Category Archives: Musical Mondays

Music Monday heats up with @ArethaFranklin

The “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin turned 75 this past weekend. Her last album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics released in 2014 and features hits from singers Adele, Alicia Keys, and others.

Though I like Aretha’s rendition of these songs, I much prefer the ones she popularized — “Respect,” in particular.

It’s a simple thing, but it means a lot when we deal with people.

We want and expect it. We should treat others with it.

Certainly in today’s tumultuous climate, we can all use more of it.

Enjoy, and have a great week.

eden

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Music Monday remembers Chuck Berry

We lost legendary musician, Chuck Berry this past weekend at the age of 90. Berry was apparently working on a new album when he died.

With so many memorable songs, it wasn’t an easy task to choose just one, but who doesn’t know “Johnny B. Goode?” It’s the semi-autobiographical tale of a guitar player down on his luck who ends up with his name in lights.

It’s also powered by the most memorable guitar intro in rock history.

Thank you for the music, Chuck Berry, undisputed father of rock and roll.

May you rest in peace.

eden

 

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Music Monday heats up with @EdSheeran

Of all the new artists who’ve emerged of late, Ed Sheeran is my favourite.

“Shape of You” is accompanied by a video that features an interracial pairing. The narrative follows Sheeran as a boxer who strikes up a romance with a female boxer. When she apparently leaves him, he trains to fight a most unusual opponent.

It’s a fun video, a catchy tune, and I hope it infuses your week with great energy.

Enjoy,

eden

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Music Monday heats up with Joni Mitchell

Most weeks, I’m able to come up with my Music Monday choice by Sunday, but last night I drew a blank … until this morning.

This is a song I’ve posted before, though the video is one I just found.

Beautiful lyrics, poetry, and the haunting voice of Joni Mitchell deserves a replay.

Enjoy it again, and have a wonderful week,

eden

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Music Monday heats up with @JTimberlake

I have a soft spot for Justin Timberlake. He can sing, dance, act, and in all the times I’ve seen him, he’s never taken himself seriously.

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” is from the movie Trolls.

Timberlake performed it as the opening number of the 89th Academy Awards Show, aired last night. Even though the song lost to “City of Stars” from La La Land, it’s a great song to dance to, so get up and move!

Have a fun week and enjoy the end of February,

eden

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Music Monday heats up with Talking Heads

David Byrne of Talking Heads is a hell of a performer. He’s mesmerizing in this innovative and bizarre video for the song “Once in a Lifetime.”

Sung in a stream of consciousness lyrical style inspired by early rap, it’s a favorite of mine from the album, Remain in Light. The song is an adventurous foray into African mythologies and rhythms.

Of particular interest to me was that Byrne was suffering writer’s block prior to this album. He looked to African music to break his writer’s block, realizing that when African musicians forget words, they often improvise and make new ones up. (I should try that for my next book. 😉 )

He also viewed footage of various tribal, religious rituals and incorporated some of their movements, in keeping with the “unconscious religious lyrics.”

That explains a lot when you listen to the words and watch his performance.

Enjoy the song. If this past week is any indication, spring is hopefully around the corner!

eden

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Music Monday heats up with Al Jarreau

Continuing on my theme of songs that keep me warm, here’s one from legendary jazz and R & B musician, Al Jarreau.

Mr. Jarreau passed away yesterday at age 76. I was sad to hear of another artist leaving us.

This single, probably his most well-known song, charted in 1981. I credit it as one of those songs that introduced me to jazz and helped me appreciate the genre.

Enjoy the sweet sound of “We’re in this Love Together” and have a good week,

eden

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Music Monday heats up with Bruce @Springsteen

Another interesting week has passed. Another is heating up.

“One Step Up” by Bruce Springsteen encapsulates the turmoil of a relationship between a man and a woman, but it can easily extend beyond this pairing.

Different belief systems and political affiliations are creating ever-increasing turbulent relationships.

This song reflects how I feel about the world of late.

+ + +

One Step Up

Woke up this morning my house was cold
Checked out the furnace she wasn’t burnin’
Went out and hopped in my old Ford
Hit the engine but she ain’t turnin’
We’ve given each other some hard lessons lately
But we ain’t learnin’
We’re the same sad story that’s a fact
One step up and two steps back

Bird on a wire outside my motel room
But he ain’t singin’
Girl in white outside a church in June
But the church bells they ain’t ringing
I’m sittin’ here in this bar tonight
But all I’m thinkin’ is
I’m the same old story same old act
One step up and two steps back

It’s the same thing night on night
Who’s wrong baby who’s right
Another fight and I slam the door on
Another battle in our dirty little war
When I look at myself I don’t see
The man I wanted to be
Somewhere along the line I slipped off track
I’m caught movin’ one step up and two steps back

There’s a girl across the bar
I get the message she’s sendin’
Mmm she ain’t lookin’ too married
And me well honey I’m pretending
Last night I dreamed I held you in my arms
The music was never-ending
We danced as the evening sky faded to black
One step up and two steps back

+ + +

Born to Run is Bruce Springsteen’s new autobiography.  I gave it as a gift to my husband and he read it in a week, said it was terrific.

Consider it for the music lover in your life.

Have a good week,

eden

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Music Monday heats up with The O’Jays

It was quite the week with the transition of power from President Obama to the now, new president Trump. Social media blew up with rants about every aspect of the inauguration. I watched most of it live streaming on Facebook until I could not longer stomach the venomous comments. Add to that countless protests worldwide, and at times, the anger was palpable.

I am grateful for the Women’s March on Saturday, which, though heated at times, proved to be peaceful and harmonious. It showed extraordinary organization and power in numbers. And it wasn’t just women marching, of course. People from all over the world participated as a display of dissent against the Trump presidency.

He is on notice. I can only hope he listens.

This weekend, I heard “For the Love of Money” amongst other songs by The O’Jays. The group has a distinct sound, and I’ve loved their music since “Love Train” so long ago.

Well … it was interesting to learn this song was associated with Trump for his reality TV show, The Apprentice. 

The lyrics start with “Money” repeated six times, but it’s not a song that praises wealth and money. Quite the contrary, the title was a quote from the Bible, which read:

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

I am not religious, but I thought it coincidental that I should hear this song at this time. Its meaning speaks to self-awareness and control, not of greed and idolatry.

I wonder if the new president realized this when he used the song for his show. If not, then he should certainly heed its true meaning now.

Have a good week, everyone,

eden

 

 

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Music Monday heats up with Sam Cooke

Continuing on my theme of songs that keep me warm, here’s one that also leads us into an historic week.

By this Friday, the USA will have a new president.

The president elect has been heating up Twitter and the news for months now.

The lyrics of this song by Sam Cooke allude to all the things the singer knows little about, and yet, thankfully, he does know about love.

My wish for the new president is he realizes what he does not know and takes the time to learn it.

We don’t have a perfect world because it’s made up of imperfect people. What we do have, however, is a wondrous place, and we must live in it together.

Please spread love and compassion for your fellow human beings, and let’s try our best to make this a wonderful world,

eden

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Music Monday heats up with @RealMeatLoaf

I tried hard to find a song about the cold, ice or snow. Basically, anything that could be associated with winter.

Though these songs do exist, I wasn’t in the mood for chilly tunes. Instead, I’m thinking about warmth and sun. For this reason, I’ll feature hot-themed songs until the weather warms up again. The connections may be convoluted, but then … so is my thought process of late.

In that vein, enjoy “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” from Meat Loaf. It’s from his Bat Out of Hell album, and hell is hot, right? 😉

If you’re a Meat Loaf fan, he released a new album a few months ago called Braver Than We Are, available now.

Stay warm and have a great week,

eden

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Music Monday flows with @The_xx

Happy New Year! Thanks so much for joining me for my first post of 2017.

If you don’t know by now, Mondays on my blog are reserved for music because music inspires so much of what I do. I’ve been featuring both old and new songs here since 2010, and it all started with this little post. I laughed when I read it again; it was long ago when I first started my blog. At the time, a regular music post seemed the perfect way to kick off the week. It still does.

Music has always been a constant in my life, so I hope you will continue to join me every Monday.

For 2017, I’m starting with an English band I first heard last summer.

The xx is a trio who’ve been around since 2005. They are releasing their third studio album in a couple of weeks, but this track, aptly called “Intro” came off their debut album.

I first heard “Intro” while in a hot yoga class with one of my favourite teachers, Erick.

I recall sweat dripping off my forehead as I held a painful plank pose. More than likely, I was cursing Erick under my breath too.

Then this song came on, and herein lies the power of music for me.

Suddenly, my energy changed. I forgot the pressure on my wrists and the trembling in my core. The first notes of this tune injected power into my arms and I lifted my sagging middle just a little bit higher.

Instead of being in agony, I was now Superwoman, (well, not really), but I knew I could hold that pose much longer than I had initially thought.

Have a listen to The xx, and let me know if you don’t feel a spring in your step afterward. 🙂 Crank it up!

Enjoy, and hope you have an energetic, super-charged, and powerful week,

~eden

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Music Monday honors Bob Dylan ~ Subterranean Homesick Blues

It’s the second last Monday of the year, and my final music post of 2016. Bob Dylan concludes it with “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

In addition to his influence on music, this song was one of the first “modern” promotional film clips, long before the rise of MTV. The original clip was the opening segment of the film Don’t Look Back, a documentary on Dylan’s 1965 tour of England. In the film, Dylan, who came up with the idea, holds up cue cards with selected words and phrases from the lyrics.

The cue cards were written by Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Neuwirth and Dylan himself.

In 2004, Dylan said the song was taken from Chuck Berry, a bit of ‘Too Much Monkey Business” and some of the scat songs of the forties.

Dylan has also stated he fell under the influence of the Beat scene, and it was Jack Kerouac’s The Subterraneans, a novel published in 1958 about the Beats, that may have been the inspiration for the song’s title.

Great song and video. Wishing you a stress-free week as we head into Christmas and Hannukah. 😉

~eden

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Music Monday honors Bob Dylan ~ A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall sung by Patti Smith

This past Saturday, Nobel laureates gathered on a stage in Stockholm to receive their awards. Bob Dylan, who won the prize for literature was absent. During the awards ceremony, singer Patti Smith performed Dylan’s song ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ in his place.

At one point during the performance, Smith falters, apologizes, and says she is nervous. The audience applauds and she continues.

Her humility shows her for the class act that she is. She is human and imperfect. Her rendition of the song is wrought with emotion, and for me, that is much more important than perfection.

Enjoy, and I hope your week is a great one,

~eden

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Music Monday honors Bob Dylan ~ I Want You

I’m continuing with Bob Dylan for the rest of 2016, and unlike the previous two weeks, I’ve chosen a different type of song. It’s neither political commentary nor an anthem of change.

Don’t get me wrong. This is Dylan. It’s still a complex song.

“I Want You” is lyrically rich, though I’ll admit I only ever remember the happy melody and repetitively longing chorus.

“… I want you, I want you
Yes, I want you so bad
Honey, I want you …”

These words take up space in my brain over the more intricate lines in the song. They stir me because of their passionate simplicity, as if to say: “Nothing else matters, and I’d give up everything to be with you.”

It’s madness, and yet, who would not want to hear these words spoken to them?

It’s coming to the end of the year, and it’s not been an easy one for many of us. Maybe it’s best to let rationality slip away for a while, if only for the time it takes to listen to this song.

Enjoy your week,

~eden

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Music Monday honors Bob Dylan ~ Things Have Changed

Following up on the same theme with Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'” from last week, we move to this song, released in 2000.

“Things Have Changed” hailed from the soundtrack for Wonder Boys. It won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

It’s another fitting song for the times. Here is the last verse.

” …  I hurt easy, I just don’t show it
You can hurt someone and not even know it
The next sixty seconds could be like an eternity
Gonna get lowdown, gonna fly high
All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie
I’m love with a woman who don’t even appeal to me

Mr. Jinx and Miss Lucy, they jumped in the lake
I’m not that eager to make a mistake

People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed.”

Have a good week,

~eden

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Music Monday honors Bob Dylan ~ The Times They Are A-Changin’

Since 1901, the Swedish Academy has annually awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in memory of donor, Alfred Nobel.

On October 13th, it honored Bob Dylan as its latest recipient. The last time an American received the prize was in 1993 with Toni Morrison.

The Academy cited Dylan’s work as “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

I have mixed feelings about his victory.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Bob Dylan is brilliant. I value his contributions to music, culture, poetry, and I love many of his songs. I would not dare downplay his talent.

No, my thoughts have to do with whether he should be given a prize that has been traditionally awarded to a writer of fiction and non-fiction.

It hardly seems like a level playing field to measure the song lyric against prose.

Prose presents itself naked on a page while the lyric is dressed up with voice or instrumentation or both.

As an author who struggles to create with only words, I know how difficult it is to produce a story, poem, or novel, and I empathize with writers because of this.

Bob Dylan is an incredible songwriter—perhaps the best, but is he a writer of literature? I don’t believe so.

Regardless, I want to honor him and his music over the coming weeks, for the simple reason that his songs remain as relevant today as they were when he first wrote them. That is an amazing feat when you consider they span a career of more than fifty years.

I was surprised to discover that after writing nearly 300 music posts, I’ve blogged Bob Dylan only three times, and just once on his own with “Blowin’ in the Wind” as part of my Harmonica series.

The other two times were in a group with “My Back Pages” and “End of the Line” with the Traveling Wilburys.

In light of the recent American election results, this classic of Dylan’s is once again, prophetic of changing times.

Here we see him performing for President Obama at the White House (Feb. 2010) in celebration of music from the Civil Rights Movement.

Is it me, or do you feel a twinge of irony in this?

Wishing all a peaceful week,

~ eden

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Music Mondays remembers Leonard Cohen

leonard cohen 2

I started my Music(al) Mondays segment November 2010, and Leonard Cohen was the second blog in the series. It’s with great sadness that he is no longer with us.

Here’s a wonderful quote from him: (on his writing process).

“Well, I’ve never been intimidated by form … What we call a novel, that is, a book of prose where there are characters and developments and changes and situations, that’s always attracted me, because in a sense it is the heavyweight arena. I like it — it frightens me, from that point of view — because of the regime that is involved in novel-writing. I can’t be on the move, it needs a desk, it needs a room and a typewriter, a regime. And I like that very much.” 

Cohen had an innate love of the English language, and it’s revealed in every interview I’ve ever read of him. He was thoughtful in how he chose his words and phrased his responses. His economy of words was what made him both poetic and interesting.

The inspiration I took from him almost six years ago lives on.

It’s time for me to get writing, but not before I leave you with one of Leonard Cohen’s songs.

“Tower of Song” is both funny and self-depreciating. The song jokes about his voice (“I was born like this / I had no choice / I was born with the gift of a golden voice”). He ranks his songwriting skills “a hundred floors” below those of Hank Williams, and admits to the ravages of time with the line “I ache in the places where I used to play.”

Rest in peace, dear sweet man. May you forever sing to us from your tower of song.

Looking forward to a better week,

eden

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Music Monday flows with Billy Joel

I’m back from Ubud, Bali. It was a wonderful trip and went by too quickly.

I felt very much at home there.

Yet, now that I’m back in Toronto, this song, “You’re My Home” reminds me that home is not a place, but where my heart belongs.

“When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home

When you touch my weary head
And you tell me everything will be all right
You say, “Use my body for your bed
And my love will keep you warm throughout the night”
Well I’ll never be a stranger and I’ll never be alone
Whenever we’re together, that’s my home

Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Indiana’s early morning dew
High up in the hills of California
Home is just another word for you

Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home

If I travel all my life
And I never get to stop and settle down
Long as I have you by my side
There’s a roof above and good walls all around
You’re my castle, you’re my cabin and my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house ’cause you’re my home.
You’re my home.

If I travel all my life
And I never get to stop and settle down
Long as I have you by my side
There’s a roof above and good walls all around
You’re my castle, you’re my cabin and my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house ’cause you’re my home.
You’re my home.”

Enjoy an oldie by Billy Joel and have a great week,

~eden

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Music Monday flows with Pink Floyd #Bali

Hello from Ubud, Bali.

The past week has been incredible in so many ways. To find inspiration for my writing is one of the reasons I took this trip, and I am so happy I did.

If for no other reason, I’ve confirmed that the sights, sounds, and smells of Bali have to be experienced. There is no possible way I could have breathed the magic of Ubud without being here.

Last night, I went to the Laughing Buddha Bar to decompress after a day of writing, sightseeing, and dinner. It’s a small, live music venue located on Monkey Forest Road, one of the few main arteries in Ubud. An Indonesian band called the Cooltones played rock cover tunes.

They were very good musicians.

Along with Clapton, Hendrix, and Muddy Waters, they also played this song by Pink Floyd.

Oh …. how I wish you were here.

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