ago

Slippin’ and a-slidin’
Beepin’ and a-hidin’
We were told a long time ago

I’ve been told, baby
You been bold
I’m gonna be a fool no more

Oh, my lamb
This Jesus I rescinded
You know better

Oh, my lamb
This Jesus I rescinded
You know better

I’ve been told, baby
You been bold
I’m gonna be a fool no more

Sittin’ in la la
‘n’ waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh
Sittin’ in la la
Waitin’ for my ya ya, uh huh

Well, it may sound funny
But we don’t believe she’s comin’ home

November 18, 2011

Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy (1971)

Born Richard Starkey, this legend got his big break replacing Pete Best as permanent drummer for The Beatles. He was also the first member of The Beatles to quit (temporarily) when he could no longer take the constant bickering between members in 1966 while recording The Beatles (White Album). He was a left -handed drummer that played on a right-handed drum kit and had a successful solo career before creating The All-Starr Band. As with all members of The Beatles, his entire story is much larger than this entry shows.

This song, co-written by George Harrison and released by Apple Records in 1971, was his first single released in the UK after the break-up of The Beatles. George Harrison played guitar; Klaus Voormann played bass; Stephen Stills played piano; and Pete Ham and Tom Evans (both of Badfinger) performed backup vocals.

Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy

Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy (1971)

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Lyrics:

It don't come easy
You know it don't come easy
It don't come easy
You know it don't come easy

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don't come easy
You don't have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Forget about the past
And all your sorrows
The future won't last
It will soon be over tomorrow

I don't ask for much; I only want your trust
And you know it don't come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it just ain't easy

Open up your heart
Let's come together
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don't come easy
You don't have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Please remember peace
Is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you're big enough to take it

I don't ask for much; I only want trust
And you know it don't come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

November 17, 2011

The Monks - We Do Wie Du (1966)

Originally known as The 5 Torquays in 1964, this group of American GIs was stationed in Germany in the mid-60s. By the time they were discharged, they decided to stay in Germany, to continue as a band, and had changed their music and appearance to be “anti-Beatles,” involving black robes, nooses around their necks, and even short hair with tonsures.

This song comes from the group’s only album, Black Monk Time, released in 1966. They were able to get away with edgier lyrics, in comparison to the US and UK, by having the album created in Germany, where the people helping to create it couldn’t understand what they were saying. With no artistic restraints, they were free to say what they pleased!

The Monks - We Do Wie Du

The Monks - We Do Wie Du (1966)

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Lyrics:

Hey, hey, what are you gonna say?
You know, well, we're gonna make love today
Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay

We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du
We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du
We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du

Yea, we’ll do it any old way

We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du

Won't you come with me today?
We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du

Woah, yea
We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du
Mmmm, yea yea

We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du

Hey girl, I'm gonna stay today
We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du

And there's nothing
Nothing you can say
We do as you, we do
We do, wie du, wie du

November 16, 2011

Johnny Cash - The Long Black Veil [Live] (1968)

With a range in music from rock and roll, rockabilly, and blues to folk, gospel and country, “The Man in Black” is considered one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century. He was a rebellious man that referred to himself as “the biggest sinner of them all” and was known to have a few run-ins with the law. He released hit songs for nearly fifty years, recording sixty new songs in the last four months of his life at the age of seventy-one. His story is one that cannot be done justice in such a limited space.

Ever since his 1955 song “Folsom Prison Blues,” he had expressed interest in doing a live concert at a prison. In 1967, with personal changes at Columbia Records, he got his wish. This song comes from his live album At Folsom Prison. It was written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin and was originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell in 1959.

Johnny Cash - The Long Black Veil [Live]

Johnny Cash - The Long Black Veil [Live] (1968)

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Lyrics:

Ten years ago on a cold dark night
Someone was killed 'neath the town hall lights
There were few at the scene, but they all agreed
That the slayer who ran looked a lot like me

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows but me

The judge said, “Son, what is your alibi?”
“If you were somewhere else then you won't have to die”
I spoke not a word, though it meant my life
I'd been in the arms of my best friend's wife

Did I hear somebody applaud?

Now the scaffold is high and eternity's near
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
But sometimes at night when the cold wind moans
In a long black veil she cries over my bones

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows but me

Can I have a glass of water?

November 15, 2011

Thor's Hammer - Better Days (1966)

Originally going by the name Hlj├│mar, this garage rock group hailed from Iceland. Their 1966 album, Umbarumbamba, is said to be one of the rarest records sought after by ‘60s music collectors, being sold for thousands of dollars the rare times it can be found on the market. The album was the soundtrack of an Icelandic movie which was said to do very poorly.

This song comes from that 1966 album Umbarumbamba. It was a tough choice which song to pick from the album, as they’re all wonderful. If you enjoy this song, I highly recommend you check out the entire album.

Thor's Hammer - Better Days

Thor's Hammer - Better Days (1966)

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Lyrics:

Baby, my, I did you bad
‘Cause you’re the best girl I ever had
I walk around in a trance
Just give me just one more chance

I’ve been so lonely, baby, please
Give me just one good reason
Why a man should feel so bad

Baby, baby, please listen here
My end is a-growin’ near
If you don’t come back soon
I’ll make a

And the style of my surround without the woman
Then we’ll see who comes around her
With a heart right in her hands

Baby, baby, don’t be this way
You know I never mean what I say
Give me a kiss and I’ll learn my ways
You and me baby- we’ll see better days

And the style of mess around without a woman
Then we’ll see who comes around her
With a new heart right in her hands

Baby, baby, don’t be this way
You know I never mean what I say
Give me a kiss and I’ll learn my ways
You and me baby- we’ll see better days

You and me baby- we’ll see better days
You and me baby- we’ll see better days

November 14, 2011

Nirvana - Wings of Love (1967)

Formed in 1965, this band merged psychedelic rock with baroque rock that resulted in truly unique sounds. Although those unique sounds were praised by critics and the music industry, the group never managed to achieve commercial success.

They had planned a tongue-in-cheek tribute album in the early ‘90s, Nirvana Covers Nirvana, performing songs by Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana. But when Cobain died, the album was aborted and only one song, “Lithium,” had been recorded. It was later released on Orange and Blue (1996).

This song is the opening track to their 1967 album The Story of Simon Simopath. It was a concept album about a boy in the future who wished to fly that led to an adventure involving rocket ships, centaurs, and goddesses. If you enjoy this track, be sure to check out the rest of the album.

Nirvana - Wings of Love

Nirvana - Wings of Love (1967)

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Lyrics:

Little swallow in the sky
Permit me to entice you with a bargain
I will give you all my sweets
A comic book, a clock that sings
If you will let me have your lovely wings

Silver airplane above the clouds
I will shoot you down
With gun and bow and arrow
So come down to our front lawn
Right away with all your things
And let me take away your mighty wings

He wants to be in love
He wants to be a butterfly
And he is flying high
Like the birds into the sky
He wants to be in love; he wants to fly
He wants to be in love; he wants to fly

Lovely angel in my dream
I saw you in the sky today
You're rejoicing amidst the harps
And all the bells and all the rings
If I am good tomorrow
Will you let me have your wings

He wants to be in love
He wants to be a butterfly
And he is flying high
Like the birds into the sky
He wants to be in love; he wants to fly
He wants to be in love; he wants to fly

He wants to be in love; he wants to fly…

November 13, 2011

Procol Harum - The Devil Came From Kansas (1969)

Mistakenly thinking it meant “beyond these things,” they got their name when their manager got the idea from the name of his friend’s Burmese cat. Their best known song was their 1967 hit single “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” released the same year the band was formed. A pioneer in the development of progressive rock, they took a big downward spiral in 1975, but didn't officially break up until 1977.

This song comes from their 1969 album A Salty Dog. The entire album was conceptualized around a nautical theme and this song in particular was said to be inspired by a Randy Newman song entitled “The Senator from Kansas”.

Procol Harum - The Devil Came From Kansas

Procol Harum - The Devil Came From Kansas (1969)

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Lyrics:

The devil came from Kansas; where he went to, I can't say
Though I teach, I'm not a preacher and I aim to stay that way
There's a monkey riding on my back; been there for some time
He says he knows me very well but he's no friend of mine

I am not a humble pilgrim
There's no need to scrape and squeeze
And don't beg for silver paper
When I'm trying to sell you cheese

The devil came from Kansas; where he went to, I can't say
If you really are my brother, then you'd better start to pray
For the sins of those departed and the ones about to go
There's a dark cloud just above us; don't tell me 'cause I know

I am not a humble pilgrim
There's no need to scrape and squeeze
And don't beg for silver paper
When I'm trying to sell you cheese

No, I never came from Kansas; don't forget to thank the cook
Which reminds me of my duty; I was lost and now I look
For the turning and the signpost and the road which takes you down
To that pool inside the forest in whose waters I shall drown

I am not a humble pilgrim
There's no need to scrape and squeeze
And don't beg for silver paper
When I'm trying to sell you cheese

November 12, 2011

The Dovers - She's Not Just Anybody (1966)

Coming out of Santa Barbara, California, this band was originally named The Vandells. When they got a record deal with Miramar Records in 1965, they changed their name to its current one. They released their first single “She’s Gone”/”What Am I Going to Do?” and achieved local success. Unfortunately, none of their future releases gathered much attention and the group broke up in late 1966.

This song was the last single to be released by the group, as an A-Side, and showed how the group was influenced by both the British Invasion and The Byrds. Although it failed to achieve national success, it’s a great, quick song with a catchy tune.

The Dovers - She's Not Just Anybody

The Dovers - She's Not Just Anybody (1966)

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Lyrics:

You know I want nobody but you
Today I found someone that was new
You know she’s not just anybody
You know she’s not just anybody
You know she’s not just anybody like you

She's nice and warm instead of cold
No one can say that it doesn’t show
You know she’s not just anybody
You know she’s not just anybody
You know she’s not just anybody like you

She’s mine and I love her
It’s just me?
There’s no one like you

You know I’ve been unhappy with you
Today I found someone that was new
You know she’s not just anybody
You know she’s not just anybody
You know she’s not just anybody like you

November 11, 2011

The Spaniels - Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite (1954)

Originally named Pookie Hudson and The Hudsonaires, this group is sometimes considered the first vocal group to have a “leader” due to Hudson having his own microphone while the others shared a second for backup vocals. They came from Gary, Indiana in 1952 after having played for their high school.

Upon graduation, they changed their named and signed with Vee-Jay Records, the first large, African-American owned record company. Although this was the group’s most well-known hit, The McGuire Sisters had more success covering it later in the year when trying to record a version that would “appeal to white audiences.”

The Spaniels - Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite

The Spaniels - Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite (1954)

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Lyrics:

Goodnight, sweetheart; well it's time to go
Goodnight, sweetheart; well it's time to go
I hate to leave you, but I really must say
Oh, goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight

Goodnight, sweetheart; well it's time to go
Goodnight, sweetheart; well it's time to go
I hate to leave you, I really must say
Oh, goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight

Well, it's three o'clock in the morning
Baby, I just can't get right
Well I hate to leave you, baby
I don't mean maybe, because I love you so

Goodnight, sweetheart, well, it's time to go
Goodnight, sweetheart, well, it's time to go
I hate to leave you, I really must say
Oh, goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight

Mother, oh, and your father
Wouldn’t like it if I stay here too long
One kiss and we'll stop
And I’ll be going
You know I hate to go

Goodnight, sweetheart, well, it's time to go
Goodnight, sweetheart, well, it's time to go
I hate to leave you, I really must say
Oh, goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight

November 10, 2011

The Clefs of Lavender Hill - Stop! Get a Ticket (1966)

In 1966, siblings Joseph and Loraine Ximenes created a group with ex-members of The Twilights to release a single “First Tell Me Why”. Going by their new stage names, Travis and Coventry Fairchild, the group found success in Miami, Florida (and later, to a small degree, nationally) when the B-side of their single caught on. It was the bands only claim to fame before shelving a full-length album and disbanding in 1968.

This song was the B-side to their single “First Tell Me Why”.

Clefs of Lavender Hill - Stop! Get a Ticket

The Clefs of Lavender Hill - Stop! Get a Ticket (1966)

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Lyrics:

You know your baby’s gonna leave you
If you don't treat her better
She's gonna hop that train and say “bye bye”
You gotta run and tell the conductor

You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
Catch her

You know your baby used to love you
‘Cause you wouldn't have no other
But she ran away and said “bye bye”
And now she won't be your lover

You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
Catch her

You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
Catch her

You know your baby’s gonna leave you
If you don't treat her better
She's gonna hop that train and say “bye bye”
You gotta run and tell the conductor

You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
You gotta stop; get a ticket
Catch her

Stop, get a ticket
Stop, get a ticket
Stop, get a ticket
Stop, get a ticket
Stop, get a ticket
Stop…

November 09, 2011

The Small Faces - Itchycoo Park (1967)

With their start in London in 1965, this band was the biggest mod group there was in the ‘60s. They fused rock and psychedelia with rhythm & blues to create hits such as “My Mind’s Eye” and their album Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake. When their frontman Steve Marriott left to form Humble Pie, the remaining members got together with Ronnie Wood (of The Jeff Beck Group, and later The Rolling Stones) and Rod Stewart (also of The Jeff Beck Group and later notable for his solo work) to form a new group: Faces.

This psychedelic pop song was a single released in 1967. It reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and became arguably one of the band’s most famous hits. Uniquely, it was also one of the first pop songs to use the technique “flanging,” which provided a resonating effect after each chorus.

The Small Faces - Itchycoo Park

The Small Faces - Itchycoo Park (1967)

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Lyrics:

Over Bridge of Sighs
To rest my eyes in shades of green
Under dreaming spires
To Itchycoo Park; that's where I've been

(What did you do there?)
I got high
(What did you feel there?)
Well I cried
(But why the tears there?)
Tell you why
It's all too beautiful
It's all too beautiful
It's all too beautiful
It's all too beautiful

I feel inclined to blow my mind
Get hung up; feed the ducks with a bun
They all come out to groove about
Be nice and have fun in the sun

I’ll tell ya what I'll do (What will you do?)
I'd like to go there now with you
You can miss out school (Won't that be cool)
Why go to learn the words of fools?

(What do we do there?)
We’ll get high
(What will we touch there?)
We’ll touch the sky
(But why the tears there?)
I’ll tell you why
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)

I feel inclined to blow my mind
Get hung up; feed the ducks with a bun
They all come out to groove about
Be nice and have fun in the sun

It's all too beautiful
It's all too beautiful
It's all too beautiful
Ha
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)
It's all too beautiful (Beautiful)

November 08, 2011

Pink Floyd - The Gnome (1967)

Founded in 1965, this band was originally led by Syd Barrett, who guided the group toward their first taste of success in the late ‘60s through psychedelic rock. Shortly after the addition of bassist David Gilmour, Barrett’s deteriorating mental health led to him parting with the band. The remaining members went on to be one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, releasing timeless progressive rock albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979).

This song comes from the group’s debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), which was also the group’s only album released under Barrett’s direct leadership. Much like the other songs on the album, Barrett’s lyrics are very imaginative and the music is very psychedelic. If you’re only familiar with the group’s later progressive rock hits, this is nothing like you’d expect to hear.

Pink Floyd - The Gnome

Pink Floyd - The Gnome (1967)

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Lyrics:

I want to tell you a story
'bout a little man, if I can
A gnome named “Grimble Gromble”
And little gnomes stay in their homes
Eating, sleeping, drinking their wine

He wore a scarlet tunic
A blue-green hood; it looked quite good
He had a big adventure
Amidst the grass; fresh air at last
Wining, dining, biding his time

And then one day
“Hooray!”; another way for gnomes to say
“Ooh, my”

Look at the sky; look at the river
Isn't it good?
Look at the sky; look at the river
Isn't it good?

Winding, finding places to go

And then one day
“Hooray!”; another way for gnomes to say
“Ooh, my”

“Ooh, my”

November 07, 2011

Peter, Paul and Mary - Flora (1963)

Inspired by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and other folk legends, this trio became one of the top folk acts in the 1960s. They were composed of Peter Yarrow, Noel “Paul” Stookey, and Mary Travers. Much of their success came from singing songs written by others, notably much from Bob Dylan.

This song was released on their album, Moving, in 1963. Although it wasn’t released as a single, it’s my favorite song from the album. The first two singles released, “Big Boat” and “Settle Down (Goin’ Down That Highway)” didn’t do as well on the charts as they had hoped. The third single released, “Puff the Magic Dragon,” fared much better, achieving huge success and becoming their defining song.

Peter, Paul and Mary - Flora

Peter, Paul and Mary - Flora (1963)

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Lyrics:

When first I came to Louisville
My fortune there to find
I met a fair young maiden there
Her beauty filled my mind
Her rosy cheek, her ruby lips
They gave my heart no rest
The name she bore was ‘Flora’
The lily of the west

I courted lovely Flora
She promised ne’er to go
But soon a tale was told to me
That filled my heart with woe
They said she meets another man
Who holds my love in jest
And yet I trusted Flora
The lily of the west

Way down in yonder shady grove
A man of low degree
He spoke unto my Flora there
And kissed her 'neath a tree
The answers that she gave to him
Like arrows pierced my breast
I was betrayed by Flora
The lily of the west

I stepped up to my rival
My dagger in my hand
I seized him by the collar
And I ordered him to stand
All in my desperation
I stabbed him in his breast
I killed a man for Flora
The lily of the west

And then I had to stand my trial
I had to make my plea
They placed me in a prisoner's dock
And then commenced on me
Although she swore my life away
Deprived me of my rest
Still I love my faithless Flora
The lily of the west

November 06, 2011

? and the Mysterians - 96 Tears (1966)

Only known as “?,” the front-man of this group claims to be a Martian who, in a past life, lived with dinosaurs. He also claims to have been to the future and to have visited other planets. This might seem like a funny gimmick… except he’s been keeping it up for fifty years. He and his group were the first to be called “punk rock” in print (May 1971), and are also credited as the first Latino rock group to have a mainstream hit album in the U.S.

Originally called “Too Many Teardrops,” this song was renamed to “69 Tears” when the band decided they wanted a title with more appeal. Fearing the new title might restrict their airplay, they inverted the digits and the title was finalized. It reached the top of the charts in 1966, sold over one million copies, and John Lennon (who was probably under the influence of something) called it “…the best rock 'n’ roll song ever."

? and the Mysterians - 96 Tears

? and the Mysterians - 96 Tears (1966)

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Lyrics:

Too many teardrops for one heart to be cryin'
Too many teardrops for one heart to carry on
You're way on top now since you left me
You're always laughin' way down at me
But watch out now, I'm gonna get there
We'll be together for just a little while
And then I'm gonna put you way down here
And you'll start cryin' ninety-six tears
Cry cry

And when the sun comes up, I'll be on top
You'll be right down there lookin' up
And I might wave, “Come up here”
But I don't see you wavin' now
I'm way down here wonderin' how
I'm gonna get you
But I know now
I'll just cry- cry- I'll just cry

Too many teardrops for one heart to be cryin'
Too many teardrops for one heart to carry on
You're gonna cry ninety-six tears
You're gonna cry ninety-six tears
You're gonna cry; cry, cry, cry now
You're gonna cry; cry, cry, cry ninety-six tears
Come on, let me hear you cry, now
Ninety-six tears; I wanna hear you cry
Night and day, yeah, all night long
Ninety-six tears; cry, cry, cry
C'mon baby, let me hear you cry now, all night long
Ninety-six tears; yeah, c'mon now
Ninety-six tears

November 05, 2011

The Cryan' Shames - Sugar and Spice (1966)

Originally known as The Travelers, this group began their story in Hinsdale, Illinois. When they were notified that another group was already going by their name, they tried to come up with something new. The band's tambourine player Jim Pilster, nicknamed J.C. Hooke because of his missing left hand and hook attachment, commented that it was “a cryin’ shame” they couldn’t come up with a new name. And with that, the new name was born.

This song, their largest claim to fame, was released in 1966. It was originally by The Searchers in 1963, who did only slightly better on the U.S. charts than these guys. The group had originally intended to release a cover of "If I Needed Someone" by The Beatles, as it had not yet been made available in the U.S., but The Beatles' publisher vetoed the idea, citing that the original recording should hit the U.S. before a cover.

The Cryan' Shames - Sugar and Spice

The Cryan' Shames - Sugar and Spice (1966)

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Lyrics:

Sugar and spice
And all things nice
Kisses sweeter than wine
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
You know that little girl is mine

Everybody stops and stares at my baby
When she's walkin’ down the street
People passin’ by just look at my baby
‘Cause my baby looks so sweet

You know she's
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
Kisses sweeter than wine
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
You know that little girl is mine

Every time we kiss, I get that feeling
Every time we simply meet
When I see her smile, I get that feeling
‘Cause my baby looks so sweet

You know she's
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
Kisses sweeter than wine
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
You know that little girl is mine

Sugar and spice
And all things nice
Kisses sweeter than wine
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
You know that little girl is mine

Never ever knew a girl so lovely
Sweet enough to want to eat
Everyone's crazy ‘bout my baby
‘Cause my baby looks so sweet

You know she's…
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
Kisses sweeter than wine
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
You know that little girl is mine

November 04, 2011

The Beach Boys - Forever [Demo] (1969)

Coming out of southern California in 1961, this band transformed themselves from teen surf-style pop-rock to one of the greatest rock bands in the history of popular music. The group’s most popular lineup was composed of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friends Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston. They are often credited as one of the best-selling acts in America and have been honored as “America’s Band”. Their skill as a whole unit is matched by very few.

This song's original version comes from the album, Sunflower (1970), which was tied for the group’s lowest charting album. It was written and sung by Dennis Wilson, who had been working on it (such as in this early a capella version) as early as January 1969. Brian Wilson has stated that it was “the most harmonically beautiful thing” he had ever heard. This version was released on the Hawthorne, CA anthology album in 2001.

The Beach Boys - Forever [Demo]

The Beach Boys - Forever [Demo] (1969)

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Lyrics:

If every word I said
Could make you laugh
I'd talk forever
(Together my love, baby)

I asked the sky just what we had
Mmm, it shone forever
(Together my love, baby)

If the song I sing to you
Could fill your heart with joy
I'd sing forever
(Together my love, baby)

(Forever, forever)
I've been so happy loving you

(Together my love)

Let the love I have for you
Live in your heart
And beat forever
(Together my love, baby)

(Forever, forever)
I've been so happy loving you

So I'm goin' away
Mmm, but not forever
(Baby)
I gotta love you any old way
Mmm, forever
(Baby)

(Baby)

Nah, man! You know- let me hear somethin’…

November 03, 2011

The Band - In A Station (1968)

Originally backing Ronnie Hawkins and going by the name of The Hawks, this group, member by member, eventually went on to back Bob Dylan during his 1965 and 1966 tours. Feeling that they were always “the band” to various frontmen, they adopted the title as their name and released two acclaimed albums: Music from Big Pink (1968) and The Band (1969).

This song comes from the album Music from Big Pink, which also featured their most popular song “The Weight”. George Harrison claimed to be impressed with the musicianship on the album, and, Eric Clapton claimed its style convinced him to leave the psychedelic Cream to pursue his passion for roots rock, which he found with Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie, Derek and the Dominoes, and his early solo work.

The Band - In A Station

The Band - In A Station (1968)

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Lyrics:

Once, I walked through the halls of a station
Someone called your name
In the streets, I heard children laughing
They all sound the same

Wonder, “could you ever know me?”
Know the reason why I live?
Is there nothing you can show me?
‘Life’ seems so little to give

Once, I climbed up the face of a mountain
And ate the wild fruit there
Fell asleep until the moonlight woke me
And I could taste your hair

Isn't everybody dreaming?
Then the voice I hear is real
Out of all the idle scheming
Can't we have something to feel?

Once upon a time, they used me, indeed
Tomorrow never came
I could sing the sound of your laughter
Still, I don't know your name

Must be some way to repay you
Out of all the good you gave
If a rumor should delay you
‘Love’ seems so little to say

November 02, 2011

Scrugg - I Wish I Was Five (1968)

When John Kongos left South Africa to record a song in England, he eventually got together with some guys and formed a band, Floribunda Rose. After releasing one single in 1967, the band members shifted a bit and those that remained (including Kongos) changed to this name.

This song comes from the group’s first single, released in 1968, as a B-side. It was later accepted that it was the better of the two sides, and had they promoted it rather than its flip, “Everyone Can See,” the single may have pushed the group forward.

Scrugg - I Wish I Was Five

Scrugg - I Wish I Was Five (1968)

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Lyrics:

Somebody, somewhere, is fighting today
So much to say and so little time to say
Think I’m not allowed to speak about
Not allowed to leave and shout about

Silly things to play on swings
I wish I was five
Wish I was five
Sometimes it’s not so good to be alive

Get out of this place
You must have the time
Your face never goes red
When you tell a lie
Saw you with another man today
My hand is gonna change your luck today

Silly things to play on swings
I wish I was five
Wish I was five
Sometimes it’s not so good to be alive

I wish I was five, but to be alive when you’re five
(Wish I was five, but to be alive when you’re five)

I wish I was five, but to be alive when you’re five
(Wish I was five, but to be alive when you’re five)

Somebody, somewhere, is fighting today
So much to say and so little time to say
Think I’m not allowed to speak about
I’m not allowed to leave and shout about

Silly things to play on swings
I wish I was five
Wish I was five
Sometimes it’s not so good to be alive

Wish I was five, but to be alive when you’re five
Wish I was five, but to be alive when you’re five
Wish I was five

November 01, 2011

The Moody Blues - Question (1970)

In 1964, they were making R&B cover hits on both sides of the Atlantic. By 1967 they were heavily fusing psychedelic rock with classical music on albums such as Days of Future Passed. By 1970, they were heavily defining the emerging genre of progressive rock, which at that time was referred to as art rock. By the time they split up in 1974, this group had been considered a dominant force in music for a full decade. Then, to top it all off, they got back together again in 1977 to continue recording and touring to this very day.

This song, with its anti-Vietnam chorus, comes from the band’s first progressive rock album, A Question of Balance. The group was looking to create an album that could be played in concert and chose to lead off the album with this nearly six-minute track. It featured no dubbing, no double-tracking, and was recorded in one take.

The Moody Blues - Question

The Moody Blues - Question (1970)

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Lyrics:

Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door?
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war

It's when we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need
In a world of persecution
That is burning in its greed

Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door?
Because the truth is hard to swallow
That's what the wall of love is for

It's not the way that you say it
When you do those things to me
It's more the way that you mean it
When you tell me what we’ll be

And when you stop and think about it
You won't believe it's true
That all the love you've been giving
Has all been meant for you

I'm looking for someone to change my life
I'm looking for a miracle in my life
And if you could see what it's done to me
Lose the love I knew
Could safely lead me through

Between the silence of the mountains
And the crashing of the sea
There lies a land I once lived in
And she's waiting there for me

But in the gray of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose

I'm looking for someone to change my life
I'm looking for a miracle in my life
And if you could see what it's done to me
To lose the love I knew
Could safely lead me to
The land that I once knew
To learn as we grow old
The secrets of our souls

It's not the way that you say it
When you do those things to me
It's more the way you really mean it
When you tell me what we’ll be

Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door?
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war

It's when we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need
In a world of persecution
That is burning in its greed

Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door?