Music Monday – No Valentines

No Love for Valentines

Everybody wants a box of chocolates
and a long stem rose.
Everybody knows.
–from “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen

It’s nearing Valentine’s Day.  No pressure on those in love, right?  Every Kiss Begins with Kay.  Diamonds are a girls best friend.  A dozen long-stemmed roses at two or three times the normal price.  If you love her, you’ll buy her a Lexus, or maybe that’s just at Christmas.  And these are just the examples of what commercialization dumps on those in love, and maybe lust, too.  Who knows what kinds of pressure the loved ones are really putting on each other.  But not everyone has someone at this time of year.  For those who’ve never found love or who’ve had it (once, twice, three times a…) and lost it, or even worse, lost a loved one, Valentine’s Day is a reminder that they (generally) are missing something.  The pressure the commercialization of this “holiday” puts on people, both in and out of love, can be daunting.  With this in mind, this year’s Valentine’s Day Music Monday is about/for those having trouble finding love.
No Valentines by Elton John
(released 1996 on the Love Songs album, not as a single)

But keep my Valentine
I’ll keep my bleeding heart
Just let me out of here
Before that sentimental music starts
And your regrets
Fall like empty lines
Like the lies we write on Valentines

Specifically written for his ‘Love songs’ album, it was never released as a single.  It probably wouldn’t have been a huge hit.  It’s not got the catchy chorus or uplifting message or chipper beat…but I like it…and it fits this post.

Mixed Emotions by The Rolling Stones
(released 1988; #1 US Mainstream Rock, #5 US Hot 100, #9 Netherlands, #20 Germany, #24 Switzerland, #25 Australia)

You’re not the only one
With mixed emotions
You’re not the only ship
Adrift on this ocean
You’re not the only one
That’s feeling lonesome
You’re not the only one
With mixed emotions

From their ‘Steel Wheels’ album, Mixed Emotions is certainly not their biggest hit, but it still has a good sound and it fits this weeks theme.  I almost titled this post “Mixed Emotions.”

Under Pressure by Queen
(released 1981; peaked #1 UK & Netherlands, #2 Ireland, #5 France, #6 Australia & New Zealand, #10 Austria & Switzerland)

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?..

‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

One of my favorite Queen songs.  The video begins with Freddie doing a bit of call and response with the audience before moving into the song.  The album version with David Bowie is great.

Music Monday – Home Again

Heidelberg, GermanyI love Elton John’s music and his new single, “Home Again”, is another winner for me.  I just heard it for the first time today, but it speaks to me.  For anyone who’s followed my blog for a while or read through enough of my posts, you know I’m an Army brat who graduated from Heidelberg High School in Germany.  Many, most of us Lions (the HHS mascot) consider Heidelberg our home, especially if we graduated from the high school.  I’ve wanted to make it back, but haven’t yet managed it.  Earlier this summer, the high school closed its doors for good, and just recently, the military community officially closed.  I’m sad, as are lots of us Heidelbergers…and we all spend our time “trying to get back home again.”

Home Again by Elton John

(released 2013; peaked #15 US Adult Contemporary)

If I could go back home, if I could go back home
If I’d never left, I’d never have known
We all dream of leaving, but wind up in the end
Spending all our time trying to get back home again


Vikki Carriger, one of our pride is going to be on X Factor this week and we’re all hoping to see her do well.  You can find her single, “In My Pocket”, on iTunes and AmazonMP3.

Music Monday – Just Gets Better With Time

“In the instant that you love someone,
in the second that the hammer hits,
reality runs up your spine,
and the pieces finally fit.”
Elton John & Bernie Taupin

Fourteen years ago this week I used those lyrics from Elton John’s The One in my marriage vows.  Our relationship has grown and matured over the years and I love my wife more deeply every day.

There are a number of songs that deal with anniversaries, including Tony! Toni! Tone!’s Anniversary and Little River Band’s Happy Anniversary although the latter isn’t exactly a positive take on the subject:

“I’m so happy for you baby
now that you’ve found somebody new
I see it in your eyes
Lord it’s no surprise
what he can do for you.”
Little River Band

Getting back to positive vibes, The Whispers have a fantastic song that speaks to the heart of this weeks post…and served as the title of this post, Just Gets Better With Time:

“Every thought that comes into my mind
is always centered around you
so glad to know that you’re by my side
wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The Whispers

Happy Fourteenth Anniversary week, my Anam Cara.  I look forward to many more years with you.  Love, me!

Music Monday – Tear Jerkers

A day late (technically two now that it’s past midnight), but not a dollar short, here’s this week’s Music Monday post…

I posed this question on Facebook last week:  “What song makes you tear up? Why?”

Based on the high percentage of my friends who are Army Brats, in the military, or working for the military as civilians or contractors, it wasn’t surprising that the majority of the responses included the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood, and American Soldier by Toby Keith.  The reason, naturally, patriotism.  I have to concur with these.  I have teared up to all three.

Others on the list of responses included:

  • Last Kiss (not sure if it was Pearl Jam or the original)
  • Amazing Grace (played on bagpipes) [it’s the only way I can stand that tune – otherwise it just grates on me]
  • Tough Time by Jack Johnson and Corey Smith

A few of those I’ve never heard and those that I have don’t make me cry.  They are very moving songs, but they don’t quite do it for me.  If there’s not a link above, I couldn’t find a video for it.

My Short List

There are many songs that I’ve shed a tear over, but not too many that do it repeatedly. Here is my short list of songs that still I tear up over:

The One by Elton John
This one’s easy to explain.  It’s happy tears.  I used a few lines of this in my vows to my wife.  Feel free to guess which ones.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole
Another easy one.  For some reason, this song reminds me of my mom [because we lived in Hawai’i…maybe] who died two years ago yesterday (when I actually started this post).

Concrete Angel by Martina McBride
Again, it’s fairly simple to figure this one out.  It really does it when I watch the video.  When I hear about people abusing kids, I want to beat them with bats until they aren’t moving any longer.

I’m Already There by Lonestar
This one has done it every time.  Not the original version, but the one that was created with the snippets of interviews/conversations with the family of deployed troops…every time without fail.

Lucky One by Mike Corrado
Mike is a Marine who’s been writing and playing music for over ten years now.  Since his recall to duty and deployment, his focus has been on songs for and about the troops.  Lucky One is a song about dealing with PTSD.  To quote Mike “It’s easy to see service members with physical scars but much more difficult to see the ‘scars that hide deep inside’ of those suffering with PTSD,”

…And the latest to add to my list:  Firework by Katy Perry.

I can’t quite explain it, but I think it has to do with understanding that whoever you are, you can be strong, you can make a difference, and that you carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe vitam.  Don’t give up, don’t give in…”If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow”

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