Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Our Town”

Songs leave an imprint in our memories, a period of our lives, a love, that special moment. The first time I heard “Our Town” was while watching the finale of “Northern Exposure.” And this song, combined with one of my favorite, must-see shows ending, caused one ugly cry!

But it’s a lovely song. Iris Dement paints a backdrop with her lyrics that allow you to paint in your own life, your own memories in the foreground. But the first time I heard it, I was saying good-bye to “Northern Exposure.” I can still see Marilyn’s thoughtful gaze, Chris spinning records and Holling and Shelly tending to The Brick. Now make your own memory images and enjoy.

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Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Crippled Inside”

Admittedly, what prompted my recalling this song was the vitriol being spewed on social media about Hillary Clinton, particularly the misogyny. This song and its lyrics sprang forth as I read other women attacking Clinton’s appearance, because nothing reveals someone’s heart and soul like what you say about others.

Mom loved this song. Again, it has great rhythm and that wicked back beat! And it’s got John Lennon’s fine-tuned words that cut to the quick, poetically. So here it is, from his “Imagine” album, recorded in 1971, followed by the delicious lyrics. Let that sink in, haters:

“Crippled Inside”
you can shine you’re shoes
and wear a suit
you can comb your hair
and look quite cute
you can hide your face
behind a smile
one thing you can’t hide
is when you’re crippled inside
you wear a mask
and paint your face
you can call yourself
the human race
you can wear a collar
and a tie
but the one thing you
can’t hide is when you’re
crippled inside
well now you know that your
cat has nine lives babe
nine loves to itself
but you only got one
and a dog life ain’t no fun
mamma take a look outside.
you can go to church
and sing a hymn
judge me by the color
of my skin
you can live a lie until you die
one thing you can’t hide
is when you’re crippled inside.

LennonImagine

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”

Elton John songs are so often influenced by hymns and “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” is no exception. MonLisaCropped So how appropriate for a Sunday morning. This song always reminds me of those Sunday mornings after I’ve been finding joy with friends on Saturday night, because “I thank the Lord for the people I have found.”

Today, I am thankful for a certain girlfriend of mine who came out of the blue to defend me against another woman who bullied and body slammed me.  Thank you for the reality confirmation. I thank the Lord for you, dear one.

And I’ve had some very private, personal moments in life when this song came on right when I needed comfort. It’s absolutely my favorite Elton John song. It is unifying and affirming.

 

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Valley of the Dolls”

As a straight woman, I may know way too much about the cult classic, Jacqueline Suzann’s novel “Valley of the Dolls” and subsequent movie that is as campy as it gets. It’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer. Keeping with the brevity of these Sunday interludes, let me just recommend it if you want to see great actors deliver over-the-top lines drenched in melodrama. The cast also includes Sharon Tate, a victim of Charles Manson. But for today, I shall share my favorite monologue performed by Susan Hayward to Patty Duke’s character, Neelie O’Hara. We just lost Duke earlier this year. (Sorry, but I couldn’t successfully edit out the “F” word for a gay person that follows my fave line. It was 50 years ago so the language is dated and it is a passionate scene.) And the second offering is the theme song just so you have a song stuck in your head all day. Happy Sunday!

Hayward

https://www.vibby.com/v/71iBRHXbG

As sung by Dionne Warwick, written by Andre and Dory Previn:

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “The Only Living Boy in New York”

Paul Simon wrote “The Only Living Boy in New York” for Art Garfunkel who was off to do a movie, as their musical partnership was fading. So it’s a kind of bromance song. Then the movie “Garden State” gave this Simon and Garfunkel song new energy for me with the cast donned in plastic trash bags, standing over the vast chasm in the pouring rain.

GardenStateRain

But what really gets me is the angelic chorus of, “Here I am.” I often tear up when I get to that part because it purges my soul and opens my heart to my unknown tomorrow, and somehow draws me nearer to my loves on the other side.

And that is why I feel compelled to post this song today. Yesterday morning a dear nine-year-old boy was released from his ravaged body that the “black Legos” stole. A more mournful song just won’t do. I want angels surrounding him on his new journey. This fits.

“I know you’ve been eager to fly now. Hey let your honesty shine, shine, shine now.”

For you, T.H.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”

Possessiveness is so unbecoming and in a loving relationship, so unnecessary, for if both are truly in love, possessiveness is unnecessary and merely a character flaw. And that is why Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” is very likely my favorite torch song.

Losing the one you love is such a lonely ache. The feeling of desperation for what you would consider doing to keep from losing your love is crazy. But this song is that sane plea, that tightrope lie between not wanting to do something crazy and bartering ones own feelings. Dusty Springfield’s voice and melody add meaning to the words. Sadly, she knows that giving up ones happy heart to hold onto someone whose heart has already left causes only a more tortuous heartache. Believe me. (Wow, did Donald Trump just ruin that line in this song? Say it isn’t so!)

PS, it is also my dream karaoke song but it is very hard to do Dusty’s range. RIP, you unique gem.

 

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: Blazing Saddles, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me?”

Did you ever notice the Blazing Saddles‘ title song sounds like “Yes, Jesus Loves Me?” Other than reading other comments from people who recognize the similarity between the hymn “Yes, Jesus Loves Me,” and the title song to Blazing Saddles, I haven’t found any first-person confirmation from Mel Brooks or Richard Pryor, the writers for the movie. Anyway, now I can’t get the parallel out of my head. If you have never seen this movie, stop, just stop right now. It is a must-see. And even though it was released in 1974, it keeps being relevant to the times, which isn’t always a good reflection on society, but at least it helps us laugh at our conditions. And it’s simply hilarious. Enjoy.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Down to You”

Plaintive, reflective words, as are, “Everything comes and goes, marked by lovers and styles and clothes.” That’s the first line of the 1974 Joni Mitchell song, “Down to You,” a beautiful, soulful composition that won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) that year.

Sure, life is marked by jobs but the truer memories for me are of the people in my life, my loves and loved ones, that always include moments and memories of clothes worn or captured in fond photos. That line punctuates that truth.

But “Down to You,” is about you. “You’re a brute, you’re an angel, you can crawl, you can fly too. It’s down to you. It all comes down to you.” If you’ve never heard it, take a listen. It will leave you with lasting images:

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: I Get Weak in the Knees

Ed Sheeran’s voice makes my knees weak. It’s biological. Heaven forbid they play “Thinking Out Loud,” when I am in a store, for my knees buckle.

Ahhh, and that ending, “Right where we are.” Pardon me while I scoop myself off the floor.

Beck has the same effect but I will save that for another Sunday.

Now that particular song does it to me but I love this one, too, and it demonstrates his diversity:

I’m reminded of Rebecca Howe’s reaction to “Unchained Melody” on “Cheers.”

I don’t stand a chance when that yummy, manly, velvet tone invades my ear.

 

Resilience is Key to Joy

All humans come into this world unique but with a certain curiosity and resilience that is at our primal core. Many of us lose those qualities as we grow, unfortunately. Shame on any parent who does not instill this quality in his child.

Resilience is a core quality in children. (I’ve taken enough graduate courses in psychology to know a few things about a few things.) Children are better than adults at overcoming hardships. Their brains can rewire better. Animals of all species are like this. If you know about the Farm Sanctuary, you know that abused animals frolic and trust again, once they are safe. Humans are no different. And, yes, I am aware of abandoned infants from neglected orphanages who display emotional and social abnormalities in adoption, but not all do. The same for goats, chickens, pigs, cows, dogs and cats.

I’ve been following a local nine-year-old’s struggle with cancer for about seven months, thanks to social media. His resilience is overwhelming. He’s gone from chemo for a tumor in his leg they thought would require knee reconstruction, to a leg amputation, more intensive chemo, one lung surgery to remove more tumors and another surgery on the second lung and more chemo. His mom has been sharing his story on Caring Bridge. (Out of respect for their privacy I am not linking to his page.) I’ve read about his agonizing shrieks and tears from the pain and fear, desperate attempts to get out of a moving car and absolute panic attacks in the hospital. I truly can’t imagine or understand how this boy and his family do it every day. But throughout this journey that has seldom been hopeful medically, this kid just gets spiritually stronger. He so quickly found his new normal. This little person with barely 100 months of life has magically put the past behind him. He’s amazing. He inspires.

ResilienceOther

Resiliency is the path to joy and a life lived fully. And it’s not just surviving; it’s being present. In a time when so many have an ego-centered sense of entitlement, greater good be damned for the slightest inconvenience, I want to be more like this boy. I want to clear my conscience of regret, feel my footing rooted from my soul with gratitude for this moment.