Monday Melody: True Colors (Cyndi Lauper)

I haven’t posted a new Monday Melody in a few weeks, but one particular song, one of my favorites from the 1980s, is really resonating for me right now and fits in with my last few posts.

This lovely video depicts True Colors as a romantic love song, but it’s really a song about agape (as opposed to erotic) love–when you can love unselfishly enough to allow a friend or family member or anyone you care deeply about to be their authentic self, when you can love enough to to stand back and let them go their own way, yet be there to help them back up when they fall.

Its message is timeless and very much needed right now.  Cyndi Lauper rerecorded this song for the Artists Against Bullying campaign in 2012.


You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy
Can’t remember when
I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Can’t remember when I last saw you laugh

If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

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Monday Melody: My Favorite Mistake (Sheryl Crow)

Don’t let the laid back sound of Sheryl Crow’s voice and music fool you.  This 1998 pop song is about a relationship with a narcissist, after she has been devalued and discarded.   I heard it the other day in the car, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head, so I’m making it this week’s Monday Melody.  I’ve posted the lyrics below the video.

I woke up and called this morning
The tone of your voice was a warning
That you don’t care for me anymore

I made up the bed we sleep in
I looked at the clock when you creep in
It’s 6 a.m. and I’m alone

[Chorus:]
Did you know when you go
It’s the perfect ending
To the bad day I was just beginning
When you go all I know is
You’re my favorite mistake

Your friends are sorry for me
They watch you pretend to adore me
But I’m no fool to this game

Now here comes your secret lover
She’d be unlike any other
Until your guilt goes up in flames

[Chorus:]
Did you know when you go
It’s the perfect ending
To the bad day I’d gotten used to spending
When you go all I know is
You’re my favorite mistake

You’re my favorite mistake

Well maybe nothin’ lasts forever
Even when you stay together
I don’t need forever after
It’s your laughter won’t let me go
So I’m holding on this way

Did you know, could you tell
You were the only one
That I ever loved
Now everything’s so wrong

Did you see me walking by?
Did it ever make you cry?

You’re my favorite mistake
You’re my favorite mistake
You’re my favorite mistake

Monday Melody: Wild Wild Life (Talking Heads)

Back in the day (late 70s and most of the 1980s), the Talking Heads were among my favorite new wave bands.    “Wild Wild Life” was one of those songs (“Psycho Killer” was another)  that I couldn’t get enough of.  I first heard it in David Byrne’s independent film project, “True Stories” in 1986 and went out and bought the album of the same name.  I kept playing “Wild Life” on repeat until I had to purchase a new copy of the album.  My copy was on vinyl–CDs were new on the market but hadn’t overtaken LP sales yet.

At the time I was a young newlywed and I still thought I’d married a good man.   My new husband hadn’t started showing his true colors yet (or I just didn’t see or chose not to see the red flags).    I remember being incredibly flattered because he often compared my looks with Tina Weymouth, the bassist for the band (and in fact, in those days I did resemble her).

So without further ado, here’s my 1986 earworm.  Yes, that is a young John Goodman (of Roseanne fame) in the video–he appeared in the David Byrne film and some movie scenes are in this video.

 

Monday Melody: Little Red Corvette (Prince)

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In memory of Prince, I want to feature a song of his as this week’s Monday Melody. He was and still is one of my favorite ’80’s pop artists. This is one of my favorite Prince songs. It was difficult finding much recorded Prince music on Youtube, because he was opposed to his music being made available on Youtube.

I hope he is resting in peace.

Due to Prince’s objection to his music being reproduced on Youtube, his songs can’t be found there. The original video I posted was deleted, so I found another source. Unfortunately, I can’t embed this video so you will need to click on the link.

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhINumd0GjaBingOOb

Rated PG-13: I never realized how raunchy this song is, but it’s still great!

Monday Melody: Year of the Cat (Al Stewart)

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There are some songs you just never grow tired of. I clearly remember the first time I heard Al Stewart‘s “Year of the Cat” because I heard it in a dream. There’s only one other song I first heard while I was asleep and became incorporated into my dream (Lifehouse’s “Halfway Gone,” 2009). There’s something magical about hearing a song in a dream that always remains with you and makes the song seem more special somehow. You almost feel like it came from inside you.

“Year of the Cat”‘s vivid imagery recalls outdoor markets in faraway Eastern places and exotic women in colorful silk dresses. In my dream, during the summer of 1977, I saw all this imagery while on some kind of safari and my male companion–a boy who I had a wild crush on–was serenading me with this song.

I woke up right at the end, during the long instrumental and couldn’t get the song out of my head. I had to have that record, so I rushed out to purchase the 45 RPM. For the next month I listened to it more times than I could count.

It’s a great song, with many layers of instrumentation–violins, piano, guitar,and saxophone, giving it a sensual, even sexy feel. The lyrics are pure poetry. You simply don’t hear lines like “she comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
like a watercolor in the rain” these days.

“Year of the Cat” has a timeless sound and doesn’t sound dated, even 40 years after its release. It could have been made yesterday.

Houndmouth: Sedona

There is NOTHING I don’t love about this.

Monday Melody: “Somethings Always Wrong” (Toad the Wet Sprocket)

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The ’90s holds a special place in my heart and of all the decades, I like the music of that decade the best–even though technically I was a little too old for it.   ’90s music seems the most versatile to me.   No one knew it yet, but it was the last decade where good rock music was still dominant, before it disintegrated into the commercial post-grunge of the early 2000s, and the eventual takeover of hip hop and finally, EDM.

Sometime during the late 1980s, new wave segued into early alternative (or what used to be called “college rock” before it became “alternative” in the 90s. )  No matter that I was no longer in college and was in fact married by then, I was always drawn to this type of music.  REM is a fantastic band and of all the early alternative bands probably became the most famous and long lived.   But there were others that seemed so underrated to me.    Toad the Wet Sprocket (formed in 1986) made music that wasn’t offensive to anyone’s ears but was never over-produced or overcommercialized either.   Their lyrics were always meaningful.   “Something’s Always Wrong” wasn’t their biggest hit; in fact it never became much of a hit at all, although it did get some airplay in 1994.   It’s my favorite song by this band.  The harmonies are just gorgeous and I can’t get enough of the jangly guitars.   I never get tired of it.

I know it’s Wednesday. It’s two days late because I forgot. I don’t have any other excuses. 😳

Monday Melodies: Accidents Will Happen (Elvis Costello)

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I had the good fortune of living in New York City (well, actually in Queens, NY) during the punk and new wave explosion of the late 1970s at just the right age. Until 1979 though, I was largely unaware of it, and satisfied myself with Boston, Aerosmith, and Fleetwood Mac, because in those pre-MTV days, that’s what was getting all the radio airplay (along with disco, of course).

On New Years’ Eve, 1978, I met a young man through a friend and fell head over heels in limerence with him. Never mind that he turned out to be a narcissistic jerk (they all were), for the first half of 1979 we had blast. Mark was what today you might call a hipster–he was a Jewish art student who wore skinny ties and trench coats, and he had an earring when they were still a novelty on men. He ate organic food, rode a bike everywhere, listened to obscure music and he adored punk and New Wave. He hated what I listened to and proceeded to give me a music education.

He used to take me downtown to the East Village, and it was like a carnival. Young people everywhere wearing Mohawks, black leather with safety pins, ripped T-shirts, cheap eateries on every corner, second hand record stores. And of course, a multitude of smoke-filled hole-in-the-wall music clubs, the most famous one being CBGBs.

New wave and power pop bands that would become famous during the early 1980s got their start there. Probably the most famous of all of them was a nerdy looking young Irishman named Declan McManus, more famously known as Elvis Costello.

Costello had a hiccupy, neurotic voice and a spastic dance. He wrote songs with deep, almost indecipherable lyrics and incredibly catchy music with melodies that stuck to you like caramel sticks to your teeth. You were never sure if he was sincere or sarcastic, but no matter–all his songs sounded great and you found yourself singing and bopping along.

His biggest hit was a little ditty called “Accidents Will Happen.” Although my life then was no less shitty than it ever was, I always associate this song with good times. It’s impressive for how far ahead of its time it is. It sounds more like a song that would have been popular in 1986, not 1979. I never grew tired of it, and enjoy it as much today as I did when I was 20.

Monday Melody: City of New Orleans (Arlo Guthrie)

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Technically, it’s still Sunday, but in 3 minutes it will be Monday and according to my WordPress clock (which is 4 hours off) it’s been Monday for 3 hours and 57 minutes, so here’s the second installment in this series featuring music I like from the past.

This week’s selection is “City of New Orleans” by folk singer Arlo Guthrie.

From the Youtube entry for the video:

A hit for Guthrie on his 1972 album “Hobo’s Lullaby”, Peaking at # 18 on Billboard hot 100. The folk song was written by Steve Goodman, describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central Railroad’s City of New Orleans in bittersweet and nostalgic terms. Goodman got the idea while traveling on the Illinois Central line for a visit to his wife’s family. He performed the song for Arlo Guthrie in the Quiet Knight, a bar in Chicago, and Guthrie agreed to add it to his repertoire. The song is now more closely associated with him, although Goodman performed it until his death in 1984. The song has been recorded by numerous artists both in the US and Europe.

This folk-rock hit from the fall of 1972 has been largely forgotten, but it’s been covered by a lot of other artists over the years, because of its timeless Americana appeal.   Even in its heyday, it evoked nostalgia.  It was the kind of song your parents liked. Hell, even your grandparents could groove to it.   Even in the early 1970s, who actually rode on trains?   The rollicking chorus and old-timey Ragtime-esque piano riff evokes images of simpler, kinder times that probably never really existed but we like to think did.  It’s sincere without being smarmy.  The tempo is relaxing and rhythmic, like the long, slow train ride through the flyover states the lyrics describe.

At the end of the day, it’s just a really great song that almost makes you believe the milkman will be delivering fresh whole milk and eggs tomorrow morning, the smiling mailman will wave hello and whistle a tune, and America is still a great country.  It’s all Mister Rodgers Neighborhood and clean cotton sheets blowing in the wind out back, and even a cynic like me can get down with that.

11 songs about Borderline Personality Disorder

Everyone who reads this blog knows I’m a huge music fan, so I thought I’d start a series of songs about the experience of being Borderline (or being in relationships with Borderlines), as I already have with songs about Narcissism.

Here are 11 songs to get started. I’ll do another one of these later.
I tried to include the lyric videos whenever possible.

1. Green Day: Boulevard of Broken Dreams

A huge 2005 comeback hit by the alternative rock band. I think this song really captures the horror and loneliness of what it’s like to have BPD.

I’m walking down the line that divides me somewhere in my mind
One the borderline of the edge and where I walk alone
Read between the lines what’s fucked up and everything’s alright
Check my vital signs to know that I’m still alive and I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there would find me
Til then I walk alone

These lines pretty much say it all. It’s a great song.

2. Three Days Grace: I Hate Everything About You

The early 2000’s seemed to have a surplus of songs that described Borderline-like mental conditions. Three Days Grace seemed to specialize in these sort of songs. Here is a song that describes the “splitting” (black and white thinking) Borderlines tend to do in relationships, as well as idealization/devaluation of a lover.

3. Katy Perry: Hot and Cold

A poppier, less serious song about the crazymaking rapid mood swings and tendency toward splitting Borderlines tend to do and the instability of their relationships. Here, Perry is singing to her BPD lover. (Although the word “Bipolar” is mentioned in the song, the lover’s moods swing too rapidly for it to be Bipolar I Disorder, which is characterized by long-term severe mood changes.

4. David Nail: Whatever She’s Got

The bro-country singer seems to be singing about his girlfriend who displays the unpredictable rapid mood swings of someone with BPD.

5. The Offspring: Self Esteem

Classic early ’90s rocker about a guy who may be a Borderline who appears to be involved with a girl with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Or she could be an abusive Borderline. It’s hard to tell. Anyway, they’re both pretty messed up in the head. I’d say their relationship is doomed. Enjoy the tune.

6. Meat Loaf: Paradise By The Dashboard Light

1978 classic rock song about a guy who appears to be dating a girl who has BPD (or is just extremely demanding and high maintenance, which probably indicates BPD or Histrionic personality disorder anyway).

The girlfriend’s lyric:
Stop right there!
I gotta know right now, do you love me?
Will you love me forever? Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now before we go any further
Do you love me? And will you love me forever?
What’s it gonna be, boy? Come on
I can wait all night
What’s it gonna be, boy? Yes or no
What’s it gonna be, boy? Yes or no

7. Hurt: Johnny Cash

Some of the most eloquent (and depressing) descriptive lyrics ever. Warning: this song may be extremely triggering.

8. Meredith Brooks: Bitch

The lyrics tell it all. No further editorializing necessary.

9. Radiohead: Creep

The “creep” in this song has either BPD or possibly covert (“vulnerable”) Narcissism. He seems to be severely conflicted between dismally low self esteem and pathological envy. He idealizes his lover and hates her for being “more” than he is. Whatever disorder he has, the self hatred and excruciating pain of his disordered mind is evident.

10. Hole: Doll Parts

The lyrics to “Doll Parts” mirror “Creep” in many ways, especially the idealization/pathological envy of qualities she idealizes, and her desire to “even the score.” Once again, the subject of the song could be either Borderline or NPD. (Courtney Love actually has a BPD diagnosis).

11. Jason Mraz: Beautiful Mess

A tender ballad sung to his obviously Borderline lover.