HBD, Pops!

I know it’s kind of an arbitrary age to write a post to one’s parent, but seeing as how life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns, and how tomorrow is promised to no one, this post is dedicated to my dad on his 73rd birthday.

This post is a two-parter.  It contains the opening and closing paragraphs of a writing course assignment in which I had to write about someone I admire.  It also contains lyrics from Dan Fogelberg’sLeader of the Band“.
Here are the opening and closing paragraphs of my assignment on my father, The Professional Soldier:

Woosha-woosha-woosha.  The whispery sound of brush on shoe quietly echoed through our house each morning.  Each morning also brought the musky smell of Old Spice, my father’s after shave.  In the kitchen, Old Spice mixed with the aroma of coffee and peanut butter on toast.  One more quick trip to the bathroom to brush his teeth and my father was on his way to work.  Routine.  The Army drills until its tasks become second nature in any terrain or climate.  Similarly, whether we were living in Germany, Hawaii, or one of the U. S. states, my father ‘s morning regimen was precision.  He left the house on time every day looking sharp, ready to accomplish the tasks the day presented.  For many years, to me, he was the embodiment of the Army –the professional soldier.

My father taught me more than he knows about setting standards for ourselves and always striving to maintain those standards.  He showed me how to be a leader.  He inspired me to always do my best, to set high standards and work to achieve my goals.  I suppose I also got my unwavering patriotism from my father, the professional soldier.

Leader of the Band is a great ballad that Dan Fogelberg wrote as a tribute to his father.  While my father wasn’t a musician, he did love playing his records, and I credit the variety he played with influencing my love of so many varied genres.  His “stories of the road” were stories of places he had lived growing up and after enlisting in the Army…some of which my family were part of.  The rest of these lines are self-explanatory, but so aptly apply:

I thank you for the music and your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
And papa, I don’t think I said I love you near enough

Happy Birthday, Dad!
I Love You!

Monday’s #MorningMusic Wrap-Up – September 14 – 20, 2015

September 14th

You should give me a chance
This can’t be the end
I’m still loving you

from “Still Loving You” by Scorpions

While I love Bon Jovi and their ballads, as well as many others out there, Still Loving You ranks as my number one metal ballad.  Klaus Meine’s got a great voice and he pours all his angst into his pleading vocals, professing his undying love.

The video is from the Acoustica performance in Portugal.  I enjoy the sound of this version, but it doesn’t have quite the same impact without the soaring vocals Klaus has in the original version.

September 15th

We have a love that’s strong and true
It’s true in every way
I want to be with you
Each and every day

from “Happy” by Surface

Oh yeah! This was the jam back in the day.  Surface made quite a living on their love songs.

Watch “Happy” on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIC6MHLaZLs

September 16th

Do you see what I see
A rainbow shining over us
In the middle of a hopeless storm

from “I’m Free” by Jon Secada

Jon Secada has a great voice and this is a great song.  Such a powerful message.  When things look bleak, look for the positives, the signs that things will get better.

September 18th

Got fire in your veins, burning hot
but you don’t feel the pain
Your desire is insane, you can’t stop
until you do it again

from “Urgent” by Foreigner

Great energy in this song.  It conveys the need, the hunger, the…urgency.

Watch “Urgent” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/FHnNIoNUZig

Monday’s #MorningMusic Wrap-Up – September 7 – 13, 2015

September 8th

Light a candle, blow the world away
Table for two on a TV tray
It ain’t fancy, baby that’s OK
Our time, our way

from “Born To Be My Baby” by Bon Jovi

One of my favorites songs from the New Jersey album.  Me and my baby, taking on the world, living the our lives the best we can.

September 9th

Baby does what baby please
baby must have what she sees
but not this time the tables turned
and, baby, you just got burned

from “Shot Through the Heart” by Bon Jovi

From Bon Jovi’s debut album, Shot Through the Heart wasn’t a huge chart breaker, but I like it a lot.

This concert video is from Bon Jovi’s 1985 tour and features an intro that’s not on the album.  To hear it, play the video from the beginning.

September 10th

Face the truth and realize
You don’t need his alibi’s
No more

from “When It’s Over” by Loverboy

It’s always obvious to those of us looking at a relationship to see when one of them is cheating, isn’t it?

September 11th

Watch it now
The eagle in the sky
How he dancin’ one and only

from “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes

Coincidental that these lines came through my speakers on this date?  As Toby said “the eagle will fly, and it’s gonna be Hell.”  Powerful and dangerous when protecting its own.  Beautiful to watch soaring across the sky.

Monday’s #MorningMusic Wrap-Up – August 31st – September 6, 2015

August 31st

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown

from “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon

A couple weeks late for my anniversary, but this is so true about my love and our relationship.  It’s grown and matured and gotten deeper.

September 1st

You got me spinnin’, baby
you know that I’m in a trance
‘Cause your love is better
than any love I know

from “Knock On Wood” by Amii Stewart

I love some Bee Gees, but this is probably my favorite disco tune.

September 2nd

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
Oh when it hasn’t been your day
Your week, your month, or even your year

from “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts

We all have those times when we seem to be spinning our wheels…working hard and getting nowhere.  Sometimes its a few days, sometimes it’s much longer, but we all hit walls, big and small.  If you can’t get out of second gear, just take it slower and keep going.  Don’t blow the engine, you’ll get there later than sooner, but you’ll get there.

September 3rd

I said, that’s life, and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks,
Stompin’ on a dream

from “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra

We all know people like this, right?  The friend, spouse, or relative that can only see the negative…the chance for failure in anything we might venture.  Even if they don’t get their kicks doing so, they just can’t seem to find a positive way to look at things…no chance of the “what if” working out for the better.  Well, you just have to learn to brush those naysayers aside, let the Debbie Downers criticize and fret all they want while you strive for greatness.

The video is set to start at the 1:10 minute mark when Old Blue Eyes starts singing, but he actually his lead in is actually a little humorous if you want to start from the beginning.

Monday’s #MorningMusic Wrap-Up – August 17 – 23, 2015

On vacation last week so I’m catching up with the week before’s #MorningMusic Wrap-up.

August 17th

So lately, been wondering
Who will be there to take my place
When I’m gone you’ll need love to light the shadows on your face

from “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling

This song’s got a nice rock sound, but it’s the lyrics that make it. Every now and then I wonder what would happen if I die before my wife. Will she meet someone else with whom she’ll find love and/or companionship? I know that I want her to be happy. These lines reflect my thoughts.

August 18th

There’s nothing where he used to lie
My inspiration has run dry
That’s what is goin’ on
Nothin’s right

from “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia

I’m not sure who the “he” is in these lyrics, but I can understand the loss of inspiration, the feeling of “nothing’s right”. It’s difficult to explain…and I’ve been in an non-creative place for about half a year or so now. Maybe it’s lack of inspiration. Maybe it’s lack of taking the time to write. Maybe a little of both.

August 19th

You were the one who left me neglected [I’m so sorry]
Apology not accepted, add me to the broken hearts you collected

from “All Cried Out” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam

While most folks only remember Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s upbeat hits “Head to Toe” and “Lost in Emotion”, I always loved the emotion Lisa Lisa pours into this song. You can feel her pain, her broken heart.

August 20th

My head is full of magic, baby
And I can’t share this with u
I feel I’m on top again, baby
That’s got everything to do with u

from “So Alive” by Love and Rockets

In contrast to the emotion-filled sound of Lisa Lisa’s song, this hit by Love and Rockets is very measured and steady, but it completely works. It fits the “I am full of magic, but I can’t share it with you” story while still vibing with the energy of the subject being the reason for the magic, for being a success.

August 21st

Big bill collecters, they ring my phone,
they bother me when I’m not at home.

from “I Wanna Be Rich” by Calloway

The theme song for all of us struggling through life, living paycheck to paycheck, wishing we were “movin’ on up”.

August 22nd

Come my love I’ll tell you a tale
Of a boy and girl and their love story
And how he loved her oh so much

from “Storybook Love” by Mark Knopfler

The front man for Dire Straits solo work on one of my top five movies, The Princess Bride, brought us this love song…part story, part solemn vow.

Monday’s #MorningMusic Wrap-Up – August 10 – 16, 2015

I forgot to hit the publish button last night…

August 10th

Miss on her own
Miss almost grown
Miss never let a man help her off her throne

from “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson

One of Kelly’s first hits.  Probably my favorite, with the possible exception of “Because of You”.  I just dig the way she’s singing along then hits the chorus with a huge burst of volume.

August 11th

So don’t you sit upon the shoreline
And say you’re satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide

from “The River” by Garth Brooks

Some of my favorite lyrics here from one of Garth’s best songs.  Check out a post I wrote that was sort of inspired by some of Garth’s songs:  Carpe Diem…or YOLO for you young’uns


August 12th

Well I can promise you tomorrow
But I can’t buy back yesterday

from “I’ll Be There For You” by Bon Jovi

One of Bon Jovi’s many power ballads.  I love singing along to this one and I sound just like Jon when I’m in my car with the sound cranked.  It’s amazing!

August 13th

I’m so in love, so in love with the games that you play
So in love, and nothing can keep me away

from “Keep Coming Back” by Richard Marx

This tune’s about knowing the relationship isn’t good, but not being able to stay away. Can’t toooo many of us relate to that?

August 14th

The old for her the new that made
Me think on Ireland dearly
While soft the wind blew down the glade
And shook the golden barley

from “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” by Loreena McKennitt

This is a hauntingly beautiful song of love and death.

This link is to a video showing scenery of Ireland to the audio track of “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”.  Beautiful scenery, of course…tis Ireland, after all:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPhzgQBlCTY.

Carpe Diem…or YOLO for you young’uns

While Garth Brooks is not my favorite country artist, he does have some fantastic songs that speak to the subject of this post.  “The River” is one of those songs:

So don’t you sit upon the shoreline
And say you’re satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide

These are some of my favorite lyrics of all time and the message is very much the same as one of his other songs that’s a favorite of mine, “Standing Outside the Fire”:  Live Your Life.

Whether you prefer carpe diem or the newer YOLO, follow Nike’s old slogan and “Just Do It”.  Get out and enjoy life.  Don’t hide in the house.  Don’t spend every moment in the at work, banking your leave for a payout when you retire.  You never know when your ticket is going to be pulled or when you’re going to be struck ill.  Tomorrow is promised to no one.  Make the most of your life while you can. 

I’m not saying to quit your job and live life by the seat of your pants, but don’t be afraid to take a chance, to visit places you’ve never been, to spend heavily on a trip to see old friends or take your family somewhere memorable or see a country you’ve always longed to see.

For those of us working class folks, it’s about choosing what’s important.  Do your job, make your money, but remember that you’re working so you can enjoy life.  Spend time with your family and friends.  When you’re old and feeble and can’t travel, it won’t have done you any good to have saved those precious pennies if you have no memories to recall other than how your boss could always count on you being there when he needed you.

Don’t stand outside the fire folks!

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