My Alphabet of Songs – U

You thought I forgot, huh?  I haven’t finished my Alphabet!  But here I am again — with some “U” songs.   You can see my earlier Alphabet posts here.  Without further ado, here’s my list! Enjoy!

  1. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars – what a fun song.  I can put this on repeat and just groove. Mark Ronson is a DJ and music producer; he’s the dude with purple socks. The Hooligans are Bruno’s backup band.
  2. Undun by The Guess Who – My favorite one from the Guess Who. I think Burton Cummings is a very talented musician.  I can put this one on repeat, too.
  3. Up on the Roof  by the Drifters – we had this 45.  I love the Drifters!
  4. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey by Paul McCartney and Wings – this is a fun one. Butter Pie? The butter wouldn’t melt, so I put it in the pie!
  5. Under the Boardwalk by the Drifters – this is a great feel-good song. Who doesn’t know the chorus?
  6. Under My Thumb by The Rolling Stones is Mick at his misogynistic best. One of my favorite Stones tunes.
  7. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel – Billy Joel is one of my weaknesses, or maybe it’s grease monkeys… Christie Brinkley sure is gorgeous, isn’t she?  They really were an odd couple.
  8. Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra – I know that technically this song is titled “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” but I really wanted to put it in the list. Sing it, Frankie!
  9. Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid – just a fun, cheerful little song that makes you think you’re in the Bahamas sipping on something tropical with a little umbrella sticking out of it…
  10. Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie – a good matchup. Two of my favorite singers. Sampled by Vanilla Ice for Ice Ice Baby.
  11. Up Up and Away by The 5th Dimension – I remember this from my childhood. Back in the time when so much of the music on the radio was happy, maybe to keep our mind off of the war in Viet Nam…
  12. Unpretty by TLC – One of the things I liked most about TLC was the empowerment message in so many of their songs.
  13. Unforgettable by Nat King Cole – what a voice. Just like silk. I really like the duet version that his daughter Natalie did with him.

There you go.  I’m almost to the end of the alphabet. Hope you enjoyed listening!

 

 

photo credit william brawley

My Alphabet of Songs – T

 

It’s been way too long since I’ve done a music post, so without further ado, here are some “T” songs for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy!

Tupelo Mississippi Flash by Jerry Reed – Starting with a fun one. I love Jerry Reed’s playful story songs. I think my kids probably know this one by heart by now.

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) by Sly and the Family Stone – you would never think that Mr. Stuck, a huge AC/DC and Led Zeppelin fan, would also be a huge fan of funk — but he is. As soon as I started playing this, he started grooving.

That’s All by Genesis – we were inundated with Phil Collins and Genesis in the 80’s – this is my favorite song from that time.

Take Five by Dave Brubeck – a jazz classic that never gets old. Where’s my black turtleneck?

Time of the Season by The Zombies – a great hippie tune from their 1968 album Odessey and Oracle that became a huge surprise hit in 1969.  It’s just cool.

Time by Pink Floyd – although more than 40 years old, from Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon , ‘Time’ is timeless.

Take the A Train by The Duke Ellington Orchestra – I love Big Band music, and this is a toe-tapping, jazzy favorite. It became Ellington’s signature tune.

Too Busy Thinking About My Baby by Marvin Gaye – I love Marvin!  This song will always get me singing along and dancing, even in the car.

Twelve Thirty by The Mamas & The Papas – a great example of John Phillips’ arrangements and the group’s flawless harmonies. My sister had the 45, so I listened to it a lot.

Truckin‘ by the Grateful Dead – What a long, strange trip it’s been. This is a catchy tune that stays in my head a long time after I hear it.

Tom Sawyer by Rush – I confess that I’m a latecomer as far as being a Rush fan; I didn’t start liking them until just a few years ago. Glad I gave them another listen. I like the smart turn of lyrics in this as well as the complexity of the arrangement.

Tusk by Fleetwood Mac – this is just a fun song with drums and a marching band – a pretty good combo, if you ask me. The band parts bring back some great high school memories.

 

For the rest of the Alphabet song lists, click here.

 

photo credit saM=)

My Alphabet of Songs – S

I made a preliminary list of S songs, but when it came time to shorten it, I couldn’t bring myself to cut very many.  And there are so many more I couldn’t squeeze in.  Anyway, there are quite a few songs this time — hope you enjoy them!

To catch up on the previous Alphabet posts, go here.

  1. She’s Gone by Hall & Oates – my favorite H&O song.
  2. Summer in the City by The Lovin’ Spoonful – I have always loved John Sebastian’s voice, and this song takes me back to the a.m. radio days.
  3. Stand by R.E.M. – a fun little song.
  4. Scuttle Buttin’ by Stevie Ray Vaughan – this is a good example why SRV will live on.  What talent.
  5. Separate Ways by Journey – Cheesy video aside, I love Steve Perry’s vocals on this one.
  6. She’s Not There by The Zombies – one of the coolest tunes from the 60’s.  Love the Zombies.
  7. Shine On, You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd – This is only the 10 minute version.
    Come on, you target for faraway laughter/Come on, you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine
  8. Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash – One of the classic party songs of my younger days.
  9. Show and Tell by Al Wilson – I have always loved this version of the song.
  10. Simply Irresistible by Robert Palmer – fun video, fun 80’s tune.
  11. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting by Elton John – A great rocker by Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
  12. Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford – Gotta do it.  Who doesn’t love this?
  13. Sweet Talkin’ Woman by ELO – One of my faves from Jeff Lynne and crew.
  14. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel – Loved this video.
  15. Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks – Cheeky lyrics – I’ve liked this one for as long as I can remember.
  16. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson and another version by Alien Ant Farm – I will always love MJ’s dancing in his video, but I rather enjoyed the cover by AAF, too.
  17. Somebody to Love by Queen – Ah, Freddie.
  18. Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane – Groovy stuff.
  19. Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits – I loved this song from the first chord.  My sister used to make fun of me because she thought it was stupid.  Knopfler’s guitar is terrific.
  20. Soul Man by Sam and Dave and another version by The Blues Brothers – The Blues Brothers (Belushi and Aykroyd)  were a lot of fun, but they took their music seriously.  Their remake of the Sam & Dave classic was a classic of its own.
  21. Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum – My first car was an awesome 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle in a lovely shade of pine green with an olive interior.  I named it Norman Greenbomb.
  22. Spoonman by Soundgarden – The Spoonman is a real dude.  This song didn’t make him famous — he already was — but it didn’t hurt to share his talent with the world.  Artis the Spoonman has been going strong for 40 years.
  23. Stormy by the Classics IV – Old school treat.  Bring back that sunny day!
  24. Strange Brew by Cream – Dig those groovy hairstyles and threads, man.
  25. Substitute by The Who – Another good tune from the Who.  Look how young Daltrey and the boys are!
  26. Sunny by Bobby Hebb – I just like this perky tune.
  27. Sunshine Superman by Donovan – Donovan wrote some pretty strange stuff, but I like this one a lot.
  28. Someone Saved My Life Tonight by Elton John – Love these Taupin lyrics: You almost had your hooks in me/didn’t you dear/you nearly had me roped and tied/altar-bound, hypnotized…

 

photo credit Steve Cadman

Ear Worms.

Monday Mixtape: Scary Songs THE EARWORM

No, not the He put creatures in our bodies kind, Mr. Chekov — the kind where the saccharine strains of It’s a Small World (you’re welcome) echo through your noggin, unbidden, for days, sometimes weeks, at a time.  It’s a phenomenon we’ve all experienced, and with that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of the persistent ear worms I’ve endured.

You have been warned.

  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight  Yeah, just try to get a-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh out of your head anytime soon.
  • Island Girl Tell me what you wanting with the white man’s world
  • Carrie Anne  Hey, Carrie Anne, what’s your game now? Can anybody play?
  • Kokomo   Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya, to Bermuda, Bahama, come on, pretty mama, Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go…
  • The Gambler  You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run
  • The Shoop Shoop Song   How bout the way he acts?  Oh no, that’s not the way, and you’re not listening to all I say: If you wanna know if he loves you so, it’s in his kiss
  • Don’t Worry, Be Happy   I used to like this song.  Then I heard it on repeat for about 12 hours straight, thanks to a neighbor, who put it on and then left the house.  Long story.  But it is nice to see Robin Williams’ antics in this video.

I think I’ve done enough damage now.  Enjoy!

(Oh, and the only way I know of to get rid of an ear worm is to hear another one.)

 

photo credit ontheragmag

My Alphabet of Songs: R

Wow — I have some catching up to do!  Sit back and relax while I take you on a tour of some of my favorite “R” songs.  If you’d like to check out the rest of the Alphabet, it’s here.

With no further delay —

1. Reelin’ in the Years by Steely Dan – Dig those groovy 1973 threads AND Bill Cosby!!  (Not sure if Walter Becker (on bass) is opening his mouth quite far enough.  Wow!  I hope that visual doesn’t haunt me every time I hear this song.  Nah…I will always love this song.)

2. Rainy Days and Mondays by Carpenters – I could just close my eyes and listen to that voice.

3. Rebecca Lynn by Bryan White – A dear friend of mine told me about this song when he first heard it; he said it always made him think of me.  I had always wanted ‘my own’ song.  I really like the sweet sentiment in this simple, catchy tune.

4. Rocky Mountain High by John Denver – an enduring classic from a 70’s icon.  My sister and I loved his music.

5. Rosalinda’s Eyes by Billy Joel – My best friend at 16 was a big Joel fan and got me hooked.  His album 52nd Street was an instant favorite for me.

6. Rapper’s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang – always liked this.  It was tough, but fun, learning the lyrics!

7. Roundabout by Yes – you know I love that guitar.  But I was lucky enough to see these guys live, and what a great show!

8. Rocket Man by Elton John – another classic.  One of those songs you sing in the car with abandon.  And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time / til touchdown brings me round again to find / I’m not the man they think I am at home, oh no no no / I’m a Rocket Man.

9. Rapid Roy by Jim Croce – Croce was the master of ‘character’ songs.  This is one of my favorites.

10. Roller Derby Queen by Jim Croce – another fun character song by Croce.  My great niece is a derby girl – but she’s pretty, not nasty or fat.

11. Roof Garden by Al Jarreau – what I like about Jarreau is his scat singing and how he imitates guitars and percussion with his voice.  Very versatile and improvisational.  The video is really dated, but the music isn’t.

12. Rocky Mountain Way by Joe Walsh – Love that bluesy slide gee-tar.

13. Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin – How could I not add this one?

14. Rock Lobster by The B-52’s – I am an 80’s girl, after all.

I could go on and on, but I have to stop somewhere.  These have been fun to think about and listen to tonight — enjoy!

photo credit alexkerhead

 

My Alphabet of Songs: Q

So I’m up to Q with my Alphabet now…except that the only Q song on my iPod is a remix of Quiet Storm by Smokey Robinson, and the only other Q song I can think of is Que Sera Sera.  Um, no.

So let’s go with my favorite Q band — Queen.

This one is dedicated to Paul, the biggest Queen fan I know.  Here are some lesser-known Queen songs to help us remember that Queen wasn’t just a band with a few iconic pop tunes.  Be sure to listen to the last one — Freddie’s voice really shines.

  1. Don’t Stop Me Now
  2. A Kind of Magic
  3. Living on My Own
  4. I Want it All
  5. I Want to Break Free
  6. Spread Your Wings
  7. Play the Game
  8. It’s A Hard Life
  9. The Miracle
  10. A special treat – a live performance with Freddie and Spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballe: Ensueno.

To check out the rest of the Alphabet so far, click here.

 

My Alphabet of Songs: P

Welcome back!  I’ve got some great P songs for your listening pleasure!  For a recap of previous Alphabet posts, click here.

1. Paperback Writer by The Beatles — thought I’d open with this.  One of my favorite Beatles songs, with a great riff, nice harmonies, and a fun story.

2. Peg by Steely Dan – You hear Michael McDonald singing, “Peg!” in his multi-tracked backing vocals in this great arrangement.  Here’s a video about the making of probably my favorite SD song (MM starts at 6:20).  Then the shutter falls/you see it all in 3D/it’s your favorite foreign movie…

3. Pencil Thin Mustache by Jimmy Buffett – A little nostalgia from the man.  Honey, jump right up and show your age…

4. Pinball Wizard by The Who and by Elton John – a great Pete Townshend song and part of The Who’s rock opera, Tommy.  I remember hearing the Elton version on the radio and was more familiar with that one before I was a Who fan.  I like both versions, actually — Daltrey is Daltrey, but I love the piano in Elton John’s.

6. Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry – but of course.  I love funky music!  And you can see that those were a bunch of funky white boys, playin’ it right.  Everybody knows the chorus!

7. Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival – Another song where everyone knows the chorus.  Never been that crazy about the Ike and Tina version, but I do like this one.

8. Poetry Man by Phoebe Snow – I like both the simple acoustic guitar and her breathy vocals.  I don’t know any other Phoebe Snow songs, but I do know that Queen Latifah did a cover of it here.

9. People Are Strange by the Doors – I might have included this one just so I could watch Jim Morrison sing moodily in leather, or not.  😉

10. Peace of Mind by Boston – Number Young Son’s early interest in Boston made me revisit the band I had largely ignored in their heyday.  I understand about indecision/I don’t care if I get behind/People livin’ in competition/All I want is to have my peace of mind.

11. Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2 – In honor of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Before Bono was the great philanthropist and businessman he is today, he was belting out this catchy hook: In the name of love/What more in the name of love?  

And there ya have it.  I kept it short and sweet this time, so I could bring you a bonus.

Every time I sit down to write an Alphabet post, I listen to some great music with my earphones, sometimes singing out loud, much to the family’s amusement.  Tonight, I found a gem to share.  Here is my gift to you tonight: the supremely talented David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash.  Suite Judy Blue Eyes.

 

 Photo credit Yuliya Libkina

My Alphabet of Songs: O

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Hello, boys and girls!  We’re up to “O” in our Alphabet today, and “O” stands for the Opportunity to listen to some of my favorite tunes!  You can catch up with the rest of the Alphabet here.

  1. One More Minute by Weird Al Yankovic – I want to start this off with a song about love gone wrong, as only Weird Al can sing it.
  2. Out in the Country by Three Dog Night – this song makes me close my eyes and think of the natural bounty we have in this world that we often take for granted.
    Before the breathing air is gone, Before the sun is just a bright spot in the nighttime/
    Out where the rivers like to run, I stand alone and take back something worth remembering
  3. Our House by Madness – great 80’s tune with a typical 80’s lighthearted video.  Catchy!
  4. Our House by Crosby, Stills and Nash – a simple love song, and I would always try to sing the different parts because I love the harmonies.  Life used to be so hard/Now everything is easy, ’cause of you.
  5. One Headlight by The Wallflowers – this is Bob Dylan’s son Jakob Dylan, and I see he has the same lyrical dexterity as his father.
  6. One Week by Barenaked Ladies – What a great, fun song!  The Ladies have a great time with this one — try to keep up, and listen for all the pop culture references!
  7. Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads – David Byrne is a freak and a genius.  He looks at things differently than the rest of us.  I wish I could link the official video that aired on MTV, but it seems to be restricted.  Same as it ever was/Same as it ever was/Same as it ever was…
  8. Ooh La La by the Faces – early Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood (before he joined the Rolling Stones). I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger/I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was stronger.
  9. Over You by Daughtry – Chris Daughtry is an American Idol alum, and I really like his style.  Even though he finished 4th in the AI competition, he’s had a lot of commercial success with his self-titled band, making him the third most successful AI contestant after Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
  10. One in a Million by Larry Graham – I wanted to sing this song with my friend as a duet in a high school talent show but I lost my nerve.  My friend sang it alone and he was phenomenal.  I just think it’s a sweet love song, and I think he sounds a bit like Lou Rawls.
  11. Oh Very Young by Cat Stevens – before Yusuf Islam, there was Cat Stevens.  He was good looking, had a great voice, and wrote great songs.  I love Cat Stevens’ music.
  12. Old Man by Neil Young – Old man take a look at my life/I’m a lot like you. 
  13. One on One by Hall & Oates – Just one of the many H&O songs that are a guilty pleasure of mine.  Those guys had lots of hits in the 70’s and 80’s, and I bet most of you can name a few.  Here’s a bonus: Cee Lo Green singing it with Daryl Hall in an episode of “Live From Daryl’s House.”
  14. Operator by Jim Croce – I just love this song, and I love the squeak of fingers on guitar strings. This song has plenty. 😉 Thank you for your time/Oh you’ve been so much more than kind/And you can keep the dime.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

My Alphabet of Songs: N

Been lazy lately and the stuff in my head doesn’t seem like anything anyone else would want to read.  So I’ve just stared at the keyboard and come up with nothing.

But I do love the music, and I hope you do, too.  Here is my “N” list.  Want to catch up?  See the rest of the alphabet here.

  1. New Attitude by Patti LaBelle – This is one of my feel-good, crank-it-up songs that I like to sing at the top of my lungs!
  2. Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt – A friend of mine used to sing this in her local band; it always gave me a lump in my throat when she sang this part:
    I see my folks, they’re getting old, I watch their bodies change
    I know they see the same in me, And it makes us both feel strange
    No matter how you tell yourself, It’s what we all go through
    Those eyes are pretty hard to take when they’re staring’ back at you
    Scared you’ll run out of time
  3. No Scrubs by TLC – This is a fun song with attitude, and I think a lot of us ladies have known a few of these guys… Hangin’ out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, tryin’ to holla at me.
  4. Night Fever by The Bee Gees – I always want to do the Hustle when this one comes on.
  5. Nasty by Janet Jackson – Nasty boys don’t mean a thing.  This song was a favorite when my sister and I went out dancing.  All the girls wanted to look and dance like Janet, with the big shoulder pads, big earrings, and big hair.  Yep, I did it, too.  But I never liked boys in belly shirts. 😉  Notice Paula Abdul as one of Janet’s girlfriends?  
  6. Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues – one of those songs that stands the test of time.  This one is nearly as old as I am (released 1967), but I still love to hear it. And who doesn’t love the poetry at the end:
    Breathe deep the gathering gloom
    Watch lights fade from every room
    Bedsitter people look back and lament
    Another day’s useless energy spent
    Impassioned lovers wrestle as one
    Lonely man cries for love, and has none
    New mother picks up and suckles her son
    Senior citizens wish they were young
    Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
    Removes the colors from our sight
    Red is grey, and yellow, white
    But we decide which is right
    And which is an illusion.
  7. Norwegian Wood by the Beatles – So many of the Beatles’ songs are stories, and this is one.  Typical tongue-in-cheek Lennon lyrics.  Plus, I like the sitar.
  8. No Time by the Guess Who – this was a radio staple when I was growing up in the 70’s.  I always liked it.
  9. No Matter What by Badfinger – Another fun 70’s tune from the radio.  This band had some big hits, but sadly, lost two of their members to suicide.
  10. New Kid in Town by The Eagles – The Eagles are a great group with terrific arrangements and harmony.  They have a lot more in their repertoire than Hotel California.  This reminds me of Tequila Sunrise.
  11. New York’s Not My Home by Jim Croce – I wish we hadn’t lost him so young.  Croce’s music is timeless.
  12. Nowhere Man by the Beatles – Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to, isn’t he a bit like you and me?
  13. Nothing From Nothing by Billy Preston – a great, feel-good, top-down, sunny-day song!

My Alphabet of Songs: M

We’re at my Marvelous M Music now!  Enjoy!  And to recap, you can find the rest of the Alphabet here!

  1. Mercy, Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye – Silky smooth Marvin; as relevant today as it was when he wrote it in 1971.
  2. My Old School by Steely Dan – From Wikipedia (I know, I know): “In its March 24, 2006 edition, Entertainment Weekly details a return trip to Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York by Donald Fagen, in which he describes a raid by sheriff’s deputies in May 1969. Fagen, his girlfriend Dorothy White, Steely Dan bandmate Walter Becker, and some 50 other students were arrested. Charges were dropped, but the harassment was the origin of the grudge alluded to in “My Old School”. Fagen was reportedly so upset with the school being complicit with the arrests that he refused to attend graduation.”    And there you have it.
  3. Magic Bus by The Who – I don’t want to cause no fuss/but can I buy your magic bus?
  4. Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers – This song is one of the reasons I love Southern rock.  I don’t own the clothes I’m wearin’/and the road goes on forever/I got one more silver dollar/but I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no/not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Rider.
  5. Moondance by Van Morrison – The first Van Morrison song I ever heard; I love it.
  6. Moonlight Feels Right by Starbuck – I have loved this song from the first listen.  I love songs that feature unusual instruments or arrangements; the marimba solo in the middle of this song always made me wish I’d been a percussionist!
  7. Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard by Paul Simon – just a fun song.
  8. Morning Dance by Spyro Gyra – My friend Jon introduced me to Spyro Gyra, one of his favorite jazz groups.  I fell in love with these contemporary jazz musicians.  This is an old radio favorite, an instrumental that puts me in a good mood whenever I hear it.  Thanks, Jon.
  9. Mas Que Nada by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 – Originally written and recorded by Jorge Ben Jor.  I love Latin music.  The rhythms get me moving.  Someone had this album when I was growing up and I have always liked this little tune, which translates roughly to ‘I wish this samba would never end.’
  10. Maria Maria by Santana featuring The Product G&B – this song came out on Santana’s Supernatural album in 1999.  It’s been said that Carlos Santana doesn’t play guitar; he makes love to it.  I agree.
  11. Marrakesh Express by Crosby, Stills and Nash – Graham Nash wrote this one and sings lead.  The harmonies are great, like all CSN songs.
  12. Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin – A few years ago, I saw Kris Kristofferson, who wrote this song, in an intimate theatre show.  He reminisced about the old days and the talented people he used to sing and play with.  He sang this song for his friend Janis.
  13. Mornin‘ by Al Jarreau – This is a pretty corny video, but it puts a smile on my face when I hear this song.  It makes me feel good, and I do love Al Jarreau’s voice.
  14. Mr. Bojangles by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – this one is a little melancholy, but I’ve always liked it, even though the part about his dog dying tightens my throat.  Love the mandolin.
  15. My Funny Valentine by Frank Sinatra – this song has been recorded by a number of artists, but I always come back to Ol’ Blue Eyes.  I sing this to Mr. Stuck sometimes.

 

photo credit Horia Varlan