“Learning to Fly” (Tom Petty)

Tom Petty was one of my favorite musicians.  I loved almost every song he released during his long career.   I owned several of his albums, spanning from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

I heard “Learning to Fly”  in the car this morning and was overcome with bittersweet nostalgia that stayed with me all day.  1991 (the year this song was released) was a year that had a lot of personal meaning to me, and this was one of my favorite Tom Petty songs.  It’s absolutely surreal to me that 1991 was 27 years ago.   It’s sad and a little scary  how much faster time passes by as we age.

Tom Petty’s premature death in October 2017 was a great shock.   Music like his will never be made again.   But he finally got his wings and learned to fly.

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Keane: Somewhere Only We Know

Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know,” released in 2004, seems like it’s from another lifetime, because everything has changed so much since then.   It seems like the world was more innocent then and so were we.   Fourteen years is a long time, but not so long to make me feel like we’re in an entirely different eon.    This piano rock ballad, already melancholy enough, is made even more so for me for this reason.   I still love this song.

Ray LaMontagne: “For The Summer” and “Beg, Steal or Borrow.”

Here are two songs that when I first heard them back in 2010, I could swear were old James Taylor or Crosby, Stills and Nash songs I had somehow never heard.

Both these ballads were written and sung by a musician named Ray LaMontagne, who was in fact hugely influenced by Stephen Stills and other singer songwriters of the late 1960s and early 1970s, even though he himself wasn’t born until 1973.

Both songs are featured on his 2010 studio album “God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise” and both received moderate airplay.   “Beg, Steal or Borrow” was nominated for a Grammy (2010 Song of the Year) but did not win.

I love these songs because they’re so calming.   I also find them both a bit melancholy and somehow nostalgic.   Love the lyrics too!

 

 

 

Peace Train (Cat Stevens – Yusuf Islam)

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“Peace Train” was a huge 1972 hit by singer songwriter Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam).   He is actually Greek/Swedish and was raised in England and attended Catholic schools. Cat Stevens was one of the first “adult” musicians I loved when I was still in grade school, and “Peace Train” was one of my favorite songs from 1972.

I think there couldn’t be a better time to post this almost forgotten song, with the horrible things going on in our country (and the world) right now.   Cat Stevens converted to Islam in 1977 and now devotes himself to philanthropic and educational causes and promoting peace.  So much for Islam being a violent religion.  That’s a stereotype due to a few fundamentalist extremists within Islam.  There are loony fringes of all religions.  Christianity is not immune and includes its own kind of terrorists driven by hatred and fear, and they’re right here in America.

Here is what he said immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks:

I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action. The Qur’an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims of this sorrowful moment.

He wrote this about his religion:

In Islam there is something called the principle of common good. What that means is that whenever one is confronted by something that is not mentioned in the scriptures, one must observe what benefit it can bring. Does it serve the common good, does it protect the spirit, and does it serve God? If the scholars see that it is something positive, they may well approve of what I’m doing.

Cat also continues to make music but it’s an avocation now, something he does because he loves making music.  He has added Islamic music to his repertoire.

Let’s ride on the peace train!

 

Monday Melody: Careless Whisper (George Michael)

Since George Michael died today (f*ck you, 2016!) I thought I’d use one of his songs for this week’s Monday Melody.  Careless Whisper (released in 1984) is probably my favorite George Michael tune.   Now it’s touched with sadness for me, but is still a classic.

 

RIP, George Michael.

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I just found out George Michael died, at home, at age 53, of an undisclosed illness.

He’s one in a long line of musical icons that 2016 took away from us:  first David Bowie, then Prince, then Leonard Cohen, and now George Michael.

What a sad year this has been for the music world and for these musicians’ fans.

RIP, George.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38432862

RIP Leonard Cohen, 1934 – 2016

Leonard Cohen died yesterday at the age of 82.   I’ve been so upset about Trump’s election that this sad news barely registered, but Cohen deserves to be honored and remembered for his songwriting talent and his wonderful music.

2016 has been a sad year, with so many great musical artists passing on:  David Bowie, then Prince, and now Mr. Cohen.

RIP, Mr. Cohen.  You will be missed.

 

 

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

Monday Melody: Old Man (Neil Young)

I remember “Harvest” was one of the first albums I ever bought with my own money (that wasn’t bubblegum!) and “Old Man” was probably my favorite song from it.   It’s timeless.

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