SING A SONG OF …?

Source: Debs Despatches

In response to an invitation from the always engaging Deb at Debs Dispatches, I am joining her in sharing the songs which perhaps best represents me as a person. Deb’s choices are all really good, not to mention the fact that I was delighted to see she chose Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dance,” which was a huge favorite of my father’s (cue lump in throat on 1, 2, 3…).

In keeping to the same style and format in which Deb presented her list, below are songs which in some way perhaps represent that person I am also.

Out of respect to Deb and her kind overture to me (Ha, overture! See what I did there? Okay, sorry…), I promise not to list any Spike Jones, Monty Python, “Weird Al” Yankovic, or the “Shaving Cream” song of my youth, which once incited my mother to almost wash my mouth out with soap after I sang it. Also, some of the YouTube links might not work for international readers. My apologies if that happens to you. So with these housekeeping matters established, away we go…


A song you like with a color in the title: Pinky” from Elton John’s Caribou. Right out of the gate I’m cheating here because “Pinky” is obviously not a color, but in fact a person in either Elton or Bernie Taupin’s world. I nevertheless always thought this song captures the absolute essence of having a wonderful someone in your life. So lets pretend it’s a color just to stay in theme here!

A song you like with a number in the title:Questions 67 and 68” from Chicago’s ‘Chicago Transit Authority’. If “Pinky” provides the feeling of being with the perfect person, then perhaps this song helps answer the questions of how we found that special someone.

A song that reminds you of summertime:Hot Fun in the Summertime” released as a single only by Sly & The Family stone (later included on a greatest hits album). This song always takes me back to my summers as a kid in the sixties and seventies, when the world seemed full of unlimited possibilities: Hitting my first home run while playing baseball with friends, getting a brand new Schwinn bike, and keeping the anxieties of schoolwork a very distant memory until September.

A song that needs to be played loud: So, so many possible choices for this one: “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin, “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, and so many others. But the one I never fail to turn up LOUD when it comes on in the car radio is “Street Fighting Man” from the Rolling Stone’s ‘Beggars Banquet’ album. I was never a fighter nor much of a rabble rouser myself, but for me this is the song that will exorcise any demons currently taunting my psyche. Mick and Charlie shine on this one to boot.

A song to drive to: And speaking of driving, I have three favorite artists or groups whose music I like to take out on the road with me: Tom Petty, Steely Dan, and Van Morrison. But if I have to pick just one song here it has to be “My Old School” from Steely Dan’s ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’. For me its rhythmic melody not only screams “Road Trip!,” but it’s also quite evocative of my own college days shenanigans.

A song that makes you happy:Raspberry Beret” from Prince’s ‘Around the World in a Day.’ This song never fails to give me that extra spurt of energy when it plays in my ear buds while I’m in the middle of a workout.

A song that makes you sad:Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. She reaches in and just pulls you right into the heartache as she beautifully sings about a former lover of hers. This is a torch song, and you can’t help but feel her emotions. For me it’s Sara’s absolute best song, and that’s really saying something given her discography. She’s such an underrated songwriter. Her live solo version of this song for iTunes is also worth a listen.

A song you never get tired of:Firth of Fifth” from the Genesis ‘Selling England by the Pound’ album. It’s a tour de force of prog rock, from Tony Banks’ impressive opening piano to what is probably Steve Hackett’s finest moment in Genesis, with his soaring and beautiful guitar solo towards the end of the song.

A song from your preteen years: Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” from the Four Tops’ ‘Reach Out’ album. I’ve specifically linked to a live version below even with its lousy sound quality. The Four Tops were always such an exciting band to watch. They remain my absolute favorite from that great Motown era.

One of your favorite 80s songs: Oh come on, Deb, you’re making this incredibly hard! It will have to be another Genesis song because they are my favorite band. I pick “Abacab” from the album of the same name. This is a very controversial song among Genesis fans. For many it’s the final straw of those who loved them for their prog roots, and for others it makes the band more relevant in a music decade that was clearly shoving the old guard out the door. “Abacab” is an audacious song and makes no bones about it. It’s good to be audacious now and then.

A favorite song to request at a wedding: Would pick “Fly Me To The Moon” by Tony Bennett, off his neato-titled 1965 album ‘If I Ruled The World: Songs For the Jet Set.’ This is my favorite Tony Bennett song.

A favorite classical song: The first movement from Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter“). This piece was performed at the very first classical concert I ever attended (The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sixten Ehrling conducting). From the very first notes played, it grabs you and sweeps you off your feet.

A song you’d sing at a karaoke bar: Well…. truth be told, I’d much rather just sit in that bar and watch Deb perform “7 Seconds.” I have been told over and over that I cannot sing in tune or in a key that resembles that actual work I’m trying to honor. So, provided the audience is sufficiently lubricated, I would love to give Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” a try. Off his magnificent ‘Back in the High Life’ album, this is also a great dance tune. Which, hopefully people would be doing instead of watching me.

A song from your childhood: The earliest song I can remember, no doubt from my sisters playing it on the record player, is the Beatles “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” I can clearly remember singing it back to my mother when she asked me to hold her hand as we crossed a busy street once, and her laughing in response. Those are good memories.

A song you know entirely by heart: It would have to be Crosby Stills and Nash’s “Teach Your Children.” I would suspect Gorgeous can probably sing it by heart at this point too, because she hears me sing it regularly whilst I’m in the shower. She suffers long.

My thanks to Deb for inviting me along on this musical ride of hers. Now, don’t just sit there listening to the tunes; Sign up for her wonderful blog if you haven’t already!

Until next time..

37 thoughts on “SING A SONG OF …?

  1. Ooh, great challenge! And memories…. Also a big Genesis fan. For me the quintessential early teen/summer/have to play it loud song has to be Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” from 1965. And anything by the Stones.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those were great choices! I read recently (NY Times: The Culture Warped Pop, for Good) about how many (most?) of the songs today don’t have the same structure as older songs. The words are hard to remember and the melodies don’t invite singing them yourself (if that makes sense). For instance, I doubt that most of today’s popular songs will be sung on road trips in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What an awesome challenge.. and incredibly timely. Richard and I are currently on an up-island day drive and just had the same discussion that you and Janis had regarding that recent article. I 100% agree. They don’t make pop music like they used to!!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. A true story I’ve probably told too many times on this blog, but I can’t help but mention it again: The Bee Gees sang a song called Run to Me with the lyrics: “Run to me, if you need a shoulder.” But for years I thought they were singing, ““Run to me, if you need a show girl.” 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Bwahahahahaha! I heard someone mention that song…”superstition” by Stevie Wonder. I finally looked up the lyrics.
        Strap me to the side of a hog and roll me in the mud! I thought it started “there is”superstion
        ” instead of “very.”
        Then…when he sang “superstion is the way,” I thought he was saying “gigilo filter is today.” Go figure. 🥴

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Oh and guys we all know there’s a ‘bathroom on the right’ (from my years of mishearing ccr’s ‘bad moon rising’ – it’s really ‘bad moon on the rise’) Sorry just had to interject that here cuz I love the Raspberry Parade mishearing – prefer it even to the true lyric actually!
        🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Sue Bowers

    That had to be so difficult! Given a second chance, would you have changed any of the answers? Not that you asked for it, but i totally approved of Street Fighting Man (you know me, anything Stones), Higher Love, even Tony Bennet, though for a wedding, I think U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For would be great, but that’s just me. But my dear boy, no Eric Clapton? No Lil’ Nas X even! Not keen on his last raunchy video, but love the song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am curious where you will go with this post, Marty, since I know you love all types of music. Of course, I had to click on “Shaving Cream” and I ended up listening to all of it. Thank you for the ear worm and I will ‘make’ my husband listen to it…….hopefully he will not be offended. 🙂

    Fun, reminiscing with Elton John. I had the opportunity to see him when I was a teen in Vancouver, BC- the era of the colourful ping pong balls coming out of his head.

    “I want to hold your hand” – Grade 7 sock hop. I am not surprised by the eclectic artists coming from you, Marty. Thank you for taking me down memory lane. I will check in of Deb (new to me). She ‘sounds’ like a fun gal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pretty cavalier of me to say I wouldn’t use those sophomoric tunes, and then proceed to do just that with Shaving Cream, eh Erica? It cracked me up at the time that my mother was angry at me for singing a silly song from HER generation. 😂. Hopefully your hubby won’t want wash my mouth out with soap either!

      I saw EJ in the early 80’s. I always wanted to again but ticket prices go so expensive. One had to make hard choices. 💰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A great list of songs! What an interesting way to think about/process your life via songs. I read Deb’s post and said there, as I will here, that Smooth by Santana is my favorite song– barely beating out Layla by Eric Clapton. Maybe toss in Deacon Blues by Steely Dan for good luck. And something jazzy like Take Five by Dave Brubeck. And Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. [Now what have I revealed about myself with this list?]

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve revealed that you’re also a music lover, Ally. 🙂 Prior to starting this, I thought it would be a quick post to write and produce. Nope! It must have taken me all afternoon yesterday, which ultimately tells me music can be complicated. But it was fun to do.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh such a ‘fun, fun, fun’ post (I’m not a BeachBoys Fan, but couldn’t resist).
    Your selections are awesome, Marty. Now to begin with the psychoanalysis of your choices! HA!
    I’m impressed with your thoroughness in doing this challenge – picking favorite music is hard!!!!
    Kudos to Gorgeous for enduring your Shower-Singing on continuous repeat.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. debscarey

    Marty, I’m sooooooo delighted you did take up my suggestion as your selections are fab 🙂 There were some which were new to me, so huge thanks for adding those to my playlist. You left me with a HUGE lump in my throat with the Crosby Still & Nash clip – it’s been way too long since I listened to that one. And you said some lovely words about my blog & me too – what a gent you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love a good music post, Deb! I’m passionate about so many forms (particularly jazz), but I thought it best to just stick to pop music here. It was fun to do, and I must admit it took me much longer to write up than I thought it would. With all the videos to include, that was actual work! But enjoyable work all the same. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. debscarey

        Marty, I’d love to read one on purely jazz as a fan myself. I did one for the A-Z challenge one year (on a different blog) and it was terribly hard to choose (if fun).

        Liked by 1 person

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