Song Lyric Sunday (5 April 2020) – Birthdays

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of senses (my choice). This week, theme of birthdays.

I’ve got a dodgy link this week, but the song is just too good to pass up. In 1982, The Jam released their final studio album, The Gift. There’s my link.

I was just about too young to remember all the Mod and Rocker nonsense of the Seventies. I doubt very much it happened anywhere except the UK, did it? Mod music just seems very British to me. But now I am perfectly happy to listen to some of the old Mod bands. If I were ten years older, I could just picture myself riding a scooter 🙂. Even now, I have my honourary fishtail coat.

For anybody who didn’t follow that last paragraph, this is a fishtail. It gets its name from that distinctive split at the bottom. Fishtails were most always that military green colour, and people would often paint insignia on them, as you see.

Anyway, back to music. The Jam were always a cult band in the UK, where this album comfortably reached #1. They weren’t as successful internationally – the album only reached #82 in the USA. The album spawned a couple of singles, however, and one of these is my choice today. The Jam was Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, and Town Celled Malice, like most of the music on the album, was writted by Weller and charted at #1 in the UK Singles chart in February 1982. It also charted in much of the English-speaking world, reaching #31 on Billboard.

It’s a brilliant, speedy track which epitomises The Jam era, I bet you have trouble sitting still!

Better stop dreaming of the quiet life
‘Cos it’s the one we’ll never know
And quit running for that runaway bus
‘Cos those rosey days are few
And…stop apologising for the things you’ve never done
‘Cos time is short and life is cruel
But it’s up to us to change
This town called Malice

Rows and rows of disused milk floats
Stand dying in the dairy yard
And a hundred lonely housewives
Clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry
It’s enough to make you stop believing
When tears come fast and furious
In a town called Malice

Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere’s a fine blend of ice
I’m almost stone cold dead
In a town called Malice

A whole street’s belief in Sunday’s roast beef
Gets dashed against the co-op
To either cut down on beer or the kids’ new gear
It’s a big decision in a town called Malice

The ghost of a steam train echoes down my track
It’s at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going ’round and ’round
Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I’d sooner put some joy back
In this town called Malice

Paul Weller

Song Lyric Sunday (29 March 2020) – Senses

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of oaths (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of senses.

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Soon as I heard the prompt this week, I had my choice.

I have no great tale today. I suppose in my formative years, I figured that I liked soul music, and as I listened to more and more of it, this was a track I really liked.

My choice today is by Jackie Wilson (1934-84). I heard Jackie Wilson on some of my cassettes, and just assumed he was a soul singer from the Sixties/Seventies (which was true), but I never heard his name around any more, though, so I wondered what happened to him. In fact, he spent his last years performing in Las Vegas – alongside people like Elvis – where he suffered a heart attack while performing. He never recovered and died shortly afterwards.

But Jackie left us with some sweet, sweet music. He was active right the way through the late 1950s (remember Reet Petite?) right until his death, and my choicee today comes from 1969. I Get The Sweetest Feeling, written by songwriters Van McCoy and Alicia Evelyn, was only a modrate hit, charting at #34 on Billboard (#12 on the R&B chart) and #9 in the UK. By the time I heard the track, Jackie was already gone.

In recent years, Jackie Wilson has received acclaim from various sources, for example his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but of course these were mostly postumous honours.

Anyway, the tune. Always one I enjoyed.

The closer you get
The better you look
baby

The better you look
The more I want you

When you turn on your smile I feel my heart go wild

I’m like a child with a brand-new toy.
And I get the sweetest feeling

Honey
The sweetest – sweetest feeling –
Baby
The sweetest – sweetest feeling – loving you
yeah!

The warmer your kiss
The deeper you touch me
Baby

The deeper your touch
the more you thrill me

It’s more than I can stand
Girl
When you hold my hand

I feel so grand that I could cry.

And I get the – sweetest feeling
Mama
The sweetest – sweetest feeling
Baby
The sweetest – sweetest feeling – loving you.

The greater your love
The stronger you hold me
Baby

The stronger your hold
The more I need you.
With ev’ry passing day I love you more in ev’ry way

I’m in love to stay and I wanna say.

I get the – sweetest feeling
Baby
The sweetest – sweetest feeling –
Honey’t the sweetest – sweetest feeling – loving you.

Van McCoy, Alicia Evelyn

Song Lyric Sunday (22 March 2020) – Vows

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of cash and flowers (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of vows.

In the summer of 1989, I was studying for my final exams at university, spending about 10 hours in the library each day. There were distractions, of course. I had a girlfriend whom I’d banned myself from seeing while the exams were on.

Plus there was this record going around by a brand new artist, who seemed to be like a breath of fresh air. Every track on her album was brilliant, we listened to them over and over, and we got to know each track off by heart. The album had been released in 1988, but it took it that bit longer to reach us over in Cardiff.

My selection today comes from the lyrics of one of the album tracks. I normally like to link Jim’s theme to the title of my music tracks, but this is a cracking protest song. If fact I did tag this song onto one of my other posts just a few months ago – I don’t like to repeat myself, but my SLS audience is generally far wider than my every other post audience, and besides … this track is that good!

I called the song a protest song, and I shall explain why (and my link) by quoting some of the lyrics (I’ll quote them again, in their entirety, below):

If not now then when
If not today then
Why make your promises?
A love declared for days to come
Is as good as none

In other words, if you commit to doing something, and you say you’re not gonna do it now, but one day, then what use is that? That is not a committment, merely an aspiration.

The album is Tracy Chapman’s self-named debut album, and every song on the album, including my selection, was written by Tracy herself. The album was a surprising commrcial success, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and reaching #1 in the album charts in both the UK and the US. From the album Tracy Chapman, here is If Not Now.

If not now then when
If not today then
Why make your promises
A love declared for days to come
Is as good as none

You can wait ’til morning comes
You can wait for the new day
You can wait and lose this heart
You can wait and soon be sorry

[chorus]

Now love’s the only thing that’s free
We must take it where it’s found
Pretty soon it may be costly

[chorus]

If not now what then
We all must live our lives
Always feeling
Always thinking
The moment has arrived

Tracy Chapman